Wednesday 5 October 2011

Hathersage Hiatus

Even Derbyshire Disappoints

Stones in Hathersage churchyard mark what is reputed to be the grave of Little John ...
... where in 1780 James Shuttleworth claims to have unearthed a thigh bone measuring 72.39cm : this would have made Little John 8.08 feet in height! One claimant to Robin Hood "of Locksley" is the village of Loxley, only eight miles over the moors on the edge of Sheffield. A number of local landmarks are associated with Robin Hood, such as Robin Hood's Cross on Abney Moor, Robin Hood's Stoop on Offerton Moor, and Robin Hood’s Cave, on Stanage Edge.

There may be a desire for more than a pinch of greenwood salt, BUT, Hathersage is justifiably proud of its big Little John association.
The village has the benefit of an hourly bus service, operated by First, Hulleys and T M Travel**, running from Sheffield to Castleton. The route takes the passenger past the celebrated "Surprise" view down the Hope Valley, so called because it appears almost unexpectedly round a rocky corner.
Other buses, referred to in Delightful Derbyshire Derwent Diversion [4] (read again), link Sheffield, Bamford, Calver and Bakewell. In the village, bus stops are easy to find ...
... even those "round the corner" and slightly away from the main part of the village.
The stop illstrated above is actually opposite the "Little John" pub which added a little amusement as fbb made his way to Sheffield yesterday; by car, sadly, as he was laden with "stuff" for the presentation tonight (Wednesday 5th Oct) to the Sheffield Transport Study Group; of which more later.

The amusement was because of the advertised menu ...
Chickhen indeed! Perhaps a middle aged bird, older than a chick but not yet a fully mature hen?
A particular delight was refreshing flagons of tea and two slices of toasted "tea bread", dripping with butter, consumed in "Cintra's" Tea Room opposite the main bus stop for Castleton as illustrated above. "Tea bread"? The "missus" explained, "We used to serve toasted tea cakes but the quality was so unreliable that Gary said he would make his own."

Well done Gary; they were better than any "bought in" bun. 

So what was so disappointing?

Despite Derbyshire's usually excellent timetables ...
 ... the frames at the stops contained, yet again, just lists of departures.
So, how long does it take to get to Hope? When can I come back? Impossible to work out from the almost useless poster above.

Memo to Derbyshire : Why not photocopy the relevant bit of the timetable page? You could stick that in your frame (as well as a departure list if you really think that is useful).

Memo to South Yorkshire : Derbyshire tells us some really useful stuff about fares interavailability ...
... (on line, though; not at the stop, where it would be very useful) but you keep it total a secret. Why? It's the first that the usually well-informed fbb has ever heard of such a "deal".

Maybe it's a new scheme that will appear, in due course, on the appropriate Travel South Yorkshire publicity. Flying Porkers once again?

** Service 272 : in the past, joint between Sheffield Joint Omnibus Committee and Trent, later competitive between SYPTE and Hulleys, recently a friendly joint operation with evening and early morning "tendered" trips by TMT. Helpfully, as we see above, with full ticket inter-availability.

Next blog : due Thursday October 6th


  1. I'm surprised that it's the first time that you've heard about the inter-availability of tickets in the Hope Valley as it's been printed in the relevant hard copy Derbyshire bus and train timetables for as long as I can remember.

    As I come from the other end of the county, I've never tried it out - when visiting the area I've always used a Derbyshire Wayfarer ticket which is valid on bus and train.

    "Ghosts and Legends of the Peak District", by David Clarke, tells you about what's in Little John's Grave.

  2. Haven't seen a hard copy for years; that's why! And TSY don't tell!

  3. I think bus services from Sheffield are very good. In addition to the hourly service to Castleton there are two different hourly services to Bakewell and an express service to Matlock. Chatsworth House also has a daytime hourly service and four buses a day go to Buxton.