Monday 3 January 2022

Another Christmas Book (Preparation)

A Gift From Mrs fbb

Wonder how Mrs fbb knew that her hubby would delight in this volume? Maybe a few veiled hints were dropped by the obese one?

Before reviewing the book in detail, fbb will set a little quiz. Can our reader identify these bus stations? fbb will offer a clue or two as appropriate.

Number 1
Art Deco in the home of Rolls Royce

Number 2
A wide boggy bus station east along the A52 from the previous location.

Number 3
The same bus station, some years later - with services to Long Clawson and Aberystywyth from Stand 10!

Number 4
Dorset rope making town. The above is called its "coach station".

Number 5
In pre-marital guise, Mrs fbb caught he bus home to Bearsden from here.

Number 6
There were no buses in John Bunyan's day.

Number 7
In the first full day of their honeymoon in the Old Course Hotel at St Andrews, fbb took his new wife on a trip to this beauty spot. A fine start to a married life.

Number 8
A "Green" County Town names a bus station in a University County Town.

Number 9
Northampton correspondent Alan attended Library School here, in a town that has made lots of big Brushes.

Number 10
Near this bus station you will win a "Victory" over a "Warrior". Listen to the famous chimes!

Number 11
fbb and Mrs in pre-nuptial partnership rode a Dial-a-Bus to a Garden Village from here

Number 12
In his youth, fbb caught his 402 or 404 bus home from here.

Number 13
And Mr Bingley were both bowler hatted bankers in this location with two rail termini.

Number 14
A cliff lift leads to this Island beach.

Number 15
A famous TV personality and steeplejack was based here. He dug a coal mine in his back garden.

Answers and book review tomorrow.

Meanwhile Back in Reality ...

London Terminus CLOSED?
London's Victoria Station is, and always has been, two separate stations. On the left were the platforms of the London Brighton and South Coast Railway and on the opposite side of the station you will find tracks of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway.

The modern station retains this split. Looking south, here are the Southern platforms ...
Try to ignore the "retail shopping opportunities", there are trains there! The South Eastern platforms are alongside.
So until January 10th, the Southern Railway part is, effectively closed.
Now there is a bit of a question. How does the management of Southern KNOW that its staff will be fully recovered by 10th Jan? Or is there another reason for the closure that the company is hiding?

More on bus stations tomorrow.

 Next book review blog : Tuesday 4th January 


  1. I've got about half of the bus station locations . . . looking forward to the answers!!

    Apparently the issue at Southern is that they need to implement a reduced timetable to account for shortages in drivers and "guards", but their train planners have all succumbed to Omicron, and are isolating. The best that they can do is to repeat the previous weeks' timetable, whereby engineering works required said special timetable.

    Presumably the planners, having isolated for 7 days, can then return to work and re-plan the timetable properly. When there is a small team working together, this was inevitable . . . perhaps Government should've been more proactive, and locked us down before the festive season, but then the hospitality sector would've screamed!!

    Welcome to 2022!!!

  2. Got about half the bus stations myself but FBB has the hint for number 15 wrong. It's cedrtainly not the town of the famous steeplejack but one over the hills to the east where I spent the first 20 years of my career in buses including working there in the office under the clock.
    Clue 4 - was officially (Naptan) renamed "Bus Station" in 2019.
    Ken ex Traveline (Retd)

    1. Andrew Kleissner3 January 2022 at 10:48

      I disagree. This page from the local paper gives the location (spoiler alert!!!):

  3. Andrew - go back to your link and scroll down to the comments and you will see that the newspaper concerned is rightly lambasted for showing a picture of "NOT" their bus station but one in another city across the hills to the east.
    Lets hope FBB's book doesn't have this howler in it. As I said above I worked in the bus station in picture 15 and the picture loks like one of the official images from the 1953 opening as the photographer is on top of the shelters there being no buildings overlooking the site at that end. Note also the "suits" in the picture also suggesting it's opening day.

    1. Andrew Kleissner3 January 2022 at 14:35

      Ah - I didn't look at the comments! Thank you.

  4. The page from Andrew's link (3 January 2022 at 10:48) does actually have 5 photos, and some (at least!) of them appear to be of the intended location. The church tower in the background is similar at both locations, but not exactly the same!

  5. Hotel near London Victoria - Sidney Hotel is one of the best hotels in London Victoria.