Sunday 18 November 2018

Weekend Snippets - 2

Back To The Future No 1
There is a rumour that fbb is known to criticise First Bus for being negative and being unwilling to try new things. Of course that isn't really true (cough cough) BUT here is a change which may be "courageous", due in service "developments" (i.e. reductions) in February 2019.

The only "independent" operator to enter Sheffield's Central Bus Station back i9n the 60 and 70s was A & C Wigmore of Dinnington.
fbb well remembers the company's Bedford VALs. With the PTE's county wide route numbering scheme Wiggy was given No 208. Existing routes to Dinning were 206, 215 and 219 with an offshoot service to Woodsetts as 207. The route ran hourly, seven days a week.
Obediently, Wigmore's buses soon acquired a fixed route number.
 The service passed to Northern Bus with the "demise" of  the blue and grey bus business ...
... but by now fbb had left Sheffield and entered his monastic life on the Isle of Wight, but he seems to remember that Northern collapsed and the 208 was never revived.

Surprise, s; for reasons which are not at all clear, First Bus is starting a brand new route to Dinnington in its proposed February 2019 changes. It roughly follows the old Wigmore route and First have numbered it ... Tada ...
... 208. fbb has suggested "A & C Wigmore" branding! The service is in addition to First's X5/X55 running via a different route.

The original 208 terminus was at a splendid shelter outside Dinnington Church.
Alas, the shelter is long gone, the road has been built out in a wide bulge of pavement which seems to be used as unofficial extra car parking
All buses now serve a rather more splendiferous bus station.

Another Enquiry Office - OPENED!
Reporting another uncharacteristic move, Sheffield correspondent John sent fbb this astounding note:-
After all, the PTE would not want to encourage you to use the buses, would they?
Have First Bus realised, at last, that the PTE is useless at promoting services and, if they want to encourage growth in passenger passenger numbers, they will need to buckle down and do something themselves.

John asks, "When are we to expect the same in Rotherham and Sheffield? Properly staffed enquiry offices are very much needed." And so say all of us.

Back to the Future No 2?

And, Talking Of Centre Doors
Here a picture of the latest BlueStar (GoAhead) bus, on show at the recent Bus and Coach Exhibition at the NEC.
It, like yesterday's Edinburgh Megadekka, has joined the "back to the future" craze of centre exit doors!

Another Christmas Gift Idea?
Who remember these?
They were standard Mark 2 brake coaches with a driving cab installed. This allowed trains between Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh to be operated as push-pull units.
Now you can create such a train in OO gauge thanks to Bachmann Branchline. The company has announced a model of one such DVT (Driving Van Trailer).
The model has not actually appeared yet but is available to pre-order on several retail web sites.

The price - wait for it - a modest (Ha!) £70.

£70 for a coach! Hyper-Ouch!

Once again not really on fbb's list for Santa. Meanie gibs at paying much more that £12, admittedly second hand.

But Santa Has Obliged ...
Readers will remember sharing fbb's pain as he inadvertently ran over one of his station buildings, dislodged from the layout and under the back gate to rest beneath the type of the family limo..

Readers will have sniggered a little as the old man tried to buy a replacement on an EBay auction.
And failed utterly!

The model dates from the 1950s and fbb had painted it up to match his station's colourways.
But utterly crushed it was.

Deep, deep joy! Correspondent and chum Peter has offered to donate the self-same model to the fbb layout. As Peter is a regular visitor to Sidmouth, collection or delivery will be by person and not by postage.

Christmas is coming to fbb mansions!

Thanks, Peter.

 Next airport blog : Monday 19th November 


  1. Northern Bus didn't quite collapse; the business was acquired by Mainline (the former SYPTE bus operation) in about May 1998, just a couple of months before Mainline itself was acquired by First Group. The deal involved some Leyland Nationals and MCW Metroriders that later received Mainline colours - and maybe other types as well. I can't recall whether the 208 survived into Mainline and later First days, but I suspect it did.

    1. It did-but not for very long. Apart from the odd peak journey there hasn't been a link from Sheffield to Thurcroft and Laughton since and it seems that First reckon there is some potential here.