Saturday 11 November 2023

Saturday Variety

Nothing At Northampton

Despite fbb's correction for Plymouth in yesterday's blog, Alan reports that the "Travel Centre" (a k a small window in a wall) at Northampton's bus station remains resolutely closed. Furthermore none of the town's operators provides any printed material.

West Northamptonshire Council, that bastion of bus bountifuness (NOT), way back in 2021 (in the early enthusiastic days of the rejigged council system because the last lot went bust) wrote ...

most commercial bus operators produce leaflets.

They didn't then and they don't now. Well observed West Northants - you should get out more!

We intend to produce printed leaflets for supported services where these are not produced by the bus operator.

We will provide maps, available on our website, and possibly in printed form, showing all bus services in West Northamptonshire, including summary information on service frequencies.

Bus stop publicity – We are considering the reintroduction of displays for bus stops with timetable cases, which show in a consistent manner the times, routes and destinations of all bus services using that stop.

Nothing has happened!

But, shock horror as ravens leave the Tower of London, Stagecoach has just published a leaflet for Northampton.

And it has got a map - too small to read easily.

The leaflet gets the fbb plastic peanut award ...
... for the most useless piece of bus publicity since - well - ever!

It commemorates new buses for routes 1 and 2.

It encourages the pretty people of Northampton to enjoy the £2 fare cap.
Of course it wants us to download the App ...
... thus making any enquiry unnessesarily complex. But (tada!) it does have a summary of other buses from the Eastern District area,

But we would expect a timetable for routes 1 and 2.

Expect away frustrated passenger.
And are the times coordinated so that you really can wait at Rectory Farm for a bus every 7/8 minutes?

Of course not.

Routes 1 and 2  use a different set of time points in the Rectory Farm area, so direct comparison is not always possible untill Goldings.
Thus it is that the 8 buses an hour to town leave Goldings at ...


... minutes past each hour. Good spread, innit?

But, following on from yesterday's blog, you can get service 1 on-line from the Stagecoach web site, once you have set your location to Northampton. Here are all the service 1 routes in Northampton, supposedly!

And the list goes on - and on - and on - and on; to include every route with a digit "1" in its number, right up to 169.
Aha! Kings Heath is an estate in Northampton; it must be a long route to Solihull in Birmingham.

How to encourage new passengers and give confidence to regulars!

Pulverbatch - A P.S.
After completing the recent blog, fbb found a map of the bus network in Shropshire. He has no idea if it is up to date but it is produced by a third party (i.e. NOT bus operator of County Council). Only an extract can be fitted in to the blog page.
Now, let's see, where is the 544 to Little Lyth?
Don't bother to look, it breathes its last on 2nd December.

Stunning New Coach Operator?
Frankly, fbb was surprised to see this picture on-line.
It is a cracker of a livery. Does fbb smell the whiff of the Stenning, the Bravado of the Bearded Bus Beautifier from the Bush?

But who or what is or are "Spirit of Sussex?
Still impressive, but ...
... why has fbb never heard of this trendy and successful outfit?
That's because it is the private hire department of GoAhead Brighton and Hove! The company is, presumably, having a pop at the quality private hire market.

Best of luck with that, folks!

Frustrating Floral Fabrication?
Buoyed up by the astounding success of his signal box window box of stocks of phlox, fbb decided to begin an emulation of the Chelsea Flower show and create more displays for Peterville. 

An on-line advert looked ideal for the job ...
... and all for just three quid including postage from China for oodles of "diamond painting" bits. What a bargain!

But when the very small package  arrived ... Caveat Emptor, as they say in Wigan!
The "diamonds" were all browns, greys and dull reds - quite unsuitable for a gorgeous floral display at the station.

So fbb painted some of them yellow!
The idea was to scrape them off the greaseproof paper (when dry) and sprinkle them on the greenery in the long planter, bodged by fbb out of some odd bits of plastic strip with added plastic greenery.
But the "bits" remained sticky and clumped together; and the clumps looked unlike any flowers fbb had every witnessed.
Maybe large cauli-flowers?

What about smaller clumps?
Better, but the colour was too dull, to subdued. Most flowers are richly hued and bright to behold. So fbb repainted his clumps a lighter primrose yellow.
Much much better. And that is how a bed of sort-of primroses now adorns a gap in the sidings at Peterville station.
Not exactly like like the real thing, but, as ever, OK at normal viewing distance.
It will always be spring at Peterville.

Now what about some flowers on stalks?

Slick Tech From First
A few weeks back First South Yorkshire had to eat humble pie and announce that its super smashing fare technology wouldn't work.

The new launch date is tomorrow.
In an fbb exclusive, herewith a picture of First's technology staff as they left at the end of the working day (1300) yesterday.

Tomorrow, amongst other variety, a marriage in Wales.

 Next Variety Blog : Sunday 12th November 

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