Thursday, 31 December 2009

Trip to the shops in Hanford 31-12-2009

Matthew hadn't been out much due to one thing or another, so we took him to the shops. Whilst mum purchased his favourite Wrights Pie sausage rolls, plus a few other essentials in the nearby Co-op, Matthew took a few bus pictures. As soon as mum appeared from the shop, Matthew sprinted to the car as by this time he was frozen! Enjoy the pictures...

60012 on a #21 to Hanley. (Matthew)

Ex Chester 40137 0n the #22 to Longton. (Matthew)

Another ex Chester bus, 61245 on the #21 Hanley. (Matthew)

61245 on the #21 Hanley. (Matthew)

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Trip to Leek 06-12-2009


MIB 783Hanley BSLeek BS16Copelands
65040Leek BSHanley BS18First PMT
66843Hanley BSStoke Station25First PMT

Due to one thing or another, and the recent poor weather, we have been unable to take Matthew out as often as we would have liked to. The weather today was quite good, so we decide to take Matthew out for a few trips out on local buses. The plan was to let Matthew catch the Copelands #16 to Leek and then work something out from there...

We got to Hanley bus station at around 13:40, about 20 minutes before the #16 was due. Matthew photographed the copelands bus whilst it was sitting at the bottom of the bus station. Matthew sat relatively good whilst we waited for the bus to come onto stand.

He also photographed a few other buses the best of which was 40022 sitting in the late afternoon sunshine. MIB 783 rolled up and we promptly boarded this bus for a brisk run up to Leek. At Leek we had around 30 Minutes to kill, Matthew sat good as gold and ate sausage sandwiches!

At a little after 15:00 the bus for Hanley turned up 65040. We did this to Hanley and another quick run, the afternoon sun was in our faces most of the way there! As expect, when Matthew got off the bus he wanted to go on another. he could have either travelled on the #23A to Blurton or the #25 Keele bus.

Whilst he was deciding which bus to take, he also photograped the Green D&G bus 118 that does the service #118 between Hanley and Buxton.

Matthew chose to do the #25 Keele bus as far as Stoke Station. This was the first time Matthew had been on one of these new buses since they arrived in the Potteries during the summer of 2009. We got off by the station where mum was waiting for us to drive us home...

(Mark) photograph by Matthew

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

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Trip to Oswestry 05-09-2009

Bus From To Service Operator

214 Oswestry BS Morda D71 Tanat Valley
266 Morda Llynclys 445 Tanat Valley
268 Llynclys Oswestry BS 445 Tanat Valley
2367 Oswestry BS Whittington LC 70 Arriva Midlands

Today we decided to have a Tanat Bash. We had out first Tanat Valley bus in Shrewsbury a few weeks before. Planning consist of printing out a few timetables for the area. we set off and went via the A53, Blackbrook, the A51, A525 Whitchurch and then via Ellesmere. We parked up near the museum and we walked around looking for somewhere to eat. We ended up eating in somewhere called The Plaice in Salop Road, but I can't remember what we ate or how much it cost. As we came out matthew got a picture of a #70 service, being worked by 2367. this was just after 13:00

2367 on an inward bound #70 service in Oswestry (Matt)

we then went back to the bus station and Matthew took picture in and around whilst we waited for the D71 service which we planned to catch. In the bus station Matthew photographed this dart out of the same batch as the buses as the one he photographed earlier.

2378 in Oswestry bus station on a #2 service (Matt)

he also got a picture of 214 which we assumed would be the bus that was going to work the D71

Tanat Valley 214 awaits time before working the D71 service (Matt)

Tanat Valley 266, a Leyland Lynx also came in. we worked out from the timetabels that we could do 214 part way and then do 266 forward to Llynclys. We would then have around 3 minutes for the bus back. It was a bit of a risk but we decided to take it! We boarded 214 and it was virtually empty as left the bus station. We went to the next stop and the bus filled up! When we got to a suitable point (it a was cross roads in a dip in the road) we bailed off and waited for the following bus. The wait seemed like a long time but eventually 266 appeared

Tanat Valley 266 on a #445 service (Matt)

We did the bus to The White lion in llynclys and we wasted no time in crossing the road to wait for the return. the pavement has a scree surface and distinctly remember matthew slipping as he tried to stop having run across the road. Within seconds the return bus turned up and it was Lynx 2 268. When we arrived back Matthew got a picture of the inside of this bus.

Inside 268 (Matt)

When we arrived back we decided to call it a day. we met up with mum and worked out one last bus he could have done. he chose to do the #70 service and we worked out where we could do the bus to. Judging by the photograph and the photograph early, and taking into account the round trip time, we are 99% certain that this bus was Arriva Midlands 2367.

Arriva Midlands Route 70 branded bus almost certainly 2367 (Matt)

Matthew mum and uncle Dave did the bus whilst I drove the support vehicle. We arranged to meet and i thing there was a misunderstanding. I seem to remember wait outside a chip shop near Ellesmere and then having to drive back to Whittington level crossing to pick them up. The bus had spent a few minute in the depot as can be seen below.

