Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Trip on the Beatrice 31-08-2011

Bus From To Service Operator

FJ10 BJX John St, Hanley Cheddleton Charter Aiming High
FJ10 BJX Cheddleton John St, Hanley Charter Aiming High

Today Matthew went on a trip on the Beatrice canal barge. The barge for disabled children, was organised by Aiming High and as usual they organise transport from Hanley on one of their own vehicles. We arrived in Hanley about 09:40 which gave Matthew an opportunity to watch and photograph buses. Whilst stand outside the bus station for around 15 minutes, Matthew first spot this Alton Towers Transport bus entering the bus station.

Alton Towers Transport M425 UNW enters Hanley bus station (Matt)

There were many First buses in and out of the bus station in this short time. one of which was 40169 seen on a #23 Blurton service.

40169 on a #23 Blurton (Matt)

Another interesting service is the #61 to Tunstall operated by Wardle Transport. On weekdays this is many opperated by double decker buses. One such bus seen today on this 30 minutes frequency service is 4652.

Wardle Transport 4652 entering Hanley bus station (Matt)

As it closer to time we walked down to John Street. After a short while the vehicle turned up. on this occasion it was FJ10 BJX.

Aiming High FJ10 BJX in John Street about to work to Cheddleton (Matt)

Matthew then gave me his camera whilst he went on the bus. When he returned he seemed very happy and virtually bounced off the bus. Mum then took him home via the Wrights Pie shop in Hanford where sausage rolls and Manchester tarts were purchased.

Manchester Tarts in the Wrights Pie shop in Hanford (Matt)

With a car full of food, Matthew went home very happy..Mark

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Trip to the Britannia Stadium 30-08-2011

Bus From To Service Operator

2402 Britannia Stadium Stanley Matthews Way, Blurton 500 Wardle Transport

Today we went out at night again as I am at work and can't take Matthew out in the day. We set off walking around 21:10 and arrived at the Britannia Stadium stop around 21:40. We watched the bus go up the ramp off the A50 and we could see it was a Dart. A minute later it rounded the corner and it was required 2402. We boarded the bus and traveled the mile or so to the other end. as usual after we got off we crossed the road so we could get a picture of the bus as it waited to do the return #500 service.

2402 at its start point about to work the #500 Trentham Lakes - Norton (Matt)

We then crossed the road to go home and got a picture from the other side as we often do.

2402 on Stanley Matthews Way (Matt)

we then walked home after unbelievably dropping on another new bus on this service. At this rate we will eventually have been on the entire single deck fleet on this service. Before long there will probably be Ex D&G buses working this service too...Mark

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Trip to Bath 27-08-2011

Bus From To Service Operator

MIB 978 Brunswick Street, Newcastle Bath Coach Park Charter Copelands Tours
46225 Bath BS Lower Weston, Windsor Villas (SW Bound) 332 First Somerset & Avon
46259 Lower Weston, Windsor Villas Combe Park, The Homestead (N bound) 14 First Somerset & Avon
42899 Combe Park, The Homestead (S bound) Bath BS 14 First Somerset & Avon
53804 Bath BS Southdown, Jones Stores (N bound) 10 First Somerset & Avon
53812 Southdown, Jones Stores (N bound) Southdown, Kingsway Post Office (N bound) 10 First Somerset & Avon
52564 Southdown, Kingsway Post Office (SW bound) Bath BS 10 First Somerset & Avon
MIB 978 Bath Coach Park Brunswick Street, Newcastle Charter Copelands Tours

Having enjoyed visit to bath last year, When Matthew saw this trip in the Copeland's Tours leaflet he wanted to do it. Preparation for the trip consisted of printing out the 3 maps of bath from the First site and digging out last years First timetable book in order to have a rough idea of what the timetable would be in case we couldn't get an up to date version. This time we drove to Newcastle and parked up for the day as we knew this would be a long trip. We arrived around 08:30 to give me time to park up and get back to Brunswick Street before the booked 08;50 departure. Whilst waiting there was a real flurry of activity with buses and coaches coming and going virtually constantly. The bus arrived a few minutes late and then we set of promptly after the driver told us where we were going to stop. We set of and went via the A34, A500 and then M6.
Shortly after we joined the M5 we stopped at Frankley services for a quick toilet and snack break.

