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Support from the Gazette

Westmorland Gazette reporter, Rachel Garnett has produced the excellent article below, in support of our bus quest.  Rachel has also been able to use the Lancashire County Council provided photo of the KLCH bus stopped on Gressingham Bridge.  For once, not because the Lune had burst it’s banks.  Rachel says:

LUNE Valley campaigners say they are delighted a new bus service will restore lost rural transport links to villagers this spring.

Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire Ltd is teaming up with Lancashire County Council to introduce the new 582 route, giving back a daytime bus link to the villages of Gressingham, Arkholme and Whittington.

Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire Ltd director Matt Sutton with County Councillor Andrew Snowden, lead member for highways and transport.

The new two-hourly bus service, operating Monday to Saturday daytime, will run between Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale via Caton, Brookhouse, Hornby, Gressingham, Arkholme and Whittington.

For two leading lights of the Lune Valley Bus Action Group, Duncan Foster and John Keegan, the news is just the ticket after an enthusiastic campaign to bring buses back to the River Lune’s “poorly served” west bank.

Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris was among those who backed the cause, along with local Lancashire County Councillors Phillippa Williamson and Susie Charles.

County Cllr Susie Charles
County Cllr Pillippa Williamson

 

 

 

 

“We’ve battled for this,” said Mr Foster, the Whittington resident who hit the headlines in 2016 when he resorted to hitch-hiking to the pub in a hi-vis vest. Funding cuts by Lancaster County Council had seen the number of buses between the village and places like Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale, two miles away, drop from 111 per week to just five.

A thing of both beauty and (hopefully) the past.

However, the council is now improving a number of services after agreeing last year to give an extra £1m to support buses – an increase from £2m to £3m.

The Lune Valley Bus Action Group is urging locals to patronise the new 582. Campaigners Mr Keegan and Mr Foster have sent their “heartfelt thanks” to the council, saying: “It’s important that we now ensure the convenient availability of the timetables for this service, especially at Lancaster bus station, so we can attempt to provide enough customers to reflect your efforts.”

County Cllr. Andrew Snowden

Cllr Andrew Snowden, lead member for highways and transport, visited the Lune Valley recently to meet the director of Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire, Matt Sutton.

He said there will be “a host of marketing and publicity for the route and the timetable”, with all involved committed to making it a success and “ensuring patronage is high from the start”.

Cllr Snowden added: “It is a great pleasure to be able to provide these services and hopefully make a difference to the daily lives of many people in the Lune Valley.”

The new 582 service is an extension to the existing commercial service from Kirkby Lonsdale to Skipton. It will link with Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire’s wider North Yorkshire Craven Connection services 580 and 581 offering through links to Ingleton, Settle and Skipton.

Once finalised, the new 582 timetable is to be published at www.lancashire.gov.uk.”

End of Sweet Rationing

“Whilst putting out the empty Christmas sweet boxes for the dustbin man I reflected on the end of toffee rationing on the 5th February 1953, two years after I took my 11+. The queue outside Twists, in Market Street Newton-le-Willows, where I was born, stretched to the Police Station.”

I posted the above reminiscence on Face book yesterday, including the Newton-le-Willows Facebook Group. It received a considerable response.

End of sweet rationing 1953.

Marion Casey, who I worked with when I was MD of Simon-Greer in Newton-le-Willows, commented:

“I love to see these old photo’s and compare the fashions of yesterday and today, sensible coats and shoes and more often than not, hats. Everything was so drab during and after the war, what a difference on the High Street today.”

The following (typically) amusing comment came from Terry Duley, in Brampton, Cambridgeshire, who is a friend of some thirty years acquaintance and an original Sloane Ranger. Tel’s observation went as follows:

“I couldn’t help noticing that all those children queuing for their first taste of toffee in 1953 look remarkably mature! Was it the effect of the war? I remember that people often said that we grew up faster because of the war. Perhaps I did, by 1945 I was already a confirmed smoker (9 yrs old) and two years later with a scholarship to Sloane School, Chelsea, I would stop off at Mr Honey’s corner shop to buy a single Woodbine for either a penny or a penny ha’penny. When I came into money, from my early morning paper round, I could afford the luxury of the paper pack of 5 Woodbines for only six pence – a huge 20% discount on the single price! Yes, Mr Honey was a great benefactor to us, he had to sell something since he had no sweets to sell. Of course today he would have been banged up in the Scrubbs or having had an ASBO awarded to him and doing Community service touring, the streets of London collecting rubbish.”

The Guide to Sloane Rangers

­Our own Hazel Tomkins, now a West Country resident, commented : “Happy memories when we kids were not so mollycoddled, is that how you spell it.”

I need a Whittington resident, who has lived in the village for many more years than I, to tell me what the queues outside the village shop where like on the 5 February 1953.

Whittington Village Shop

Those were the days!!!

John Keegan

Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire

Nick Lakin – Chief reporter, business and music editor for the Lancaster Guardian.

We have Nick Lakin of the Lancaster Guardian (@ribblerouser) to thank for this excellent article published in the Guardian today at 16:39.

A new bus service linking villages in the Lune Valley is due to launch in March. From Monday March 5, Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire Ltd, in partnership with Lancashire County Council, will introduce a new 582 bus service to restore a daytime local bus link for the villages of Gressingham, Arkholme and Whittington. The two-hourly bus service operating Monday to Saturday daytime will run between Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale via Caton, Brookhouse, Hornby, Gressingham, Arkholme and Whittington.

Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire Ltd director Matt Sutton with County Councillor Andrew Snowden, lead member for highways and transport.

The new Service 582 is an extension to the existing commercial service from Kirkby Lonsdale to Skipton, and will also connect with Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire’s wider North Yorkshire Craven Connection network Services 580 and 581 offering through links to Ingleton, Settle and Skipton.

County Coun Andrew Snowden, lead member for highways and transport, said: “Supporting a good public transport network is one of our key priorities as it helps our economy, widening access to opportunities for work and education. “Buses also provide journeys for essential activities such as seeing friends and family, visiting the shops and attending vital appointments. These new buses add to all the improved services which began in December 2017, restoring even more public transport links to local communities. We’ve listened to what people have told us about the local need for these buses, and the difference they will make to their lives. These new contracts are for three years I’d ask that everyone support these services once they begin operating to help us sustain them. I know how much these services will mean to local residents.” Last year the county council agreed to make an extra £1m available to support bus services, increasing the budget from £2m to £3m. The subsidy was £7.5m in 2015.

Read more at: Restoration of Lune Valley Services.

Duncan Foster & John Keegan

DPR Official Opening

In addition to news about the impending improvement in our bus service another matter, of singular importance to the residents of Whittington, took place when the esteemed leader of our Parish Council, Chairman Cllr. Eric Pelter officially opened the long awaited DPR (dog poo receptacle).

Accompanied by Vice Chairman Colin Hall with his wife Marjorie (and grandchild), together with Duncan Foster, doyen of the commuting community, and ably supported by the Head of the village DPR Evacuating Team, Simon Raistrick, Eric severed the DPR ribbon and declared the Receptacle “Open”.

The DPR was christened by Simon Raistrick or, to be more precise his canine companions Blitz and Oscar (both of whom appeared to be unfazed by the significance of their mission).

The Parish Council wish to emphasise the importance of members of the community making use of this facility, so as to improve our walking experience.  In addition the PC appeals for volunteers to come forward to share the task of the Evacuating Team in keeping this facility in pristine order.

John Keegan

The Village Blog