Isn't It? Jane Cole IS!
Ms Cole is boss of Blackpool Transport, still a Council Owned Company and she is the first ever woman President of the prestigious Omnibus Society. One of the roles of the Presidents is to host and help organise an official "Weekend". This is a long weekend beano of buses with visits, posh dinner and an informal dinner. If you are "into" buses, membership of the OS is compulsory and the "Weekend" is the highlight of your omnibological year.
Feel free to peruse the programme - it is all on nine.
fbb is not a member; no antipathy is involved, but he has too much else to do and "Weekends" impinge on Church attendance which is something of a priority..
The next character in our tale is chum Richard. He has TWO residences, one in Cosham and one on the Isle of Wight. Both are full of bus "stuff" leaving little room for home comforts without moving several heaps thereof. Clearly a man after fbb's own heart.
It should be ssid, at this stage of the narrative, that Richard has a profound phobia of technology. He listens to the "wireless"; he answers his phone with a four digit number that was superseded 50 years ago, he has failed to grasp the benefits of a mobile phone and refuses point black to espouse a "computer". Not a bad policy at all!
Some of his aquainances suggest that he wanders down to Monkton Mead Brook with two large pebbles from Ryde beach in order to do his weekly wash!
But Richard is a kindly soul and as well as extending the "weekend" with an exciting rail trip to Clitheroe, he was desirous of visiting an elderly cousin. Said coz, Richard advised, lives at Standish - only, of course, he doesn't.
fbb was astounded that Richard was able to provide the appropriate PostCode, a technology which he can cope with. It only involves "writing"; the actual workings of the technology can remain a mystery.
It turns out that Ricard's destination was Shevington Moor, in the shadow of M6 junction 27.
He telephoned fbb for some transport advice, namely how to get to Shevington Moor. He did have a printed timetable in hand.
Richard's was dated 1967!
Oddly, it wasn't much use. But there was a suggestion that, back in 1967, Ribble 113 served the area.
Nope! Not any more.
Richard seemed keen to catch a train to Preston or Chorley and strike out from there.
But for those who will not, cannot or choose not to use modern technology, there is no chance of resolving the problem easily. Of course he could have telephones Traveline - but the bus industry makes us pay to find out what they sell, and pay a.lot. Best avoided if possible!
But he rang a more reliable source (modesty is fbb's only fault!) So your technology user fbb started with Google Maps, found the cousin's address and sought info for the little blue bus sop icons that pop up if you enlarge the map enough.
The nearest stops, depending on direction, were clearly labelled.
Prodding a little more fervently, you get a list of departure times at each stop which show an "ultimate destination", but, obviously not departures from anywhere else..
So Preston or Wigan it is! There is no railway station called Shevington!
So all we need now to assist Richard in his relatively adventurous quest for a relative is some timetables.
Journey Planners are no good because they would involve "technology" on the go and we all know how Richard feels about such things.
But that's where the problems really began.
To be continued ...
After nearly ren years of residence at fbb mansions in Seaton, the private car parking arya was EMPTY (apart from the fbb limo) for the first time. Actually quite weird.
Printed Print Reprint
A simple idea. Posh cover with smple printed timetables inside created as for working timetables. So reprints are cheap. Well done Cardiff!
A Network Map!
Instead or (or as well as) maps of their own services, L N E R are now displaying a superb National Rail network map at their stations.
The map above is on show at Wakefield Westgate station. But fbb does have a problem ...
... shouldn't there be a sign telling you where the lift might be?
Next Shevington blog : Thursday 29th September