Friday 7 June 2013

Bridport's Beautiful Bus Station [2]

We all know that dogs have owners (and friends) whereas cats employ staff. Our animal-loving readers will be pleased to know that the fbbs' 14 year-old employers survived the journey, survived a weekend in a "Cat Hotel" and are now taking charge of their new home.
At 12 noon today (Friday) the fbbs will have been in residence for one whole week. Sadly, they are not as relaxed, yet, as their bosses!
Bridport's Beautiful Bus Station
But a busless bus station ...
... or nearly so.
At first glance, this stop is for four routes but, on closer inspection it highlights only two; X53 westbound to Exeter and eastbound to Poole; 31 westbound to Axminster and eastbound to Dorchester. There is, however, an "also" ...
... which includes a non-existent 315**, the 253 Monday to Friday "round the villages" version of X53 and the 753 variant for Weymouth college.

Compare this minimalist list with that excavated from Traveline for all buses from Bridport ...
... and it eventually dawns on the passenger that Bridport Bus Station OR Coach Station OR Coach Park isn't any of these. It is just where First bus services lurk, just outside the small depot. Everything else, generally, leaves from stops in the centre of the town. Mind you. First's near exclusive bus station "flag" omits service 47 ...
... which does serve the coach park/station; honest, 'cos fbb photographed one ...
... although the blind display didn't show up on the picture. The South West Coaches route 73 alongside doesn't really stop there; the driver was only taking his "layover".

On the wall by the shelters is a "real time" display ...
... showing a curious mix of real time (XXmin) and unreal timetable time (XX:XX). And just across the road is the luxurious Cafe Royal ...
... for which the future may be on the bleak side of bleak as the block has been sold to "an investor". And you are right, it is not luxurious or in the slightest, "royal"!

And the promised news of Bridport's most famous bus passenger? A star from a TV soap? A retired hero of the silver screen? A disgraced Conservative ex-minister?

None of these: it is (was?) ...
Dodger the cat!

The ginger moggy does not paws to buy a ticket when he wants to travel on buses around West Dorset as he’s a fur dodger. The cunning cat has become well known at Bridport bus station, where he prowls around all day waiting for opportunities. He has been seen hopping on and off buses, sitting on passengers’ laps as they wait, and devouring discarded sandwiches. Dodger’s purrfect excursion sees him taking a trip to Charmiowuth and back, and he is believed to have taken further excursions along the Jurassic Coast on the X53, or so the tail goes. But the 15-year-old cat, named after The Artful Dodger from the Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist, is not a stray; the bus will whisk "his catship" back to his home in Bridport every night to get fed. Owner Fee Jeanes, of West Street, said: “Our house is on the main road but we back onto the bus station."
Dodger was 15 years old when this story broke two years ago; fbb does not know whether Dodger is now a late cat but what is certain is that any passenger, human or feline, will get a better choice of bus in East Street than at the very limited bus coach station park.

**315 : no such bus route, but it may refer to the National Express service?

 Next Bus Blog : Saturday 8th June 

1 comment:

  1. Im sorry to say "Dodger" has had all his nine lives.But at least it was from natural causes.