Sunday 12 March 2023

Sunday Variety

Understanding The Value Of Branding?

One of the pleasures of modern bus travel is the development of bright and cheerful brands, sometimes for smaller local networks, sometimes for routes or groups of routes. The cynical will tell you hat Mr J Public just wants his bus to come on time and cares nothing for its colour!

But there is evidence that brands, particularly when part of some good printed publicity, can increase awareness and ridership. 

Apparently it is all about Creating Desire.

So here is a bright and cheerful bus on the now split trunk route 700 that runs (in bits) between Portsmouth and Brighton.
Its colour and its brand name is a strong recollection of its parentage!
Back then it used to be route 31!

But look closely ...
... and you will see that the brand is for route 60 running now between Midhurst and Chichester.
Didn't it once run to Bognor?
Whilst it may be necessary to use an unbranded bus on a route if repairs and maintenance overrun, surely it simply defeats the object of branding to put an obviously wrong brand on a differently branded route?

Both brand soon become meaningless.

Winderful Wellingborough Weekend
For a small get together organised by just a few, the Wellingborough event has become something of a fans' fixture. Not only that but the vehicles present offer a superb range of excellently preserved buses and coaches.

Here is the full list, correct as of today.

Saturday 1st April
GRP794L Bristol VR United Counties
RBD111M Bedford Willowbrook United Counties
H654VVV Leyland Olympian Stagecoach United Counties
GRP260D Bristol MW United Counties
JVV267G Daimler CVG6 Northampton Corporation  Transport
R372LGH Volvo Olympian
M1OCT Volvo Olympian  Delaine
A Vehicle from the The Eastern Counties Group

Sunday 2nd April
GRP794L Bristol VR 
RBD111M Bedford Willowbrook
OVV59R Ford Duple  United Counties
RP692 Bristol KS  United Counies
H654VVV Leyland Olympian
JVV267G Daimler CVG6
VV9146 Crossley  Northampton Corporation Transport
CBD778K Bristol VR United Counties
R372LGH Volvo Olympian
FNV557 Leyland Tiger PS2
HTA844N Leyland National
KAD359V Leyland Leopard
SDD146R Leyland Leopard
MXX430 RF453
A vehicle from the The Eastern Countiesn Group

VV 9146 is a real beauty ...
... but the highlight for a very selfish fbb point of view is this.
fbb bought this vehicle from Phillips Coaches (of Bromsgrover?) ...
... which came bereft of lettering.
fbb's repaint was unusual but distinctly, using Southern Vectis coach grey and Solent Blue Line yellow ...
... and later as repainted by the subsequent owners of the business.
And back in its original National Express stripes, it will appear on 2nd April at Wellingborough. Small world.

Effusive thanks to Isle of Wight Alan for sending Westbrook Travel pictures - again! fbb's filing system fails - again!

Chaotic Consideration of Cringleford - P.S.
fbb found the above when researching Cringleford Interchange. Eager as ever  to experience the delights of First Bus "Network Norwich" to complete hus researches, fbb downloaded the PDF.
There is even a map ...
... and full timetables.
But there is absolutely no mention of the 10 and 10A which serve the Bluebell Estate and Chiswick Road areas of Cringleford, mirroring the 1970 90 and 90B.

Yet again "It's all on-line"  becomes "It's all out-of-date".

Why is this stuff not removed from the interwebnet?

Answer : laziness and incompetence!

Thankfully, First Bus Network Norwich web site IS up-to-date. No doubt the knowledgeable when browsing enquirer would be astute enough to reject anything but First's latest information.

But a casual searcher could all too easily get into a mess.

Here is he current leaflet map extract ...
... with the 10 and 10A and the timetable.
The 10 goes further into Eaton Park than its 1970s predecessor whilst the 10A also preforms a loop to avoid a reverse at its former terminus.

There are other excitements at Norwich which will doubtless feature later.

Re-Organise : Re-Brand : Re-Livery
Readers may remember that Thalys, premium trains originalky running between Paris, Brisseks and Amsterdam ...
... has been merged with Eurostar so both are under common management.

Once upon a time the premium trains from Amsterdam to Paris were branded TEE ...
... and, indeed, your author, then aged 14, travelled on one such. Thalys is a sort of successor. 

But now comes news that both Thalys and Eurostar have been re-branded or, perhaps better, had  their brands "refreshed."

Here is Eurostar as originally labelled ...
... and here is Eurostar as later rebranded as the new trains were introduced.
And, don't get too excited dear readers; here is Eurostar as rebranded under joing management with Thalys.
fbb is sure that the thousands who trudge wearily through St Pancas station every day will be greatly pleased by the new look.

Ot maybe they will never notice.

Meanwhile Thalys remains red; and used to look like this.
fbb thinks that it is a stylised numinous being (look it up) speeding through the sky. fbb does not think angels are restricted to train travel!

The new look is dazzling in its originality (NOT) ...
... leaving fbb wondering how many tens of thousands of euros the brand consultants and logo designers have pocketed for this vital work.

Scintillating Sidmouth Signage
But what does it mean? It is painted between two marked parking areas (loading and disabled in theory, but usually used for general parking)  on Fore Street.

It is at the end of East Street, at this point just a pedestrian walkway leding to car parks.
There is no other signage anywhere to be seen.

fbb suspects that, for some obscure reason hidden in the dark and impenetrable depths of legality, it is a very short cycle lane!

Daft or what? Meaningless or what?

Home To Roost!
VERY memory endowed blog readers may remember fbb's paeon of praise for author and preservationist L T C Rolt. In that blog your aged author recounted his early experience in the rigours of teaching at a school in Sheffield.

It is not to much of an exaggeration to say that the prayer and Tom Rolt's book saved his career!

So why the "repeat" blog?

An email arrived in Friday asking if fbb would give his permission for the incident to be included in a forthcoming (2024) Biography of Tom Rolt. fbb agreed, of course.

fbb suspect that the author's line will be less to do with fbb's career in education and more to do with the compelling writing of one of the best railway authors there ever was.

fbb is looking forward to reading the whole book!

Probably a bit more Norwich tomorrow. 

 Next Heartsease Happenings blog : Monday 13th March 


  1. In Sidmouth, the “pedestrian walkway” is actually a footpath and cycle way, as can be seen from the sign on the bollard. The road marking is what has become known as an H-bar. These have no legal significance, hence the lack of a sign to back them up, but are very effective at preventing parking, which in this case would obstruct cycles emerging from or entering the cycle way.
    It’s interesting that motorists who happily ignore double yellow lines, for which penalties apply, but will avoid parking on H-bars, which are merely advisory.

    1. Yes, and Fore Street which the shared cycle/footpath cut through emerges onto is one way. The road markings - cycle symbol and arrow - are there to help guide a emerging cyclist from unwittingly cycling the wrong way up a one way street.

  2. The 60 did go to Bognor until it was split some years ago and the Chichester to Bognor / Elmer section became the 600. The South Downs green livery has been discontinued in favour of standard livery and only two or three remain. Buses on the western half of the 700 are now in long distance Amazon Locker yellow livery.