Buses in Oswestry bus depot (Matt)

I then picked them up and we drove home. I seem to remember missing a turning and driving back via Nantwich and passing the bus station. Not a bad day and buses that most would kill for to ride on again...Mark

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Trip to Werrington 06-08-2009


42Bucknall, New Finney Gardens (adj)‎Werrington PO (opp)31Scraggs

It was a Friday afternoon in the school holidays so we decide to take Matthew out for a meal. We decided to go to the New Finney Gardens as it had a beer garden, and was on a busy bus route. I remember the meals being 2 for one and with there being 3 of us it didn't work out as well as we hoped. Whilst we ate Matthew took photographs of many of the passing buses and when we find them we'll post them here... After the meal we walked to the nearest bus stop and waited for the Scraggs #31 service to Werrington. When the bus turned up it was Scraggs 42.

Scraggs 42 on a different occasion... (Mark)

We did the bus up ash bank, around the estate and we got off outside the post office in Werrington, where mum met us to take us home... Mark

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Trip to Uttoxeter 30-07-2009


2029Uttoxeter BSSudbury, Portway Head1Arriva Midlands
2324Sudbury, Portway HeadUttoxeter BS1AArriva Midlands
2049Uttoxeter BSThe Heath, New Road (adj)4Arriva Midlands
2324The Heath, New Road (adj)Uttoxeter BS4Arriva Midlands
2043Uttoxeter BSSudbury, Portway Head1Arriva Midlands
2390Sudbury, Portway HeadUttoxeter BS1AArriva Midlands
65026Uttoxeter BSWerrington PO32AFirst Potteries

Originally, I'd taken the 29th of july off work, in order to take Matthew to Uttoxetter to travel on the 184 from Uttoxetter to Weston Coyney. Unfortunately it absolutely chucked it down all. At this point in time on Thursday I only worked until 12:30 so it was decided to take Matthew out on the 30th instead. Research consisted of downloading the Uttoxetter town map from the Staffordshire gov website and printing out a few timetables. Back home for around 12:45, we must have spent some time getting ready because we arrive in Uttoxetter around 14:00. One of the first buses we saw was Arriva Midlands 2049 on the #4 Outer Circle service...

2049 in Uttoxetter bus station on the #4 Outer Circle service (Matt)

Inside 2029 as we boarded on the Burton bus (Matt)

2029 departs Portway Head towards Burton (Matt)

In on coach Sudbury Burton 1A

2324 in Uttoxeter bus station (matt)

We then saw Arriva 2045 arrive to work a. Having looked at the timetable and seem a 30 minutes frequency, I asked the driver out long it took to travel out and back on this bus to which he replied "half an hour". So to keep Matthew occupied whilst waiting for the 409, we decided to do this bus to and Back.

2049 in Uttoxeter bus station again on the #4 Outer Circle service (Matt)

2049 disapears into the distance from the Tesco Express

2043 in Uttoxeter bus station (matt)

He also photographed a few other buses the best of which was sitting in the late afternoon sunshine. rolled up and we promptly boarded this bus for a brisk run up to Leek. At we had around 30 Minutes to kill, Matthew sat good as gold and ate sausage sandwiches!

2390 approches the Portway Head stop en route to Uttoxeter (Matt)

So Matthew had a short ride on 65026 back to Werrington. After this there was just time for him to buy £22.50's worth of photographs before returning to the car...

Monday, 27 July 2009

Trip to Crewe & Nantwich 27-07-2009


7647Crewe BSNantwich BS84AArriva NW&W
117Nantwich BSCrewe BS45D&G
7Crewe BSParker Road21D&G
60063Parker RoadCrewe BS20First Potteries
154Crewe BSKeele Village85AD&G

Matthew was in the middle of his, and we saw this as the perfect opportunity to take him to ride on the we drove to Crewe and parked in the Delamere street car park opposite the bus station. Mum went to do a bitt of shopping and we had arround 30 minutes in the bus station, in which Matthew took a few bus pictures.

7647 in Crewe bus station (Matt)

Inside 7647 (Matt)

D&G 117 in Nantwich bus station (Matt)

859 in Crewe bus station (Matt)

D&G 7 in Crewe bus station (Matt)

D&G 154 in Keele Village (Matt)

Details to follow...

Friday, 22 May 2009

Trip to Kidsgrove 22-05-2009


W591 YBNBlurtonChell HeathCharterZ carz
MIB 978Chell HeathHanleyCharterCopeland's Tours
MIB 978HanleyChell HeathCharterCopeland's Tours
W591 YBNChell HeathBlurtonCharterZ carz
60183Smallthorne, Robinson Avenue (opp)Kidsgrove Town Centre, Queen Street (adj)6First Potteries

Matthew had his usual school transport LDV minibus W591 YBN, Whilst at school, he went to Hanley and back on Copeland's Tours Coach MIB 978. He then returned home on W591 YBN.

Back in this part of 2009, we spent a few Fridays after school driving to Smallthorne, where we could choose from a few different services for Matthew to catch. We caught either the 6,21A,29 or even a Bakers 9. On this occasion we set of as per usual after the bus dropped Matthew home from school. just before we arrived at the usual stop, we past a D&G bus on the A53.

D&G Optare Solo 71 on a #19 to hanley (matt)

When we arrived at the stop Matthew took several photos before he choose to ride on a bus...

Bakerbus 198 on a #9 to Biddulph (Matt)

First PMT 40165 on a #21A Ball Green (Matt)

First PMT 40014 (now allocated to Chester) on a 6A Biddulph (Matt)

Eventually, Matthew decided to catch the much travelled 60183 (formerly of Manchester and now allocated to Rock Ferry), with it's distinctive black 'W'.

60183 0n arrival in Kidsgrove town centre (Matt)

Shortly after this 60183 was transfered away... (Mark)