Sunday, 21 February 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.


Talking Of Bus Shelters

fbb's ex brother-in-law, John, was of the opinion that things like the above (in East Cowes, Isle of Wight and no longer extant) were not bus shelters; they are people shelters!  Asking chums to meet at the Ecclesall people shelter ...
... created some confusion followed by sympathetic and "knowing" shakes of the head.

This is a bus shelter!
It used to be a tram shelter in Shoreham Street, Sheffield.
So was Newbury Park ...
... a bus shelter or a bus station? It was certainly bigger than a people shelter although it did shelter buses as well as people! It is served by four bus routes, shown on a really useless "spider map" by Transport for London ...
... clearly part of TfL's on-going policy to make bus travel as mysterious as possible. The P.A.R.P. office (Promotional Activity to Reduce Passengers) is on a roll with its latest Spider Maps. They are increasingly useless and soon will be able to be removed "because less people are using them"!! Great work chaps!

But fbb was told (via a Twitterer) to be sad about the final demise of one of the North East's iconic bus shelters (people shelters, bus stations). It looks like a big shed with a tin roof.
That is because it was a big shed with a tin roof - and it has been demolished.

It was Worswick Street bus station.
Buses entered the shed through the doorway on the left, then pulled on to their stands with their noses out in the street.
It looked rather splendid at night!
But, as you can see, there was barely enough room for buses, let alone passengers who simply queued in the street.
It must have been (it was!) a health and safety nightmare - but such concerns were less of a worry back then. Passengers were expected to use their common sense rather than seek self destruction as we are all deemed to do today!!

It was home to Northern Bus, a BET company later part of the National Bus group ...
... then privatised, becoming Go Ahead Northerm.
Latterly a car park, it became bloggable as, after lying in decrepitude for years, it has been demolished to make way for a "development".
The buses were long gone and it is, indeed, sad to see a bit of transport history under that attack of the wreckers. But is was never much of a bus station and recently has been an grim eyesore - so, with a tinge of sadness - good riddance!!

A Hunstanton P S
As a bus worker since 16/02/1976, as a conductor and driver with Great Yarmouth Borough Council Transport Dept. and from 1996 First Bus, I have many memories.

In the late 90's I drove the Coastliner, It ran from Lowestoft Tues, Wed & Thurs, but on Sundays it only ran to Yarmouth, Lowestoft depot being closed and running no services at all.
At this time we would arrive in Kings Lynn at 13:20 and leave at 15:00, arriving back into Yarmouth approx 19:45, this wasn't definite as some of the destinations closer to home were 'Request Only' meaning if no one was on, then don't go there! All that way in a Bristol VR!

Also on a Sunday, Yarmouth depot ran a Norfolk Explorer as well as the Norfolk Coastliner. I drove this most Sundays as the other Coastliner drivers didn't like the amount of mileage.
The Norfolk Explorer would leave Great Yarmouth at 08:30 and head for Hunstanton via the route attached, arriving in Hunstanton at 11:40. Driver 'P' break. 

Depart Hunstanton at 12:00 to Cromer as attached. Arrive Cromer 14:10. Drivers meal break. 

Depart Cromer 15:00 to Hunstanton. Arrive Hunstanton 17:00. 

Depart Hunstanton 17:20, arrive Yarmouth 20:35. 

Total Mileage 251 and I never left Norfolk!!!

I can't find much information about this service.

The picture at the head of this item shows author Des on a First Bluebird bus, demoted to Norfolk, negotiating the gateway ...
... at the spectacular Holkham Hall.

Preservation - Pretty As A Picture
We are greatly privileged to enjoy a massive amount of railway preservation in the UK; probably the most extensive network in the world. But steam left the national network a long long time ago. So it is good to see quality stalwarts of the 20th/21st Century railway now being upcycled on our preserved lines.
Here is yet another preserved Pacer.

No, neither had fbb!

The Llanelly and Mynydd Mawr line opened in 1881, worked by the contractor, John Waddell, who had built the line and taken a majority of the shares. The fortunes of the company were closely bound with those of the mineral industries, which fluctuated considerably. The Company considered operating a public passenger service but never did so, although workmen's trains were operated for some years. The decline of coal mining in the area seemed to be reversed when the huge new Cynheidre Pit was established in the 1960s, but the railway capacity enhancements to deal with the expected upsurge in traffic proved to be unnecessary. The line closed completely in 1989.

Still not sure? There's the freight line at Cynheidre ...
The preserved railway held its first public open day on Sunday 3 September 2017 which saw the railway operate brakevan rides ...
 ... using Sentinel 0-4-0DH shunter no. 10222 ...
,,, and BR Brakevan no 981287. The railway's buffet car was used for refreshments throughout the course of the day.
Well, you've got to start somewhere and they have got a big shed and a Pacer - so it is all systems (slowly) go!

And, inevitably, Santa has paid a visit!

 More Variety blog : Monday 22nd February 


  1. Author Des is in a Norwich-registered Dennis Dart, that carries Blue Bus fleetnames - the name used by the former Great Yarmouth municipal operation. If it is a hand-me-down, it hasonly come from parent Eastern Counties, and certainly hasn't been anywhere near Scotland!

  2. Service 169 in green on the spider map does not serve the bus station at Newbury Park, the nearest stops being in Ley Street and Horns Road. The other services only serve the bus station when travelling eastward.

  3. Any truth in rumours of First SW starting up in Plymouth this year at all? Other than confirmed Dartmoor Explorer in April?

  4. The principal occupant of Worswick Street was the Northern General Transport Co Ltd which for most of its existence traded simply as 'Northrrn'. The 'General' bit was never used and the 'GoAhead' prefix only appeared about the time of privatisation.

    Northern Bus was the trading name of Northern Bus Co Ltd, a post-deregulation newcomer in the Sheffield area.