Monday 28 September 2020

Monday Variety

Going Loopy In Glossop

fbb has oft complained about bus companies' unwillingness to show "loops" in a way which is helpful to customers; helpful because it shows where the buses go rather than what a computer system says. By chance a bus service is in Glossop is a case in point.

The 393 is what fbb calls a "mop-up" route, with bits of the road networkk joined together to make a viable "cyclic" route for one bus. Here is the current timetable as published on the High Peak web site. (click on the timetable to enlarge).
The route take a nice tidy one hour for the round trip.

Note, however, that you can get from Padfield to Shirebrook Park (a cross-town link) but to travel in the opposite direction you have to jump from bottom to top of timetable. The route map on the High Peak site is one of those Google Maps generated jobbies which, frankly, is not helpful. The orange lines obliterate all road names and the stop blobs cover the normal Google stop icons. But we can see that the route has two loops. one which we have already met in another context ...
fbb has no idea what is the significance the roads coloured in two different shades of blue.
The Derbyshire map would be better if it were up to date ...
... but it does include Heath Road, an occasional diversion which is absent from High Peak's computer generated effort.

The other end of the route is another loop via Hadfield and Padfield ...

... where Hadfield Station does not appear until you enlarge it; and, anyway, the outward route misses the station. Derbyshire AND the timetable suggests otherwise.
The 393 also stops right outside Dinting Station ...
... although you may not enjoy the lengthy trek down the rough and scary approach road in the wet and gloomy Pennine winter.
Nevertheless, Dinting Station should, surely appear as a time point? So should Glossop, equally surely - remembering that Henry Street has been renamed Norfolk Square and been given a splendid set of steps up to the Co-op and the station.
But why not show the timetable as what it is, a cross town service. Here are the times for Padfield to Shirebrook Park:-
And from Queens Drive (start of the loop) to Padfield.
An extra timepoint at Dinting station plus another to more clearly designate the loop between Hadfield and Padfield, say Peter Street where there be lots of newish housing wherat may dwell (heaven forfend!) bus passengers.
The pub, by the way is PeelS Arms ...
So, all concerned, there is quite a lot that COULD be done to encourage passenger growth (and we are talking here post Virus!); a good map and better timetable presentation costs next to nothing but it might just help people understand their bus service.

Worrying Big Brother?

Last Wednesday the fbbs had a pleasant day out meeting their friends from Haywards Heath who wer eon holiday in Zummerzet. They mer up at Herstercombe House and Gardens where they enjoyed a chilly al fresco lunch.

For reasons that are not entirely clear, the conversation between fbb and chum Bob turned to model railways, the rebuilt carriage shed and its construction.

Bob sent fbb this worrying email the day after the match-up.
Very worrying. What really goes on at Buxted "Reading Room"?
Is it a secret listening post for MI6 - or worse, The Russians? Is "Bob" really named Vladimir? What secrets are passed through this innocent building by the "art group ladies"?
It is the same Buxted that flooded the nation with factory farmed chickens in years gone by. 
Sadly (or fortunately) only the name was used as the founder came from those parts. The factory, complete with its own staff buses ...
... was in Flixton near Bungay, Suffolk. There is still a factory there, modernised, of course ...
... and producing chickens for the 2 Sisters food group.

The Troublesome Truck?
fbb refers, not to the Thomas the Tank Engine characters (formerly available from Hornby) ...
.... but to his own troublesome truck, namely the odd tank wagon.
It has an old 1950s body (in very good condition) but a 1960s chassis with plastic (2-rail) wheels. 
It arrived in an old 1950s box in all over blue.

It is, of course, what the antiques trade calls a "marriage". If you look underneath you can see where nice shiny metal tabs have been bent over to secure the old body to a more modern chassis. the tabs are unnaturally shiny.
But fbb wanted a Hornby Dublo wagon with open brake gear so this one will do. Which leaves one further piece of bafflement.
Why doesn't it have plastic couplings like all the other wagons with open brake gear?

Tram Replacement Times Two!
Pity the poor passengers of Sheffield's supertram. Until 4th October they have to use a bus ...
... to get from Donetsk Way and Halfway at the eastern end of the "BLUE" line.
For the last TWO weekends (ending yesterday) there have been no trams from Cathedral on the BLUE and Yellow lines via Hillsborough.
Replacement buses have been provided by Powells, part of CTPlus.
A Sheffield correspondent was amused but not confused to spot that one bus was carrying the route number ...
... with an exclamation mark rather than a number 1.

Maybe that exclamation mark would be an appropriate symbol for any foolish traveller attempting, unwarned, to travel from, say Halfway to Hillsborough via BUS + TRAM + BUS.

That's the one big problem with trams; they don't easily run on diversionary roads!

Tomorrow we go to the Black Pond.

 Next Irish blog : Tuesday 29th September 

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