Saturday, November 17, 2007

FAREWELL TO DIGBETH COACH STATION 17th November 2007

The building we loved to hate, Digbeth Coach Station closed on the 12th November 2007. The coach station was famous for it's draughty barn-style interior and infamous for lurking clampers waiting for unsuspecting drivers to offload passengers with their luggage.
On Saturday the 17th November National Express hosted a party to say farewell to the building. Amongst the displays and activities were a variety of old coaches, side-stalls selling memorabilia, model buses and other goods, and traditional folk music filled the air to add to the atmosphere.
The BBC's Ashley Blake and Radio WM's Ed Doolan made guest appearances.
The party was brought to an end by some fireworks.

For more on the replacement coach station see bbc content at http://tinyurl.com/26zhdd

For more about the coach station see Wikipedia content at http://tinyurl.com/2wm6ep
The National Express stall welcomed visitors with information about the temporary replacement coach station, souvenirs, fun-packs for children and special edition postcards.
A selection of vehicles, old and modern were on display. Note the message on the destination plates of the two coaches on the right.
The BBC's Ashley Blake takes the driver's seat of an old Midland(s Today) Red Coach while National Express chief executive Paul Bunting watches the proceedings...
...
One of the profuse warning signs passengers got accustomed to over the past decades.
An old recovery truck, one of many vehicles on display.
A rear view of the recovery truck.
One of the stalls, this one selling carved wooden goods. Further along clothes are for sale.
More stalls, these selling clocks, ornaments, Christmas goods and bags.
Traditional folk entertainment.

We'll chop you down like an old dead tree...

video

The song Dirty Old Town was written by Ewan MacColl and originaly referred to Salford, but this verse is fairly appropriate to the coach station.
(Make the most of this one, I have probably infringed numerous copyrights and will have to remove it! Care I?)
Ashley Blake and Paul Bunting join the band for a photo-call.
The coaches would leave through here to destinations all over the UK.
Don't get me wrong.. National Express have provided an excellent service in the past and I would not hesitate to recommend them.... but this coach station was terrible and I hope the replacement is a vast improvement.
Meanwhile, next door to the coach station, the burnt out remains of "The Dubliner" public house which caught fire on the morning of Wednesday 26th July 2006. Arson was suspected but did the arsonists pick the wrong building by mistake? ;-)