Tuesday, 28 June 2005

Jacksons Boat

Up in Manchester for a family visit. I came from Manchester but Torquay is home now. Not much happening on Monday so I went down Memory Lane just for the fun of it. This is the Jacksons Boat pub on the boundry between Sale and Manchester on the River Mersey.

It used to be a place to spent the old Sunday out. The River Mersey and Chorlton medows made a change from the Urban Jungle we used to live in. Also the fact that there was a Sewerage Farm 200 yds along the river added to the attraction. That's gone now and the electric pylons that marched over the landscape also have gone.

The other interesting thing about this place is that it was the first pint of beer ever place and it was nice to go back to where it all started.

This is the River Mersey which used to be one of the dirtiest rivers in the North of England.

One time when I went down there, there was a car that some one had parked neatly in the middle of the river. But you can see it is much nicer now.

Monday, 27 June 2005

An other success story

When we get to our destinations at Newton Abbot and Brixham one of the things we have to do is reset the destination blinds. The destination blinds on the number 12 buses are electronic and can be reset fairly easily. In Newton they show in smaller letters TORQUAY and PAIGNTON and in larger letters BRIXHAM. This indicates that the bus goes first to Torquay, then to Paignton and on to Brixham. This helps if you are a stranger to the area and are not sure where the bus goes.

In Brixham they showed TORQUAY in smaller letters and NEWTON ABBOT in larger letters. This did not let holiday makers know we were going to Paignton. Last summer we spent a lot of time reasuring passengers that we did go via Paignton. One time a couple of weeks ago, when I went into Brixham I arrived when the bus in front of me was just pulling away. I notice a little old lady sitting at the bus stop looking a little worried. I got off the bus and asked her which bus she was waiting for. "The Paignton bus," came the reply. When I told her that the bus that had just gone went to Paignton she said that it didn't say so on the front and she had let two other number 12's go. I asked her why she had not asked the driver and she said,"Where I come from you don't ask the bus drivers questions." I took her to Paignton.

When I go back to control I wrote a memo asking that Paignton be included in the list of places we stop at and a few days later there was a man from head office changing all the blinds. I am thinking of putting in a memo to have the blind include,
"Please Tip Driver Generously"

Friday, 24 June 2005

Coach in the Way

Some one has converted this old coach into a motor home and parked it on the main road between Paignton and Brixham. Posted by Hello

As you can see there isn't enough room to get the bus past if there is any thing coming the other way. As this is a busy road there tends to be some thing coming the other way most of the day. Some years ago an armoured personnel carrier was parked in the same place. It also caused problems getting the bus past it. It stayed there all summer and the police said they could do nothing about it. So it looks like we are stuck with this coach until the end of summer or until some one tells the police that it is Obstructing the Highway.

Car hits Motor Cycle.

A car and the motor bike came into contact in Torbay Road, Preston.

I usually carry my camera with me and if I get a chance to take a photo I will. Not all of then are quite as grim as this one though.


I was woken up this morning about 6 am. Thunder, lightening, Rain and the
dustbin cart were the culprits. It was raining so heavily that the drains
could not cope. In the street the water was coming up out of the grids and
in the back where our main house drain is, there was and ever growing pond,
almost a lake.

We sat there and watched the water almost make it to the back door and
consoled our selves the garden needed the rain. Fortunately it eased off
before the house got flooded, still it's good for the garden.

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Thursday, 23 June 2005

More on Corbin Head Road Works.

The road works continue at Corbin Head. At the road works there is a bus stop. there is a bay for the buses to pull into but the traffic going past the holes in the road has to move part of the way into this bay. Our control office has said that we must stop at this stop.

Yesterday while I was waiting in the traffic heading towards Paignton I could see the bus ahead off me pull on to the stop. While it was loading up the traffic lights changed and traffic coming from paignton started to come through the road works.A coach appeared and had to inch slowly past to bus due to the lack of room. then an other coach appeared and while it was also inching it's way past the bus the lights changed. The Traffic in front of me could not move as the road was blocked.

By the time the second coach and all the traffic behind it had cleared the road works our lights had gone on to red and we were stuck.I really do mean 'We were stuck'. The traffic lights are controlled by a radar gun which detects approaching traffic and changes the lights. As the traffic hadn't move the radar didn't detect any approaching traffic and the lights didn't change. We sat there for 4 minutes watching cars come from Paignton. I hate to think how much traffic pilled up behind up in these four minutes.

In the end a motor bike came up on the out side as motor bikes do and the radar gun detected it and did its job. If the motor bike hadn't turned up we would have been there still.I reported this to control at the end of my duty and hopefully the Corbin Head bus stop will have an out of use notice stuck on it some time to day.

P.S. Where is Cloud Cuckoo Land? I only ask because lots of times I get told I am living there.

Wednesday, 22 June 2005

Two happy passengers Posted by Hello

Bus Driving

Stopping a bus from the outside.
No, not you dear reader, the person at the bus stop.
I don't want to stop, I want to keep going so I can get to the terminus and have a smoke. Stopping means I face the probability of being asked hard to answer questions like 'How much is it to Brixham?' or 'What time is the last bus?'or 'Where were the last 3 buses?' The passengers on the bus don't want me to stop, they just want to get where they are going as quickly as possible without some vastly overweight person who smells getting on the bus and sitting next to them in the only empty seat on the bus. The car drivers behind don't want me to stop as they will have to check their mirrors, slow down, signal to the drivers behind and the pull out in the face of car drivers coming the other way who also don't want me to stop. The car drivers half a mile back down the road don't want me to stop as it means the will have to risk life, limb and the nearside of their car trying to get past me as I put on a right turn signal and pull straight out in front of them with total disregard for the fact that they have speeded up to 50 mph in a misguided attempt to get in front of me. Who can blame them, even I don't like travelling behind a bus?
So you are the only person on the face of the planet who wants me to stop. Put some effort into getting me to stop. Lie in the road, take all your clothes off and hold a big sign with 'Please Stop' written on it, or just put your hand out.
PS These methods of getting the bus to stop are not guaranteed. There are some bloody minded bus drivers out there who will find any excuse to stare in the rear view mirror from the moment they see you at the stop until they are well past you. Sorry about that.