Monday 8 May 2023

Monday Variety

What Is It? 

It appears yo be made of slightly glossy plastic and has some decorative ribbing on the top. Maybe it is a model of a large cast ingot for conveyance by an OO gauge flat wagon.

Answer at the bottom of this blog.

Portland's Pleasurable Printed Publicity

A poster for the open top route from Weymouth to Portland Bill. It used to be simply route 501 with any open topper with a wheel at each corner.
It also had a poot frequency outside of the school summer holidays. But First Wessex seem to have discovered that there are benefits to be gained by selling a bus ride in Weymouth rather than hoping passengers might turn up.

The service starts at the end of May and offers an hourly frequency right through until the end of September; two buses in steam seven days a week. As well as the poster above, there is a posh leaflet (can't think who designed it?) ...
... complete with route map ...
... and a simple. well presented timetable.
Well done First Wessex.

For Bus Drivers As Well?
Actually the show was revived in 2020, so maybe not as accurate an age guide as Pat might think. The intro quoted above had long been abandoned! fbb would certainly should "it's Crackerjack" so maybe better as a test of authenticity for OAPs!

Flix Further Forward

Although Flix express coach services are growing fast, the network is small in width and depth compared with National Express - which has just announced a whole batch of new and enhanced services. 

But Flix plans to double its network this summer.
It is still something of a challenge to work out where Flix Bus operates. Generally there is a long list if "cities" on-line and a useless map.
Google, ever helpful, tries to answer the questions people ask.
It would be really, really helpful to have a route map and a collection of timetables.

Perhaps fbb needs the App? Their Facebook pages suggest a map exists ...
... but fbb couldn't find it.

Maybe you have to be some kind of Flixbus Find-out Fellowship Friend?

An Article In "Passenger Transport"
Norman Baker writes:-

As "transformational" as the Shapps Better Bus Book?
Ask any bus passenger aiming to travel in areas away from the busy trunk routes how "transformed" their service has been in recent months. For "transformed" read "reduced"!

Generally it appears that "transformational" means electric, hydrogen or (in Scotland) porridge driven environmentally friendly buses - but not more buses or buses when passengers need them.

Grumpy grumpy

Toys For The Boys
First It was Dinky Toys and then along came Corgi, which were better. So Dinky introduced "two tone" colouring and, later, windows.
But Dinkies were never made to a constant scale. Most of them would not match a OO gauge railway except the buses and coaches ...
... and just one lorry of about the right size. 

Then Dublo Dinky arrived, made especially to match the model trains.
By today's standards these models were "basic" but welcomed by the discerning railway modeller who wanted his station car park to look right.

Now we have ...
The company has just announced its new catalogue which comes in the form of a small (A6 landscape) booklet.
The range id immense with the company majoring on modes to match an OO gauge railway (1:76 scale). But this is only one of the ranges available.
There are 8 pages of 16 car models (some the same casting but a different livery).
There are oodles of commercial vehicles ...
... including a wide selection of Coca|Cola motors. There are O gauge (1 : 43) ... 
... and N gauge (1 : 148).
There is a good selection of models for the American market scaled to HO size (1 : 87) ...
... and the beginnings of a range for the new TT120 scale.
There are 128 models in the OO car and light van range alone - BUT, collectors beware! Many models are "short run" and disappear quite quickly. So if you hanker after a particular model in the current catalogue, don'y just hanker, buy before it vanishes!

Tim Dunn Twitters
A footbridge at Shepherds Bush, which fbb never saw, features in a bit of Twittering from broadcaster Tim (of Timmy and Siddy fame). It shows the pedestrian footbridge complete with InterCity 125 advert (1980s) and the site today.
Here is a better picture of the front end ...
... and one at night.
An on-line picture shows the bridge under construction in 1971 ...
... but fbb cannot find a date for its demolition.

And It Is ...
... a chocolate biscuit, part of a kind gift of "golden" bars for the recent wedding anniversary - so fbb had better refrain from commenting on how sickly and plastic it tasted. Fortunately a nice cuppa took most of the taste away.

 Next Leicester blog : Tuesday 9th May 


  1. How about 'The weekend starts here',

  2. The footbridge linked Shepherds Bush Underground with a shopping centre and dated from a time when cars were expected to have unimpeded progress and pedestrians were an inconvenience to be funnelled out of the way. Some years ago it was abolished and replaced by a traffic-light controlled crossing allowing pedestrians to cross on the level - which is how things should be.

  3. For those of us of an even greater age, "It's Friday, it's 5 o'clock..." . None of this "5 to" business

  4. Andrew Kleissner8 May 2023 at 18:18

    I'm delighted to see that Oxford produce some models of Armstrong Siddeley cars. My father had a number between about 1950-66, including at least a Hurricane (which my mother loved, but before my time) and a Sapphire, possibly a Lancaster or Whitley in-between. Amazing cars but very heavy to drive (not that I ever did) and very soft sick-making suspension!