Leigh Park Bodge-Up

As well as not finishing the job, a weary fbb used the wrong route number. It was route 68. Yesterday’s blog has been corrected! The 68 arrived in 1958 (another correction) and served areas of new-build to the west of the embryonic shopping centre (which was located at the roundabout, upper right on the map below).

Note, again, that the impetus is to get buses on the road as people moved in to their new homes; or, where possible, before they arrived.

The route was via Bedhampton Way to the shops, via much more of Purbrook Way, then right into Park House Farm Way to the terminus at the end of Linkenholt Way. 

The equivalent stops today are for Stagecoach 39, Waterlooville to Havant.

And A Wrong Guess
fbb was unsure of where West Leigh crossroads was situated, He suggested here …

… lower right at the junction with Bedhampton Way.

It is the next junction north with Stockheath Road and Martin Road.

But, advises Portsmouth Alan, when Petersfield Road became a dual carriageway, the link to Martin Road was blocked.

Here is a picture from way back; Stockheath Road is on the left and Martin Road on the right.

It’s changed a bit!

With the disconnected Martin Road over on the right.

fbb will leave his punctilious readers to mentally re-route the 46/46a journeys to “Leigh Park” via the corrected West Leigh Crossroads – it doesn’t matter much!

Mispronounced Model Manufacturer

Above is Fred Francis, a toolmaker with a works in Mill Hill, London from where he began manufacturing toys. A working typewriter was his first project …

… followed by the ingenious Traffic Car which stopped and reversed if it hit an obstacle.
He was persuaded by favourable finances and the availability of new-build housing to move his business to Leigh Park where a new factory was built, one of the first on the New Lane industrial area.
Fred looked a good few years younger then …

 … but probably didn’t build the works by himself or even with a chum!

Here he was able to develop two ranges. Scalex cars were “pull back” clockwork and, for their time, quite sophisticated models.

The alternativer range was Startex and here you pulled a string to wind the motor – so no key to lose. Neat eh? 

Assembly was largely by hand with the tinplate parts being excised on a manual pressing-out gubbins  …
… with simple production lines for things like painting.
But Fred’s big and most successful idea was electric cars that ran in a slot in a roadway. He used his existing brand, Scalex and added Tric as in electric …

… thus condemning commentators and enthusiasts alike to pronounce it as Scalectrix. It is slightly easier to say than the correct version.

A move to a bigger factory round the back of the shopping centre soon came as production increased.

The business was growing.

But plastic was cheaper and more versatile than tinplate and lent itself to proper production lines. With some regret Fred decided that it was all getting too big and better finance would be needed.

So in 1958, four short yearsnn after moving south, he sold out to Triang.
Scalextric is now manufactured overseas and the parent company is now called Hornby! Like Leigh Park it’s all changed a bit.

Foolish First Bus
It is really hard to make sense of this company. Sometimes good things appear like route branding and the occasional (very occasional) well designed printed leaflet. But mostly it is all about reacting negativelynm to increased costs and a declining customer base. Proactive is a naughty word at First Bus management meetings.
A long tome ago, fbb registered for updates from First Potteries. When First Everywhere In The Midlands (and South Yorkshire) became a thing, someone carried over the emailing list.
So fbb gets stuff like this.

All you can do in Sheffield this weekend appears to be Ninja Warrior UK – no, fbb has no idea! Or he could enjoy a weekend of roller skating.

That’s it!
Clearly, management is actually anxious to discourage patronage in any way possible. So the latest reactive nonsense is to change all the timetables to improve reliability.
Yeah, right!
Here’s what is happening from September 3rd.

So to confuse passengers and discourage the use of the buses, “timings will be a little different, and not at a set frequency as they are now.”

Absolutely, utterly crackpot!
What the customer needs is a timetable they can understand which delivers a reliable and easy-to-remember frequency.
What the customer doesn’t need is built in scheduled unreliability.
Hey ho, more passengers lost, reduced frequencies and the downward spital continues.
Does ANYBODY at First havre any sense?
A Nice Ice And Ice Blue Bus
This is  Cardiff’s open topper for this summer. (remember,k previously they borrowed one from Reading Buses.) The service is not particularly lavish …

… but the bus looks smart!

The bus was previous fully topped and operated by Transpora as seen on Blackpool sea front …

… and on tram replacement in Manchester.

Its origins were with London United.

Did the lads at Leckwith Road get the tin opener out to convert to open top?

fbb guesses that you DON’T get a free ice cream with every trip.
 Next Variety blog : Sunday 13th August 
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