An Open Letter To First Great Western

Above is an example of the publicity you produce for the Tarka Line. You may not have heard of it, but it is one of yours. It runs every hour from Exeter to Barnstaple through some very pleasant country offering a huge range of walks and opportunities to explore quaint and interesting communities.
It is an ideal tourist line.
Your member of staff at Barnstaple station informed the author of this blog that you do not consider such things as printed publicity necessary,
Here is a sample of some of the bus publicity prepared for similar road vehicle explorations throughout Eng;and,
Peak Sightseer
Tour based on Chatsworth, Derbyshire

Snowdon Sherpa
North Wales

This covers a wide range of services that offer excellent opportunities to enjoy the Snowdon area.

And as a special bonus, you can have the information twice; once in English and once in Welsh on the back.of the same leaflet. Or on the front if you are Welsh speaking.

Good innit – and it encourages visitors to use he bus! 

Perhaps you don’t want people to use your trains, it is very inconvenient if they do.
And fbb does know that the Welsh Government has decreed that Snowdon no longer exists.
Southern Vectis
Isle Of Wight
All Bus Operators

And you can get key tourist routes TWICE via a second leaflet!

If course, there is no mention of the Island Line in it, operated by another First Rail company, but you may not have heard of South Western Railway.

All the above printed publicity is widely distributed in the areas concerned, to tourist information offices, hotels, places of interest etc..
But apparently your associated rail company doesn’t want passengers.
Maybe you are in the wrong business?
If printed publicity isn’t necessary (so you say), why do these companies produce it?
My guess is tha they want to attract more business and a piece of paper or a booklet in hand is far more effective than the incessant prodding of a keyboard.
Saving The Planet (1) Electric Cars
They are heavier that petrol or diesel cars, so, whilst saving the planet, it now appears that …

… they break up the roads because they are carrying those chunky and environmentally damaging batteries.

Saving The Planet (2) Hydrogen Buses

And we all know how environmentally costly it is to make Hydrogen and transport it.

Saving The Planet (3) Cheap Trams?

Twaddle, TfL.

Whenever an organisation is cornered (see the rail unions) it always plays the “safety issue” card.

The company is offering to build a tram at no cost to the taxpayer.

Maybe it IS too good to be true – but surely, TfL, it is worth a serious look?

Saving The Planet (4) – Express Busway?

This blog has already recorded the stunning success of Fastrack in the Dartford area. Its core services have been reduced and the super duper “keep cars off the road” route AZ for Amazon has been an utter failure.

To build on this stunning success (Ahem?), Kent is constructing another one. Details are sketchy on-line, but a new bus only road is being build from B & Q at Whitfield …

… then across the A2 …

… and on to ordinary roads in Dover. At the edge of the town, the new busway will serve a housing development on the site of the former Connaught Barracks.

There is some disquiet locally that this new road will take buses from Whitfield to the traffic jams of Dover slightly faster but at significant expense. “Why,” asks a local blogger, “is money beng spent on this waste-of-space when bus companies are reducing services all over the place.”

See Dartford Fastrack!
This is the Dover Fastrack in diagram form.

fbb awaits the timetable with interest.

Cross-Patch About Thatch

It is very rare indeed for thatch to look like the above. Apart from a few regional examples, when you look at thatch you look at the end of the straw or reed, and NOT its length.

So fbb was anxious that his new old cottage had good, accurate thatch. So off the old bodger staggered to Bradfords yard, almost next door to fbb mansions. 

Thatch was purchase for a modest £3.53. 

… and fbb only needed one of the five sheets.

Here is attempt one with ‘thatch” on the new old extension.

The process was surprisingly effective, so work continued on the original cottage.

You can see he join between “extension” and original, which will eventually be filled in. You can also see the gloop of PVA (No More Nails) needed to hold the “thatch” in place and cover joins between bits of sandpaper. It will look better when it dries.

So what dolour will fbb use to paint the thatch? Most thatch, once aged a year or two, is a muddy grey colour as here in Godshill, Isle of Wight …

… so that’s a start.

Note, also, that fbb has added some timber framework. More painting to tackle and there is a need for window frames in the extension. More for the bodger modeller to bodge.

A bodger, however, was once a skilled craftsman, not an incompetent worker. As an aside, fbb will bring a real bodger to the blog tomorrow.
Please note : on Sunday and Monday the fbbs will be welcoming guests to their Fellowship meetings; this month with a cream team. Mrs fbb’s scones are the best in the western arm of the galaxy, and fbb writes without bias of any kind.

It maybe that Monday’s and Tuesday’s blogs are curtailed due to either weariness or gluttony or indigestion or all three.
 Next Variety Blog : Sunday 2nd July 
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