Monday 1 November 2010

Eckington Ecclesiastical Enigma

Or ... Traveline pinched our Church!
Planning a possible perambulation recently, fbb considered exploring Eckington - contiguous with Sheffield's expansion at Mosborough but firmly fixed in the great county of Derbyshire.   Where best to start but at the splendid church, located, surprisingly, in Church Street!

Mysteriously, Traveline has Eckington Church as a stop at the junction of  West Street, Dronfield Road and Chesterfield Road - about a mile-and-a-half uphill from the "real" church.

What is going on?

Phillips street map ...
... locates three church symbols near the aforesaid junction.   Hours of sweaty searching on the interweb (well about 45 minutes) reveals one-and-a-half other churches possibly still in operation.   It's not the big Methodist church in the centre ...

... as that closed down some years ago.   It COULD be St Lukes, giving its address as "Higher Eckington" - not much help as such a locality is not known to Traveline; OR it could be a different Methodist Church; there are (were) many varieties of Methodism, thus several Methodist Churches in some towns.

In the end it was Google Streetwise that came to the rescue.   The church on West Street appears to have become a St John Ambulance Hall ...

... the church on Chestnut Avenue, whilst still sporting its cross, looks "withdrawn", at least from a worship point of view;   was this, muses fbb in contemplative mood, possibly the "St Lukes" of Higher Eckington, now, sadly, defunct?

But, aha!  Adjacent to a bus stop icon labelled "Eckington Church", and at the end of Randall Street is ... Tada!

... Eckington Methodist Church WITH St Lukes - joint operation it would seem!

Dear Traveline,

Eckington Church - the real big one - is on Church Street and a very obvious landmark!

Your "Eckington Church" is on Chesterfield Road and should be "Eckington Methodist Church".  Maybe a Traveline putter-inner-of-data is a closet Methodist - or even a deacon of that diminutive ecclesiatical establishment on Chesterfield Road.   But, Eckington Church it ain't!

There is a golden rule in public transport information:- You can either be comprehensive or comprehensible but NOT both.  In a lemming-like desire to create information overload, Traveline often simply confuses.

Could do better. Maybe put Eckington Church back where it belongs - there is a stop back down in the town at "Rectory Close" - might be some sort of clue?

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