Sunday, 31 October 2010

Trip to Blackpool 31-10-2010


MIB 270Brunswick St, NewcastlePleasure beach CP, BlackpoolCharterCopelands
327Waterloo RD, BlackpoolCentral Pier, Blackpool1Blackpool Transport
1805Market St, BlackpoolLTT WorksCharterEx Ribble (Pres)
1805LTT WorksMarket St, BlackpoolCharterEx Ribble (Pres)
329Market St, BlackpoolTesco, Mereside14Blackpool Transport
303Tesco, MeresideQueenstown, Devonshire Road14Blackpool Transport
339Queenstown, Devonshire Road HospitalMarket St, Blackpool14Blackpool Transport
331Central Pier, BlackpoolSouth Shore, South Pier1Blackpool Transport
MIB 270Pleasure beach CP, BlackpoolBrunswick St, NewcastleCharterCopelands

when we booked this trip, we decided to do this coach from Newcastle. Being a Sunday trip we were able to park in Brunswick Street. We parked up and then waited patiently and required MIB 270 appeared from around the corner. The journey North was relatively uneventfully, except passing a group of Stagecoach single decker osn the M6 also heading north. Shortly after that we passed a preserved double decker heading North. The driver decided we needed a short stop (10 Minutes), so we pulled into Charnock services for a quick toilet and fag break. It also gave Matthew to opportunity to take a picture.

MIB 270 in Charnock Richard service station (Matt)

A few minutes after we arrived in the service station, the preserved double decker arrived along side us. It was former Blackburn Leyland Atlantean 8 (OCW 8X). There were quite a few people on the bus so when one disembarked I asked him where the bus was going. he said it was the buses first out since preservation and that it was on it's way to a Lancashire Transport Trust open day in Blackpool. He told me there were shuttle buses running from the town centre. We decided that we would try and find the buses and travel to the open day. A few minutes later we were on our way and we arrived in the coach park on the South shore half an hour or so later. When we arrived the first thing we did was to find a cafe. The was one a couple of blocks North of the coach park. As far as i can remember we ate a breakfast, and I seem to remember Matthew entertaining the staff in the cafe as he often does wherever he goes. After we ate, We walked onto the prom and started walking Northwards. Mum was getting a bit tired so we decided to all catch a bus along the prom. The next #1 service to appear was worked by Blackpool Transport 327.

327 travels North along the Promenade on a service #1 (matt)

With the exception of mum, we all had Blackpool Transport day rover tickets. We did this bus to Central Pier, as it powered away Matthew took another shot.

327 travels North along the Promenade on a service #1 (Matt)

When we got off we started to walk North along the Prom. We didn't know where to catch the shuttle from, but we had seen a Bristol bus turn by Coral Island. We took a guess as to where the shuttle was running from. We waited outside the tower, but another bus appeared and then went sailing past. So we head further North to try and find out where the bus was going from. After much walking up and down and then asking, we found out that the bus was going from Market Street. We waited for about 10 minutes on the corner of Market Street and then preserved Ribble 1805 appeared to work the shuttle bus. After watching everyone get off we jumped on the bus and sat downstairs near the front. After a short wait, the bus departed for the LTT works, which is near to the Mereside area of Blackpool. When we arrived we got off outside the works. there were a few visiting buses standing outside the works, these were taking turns to work the shuttle service. We went into the works paying a small entrance fee and wandered around the exhibitions. Most of the buses in the works were cordoned off, and there were a dozen or so stalls selling thing to support various preservation projects in the works. Matthew brought a few second hand book and magazines and then we took photographs of the buses that we could get to. After about 15 minutes and a quick toilet stop we had covered the works! We waited for the next shuttle back which was unfortunately Ribble 1805 again. we did the bus because we couldn't really afford to waste any time if we were to go travel on some more buses. When we arrived back at Market Street there was a Mereside bound #14 bus worked by Blackpool Transport 329. We jumped on this and said goodbye to mum who was off to do some shopping. We did this service, which took the route of the old #6 service. I took a picture of uncle Dave's favourite funeral directors 'Box brothers' out of the front window of the bus as we traveled East. When we arrived Matthew got a picture of this bus and we waited for the next #14.

329 at Tesco Mereside (Matt)

After we a while Green Liveried Blackpool Transport 303 appeared to work then next #14. We looked at the timing and we decided to do this to the stop just after the old hospital on Devonshire Road.

303 departs North from Queenstown with a #14 to Fleetwood (Matt)

Whilst we were crossing the busy junction, the townward bound #14 went passed. When we got to the stop we had a bit of a wait for the next bus. Matthew was able to take pictures as we waited. One such picture was Blackpool Tranport 309 on a #9 to Cleveleys.

309 departs North from Queenstown with a #9 to Cleverleys (Matt)

eventually the next Blackpool bound bus was worked by orange liveried 339.

