Friday 4 December 2015

Shelters in Kettering were in need of Bettering

But Whose Need?
Apparently the bus shelter on Newland Street (Kettering) was "reviled". It certainly was dark, dingy and slightly off-puting. But it did have one supreme advantage. It kept you dry when it was raining! That is very much a novelty in the field of passenger comfort these days.

So "everybody" wanted "something better". 

Interestingly, the cost of the replacement is being met by a grant from the owners of the Shopping Centre. Could it perhaps be that the tenants of the ground floor shops want their windows to be more visible to the wealthy shopper of Kettering, rather than any aesthetic considerations?
The unloved bus shelters at the front of the Newlands Shopping Centre in Kettering are being replaced.

Work started in July to remove the existing shelters in Newland Street, and will be followed by three weeks of construction works to install new foundations for the bus shelters and power supplies.
Newlands Shopping Centre manager Neil Griffin said: “We are very happy to see further enhancement of Kettering town centre which we hope will encourage more people to use public transport and enjoy the improved quality and choice of shopping in Kettering."

Hmm? And what are the Ketteringians getting for their comfort as they wait fr their homebound steed?

Notice the lavish seating provision for the elderly; and notice too that, unless the rain is coming straight down,  the level of protection is minimal. A fairly mediocre queue (perhaps a rarity in Ketterting?) will spill out into the damp and windswept street.

But, at least, folk will be able to see theindow displays.

Excitingly, Kettering draughty non-shelters will be black and not silver.

"We know they don't give much protection from the weather but they were the cheapest we could find and they look absolutely lovely?" said an anonymous member of the town council. Or did our correspondent imagin that?

"And most of our customer come by car anyway so it doesn't really matter." Another imagined comment?

The work has begun following a £180,000 interest-free loan from the owners of the Newlands Shopping Centre earlier this year.

What a surprise!

Money which had been earmarked to replace the shelters in a section 106 agreement with the developers behind the Westhill residential development off Northampton Road was unlikely to arrive early enough to meet the wishes of the Newlands centre owners Ellandi to press ahead with the replacement of the shelters.

What another surprise!

So Ellandi agreed to loan the council £180,000, which will be paid back in three equal instalments of £60,000 over the next three years.

Cllr Derek Zanger, Kettering Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, said:
“We’re very pleased that this project is set to go ahead. It’s an important piece in the jigsaw in terms of Kettering’s continued development, and should present a much needed uplift to that part of the town centre. The fact that it is entirely paid for by developer contributions ...

Or might be at some stage in the future. Bunter's oostal prder strikes again!

... is yet another example of the responsible, plan-led growth that Kettering is getting a name for.”

And our Northampton correspondent Alan reports that it is now finished. Hooray.

But it is certainly an improvement, all are agreed.
Unless it is raining.

Note, in passing, the lavish bus stop information on the black pole in front of one of Uncle Brians's finest. Note also the passengers enjoying a relaxing seat on the bum-breaking pole which serves as a perch. Possibly for bus-riding parrots!

And, talking of information, Alan writes:-

Timetable information can best be described as haphazard. There is no change to what is on the large (useless) display board.
Don't bother to click on the above snap to enlarge it. It consist of

a rain soaked and illegible map (left)
a couple of Stagecoach posters with no timetable (also illegible)
a summary of bus services (illegible and useless)

But then most customers to the shopping centre do go by car, don't they?

Nevertheless, "everyone" is utterly delirious about the shiny new non-shelters.

Perhaps, instead of spending £160,000 on non-shelters, coughing up a few quid to tell people when and when the buses go might be good for the town's business. 
Yet again fbb forgot to press the right "go" button on Wednesday night, so yesterday's blog did not appear until the mistake was spotted at 0850 approx. Sozz.
Yes, an angel.
Its is, perhaps, unfortunate that even modern Bible colouring pages show a weird winged adonis in a dressing gown addressing Mary. Angels on earth never have wings; only in visions of heaven.

God sent the angel Gabriel to a town in Galilee named Nazareth. He had a message for a young woman promised in marriage to a man named Joseph, who was a descendant of King David. Her name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, “Peace be with you! The Lord is with you and has greatly blessed you!”

 No flapping wings; no bright lights, no shining frisbee round his head. To be Biblically accurate, however, some earthy angles are described as "shining".

"You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. The Lord God will make him a king, as his ancestor David was, and he will be the king of the descendants of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end!”

1946 saw the release of the film "It's a Wonderful Life" directed by Frank Capra. George Bailey (James Stewart) was the owner of a mortgage bank in a small American town. He was a "salt of the earth good guy" but his business was in trouble.

So an angel was sent from heaven to give him a hand.
The angel, named Clarence (above right), appeared in the form of an avuncular slighty bumbling friend; no wings, no halo, no shining frock.

British-born Henry Travers (Clarence) was a veteran of the English stage before emigrating to the U.S. in 1917. He gained more stage experience there on Broadway working with the Theatre Guild, and began his long film career.

So what did Mary see? Did she "see" or did she "experience"? In whatever shape and colour he appeared he manager to frighten her and his message was astounding.

But Emmanuel was on the way.
        Next bus blog : Saturday 5th December     

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