Tuesday 31 December 2013

Post Festive Snippets [6]

   Some of fbb's old, decayed slides:   

 A selection will be presented in the   
 form of a post-festive quiz.           
 Answers and other information will be  
 posted on the following day's blog     

           yesterday's answer           
Yep, you're right. Brussels, Brussel (Flemish), Bruxelles (French). fbb applied the electrodes to his head, powered up the battery charger and managed to remember (guess correctly?) where his picture was taken. It was near the Palais de Justice at the junction with Boulevard de Waterloo and Avenue Louise (unlabelled on the map, but bottom right.)
Then, it was a major crossroads for road traffic and trams (see wiring, middle right in top photo. There are no crossing wires there today:-
fbb has visited Brussels on four occasions; dates being rough and not recorded. 1960 on holiday with Auntie; 1962 to stay with friends and learn a bit of real French and 1966 ditto but B&B based. 

In the early sixties there were plenty of these around ...
... with a fare collecting person sitting at a little desk at the back and issuing narrow paper tickets. He would also hand punch your multi-journey ticket.
By 1966, trams were modernised and some lightly used routes were one man operated. In the top picture there is a red blob attached  to the front of the tram; that says "1 mann"!
In the mid sixties (?) it was announced that all trams would be withdrawn from city centre streets (as in pic above courtesy Northampton correspondent). There was uproar! In fact, routes within the heart-shaped historic city were moved underground ...
... but with infrastructure built to accommodate future "Metro" routes.

By the fbb's visit in 2000 (?), the north south axis was as shown above; pre-metro stations and "normal" trams whilst the east west route was a "proper" metro service.
And development continues.
click on the map to enlarge

There are now four "Underground" Metro lines. The original east west route (much extended) comprises lines 1 and 5; lines 2 and 6 provide a sort-of non-circling inner circle route (also extended into the suburbs); buried, as at the junction shown in fbb's 1966 picture at the top of this blog.

Upgraded tram lines 3 and 4 take up the north south axis and route 7 is a sort of part outer circle.
These services are mostly equipped with mega-trams and have large sections of reserved track and underground bits at busy junctions.
A lot has happened in 50 years!

Former Brussels trams have been exported and continued to give good service. Like the vehicle in the fbb photo at the top of this blog, here is a short car running, still in Brussels livery, in Buenos Aires.

         today's puzzle picture         
What and where is this yellow machine?
 fbb's Christmas Calendar for 2013 
Tuesday 31st December
Whilst our celebration of Christmas fizzles out with the un-decoration for Twelfth Night ...

At the beginning of the Twelfth Night festival, a cake that contained a bean was eaten. The person who found the bean would rule the feast. Midnight signaled the end of his rule and the world would return to normal. The common theme was that the normal order of things was reversed. This Lord of Misrule tradition dates back to pre-Christian European festivals such as the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia.

... the Gift of Christ-mas (i.e. The Christ, The Messiah, God's chosen servant who suffered for the sins off the people) continues into eternity via the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.
But that's another story!

There was a minor kerfuffle c/o Auntie BBC, hidden well down the festive and meteorological news. The guest editor of "Today" had invited an atheist Reverend (surely a contradiction in terms!) to present "Thought for the Day"; but the Beeb demoted him from the usual God slot to one an hour earlier.

In his broadcast piece his Irreverence stated, "I do not believe that there is an omnipotent other who will intervene to save us from our own worst impulses. Whilst I don't literally believe the stories underlying Christmas, I do believe in its most important message."

Hang on a bit! Faith is  personal thing, between man and God (or not, as the case may be); but ...

"I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. This very day in David's town your Saviour was born, Christ the Lord! And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

... What is the important message of Christ-mas?
 Next Bus blog : Wednesday 1st January 2014 


  1. I'll take a guess at Milton Keynes as I seem to recall travelling on a minibus something like that many years ago.
    Which means it will probably be a Western national one instead!

  2. Yes that looks like a Milton Keynes bus shelter! Could be a lot of places in still-being-developed Milton Keynes but possibly Woodhill Prison?

  3. I'd guess the "Woughton Dial a Bus", think they were Mercedes minibuses - definitely Milton Keynes, and the vehicle in front is a UCOC Willowbrook bodied Bedford (bloody aweful ride they were!)

  4. May I request a credit, please, for the image "A lot has happened in 50 years"?

    I have no problem at all with the image being re-used, provided it is credited to its source. Unless I am mistaken and somebody else managed to take exactly the same image, of course.

    Thank you.