Thursday 11 December 2014

What You Learn about Crewkerne [2]

The Rest of Western Greyhound Sold
In a surpise announcement WG (except Liskeard) has been sold en bloc to a private entrepreneur. The whole remaining share capital is transferred to the new owners who, it appears, will continue to run the existing company. They have a tough job!

More news as it breaks.

The new buyers are, as rumoured, also the owners of Buses Excetera and Velvet. This might be of some concern to Cornwall's bus passengers. See this article from Route One (here).
Amazingly most of the main (?) communities served by bus from Crewkerne fifteen years ago are still served today. See "What You Learn about Crewkerne [1]" (read again). Those that are not (Montacute, Stoke-sub-Hamdon, South Petherton, Chiselborough and West Chinnock) have an improved hourly service to Yeovil, courtesy of South West Coaches, successors to Safeway.
It has sylish modern vehicles as well!
Arguably, the "trunk" service 99/99A via Crewkerne, formerly Cooks Coaches, now Stagecoach, is much better than of old. There is an hourly service between main towns with a two hourly variation between Chard and Crewkerne.
The one-time 47 and 61 routes have now been incorporated into Damory service 40 ...
... which provides four journeys on Mondays to Fridays and three (shown above) on Saturdays. Service 9, operated by Somerset County Council** on Mondays to Fridays, serves communities missed out by the 40 and 99/99A.
So, for a newcomer to Crewkerne, how obvious is bus publicity. With his usual trepidation, fbb made his way to the Town Hall wherein resides ...
... on of the most excellent Tourist Information Offices fbb has ever visited.
Upon entering, a delightful young lady asked, "can I help you?" and, rather than simply directing the old man to the relevant rack, sprang with enthusiastic alacrity from her seat and removed a full set of three leaflets for fbb's ecstatic enjoyment.

What was particularly interesting is that the two main leaflets were not "company" issue ...
... but colour photocopies produced (presumably) in-house. The white borders are the giveaway. Have, not just one, but several chocolate peanuts!

Yeovil-bound journeys leave from outside the Kings Arms alongside the Town Hall ...
... and buses in the opposite direction depart from opposite the civic edifice, outside the George Hotel.
Current and correct timetables were displayed at each stop; thankfully the curse of the departure list has not spread to this neck of Somerset! It was bus stop flags that let the side down ...
... with an higgledy-piggledy collection of stickers. You would have a very long wait for a First Bus bus, likewise for the 202 to Dorchester which was withdrawn in June 2013. The Friday only 204 featured in the frames but not on the flag.
There appears to be no system and no co-ordination for bus stop flags. Does no-one care?

One little nicety was spotted by fbb. When Crewkerne has its market ...
... the usual stops are inaccessible. But fear not, there is a rogue bus stop flag round the corner ...
... for the 99 and 99A, complete with notice in the frame.
Close by was another flag and another frame; this time less helpful.
47 to Yeovil?  Does no-one care?  Also, there was no tangible evidence for the college days 96.
Does no-one care?

But, overall, fbb awards Crewkerne 8 out of 10 for bus infromation - high praise indeed.

**Somerset County Council : The operator of service 9 is given as the Council by Traveline South West. Somerset does sponsor a series of demand responsive services under the "Slinky" brand.
There is also the independent Nippy Bus ...
... which runs similar services under contract. Neither of these claims ownership of route 9. Maybe a blog reader can help?
   a tower   
Like so many old testament stories, the Tower of Babel narrative has probably left a shadowy memory in our human experience. The story answers a "daddy, daddy" question, namely, "why do people speak different languages?"
Peter Breugel The Elder imagined it. Genesis Chapter 11 tells the story. The people built a high tower, saying, 

“Now let's build a city with a tower that reaches the sky, so that we can make a name for ourselves."

 God didn't like the people's arrogance ...

"this is just the beginning of what they are going to do. Soon they will be able to do anything they want! Let us go down and mix up their language so that they will not understand each other,”

... and thus applied the brakes to mankind's development. Whether you accept the literal truth of this story or see it as a moral warning based round historical fact (there were many ziggurats built at that time including one on Babylon, city of Babel) is a matter of faith and understanding.
an artist's impression on the showpiece city
of Babylon around 4000 years ago

What is true is that mankind's arrogance almost always least to a downfall. That is the pattern of history.
Babylon today : parts were rebuilt (destroying the old)
by Saddam Hussein for political kudos

The humility of the real Christmas should offer a better way, surely?

 Next bus blog : Friday 12th December 


  1. Did you find the Discover Somerset Churches leaflet at Crewkerne TIC?

  2. WG bought by Etcetera, Route One links to tale of Adam Smith's conviction. Wasn't he to appear before the TC to assess suitability to run a bus operation? Did anything come of that?

  3. VOSA has a service 9 from Donyatt operated by Hatch Green Garage Ltd which ceased in August 2013

    1. Hatch Green mentions Donyatt on its Thursday only 608 which terminates in Ilminster (back roads to Donyatt from Buckland St. M perhaps?). Google Transit still shows service 9 though. I sense another blog coming on...

  4. The Thot Plickens - mayb I'll have to go back to Crewkerne and wait for it! It is on Traveline.

  5. They aren't the owners of Buses Excetera. Smith left there under a bit of a cloud, I'm told.

  6. Of course it will be noted that the Sth Petherton-Yeovil service doesn't go anywhere near the town's large employer, AgustaWestland and in any case wouldn't be of use for the shop floor as they start at 7:30. In fact one reason why the staff car parks are all full is that no public transport serves the site, although the Taunton-Yeovil railway would now run through the centre of the site.

    Peter Chapman