Saturday 5 June 2021

Saturday Variety

Relief Sophistication Replaces Shelter

Yesterday afternoon a celebratory event took place from 2pm to 4pm with live music and dancing. The  crowds turned out on this sunny afternoon to enjoy the entertainment, tea, coffee and cakes. Mrs Chris Winfield spoke about the work that had gone on over the years from the germination of the idea to what we see before us now. Mr Peter Mander (Chair HPC) spoke about the problems that had been faced but overcome, from soon after the old building was demolished and how well the various professions had worked together over the past 12 months.

The above report from a couple of years ago was penned as a result of a big village celebration in Hathersage. The event thus celebrated was ...
... the opening of the town's new public conveniences.

Needless to say these waste disposal cubicles offer a poorer and lesser service than the old facilities, now demolished. Google Streetview reveals their last gasps of breath.
There were separate sedentary stalls for separated sexes, separated by a superb shelter for general use and for passengers awaiting First Bus service 272 to Sheffield. The ex shelter space still provides a pleasant seated area but unprotected from precipitation, which is not unknown in the wilds of the peak district!

It was Twitterer Matt Kitchin who was ecstatic about a new and stylish shelter in Hathersage.
Overwhelmed by the architectural and environmental delights of the luxurious new shelter, Matt may have been unaware of the paucity of personal protection provided for passengers comparing new from old. A small wind tunnel with seating for four seems a poor replacement.

There is a small bonus however. Hathersage now has its own chippy, located in the white painted building revealed by a somewhat ancient Google Streetview ...
... located literally round the corner from the inadequate shelter. And if our readers doubted the inadequacy of the wooden appurtenance, they should only look at the collection of passengers waiting for that 272 into the city.
Were a Derbyshire downpour to develop, that lot would not fit in the new glazed gazebo - but they could have congregated cosily under cover in the old shelter!

The big consolation, at least from fbb's point of view, and speaking up for the weak-bladdered community of old crocks, is that the toilets were replaced, not just bulldozed into oblivion or sold off as accommodation for yet another tourist grot shop!

For those who may wish to instate a pilgrimage to test the new toilets and celebrate with residents by chomping into a portion of cod and, Hathersage is west of Sheffield and a very pleasant ride out by bus.

Hathersage's claim to fame is that adjacent to the church will be found the grave of Little John, companion of Robin Hood.
It is worth a visit if only to see how well the site is kept, to bring a frisson of excitement to the town's visitors. 
There is slight evidence that the occupant of said grave was very tall for his era, and Hoodies will remember that Little John's unusual build gave rise to his jocular name. Chortle, chortle!

Sadly, there is no plaque on the chip shop in Scunthorpe where Elvis worked for many years after his "death".

Livery Delivery No 237

In times past the Civil Engineering section of British Rail (before everything was privatised, subcontracted and made more expensive) adopted a "livery" of grey and yellow, dubbed "Dutch" by enthusiasts.

It is, indeed, true that trains in the Netherlands have shown a preponderance of yellow in their "livery", usually paired with blue.

fbb was last in the Netherlands over 60 years ago and cannot really remember the livery back then. He has a shadowy though that it was a mud green shade ...
... but he definitely does NOT remember the "squiggle" logo from back then.

The word livery comes from French as do most things of sophistication. Stuff (food, clothing) that was provided for servants was "livree" - disbursed and de-livered. At some stage the word became used for the design of staff clothing and the idea migrated to the style of painting on carriages (horse) and later railway.

The modern theory is that "Livery" should indicate ownership and impart a sense of quality and purpose to the vehicle, thus (as someone once said) creating desire.

It used to be guiding principle that "livery" should enhance and uplift that shape of the vehicle, choosing colours to aid recognition and define quality.

Undoubtedly the Great Western Railway's chocolate and cream hauled by a spotless and shiny green "Castle" was the best at desire creation.

Some of today's paint styles are intrinsically less satisfactory, maybe emphasising ownership, but hardly wowing the punters.
Anyway, Netherlands Railways has just revealed a new version of their livery.
... which, to fbb's jaded eye, looks a right dogs breakfast; trying to be trendy and failing to be anything. It will be interesting to see a whole train out in the open. Perhaps the old man's views will then change.

Exmoor Coaster - A P.S.

Correspondent Roger was out and about on the day when the open top service wasn't. He reports that monochrome locally photocopied leaflets were available on both buses that he experienced.

They are not pretty (better folded?) but at least someone has done something to counteract the corporate incompetence. No sign yet of the real thing.

Talking Of Livery

The class 800 trains (with potential for cracks in their yaw dampers??) are making an occasional appearance in daylight as part of their testing regime. The plain blue livery looks really boring and unappetising. Perhaps there is a large cupboard full of sophisticates First Group vinyls just waiting to be glued on.

Let's hope so.

Whoops! Got It Wrong?

It was only yesterday that fbb wondered about the wisdom of increasing fares in South Yorkshire via the back door of Travelmaster. As well as being sneaky, it seem immoral when the bus companies are prevented from changing their fares under HMG's Covid funding.

Anyway, it's not happening.

fbb suspects that the men from the ministry ...
... ably played by Deryck Guyler or Wilfrid Hyde-White and the glorious Stinker Murdoch, have telephoned and "advised" against such a move. Travelmaster will never admit that ...

But there is a veiled threat in the press release, namely, "when this is all over, expect stonking fares increases."

Now that will be a really good way to encourage people back to the bus!

A Prince And Princess from Peco

Peco have had a couple of goes at manufacturing locomotives, both for N gauge. The Jubilee 4-6-0 was a trail blazer in the development phase of N as a fully-fledged system; the Collett 0-6-0 more recently.

Recently the company has announced its latest loco, this time for OOn9 (narrow gauge). It is to be a model of the Festiniog Railway celebrities Prince ...

... and Princess.
Peco will make the body and the chassis will be from Japanese manufacturer Kato. This is a really sensible decision as Kato already makes sophisticated chassis and motors and Peco is a dab hand at plastic moulding.

CAD "renders" have been released which give a guide as to what the model will look like ...

... and it looks a cracker!

The development of "ready to run" models for narrow gauge is a feature of the modern industry and this very tiny loco will be well received by the narrow minded modellers.

The estimated price of £150. It would be a very nice Christmas present for a modeller seeking to re-create some of the Great Little Trains Of Wales!

More bits and pieces tomorrow.

 Next Variety blog : Sunday 6th June 


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