Monday 21 February 2022

Monday Variety

Rack and Pinion At fbb Mansions!

A personal note : Mrs fbb's arthritic hip needs replacement and we await an indication as to when this might be. If she is placed on a priority list it might be sooner than a two year wait. "Going private" will cost about £15,000 making a significant dent in the savings.

Effectively, your aged blogger (Birthday this coming Friday) is carer for his dear wife until the NHS (or elsewhere) get the Black and Decker out.

The stair lift is a great help (at £4000) and hubbie enjoys its benefits as well.

The majority of readers who do not yet need such a contrivance, the "thing" treated with aghast terror by Mr Tubbles (the cat!) ...

... may be interested in its mechanics. The chair runs on two rails of circular cross section which are anchored firmly into the tread of the stairs. Power comers from a standard plug ...
... which feeds the drive motor and maintains full charge in the unit's internal batteries - in case of power cut!

Inside the base of the chair is a cogwheel (a pinion) which engages with a toothed rack ...

... which successfully heaves Mrs fbb (and even fbb, but separately, not together!) UP, and lowers the passenger gently down. The rack sits beside one of the supporting tube rails.

... so it is a miniature version of a swiss mountain railway running from hall to landing.

Despite this domestic installation, fbb must remind his loyal readers that blogs come second to caring for the good lady, and reduction in scope may be necessary from time to time. No doubt the thrill of travelling on his own private mountain railway will begin to pall in due course.

Norwich Noteworthy Notice

fbb is not sure of the source of this poster; it does not carry any railway company name or logo, but that cuboid construction atop a hill is definitely Norwich Castle. In the poster it looks a bit fake, but is really does look like that.
Most City bus routes (First Bus) leave from stops at the foot of the Castle mound (motte?) on the delightfully named Castle Meadow.
A non-exhausting trudge round the centre of Norwich, courtesy of Google Streetview, discovered the location of the poster picture. It is taken from Red Lion Hill ...
... with the distinctive Bell Inn on the right. The castle (obviously) is straight ahead, passing the cows grazing peacefully on Castle Meadow. Maybe not. 

Somewhat further to the south and down Red Lion Hill you become St Stephens Street, off which is Norwich's trendy looking bus station.

Well, the roof is trendy, but the buses call at more conventional stands, some of them even protected by the roof!

Bus Museum Battering - An Update

No sooner had our senior Isle of Wight correspondent (also our only IoW correspondent) heard of the damage to the Bus Museum room, than he set off to photograph what Eunice had done.

Happily, Alan was able to report, "Only one clear panel had been ripped off".

Hmm? Perhaps the museum needs to review its understanding of the word "clear"?
As well as replacing the "clear" panel, museum staff may contemplate popping up above with chammy and bucket to re-establish a certain clarity in the "clear" panels?

Stagecoach South Produces Picturesque Platinum.

Following hot on the exhaust pipe of Reading Buses, Stagecoach South (that's anything from Portsmouth east to the Kent Coast) has painted two of their deckers in a celebratory livery. Stagecoach advises that they will be used throughout their "South" network and passengers should look forward to spotting them in their area.

Smart, but like the yellow perils and the pallid "local" livery, they could have done with a bit more colour!

More Map Mutterings

(Click on the above map to enlarge it.) Changes have been made at Blackfriars and Southwark ...
... "Dulwich" has become Lordship lane, which is some distance from the throbbing heart of Dulwich.
Parks now appear in green and the night service N63 has been added.
The N63 combines 63 and 363, or, to put it another way, runs on the former full length 63 (Kings Cross to Crystal Palace) before the split.
It runs every 20 minutes.

Not Just Pregnancies!
Yesterday was the last episode in the present series of Call The Midwife, a favourite of Mrs fbb. fbb will not reveal the inevitable end of series cliff hanger cum mega crisis; but a week ago there was a very real disaster to conclude the penultimate episode.

Nice Doctor Turner ...
... and the even nicer Sister Julienne ...
... are on their way back from a conference in Colchester. The train is hauled by a class 20 diesel ...
... showing a headcode for a through train to the Midland Region.
Here is a similar loco in daylight.
Oh no! The driver is taking pills!
Oh no! The driver has passed out ...
... and his "dead mans handle" appears to be in operative!

Oh no! He passes a red signal! No SPAD technology in 1967.
Oh no! A diesel shunter is let out of its siding ...
... on a green signal!
Oh no! The shunter is propelling fuel tank wagons ...
... into the side of nice Doctor Turner's and even nicer Sister Julienne's train.

Oh no! There is a crash on the viaduct and an explosion!
By the time this is published, the closing episode of the series will have been aired (yesterday evening) and we will know that fates of those involved.

Blog readers may like to make a mental list of the railway inaccuracies.

Be Dazzled!
Ref yesterday's blog and Dazzle. Last year the Royal Navy's contractors painted HMS Tamar in a "dazzzle" style.
Not quite as dazzling as the WW1 versions!
Thanks to correspondent Peter for the link.

 Next James' Journey blog : Tuesday 22nd February 

SPOILER ALERT : Nice Doctor Turner and even nicer Sister Julienne have recovered to fight another day and, presumably, to make another series!


  1. If one explores the theology of money one will arrive at the question "what is it for?". Which is more important- savings or mobility?

  2. And the present day photo of Norwich suggest that Santander have moved into the brewing business, perhaps to find another way of getting hold of your cash

  3. Stagecoach (South) Ltd is Portsmouth, Chichester, Worthing, Guildford, Aldershot, Basingstoke, Winchester and Andover. Buses get as far east as Brighton. "Stagecoach South East" (officially East Kent Road Car Company Ltd) covers Eastbourne, Hastings and the traditional EK area. IIRC South and South East did have common management for a (short?) time, some years ago.

    One of the Platinum buses is at Andover, the other is at Worthing; both returned to their original depots after repaint... for now, anyway.