Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Let's Look At Lincoln (1)

Green Has Gone!
Lincoln green is the colour of dyed woollen cloth associated with Robin Hood and his merry men in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire. The dyers of Lincoln, a cloth town in the high Middle Ages, produced the cloth by dyeing it with woad (Isatis tinctoria) to give it a strong blue, then overdyeing it yellow with weld (Reseda luteola) or dyers' broom, Genista tinctoria.

Actual examples of the colour do differ with all four of these on-line panels claiming to be authentic ...
... but Lincoln's City Corporation buses were always painted with Lincoln Green. Yet again, colours are subjective and depend upon how they are processed, as can be seen by comparing two pictures of the same bus model.
For fbb, the top one has just a touch too much yellow, but the bottom is far too green.

In reality the buses looks varied, depending on lighting and the amount of muck added to the hue. Latterly some buses had reversed colours with cream in total domination.
Your author's preference is, as you might expect, with the more ancient, traditional and expensive style as exemplified on this open-staircase model.
The superb preserved Guy Arab represents an interim half and half phase.
But all of these were so much better than the absolutely awful "privatisation" scheme.
Just one strip in three was "proper" green, and even the white (off white) looked amateurish.

But, like many municipal companies, Lincoln City Transport struggled and eventually sold out to Road Car in 1993.

Lincolnshire Road car (as it once was) was a dyed-in-the-wool (but not Lincoln Green dye!) part of the National Bus Company which sold out to Yorkshire Traction which was, in turn, bought by Stagecoach.

Privatised Road Car also developed a distinctive identity with numerous variations.
The combined company seemed only to be able to afford second-hand vehicles and it really was no surprise when Uncle Brian snatched up the "Traction" group.

Although fbb occasionally visited Lincoln, usually with a gaggle of Bible Class members in tow, he is not well versed in its public transport of former years.

On line information shows a City bus station completed in 1978 ...
... which, as bus stations go, did not look too bad, even recently.
fbb did pop in way back when to collect some timetables.

There had also been stands in the nearby Lincolnshire bus garage at St Mark Street ...
... ultimately sacrificed to "redevelopment".

The juxtaposition of these facilities can be gleaned from the map extract below.
But the onward charge of development is irresistible, so we are told, and the bus station site was far too valuable to be used for non-profitable business activity. So it had to go.
A temporary facility was set up in the former car park on Tentercroft Street (on the map above, shown at the bottom centre) ...
Here is a view with the tower of the railway station peeping over he wall.
The new development was not just a bus station rebuild, but a major rejig of the whole area adjacent to the railway station. Compare Google Earth ...
... with work in progress on Good Maps aerial view.
We will examine the likely results tomorrow.

 Next Lincoln blog : Thursday 1st February 

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

And Even More ...

Chippy Bus Chopped
Thanks to fbb's correspondents, fbb can report that the ex GoAhead Chippy Bus DID serve Denby Dale and was featured in the local rag, The Huddersfield Examiner, some time ago.

Using the same journalistic skill that announces every red bus as being from London, it would appear that every yellow bus is a school bus! It isn't and this one wasn't (see yesterday's blOg).

The "video" purports to show the inside of the bus as converted - but the video isn't there. One correspondent (to the web site, not to this blog) reports that the bus has gone and the chips are served from "just a van". Correspondent Roy tells us that the bus now languishes in a Barnsley scrapyard.

Memories of Cubs.
fbb attended cubs at Weston Favell Church Hall, but, fortunately, no pictures exist of that part of the old man's life. The hall has gone all posh!
But it was a search for Yorkshire Tiger's cubs ...
... that brought some fondly rememberED adverts frem the bowels of the interwebnet.

The Leyland Tiger Cub was marketed as a low cost low maintenance bus ...
... or coach.
Of course, that was the chassis. Operators would also need to choose a bodywork supplier. This coach ...
... from Caelloi of Pwllheli, looks a bit weird. The company is still trading and advertises itself ...
... as the oldest coach and bus company continuously trading in the UK. It claims a history dating back to 1851!!

The founder, Tomos Huws, was given a donkey by a local farmer when bad health compelled him to give up his low-paid farm job. The object of the donkey was to set him up in business as a carrier and carriers were very much in demand in that era.

The trouble was that Tomos could not afford a cart. However, a kindly farmer gave him two wheels, and Tomos completed the project by nailing a few planks of wood and fixing a pair of shafts. That was how Caelloi started to serve the Lleyn Peninsula and North Wales.

The business was eventually taken over by Mr Huws daughter and her husband Thomas Jones. It was their son Thomas, better known to the people of Lleyn as Tomi Caelloi, who persuaded his parents to invest in a motor lorry, which was converted into a bus by means of a tarpaulin over the top, and the run from the home base in Dinas to Pwllheli became motorised.

