Saturday, 31 October 2009

Trip to Ellesmere Port & Chester 31-10-2009


2446Ellesmere Port BSChester BS401Arriva NW&W
50046Chester BSPlas Newton Lane51First Potteries
50044KingswayChester BS53First Potteries

As a treat for good behaviour, Matthew was asked where he wanted to go, and he chose Chester. We started off by heading to Ellesmere Port, where we went to the Grace Arms for dinner. This allowed Matthew to have something to eat before we got started, and he could photograph some buses too. We spent around an hour here eating, purchasing packs of pipers crisps to take home and taking photographs.

65740 on a Liverpool bound #1, outsaide the Grace Arms

After dinner, we drove into Ellesmere Port town centre and headed to the bus station. We made a decision on which bus to catch into Chester and after nearly catching the #4 GHA service, we chose to #401 Liverpool - Chester. Arriva NW&W 2446 promptly arrived and we did this to Chester, where Matthew had around an hour to take photo's in and around the bus station.

2446 at Ellesmere Port on the Arriva #401 to Chester.

30060 at Chester BS working a #2 Chester-Blacon via Saxon Way

After mum had arrived from Ellesmere Port by car, we decided to take Matthew on a quick out and back trip. Last time we had been to Chester, we had done the #53 to Kingsway. Whilst waiting for the next bus back, we had spotted a #51 disappear round by the shops. I had assumed that these routes were very close together at this point in the road, so you could catch a #51 up and a #53 back, or vice versa. It turns out that last time the bus had been diverted due to roadworks! having already got on a #51 we asked to go to the point where the bus passed the closest to Kingsway. Not really knowing where we were going, we asked the driver to let us know where we had to get off. We got off on Plas Newton Lane, and he told us to head down Queensway, and Kingsway was at the end. It took us a few minute, but we eventually ended up in familiar teritory...

50046 in Plas Newton Lane on a service #51 to Chester.

A short 10 minute wait and the #53 Chester service appeared, after we watched it go the other way

50044 in Kingsway on a #53 to Chester.


Friday, 30 October 2009

Trip to Ellesmere and Oswestry 26-10-2009


MX58 AAUEllesmere, Cross StreetBurlton501Bryn Melyn
PIL 9338BurltonEllesmere, Cross Street501Bryn Melyn
2370Oswestry BSWhittington70Arriva Midlands

Matthew had seen the #501 in Shrewsbury on the previous trip out, and indicated he wanted to catch this service. So as promised, we took him to Ellesmere to ride on and photograph this service. The plan was to have a quick out and back journey on the #501 Ellesmere - Shrewsbury, and then to do the Tanat service #449 to Oswestry. We drove to Ellesmere, and we had dinner at a chip shop on the high street that has a few tables (a helpful map in the main car park helped us find this!). After dinner, we strolled up to the main bus stop, which is Ellesmere's equivalent of a bus station. I consulted the timetable as printed off from Traveline, and worked that we could do the 13:40 to Marton, for a 5 minute wait for the 13:50 off Shrewsbury. I made the assumption we could do the #449 after that. The bus down was the new low floor Optare. Having spoken to the driver he recommended that we got off at Burlton, (A small village on a crossroads where the bus turned) also the return ticket was 70p cheaper! We had about a 15 minute wait in a bus shelter that seemed to be in the middle of nowhere! The return bus was an older Optare single decker. We arrived back at Ellesmere to see the #449 pull off after about 45 Seconds (We should have run for it!). Consulting the #449 timetable, I realised that unless we stayed around for two hours, we couldn't catch this bus...

We decided to drive into Oswestry, and see if there was any other bus that he could catch. The plan was that mum would go with him on the bus and I would travel behind in the car (the Mrs tells me off for calling it the support vehicle) and then pick them up to go home. We saw another Tanat bus which we nearly did (D71), and he identified another service which he wants to catch in the future. It was at this point I realised that I did not have my mobile phone, so we had to make a firm decision as to what we were doing! In the end he had to settle for the #70 the Shrewsbury, which they caught as far as Whittington (a move that we had done previously). Having picked up Matty and mum, we went home...

A good little trip out in fine autumn weather, shame I didn't research the #449 service properly...