MIB 978 in Frankley services (Matt)

After going to the toilets, we went into the shop to try and by Buses magazine but they didn't have one! We left mum in the queue whilst we stood by the coach waiting. After a few minutes mum hadn't returned so I left Matthew with uncle Dave and I went to find her. She had gone out of the wrong door, having failing to notice the we entered via the back of the M&S store from the coach park! We got back on the coach and we set off South along the M5. We hit traffic just North of Bristol, and after crawling for around 20 minutes we reached the junction for the M4 and got going again. We entered the city of Bath via the same route as last time along the A46. As last time we crawled into the city along this very busy road. We parked up in the coach park around 12;20. We could eat at the same cafe as last time because it had closed, so we walked into town towards the bus station. On the corner of the bus station is MacAvoy's cafe which has a few tables outside which would be perfect for us to eat and observe the buses. We ordered 2 breakfasts, teacakes and a sausage sandwich with 3 drinks. the food was very nice and we were able to make some important observations. Whilst waiting for the food i nipped around to the travel office and picked up a copy of the latest first timetable book for 20p! we also saw 52554 on the #1 service, 46259 on a #14 service and we saw 46225 arrive which is a step entranced Dart. after we finished eating we went around the back of the bus station by the river footbridge and we could see 46225 was still on stand. We decided to walk around to the bus station and see what service the bus was on. Closer inspection revealed that 46225 was on a #332 Bristol service. A quick check of the timetable and local revealed that the #332 heads west out of the city along Upper Bristol Road. We decided we could catch this bus out along the A4 and there were plenty of other service that we could do back. We got on the bus and booked 2 local day rovers for £4 each and the a ticket for Matthew to Upper Bristol Road. Matthew also observed that this bus was taxed until July next year so hopefully it will be running for a while yet! We headed out of town and we were behind 46259 on service #14, a service which we had covered last year. When we reached the outskirts of bath we got off this bus and Matthew was able to get a good picture.

46225 on Upper Bristol Road (Matt)

When we got off, we were considering crossing the road to return to Bath, when 46259 appeared on a Weston Bound #14 service. We must have overtaken this bus at some point and I hadn't noticed. As we had done this service before we decided to get on it and do it up to the hospital. We boarded the bus and then traveled a mile or so towards the hospital. We got off earlier than we should have done, and Matthew took a picture as it went off into the distance.

46259 on Combe Park (Matt)

We were about to walk up to the hospital entrance when uncle Dave noticed a stop on the opposite side of the road in the other direction. we walked down and waited for the bus. we only had to wait around 3 minute when 42899 turned up on a Bath bound #14

42899 on Combe Park (Matt)

We did the bus back to the bus station where Matthew took a picture of the empty Dennis Dart.

Inside 42899 (Matt)

When we got off the bus, Matthew misbehaved and we had to take him away from the bus station for 20 minutes or so to calm him down. Whilst waiting around the back of the bus station we observed 52564 on a #10 service. We walked back into the bus station and saw that 53806 was now on the #1 service replacing 52554. We walked to the west end of the bus station and we gave Matthew a choice of several buses on services #5, #10, #14 and #17 after around 10 minutes Matthew chose to do 53804 on a #10 service. We boarded the bus and booked to Southdown for Matthew. The bus headed west then South, over the river and railway line. We passed 52564 around the Kingsway area. When we thought we were somewhere on the loop part of the service we got off the bus and Matthew got a picture of the Solo.

53804 in Southdown (Matt)

At this point we decided to stagger our journey back and to attempt to get the Mercedes minibus back. We waited for 12 minutes and then caught the next service which was Optare Solo 53812

53812 in Southdown (Matt)

We did the bus to Kingsway and we saw 53810 going in the other direction. At this point I realised that there were 4 buses working the service and if we waited on this side of the road we would get 53810 and pass 52564 going out. We then decided walk around the corner and to catch the outward service which we were hoping was going to be the step entranced minibus. At this point I gave mum a text to meet at the bus station around 16:00. We waited on the wrong side of the road sitting on a wall and then crossed over a couple of minutes before the bus was due. The bus appeared promptly and it was indeed 52564.

52564 near Kingsway PO (Matt)

Matthew went to the back of the bus. this bus is unusual as it only has 4 back seats with a gap in the middle. The journey back was interesting as someone got on with a pushchair which if often the case when a service is mainly low floor. having wrestled the pushchair into the luggage area the bus returned in to Bath. Matthew did manage to get another shot of this bus in the bus station as it pulled off the stand.

