Sunday 13 December 2020

Sunday Variety



Today's service is live and ON-LINE.
The fbbs are attending.
 Click on this link (here),
which will take you to the YouTube page.
Then click on the page for today's date.

Draper And Mercer And Social Distancing
The interwebnet tells fbb that a draper was a seller of cloth (which he already knew). A mercer, however, it tells us, was a seller of fine cloth. The drapers might not agree with this distinction, but there must have been a very busy trade in cloth in Northampton because the two cloth-sellers had their own streets next to one another and beside the market square (where perhaps cloth was also sold?).
The last draper in the Drapery, Debenhams, formerly Adnitts, is about to close.
Northgate Bus Station, built far too small, has been squeezed like a tube of omnibological toothpaste tube so that it includes multiple bus stops in The Drapery.
In fact, well over half the town's bus departures leave from the Drapery rather then the bus station itself. Back in the days of the much maligned Greyfriars bus station ...
... all buses and coaches left from the same place and everyone could sit inside and under cover. Progress eh? 

Anyway the police and the council have been worried about social distancing at Drapery bus stops e.g. outside Debenhams.
And here, according to the local press, is action being taken!
Or possibly inaction being taken?

So the ever considerate Borough Council has come up with a cunning plan to ease pedestrian congestion on the WEST side of the Drapery (i.e. outside Adnitts). They are going to move some bus stops on the EAST side of the Drapery round the corner to Mercers Row!

When fbb lived in they parts, his No 1 bus up to Granny's in Abington always left from Mercers Row, as did several other east bound routes as seen below, a tad before fbb's detailed memory.
Even later, when route 1 was extended to the new-build Easter District and equipped with one man single deckers (still Daimlers, of course!) ...
... they still left from luxurious railings on Mercers Row. All that disappeared when Greyfriars bus station opened and Mercers Row was improved with wider pavements and made more environmentally attractive with parked cars instead of buses (?)
The lure of wider pavements proved too attractive to the councillors who don't understand buses, so a couple of extra stands are going back to an historic location. This will ease the problem (which only occurs rarely) on the EAST side of the Drapery and do absolutely nothing for the problem on the WEST side of the Drapery which happens at every shift change at Swan Valley Industrial estate. And here are the lads doing it ...
Training sessions for elderly Northampton residents are being planned to help them with interchange from a bus arriving at the bus station to their next departure point on Mercers Row.
Meanwhile there is a large empty site, slated for an expansion of the rapidly evaporating retail sector, linked to the Market Square (stalls lower left) and just ideal for a covered comfortable bus station where all the buses could be together. It is on a road called Greyfriars.

Twits At Work (1)

It will take a moment to recognise the illiteracy in this item (in blue above).

on the Higham Farrers - on the Higham Farrars what?

Higham Farrars - should be Higham FErrers

there is delays - there ARE delays

service 14 - does not exist at Higham Ferrars

RTA - as most of the passengers won't be twittering
the need to explain the acronym is much reduced.

And for those of our readers less familiar with the bus routes of Higham Ferrars, a route map of the town in which our diligent readers can search for service 14.

It's All On Line A Notice
Above is a very recent picture of the information rack at North Gate bus station. Good innit? It is alongside the closed enquiry office. As a bus manager recently opined, "things are getting more and more difficult for the industry, but we are working hard to get the passengers back on our buses."

Yeah, right.

And Happy Christmas from Stagecoach!
Not only is it all on line, but the lads/lasses have posted full details of the seasonal timetable changes ("changes" in bus-speak means "reductions"!) at North Gate bus station.
And will this easy-to-read seasonal information be available at other locations in the town - for the benefit of those whose bus routes do not enter the ungenerous proportions of North Gate?

Don't ask silly questions.

As the lavish seasonal greetings flow from the Stagecoach web site ...
... several questions emerge. Is that the best  CHRIST  mas  greeting you can manage Uncle Brian? - and ...

... Passengers? Who wants 'em? Everything runs better without them and the government is paying anyway.

And The Mystery Face?
That is actress (whoops we have to say sexless "actor" these days just in case!) Jennie McAlpine who, fbb is told, appears in some Northern based "soap"as Fiz Brown. Her\"warm northern tones" are the voice of the Witch.

New vehicles for the Transdev Burnley route X43 will be on the road from today. They are to Transdev's much vaunted "Sky" class (fortunately for Lancashire's weather, NOT open top, thus open to the sky!).

More pictures have appeared of the full-view exterior ...
... as seen here with The Voice and The Boss (Alex Hornby) - in the pouring rain, as usual!

The luxurious interiors ...
... look, well, luxurious; and, wait for it ...
... you can actually see the "Sky" through large windows in the roof.

The Witch, once voluptuous and, before that, decidedly scary, is demoted to a line drawing of a symbolic witch ...
... but which witch? And will that kitch witch promo-pitch switch on your hitch-a-ride desire ...
... with a twitch of excitement?

 Next Variety blog : Monday 14th December 


 fbb's Alphabetical Advent Calendar 

Messiah (a k a Christ a k a Saviour) is quite a complex term. So we might need to think about why people (i.e. Prophets and some indeterminate number of "Wise Men" a k a Magi)  seemed to point to Jesus. 

A Messiah, as a general term, was a title applied to somebody who ...

Was chosen by God
Was anointed by God
Was given a specific task by God

Over about 700 years, the idea grew that God would DO SOMETHING really spectacular to change the world. Naturally, in their situation, it seems that the people of Jesus' day would expect their Messiah to be a political or military figure. There is some evidence that is why betrayer Judas had a sulk - his ideal Jesus should have been getting rid of the Romans.

But the specific task Jesus was given to do was more personal. To change the world, you start by changing people.
These remarkable words were written about 600 years before the birth of Jesus.

Clearly there is more to  CHRIST  mas  than just a cluttered and inaccurate nativity ...
... however "nice" it might be.

Which brings us neatly to "N"!

1 comment:

  1. There are also six "sky class" buses for the CityZap between Leeds and York. Apparently BBC presenter Paul Hudson is doing the vocals, which I think is missing a trick given that the soap Emmerdale is recorded locally - the vaguely menacing tones of Jeff Hordle, who plays bad-boy Cain Dingle, could add a certain frisson to the journey.