This Tiger Cub bus carries an unusual two door body and was used by Manchester Corporation Transport.
Portsmouth also had two door Cubs with, if fbb remembers correctly, the rearmost door set further back.

fbb well remembers riding around the coalfields of South Yorkshire in vehicles belonging to Yorkshire Traction. The seats were packed in, there was minimal legroom and journeys were often fun but uncomfortable.

Ghastly at Guildford
This is what Guildford railway station looked like in days gone by - sweet.
And this is what it looks like now.
Frankly, it was not an improvement; the entrance area is too small and cluttered and the "retail facilities" are poor. The platforms used to look like this ...
... and have been rebuilt reasonably attractively.
But a company called "Solum" wanted the station buildings to look like this.
The Council refused permission so the company produced a "scaled down" version.
It doesn't look much different to fbb, but again the council, on behalf of the people who christened it "The Great Wall of Guildford", refused.

Solum appealed and, much to the disgust of almost everyone in the town except Solum, the refusal was refused and the development can go ahead.
So much for the Government Policy of delegating stuff to the local people.

Compliments for Classical Cambridge
Here, on the other hand, the station remains much the same.
In fact all those arches used to be open.
The remaining open section at the near end had been filled in and the ugly canopy removed, leaving a clean and tidy building retaining much of its classical character.
Pity about the bicycle clutter!

Now we read that Anglia Railway has won an award for their efforts to fettle up the decorative bosses above each arch. 

They've Bought "The Book"
"Buying the Book" is coach industry shorthand for what is reported above. York Pullman has purchased the company name, visible presence of Stephensons on-line plus and details of future bookings for coach hire. It has not, apparently, bought any tangible assets.

It is therefore likely hat the Stephensons name will continue as a brand of York Pullman.

And finally, an apology.
Things have been a bit hairy for a day or so c/o fbb. One of his church leaders has suffered a series of minor strokes and there will be quite a lot to sort out and much to exercise the mind, including a greater urgency to prepare services and other talks. The promised Lincoln blog should appear tomorrow but the research and planning needed was a step too far for today's posting. All at the church are praying for Bill's recovery and for some peace of mind for his wife Helen.

Thank you all for your patience.

 Next Lincoln blog (hopefully) : Weds 31st January 

Monday, 29 January 2018

Denby Dale And Elsewhere

Pointless Peterborough Publicity?
fbb was quite excited to received a Twit from the Nene Valley Railway (NVR) advertising services using their iconic Swedish Railcar.
She is named Helga and looks quite weird alongside UK stock and locos.
But that is a delight of the NVR, namely its eclectic mixture of UK and Continental stock. fbb was anxious to help promote this event with a "re-tweet" (?) or a mention on this blog. The message was waiting for fbb after church on Sunday 28th, read just before one of Mrs fbb's stonkingly good Sunday lunches (roast plus rhubarb crumble and custard!).

The date for the diary ...
... Sunday 28th.

Bit late in the day, eh, NVR twit writer? Maybe the too-late arrival might be something to do with the mysterious machinations of the mechanism that manipulates the Twitter system, or so ...
... a little bird told us.

ABCD - A Bus Chippy @ Denby?
When researching "stuff" for Denby Dale, this picture popped up on-line. The chippy bus operates (operated ??) out of Huddersfield, but its photographer did not know anything about its itinerary. Does it do dinners at Denby?

It began life with GoAhead North East ...
... and was repainted yellow.
Yellow plus red additions was for the resurrection of the "Venture" brand.
Did he chippy bus ever get full Ventiure branding or was it just a stickers-applied job?
If it still operates, does it sell good chips?

Interesting Interchange Infuriates!
Yorkshire Tiger service 81, 82 and 83 provide a lavish three buses an hour at the shelter just outside Denby Dale railway Station.
We already know that there is no train timetable on the station; neither is there a bus timetable on the station. There are no signs to the exit via the car park ...
... and nothing on the platform to reveal anything about buses. The obvious station exit takes the unwary passenger through the subway and down the long steep path, presumably to search for buses on the main road.
Furthermore, the buses to Holmfirth (435/6/7), a potentially useful link indeed, DON'T service he station. Are they advertised, with a map, at the station stop? Guess!

And who runs the trains? All together now, "ARRIVA".

And who owns the bus company? All together now, "ARRIVA".


Non PC PC?
In the good old days, sending postcards was a huge craze. For just  ha'p'ny (half an old penny) ...
... for the stamp and perhaps a penny for the card, you could share all sorts of delights with the recipient. One of yesterday's shots of Paris floods in 1910 was from a post card.
When the Penistone viaduct fell down in 1916 ...
... the card publishers were quick to cash in.

A temporary station was created at the northern end of the viaduct to allow breathless passengers to continue their journey. It was installed there, to the right (south) of Barnsley Road.
There was no free replacement transport to fill the gap.

Such a non-Politically Correct Post Card would be roundly condemned in today's litigious society; we leave that sort of stuff to Social Media!

Tomorrow we go to Lincoln.

 Next Rebranding Revolution blog : Tuesday 30th January