Wednesday 28 August 2019

Back to Brackley : Bus and Builders (3)

But First, Crisis at Colyton ...
... and a Puzzle Picture
No 3 son is spending a few days with his decrepit and ancient parents and yesterday afternoon a thrilling outing to Colyford shop, post and butchers was scheduled.
This emporium is a real delight, offering a selection of groceries (including yummy steak and kidney pies for din dins) and wines, a superb butchers and a post office with not the slightest truck with security barriers and the like - just a counter!

After some retail therapy the threesome adjourned to Colyton Tramway caff for a bottle of fizz (each) namely Luscombe's "Cool" ginger beer.
The lad (nearly 40) last visited Colyton at the tender age of 4, so was interested to remind himself of childhood delights which he barely remembered. As usual, fbb was anxious that the boy (!) enjoyed the experience of the trolley pole reverser as videoed here at Crich.
But alas he didn't! Not only was the trolley pole dewired (a not uncommon happening) but the trolley fell off the pole ...
... leaving a pole without trolley high in the air amongst the cables.
It is the "trolley" (the bit that collects electricity from the electric string) that forms the puzzle picture at the head of this piece. The tram, without access to power, was going nowhere so subsequent departures had to reverse in the good old fashioned way.
Historical snippet ; tram No 6 was one of the Eastbourne trams 92 foot gauge) built in 1954)that ran to and from The Crumbles.
Regauged to 2'9", it has been a diminutive stalwart of the Seaton line ever since. No 3 son suggested that fbb would need a rub down with goose grease to squeeze up the VERY narrow staircase! What a gruesome thought! Or even a gluesome thought!

Back to Back to Brackley
The advice of PR persons writing copy for adverts enthusing about new building development was, as we saw in yesterday's blog, less than helpful. A better railhead for Brackley might well be the station at Banbury.
The station was rebuilt in 1957/1958 ...
... and has subsequently been re-fettled and extended, notably by the addition of a massive multi-storey car park on the eastern side and a bigger entrance area on the west..
Three trains an hour run between London Marylebone (Arriva Chiltern) and Birmingham, Cross Country (also Arriva) runs from the north via Birmingham and on via Reading ...
...  and there is the local service (First Great Western) to Didcot that we met yesterday.

This map shows that ...
... you can get there from Brackley by bus. The 500 is an old Midland Red route number ...
... and currently runs every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday and hourly on Sundays.
Stagecoach uses posh single decks.
It would be fair to say that this is the ONLY really useful bus that connects with trains; and some would say that it is the only useful bus (full stop) from Brackley.

It enters Banbury along the Middleton (as in Middleton Cheney) road ...
... and, in doing so, passes very obviously over the road bridge north of the station.
Immediately after the bridge the road and the 500 bus pass the end of the fairly lengthy station approach road ...
... but there are no bus stops which might, arguably, be helpful for train passengers!

There are two possibilities available which fbb will examine tomorrow.

 Next Bus and Builders blog : Thursday 29th August 


  1. Andrew Kleissner28 August 2019 at 13:58

    I lived in Lisbon during the late 70s/early 80s and, although there was an extensive tram system, I don't recall seeing any automatic trolley reversers. The trams on routes 12, 24 and 28 must be some of the very few (outside museums) that still use trolley poles for current collection, although the cars also carry pantographs for use elsewhere on the much-truncated system.

  2. Andrew Kleissner28 August 2019 at 14:04

    PS Today's trams are all single-ended and turn in loops, so there's no fiddling with trolley poles and no pushing over of seat backs - shame!