Wednesday 21 November 2018

News From First In Hoodezfield (1)

In almost every area of operation, good things are happening for First. Manchester had gone a bit quiet since the Vantage busway burst on the scene; Sheffield remains very quiet (with a pallor of impending death?) although we eagerly await the new 208 in February 2019.

But various bits of West Yorkshire seem more positive. So to Hoodezfield (as delivered by US television's automatic subtitling whatsit) for a new livery and a relaunch.

By way of introduction, however, a bit of background. Huddersfield was one of four northern communities that had Joint Omnibus Committees, a clever plan to reign in the railway companies who had an urge to spread their connecting rods and run buses.

The other three were neighbouring Halifax, Sheffield down the road ...
... and the mighty (?) Todmorden.

Out-of-town services were run jointly with the appropriate railway company but, to all intents and purposes, under the watchful control of the Corporation. Snowbound bus 33 ...
... was owned by the LMS Railway but operated by "The Committee" in full Huddersfield Livery.

Huddersfield was also one of the last towns to run trolleybuses; famous for the Longwood trolleybus turntable ...
... later demoted to a simple reversing manoeuvre.
Then there was Outlane.
The photo above shows that this was not a particularly spectacular terminus as such - today's location is unchanged ...
... but a bus still stops there.
That's the occasional (VERY occasional) service 900.
Nearby is First's hourly 537 ...
... which wiggles the back way to Halifax.
It's a nice ride over the hills ...
... but not a patch on the former trolleybus experience.
The above picture was taken before the arrival of the M62.

But it is them thar hills that makes the former Outlane terminus famous. It claimed to be the highest trolleybus terminus IN THE WORLD. The OS maps show a height of about 300 metres or roughly 1000 feet.
The Outlane route ended in 1968 and, sadly, fbb never got all the way. The best he managed was a "short" to Salendine Nook.
The "turning loop" is still there, sort of ...
... and still serving the needs of your people thirsting for education. Was there a Salendine Nook reverse in addition to the schools loop? fbb cannot remember, but the trolleybus map extract (above|) suggests there was.
Failing memory syndrome strikes again!

We will meet the modern "Salendine Nook" service in tomorrow's blog.

The local routes along New Hey Road and off to Lindley are a complex pattern of frequent town routes ...
... which fbb will examine more fully tomorrow.

A Break From Toil?
Yesterday afternoon, fbb took a break from blog writing and preparing next Monday's Bible Study ("The Explained Messiah" based on the so-called Servant Songs in the book of Isaiah) to enjoy a bit a detailed railway modelling (a k a railway bodging).

Most of the work on his outdoor OO layout involves BIG jobs, like track cleaning, repairs and repaints. But it is refreshing and therapeutic to try of bit of real modelling ...
... often postponed due to his inability to get the above!

The signal box, recently lifted onto stilts, was in need of an interior, prior to adding an internal light. Of course, he could have bought a high quality kit ...
... priced £32.

But, from normal viewing distances, the inside of the box is barely visible, just a suggestion of the bits and bobs would prove adequate.

Before painting this represents "a work in progress".
There's a stove and chimney and a little table (cuppa for the enjoying of) made of old bits of plastic.

The signal levers are, obviously, a chunk of old fbb bug rake - still awaiting a bit of filing down.

The recording desk is the end of a clothes peg and the staircase was from an old terrace house kit. This particular box has no external stairs. The signal box was manufactured by German firm Faller and sold in the UK by Hornby as the edifice from Dunster. The same model is now retailed by Gaugemaster as part of its "Fordhampton" range.
fbb reduced its size to something more appropriate for his model.

Apart from painting, the block instruments are still to be added. The chair (in blue) is a spare seat from the Peco Leyland National kit.

Total cost, zero pounds and zero pence (not counting paint and glue). It may not be perfection but it is real modelling!

Hey ho - back to the grind!

 Next Huddersfield blog : Thursday 22nd November 


  1. Highest trolleybus terminus in the world? Yorkshire exaggeration, I fear - some Swiss trolleybus systems didn't even get down to the 300m contour (La Chaux de Fonds at 1000m, for example).

  2. Denver in the US had trolleybuses until 1955. It's known as the"mile high city" so I guess most of its routes went higher than 5000 feet.