Sunday 30 August 2020

Sunday Variety : "It's Disgraceful ...

that's part of the blog - the Church Service isn't "disgraceful"!!!

Church Link ...
... available (here). Service starts 1030
Today's service has been pre-recorded.
The Minsters are having a break
before "Car Park" services start in September

... It Ought Not To Be Allowed."

Alan emails from Northampton with a bit more nostalgia from the early days of Children's entertainment.
He reminds fbb of the Larry the Lamb stories from the days of "Childrens Hour" on the steam radio. fbb was not a fan.

For those that are far too young to remember ...

Toytown was a BBC radio series for children, broadcast for Children's Hour on the Home Service. The plays were based on a set of puppets created by S. G. Hulme Beaman, who also wrote the stories for the series. The first Toytown plays were broadcast in 1929, and the pool of stories was re-used until the end of Children's Hour. There were 31 plays in all.

The series starred Larry the Lamb, the central character, and his clever sidekick, Dennis the Dachshund. In each story a misunderstanding, often arising from a device created by the inventor, Mr. Inventor, occurs which involves Ernest the Policeman, the disgruntled Mr Growser the Grocer and the Mayor.

"It's disgraceful; it ought not to be allowed", was nasty Mr Growser's catchphrase.

The September issue of Buses magazine reveals a Mr Growser moment.

Stagecoach South West is to close its Travel Shops in Exeter ...
... and Paignton.
Now we all know that Exeter and Paignton are places unlikely to attract visitors from outside the area, so, on this basis, Stagecoach has decided that nobody much will need to make any enquiries. After all, (all together now) ...


Well it is if you have a good idea of what the answer is when you start looking.

The article includes an explanation of the decision which says it all. Mr Stagecoach says, "We are not taking as much money at the Travel Shops as we used to, so they are no longer viable."

So that's it. An enquiry office is not for enquiring, it's for taking in the cash. The people who enquire are not spending any cash are they?

Spending on bus fares? Well, yes; but it doesn't show on the Travel Shop spreadsheet. So it doesn't count.

Will Stagecoach lose revenue as a result of this potty decision? Of course it will, but it will be blamed on the corona virus, traffic congestion, the low price of petrol, the growth of on-line shopping, the insipid influence of the Russians and the late delivery of new buses, Exeter bus station and the General Manager's new suit.

But there is worse to come.
Stagecoach Devon etc. has always produced some excellent printed material, eagerly collected, clutched, kept and consulted by droves of tourists each summer.

So, to encourage extra business year by year, the Company is to stop printing any leaflets. 

After all (all together now) ...


Never mind, proffers the press release, customers can request a leaflet and Stagecoach will print one out for them there and then.

And where will this printing service take place?

Of course, in Exeter and Paignton Travel Shops!


"It's disgraceful; it ought not to be allowed"

Put all this together and Stagecoach Devon is one of the lead contenders for the new 7Ps award.
Might this prestigious award soon sit proudly on the desk in Exeter Travel Shop?

Nice Seats - Pity About The Train Service!
A twitterer has enthusiastically twitted a picture of a refurbushed Class 156 diesel unit belonging to Northern Rail ...
... but not the unit itself, but its re-covered seats and refurbished interior.
The Twitterer writes ...
Ray Stenning adds another touch of modesty!
But Northern (that's part of the UKs nationalised railway network), has come up with a cunning plan to cope with low passenger numbers "in these unprecedented times".

They have decided to stop running trains!

Well, on at least one line.

It is all to do with Northern's staff shortages, but quite how the withdrawal of a footling little Manchester branch line is going to make a huge difference to the mess that Northern still "enjoys" is not at all clear.
And, apart from a few peak time buses there is no replacement road service. Northern have suggessted their customers should walk to neighbouring stations on other lines; for a reasonably fit adult it will only take 20 minutes.

And Mr Growser's catchphrase?

"It's A Disgrace ... It Ought Not To Be Allowed."

Positive Publicity
It deserves to win!
That's the way we used to do it ...
... but the trains were a tad slower!

More Stuff tomorrow.

Hailing At Hayling, No Longer Failing
A few days ago, fbb reported on the "new" First Bus route from Portsmouth to the Hayling Ferry at Eastney. fbb suggested, on the basis of on-line information available at the time, that the every 45 minute bus did not properly connect with the hourly ferry,

Thanks to correspondent Peter, fbb can correct this view.

The ferry company will introduce a new timetable to meet the bus.
Still no public transport on the Island side, though.

 Next Bank Holiday Variety blog : Monday 31st Aiugust 


  1. Quite an extraordinary decision to close Paignton and Exeter travel shops, even more so if paper information is now going to end. I've never known these two offices empty! The buses are heavily used by tourists in Torbay and this will be a real kick in the teeth for them, especially as there is now only one tourist information centre left (Torquay). As a heavy internet user myself, I know that many (regardless of age) simply can't navigate it.

  2. Torquay tourist information centre doesn’t open from January until easter and will no longer have timetable leaflets available anyway! Hopeless!

  3. Dunno what's going on at Stagecoach Devon, they used to be up there with the very best operators in the country, now there's contract losses e.g. Plymouth schools, a bizarre bus allocation policy that sees the branded Hops and even Golds on any route, P&Rs in local livery (should they be in specialist livery?) and now First (yes, First) winning contracts across Devon.

    1. You could say the same about a few Stagecoach Operations (pre covid)

      For what it's worth I think it's an awful decision. The industry needs as many passengers as it can get. So of course they close the travel shops and ditch the publicity....

    2. Management been itching to close travel offices & dump printed timetables for ages, all about money with no customer service consideration at all.

  4. According to Modern Railways there is an hourly Rose Hill-Marple-Romiley replacement bus, extended to Woodley in peaks.Shortage of drivers, due to antisocial distancing having stopped training, is cited as the reason.

  5. This company is best known for its services regarding bitcoins to Cash. All our focus is on the Bitcoins to Cash Withdrawal Simple into your fiat cash