Wednesday 13 July 2011

fbb Makes a Mistake ...

... surely not another one?

Searching for background information to enhance (?) blogs about the new chummy Stagecoach and First agreement in Sheffield, fbb came across an Amazonian book offer; "Around Hackenthorpe", [Tempus Publishing, cover price £12.99, offer price £4.80.] It was within this volume's 128 pages of pictures that fbb discovered his bludner.

In "Help! Where the Heck is Hackenthorpe?" (read again) fbb wrote:-
Even "Greenside", the Staniforth's home, which once housed the Hackenthorpe Surgery, has now been demolished to make way for "more efficient" premises. Staniforths Factory closed in 1990.
Not true (about "Greenside")! It IS true that the house was used for Hackenthorpe Surgery for a while; and it IS true that the surgery moved into new and efficient premises on Hackenthorpe High Street after older property was demolished there. BUT the two were not connected and "Greenside" still stands. The house now hides behind a thick and impenetrable hedge, but an aerial view reveals the outline of the Staniforths' former residence.
fbb apologises profusely to the current occupants for inadvertently demolishing their property!

But the Hackenthorpe book contains an omnibological mystery as well, namely this picture:-
The caption states, "This Mainline bus was brought out of retirement to provide a temporary free bus service to Sheffield in 1996." What's going on? Predatory pricing as an assault on an upstart competitor? fbb had no idea, so contacted a chum in Sheffield. "Do you know anything about this?" asked fbb. "Yes," he replied, "I was the conductor!"

'James', the chum, continues at length, expurgated for this blog.

This vehicle, 1156, was originally owned by the Sheffield Omnibus Enthusiasts Society after leaving Sheffield in 1970, leaving Yorkshire Woollen in 1973 ...
 a similar ex Sheffield bus in the Yorkshire Woollen fleet

... and finally Don Motors of Dunmow, Essex in 1976. It was subsequently bought back by SYPTE around 1980 and used for apprentice training at the Meadowhall training centre. It would have gone to the scrapman in the late 1980s but a group of employees persuaded the management of Mainline / SYT (i.e. the operating company) to keep the vehicle on and fully restore it to its former glory. The work was undertaken by engineering staff at SYT's East Bank Garage and it was subsequently outshopped looking resplendent, in 1987. 
In the summer of 1996, a group of us persuaded the "Mainline" Operations Director, Ian Davies, to run it out in service on the 41 route one Saturday. It would have to operate the original route via Granville Road, Fitzwalter Road and City Road (out) and direct via Granville Road (in) and terminate at the Hogshead pub at Hackenthorpe. I helped to conduct the bus on this day and a couple of volunteer drivers made the crew complete, and a good day was had by all.
The "Hogshead" pub was at the Delves Road terminus, before route 41 was extended into the Mosborough township. The black and white picture above shows 1156 resting peacefully outside the shops before its return trip to the City.
The supermarket doesn't seem to be doing so well today.

The Hackenthorpe book contains only one other public transport photo; but it is well worth "quoting" here.
It shows trams at the Intake terminus being "under" taken by a service 30 from Eckington to Sheffield. The bus in the background behind the lamp post is, almost certainly, a 41 from Hackenthorpe.

Once again, social history and public transport come together to provide insights into why Bus Enthusiasts are, indeed, enthusiastic.

Spooky Tailpiece. When teaching in Sheffield, fbb taught 'James' RE for one whole school year in class 3E3. He was then 14 and is now 47!

And, talking of  'James', Christ Church Hackenthorpe has a "mobile church", a bus called James, seen here at the same shops on Delves Road where chum 'James' conducted the mystery bus. The connection is purely co-incidental!

Next blog : due Thursday July 14th  

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