Thursday, 1 September 2011

Northamptonshire's Noteworthy News

  Significant September Celebrations?   

Credit where Credit is Due!

fbb used to live here ...
... and for eight years travelled to school here ...
... Northampton Grammar School (Town and County). Eight years at secondary school? Best not to ask or fbb might delight in giving you the whole lengthy story. Anyway, travel to and from this esteemed establishment of academe was by York Brothers bus. In fbb's day that was a family run firm with one of the "brothers" being the conductor and the other driving from time to time. Sadly fbb only has a very poor quality slide from post educational years ...
... of a bus about to disgorge its load of passengers at Little Billing Church. Yorks buses and coaches were always smartly presented and each one was named after a navy warship. A youthful fbb enjoyed tasty Bedford OB "HMS Cumberland", his schoolday duplicate, and sought to sit near the door which he would slide with great enthusiasm  and aplomb. One man operation made this enjoyable chore necessary. Best picture is of a model (sadly not the OB) ...
... but you get the idea.

There is insufficient room in a brief blog to chart the history of Yorks route to Cogenhoe (pronounced Cook-No) but it was subsumed into service "improvements" as Northampton town expanded dramatically in the mid 60s; then became United Counties services 363 and 364, and finally reappeared, no longer via Little Billing, as the Y4 ...
... but a fleeting shadow of its former self. Here is a Yorks coach waiting its turn at Northampton bus station. In 1997, Yorks itself was taken over by Bowens, whose livery style has, sadly, replaced the two-tone blue.
So, what might one expect from the pre-announced major re-jig of services by the County, designed to save 70% ** of the transport budget? An ideal candidate for total extermination?

But not so. From Monday 5th September Roys Minibuses of Finedon (sort of near Wellingborough, if that helps) ...
... will operate route 43 ...
... offering an IMPROVED service, particularly to the villages of Bozeat and Wollaston!

Indeed, many of the changes incorporated in Northamptonshire's re-organisation scheme also offer some improvements and fbb will blog appropriately in due course.

So perhaps fbb and other commentators were a little hasty when they expressed alarm at the County's plan. Maybe things are not quite so bad as they originally seemed. Further investigation will be necessary.

But, at least for now, Credit where Credit is Due; albeit tinged with sadness for fbb as Yorks disappear from what remained of his local route!

** The original County proposals were to remove 100% of the bus subsidy budget. More of this apparent volte-face later.

  fbb visited Northampton yesterday 31st Aug  
                        More Odd-blogs to follow!                       

Next blog : due Friday September 2nd

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