Sunday, 24 January 2021

Sunday Variety



Today's service is live and ON-LINE.
with no congregation attending.
 Click on this link (here),
which will take you to the YouTube page.
Then click on the page for today's date.


A Puzzle Picture
We all need a titter or two in these unprecedented times and fbb was amused by this picture from a tittering twitterer. It was simply headed "Points on your Licence".

Another Day Another Brand Change
One of the vast swathe of route brandings was for service 56 from Newcastle to Sunderland, currently running every 15 minutes.
The branding evoked the hazy happy hallucinogen times of the swinging flower powered sixties.
fbb was part of the sixties but didn't join!
But, as is the strange trend for today, Go Ahead have decided to remove all the flowers and dump then in the compost heap of public transport history. They are keeping the orange colour but with a far less entertaining name, Cityrider 56.
Refurbished vehicles are now appearing in the sadly deserted streets of Geordie-land ...
... seen here against some well known landmarks.
Maybe the thinking is that the new name will attract the younger generations, as those of us who were teens in the 60s will soon be joining the queue for an oddly-shaped wooden box!
But will the new brand really create additional desire and thus swell the currently drained coffers of Go Ahead? It seem unlikely that a changed name will make much difference, even after we have banished the Virus from the routine of our lives. Will anyone really notice? Will anyone really care?

But the orange is very smart!

Wrong, Wrong And Again, Wrong
fbb's fake pre-war Hornby Dublo tank wagon is wrong in three major ways.

fbb cobbled it together by plonking a post-war tank wagon body on a pre-war chassis, the couplings being the give-away for the historic manufacture date.

It is also the wrong tank wagon livery for a pre-war model.

And, anyway, Power tank wagons were never green! Pre-war they were like this example from Bachmann (specially commissioned model) ...
... and here is a real one to prove it.
Just to confuse everybody, Bachmann also produced a special commission model or the wrong pre-war Power livery (with "hand" logo).
It was also wrong in that it had the incorrect support structure for the tank. But it was a modern model attempting to create the Hornby Dublo original.

But, who cares? For a reasonable financial outlay, fbb's efforts convey the look of a pre-war Hornby Dublo model.

fbb filled the gaps caused by the chassis breakage with Milliput, a two part filler beloved of model makers.
He also added a fillet of filler behind the damaged part of the chassis, hopefully to build back a little resistance to the old man's consummate ability to be clumsy.
The above picture reminds fbb of that well known song by Lonnie Donegan ...
... "Does your chewing gum lose its flavour on the brake gear out of sight?" Or something like that!

With a bit of a paintwork touch up on the damaged chassis, the wrong, wrong and again wrong model can proudly join fbb's collection.

Virus, Tire Us Or Inspire Us?

Tire Us?
Today is the day for Sheffield's service cut-backs and, thanks to stuff sent by correspondents, fbb can comment on the publicity.

South Yorkshire PTE (whose on-line headline is shown above) has a summary of recent happenings ...

Last updated on 22 January 2021. 

From Sunday 17 January 2021 there will be changes to the Blue, Purple and Yellow Route tram timetables to reflect reduced demand during the third national Coronavirus lockdown. There are no changes to the Tram Train.

From Monday 18 January 2021 Northern will be introducing new temporary timetables.

From Saturday 23 January 2021 there will be changes to bus services in South Yorkshire to reflect reduced demand during the third national coronavirus lockdown. Changes are listed in the tables on this page. 

... and goes on to list all the changes from today, service by service, (click to enlarge, if you are desperate to read the detail!)  ...
... which, in simple terms, tells us that Saturday timetables will apply on Mondays to Fridays. There are no links to timetables. In the first lockdown, it was Sunday times plus a few early morning extras - which seemed generous. Saturday frequency looks like an over-provision as we are all supposed to be staying locked-down unless we cannot do our work "on line or at home".

But, never mind, the Government is footing the bill. Well, no, the Government isn't. WE are footing the bill, to be paid for by increased taxes in due course.

The two main bus operators have provided links to actual timetables - all on line. So that is all fine if you begin each day with a visit to your favourite bus company's web site.  One of fbb's correspondents told him, enthusiastically, that there had been posters on all the buses since the beginning of the week.

Some of them were difficult to find!
Here is Stagecoach ...
... with "adjusting" now meaning "reducing"!

Here is First ...
... telling us about gangster gear and nice clean buses but admitting the cut in frequency.

Neither tells us anything USEFUL except that SOMETHING will happen on 24th January. Surely the posters could have told the harrassed Sheffielders that "most services will run a Saturday timetabler on Mondays to Fridays", please check on line, in person at a travel office (assuming persons are still there!!) or by phone to ????????.

Remember that timetable BOOK from Midland Classsic?
Why couldn't Sheffield have printed copies of the PTE list, but without the unnecessary repetition. fbb can excuse the lack of full timetables because the Saturday times have not changed, and a quick glance at the bus stop display will cover most options - but those extra morning journeys on some routes will not appear anywhere except on the operators' timetable pages where they will not be obvious.


Inspire Us!
Now that IS customer service!

TWO chocolate peanuts to Hulleys!

A Poetic Twitterer
But with a serious message!

More delayed Weekend Variety tomorrow.

And A Verse From Scripture ...

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

... first written down about 3000 years ago in a time of crisis (2 Chronicles Chapter 7 verse 14). On Friday last a huge number of Churches joined together in Prayer for our Nation; prayer for mercy and forgiveness, prayer for salvation. Maybe more of us should try that as well as all the other "protections"?

 Next Variety blog : Monday 25th January 


  1. "In the first lockdown, it was Sunday times plus a few early morning extras - which seemed generous. Saturday frequency looks like an over-provision as we are all supposed to be staying locked-down unless we cannot do our work "on line or at home".

    But, never mind, the Government is footing the bill. Well, no, the Government isn't. WE are footing the bill, to be paid for by increased taxes in due course." you quote. But you should get the facts before having a dig at bus operators. In the first lockdown any funding that would be available for operators was not 100% finalised. In this lockdown the government has asked local authorities and operators to reduce service to 70-80% of mileage, so Sunday service would not be enough. Plus the expectation that school buses still operate unless it is agreed that they can be suspended with the school. Personally yes mad to provide over provision now, I would rather save the cash and use it to get passengers back when lockdown ends but I guess nobody is thinking about that currently.So to cut a long story short operators are simply following guidelines from government.

  2. Perhaps you should read the section you have requoted again... at no point within it does FBB have a “dig” at operators.. he has a go at what he sees as over provision of services going forward, and reminds us who will ultimately be paying for it, but no-one has been blamed for actually specifying the service level to be operated at all.... the insider detail you add is interesting background and goes some way to explain why they are doing it, but the accusatory tone, when on this occasion he wasn’t actually blaming anyone specifically at all, I find unnecessary.