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Author Topic: Postcard of Borstal, but where exactly?  (Read 12251 times)

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Offline peterchall

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Re: Postcard of Borstal, but where exactly?
« Reply #31 on: November 09, 2015, 18:05:37 »
Mikeb, no need for apology or red face, and you have now finally cleared it up as far as I am concerned, unless anybody can see faults in my scenario.

What is ‘off-topic’ is so subjective as to be unanswerable in general terms. In this case anything other than “Between Nashenden Lane and Silver Hill, Borstal” is off-topic, but think how much information we would have lost had we stopped there, so there has to be some flexibility to allow the discussion to bring in other facts that would not have been revealed. To a large extent the range of the topic is defined by the title of the thread – had Davidt called the thread something like “Bus in Borstal Village” and asked what information members had, the topic would have been wide open. In my opinion if the topic is too restricted it results in lots of little ones that don’t relate to each other, if it results in anything at all due to them not raising related questions. As often as not a thread that goes off-topic naturally gets itself back on topic anyway.

The final arbiter, of course, is Kyn, and I have a funny feeling that we might be told that this discussion of what is off-topic is itself off-topic. :)

However, it has caused me to think, because this thread has evoked another memory that I was going  to post here, but it really would have been off-topic, so I will post it in the 'Chatham & Distrct Traction Company’ thread, probably tomorrow – so watch that space. :)
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KeithJG

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Re: Postcard of Borstal, but where exactly?
« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2015, 15:29:05 »
I would like to know what is regarded as "going off topic"

There are other threads on here which have that meaning added and so i would rather not carry on and contribute to a thread which has already has it`s answer found out that being where exactly is the picture in Borstal or do we have to wait until warned ?

All answers can be found on the Council or bus websites but what i don`t understand is all the continuing subjectives which merely confuse the thread ?

Offline mikeb

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Re: Postcard of Borstal, but where exactly?
« Reply #29 on: November 09, 2015, 15:08:50 »
In trying to help, I have confused!!! Sorry
For Nashenden Lane in my post please read Nashenden Farm Lane. Nashenden Farm Lane is just the Wouldham side of the M2 bridge. The Borstal terminus / turning point gradually moved down the hill towards Wouldham. Apologies again. Much red face!

The fare stage was / is described as Silver Hill or White Horse meaning the same fare applies from these two stops.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Postcard of Borstal, but where exactly?
« Reply #28 on: November 09, 2015, 12:11:43 »
Thanks Mikeb, I think it’s all falling into place. Let’s look at the facts so far as we know them:
•   The booklet published by the M&D and EK Bus Club, my pre-war memory and Signal99’s late war/early post-war memories confirm that during that period the passenger terminus for Service 5 was the White Horse but the bus ran empty to Silver Hill to turn round.

•   The Fare table of 1960 shows Silver Hill to be the passenger terminus and turning point at that date. Was the White Horse still a Fare Stage?

•   The White Horse/Nashenden Lane became the passenger terminus and turn round point in November 1969.

A scenario based on those facts is:
1a: Because the trams had terminated at the White Horse it was accepted as the bus terminus in the application to the Traffic Commissioners, and was approved by them. The difficulty of turning at the White Horse was apparent only to the bus crews, who passed the solution of turning at Silver Hill back up the line to management, who accepted it.

OR:
1b: An application was made to the Traffic Commissioners for Silver Hill to be the passenger terminus, but for some reason it was rejected. It seems unlikely to have been due to an objection by M&D because the only common route for its Service 29 and C&D Service 5 was the length of the village, so it would not lose passengers to the C&D. Also, M&D was C&D’s parent company

But whatever the case, the procedure continued, with that large dead mileage described in my previous post, from 1930 until 1955, then:

2: M&D absorbed C&D and Service 5 became 145. That prompted a re-think and the Traffic Commissioners approved its extension to Silver Hill, which is where the bus spent its layover time.

