Thursday 9 February 2012

Traccy to Grimethorpe [4 of a series]

Where there's Muck there's Brass

It is 1981 and we are travelling to Grimethorpe by bus. Our bus company is Yorkshire Traction ...
but not, sadly, travelling on one of these!

... part of the British Electric Traction group and operators of most of the bus services in and around Barnsley. We will be following the A629 Pontefract Road as far as Shafton Two Gates ...
... where we turn right for "Grimey". Why "Two Gates"? fbb's guess is that there were, in ancient times, two turnpike toll gates at the crossroads where now stands a pub and a bus garage; and not much else.
In support of his guess, the now bypassed bit of Engine Lane (the right hand turn to Grimethorpe, now a cul-de-sac) has been renamed Tollgate Close.
Back in 1981 we might be privileged to ride on a rear engined double decker ...
possibly pre PTE route renumbering : mid 70s?

... but the village of our destination would have shown little change for 60 years or so.
1980s life was much the same as it always had been ...
this 1926 family butcher's was still trading in 1986

... still with plenty of local shops and a good dose of community life. But the pit, employer of nearly half the male population, was still in full swing.
There were four buses an hour but not evenly spread. The 340 ran to "Red City", the strangely evocative name for housing estates on the Brierley Road.
 The 341 served "White City" and late 1920s development, seen here in the mid 50's, but little changed by 1981.
Was it called "White" City after the once white upper storey plasterwork on the houses? Note (in the 50s) the paucity of parked motor cars because, for most "Grimey" residents, it was a walk "t t pit" or a bus to Barnsley.

For the really adventurous, there was the 211 ...
N.B. West Yorkshire PTE branding below windscreen

... which ran all the way to Doncaster! What excitement!
To complete the picture, here is an extract from the South Yorkshire PTE bus map for Barnsley and Doncaster, also dated 1981.
For completeness, fbb records that the 122 and 123 were services operated by West Riding from Wakefield. Despite the obvious terminus of the 123, this particular route ran approximately every two hours Monday to Saturday daytime.

Blog readers may also like to note the services between Barnsley, Upton and Pontefract; routes 245, 246 (extract below) and 247 which used the main A628.
The successors to these routes appear at Grimethorpe itself in 2012.

Tomorrow we look at today's services to a revitalised and rejuvenated Grimethope. The twentyfirst century has brought some interesting developments.

 Next Blog : due Friday February 10th 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Traveline Ken here. Nice to see this post as I worked in my youth at West Riding and remember what was in those days the 62 and 123 to Brierley and Grimethorpe. Each route ran two hourly but apart from different routes in Nostell provided a basic hourly bus from Wakefield to Ryhill, South Hiendley and on to Brierley Corner where they split.
    One feature was the bingo journey that ran from Grimethorpe via Brierley at about 1930 heading for South Hiendley, with a later return journey to take them home. On Sundays only the 123 ran, but included the bingo run, so if you lived at Brierley your first Sunday bus towards Wakefield was 1930!! (Your YTC timetable might have the full service in it, I'm working from a 35 year memory gap)
    Nice picture of an ex County Motors Guy Arab at the top of the post too.