|64||Trentham Road, Magdalen Road||Longton Transport Interchange||22||Scraggs|
|61237||Longton Transport Interchange||Duke Street, Fenton||6B||First Potteries|
|60004||Duke Street, Fenton||Church Street, Stoke||26||First Potteries|
Matthew returned home from respite care at dinner time, and I knew he would be interested in going out on the #22 service. The bank holiday and Sunday service has been taken over by Scraggs Blue Buses, and this had started the day before. Yesterday I went out to get a photograph of the first running, and today I went out to see what had worked on the second run. both days had produced Scraggs Blue Buses 64 which Matthew had not been on before. It had been raining all day and was forecast to stop around teatime. I took him out as planned, with the intention of catching the bus to Longton and then returning straight away. We walked the short distance to the Trentham road stop and waited for the bus to turn up. After a few minutes,we saw the Blue step entranced minibus appear in the distance. I hindsight we should have gone to the next stop as the bus emerged out of the sun and made it difficult for Matthew to get a good photograph.
Scraggs Blue Buses 64 on a Newcastle to Longton Service (Matt)
We boarded the bus which was half full. Shortly after boarding we followed 40138 through Blurton as it headed towards Hanley on a #23 service. People were talking about the service, and I think it can be said that everyone is willing that the new 'trial' service is a commercial success and that Scraggs continue to run it. When we got to Longton, Matthew photographed the empty inside of the bus.
Inside Scraggs 64, showing it's ex Arriva Interior (Matt)
When we got off, I was hoping that Matthew would get straight back on but he had different ideas,
He did get a much better shot of the bus as it left Longton Transport interchange though.
Scraggs Blue Buses 64 Departs for Newcastle (Matt)
OK..so we got to plan B... I thought we could catch a bus to Fenton and then catch one back. We could then catch the return Scraggs bus back homewards. The next bus in was a 6B to Hanley and Matthew indicated that he wanted to catch it.
61237 pulls into Longton Transport Interchange on the #6B to Hanley (Matt)
On the way towards Fenton we passed 61143 coming the other way, we also passed 61160. After this short run we got off. The timetable indicted a 20 frequency towards Hanley, which I thought was good for a Sunday evening. There was also an hourly 26 to Stoke. We then decided that perhaps the best thing to do was to go to Stoke and then maybe catch a bus to Blurton from Stoke. According to the timetable board, the 26 Newcastle and the 6B Hanley were due at the same time. First bus to turn up was the 6B which was 60057.
60057 on the following 6B Hanley (Matt)
It then occurred to me that maybe the board hadn't been changed. I looked at the date at the bottom and it said from February 2011... That was the last change! We then saw 61237 across the road returning from Hanley.
61237 heading back towards Longton on a #6B (Matt)
I texted the 84268 service to see when the next bus was due, the service retuned a load of 6B's and nothing else... Oh...perhaps the bus doesn't run the late... I was just considering crossing the road and waitng for 60057 to go back to Longton, when a 26 Newcastle turned up about 7 late. I now know the bus does still run and wasn't affected by the timetable change...The bus turns up and it'ts 60004, now the lowest numbered single decker in the First Fleet that is still running. We did this bus to Church Street, Stoke.
60004 on arrival in Stoke on a #26 to Newcastle (Matt)
We we got to Stoke Matthew decided he was staying put for a short while. I tried to give him alternatives for going home, he could either catch a 21 or a 23. but he just wanted to stay put. At that point mum called to see if we were OK. I asked Matthew if he wanted to go home in the car or bus and he chose car??!! So mum set off and we had around 15 minutes in Stoke watching buses. Amongst others 40138 turned up on a #23 Blurton - Hanley
40138 on a 23 to Hanley (Matt)
Eventually mum turned up and we returned home via Trent Vale and Trentham. Matthew insisted we called at the One Stop Shop on the Lea and he purchased some biscuits. As we travelled along Trentham Road we passed Scraggs 64 on a Newcastle bound 22. Had we gone back to Longton and caught the 22 bus, we wouldn't have got home much earlier.... Mark