Saturday, 30 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.


This Is Sam ...

... and he posts videos on his YouTube channel. Many of these ar "unboxing" films. For those unfamiliar with the concept, the presenter, usually overflowing with excitement, opens a new model and describes it in considerable detail. Sam has proper sound (see the mike clipped to his T-shirt), lights, a proper camera and, often referred to, a white background to more adequately display the model.

fbb has none of these, and so herewith presents the non-video, non-sound, non proper lighting, phone camera unboxing of the Trix Twin bogie tank wagon. (Pause for gasps of excitement!)

Here is the box, dating from the 1950s ...

... and here is the label on the box.
Here is the wagon inside the box ...
... and here (can it possibly get more exciting) here is the wagon outside the box.
Sam would be impressed with fbb's unboxing skills.

The only thing that fbb knows for certain is that Trix Twin did produce a series of American outline wagons with UK couplings presumably for sale in the UK.
Amongst these were two liveries of the single dome tank wagon.
Several questions need answers. When was this model produced? Is it a model (crude though it be) of a real tank wagon from the USA? |And - how does it compare with today's products? (Don't laugh!)

fbb would appreciate any help with dates of production, but will try to answer the other questions in tomorrow's variety blog.

Farewell Ten Years Ago
Yes it was ten years ago that Wrexham and Shropshire Railway ceased running. Tears flowed freely on the last day and it was a very good service.
The food was excellent, boil in the bag but excellent and the staff showed a true personal commitment to good service.

Bully-boy Branson played the "abstraction" trump card and Chiltern (owners of the long-named company) were not allowed to serve Birmingham New Street or International. fbb and a chum used it to attend a bus and coach exhibition at the NEC, and has to travel on to Tame Bridge and catch a train back to International, repeated on the return run.

There simply weren't enough passengers for the through journeys available to make it viable.

Farewell 91
East Coast's last class 91 locos were withdrawn earlier this month. They have gone into store (just in case?) but their have served the many owners and many millions of passengers very well. The Azumas are cheap, nasty and sardine-like by comparison to the former "proper" trains.

Yet More Beautiful Boxes
Sometimes, fbb's ignorance astounds even him. He had never heard of the Avoncroft Museum, just off the A38 at Bromsgrove. Currently closed for the duration, it is well worth a visit once it re-opens. It is a fine collection of old building plus something completely different.
It is home to the official collection of British Telephone Boxes. In our digital age, these beauties are now a rapidly disappearing breed; but pre mobile technology and back in the day when few "normal" homes were "on the phone", the phone box was an essential part our our society.
And the came in a huge variety of shapes and sizes.
Diamond Bus 145 or 145A will collect you from Longbridge or Bromsgrove stations and deposit you at the end of the lane to the Museum - once Boris lets you out! Buses run approx hourly.
Travelling southbound it is the stop after Morrisons.

fbbs Phasered?
Not quite! But, yesterday afternoon at 1540 and 1545, the odd old couple were Pfizered; they received their first dose of the difficult-to-store vaccine. It was all delightfully straightforward administered at Seaton Hospital and arranged by their GP whose minion phoned the appointment through last Monday.
Meanwhile, the NHS sent them a letter, which arrived on Thursday, offering them an internet booking at Taunton, Christchurch or Bristol. Which version of this co-ordinated service would the fbbs choose?Tought call! But the pages of "stuff" did allow fbb to brush up on his Tagalog ...
... which has been a bit rusty of late.

Whilst waiting in case the dayglo orange shoots sprouted from the old man's extremities, he foolishly read all the things that might happen to him after being jabbed. The list was extensive and which of them happened will doubtless manifest itself overnight. Meanwhile, all is well!

Excellent and efficient service.

The vulnerable in Crawley have an even better service.
The vaccinations can come to them via a Go Ahead Metrobus bus.
What a very good idea!

Tomorrow's Variety Blog features, amongst many other goodies, Jellied Eels and Pilchards!

 Delayed Weekend Variety blog : Monday 1st February 


  1. Anyone know if there is any truth in rumours of Stagecoach pulling out of Plymouth at all ?

    1. I heard April and that First are about to return to the city at same time

  2. There's no smoke without fire as they say and this rumour doesn't seem to be going away.

    That being said I think some of the rumours started after First South West placed an advert for drivers for new contract and public bus services based out of their Plymouth depot. This advert said the posts were based out of The Ride (now Stagecoach's depot, but originally First).

    I think it's subsequently been explained that this was an error when the advert was generated with the old legacy address populated automatically, rather than the new (Lee Moor) address being used. Having experience of recruitment software (Taleo) I can well see how this might happen and how the canteen rumour mill might go into overdrive.

    As we now know those driver vacancies were for college work and the Dartmoor Explorer service.

  3. Stagecoach are apparently pulling out of Plymouth in April when lease is up at the depot as they are still making a loss. I don't think they have shown much interest in the citybsince taking over 5 years ago from First tbf.

    1. Interesting - at the time of purchase Stagecoach acquired the Freehold of the Plymouth depot. Have they subsequently entered into a sale and lease-back arrangement with a third party? I can't remember this being announced/mentioned previoysly. If so why such a short lease?