3: Due to the difficulties described by Mikeb, the White Horse again became the terminus in 1969, but this time the turn round was achieved by reversing into Nashenden Lane, opposite the White Horse.

But that raises another question! If Nashenden Lane could be used for turning by a one-man bus in 1969, why couldn’t it have been used by a two-man bus in 1930?
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Offline mikeb

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Re: Postcard of Borstal, but where exactly?
« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2015, 17:06:03 »
Some points which may be of interest.:-
From 1930 to 1985, operators had to apply for a licence to operate. Times, exact routes etc were defined and licences were granted by a traffic court held in front of the traffic commissioner. I do not have a C&D timetable but the start & finish timing points would be the whole licenced route, therefore if the last point on the timetable for ser. 5 is the White Horse, that is where the service ended. To carry passengers beyond this point, as Kieth JG points out, was illegal. That said, no doubt it did happen at times!
Where to reverse the bus for the return journey would not  be a requirement of the licence, but, it was usually noted on it. Legally the bus could turn wherever it was safe to do so. The company would however instruct crews where to turn. Strange as it may seem, at this time, a bus out of service was deemed, in law, to be a "large motor car" and the driver therefore did not require a PSV licence.
Local Councils, other operators (if there were any), members of the public, even the Railways were entitled to object to the granting or variation of these licences and it could take many months to get a variation to change one timed journey.  M&D would certainly have the right to object to C&D buses operating in service from Silver Hill, as it would extract revenue from their ser. 29 (155) but whether they did or not, I do not know.
Both ser. 145 & 155 had a stop at Silver Hill / Victoria Terrace as defined by their fare charts C1960.
Bus stops and road layouts do change considerably over time. Where to-day there is a lay by or pull in may not indicate where the original bus stop was located.
The terminal point of the service, and the reversing point for 145 was changed to Nashenden Lane in Nov.1969 when the route was converted to OMB operation.
This was to get away from parked cars and congestion at Silver Hill, a problem which became more acute when drivers lost the services of a conductor to see them back. From this time both 145 and 155 served the same stops through Borstal. Buses reversed at Nashenden Lane with passengers on-board if necessary.
The Commissioner could, under very extreme circumstances, issue a licence which involved reversing a bus with passengers on, but this was rare. It was not actually forbidden in law, although this excuse was played upon when it suited!.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Postcard of Borstal, but where exactly?
« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2015, 11:19:42 »
Borstal was the only C&D terminus that didn’t turn the bus ‘on-the-spot’, either by turning in a half-circle in the road or by reversing. The tram terminated at Chatham Cemetery, for  example, but the replacement bus service (Service 2) was extended to Huntsman's Corner to turn round - so why not Service 5?. I think the 'Bus Stop' boxes painted on the road were a post-war innovation, but stand to be corrected.

There seems to be three possibilities for Borstal:
1.   Can we be sure that there was not a bus stop at Silver Hill for M&D Service 29 to Maidstone? If there was then an application was made to the Traffic Commissioners to extend Service 5 to there, but it was refused. Why?

2.   If there was not already a Service 29 stop there an application was made to make that the Service 5 terminus but, as with possibility 1, it was refused. Again, why?

3.   C&D management, for some reason (what?) didn’t make the application, which is amazing if we look at the figures involved.

Let’s go back to when all the buses from the Strand ran to Borstal – from October 1930 to 1942, when Service 5A to Cookham Wood began.  On a weekday there would have been about 12 hours of service at 7 minutes headway and 4 hours at 10 minutes headway, plus some ex-Pembroke Gate extras, a total of about 130 ‘turn rounds’ a day, and about 90 on Sundays = about 870 a week. Measuring more accurately than in my earlier post, Google Maps shows the round trip from the pub to Silver Hill and back to be 340m, giving a total distance for 870 turn rounds to be 295km = 184 miles a week – about 25 complete Borstal to Strand journeys, just to turn the bus round!