52564 in bath bus station (Matt)

we then waited for mum for mum. after a couple of minutes we met up and then slowly made our way back to the coach park. Matthew photographed a few buses on the way back including 41142. this is a bus from the same batch that arrived in Stoke from London back in 2003. Because they were displaced before the national numbering they have completely different number ranges.

41142 in Dorchester Street (Matt)

As we passed behind the back of the bus station, Matthew took a picture of a CT Coaches minibus in the bus station.

CT Coaches Mercedes minibus S281 LGA (Matt)

We walked back to the coach park via Ambury where there were 4 buses parked up, and along Corn Street. At the coach park Matthew photographed most of the coaches and used the facilities. we had the customary sausage rolls as we wait time for the coach to depart. We set off a few minutes before 17:00 and after we left bath we had clear roads all the way. We stopped at Frankley again around 18:50 After we stretched our legs and mum stocked up with drinks for us, we set off North around 19:10. We reached Newcastle just before 20:00 passing 30033 in Newcastle bus station. Matthew, mum and Uncle Dave went to get food whilst I went to fetch the car. I picked them up and then we dropped uncle Dave off at home before returning home ourselves. This was quite a good trip which was slightly marred by Matthews behaviour. We made a good recovery but his could have been a disaster! Matthew need to behave better if he want to continue to have coach trips out...Mark

Friday, 26 August 2011

Trip to Cheadle 26-08-2011

Bus From To Service Operator

N748 OYR Longto Transport Interchange Cheadle Town Centre, adj Charles Street 7A Wardle Transport
65034 Cheadle Town Centre, adj Charles Street Werrington PO(opp) 32 First Potteries

Today we decided to go to Cheadle again after I returned from work. We got to Longton around 16:00 and we had around 20 minutes to wait for the Cheadle bus. Whilst we were waiting Matthew took a couple of picture including on of 40179.

40179 in Longton transport Interchange (Matt)

After a short wait i could seen what looked like a Nothern Counties bodied Dart on the Strand so we started walking towards the correct stand. When it appeared I was indeed as described, N748 OYR still not carrying Wardle Transport fleet numbers.

Wardle Transport N748 OYR (still no fleet number) in Longton Transport Interchange (Matt)

We got on the bus and then waited until time before departing along Uttoxeter Road. The journey was uneventful, although the driver was surprised to pick someone in in Cresswell for the first time ever. We got off in cheadle at the same stop as week. Matthew got a shot as it departed.

That bus leaving Cheadle (Matt)

As we waited for a 32/32A, Matthew saw one of his old favourites. It was Clowes coaches M127 YCM which is a regular on the 234/236 service one which Matthew has ridden on many times!

Clowes Coaches M127 YCM heading towards Tean (Matt)

A short while later required 65034 appeared on a #32 Hanley. We got of at Werrington and waited for mum.

65034 in Werrington (Matt)

Whilst wait we saw Alton Towers Transport Volvo B10 M574 YEW on a #15 service.

M574 YEW in Werrington on the ATT #15 service (Matt)

When mum turned up we went to a local chip shop and picked up some chips for Matthew. We then went home via Uncle Daves house...Mark

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Trip to the Britannia Stadium 23-08-2011

Bus From To Service Operator

2409 Britannia Stadium Stanley Matthews Way, Blurton 500 Wardle Transport

With not being able to get any time off work at the moment, most of our trips are currently at weekends. As it had been a few days since we last went out on a bus I decided to take him to the Britannia Stadium again to catch the #500 service. We set off a fraction after 21:00. There was still a bit of light on the horizon as we walked down but it was definitely dark! we arrived at the Brit just after 21:30 and we waited for the bus to appear. After around 20 minute we saw a Dennis Dart dart up the ramp off the A50 heading in our direction. The bus rounded the corner a couple of minute later and it was required 2409.

2409 outside the Britannia Stadium (Matt)

We got on the bus and traveled along the distance of Stanley Matthews way. When we got off Matthew photographed the bus as it went to turn.

2409 disappears towards the roundabout to turn for return service (Matt)

As usual we crossed the road to wait for the bus at the bus stop. Matthew then got another picture of the bus whilst it was stopped

2409 awaits time before working the #500 to Norton (Matt)

We then crossed the road and he took another picture from the other side.

