THE WORST BUS SERVICE
Can any bus service rival the fine Haley to Bagnall route in Staffordshire? In 1976 it was reported that the buses no longer stopped for passengers.
This came to light when one of them, Mr. Bill Hancock, complained that buses on the outward journey regularly sailed past queues of up to thirty people.
Councillor Arthur Cholerton then made transport history by stating that if these buses stopped to pick up passengers they would disrupt the time-table.
Versions of the story have subsequently appeared in other books, and have circulated online. However, all these other versions seem to rely on Pile's reporting.
And when I searched newspaper archives I couldn't find any confirmation that this incident happened. Which makes me wonder if it really did.
Of course, it might have been reported in a local paper that was never archived online. But some searching around the Internet reveals that I'm not the only one to have wondered if the story might not be true. Check out this comment by "skifans" in the CasualUK subreddit:
it would be great if anyone can prove me wrong but I can't find any record online of councillor Arthur Cholerton existing - let along from that area in that time frame. If you google the name all the results return varieties of this story, there isn't any other record of what they did other then this. This PDF of Staffordshire County Council elections also makes no mention of anyone of that name. A Cholerton stood (and won) a seat in 1973, 1977, 1981 and 1985 - and did not stand in future elections. The seat they stood in for the first to is Stoke On Trent No. 19 (9630), maybe someone knows how to work out where this is but I can't, but for the last 2 it's called Great Fenton - thats in Stoke but not the right area for a route between Hanley and Baghall, on Google maps Great Fenton looks to be just south of the city center and Hanley just to the north, with Bagnall being a small village further to the north east. But the bigger problem, Councillor Cholerton has the first initial F, not A.
There was also an Arthur Cholerton in Stoke, but not as a counciler. Someone with that name was Lord Mayor - but they held the position between 1971 and 1972. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_lord_mayors_of_Stoke-on-Trent) Alternatively maybe F. Cholerton and Arthur Cholerton are the same person? Between 1981 and 1989 Frederick Arthur Cholerton held the position of chairmen of Staffordshire county council, may they have gone under both names? https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Your-council-and-democracy/Civic-and-Ceremonial/The-Chairman-of-the-county-council/Past-Chairmen.aspx
Back in 1985, city officials in St. Louis decided that the term 'bus stop' sounded too negative, so they voted to rename them 'bus starts.' 1800 new 'bus start' signs were duly installed.
A year-and-a-half later, when it became clear that people were confused by what a 'bus start' was supposed to be, the city conceded defeat and went back to using the traditional term. This, of course, meant buying even more new signs.
Created in the late 1960s by Hollywood auto customizer George Barris, who's best known as the designer of the original Batmobile.
The Love Machine featured velvet upholstery, a revolving circular bed, psychedelic lights, entertainment console, mirrored ceiling, and a crystal chandelier. It did the rounds at auto shows until the mid-1970s, where it was promoted as the "world's first x-rated car."
In the late '70s, the Love Machine was rebranded and it went on to have a career in Hollywood. From Hemmings Daily:
Barris, ever the opportunist, managed to get the Love Machine cast as the lead vehicle in the 1977 vansploitation flick SuperVan. To do so, he simply gave the Love Machine a repaint and redid the interior with even deeper plush carpeting. Though technically known as Vandora in the movie, the Super Van moniker stuck, thanks to Barris’s promotional efforts.
Nor would SuperVan be the van’s only screen appearance. It also showed up in the 1986 made-for-TV movie Condor, repainted gold and black; then in 1989’s Back to the Future II as a Hill Valley Transit bus, painted green; in the 1990 movie Solar Crisis, painted white; and then on an episode of the 1990s TV show SeaQuest DSV, still painted white. Then, in about 2003, the Guild of Automotive Restorers began a restoration on the van that brought it back to its Super Van configuration.
Back in 2003, the Pittsburgh Port Authority wrote the slogan "Ziggin Zaggin" on nine of its buses. Why ziggin and zaggin? Because, as one resident put it, "A vehicle zigs and zags through the city to pick somebody up. It’s a bus." But recently a driver noticed that if you read the slogan backwards, it spells an offensive word. The city has now announced that the slogans will be promptly removed. [CBS Pittsburgh]
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.