Friday 20 December 2013

Southern Railway - Ho Ho Ho! [2]

Railway's Magical Mystery Tour.

Now you have all grasped the significance of this diagram published on yesterdays blog? You have?
These are the names that Southern Railway uses to identify its various groups of services. As you can see, these colours do appear on-line ...
... although in a different order; and they are used on the on-line network diagram.
Residents of Holmwood, Ockley and Warnham might challenge the labelling of their hourly service (none on Sunday) as a (frequent) Metro route! 

The colours and the names also appear on the route-by-route timetable booklets for the "normal" service.
From this No 3 son should have been able to identify which batch of services he was using to commute each day. The lad is by no means thick but it was complete news to him that he was a customer of "Mainline West" trains. Perhaps a little "brand re-inforcement" is needed?

But, in addition to on-train and on-platform announcements ad nauseam, ad infinitum and ad ignorable, nice Southern Santa sent him a txt ...
... complete with twelve links to various bits of the Southern web site including Santa's loadsa-pages booklet. Of course No 3 has clicked on all twelve in turn with uncontrollable seasonal excitement!
So, all we have to do is to trawl through the book and mentally extract everything for Mainline West. And there's plenty of it!

There are also maps ...
click on the map to enlarge

These were of little use to No 3 son as they don't go as far south as Shoreham-by-Sea; and they don't use the "standard" route colours. The type face is unnecessarily small and the key leaves a lot to be desired.
Are there trains between Clapham Junction and Victoria or not? If so, which ones?

The maps seem mainly (only?) concerned with Gatwick Airport for which a separate and sort-of understandable leaflet is available ...
 ... and a clear, concise and helpful map (but, of course, no timetables).
But we are distracted. We must grit our teeth, put our nose to the grindstone, our backs to the wall, out best feet forward, our hand to the plough ...


We must find out about trains from Shoreham-by-Sea!

But fbb's brain is hurting; so will continue on Monday. Where are the aspirins?
 fbb's Advent Calendar for 2013 
Friday 20th December

Learned and dust covered professors in ivy covered garrets have written massive tomes on the period of thee Kings in Jewish history. The writer of the Bible account of the period has a huge theological axe to grind; and grind it he did, greatly! He also noted his research sources although those actual documents have long since rotted into dust. But the broad thrust of Bible history is supported by strong evidence from other sources.

Adopting the principles of Sellar and Yeatman ...
... we can summarise this period as a sequence of "Bad Things" interspersed with a minority of "Less Bad Things" and concluding with a "Really Bad Thing"!

Solomon's son Rheoboam was weak and weedy.
The army was revolting; so,
Captain Jeroboam took his lads up north and ...
started his own country called, confusingly ...
Israel (but later known as Samaria,
as in The Good Samaritan.)
The Southern bit, now called Judah,
Was left all alone and vulnerable.
It had a succession of Kings of varying qualities.

Meanwhile, "oop noorth" ...
All Kings were Bad Things.

Perhaps the account was written by someone from the south! It's still the same today in the UK; south good; north, well ... Anyway, in the Biblical North ...

Nadab, Jeroboam's son, reigned for two short years.
He sinned a lot and suffered many fears.

His rival was a horrid man named Baasha
Who took the role of being a Nadab smasher.
Jereboam's family all - he simply did them in;
To dozen years of basic murderous sin!

Elah, Baasha's son replaced his kingly dad;
A drunkard, just two years of rule he had!

A captain, Zimri, opposed to Elah's boozy days,
Bumped him off then continued sinning ways.
A week, just seven days, this royal would abide
Another coup, so Zim committed suicide!

Omri took the throne, but sinned same as before
His rule was longer, years would total twenty-four.

Ahab next in charge but failed the Godly test
In fact he was, they say, worse than all the rest.

Our readers now will not need much persuasion
To see the end, the northern land's obliteration.

After the death of King Solomon (c.931 BC), the northern tribes, including those of Samaria, separated from the southern tribes and established the separate kingdom of Israel. Initially its capital was at Tirzah until the time of king Omri (c.884 BC), who built the city Shomeron (Samaria) and established it as its capital. The region was conquered by the Assyrians in c.722 BC, and much of its population was taken into captivity and deported.

This left the Southern Kingdom (Judah) even more vulnerable
Somehow, the concept of an earthly, fallible, human King seem flawed. Something altogether more powerful was needed.

Christ-mas was coming!
 Next bus blog : Saturday 21st December 

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