2409 from the other side (Matt)

We then walked home to settle down for the evening...Mark

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Trip to Oswestry 20-08-2011

Bus From To Service Operator

R794 WOY Blurton Oswestry Charter Lightning Travel
510 Oswestry BS Llynclys 445 Tanat Valley
509 Llynclys Oswestry BS 445 Tanat Valley
2737 Oswestry BS Chirk 2A Arriva Midlands
2740 Chirk Oswestry BS 2 Arriva Midlands
R794 WOY Oswestry Blurton Charter Lightning Travel

Today we decided not to follow he crowds to Chester for the official farewell of 30069/30077 as we have already been on these and there was also a busy race meeting in town to contend with. So we gave Matthew a few choices of places he could go today and he chose Oswestry. Reseach consisted of printing an Arriva Oswestry route map out, and also the Tanat Valley timetables for D71 445 and 449. We set off on R794 WOY at around 12:00 picking some sausage rolls up from Hanford Wrights Pies on the way. The route was via the A53, A51 and then A525 and A495. In Ellesmere we passed a Challinor coach and also Tanat Valley 258 on the #449 service. We stopped for dinner on the way this time in a pub called 'Ye olde boote' in Whittington. We had baguettes and chips which from £5 to £6 depending on the filling. we all ate for just over £22 pound. The food was nice and plentiful, but it wasn't the type of food we would normally order when out with Matthew and we had to change things around to find a meal he would eat. After the meal we continues on to Oswestry and we parked up around 14:30. We saw Tanat Valley 214 depart on the d71 service, and we also saw Arriva Midlands 2295 on a #402 town circular service.

2295 on a #402 Oswestry town circular (Matt)

Remembering how thing work I realised that we only had a few minutes before the #445 service was due to depart. We saw the required double decker 510 about to go onto stand so we raced up to the stop. I don't think Matthew was quite on plan, but he eventually got on the bus and we sat upstairs. Last time we did this service it was a lynx! Matthew got a picture of the inside the top deck of the bus as we rode out to Llynclys

Inside Tanat Valley 510, top deck (Matt)

Last time we had done this and the D71 buses, both left Oswestry packed. Today the #445 was lightly loaded with a double decker.

Tanat Valley 510 in Llynclys (Matt)

We alighted outside the white Lyon and then crossed the road. It took a couple of minutes to get across because of traffic. as we had made good time we had around 5 minutes to wait for the return to Oswestry. It was a great surprise to see another double decker, 509 on the inbound service.

Tanat Valley 509 on a Oswestry bound #445 service (Matt)

The return was also lightly loaded but this comes as no surprise on a service which is basically a shoppers bus heading towards the shops in the late afternoon. before we got off matthew of course photographed the inside of this bus too...

Inside 509 (Matt)

When we got back after such a fast-paced move I hoped to have a few minutes to re-group and work out what we were going to catch. Matthew spotted 258 now parked up between duties.

Tanat Valley 258 between duties (Matt)

Matthew made a quick decision that he wanted to do the bus that was in the bus station. It was Arriva Midlands 2737 which was on a #2A to Wrexham. I decided that with an approx 30 minute frequency on the 2/2A to Wrexham, we could do this to Chirk and could get back easily. I think Matthew want to go to Wrexham in the future, but today that wasn't going to be able to do that. we got on the bus and it was quite well filled by the time it left town. and when we got off the bus was still quite full.

Arriva Midlands 2737 in Chirk (Matt)

In Chirk we the Spar shop. Matthew helped me take some money out of the cash machine and the we got lottery tickets and he chose some Coke from the shop fridge. we crossed the road and then had an approx 10 minute wait for a return bus, this time a #2. The bus appeared and it was 2740.

Arriva Midlands 2740 on a Oswestry bound #2 service (Matt)

We did this bus back into time and like the other inbound service it was nearly empty. The return service was via Gobowen and a hospital. I did briefly consider getting off at Gobowen for a #53 bus. At Oswestry, Matthew photographed the empty inside of the bus.

Inside 2740 (Matt)

We then got off and he got another picture of the outside for good measure...

2740 in Oswestry bus station (Matt)

Matthew wanted to go to Morrison's to do some shopping with mum and he brought a sizable amount of pop! We walked back via the bus station and we saw Shrewsbury's 2347 on a service 576.

