Central SMT

Blind Date

The date in question is 22 July 1980, when Alex Strachan paid a visit to Clydesdale Depot, Hamilton, where he had fun exploring the destination blinds on 7 BL-class Bristol FLFs. Use the options in the panel to the right to see Alex's findings individually, then read his notes (below) and see if you spotted everything he did!

Technical Note : The "blinds" that appear on the following pages are simple white-on-black text listings in HTML tables. They are not meant to be photographic representations of the original blinds.

Alex Strachan writes :-

The blinds were all the traditional (canvas?) material type, with white upper case lettering on black background. Every original item in parentheses was printed one word above the other, e.g. via above westburn. anderston x and buchanan st were on one horizontal line. The brackets themselves were straight-sided, with their corners set on a diagonal angle.

All seven examples recorded in the back yard of Clydesdale Depot, Hamilton, have the same basic grouping structure : utility blinds, Rutherglen local, Uddingston local, Hamilton local, Larkhall local, Cambuslang - Glasgow, Glasgow routes via Larkhall & Uddingston; and finally an alphabetically-ordered section of termini, including a pre-Anderston Cross, four- or five-frame section concerning Glasgow stations and stances.

I tried to exercise scrupulous accuracy when recording the length of blinds, especially where gaps occur, of either one or two obsolete frames which had been blacked out. Total frames in each :


There are some eccentric duplications and omissions : BL282-4, 335-6 have no eaglesham, yet the shortest blind, on 347, includes it, and on 338 twice, only ten frames apart. BL282 has birkenshaw twice, twelve frames apart, in both Uddingston and Larkhall sections. 282, 338 & 347 have only minimal Larkhall local sections. Again, I tried to be scrupulous about spellings when recording. My original notes for 284 spell Swinhall, but for the others Swinhill. I believe the latter to be the correct spelling, but can't now verify the fact of an actual printed error on the screen.1 On 284, bridegton is an error.

Although initially slow to do so, Central depot staff completed a programme of blacking out obsolete Glasgow frames. The standard set ([carlton place], [clyde street], cross, [killermont street], [waterloo street]) were, in most cases, blacked out and replaced by overprints of varying quality, when Blythswood Street (1971) and Buchanan (1976) opened. Because the name caused confusion to passengers, as to where exactly on Blythswood Street the station was, its name was changed to Anderston Cross. glasgow cross was retained on all blinds as it was still a late-night, short working terminus. On 283, rather interestingly, [clyde street] was retained, although this had been an exclusively East Kilbride Depot terminus which ceased operations in 1971!

The quality and placement of blind overprints is inconsistent. On 282, 335 & 338, glasgow [anderston cross] is placed over [clyde street]. On the others, an effort to reduce wear and tear on these heavily-used blinds, which would have begun fraying, strand by strand, by this time, had glasgow [anderston cross] / [anderston x] and [buchanan bus stn.] / [buchanan street] placed nearer their associated route groups, rather than in alphabetical order.

limetree cottage actually exists, at the corner of Russell Street and Glasgow Road, Burnbank. Of the great 60-69 group of routes, via Blantyre, all but two ran past this cottage, alternatively identified simply as limetree. The distinction to be made was between those and the 62 and 63, which ran via High Blantyre Road.

In October 1977 route 62 extended from fairhill to the new housing at little earnock. See the different styles on 283 as opposed to 338 or 347.

Besides the Larkhall local blinds, others that appear on some, but not all, of the seven include : douglas, douglas west, caird street, glespin and kelvin ind. estate.

1 I have come across actual errors on Western blinds, such as beelfield (Bellfield - on RAG411) and jonstone (Johnstone) on the ex-National Bus Company FLF featured on the last page of The "Western" Story - Post War Years, Grieves, 1975.