339 on a Southbound #14 in Queenstown (Matt)

We alighted in Market Street again, and Matthew took a few picture whilst we waited a few minutes to meet up with mum. we decided to walk onto the front and walk to the central Pier to catch a #1 to the South shore to catch the coach home. As we walked from market street past the back of the tower, Matthew decided to run into HMV because he wanted to buy a CD! We arrived just south of Central Pier, and it was a fair walk. we didn't realise how far it was! We didn't have to wait long and then Blackpool Transport 331 appeared on the #1 service. We grabbed a few chips and then we walked to the coach park with around 30 minutes to spare. This gave Matthew time to get some pictures, but at this point the light was starting to fade.

MIB 270 in Blackpool Pleasure Beach coach park just before departure (Mark)

The journey home was uneventful. We stopped at Charnock Richard services and we saw a poster "I ♥ coaches" which we photographed. As the driver was talking on the PA coming into Newcastle he hit a pot hole and swore much to everyone's amusement! After we left the coach we got in the car and drove home...Mark

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Trip to Uttoxeter 27-10-2010


2038Uttoxeter BSThree Tuns4Arriva Midlands
2038Three TunsUttoxeter BS4Arriva Midlands
2319Uttoxeter BSSudbury, Portway Head1AArriva Midlands
2243Sudbury, Portway HeadUttoxeter BS1AArriva Midlands
65002Uttoxeter BSWerrington PO32AFirst Potteries

First thing to do was to have a late dinner, as he had only had two rounds of toast for a late breakfast. So we went to the Cafe across the road from the one stop shop. We managed to get a window seat and Matthew watched buses go by as he ate his dinner...

We tried to persuade Matthew to catch a to, but we just missed one coming out of the cafe. When we got to the stop, Matthew dragged us past and into. He considered catching the, but this pulled off before we could get to it. Right behind it was Arriva 2200 on the service, an interesting double doored Dennis Dart SLF and a long time target ride of Matthews. As I didn't know the route precisely. we arranged that mum would ride on the bus and I would meet them. We quickly tried to tell each other where we would meet but we misunderstood the answers to each others questions and this lead to a bizarre misunderstanding

Arriva Midlands 2038 on the #4 Town service today just before we ventured out of town... (Matt)

Arriva Midlands 2038 on the #4 Town service today (Mark)

Paragon Travel R572 ABA on service 402 to Burton (Mark)

Paragon Travel M197 UAN on service 428 to Lichfield (Matt)

2319 in Uttoxeter bus station about to work service #1A to Burton (Matt)

Arriva Midlands 2243 in Uttoxeter bus station shortly after arrival from Burton (Mark)

65002 in Uttoxeter bus station (Mark)

65002 arrives in Werrington after an hour journey from Uttoxeter via Alton Towers (Mark)

Back to the car for sausage rolls and then home... (mark)

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Trip to Bath 16-10-2010

Bus From To Service Operator

MIB 268 Longton Hall Road, Blurton Bath Coach Park Charter Copelands Tours
46218 Bath BS Eastfield Avenue 14 First Somerset & Avon
42901 Eastfield Avenue Royal United Hospital 14 First Somerset & Avon
42967 Royal United Hospital Bath BS 14 First Somerset & Avon
46237 Bath BS Bear Flat 267 First Somerset & Avon
40542 Bear Flat Bath BS 13 First Somerset & Avon
MIB 268 Bath Coach Park Longton Hall Road, Blurton Charter Copelands Tours

Matthew had spotted this trip on the Copelands Tours brochure, and after a bit of persuasion he got mum to book the trip for us. I didn't do as much research as perhaps I should have done, but on the morning of the coach trip I printed out the Bath City zone 1 map, the Bath network map and the Bath Area Bus services map from the First website. I also downloaded the service 178/84 service timetable and the list of low floor services (so I could work out which buses aren't low floor). We set off at around 07:30 to Longton hall Road so we made the 07:55 pick up in good time. MIB 268 was the transport for today. I think Matthew was hoping for a different coach, but he was just glad to be going on such an epic trip. After getting on the coach then came an epic journey around town picking up other passengers. last pick up was Newcastle at 08:50! As per usual the driver called in to say he had picked up all the passengers then we set off. Newcastle, A519, M6, M5.

Mileage machine Copelands Tours MIB 268 in the M5 / M50 Services Southbound(Matt)

After a short break in the M5 / M50 services, we continued south M5 M4
and then into Bath. At the coach park there was a small cafe which we had dinner before moving to the bus station. when at the bus station we decided to stand and watch for a short while to see where the buses were going and to work out what buses were doing what. One the buses we saw was step entranced dart 46225.

46225 enters Bath bus station (Mark)

I left Matthew there for a short while with uncle Dave whilst I picked up some timetables from the office. When I returned we decided to walk up to by the railway station. as we walked up we were able to take further bus and coach pictures. One of the reason I wanted to got to the railway station was to get a photograph from the car park overlooking the bus station. A few weeks before there had been a picture in 'Buses' magazine with the exact same view. here's my best effort...

