Cumberland 645

The number of photos I have taken over the years and the desire to include as many of them as posssible on the website has meant that there were previously frequent changes of content. After two years of no updates, I have revamped the photographs page considerably, and I am hoping in the near future to get as amny older photos as possible into Fotopic pages. The links have been moved to a separate page (when I get my act together and put it together).

The picture above represents what was almost an ideal day out for me, from September 2002. Three buses to get me from my house to Seatoller, then a magnificent fell walk over Bowfell in glorious sunshine, almost an hour in the Old Dungeon Ghyll hotel, drinking Old Rosie Scrumpy (7.2% ABV) and five buses to get me home again. The first bus on that long journey was Cumberland 645, as pictured above.

My first love in the realm of transport, and one of my earliest interests, was buses. At the age of 10 I knew, and could recite all fleetnumbers, chassis and body makes and registration numbers bus routes and many of the daytime frequencies of my local operator, at that time the white and blue liveried Sheffield City Transport (good grief, a municipal bus operator), prior to it becoming part of a PTE operator in 1974 - how time passes, and how things change - what was South Yorkshire PTE, then South Yorkshire Transport and Mainline, has now become First Mainline. Those days have passed, largely because the outcome of the deregulation of 1986 has meant such rapid changes in routes, frequencies, operators and owners all over the country. I lost track of Sheffield in the late 1980s when I finally moved across the Pennines. The competition in Sheffield was intense at that time, as it was in Manchester, my next sphere of influence.

There was also a time when I could identify some operators by the bodywork style. In the early to mid 1970s a typical Park Royal bodied bus for Sheffield City Transport was distinctive, as were the Mancunians and the SELNEC/GMPTE standards and the various designs specified by Leeds, Bradford, Birmingham etc. These days the bodywork is more than likely to be one of a few standard designs, largely as a matter of cost, I assume. Given this, my preference now is to look out for the remaining former municipals and the new independents, who offer some variety from the corporate monsters. I suppose it is no surprise that my favourite fleets are all municipals (as was) or independents. 

Enough reminiscences. This bit of my transport page is really a chance for me to share some of the useless information in my head, air my views on some aspects of bus operations, put some of my favourite photographs on show and generally indulge. I could rant and rave for ages about the disaster which has befallen public transport in the last twenty years (even though as an enthusiast it has sometimes been exciting), but it is probably better to enjoy what there is on offer and record it for posterity. After all, I am old enough to have seen many makes of chassis and bodywork come and go in my lifetime. 

last update: 16th November 2004

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