Optare bus MX58 AAU sits in Cross Street, Ellesmere awaiting time before working 13:40 #501 to Shrewsbury. (Matt)

Bryn Melyn Optare bus PIL 9338 at Ellesmere on the #501 from Shrewsbury shortly after arrival. (Matt)

One that got away... Tanat 249 on the 13:30 449 to Oswestry. (Matt)

Arriva Midlands 2370 on the #70 to Shrewsbury taken at Oswestry. (Mark)

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Trip to Shrewsbury 17-10-2009


2098Tesco, HarlescottEnglish Bridge, Shrewsbury26Arriva Midlands
2353Pump HouseShrewsbury BS24Arriva Midlands
6001Shrewsbury BSPump House544Arriva Midlands
2275Pump HouseShrewsbury BS25Arriva Midlands
2308Shrewsbury BSThe Mount, Copthorne Road1Arriva Midlands
291The Mount, Copthorne RoadShelton Hospital75Tanat Valley
2308Shelton HospitalShrewsbury BS1Arriva Midlands
2248Shrewsbury BSTesco, Harlescott26Arriva Midlands

Matthew had indicated in the week that he wanted to go to Shrewsbury. Mum had been to college on the Thursday to see Matthew using an iPod Touch and software as a communication aid. When asked where Matthew would like to go, he typed "pub" into the iPod. Mum said he go go the a pub on saturday, and he typed "Sat town". Mum reeled off a list of some of the places he usually goes to and when mum said "Shrewsbury", Matthew repeated it back to her. Having made that decision on Thursday, I did some research on buses and times and also to see if Shrewsbury Town were playing at home. Shrewsbury were at home to Dagenham & Redridge, so I knew there would be few extra buses around on the Prostar Stadium park & ride services. Setting off a fraction before 12:00, first stop was to be a pub in order for us all to have lunch. We choose the Elephant and castle pub in Shawbury, just a few Miles north of Shrewsbury. After dinner we continued South to the Harlescott Park & Ride car park where we parked up. Today we decided to catch a service bu rather than do the Park and ride service. We walked down to the back of Tesco which was the Terminus of the #26 service. After a short wait, a required step entranced bus appeared which was Arriva Midlands Dennis Dart 2098. We all got on the bus and booked to Shrewsbury town centre. We did the bus into town and stopped in Castle Street. At this point we were expect the bus to go around town and into the bus station. What we didn't know at the time is that this service doesn't call in the bus station in this direction! As the bus headed down toward the English Bridge we started to realised that this was the case and we decided to get off. Matthew got a picture as the bus carried on it's journey.

2098 on the English bridge (Matt)

At this point we decided to cross the bridge and catch a bus back towards Shrewsbury. We headed out of town and under the railway bridge. As we could not see a stop straight on we decided to turn right. We couldn't see a bus stop here either, but as we passed a road on the right we could see a stop adjacent the river back underneath the railway. At the stop dud Arriva Midlands 2353 after a short while so we decided to do this back to the bus station anyway.

2353 by the pump house (Matt)

Back at the bus station we saw Tanat Valley 291 which intended to do later. Whilst we waited for the bus to work, Matthew took a few pictures. One picture was of Arriva Midlands 2307. Matthew likes this particular batch of buses because of the dark red seat moquette.

2307 in Shrewsbury bus station (Matt)

As we still had more time to wait, we decided to do a quick out and back across the English Bridge again. Matthew decided we were going to do Shropshire CC liveried Arriva Midlands Optare Solo 6001 which was on the #544 to Little Lyth. Back on the other side of the bridge, Matthew took a picture of Arriva Midlands 2308 on a #1 service.

2308 by the pump house (Matt)

After a short while, required Arriva Midlands 2275 appeared, and we did this back to the bus station. The plan was to now get on Tanat 291, but Matthew had spotted that required Arriva Midlands 2308 was still in the bus station. We worked out that we could do this bus up to Copthorne and do Tanat 291 forward to the hospital. As we boarded 2308 Matthew got a picture inside this bus.

Inside 2308(Matt)

We did 2308 over the Welsh Bridge to the Barracks and then got off. After a short while, as expected Tanat 291 appeared on service #75.

Tanat Valley 291 opposite Copthorne Barracks (Matt)

We got on and did this a few stops up the road up to the hospital. We then crossed the road to wait for a bus back to shrewsbury. We weren't sure if the next bus back would be 2308, but as we were near the end of the route we knew that there might be a good chance. Sure enough after a few minutes, 2308 reappeared.

2308 Shelton Hospital (Matt)

We did the short trip back to the bus station and then we decided it was time to go home. We met back up with mum and we waited for the #26 to Harlescott. The bus back was required Arriva Midlands 2248. When we got back to Harlescott, Matthew gt a good picture.

2248 Behind Tesco Harlescott (Matt)

back at Tesco we returned to the car. On the way back we listened to the Stoke vs West ham match in the car. We stopped in Shawbury for chips on the way home, arriving back around dusk...Mark