Monday 10 February 2014

Timewarp Taunton Trip [1]

It was all a bit weird!
After over eight months residence in East Devon, fbb entered a strange time and space discontinuity last Thursday (in the rain). He felt he was back on the Isle of Wight.

It started happily enough with Axe Valley's bus to Axminster ...
... where fbb made a note to check Auntie Frances' bus services ...
... in real time. That was weird enough, but when this swish green bus pulled in ...
... fbb knew his brain was about to be frazzled. So dramatic was the livery change that the driver of the 31 (single decker in front) jumped out, camera in hand, to record the rain-soaked revelation!

A dismal drippy journey with no heating did not bode well. fbb was cold and damp round the edges when he alighted at Taunton bus station. Previously reduced to abject terror by a plethora of garish signs warning of imminent death ...
... the chubby and now-confused one found himself in a different world. 
Fear has been replaced by pretty-please politeness; although joe public is unlikely to take any more notice of the notice than he ever did. And the enquiry office door is green!
Sadly, the "new look" hasn't led to removal of the almost invisible "closed for lunch 1215 to 1245" sign ...
... or, equally sadly, the removal of the closure itself. Surely a touch of corporate meanness which ought to be removed as part of the friendly local look. Equally mean is the resolutely closed toilets. After a couple of hours in transit it pained fbb (literally) to have to stagger across Castle Green - in the rain!

The old yellow railings ...
... complete with tatty signage are now "corporate" slime green with shiny readable destination lists.
Pretty Please rules O.K.!

By now, your chilly chubby blogger was tottering round in a daze of wonderment. Shiny adverts for interesting destinations ...
... gave much less cause for fbb to get steamed up about bus station super-tat. He wasn't on the stairway to heaven; he was already there! Why, even the lovely little buffet has had a make-over.
And there's more! regular readers will remember this:-
You needed your binoculars to read it. This old confusing notice, which purported to explain where the town bus services might be, but failed to do so, has been replaced with an excellent shiny display complete with route map, frequency list and town centre diagram with stops clearly shown and labelled. And it's posted where you can see it, shock horror.

Although many of the buses were in dirty barbie livery, there was one significant change. Nary a mention of F*rst B*s.
Actually there was just one vehicle that retained its Aberdeen corporate logo.
As the enquiry office was cruelly closed, fbb repaired to the town centre for a spot of lunch (Debenham's caff, jacket spud and cuppa: to warm up) for further investigations.

Would it be such good news there?
From Network Rail's press release; issued on Saturday 8th February.
A better idea of the extent of the damage! (click on the pic for a better view)

And work is already in progress to stabilise land under the houses.
damaged track recycled with
first concrete coat to stabilise exposed bank
Note green container filled with rock : more coming!
 Next apple-bus blog : Tuesday 11th February 


  1. I understand that a double-barrelled former Southern Vectis manager was involved in the makeover. Might explain the expensive day tickets too.

  2. Oh dear! That is not good news at all!

  3. I mean (of course) the high priced day rover. {My lawyer suggested that I clarify that point.)