Sunday 3 February 2019

Weekend Catch-Up

Maltby Musings
You wonder how James Freeman (boss of highly successful First bus business based on Bristol) might deal with the revised network in Maltby. fbb guesses that young Mr Freeman would not tolerate such a complex set of interlinked bits and pieces; he would have come up with something better. But here is fbb "doing a Freeman" with Maltby.
I am sure he would have seen off the "threat" from Powells long ago (as with Wessex in Bristol) so fbb has added the X7 revision to the map.
Whatever the route numbering system, you would expect some distinctive route branding.

There Is Hope Yet ...
Thanks to some help from the First Bus team, fbb can reveal exclusively that First have responded to local suggestions. Their new route from Dinnington to Sheffield will have strong hints of its long-term ancestor, Wigmores of Dinnington.
This much-loved independent (and for many years the only independent that ran into Sheffield's Pond Street bus station) will feature on the First Bus publicity for the new service.
More on Wiggie's Bus in due course.

But well done First.

And "Brand" New in Cottonopolis
Not with a bang but a whimper!

The trade press has revealed a new brand in Manchester. The report goes like this:-
Catch the bus was aeons ago. But the article included a picture.
The boss of this scheme ...
... was introduced to an unsuspecting world a while ago as ...
... CEO of GMBOA. His duties now expand to heading up One Bus. Always interested in the idea of co-operation in the dog-eat-dog world of competitive public transport, fbb, obediently, went to the web site.
Unfortunately tapping the various boxes had no effect whatsoever. Not quite true, the @OneBusGM panel and the little dicky bird simply linked to a page advertising Twitter.
So not a fruitful start on-line to One Bus.

Almost as good as Buses for Sheffield.
The map is still appallingly bad and often completely wrong.
South Yorkshire PTE refused point blank to adopt fbb's correct map - offered free of charge.

It looks as if Manchester is going the same pointless way.

P D H Again
fbb is grateful to Northampton correspondent Alan for informing the old man that P D Hancock ...
... pioneer of narrow gauge railway modelling, now has a firm place in the history of the hobby. The OOn9 gauge society (it promotes narrow gauge railway modelling) has created an award for modelling excellence, modelling of narrow gauge prototypes of course.

Bachmann showed their appreciation as below:-
The "winning" locomotive is a superb model and worthy of the award. PDH would be gob-smacked!
The basic loco will set you back a modest (?) £132.

But way back from the PDH era comes this picture ...
It is a chassis for a narrow gauge model. Everything you see was built as a commission by a model making firm that no longer exists. Even the diminutive electric  motor was hand built.
Astounding dedication and skill. Now, of course, you can buy a Lynton and Barnstaple model fully constructed and fully working "off the shelf" from Danish firm Heljan.
The latest versions will cost you £169 each!

And Finally!
The aggressive seagull keepa a tapping at fbb's chamber door. But fortunately the fbbs have a cat, Jacko. As can be seen from the picture below, the cat is poised with every muscle tensed to attack the vicious bird.
After a few seagull taps on the glass, the cat turned away and went to sleep.

Thanks, cat!

Tomorrow we move to full size standard gauge trains.

 Next Rossendale rail blog : Monday 4th February 


  1. Well spotted on the website for OneBus. It’s just a landing page at the moment whilst the full site is under construction. Today’s blog hit the mark with me having been a driver on the Maltby route in the early 80’s (Fleetlines not Bridgemasters) MD for First South Yorkshire in the late 90’s where even before buying Northern Bus we operated the 208. As a lad I enjoyed riding on the VALs over Roydsmoor between Whiston and Thurcroft. Thanks for the OneBus plug and keep up the good work!

    1. Nice to hear from you Mr Nolan. I'm still working away is South Yorkshire. As you know, me been a local lad myself it's a real shame how Rotherham Town Centre has declined, I cannot see how RMBC can turn things around to be honest. One thing that seems popular is a through bus to Meadowhall, especially with the younger generation. I do still love the job and I very much compare it to a football manager..... Only 1 person but 30,000 different options on how to do it better!

      Hope OneBus is keeping you busy.

  2. As well as Wigmore's Sheffield's Pond Street Bus Station was served by Yorkshire's largest independent bus operator, West Riding of Wakefield - they shared the operation of service 67 from Sheffield to Leeds via Barnsley and Wakefield with the Sheffield JOC and Yorkshire Traction. West Riding lost their independence in 1967, at which point Wigmore's would have been the only independent in the bus station until Dearneways' Thurnscoe service was revised to terminate there instead of in Castlegate.

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