2347 on a service #576 to Shrewsbury (Matt)

We then returned to the car to eat sausages rolls before driving back around 16:30. as we got in the car a #576 appeared so we could have gotten off at Gobowen and we wouldn't have had to wait too long. The return journey on R794 WOY was quite uneventful, and we got back home around 17:50...Mark

Friday, 19 August 2011

Trip to Cheadle 19-08-2011

Bus From To Service Operator

2001 Longton, opp St James' Church Cheadle Town Centre, adj Charles Street 7A Wardle Transport
65033 Cheadle Town Centre, adj Charles Street Werrington PO(opp) 32A First Potteries

Today we planned to do a similar move to last Friday, covering the #7A and then going to Stone on the #250. I got home from work and we set off for Longton just after 16:00. As we were a bit late, I decided to go to Uttoxeter road to intercept the 7A. We only had a few minutes to wait for this bus, but we turn down First PMT 61235 on the preceding #6 service. When the bus appeared we new instantly it was the much sought after by us Wardle Transport Wright Handybus Dennis Dart 2001. We had been after this bus for a few years as a D&G vehicle. Often on the #41 service, but never when we went to cover it specifically or it was going the other way! Matthew took the shot just to prove it was real...

Yay! Wardle Transport 2001 is finally caught on the 7a to Cheadle (Matt)

Initially I booked to Meir but Matthew wanted a longer ride, so I went to re-book to Cheadle. After a good 35 minutes on this bus bombing down country lanes to the south of Draycott. we arrived in Cheadle just after 17:00. As we got off Matthew photographed the inside.

Inside the beast (Matt)

...He then got a picture as it went away to work the return to Longton.

2001 powers into the distance from Cheadle (Matt)

having planned to do something else i made inquiries about the correct stop for Hanley and we waited for approximately 10 minutes before. First PMT 65033 appeared. I initially thought that this was required but we had been on this bus last year on the 5th June...

65033 on a #32A to Hanley (Matt)

When we got on this bus i booked to Hanley, but I then arranged to met mum at Werrington at it would be busty in Hanley by the time we returned. A short while later we arrived in Werrington and Matthew got another shot.

65033 in Werrington (Matt)

Mum arrived a couple of minutes later and then we returned home via the Bucknall Fish and chip bar...Mark

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Trip to Newcastle 17-08-2011

Bus From To Service Operator

40145 Wolstanton, opp Marsh Avenue Newcastle BS 99 First Potteries
40152 Newcastle BS Northwood Lane, Clayton 72 First Potteries
40152 Northwood Lane, Clayton Newcastle BS 72 First Potteries
40150 Newcastle BS Wilding Road Shops, Ball Green 98 First Potteries
40150 Wilding Road Shops, Ball Green Newcastle BS 98 First Potteries
40145 Newcastle BS Wolstanton, opp Marsh Avenue 99 First Potteries
40021 Wolstanton, opp Marsh Avenue Newcastle BS 17 First Potteries
40021 Newcastle BS Wolstanton, opp Marsh Avenue 17 First Potteries

Matthew was taken out for a 3rd day on the trot and started off with 40145 towards Newcastle.

40145 on a Newcastle service (Matt)

When in Newcastle Matthew saw 40152 in Newcastle on a #72 Clayton service. Matthew did this to Clayton and back. back at Newcastle 40150 came in on the #98 Ball Green and he also did this to the end and back. Matthew then did 40145 again back to Wolstanton.

40145 in Newcastle bus station (Matt)

He then went back to his respite unit for tea. After tea he came out again and did 40021 to newcastle and back.

40021 in Wolstanton on a #17 service (Matt)

He then went home for a good nights sleep!...Mark

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Trip to Newcastle 16-08-2011

Bus From To Service Operator

40144 Wolstanton, opp Marsh Avenue Newcastle BS 99 First Potteries
40016 Newastle BS Hanley BS 24A First Potteries
40016 Hanley BS Newastle BS 24A First Potteries
40142 Newastle BS Whitehill Newchapel 99A First Potteries
40142 Whitehill Newchapel Wolstanton, opp Marsh Avenue 99A First Potteries

Matthew was once again in respite and was taken by staff there. Whilst waiting for his bus he saw Bakerbus Volvo B6 217 on a Newcastle bound 94a service.

Bakerbus Volvo B6 217 on a 94A towards Newcastle (Matt)

shortly afterward 40144 turned up on the Newcastle bound First potteries service.

40144 on a Newcastle service (Matt)

When in Newcastle, they did a 24A service to Hanley with 40016. Whilst at Hanley bus station Matthew took this close up of 61553.

Close up of 61553 in Hanley Bus Station (Matt)

Matthew then did 40016 back to Newcastle. back at Newcastle 40142 appeared on the 99A. Matthew did this to whitehill and then waited for the bus back, which happened to be the same bus.

40142 in Whitehill (Matt)

Matthew then did this back to Wolstanton and then returned to his respite unit...Mark