A P.S. From Yesterday

fbb mentioned the “split step” as one of the SYPTE innovations. Brighton and Hove had similar on their back loaders yonks ago, but this aid to access was very new when it arrived in Sheffield. It is unfortunate that there was a lump of bus intruding into the bottom step to spoil the simplicity of the idea. Low floor buses rendered such a ruse unnecessary but they were a long time coming.
An Introduction
Peter Sephton, one of the many bosses in the PTE era was asked to write an intro to the Shades of Brown and Cream book. 
His opening paragraph does give some flavour of the overall contents.

The authors have certainly covered the aims and objectives of the politicians in their record of the innovation and development of the fleet. For fbb’s taste, however, there isn’t enough on the operational side of South Yorkshire PTE.

There are 18 pages of fleet lists but no network maps; not even a list of services “adopted” from Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster transport departments. Neither are there details of the county-wide route numbering system referred to by fbb in a previous blog.
The Context
The opportunity is missed to give a full location for many of the pictures. OK, there is a page about the trial of a Foden double decker …

… but it doesn’t tell you that the bus, as above, was pictured at the delightful City terminus of Ringinglow. 

Yes. It really was a terminus well within the city’s boundary!
The original service 4 is seen having reversed onto its stop opposite the hexagonal “Round House”.

Likewise, we are told of the experimental use of a bendybus on route 56 to Wybourn …

… and there is even a map, but a bit of context might have helped.

Wybourn is an ex council estate quite close to the city centre.

It is still served by a route 56 but it goes a different way!
Local colour, the bus set in its operating environment, is often a significant contribution to understanding the engineering and political policies. The Wybourn experiment was not pursued. It has been served with very ordinary buses ever since.

Bendy Bent Buses!
Of you like pictures of buses that have crashed or caught fire, this is definitely the book for you.

There are also chapters on the work of the depots and the engineers therein …

… plus a whole section about service vehicles including pictures of very venerable vehicles inherited from the Municipalities.

The Commer lorry was retained as an apprentice vehicle …

… still in Sheffield Transport livery; but fbb remember it in use. For example, it carried the railings for the temporary departure stand on Bridge Street for the buses to Hillsborough for Sheffield Wednesday home games.

Publicity Matters
There are, fortunately for the likes of fbb, a number of examples of printed publicity.  Here is Leon Motors service to Finnnigley., an independent company which was ultimately absorbed by the PTE …

… a leaflet for the villages to the north east of Doncaster amongst others

But there should have been more!

Also, and typical of the innovation mentioned in Peter Sephton’s introduction, were the Nippers. These were routes to areas which would have ben difficult to serve with a big bus.

They were part of the County’s political policy of ensuring that everyone had access to a bus service.

It was a noble but expensive aim as was the County’s low fares policy which fell fould of Margaret Thatcher’s “Commercialisation” and “No Subsidy” legislation.

The Politics Takes Over
Indeed, the book ends with the warning publicity put out by the PTE in protest at the forthcoming legislation.

Thus led to privatisation and deregulation and a slow but unstoppable decline in the Public Transport service for South Yorkshire. 

We are given a glimpse of the pre-privatisation “SYT” …

… and a glimpse of another thorn in the side of the bus services, namely the Supertram.

Rails Revolution??

The PTE did not last long enough to run the trams, but, ironically, a change of operating company is happening right now. (See tomorrow’s blog).

Of course, the PTE also had responsibility for local trains, but, unlike the other PTE areas, South Yorkshire only managed to ever paint one DMU in “Shades of Brown and Cream.”

A railway snippet will follow tomorrow.

A Conclusion
The book is expensive but does have 420 pages to partially mitigate the cost!

If you like buses and their technology, this is an excellent and stimulating book. If you want to know where and when the buses ran, fbb recommends that you borrow someone else’s copy or find a nice man like Riger French to give you theirs!

fbb suspects that, had he suggested spending £40 on a bus book to the domestic finance committee, there would have been a large number of raised eyebrows.
Perhaps NOT a book for the average enthusiast but most definitely a good buy for the engineering and vehicle specialist.
So the three chosen disciples accompanied Jesus up the hill to experience a superhuman vision of Jesus as the Son of God, rather than Jesus the popular itinerant preacher from Nazareth,

And they were FRIGHTENED; they would have been scared witless. So they wanted to build tents for the three apparitions in human form. Weird or what?

Not weird at all. From the Mount of Olives, they could look down over the Temple and see the Festival of Tabernacles in progress. At night is was particularly glorious. It was a magnificent festival of light, of music and of worship.
For the week of the knees-up families would build huts in which to take their meals, sometimes called “booths” but, in posh terms, called “tabernacles” (OK, tents in modern parlance). The whole shebang was to remember God’s salvation and guidance (pillar of fire, remember?) as they fled slavery and made their way hesitantly to the Promised Land.
It made a bit of panicky sense to build tents for the Divine threesome!
But there was more.

The Jews were the “apple of God’s eye” and the apple is a “pome“. The nissing four letter fruit is also a pome.

  Next South Yorks Catch-up blog : Weds 20th Match 
Generated by Feedzy