|40373||Ladybank Grove, Blurton||Stoke railway station||23||First Potteries|
|61143||Signal Radio, Stoke Road||Campbell Place, Stoke||21||First Potteries|
|66845||Church Street, Stoke||Newcastle bus station||25||First Potteries|
|2902||Newcastle bus station||Hanley bus station||164||Arriva Midlands|
|61556||Hanley bus station||Longton transport interchange||6B||First Potteries|
As Matthew hadn't been out much this month and today was the last running of the Sunday 164, I decided to take him out today to try and get a ride on this service. The original plan was to catch the 14:00 Newcastle - Longton #22 bus to Longton, catch a 6B to Hanley in order to meet the 164 in Hanley bus station. The bus was due through Blurton at 14:22 so we set off to the bus stop on Trentham Road just before 14:10. After waiting for 25 minutes for this bus, we had to assume that this bus had broken down or the driver was unable to complete this turn. So we followed the route through Blurton to the Ladybank Grove stop. the next #23 bus was due at 14:54 so we waited here for the Hanley bus. As we waited it started to rain so the coats cam out of the bag. The #23 turned up at around 15:00 with dud 40373 for power.
40373 in Blurton on the #23 to Hanley (Matt)
At this point the #22 still hadn't come past in either direction so I can only assume that this leg of the diagram did not run. The reason the #23 was running late is because there was a young girl trying to dodge paying her fare. As her mother got off the bus the young girl miraculously found her ticket, which must have been a 'week student' ticket. When asked to produce a student cards she couldn't. The mum came back on to the bus to see if there was a problem and the driver ascertained that the ticket belonged to her. The younger girl was asked to pay the fare of get off the bus! As a result of this action the bus was 10 minutes late when it left Ladybank Grove. Our plan B was to got to Stoke station (15:12) and to pick up the 164 outside Signal Radio (15:20). As we got off the bus matthew took a quick picture.
40373 outside Stoke railway station (Matt)
We jogged the 400 or so yards to the Signal Radio stop on Stoke Road. As the bus had been made late by the fare dodger we weren't able to make this bus. We saw 40022 on a 21A and we let this go, hoping that the #164 still might turn up. it soon came apparent that we had definitely missed the bus so I used the '84268' system to find the next bus time. There was a #21 at 15:46. I thought that this might make the #22 in Trent Vale, which we could catch up to Newcastle (we'll call this plan 'C'...). The bus turned up and it was ex Chester 61143 which was required.
61143 outside Signal Radio (Matt)
When the bus stopped at the lights over the A500 it vibrated quite a bit! As this bus was also a couple of minutes late, and it was also a bit shaky, I decide to get off in stoke to head towards Newcastle from there. With service #25, #26 and #41, there bound to be something to get us up to Newcaslte for 16:50. When we got off I consulted to bus stop timetables. there was a #25 at 16:22 which should get us to Newcastle with plenty of time to meet the 164 (Plan 'D'). Whilst we waited we were able to take some pictures.
60063 on a Hanley bound #26 (Matt)
D&G 91 on a #41 to Hanley (Matt)
After around 20 minutes and a few buses later, required 66845 turned up on the #25...
First Potteries 66845 on a #25 to Keele (Matt)
When we got to Newcastle we saw Scraggs 80 on the 16:30 to Longtom. It would seem that plan 'D' actually worked and we would finally catch up with the #164. Matthew then got another picture of 66845.
66845 in Newcastle bus station (Matt)
We also saw 40019 on the #72 Clayton and then D&G 41 on the #85 Crewe service...
D&G 41 on #85 Crewe (Matt)
Another bus we saw whilst waiting was D&G 106 on the 94A to Audley.
D&G 106 on a #94A to Audley (Matt)
Shortly after that we eventually saw what we had been waiting for. Arriva Midlands 2902 on the last Northbound Sunday #164 service.
Last Northbound #164; 2902 in Newcastle bus station (Matt)
As we got on Matthew tried to do something that he shouldn't and nearly got us in to trouble. Luckily the driver ignored his bad behaviour. When we got to Hanley he tried to do the same thing again! needless to say he won't be going on a Arriva Midlands bus in Hanley on a Sunday again (unless the timetable changes...). When we got off we were able to take another picture of this beast.
Last Southbound #164; 2902 in Hanley bus station (Matt)
At this point i gave Matthew a choice of a few buses he could catch. he could have done a 21A to Trentham, a #25 to stoke or a 6B to Longton. Matthew choice to do 61556 on the 6B. We left the balcony and waited for the driver to return to this bus.
61556 on a #6B to Blythe Bridge (Matt)
At Longton we were able to get a few more pictures before mum picked us up. 60011 was on a #26...
60011 on a #26 (Matt)
We got another picture of ex Chester 61556...
61556 continues to Blythe Bridge (Matt)
Another ex Chester bus also turned up which Matthew got a picture of...
61554 in Longton transport interchange (Matt)
Also old-school Scania 60073 starting to look it's age...
60073 in Longton transport interchange (Matt)
Shortly after this mum turned up to rescue us. We went home and had Pizza for tea... Mark