To begin at the beginning, on the 12th May 1832 passenger vehicles are first allowed, by Act of Parliament to stop at the kerbside. The growth in passenger transport and the need for intermediate routes and stops, between the new railway stations, industrial cities and suburbs heralds the birth of the bus stop. And in 1890, the bus shelter, its primary function to provide rest and respite from the elements for the weary traveller.
By no means a mere mean refuge, it was adopted and adapted to become boudoir, bordello, immobile disco, inferno, urinal, Lambrini shebeen - a truly contemporary temporary home. Our country cousins huddle inside the comforting vernacular, half-timbered, waney lapped, clapboarded and stone clad. The city dweller is quickly encased in the new materials of the industrial age, cast iron, glass, concrete, galvanised steel and aluminium sheeting. Their design is rational, utilitarian, functional and modern.
The bus stops here
Prefabricated Concrete shelter, a rare survivor. Situated at Heyrod in the Tame Valley, built to serve the workers at the nearby Hartshead Power Station, which was demolished in the late 1980s.
JCDecaux supply and maintain the majority of Manchester's bus shelters, and to much of the UK, they also operate in 55 other countries. They are by no means immune to the street interventionist, undermining their corporate sheen.
Another vernacular anachronism, this cast Chester survivor seems to have assimilated and shed several layers of paint applications in its life.
Early Christmas Morning in Ribchester Lancashire, the sun rising across frosty fields to illuminate this David Mellor designed Abacus shelter.
Close to my home on Didsbury Road Stockport, this imaginative reimagining, further confounds the homogeneity of JCDecaux's cultural imperialism.
Along with ghosts and forgotten memories this shelter contains an arcane and archaic noticeboard, for a civic theatre that no longer shows shows, in a now non-existent Bredbury & Romiley U.D.C.