Monday 26 September 2011

A Delightful Derbyshire Derwent Diversion [3]

By Bus to Bamford

The first buses to run near to Bamford were run by a Mr Hancock from Castleton to Sheffield. Sheffield Tramways and Motors took the service over in October 1927 and numbered it 72. Today's buses still follow much the same route along the A6187; but as First's service 272. Trent buses had a significant presence in the Peak District until the late 1980s and operated jointly on the 72.

In a strange twist of fate, First now operates only route 272 of the former extensive Sheffield Transport Peak District network; the rest are mostly operated by T M Travel, once again part of Trent. 
Our blog, however, seeks to examine services approaching Bamford (etc) from the north, see map above. Once again it was the takeover (in 1927) of Hancock's route from Sheffield to Ashopton as Sheffield route 49 that started the pattern of service.

In June 1930, the A57 (running east-west across the bottom of the above map extract) gained an occasional Saturday service 39 variant via the Snake Pass Inn to Manchester, Summer only and "joint" with North Western Road Car Ltd.
In the winter it ran to the Inn only and was solely Sheffield operated. Sheffield Transport always called it the "Snake Inn" omitting the word "Pass".
It is probably fairly obvious from news and weather bulletins why the pass is best avoided in the depths of winter.

From 1935, a service 47 variant left the 39 at the little village of Ashopton and travelled north along the banks of the river to the tiny hamlet of Derwent. This picture is captioned "Derwent with its total population" ...
... but taken pre-bus in 1905. Turning south from Ashopton in 1938, a variant numbered 44 served Bamford village and station. In 1951 this route was extended, generally following the River Derwent, to Bakewell. Detailed schedules became complicated with 47s extended to Snake and 39s diverted via Derwent; all too esoteric for a simple blog!

But more water was needed for the big industrial areas, so the decision was taken to construct a third dam in the upper Derwent valley. This would obliterate the communities of Derwent and Ashopton.  During World War 2 a massive viaduct was built at Ashopton to carry the A57 across the site of he future lake ...
... and the populace of both villages was rehoused at a specially constructed community at Yorkshire Bridge.
Graves at Derwent were exhumed and the "contents" reburied at Bamford ...
... and, in the early days of the reservoir, the spire would re-appear eerily through the morning mists when water levels were low. Poetic, eh?
Sadly the spire was later blown up in a very early manifestation of "elf'n'safety" concerns.

Thus it was in 1943 that the bus services were diverted over the new road network although the Ladybower reservoir was not formally commissioned until 1945.

Pre- and post- dam, bus services were sparse, as seen here in an extract from a 1951 winter timetable with headings for service 47. Journeys with note B were actually service 44 continuing to Bakewell; leaving the 47 as a Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays operation. The schedule was joined by two service 39 trips on a Saturday.
... and, by 1985, schedules were at an all-time low ...  
... with two service 44 trips (now renumbered 244) to Bamford only; running Monday to Saturday, and a winter Sunday journey to Derwent. The Sunday service was very slightly improved for the summer with two route 39 trips across the Snake Pass to Glossop where connections could be made for Manchester.

Our final blog in this series will look at the equivalent bus services today, literally; and the consequences of the dreaded cutbacks as they manifest themselves in changes from 30th October.

The suspense will be killing you!

Next blog : Tuesday September 27th

1 comment:

  1. Always find lost villages a fascinating topic - this blog reminds me of similar ones in North Wales. Hallsands and Tyneham are two other particular favourites.