Monday, October 26, 2009

Greyfriars Bus Station, Northampton

The photograph shows the twin gaping maws of Greyfriars bus station in Northampton. You don't often get a maw these days, but Greyfriars has two of them.

I wrote about the bus station a few years ago, linking to a Guardian article of the time. There is also an article about it on the BBC website, with the excellent Richard Church, a Lib Dem councillor from Northampton, making the case for its demolition and an architect offering a selection of increasingly tenuous arguments for its retention.

Editor's note: Architects seldom travel by bus.

In that earlier posting I wrote about the bus station that Greyfriars replaced in 1976. A little research reveals that it was in Derngate on the site now occupied by the town's theatre. I suspect the photograph of the red buses on this page was taken there.


dreamingspire said...

Aaah, the low roof DDs:

"...the strange layout of the upper deck of the green buses. The aisle went all the way along the bus on the right and the rows of seats were like long benches seating four or five passengers in each row.

I imagined someone sitting in a window seat on the left and on arrival at their destination, having to disturb four other passengers to get off.

A strange design feature."

They had slippery plastic (leather cloth?) seats. If you were the only person on the seat, sitting by the window, and the bus went quickly round a left hand corner, there was a risk that you would slide all the way along the seat and be deposited in the gangway - at least that was the related nightmare for a child. Equally, if the seat was full and you were next to the gangway...

But later my first car had a slippery bench seat (and column gearchange), and taking a right hand corner fast required hanging on to the steering wheel...

crewegwyn said...

I think you'll find the photograph is the interior of the Corporation bus garage.

Not hugely familiar with Northampton, but I suspect that United Counties (now Stagecoach) used the bus station - out of town services; the Corporation (now First) used on-street stands - local town services.

You start me off on buses at your peril, but I'm a great fan of on-street facilities; hiding the buses away in often forbidding, windswept and poorly-maintained bus stations is NOT the way forward!