Saturday 4 May 2024

Saturday Variety

 P5 P.S. : The Other P5

Above is the Surrey Commercial Docks area of London. Look very carefully and you can see a "Dock" bottom right. There won't be much docking there today!
The area is trendy residential with a shopping centre at the Overground station now renamed Surrey Quays. Some time way back then (late sixties) fbb and chum Northampton Alan paid a visit to Surrey Docks.

The attraction was a bus route, P2 from Rotherhithe.
The bus was flat fare ...
... and, fbb remembers, very uncomfortable! The loop round the docks was fascinating. Much of the warehouse clutter was still there ...
... as viewed above from the east with today's remaining non-dock lower left.  But fbb was emulating Horatio Nelson with his famous (and probably fictitious) phrase, "I see no ships". The docks area was desolate and almost dead.

fbb does, however, remember musing over which area of the docks inspired London Transport to use the letter P! 

Plus ca change!

Sometime later the P2 was amended and extended and brcame, tada, the P5, the other P5.
Because the area is now all residential, todays passengers have the privilege of the C10 and the 381.
The C10 runs from Victoria round the loop to Rotherhithe ...
... and the 381 runs from Waterloo to Peckham. 
Ah, yes, P for Peckham. 

Just creeping in to the shopping centre is a P route, viz the P12 ...
... which also runs to Peckham.

The first happening (early 1800s) in the Surrey Docks arey was the Grand Surrey Canal which eventually ran to Camberwell and had a branch to Peckham.
The docks soon followed.
A line of parkland now sits along the route of the long-closed canal.

A Bit Late Perhaps?
We young lads were told that slot-car racing would replace model railways - which it didn't. But it does seem that, unlike fbb's bodging and fudging, Scalextric (and others) have now become the toy of the W.O.M. brigade.

fbb was intrigued to receive this offer from a company that has supplied him with railway models.
The RRP is £44.

It is unlikely that the model will perform quite as well as the original!
W.O.M. = Wealthy Old Men.

Did You Love the LEV?
Certainly most folk seemed to hate the Pacer which developed from it. Many bus enthusiasts also hated the Leyland National which produced the LEV and, somewhat kit bashed, some of the Pacers.

LEV1 is being returned to the National Railway Museum after extended loan. 
The forerunner of all those nasty railbuses was the Leyland Experimental Vehicle, a joint venture between Leyland and BR  to combine the worst features of rail and bus. Here are some pictures of the various early railbuses with links.

The railbuses were powered by 200bhp 6-cylinder Leyland TL11 diesel engines, with fully automatic SCG  gearboxes and a Gmeinder final drive unit driving one axle. They were 12.3m long and consisted of a standard Leyland modular bus body on a chassis having suspension based on the HSFV series of experimental designs for freight vehicles but with flexicoil springing. This allowed for a double-ended body mounted at four resilient points on the underframe.

There were five single car railbuses built for trials on BR, including one built by Wickhams for export to USA. Amazingly, they have all survived.

From Stagecoach To First
Hovertravel ...
.. have been operating across the Solent since the late 1950s when a youthful fbb strolled along the beach to watch an arrival and departure from Appley, near Ryde. Probably in 1958 or 1959.

The service became permanent and the SRN6 craft were a familiar sight and familiar noise (very loud) as they plied their trade from Ryde to Southsea.
Stagecoach have held the contract to run a linking bus service from Portsmouth centre to terminal at Southsea. There has been a variety of liveries, some plain awful ...
... some with only a few windows obscured ...
... and most recently where the passengers have the privilege of seeing out of all the windows!
The newest version was launched by the great and good from both operations,
But a recent press release shows a small set of great and good, this time with a representative from First Bus, winners of the contract.
For the passenger it is a non-event as nothing changes. The route and timetables are exactly the same as before the change. So probably no one will notice.

First's livery is decidedly average ...
... on a bus which once zipped speedily along the busway between Fareham and Gosport.
Now it would be much more fun if it were a real Hoverbus!
Then there would be no need to change modes at Southsea!

It's Election Time!
Whilst he Conservative Party reels under the onslaught of "very sad" election results, we can now expect every political debate to be turned into an attempt to prise a few extra vites out of the truly fired up uo electorate. (Really?)

One "up" for re-election is Mt Khan, big cheese of London's Transport and, in his spare time, Mayor of London.

He has come up with another Superloop consisting of even more routes that appear not to be very Super and most certainly do not loop!

The map is (helpfully!) not a PDF so the place names are either too small to read or, when enlarged, too fuzzy to read.
At a very cursory glance, fbb thinks most of the new services are simply a re-jig of existing London Buses routes - as before. There appears to be nothing in any way revolutionary.

For example, one route is from Thamesmead to North Greenwich.

Here, from Mike Harris' chef d'oeuvre, is the 472 at Thamesmead ...
... and at North Woolwich.
But the even Super Super Loop map is very pretty if impossible for the casual observer to understand.

 Next Bank Holiday Quiz blog : Sunday 5 May 

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