Sunday 4 October 2020

Sunday Variety

Service starts 1030

Today's "Car Park" service is moved inside.
The fbbs will be attending. It is not possible
to set up an on-screen link before they depart.
A link can be obtained, however,
via the Church YouTube channel
(here) and clicking on the panel for today's date.

A Sad Personal Farewell

fbb is sorry to report that Giles Fearnley's mum passed away on Thursday last after an extended period of illness. She celebrated her 99th Birthday in August and was a great friend of fbb and later his Mrs. Your author's fondest memory is of the superb meat pies supplied to eke out fbb's pre-marital hunger pangs - and the genuine and warm friendship over many years. Here is Helen with grandson Archie at Babbacombe six years ago.

A fine lady who lived a good and long life, but who will still be missed; the end of an era indeed.

A Sad Transport Farewell

Blog readers may not be familiar with Kerrs Miniature Railway, Arbroath. It has provided rides alongside the main line since 1935, all those years in the hands of the same family.
Running parallel to the "big" railway adds to the excitement.
The news breaks that this delight, the oldest miniature railway in Scotland, will close finally at the end of this season. There are hopes that the trains and track can be moved elsewhere, but apparently it is curtains shed doors for this little line.

The reports do not say whether the intriguing Stagecoach single decker will still ply for trade (thankfully NOT in the new livery) ...
... or whether the fire engine will continue to respond to imaginary conflagrations!
In these days of rapid change, fbb presumes you can still get an Arbroath Smokie in Arbroath?
They look awful and taste delicious.

The Arbroath Smokie is said to have originated in the small fishing village of Auchmithie, three miles northeast of Arbroath. Local legend has it a store caught fire one night, destroying barrels of haddock preserved in salt. The following morning, the people found some of the barrels had caught fire, cooking the haddock inside. Inspection revealed the haddock to be quite tasty. It is much more likely the villagers were of Scandinavian descent, as the 'Smokie making' process is similar to smoking methods which are still employed in areas of Scandinavia.

But please, please don't call them "kippers"!!

How Many Colours?

 SAND         lower bodyside
 CREAM        upper bodyside
 LIGHT GREEN  bodyside swirl
 YELLOW       bodyside swirl

 CYAN         rear end
 PALE CYAN    flag
 MID BLUE     fleet name
 WHITE        other lettering

 RED          dot on "i" of Yorkshire
              and tiny wedge which might be pink?
That's a total of NINE (even ten?) colours used to Create Desire, as they say in Battersea. Does the desire increase with the number of colours - or decrease?

Did this "create desire" way back then?

New Buses For Slough - Not Quite!

The first of the former Southampton Euro 6 Volvo B7RLEs have gone into the paint shop and will come out the other side in a brand new livery for Slough service 4.

Five of the Volvos will receive this livery with another five to be repainted into the current Slough service 7 livery and they will complement the existing Volvo Hybrids.

Here is the 4 livery ...
... and, for those like fbb who cannot remember what First runs in Slough (not much these days), here is an extract from the current timetable.
The 4 zips boringly down the A4 from Maidenhead to Heathrow Central.
The 4 used to look like this:-

Bus Eireann Wields The Axe

We recognised last week that action was being taken to "improve" bus services in Dublin where the word "improve" in bus management speak means "cutbacks". Once outside of Dublin, the nationalised bus service is called "Bus Eireann" under the overall management of CIE which also runs the trains.

CIE has been losing money for a good while, so this announcement should not cause any surprise.
The article explains things a bit more:-
Expressway, Bus Éireann’s premium coach service, provides direct and regular services on over 22 routes throughout Ireland. It is the only coach service to present a connected network to passengers across the Island of Ireland, making it the quickest way to reach an unrivalled number of destinations. Our modern fleet of comfortable coaches offers a cost-effective alternative to the hassle and stress of accessing increasingly restricted car parking and busy town centres. 

Our 28 new vehicles feature power sockets, charging points, and ISOFIX attachment points, allowing your children to travel in safety and you to travel with ease of mind. A majority of routes provide hourly services for timely travel to wherever you need to go. And, our routes let you travel to major airports around the country in luxury with our extra comfort leather seats, while you stay connected with on-board Wi-Fi. 

More cuts on the way for the Republic's "National Express"?

Now There's a Thought (From Stonehenge)

 Next Variety blog : Monday 5th October 

1 comment:

  1. Bus Eireann has the equivilent of British Rail's Public Service Obligation to operate to . . . it is state owned and organised (including strong Unions and pension Funds), with large Bus Stations to staff and maintain; with a huge network of rural routes to operate that haven't changed in decades (and I do mean decades . . . the services from Galway to Clifden via many different roads depending on the day of the week still run at the same times (yes, actually the same times!!) that they did 40 years ago).
    Rural Ireland, especially on the south, west and north Coasts, comprises of many "hamlets", always with at least one bar and phone box, but seldom a shop or petrol station. Everyone (and I do mean everyone) has a car, so the only passengers are scholars or the very old.
    40 years ago it was like something from the 1920's; in some places it hasn't changed very much at all. It's a charmimg place, with very welcoming people, but certainly not somewhere for commercially-viable bus and coach operation!!

    Having said that, the Inter-City coach services were "de-regulated" after a fashion around 10-15 years ago; operators needed to apply for licences to run a service, which was intended to protect BE from unfettered competition . . . it now seems that the market has prevailed.
    Rail services have improved greatly in the last 10 years, and plans are afoot to further improve service frequencies by the mid-2020's. On many rail routes, there is currently competition between Expressway, the independents and Iarnrod Eireann . . . and there can't be many passengers at the moment!! The independents have cheaper overheads and staffing costs, so will always be able to respond to new markets (such as Dublin Airport - there are many independent-run coach routes from the South and West that run to the Airport via Dublin City, effectively serving two markets in one.
    From what I've seen, the appropriate Drivers' Hours Regulations are only observed where practicable as well, which all helps!!

    Not surprising news, then . . .