Sunday, 21 November 2010

Trip to West Midlands Safari Park 21-11-2010


FJ10 BJXJohn St, HanleyWest Midlands safari ParkCharterAiming High
FJ10 BJXWest Midlands safari ParkJohn St, HanleyCharterAiming High

Matthew was originally supposed to go to Knowsley, but someone called to say that the trip had been re-arranged and was now going to West Midlands Safari park. Matthew was due to be in respite this weekend so we arranged with respite to take him to Hanley so that he did not miss out on this trip. Usually we take the camera off Matthew after he has photographed his bus, but on this occasion he took it with him and was able photograph some of the animals he saw on this trip. As always Matthew enjoyed himself...

Having done the Aiming High minibus to the Safari Park, The following five pictures below were either taken through the window as they were driven around, or in the walk through sections like the reptile house.

Some kind of Deer (Matt) Suggestions please...

A female Lion (Matt)

Bactrian (two hump) Camel (Matt)

A Seal playing...(Matt)

Rattlesnake!!! (Matt)

After he Van hool took his pictures he was returned to John Street in Hanley. Before he left Hanley he took a couple of coach pictures of coaches that were parked up.

Cresta Coaches YN57 OUS in John Street Hanley (Matt)

Turbostyle WA07KXT in John Street Hanley (Matt)

Afterwards, someone from his respite met him to take him back to the respite house.(Mark)

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Trip to Bury 13-11-2010


MIB 246Longton Hall Road, BlurtonMoss Street, BuryCharterCopelands Tours
40359Bury BSWalshaw War Memorial510First Manchester
40350Walshaw War MemorialBury BS510First Manchester
34058Bury BSTram Stop, Radcliffe524First Manchester
MX06 BSYTram Stop, RadcliffeBury BS513Maytree Travel
60227Bury BSRowlands Road, Walmersley472First Manchester
34028Rowlands Road, WalmersleyBury BS474First Manchester
60273Bury BSParr Lane, Unsworth137First Manchester
34023Parr Lane, UnsworthBury BS137First Manchester
MIB 246Moss Street, BuryLongton Hall Road, BlurtonCharterCopelands Tours

As this was a shorter journey than most, we decided to do this coach from Blurton. We booked the back seat for a change, to see if Matthew would enjoy it. A few days before departure we got a call to say that the seat numbers had changed, we were now in seats 54-57 meaning that this would a different to coach to the ones we had previously had, and therefore Matthew would be travelling a different vehicle. Planning for the trip consisted of looking at which bus tickets we could purchase and printing up section of the GMPTE transport map of Bury. Initial plans were to travel away from Manchester into areas that we knew a little about. So I printed information on buses in the Heywood and Ramsbottom direction.

On the day of the trip we drove to Longton Hall Lane and parked up. Matthew was anticipating travelling on a different copelands Tours coach. Sure enough MIB 246 appeared around the corner and Matthew was extremely happy. We then had an hour travelling around Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle picking up passengers. The driver decided we needed a short stop (10 Minutes), so we pulled into Knutsford services for a quick toilet and fag break. It also gave Matthew to opportunity to take a picture.

MIB 246 rests at Knutsford services (Mark)

After a short break we continued on to Bury. As always, first priority is to get something to eat so we went into a cafe for food. Afterwards, we stood at the bus station and observed for a short while to see which buses came in. As buses were coming in, I was visiting the travel office for relevant time tables. The first buses that Matthew decided was a must have was a wrinkly dart 40359. a quick dash to the kiosk for a service #510 timetable revealed that we could do this bus to Walshaw for another #510 back. So we purchased our 'System One' off peak day tickets and off we went. When we arrived at Walshaw, Matthew photographed the bus as it left before we crossed the road for the return journey.

40359 in Walshaw on a service #510 to Bolton (Matt)

Sure enough after a brief wait, another Bolton allocated wrinkly dart 40350 appeared from around the corner for our journey back to Bury. On arrival Matthew photographed the interior of the bus with its smart brown chequered moquette.

Inside of 40350 in Bury, shortly after arrival from Bolton (Matt)

Whilst considering whether to wait for the next bus on the #510 to turn up, 34028 pulled into the bus station and parked up, and then 34058 turned up on a service #524 to Bolton. Another quick visit to the kiosk for a timetable, we worked out that we could do this bus to Radcliffe for a short wait and a #524 back. So after Matthew took a picture, we did this bus to Radcliffe.