Bath bus station...Photo inspired by the one that appeared in 'Buses' magazine a month or so ago... (Mark)

We then returned back to the bus station. Matthew spotted 46218 on a local service and we decided to go for it and start riding on the local buses. it was a number #14 service which we saw on the map as a service going to the hospital and with a circular end. we did the bus passed the hospital and we got off in the estate and then waited for the next bus.

46218 disappearing off into the distance along Eastfield Avenue, Weston on service #14 (Matt)

After a short wait 42901 appeared on the following bus. The next stopped appeared to be the terminus as we waited there for a few minutes! We decided to do this bus to the hospital and get off so we could get another different bus.

42901 at the Royal United Hospital, Bath (Matt)

After another wait where we saw a Wessex connect minibus, 42967 turned up and we did this bus.

42967 at the Royal United Hospital, Bath (Matt)

back at the bus station we didn't have loads of time so we decide to try and do another short trip out. Matthew had spotted 46237 on a Frome service so I looked it up on the map and there seemed to be a place where a lot of service diverged call 'Bear Flat'. I thought if we did the bus to here then we would have a few choices of bus back. Matthew got a picture and then we walked around and got on the bus.

46237 in Bath bus station about to work the 1528 service #267 to Frome (Matt)

the bus was very full and we were luck to get a seat at all. Bear Flat is about a mile out of town o the other side of the river and at the top of a very steep hill. as the bus turned and leveled off, we got off the bus and Matthew took another picture.

46237 powers away into the distance away from Bear Flat on service #267 to Frome (Matt)

We then crossed the road and waited for a bus back. We then phoned mum and arranged to meet up back at the bus station. There were a couple of choices and we decided to wait for the number 13 bus. When it eventually appeared it was an ex South Yorkshire bus 40542. we did this back to the bus station where I got a picture.

Ex Doncaster 40542 in Dorchester Street Bath (Mark)

After we arrived back in Dorchester Street, We took Matthew to the exit corner of the bus station and then I went to find where mum was sitting. We all met up together in the corner of the bus station and then made our way back towards the coach park stopping a few times to take pictures.

52554 in Dorchester Street on service #1 (Matt)

46235 in Bath bus station between duties (Matt)

We walked back via, Broad Quay, Ambury and Corn Street to the coach park...

First Somerset & Avon hybrid bus 39000 enters Bath bus station (Matt)

Forget the usual sights of Bath... No trip to here is complete without seeing one of their orange bendy Buses! 10176 in Corn Street (Matt)

We had about 30 minutes at the coach park, where we all used the facilities and Matthew took a few pictures of the coaches parked up. We set of back at 17:00 making 1 stop at the Northbound M5 / M50 services.

MIB 268 in the M5 / M50 Services Northbound(Mark)

We reached the outskirts of Stoke at 20:00 and after dropping off most of the other passengers we eventually reached Longton Hall Road at around 20:50.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Trip to Conkers 03-10-2010


FJ10 BJXJohn St, HanleyConkersCharterAiming High
FJ10 BJXConkersJohn St, HanleyCharterAiming High

Matthew was taken out today by two workers from his potential new respite place. They took him for a teatime visit to the respite house, and at 08:00 on 2 bus journey's. Matthew told me which buses he traveled on and which places he had them between by typing them into the Google search box, and I worked out which services they must have been on. Had we know he was going out on the bus he would have had his camera with him! It' seems like a good start at this new place...fingers crossed for the future...

FJ10 BJX stands just off John Street just before working to Conkers (Matt)

We dropped Matthew off at around 09:30 where he was whisked away in the other Aiming High minibus to the one he had had before. Reports from the staffs say that Matthew had a great time at Conkers. Although the weather meant that they only had about an hour in the outdoor play area, he thoroughly enjoyed putting the crossroads staff members fitness and agility to the test and was laughing at them if they could not keep up!! We collect Matthew at around 16;00...Mark

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Trip to Ellesmere Port / Chester 02-10-2010


2428Ellesmere Port BSChester BS401Arriva NW&W
41072Chester BSGorse Stacks53First Potteries

Set off just before 12:00 today. The roads were fairly clear, and we arrived in Ellesmere Port around 13:00. Had our dinner in the market as usual and then had around 10 minutes in the bus station. The #401's were mainly Cadets today, but our bus turned up the ultra-modern. A swift and fairly uneventful journey to Chester followed. With Northgate closed for gas works, the bus was divert via the ring road.

40135 Chester Bus Station (Mark)

2429 Chester Bus Station (Mark)

30077 in Chester Bus Station (Mark)

As is often the case with the independent operators, the driver was really good and was happy to see Matthew take interest in the bus

40013 in Chester Bus Station (Mark)

41072 in Chester Gorse Stacks (Matt)

So moved arranged, I drove to Gorse Stacks to meet the #53 Kingsway service, whilst Matt and his mum caught the bus. It was then all back to the car for snacks and to drive home...