Monday 2 January 2023

Bank Holiday Bits

Hopefully Hi For A Hie To Hythe!

Recently, Blue Funnel have taken over the long-sailing ferry between Southampton Town Quay and Hythe, At Town Quay it shares a terminal with Red Funnel's Red Jet to the Isle of Wight .,,..,
... but you would never know from outside!
This means that there is a bus connection from Southampton station and the city centre direct to the terminal.
But you would never know from the bus publicity which is, of course, paid for by Red Funnel.

On Saturday last, Roger French blogged about what should have been his last ever trip on the ferry because Blue Funnel had announced the closure of the route.
Only it didn't and, so far, it hasn't. There were protests, of course ...
... but protests don't pay fuel bills! Nevertheless ...
... there may be, not another White Horse, but a White Knight sailing to the rescue! But, potential and regular users please note, if White Horse couldn't "make a go of it" and Blue Funnel likewise, then how will another newcomer manage.

Surely they won't and the new operation will be doomed to an ignominious failure.

Let us hope that the superb Hythe Pier tramway can be preserved.
It is historic ...
... quaint beyond belief ...
... and an utter joy to experience.

Is there any way the ferry service could be improved?

Of course there is. If this were a typical European city, the ferry, the buses and, possibly, the local trains would all be under the control of one organisation. There would be a simple zonal fare system which applied at all modes with a simple single ticket for any journey however complex.
So, instead of a stonking £7 single, the ferry, bus and future train (?????) would all cost the same, say £3 from central Southampton to Hythe.

A journey from Eastleigh to Calshot would be possible on one "outer" zone ticket with no faffing.

Of course the ferry would not be profitable, certainly not in the depths of winter; but with comprehensive and integrated marketing - and perhaps even a big sign at Southampton saying "Ferry to Hythe" - it would soon become part of everyone's knowledge and daily routine where appropriate.

And, if you have never hied to Hythe by ferry, fbb suggests you do so as soon as possible.

The White Knight may yet fall off his horse!

A Train Spotter's Challenge
Writing all the coach numbers down would be well-nigh impossible. Modern train spotters dictate into recorders, but you wouldn't get all 8 trains. Maybe with a well-prepared assistant you could get unit numbers for the main line - but, even them,  the trains crossing over the bridge in the distance; no way.

fbb thinks the shot was filmed from a footbridge ...
... linking the park at Northwick Park with housing to the east of the West Coast Main line where be Preston Road Station. The bridge is just north of South Kenton station.
The line on the bridge is the Metropolitan line. 
Clever London experts should be able to date the pictures from stock deployment and livery. fbb could if he tried but would, inevitably, get it wrong!

What you saw (roughly in order) were

Down Pendolino
Up Bakerloo
Down "local"
Down Bakerloo
Up Pendolino
Down Metropolitan
Up "local;"
Up Metropolitan

The video is catalogued as "incredible million to one shot". Indeed!

All I Want For Christmas Is ...
Sadly, with the duplicate Sunday and Monday fellowship meetings to prepare and deliver, fbb did not have time to rewrite this delightful little ditty, But start with a revised title ...

All I Want For Christmas
Is A Big Bus Seat

... and you have the basis for a charming seasonal snippet from Sheffield.

Four year old Ivy really wanted Santa to bring her a bus seat. So mum got in touch with Stagecoach who duly delivered the gift ready wrapped for the festive day.

Ivy was delighted.
You can find her "unboxing" video on line - actually unripping - complete with squeals of delight.

A bus enthusiast in the making?

Behold, Better Ballast!
It was our senior Isle of Wight correspondent who remonstrated with fbb (genly, of course) that the station area at Peterville "had too much green". fbb weakly reposted that the volunteers at Peterville Quarry Railway were determined to keep weeds at bay and present the sidings in an attractive part-grassed way.
But he knew that Alan was right. The gaps between the ballasted "four foot" needed filling with something other than very green grass,
And he was right - it does look much better, It needs a bit of "dirtying" but pots of poster paint are ready for a splodging so all should be well in due course. replacement old buffer stops are also ready for installation.

Then there is the rest of the station to do.

Big Birthday Book
(Jesus' Birthday a k a CHRISTmas!)
Keith Beeden, its author, died in 2014 ...
... and the Sheffield Transport Study Group has brought together a collection of his articles written for the M & T News, the organ of the Sheffield Omnibus Enthusiasts. So we have twelve chapters covering the new bus intake from 1947 until the PTE take-over in 1974.

The text has been updated and extra illustrations have been added. It is, as they say, "lavishly illustrated" in monochrome.
Keith's interest always as with vehicles, engine knock, fluid flywheels and pneumocyclic gearboxes (very much a dark art for fbb!) so route information is limited to accurate locations on all the captions. fbb has already had two sessions of gibbering nostalgia as he arrived in the Steel City in September 1963 and remembers almost all the vehicles discussed.
Not sure about remembering the Crossleys, though!

But nostalgia can be VERY spooky. Here is a bus climbing up Barnsley Road from Fir Vale and passing, on the left, fbb's first digs in the city.
That was nearly 60 years ago! Yikes!

Here is Stagecoach going in the opposite direction with a very annoying street lamp obscuring the view,
Fir Vale Church (red roof) is the location clue.

Thanks, Giles.

 Next "Here we go again" blog - Tuesday 4th January 

No comments:

Post a Comment