Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Stagecoach Sinister Silverwood Service? [3]

A mystery bus route?

In "The Stagecoach Sinister Silverwood Service? [1]" (read again) fbb referred to the Rotherham trolleybus (later diesel bus) route to Silverwood Colliery. In 1985, for example, there was a bus to the colliery every 20 minutes Monday to Friday daytimes supplemented by a selection of shift change journeys seven days a week.
Beyond the colliery, Hollings Lane leads to Moor Lane crossroads, with a left turn for the village of Ravenfield, straight on for Braithwell and right for Bramley.
As new housing developed in the 1960s, Rotherham Corporation provided services 22 and 24 (later 122 and 124 as here in 1985) ...
... to serve the growing population of the area.
With the colliery closure, recent service developments have taken buses away from Hollings Lane. A nice little turning circle was built near to where it says Ravenfield Grange on the above map, officially designated Ravenfield Common Cedar Drive ...
... which is now served by First's hourly route 3 via Bramley and Flanderwell ...
... and First's hourly service 4 via Dalton, Sunnyside and Flanderwell.
Silverwood Colliery was on the pale blue (apparently unserved) road above the "S" of Silverwood. Here's a 3 (or a 4?) caught by Google Maps on Flanderwell Road, returning from Cedar Drive to Rotherham.
But, lookee here fine blog reader, there is a bus service to Hollings Lane, no less. It terminates at Silverwood Cottages, the first block of housing past the emptiness of the former colliery site ...
... it's on the service 4 map; and there's the bus stop on the left. It's even on departure displays at Rotherham bus station.
So, next, we take a look at the timetable which will might show us the frequent First [FST] fours to the Cottages' terrace terminus.
Oh dear, no buses. But wait; Stagecoach [SSY] operates the evening and Sunday service, tendered by South Yorkshire PTE. Perhaps, out of the goodness of their combined hearts, they provide a subsidised service to the secluded citizens of Silverwood?
It's not looking very promising; the above is the hourly Sunday service.

But what is this? The very last journey of the day, seven days a week, runs from Rotherham via Dalton and Flanderwell to Cedar Drive; then doubles back to Silverwood Cottages!
There it is, arriving at 2328. For the record, there are no journeys from The Cottages.

When fbb is next visiting Sheffield he fully intends to join this bus and observe the crowds alighting at the stop pictured above. Perhaps there is a secret gambling den in the cellar of Number 15? Perhaps the computer that runs Travel South Yorkshire's information systems is deep in a "hardened" bunker with the entrance disguised as a disused outside "privvy"? Who knows?

Of course, there is a bus service along Hollings Lane. How silly of fbb to think there wasn't. It's available on Traveline but NOT on the Travel South Yorkshire site. Here are the key stops in the Silverwood area:-
"Ravenfield Common, HOLLINGS LANE, Silver Wood" is Traveline's version of the stop name.

So what is this service, ably supplemented by a late evening tendered trip on route 4. Where are the residents of Silverwood Cottages going during the day, and how often?
It's a 668 school bus, run by MASS travel, for "students" attending Rotherham's Roman Catholic Secondary School. So Grab your beads, put on your chasuble, plonk a biretta on your head and off you go.

So the key question remains. What happens at Silverwood Cottages every night at 2328? And, when it's finished happening, how do those who take part get home?

a speakeasy - raided at Silverwood?

 Next Blog : due Thursday January 26th 
Mrs fbb's birthday! Don't forget the card, fbb! 

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