An entry to the next Fare Stage increased the fare by a half-penny (old), so if only one passenger stayed on each journey from the pub to Silver Hill, and only one got on at Silver Hill, it would bring in about £3.60 per week, well over a driver’s pay in the mid-1930’s.

Admittedly the dead mileage was halved when Service 5A started to Cookham Wood in 1942, but, so far as we know, the procedure continued from 1930 to whenever Borstal ceased to be a terminus, over 30 years. Odd!
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KeithJG

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Re: Postcard of Borstal, but where exactly?
« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2015, 13:33:28 »
But the bus could have carried passengers on to Silver Hill, where they would get off before the bus reversed. It could then have spent its layover on the main road opposite Silver Hill.

As said the simple answer is Silver Hill was not a paying bus stop then and so no white box for the bus to legally park or take a break in. If you look on Google the stop is just up from the pub with the white box, the chances are because of renting bus stops that was still the stop in the early years, also this is almost the same place where the tram terminated.

The paying Fare is only between actual Bus Stops and not favours to the end of the road. If anything would of happened between those points with passengers on board the bus company would come down heavily on those in charge of the vehicle. Rules are rules and not to be disobeyed......it was then anyhow.

Both my parents worked for Maidstone & District in the 1940`s and 50`s and they game me strict instructions how to behave on Public Transport.


Offline peterchall

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Re: Postcard of Borstal, but where exactly?
« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2015, 13:14:22 »
But the bus could have carried passengers on to Silver Hill, where they would get off before the bus reversed. It could then have spent its layover on the main road opposite Silver Hill.

Perhaps it was related to the much tighter regulation of bus services in those days - operators couldn’t ‘cherry-pick’ the most lucrative routes and times. It one wanted to run over a route at the most profitable times, it also had to lay on a reasonable service at less profitable times. The Traffic Commissioners may have regarded beyond the White Horse pub as M&D territory (Service 29 to Maidstone), or perhaps the C&D management just didn’t apply for permission to carry passengers over that stretch.

My personal recollection, from my regular use starting in 1945, was that the combined 5 and 5A Service ran every 7 minutes during weekday ‘days’ (10 minutes in the evenings and Sundays), but I don’t remember in what ratio it was then split. However, the 1955 C&D timetable shows alternate journeys on Service 5 (Borstal) and 5A (Cookham Wood). The journey time to/from the Strand on each was 37 minutes, with a 5 minute layover at each end, making the total round trip time 84 minutes and requiring 84/7 = 12 buses to operate it.

The 1957 M&D time table shows Services 145 (Borstal) and 146 (Cookham Wood) to be ‘hourly repeat’ with 4 journeys/hour on each, making the interval on the combined route 7 or 8 minutes. The journey time was reduced to 35 minutes and that, coupled with the slightly reduced frequency, enabled the joint service to be operated with 11 buses.
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KeithJG

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Re: Postcard of Borstal, but where exactly?
« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2015, 15:12:25 »
As said in that postcard era Number 5 was for Borstal  and in 1942 every third journey on route 5 was diverted at Upper Delce to Cookham Wood as 5a

Although the termination at Borstal continued at The White horse pub through from trams and buses the bus was emptied and then went down the road to turn around at Silver Hill and came back to the pub for the 15minute rest halt.

Reason being that very strictly in those days (and may even be now) it was not allowed to reverse a Public Service Vehicle with passengers on board, they all have to get off, the vehicle reverse and then passengers get on again. It did not matter wherever this had to happen the passengers had to alight before reversing the vehicle.

Also peterchall you may find on the timetable that you have The White Horse pub is the bus stop, as most bus stops are named after pubs and Silver Hill is not so the paying fare was only to the pub and no further.

There is no room at Silver Hill for the bus to stand for the rest halt as also it is a hill so very awkward. But the main reason for the rest halt to be at the White Horse pub is because all Public Service Vehicle Companies paid a rent to the Local Council to stop a bus and paint a white box around it for the bus to stop in. Not all stops have the box but they do have the Bus stop sign and so the bus has the right and is allowed to stop there without being told to move on if blocking the road etc.

