Tuesday, 25 February 2014

69, an Odious Number [2] ...

... was allocated to a temporary bus route whilst the narrow Tinsley Bridge ...
... was rebuilt as a dual carriageway. Presumably, back in 1938 when all this was planned, the intention was to replace the tram tracks and restore through workings between Sheffield and Rotherham. But it didn't happen and the temporary 69 became permanent, routed across a much widened thoroughfare.
fbb's 1952 timetable explains all.

Trams ran at an unbelievable frequency from City to Attercliffe shopping centre where the Handsworth route (every 5 mins) turned off. Trams to Tinsley Vulcan Road, just short of the de-tracked rebuilt bridge ...
... also ran every 5 with copious short workings to Weedon Street.
On top of this, the 69 bus ran "at frequent intervals" through to Rotherham.
click on timetable for enlargement

Tinsley Bridge was something of a boundary because there was a "setting down restriction" preventing local passengers from Sheffield from alighting until Bawtry Road, first stop after the customs post! Today, Bawtry Road is a right hand turn just after the Tinsley Viaduct.
click for enlargement

A similar restriction applied from the Rotherham end. In the 50s Attercliffe remained a real community with its own shopping centre. Banners department store building still stands ...
... but the Brightside and Carbrook edifice round the corner on Staniforth Road is long gone.
There were pubs a-plenty ...
 ... with the few that remain boarded up and awaiting their fate.
Attercliffe was a town; a community in its own right. Sheffield was a place you went to for the Markets and perhaps, very occasionally, a night out.Occasionally, because there were cinemas and a theatre; with the Aldephi still standing until recently.
Even by the 1980s, there was still some of "traditional" Attercliffe and Carbrook remaining. The 69 still managed every 6 minutes at peak ...
... but with the supporting trams replaced by less frequent buses.

But the end was inevitable and now the main road between Sheffield and Rotherham is festooned with warehouses and "retail park" type sales "outlets". What few real shops that are left are in a state of terminal decay. 

Oddly, Carbrook School still stands proud ...
... but not in educational use. The school closed in the late 70s/early 80s; although, spookily, fbb taught a few lessons there when a section of his comprehensive base was closed for asbestos removal.

The label says "20:20" ...
... which is a firm of marketing and PR consultants; so still in the business of inspiring and brain washing educating?

But the 69 plods one, but a fleeting shadow of its former self;
Every twenty minutes Monday to Friday daytime ...
... every 30 Saturday daytimes ...
... and hourly evenings and Sundays. In its only significant route change since 1948, the 69 now diverts via Tinsley (Highgate) ...
... which once had its very own service 24.

But a lot has changed in the last 69 plus years ...

... as fbb will be considering (VERY briefly) today!
Perhaps not. A cup of tea and a slice of Mrs fbb's coffee cake is as close as they'll get to a party!

Tomorrow, following the elderly's propensity to discuss nothing but the weather and ailments, fbb takes a look at the balearics. The squeamish might wish to turn aside.

 Next bus/train blog : Wednesday 26th February 


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