Sunday, 15 September 2019

Weekend Collection (No 2 - It IS the Weekend)

Sheffield Snippet
Remember service 95, diverted away from its traditional route through the city. (t used to stop on Church Street opposite the Cathedral at stops called High Street 4 (HS4) and High Street 5 (HS5). Here is a Google Streetview of the two stops.
And here is how they are shown on the latest network map (city centre diagram).
And here is what a Sheffield resident and bus user reported yesterday morning, TWO WHOLE WEEKS after services changed on 1st September.
Yep, service as normal from Travel South Yorkshire.

Setting Up The Younger Set With A Set
As soon as fbb returned to the world of railway modelling, he rapidly learned that it is a hobby for well-heeled old men. Gone are the days when every schoolboy owned a train set; and many progressed through to slightly more serious modelling. Indeed most of today's well heeled old men began with a trainset as a kid. fbb did.

No child's pocket money (unless parents are stupidly indulgent) could cope with a loco at nearly £200 and something as simple as a coach at £50 and more.

But Hornby are trying a cunning plan to "start 'em young".
The idea is that all the family can enjoy the layout building together, just like "the good old days"!
For £200 you get a great load of stuff to enable "the family" to create something like the layout in the red panel.
R7171, 7174, 7165 and 7194 are are items to allow you to plant your own scenery. Glue not included. According to Hornby this packager represents a massive saving on buying the stuff individually.
The baseboard is not included and that might be the biggest problem as timber yards will usually only sell you an 8' by 4' sheet, far more than is shown in the picture. Maybe some shelves, dad, to store the trainset?

But, hey, it's a start; and any kid would think it was Christmas if he received such a parcel of good things! Actually it probably would be Christmas.

Forage in the Forest
A few weeks back, fbb wrote about bus changes in the Forest of Dean
(here) and (here).
Occasional correspondent Richard, who prompted the original blogs has been to take a look.

He writes:-

I had an opportunity for a bus ride last week, but time limited. I left the car at Cribbs Causeway Mall (lots of free parking) and used the new Stagecoach West routes. I took the 10:12 Severn Express to Chepstow (formerly First Bus) and the 11:07 24 to Cinderford. Then lunch and return.

The 24 was a mashing together of the earlier 24 plus a couple of tendered routes previously taken over from Bevans Coaches when they expired.

a) They all ran to time.

b) All the drivers were new to these routes and areas (1st or 2nd time!), were concerned, but apart from some minor mistakes got it right. They also tried to be helpful.

c) Enough local customers seem to have sussed out the basic new Forest of Dean routes to provide advice to others. The area of concern was the detailed in town routing. (Mrs Miggins needs to go 3 stops with her shopping, but which route and when?) These had changed considerably and of course do not show up in the timetables. The little town plans in the booklet ...
... were what was needed ...
... but nobody thought to use them elsewhere or display expanded copies on stops etc.

d) There was some mention of Older People's bus passes and their validity cross border into Wales. Gloucestershire's website says English passes are valid to/from Chepstow and Monmouth. Herefordshire allows cross border travel generally. South Gloucestershire says the X7 to Chepstow and Newport is allowed. Travel wholly in Wales is not allowed.

e) The 24 only carried a handfull of passengers any distance. A few more were local in the towns. The Severn Express was busier, but on double deckers hard to count.

Richard also commented on some poor publicity from Monmouth Council at Chepstow.
This is the central one 0r three panels with First Bus X7 (should be Stagecoach) and James Bevan 744 (should be Stagecoach 24). Not only are they not the new times, but are even older with First's dated 4/2017 and not even their latest version. Typical of councils.

Publicity was available at Chepstow Library but closely guarded by staff. You wouldn't want people to help themselves - they might choose to travel on a bus!

Thanks to Richard for his blue text summary of what seems to be a good start to the changes.

Very Thoughtful Of You
A Stagecoach Supertram poster on display around Sheffield recently.
It is very difficult to runs trams when there are no rails for them to use, so disruption, mainly on the busy Hillsborough route has been long and arduous. (And VERY difficult to explain!) The replacement buses were equally disrupted by the "rails" works meaning several versions of the routes at different stages of the overall project.

You do wonder how many passengers will be lost for ever?

Seaton Enquiries PS
Occasional correspondent Keith dropped fbb an email to report that the Southern National enquiry office, now a toyshop ...
... opened in 1938. He also sent a much better photo.
Still no news of when it closed. Car aficionados can possibly date the vehicles and work out that it was still operating in 19 something or other. fbb votes for an Austin something's nose on the left and a Hillman something "estate car" on the right.

And A Puzzle Picture
It is obviously a sprue from a plastic kit (and fbb will own up that it is OO scale and he is building it at the moment); but the question is, what is it a model OF?

And who sells it?

Four very small (and frustratingly fiddly) parts are still attached and they are called "turn buckles" on the instruction sheet. Nope, fbb has no idea what they are for, but he does know where they fit.

Give up? Well, tanks for trying, anyway.

 Next Weekend Collection blog : Monday 16th September 


  1. The estate car is a Vauxhall Victor (FB model, I believe),dating from the early 1960s.

  2. If that's 26 Harbour Road, it was still listed in the 1979/80 timetable book.