Remember Branscombe?

Axe Valley Mini Travel service 899 appears just west of the Mason’s Arms on its way from Seaton to Beer, Branscombe and Sidmouth. This is the main stop (the only stop!) for the centre of the village – The Square. Facilities for waiting passengers are hardly lavish …

… but it is but a short step to pub and square.

Stop, top left; pub, top centre; square, lower right.

It was ever thus.
Mr K sent fbb these two pictures of a Westen National 497 at the same spot.

And the actual stop is that yellow blob on the wall of the cottage.

This showed a selection of local timetables overprinted with “BUS STOP” in red.

The depot currently used by Axe Valley …

… was where the green single decker would sleep at nights!

Thanks Mr K!

Nearly As Old As fbb!

News breaks thar Heyfordian Coaches is closing after 76 years of service to folk in the Bicester area of Oxfordshire. In recent years, the company has run tendered bus services (as 103 above), coach hire and a substantial holidays and tour business.
In the not too distant past there was even an express service to London.
The business closed on 2nd August as confirmed by a note on the company web site.
The company also ran double decks at times …
… this one (KXS 715K) being originally with Grahams of Paisley, also now no longer with us!
It looked nicer in Graham’s’ livery!

Puzzle Picture

 ” is for Motorail. Thus model is of a car carrying “coach” built by Newton Chambers originally turned out in British Railways maroon and subsequently in Blue/Grey and branded Motorail. But services existed pre-Motorall as here from London to Exeter and Barnstaple …

… and Surbiton (?) to Okehampton.

Most cars were carried in GUVs (General Utility Vehicles) with end loading doors …

… but the Newton Chambers vehicles were sort-of double deck – better perhaps a deck and a half. Cars were first loaded for the lower half deck which was in the form of a “tank” built between the bogies.
Once the bottom was full, ramps were adjusted and a line of cats could trundle along at the top level.
The cars were  loaded by BR staff and not their owners. Clearances were very tight! Originally the vans were equipped with skylights, just visible on the monochrome picture above.

Models in maroon …

… and blue/grey …

… are being offered as singles in the Bachmann EFE range and as sets of three …
… from Heljan. fbb thinks they are the same models. 
But they don’t come with internal ramps or a set of six cars.

Heljan tells the tale.

Originally designated as TCVs, the vehicles later became NVV (vacuum braked) and NVX (dual braked) under BR’s TOPS computer system. Unusually, they featured a hydraulically operated central well capable of storing two cars as well as four cars on the upper deck – a 50% increase in capacity over more conventional car carrying vehicles of the time. 

When introduced in the early-1960s, the TCV car transporters were used between London, York and Edinburgh in sets of five or six vehicles with a handful of BR maroon Mk1 coaches, hauled by ex-LNER ‘Pacifics’ and later BR green ‘Deltics’, Class 40s, 45s, 46s or 47s. From the late-1960s onwards, they were painted in BR blue/grey and started to venture further afield on ‘Motorail’ services from London and northern England to the West of England, being hauled by Class 45s, 46s, 47s and ‘Westerns’. However, they were closely associated with the East Coast Main Line throughout their career. 

Correspondent Andrew opined that the vehicles were rebuilt from existing vans indicated by a suffix letter Ein the fleet number. If they were, it was a major rebuild!

The lower deck cars were lowered in a hydraulically operated “cage” which dropped where the normal chassis members would have been!

Clever eh?

fbb believes (hesitantly) that, as a teenager, he travelled with papa and car from Inverness to York and the car was carried in one if these. It was an overnight service and the two travellers took a sleeping car compartment for the ride.

And The Translation?

Simple really!

fbb The Style Icon
The fbb’s late middle son oft referred to his father as “just a style icon” which he mose certainly wasn’t. But maybe Neil was something of a visionary. This parcel arrived for your well-dressed blogger a day or two ago.

It contained a pair of very ordinary “smart casual” black trousers of no particular style! (Thought? Why do we call it/them a “pair” of trousers when there is only one garment?) Herewith four trousers?
The French are sensible. It is un pantalon! 
In tomorrow’s blog, fbb explores “Windows 2000” and not a computer in sight. He also takes a tilt at another railway model and, more particularly its fill size progenitor. Private Eye is involved.

    Next Variety blig : Sunday 6th August 
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