Sunday 17 September 2017

Medley of Miscellaeous Matters (2)

Sensible Short-notice Schedule?
A week ago (Saturday 9th September) fbb was enjoying a brief but fascinating visit to Bournemouth. Mrs fbb was praying and studying at Bere Regis and would need collecting at 1600. That meant fbb had to be on the 1504 "stopper" to Weymouth to alight at Wool and collect the limo. His last bus ride, a failed attempt to visit Throop, would deposit him at the station at 1435 ...
... leaving 30 minutes to observe the comings and goings, and, more importantly, to enjoy a much needed cuppa. He toddled from bus stop to station entrance and straight on to the platform to seek a bevvy.

There was a train, class 444, in the process of detaching its rear five coaches, and advertised as terminating at Dorchester South. But, under normal circumstances, all trains run to Weymouth. 

It was the 1404 running 40 minutes late. Chearly there were (unspecified) problems somewhere back along the line.  Fearing the wrath of Mrs fbb if he were late at Bere Regis, and having checked with the guard that it would stop at Wool, fbb hopped smartly on as the doors were closing.

The phone-fount of all knowledge revealed a delay at Clapham Junction and beyond.
After the expected delayed arrival on platform 2 in Poole, the train sat there, unmoving, well past 1459. Then any passengers on the platform and in the train for Upwey and Weymouth (beyond Dorcester) were told to cross to Platform 1.

fbb's train was the shown as simply "delayed".
What next?

The following "fast" to Weymouth pulled in to platform 1 alongside fbb's paused train, loaded and sped off happily.

fbb's unit was now about an hour late and running at roughly the times of the 1504 from Bournemouth.
This train juggling procedure would, you might assume, get everything back in the right place and running at the right time for the rest of the day. The few suffered a little more delay for the benefit of the many. Whether that was a good thing or not, depended, as ever, on whether you were part of the few or part of the many.

Nevertheless, it was a deft piece of rescheduling.

At least fbb got back to Wool to pick his good lady up in a timely manner. As he queued to escape via the right turn and the level crossing gates at Wool ...
... the 1504 fro  Bournemouth was being announced. He would have made it, just! Fortunately after formalities are over at the Ladies' Prayer Day, tea and cake are served and your thirsty blogger was able to do a bit of quenching. The cake was good as well.

Kampaign for Kippers
Many of fbb's loyal readers will know about the Brighton Belle, a premium-priced Pillman train that served the more wealthy of Brighton's "commuters".
A set of videos recently reached fbb via the clever confusers at Twitter, which send your author a set of snippets every so often. One extract was the TV newsreel report of the train's final run in 1972. the video is dated and faded, but you will get the idea.

Many "celebs" were present, including Jimmy Edwards ...
... and there was dancing on the platform at London Victoria ...
... as the great and the good (and a few ordinary mortals) said farewell to this much-loved train.

Another clip showed an interview with "Larry-Darling", Sir Lawrence Olivier, who had successfully campaigned to have kippers put back on the breakfast menu.
Now all you can get is a "trolley service"! Sad, but commercially realistic.

If you want a model of the Brighton Belle, Hornby produced a two car version (the real trains were five car) and these can be found on line for prices ranging from £129 o £189.
Also, and in a surprising marketing decision, the company also offered a British N Gauge version ...
... also available in blue and grey. The going rate for this beauty is about £300.

Living in the Lap of Luxury
A timely twit from the Bluebell Railway reminds fbb that you can rekindle some of the joys of silver service on Preserved Railways. From time to time the line offers traditional cream teas aboard its LNER Directors' Saloon.
The was the "Old Gentleman's Carriage" in the Railway Children TV film if 1999.
Tea is served ...
... and you can enjoy not much of a view out of the end windows. Being the UK, and summer, it may well be raining!
fbb could not find a price for this rather special train ride, but, because of the age of the carriage, it is not a regular feature of the line's programme.

And Finally ...
A blog or two back, comment writer "Ben" voiced some complaints about GoTimetable's technology. So far, the team have been unable to reproduce or re-create Ben's problems. So please get in touch, "Ben" ...
... so the team can discuss further and, hopefully, resolve the issues.

In Passing ...
Northampton news-hound Alan is in North Wales for a Welsh Highland Railway junket. Postcard received yesterday.
"At Premier Inn Caernarfon with Rover Ticket; eight days' bus and four days' rail. So off for a trip to Tywyn. Local real-time system not working."

What a surprise!

Tomorrow it is Stagecoach's turn to reveal their Sheffield leaflet collection.

 Next leaflet delay blog : Monday 18th September 


  1. As far as I know all catering was withdrawn from Southern a while ago so not even a trolley is available.

  2. One problem with the "Belle", as with all 1930s Southern Railway electric units, was poor riding, especially in the motor cars. I think I'm right in saying that the version now being restored at Shirebrook is using old 4-VEP bogies. I did once travel in the "Belle" towards the end of is life (in First Class, too!) - by then it was a bit tatty and faded and certainly not up to its imagined glamour.