Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I’ve found out that the illegitimate train/bus love-child that I’ve spent the last three hours, twenty minutes on is actually called a ‘Pacer’, and, shockingly, there is more than one of them! In something of a massive coincidence I happened upon a piece of slightly yellowing paper blowing around on Barrow station. When I glanced at the type-written heading at the top of the page I knew instantly that it was something I had to reproduce here:
Minutes of the First Meeting of The BR Surplus Bus Parts Committee (SUBPAC), December 16th, 1982
The meeting was called to order. The Chair reported that he’d received apologies from. Mr Wainwright (Chief of BR Procurement – COBROC), who unfortunately was still feeling unwell following the previous week’s staff Christmas party. The Chair noted this led on nicely to the purpose of this inaugural meeting of the committee, which was to decide what to do with the sudden, and unexpected, large surplus of bus parts that BR had suddenly found itself in receipt of.
Mr Bletchley (Chief of BR New Fleet Introductions – COBFIN) took the floor and read out a letter he had received the previous day from the aforementioned Mr Wainwright (COBROC). In the letter, Mr Wainwright (COBROC) stated that, with hindsight, it had probably been a bad idea for him to go back into the office after the Christmas party and continue with the procurement of the rail replacement bus fleet. He expressed his dismay at what had happened but reminded the committee that, after eight pints, ten busses easily became a hundred. It was just another zero.
Mr Bletchley (COBFIN) remarked that, while these circumstances were undesirable, the Surplus Bus Parts Committee (SUBPAC) had to make the most of the opportunity. The Chair agreed, and tabled the suggestion that a sub-committee, or working group, be set up to decide the best way of exploiting the procured surplus bus parts. He proposed this be called the Surplus Bus Parts Committee Sub Group on the Exploitation of the Surplus Bus Parts (SUBPAC-SUBG-EXPSUBP). Mr Bletchley (COBFIN) questioned whether the proposed role of the SUBPAC-SUBG-EXPSUBP was, in fact, within the remit of, or indeed the sole purpose of, the newly formed SUBPAC committee, of which this was the inaugural meeting.
There followed much debate, after which it was decided to break for lunch.
**Post Meeting Note: Lunch continued for several hours, during which large amounts of alcohol were consumed by both Mr. Bletchley (COBFIN) and The Chair. Mr Bletchley (COBFIN) proposed that, rather then continue the meeting, they just get the work-experience placement kid (WEXKID) to figure out how to make a train out the the surplus bus parts. The chair agreed, with the proviso that any such train would have to forgo things such as heaters, toilets, doors, springs, waterproofing and lights as these would be too difficult for the work experience kid (WEXKID (or Stu, to his mates)) to include. Mr Bletchley (COBFIN) agreed, stating that whatever design WEXKID came up with would only be a temporary solution. There being no further business the chair declared the meeting closed and moved the working lunch to The Dog and Duck.**
So there you have it. It all makes sense now…