34058 depart south from Radcliffe (Matt)

We alighted at Radcliffe adjacent to the tram station and Matthew took another picture of the departing bus. I had calculated that we only had around 10 minutes to wait. After about 15 minutes, we looked to see what other service were due. We noted that the #513 to Bury also stopped here, and that was the next bus to arrive, so we decided to do this rather than wait any longer for a #524. The bus arrived and Matthew got the shot whilst I flagged the bus down.

MX06 BSY in Radcliffe on service #513 to Bury (Matt)

By the time came to do the third trip Matthew was becoming a bit excitable, we had seen 34028 depart on a #474 Ramsbottom circular, but we weren't quick enough to catch it.

34028 on a service #474 Ramsbottom circular (Matt)

The plan was to catch the next #472 and to meet 34028 somewhere around Ramsbottom, but Matthew couldn't decide what he wanted to do. We eventually got on the next #472, and we worked out we could travel to walmersley to meet the double decker coming the other way. The next #472 that turned up was a Mercedes single decker 60227. We did this to Walmesley and Matthew took a picture as it departed Northwards.

60227 departs North from Walmersley on a #472 Ramsbottom circular (Matt)

After a few minutes wait 34028 appeared over the horizon. After Matthew's excitable antics on the last visit to Bury we decide to call mum, meet up for a snack to give Matthew a few minutes to calm down! Matthew got off the bus and took a few more pictures.

Also seen, 34029 in Bury bus station (Matt)

In the cafe on the town side of the bus station, we bought Matthew a portion of chips, and mum had a Derby scone which Matthew also pinched. During the day and during our snack it had been noted that service #137 seemed to have a few double deckers working. We missed 34291 as we finished our meal so we waited for the next #137. this turned out to be another of the Mercedes single decker buses 60273. A moved was worked out to Unsworth. As we journeyed South we saw rows of coaches parked up including our own. We also saw all the fans streaming out ofa pub on their way to watch the local derby between Bury and Stockport. We then passed a double decker. After we got of we waited for a #137. we had about a maximum of 40 minutes we could wait without missing the coach home. The first bus was a single decker which we decided to flag. Whilst we were waiting a double decker went south just before 34023 appeared.

34023 in unsworth heading towards Bury on service #137 (Matt)

We got on the bus and did the short journey back into town and met up with mum. We took a few pictures at the top end of the bus station whilst waiting for our coach to appear. The most interesting bus was an Almin travel minibus.

Almin Travel L402 BBC in Bury. If anyone knows what service this bus was working please get in touch! (Matt)

On the way back we went non stop back to Stoke, after all the other drop off's the journey took around 2 hours. A good little trip that we are sure to do again some time. (Mark)

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Trip to Ellesmere Port / Chester 06-11-2010


2446Ellesmere Port BSChester BS401Arriva NW&W
30077Chester BSPlas Newton51First Potteries
30077Plas NewtonChester BS51First 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. We then took a picture of the GHA crew mess today N3 GHA.

GHA bus N3 GHA is the crew mess for today (Matt)

After a short wait Arriva NW&W cadet 2446 turned up on the #401, which was not required! matthew too a picture before we boarded, not dissimilar to the one ho too last time we caught this bus.

2446 in Ellesmere Port bus station about to work the 14:17 service #401 to Chester (Matt)

When we got to chester we had around an hour taking pictures in the bus station. Of note was 30069 which had previously been allocated to Crewe.

Recently transferred from Crewe, 30069 works a #9 to Pipers Ash (Matt)

Also seen in the bus station was a GHA DeeBee liveried bus. This type of bus is usually restricted to working services that start in Delamere Street.

GHA bus DeeBee liveried YJ59 GFX unusually working the 82 Northwich (Matt)

As there was very little about, we decided to ride on 30077 today. We have seen this bus many time before but we have never caught it! We had seen it work a #53 earlier so we knew it would be on a #51 later. As we walked up to the bus Matthew got a shot before we went over to board it.

30077 arrives in Chester bus station about to work a #51 Plas Newton service (Matt)

We booked to the shops in Plas Newton. when we approached the shops we booked again to take us back to Chester. By the time we got back to chester mum had driven up from Ellesmere Port. As it was starting to go dark, we took one last picture before returning to the car.

30077 on return to Chester bus station about to work a #53 Kingsway(Matt)

When mum turned up it was back to the car for sausage rolls. There followed a fairly uneventful journey home other than hearing that Stoke had lost to Sunderland away...Mark