Also it is forbidden to park your car within the lines of a bus stop.


Offline peterchall

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Re: Postcard of Borstal, but where exactly?
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2015, 08:22:09 »
No confusion to be sorry about, Signals99 - your information gives the time scale. If the buses had slatted wooden seats it was between 1942 and 1951, If the service number was 145 it was after 1955. It suggests that the same practice was used all the time the White Horse pub was the terminus
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Offline Signals99

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Re: Postcard of Borstal, but where exactly?
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2015, 01:19:57 »
Peterchall, sorry for the confusion ref  route numbers on Borstal bus,  I can not honestly say  what number was in use on the bus at the time, just used the later number 145 to ldentfy the route as Borsta.l

Offline Lyn L

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Re: Postcard of Borstal, but where exactly?
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2015, 18:38:33 »
I can only say that the buses to Borstal were still 145 in 1967 ( 146 to Cookham Wood ) until 1975 when we moved from there to St Williams Way, because then the 146 seemed to have disappeared and the 145 went to Warren Wood and still does. So I've used the same bus number for over 40 years  :) Think the 155 now covers Chatham to Wouldham area ( don't  have use for it now ) but not sure on that one.
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Postcard of Borstal, but where exactly?
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2015, 16:14:14 »
Thanks, that confirms my recollection of the Borstal terminus procedure in the 1940s to 1950s. I was dubious because it is about 250 yards/200m from the White Horse to Silver Hill and it seems illogical to have run the bus empty for that distance and then back to the White Horse.

Regarding the time scale, Chatham & District received some Bristol K5Gs with wartime utility bodies having slatted wooden seats in 1942 and 1945, and they were re-bodied in 1951.

The service numbers were:
5: (Strand – Borstal) from 1930, when the buses replaced trams.
5A: When the RN camp opened at Cookham Wood (in ????) alternate journeys were diverted to that terminus – the turning roundabout is still there.

When C&D was absorbed by M&D in 1955 the services were re-numbered 145 and 146 respectively, and were still thus in 1957, the latest timetable that I have. How long services continued between those termini and with those service numbers, I've no idea.
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Offline Signals99

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Re: Postcard of Borstal, but where exactly?
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2015, 07:45:56 »
Peterchall hi,ref your enquirer on bus termination at Borstal.i well recall traveling on the 145 bus to Borstal,on our way to safety bay,the fair from the vineyard pub was six old pennies.cant say exactly what year that would be but maybe the fact that the bus had wooden slat seating can fix a relative era but it was defiantly late forties/early fiftes ,most important to you is that the bus was cleared at the white horse pub and often drove off minus the conductor only to return ,having reversed itself sometime later,it then sat at the white horse until departure time.
When we went home we often walked over the hill path via the Borstal institute ,stoping to watch the soldiers in fort Borstal ,allso threw was a RN camp,still occupied by sailors at the Maidstone rd/cook ham woods end  maybe this may narrow the time frame,all the best signals 99

Offline Megapack162

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Re: Postcard of Borstal, but where exactly?
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2015, 17:15:49 »
My question is – did they run empty between the ‘White Horse’ and Silver Hill, or did they drop off/pick up passengers at the latter? Or am I wrong about them spending their layover at the pub?

The timetables simply say ‘Borstal’ so they are no help. But the arrangement would have continued after C&D was absorbed by M&D and the service became M&D 145, and probably thereafter until Borstal ceased to be a terminus when Arriva took over.

Does anyone remember?

I know from my youth (late 70's and early 80s) that the buses (165 and then 161, 163 and 165???) used to run to the M2 motorway bridge (also the freedom ticket boundary), unload, roll forwards and then reverse into the post M2 version of Nashenden Lane before picking up again under the bridge and carrying on to White Road or later Lordswood.

 

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