Saturday 29 June 2013

Nimrod comes to Aberdeen?

The first mention of Nimrod is in the Book of Genesis He is described as the son of Cush, grandson of Ham, and great-grandson of Noah; and as "a mighty one on the earth" and "a mighty hunter before God". This is repeated in the First Book of Chronicles, and the "Land of Nimrod" used as a synonym for Assyria or Mesopotamia, is mentioned in the Book of Micah. In Hebrew and Christian tradition, Nimrod is traditionally considered the leader of those who built the Tower of Babel, though the Bible never actually states this.

Perhaps not him? But one of these ...?
Certainly First's news headline was eye-catching and slighlty baffling.
Nimrod to land at King Street Depot?
And King Street depot?

1861 : Plans to build a depot for the Royal Aberdeenshire Highlanders, a volunteer regiment, were announced. 
1914: The Barracks were purchased from the Army for £2360 2s 2d in April 1914 by Aberdeen Corporation Tramways.

1932: A large extension of the King Street site was carried out to enable both trams and buses to be repaired at one site.
1989: An employee and management buy out meant Grampian Regional Transport (which would soon become FirstGroup), became the first privately owned bus company in Scotland.

2007: FirstGroup announced that the King Street site would be redeveloped to incorporate its global headquarters and depot for its Aberdeen based bus operations.

2010: HRH The Princess Royal, officially opens FirstGroup’s new headquarters and bus depot. 
And the new depot is big and super and splendid ...
... but hardly big enough to land a Nimrod.

The now withdrawn surveillance planes are based on the deHavilland Comet and are, to use a technical term, big. As long as four double deck buses parked end to and with a wingspan nearly as huge, the plane stands as high as two deckers piled on top if one another. Here are the basic stats:-

Length: 126 ft 9 in
Wingspan: 114 ft 10 in
Height: 31 ft

So not at all easy to get one to land!

Of course, the journalists' oft-used "friend" is that question mark at the end of the headline. In fact it's not a whole Nimrod that has arrived but a fairly large chunk thereof.
Stan Barber, Chief Executive of Morayvia, the company that is progressing an interactive aerospace project in Moray and owners of the Nimrod, said: "The Nimrod is a fantastic attraction and will I'm sure prove very popular with visitors to First Aberdeen on Sunday. We are very pleased to be supporting First Aberdeen's Open Day." 

And here it is again with a dutifully posed First bus (dutifully showing "First" on its destination screen) to make the point.
So the truth behind the headline is revealed. It is all part of a Community Kneesup which take place tomorrow, Sunday 30th June.

"The plane is the talk of the depot and no doubt the talk of thousands of motorists and passers-by as it made its way through Aberdeen It's not often that you see a plane being transported through the streets of Aberdeen; the Open Day promises to be a fantastic occasion for all the family," said First Aberdeen Director, Joe Mackie, who this year celebrates his 50th year with the company.
Joe Mackie with kilt in official First Bus tartan

So, if you happen to be in the Aberdeen area tomorrow, trot along and enjoy all the fun and games.

A range of more than 50 attractions have been confirmed, including:

· The Nimrod Chunk
· Vintage Buses, including a 1930s Albion
· A 1903 Fire Engine
· A display of classic Lotus cars
· A visit from the Morris Minor Club
· Miniature Railway
· Trips through the First Aberdeen bus wash
· Lathallan Pipe Band

· Bon Accord Silver Band

· And a range of stalls including
     Macmillan Cancer Support
     Scottish Fire Brigade

Well done, First, for a truly spiffing and imaginative day. A bit too far to go from Seaton, sadly.

 Next Bus Blog : Sunday 30th June 


  1. 1989 - The first privately owned bus company in Scotland?

    I think I know what you are getting at. Or is it First transforming history?

  2. Agreed. I think they meant the first "privatised" bus company. It was taken without comment from First's depot history timeline. I didn't spot the error!

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