Saturday 10 February 2024

Saturday Variety

Manchester City into Manchester city

This footy stadium is located in the Etihad district of Manchester, (?) according to its official name. It is the home of big successful footy club, Manchester City. The club has just announced a massive network of footy match special buses to transport fans to stadium.

The new network is far-ranging.
Here is the detail for any readers who want to try out the new services, starting on 17th inst.

Greater Manchester East
North West
South West
In his excitement to record this news, fbb has missed off Macclesfield at the bottom of the above map. Sorry, Macclesfield.

There are no times given in the introductory asticle, but then times will vary week by week according to kick-off time. 

For an early evening KO you would leave Macclesfield at 1500. The services are (very) limited stop.
It is not a cheap ride!

Nostalgic Northampton Nuggets

Fancy A Holiday? Wellies Essential
When TV started up in earnest post WW2, classics academics immediately predicted its failure. "No word that combines Greek and Latin can ever be a success - television is doomed!"

Tele is Greek; Vision is Latin. Likewise Aqua is Latin and Drome is Greek.

fbb worked there as a schoolboy and student and became de-facto a sort of assistant to the boss. His work was mainly ordering, stocking and selling at the refreshment kiosks ...
... but occasionally he was allowed to drive the train.
Back then the park was served by York Btos bus to Cogenhoe and beyond.

The local owners sold the business to a national leisure outfit and it expanded dramatically with many mo caravans, assorted chalets and all-year-round residences. Actually they were technically not annually occupied; residents had to leave for six weeks each year.
Day visitors can still go by bus using Stagecoach 16 ...
... and a footpath from Fishponds Road. 
Not many people go by bus!

The Park is built around some worked out gravel pits and on the flood plain of the River Nene. So every few years chalet residents and caravan owners get a bit of a soggy surprise.
This winter was worse than usual ...
... with rescue being necessary.
Maybe not quite a perfect holiday destination.

See Uno Go, You Know ...
Registrations posted with the Traffic Commissioners recently included the cancellation of all UNO services in the town to be replaced by Stagecoach.

Did they jump or were they pushed?

The main service 19/19A, linking the new campus south of the town centre with Halls of Residence at the old site ...
... will be replaced by a rejig of Stagecoach's current service 4.
This would just need extending to the Uni campus ...
... and variations 4A and 4B are included in the plans which should make a lot of sense for all concerned.

Stagecoach has also registered the existing UNO Park and Ride route 18 ...
... but the competitive non-University 21 is not being replaced as such.
All parts of the 21 are covered by existing Stagecoach routes, so we can expect some minor re-jigs in the "Eastern District".

As many readers will know, published registrations tell you nothing about routes or timetables; they merely report that something will happen. To find the detail you have to go to the Traffic Commissioners' Offices, which, these days, are probably located on North Uist!

fbb awaits timetables with interest.

It Seemed A Good Idea At The Time
"You see," said Councillor Fred Twinge, "now we've demolished that horrible bus station that was big enough for all the services, we can build a new bus station which won't be big enough and make absolutely oodles of money by selling the Greyfriars site."

Which they did, but the developer walked away and nothing has happened since.
It would, of course, be an excellent site for a new bus station that was actually big enough for all the services!

"But," says Councillor Thrubley, "we can spend loadsmoney to create an urban open space which we will not be able to maintain and which will become a no-go area populated by the less desirable members of Northampton's youff."
"We can also turn the existing and very useful car park ...
... into pleasant greenery as well."
"Ah but," he said, "It won't be ALL park."

So that's all right then?


Buying An 8F - Or Buying An 8F
Hornby have just announced supplies of their new LMS 8F goods loco.
And it is ONLY (???!!!) £230. OUCH.

But when it was Hornby Dublo in the mid 1960s the company introduced a superb (for its day) model of an ...
... LMS 8F. Back then, fbb's modest pocket money made a purchase impossible but he could, and did, drool and dream.

It is, of course, a less detailed model than the 'new tooling" but is readily available for a modest price.

For more nostalgia, here is the 8F in a two-rail "heavy goods" set.
Another product which caused a youthful fbb to gaze lovingly at an impossible dream. And there was a three-rail set as well.
The huge cost of maintaining TWO electrical systems was one of the nails in the coffin for Hornby Dublo.

Production of the 8F continued from Wrenn until that company also went bust.
A real 8F would cost even more than the new Hornby model ...
... and probably wouldn't fit in the garden.

 Next Variety blog : Sunday 11th February 


  1. Etihad is the name of an airline, presumably sponsors of the football club!

  2. In 1962 the Hornby 2-8-0 cost £4/11/6, equivalent to about £82 today.

  3. Unlikely Uno were ‘pushed’ from Northampton. Uno Buses Ltd - the Northampton operator (not Universitybus Ltd which runs in Herts) - is 50% owned by the University. So simply economics I presume!