Sunday 22 January 2023

Sunday Variety

Sid Cooper Versus fbb!

Many of Sid's painting have appeared on Pinterest ("fbb you have such a good eye") and fbb is enjoying the challenger of working out when and where the original location would be found.. This one looked easy.
Destinations, fleet numbers and registration numbers are illegible on Pinterest's "thumbnails" but the tower in the background is the mega clue. It is, of course ...
... the magnificent Victorian pile that is Bolton Tyoen Hall. So we are at Moor Lane bus station and, before we move on, Streetview replicates Sid's picture but not quite from the same elevated angle.
Look, no bus station! Here is a similar  picture from a different and much older perspective.
And what's that? A trolleybus at Bolton. Indeed, until 1958 South Lancashire Transport (a subsidiary of Lancashire United), ran a small network. The trolleybuses were red and, oddly, Bolton Corporation owned four of them ...
... which wore South Lancs livery ...
... and were numbered in SL's fleet series. It as a "hidden" joint service! But they all went for scrap in 1958 when the system closed.
Sid's picture is post trolleys and shows Bolton Corporation livery in transition from mainly maroon ...
... to cream (off white?) and maroon.
The two single decks are a bit of a guess. The furthest away looks like Ribble with the "modern" fleet name. Thid fuzzy photo is the best fbb could find.
The red single decker is most likely from Lancashire United, eventually swallowed up by the PTE.
But fbb could not find a picture of a real LU vehicle with that pointy bit in cream on the front ...
... but a bus model supplies the answer.
It is beyond fbb's pay grade to even try to date the picture, but early 70s seems likely.

But thanks, Sid or the challenge.

A Wobble At Wivelsfield
No 3 son, who livs at Haywards Heath was impressed (?) with this information on-line yesterday morning. It concerns a points failure at Wivelsfield.

There it is, one stop south of Haywards Heath on the main line, usually served only by stopping trains to Eastbourne.
The actual points would be those for the Lewes and Eastbourne line, south of Wivelsfield.
So there thrn follows much information.
And there's more.
There were links to alternative rail routes you night use, so the Underground ticket acceptance would get you back to normality (?) in the capital. Which leaves Plumpton and Cooksbridge!

But Southern have a cunning plan there as well.
Too much information? There is also a link to Network Rail pages telling the harassed traveller how wonderful they are at dealing with signal failures and points failures. There is also a video to enjoy (link here) ...

Is fbb being cynical again or is there a hint of "set up the standard Brighton Line closure stuff" (with a bit extra about Plumpton and Cooksbridge); an instruction to young Gavin on the website desk.

Which begs the question, partly answered by Roger French's blog on Thursday last. He posted a long-time-gone list of telephone numbers for each Southern Region station.
There's Wivelsfield, fourth up from the bottom - ring Burgess Hill 3242. Would there have been anyone there to answer the phone yesterday morning? And, if there was, would they know what was happening?

Whilst the level of information on-line is large, fbb is not at all sure that it is as helpful as can be?

From Toy To Model Less Of A Toy
Shaky left hand and ARMD in the eyes are not the best recipe for detailed railway modelling. But fbb's attempt to turn this garish tow locomotive ...
... into something more like a model of a British Railways Class 06 shunter has been enjoyable if not entirely accurate.
The eagle eyed will notice that the connecting rods have been removed from the above locos, a process that was not universally applied.
There is still work to be done ....
... but these things are often never finished. below, the repaint stands with fbb's first purchased loco ...
... also repainted soon after arrival at the future Peterville Quarry proto-layout.
The later version is at the rear.

The odd-looking stubby white handrails above the front steps have to be added and the cab handrails painted. And both locos really do need some sort of cab side number. The blue is the colour of the Peterville Quarry Railway and makes no pretence to be the same as BR rail blue.
The weird picture, shown as a puzzle earlier was fbb:s poor attempt to create diagonal warning stripes on the back of the cab. However hard you try, the yellow seeps underneath the masking paper and the results are poor.
You touch up the yellow which messes up the red. So you touch up the red which spoils the yellow and so on, ad infinitum. But it is getting better and at normal viewing distance on the railway it will look - well - OK. That is OK for an old man who is not very good at painting.
And whilst the blue paint tin was open, opportunity was taken to change tyh tin tabernacle from its "correct" red to Peterville Quarry blue so that it jatcyhes the other "tin" buildings used as bunk houses for the hard working band of volunteers who keep the railway clean, tidy (?) and operating smoothly.

Good news, folks. Whist Arriva is busily abandoning routed due to staff shortages (Yeah, right!), the company has found time to update its privacy policy.
Good. We can all slerp soundly in our beds tonight!

Again spotted on-screen by Mrs fbb.
It is a precursor of today's on-line "chat rooms" but using an older version of windows!

Advice For The Weary
How very true.

 Next Zurich "oddity" blog : Monday 23rd January 


  1. That map is a Southern and Gatwick Express only map and It appears to be quite some years out of date. Wivelsfield is served by Southern and Thameslink trains on the Brighton main line, not just those branching off towards Lewes and beyond, so presumably today ought to have a green blob as well.

    Is the information provided overkill? Not really considering the disruption affected trains to/from Littlehampton, Brighton, Eastbourne, Hastings, and stations north of Haywards Heath to London, Bedford and Cambridge.

    1. Further to the above, the current 2021 GTR All Routes map on the Southern website, does indeed show Wivelsfield served by Southern's BML services and Thameslink.

  2. The Bolton trolleybuses were at Howell Croft bus station, which was separate to Moor Lane, albeit a similar distance from the Town Hall. The Moor Lane scene is probably earlier than "early seventies" given that none of the vehicles carries SELNEC livery (established 1969) and the Ribble bus has no trace of NBC ownership.

  3. Bolton converted its trams to motorbuses, however they effectively subcontracted South Lancashire Transport (SLT) to operate the Four Lane Ends route as operating their own small fleet of trolleybuses would have been uneconomical. SLT ran extra short journeys on top of their through service to Atherton and Leigh. Bolton Corporation paid for four trolleybuses which were operated as part of the SLT fleet and were not confined to the Bolton route, but were to be returned to Bolton Corporation for disposal at the end of their operating lives - this did indeed happen when the Bolton route was withdrawn in 1956.

    On through journeys, conductors had to carry two ticket machines - one for SLT and one for Bolton Corporation - and all passengers had to rebook at Four Lane Ends - two minutes' stand time was allowed for this. This must have made the Bolton route unpopular with conductors.