Saturday, 24 September 2011

Trip to Smallthorne 24-09-2011


40159Ladybank Grove, BlurtonHanley BS23AFirst Potteries
185Hanley BSSmallthorne, Hadfield Green (adj)9Bakerbus
60011Smallthorne, Hadfield Green (adj)Hanley BS29First Potteries
BK10 MGVHanley BSPreston Street (Opp)9Bakerbus
186Preston Street (adj)Hanley BS9Bakerbus
60201Hanley BSNewcastle BS34First Potteries
40137Newcastle BSTunstall, Highgate (opp)99First Potteries
40147Tunstall, Woodland Street stop CLongport, Longport Road (adj)99First Potteries

Today we decided to do a local trip, with the main intention of trying to get a ride on the Bakerbus loaned double deckers before they return home. During the week these usual work the X1 service, but lately on Saturdays they have turned out on the #9 service. I purchased a 'Smart Day' from a local shop and then we walked all the way up to the Ladybank Grove stop to wait for a Hanley bus. After a very short wait 40159 rounded the corner. We have not been on this bus for a long time and such it had been recorded in his list.

40159 in Blurton on a 23A (Matt)

The bus was empty when we got on and so Matthew got his empty shot straight away!

Inside 40159 (Matt)

The journey to Hanley was quiet and uneventful and when we reached Hanley We went up onto the balcony to assess the situation. there was one of the bakerbus double deckers parked up but it was not being used at the time. I went to the travel office to get some timetables. The small office with all the timetables was closed, so I was only able to pick up some First Timetables. On the way back I checked the times of the #9's and #61's. There was a #9 due off at 13:40 and it was already on stand. The bus was Bakerbus 185 and it was required.

Bakerbus 185 in Hanley on a #9 service (Matt)

We decided to do this to Smallthorne in the hope of getting on the return service. As we got off Bakerbus 196 was on the opposite side of the road pulling off! Matthew got another picture of 185 as it was about to pull off.

185 in Smallthorne (Matt)

We crossed the road and I used the text service to find out the next bus. The next bus was going to be a First #29 in about 3 minutes. Almost as soon as I had texted, 60011 rounded the corner. This was not required, but as this bus has been out of service and was nearly withdrawn it was an interesting one.

60011 in Smallthorne (Matt)

The bus was sounding a little rough, and one of the window seals had blown, but we have have seen and heard much worse! As we turned into Hanley bus station we expected to see 196 on stand, but this had been replaced by the double decker! We quickly transferred from one to the other as they were only a couple of stands apart. We got on and this time booked to the top of smallthorne so we could catch a #9 back. We went upstairs and were the only people on the top deck. At this point Matthew got a picture of the empty bus.

Inside demonstrator BK10 MGV (Matt)

The journey was very smooth and quiet expect for Matthew making a noise. As we got off Matthew was able to get a picture of the bus.

BK10 MGV in Smallthorne (Matt)

We crossed the road eventually having fought our way through the busy traffic. After a very short while bakerbus 186 rounded the corner. Not a double decker but still required.

Bakerbus 186 in Smallthorne (Matt)

We did this back to Hanley and when we arrived Matthew took a picture of the empty interior.

Inside 186 (Matt)

At this point we decided to have a break from the buses and eat some chips. I went down to Tony's place and got 2 portions of chips which we promptly finished off. As we were eating step entranced Wardle Transport Dennis Dart 2038 arrived and I hought we were going to catch this but Matthew changed his mind.

Wardle Transport 2038 on a service #61 (Matt)

He directed us towards required 60072 on a #34A. By the time we got down to it it pulled away so Matthew decided he want to do unrequired 60201 on the following #34.

60201 on a #34 in Hanley bus station (Matt)

we did the bus to Newcastle and at this point he decided to misbehave a little. We decided to do required 40137. This Ex Chester bus is the last of the batch allocated locally that he needed.

40137 in Newcastle bus station (Matt)

on the way out of town we passed Bakerbus 215 on a #94A service. We did the bus to Tunstall at which point he was able to get another picture of these beast.

40137 in Tunstall (Matt)

After that we had a few minutes in Tunstall High street. The following service on the same corridor was worked by ALX200 40142.

40142 in Tunstall (Matt)

With 40137 already head back towards Newcastle, the next bus back was likely to be another ALX Dart and indeed it was. required 40147 appeared.

40147 in Tunstall (Matt)

At this point we formulated a plan to get home. We called mum to meet us at the BP garage in Longport so we could be picked up and we could also pick up some LPG at the same time. When we alighted from the bus in Longport, Matthew got another picture.

40147 in Longport (Matt)

We saw another couple of buses whilst we waited. 40148 was heading away from Newcastle and 40151 was heading towards Newcastle. we also saw Wardle Transport 2410 on a Britannia stadium shuttle. When mum arrived we filled up with LPG and then headed home. We got caught slightly in football traffic and saw 40007 doing #22's. also seen was Bakerbus 163 on #350's. not a bad day out today, made better with 43437, a well fought draw with Manchester United afterwards...Mark

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Trip to the Britannia Stadium 22-09-2011


1450BlurtonAbbey HultonCharterWardle Transport
LT06 ZMEAbbey HultonWolstatntonCharterBlackfriars
LT06 ZMEWolstatntonAbbey HultonCharterBlackfriars
1450Abbey HultonmBlurtonCharterWardle Transport
2407Britannia StadiumStanley Matthews Way, Blurton500Wardle Transport

Apart from traveling to college, Matthew hadn't been on a bus for a while. Todays college transport was the now usual WT 1450.

1450 in Blurton (Matt)

At college Matthew informs me he went out on a college bus LT06 EZM to Wolstanton and back. he then came home again on 1450. After tea, I asked Matthew if he fancied a walk down to the Brit to pick up the #500, to which he said yes. Setting of around 21;10 we walked down arriving around 21;40. The bus arrived at the Brit a couple of minutes late and was required 2407. Unusually, there were other passengers on board. We did the bus the length of Stanley Matthews Way before getting off. As we often do we crossed the road to get a picture of the bus before it returned to Norton.

2407 about to work the #500 to Norton (Matt)

We then crossed back over and got another picture from the other side...

2407 on Stanley Matthew Way (Matt)

We then took the long walk home...Mark.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Trip to Tatton Park 11-09-2011


FJ10 BJXJohn St, HanleyTatton ParkCharterAiming High
FJ10 BJXTatton ParkJohn St, HanleyCharterAiming High

Today Matthew went to Tatton Park with Aiming High. We took him up to Hanley to wait for the bus and whilst we waited Matthew took pictures of the buses around the bus station. One of the first buses we saw was the Aiming High bus which must have been going around picking up staff members.

FJ10 BJX running around town before the outing (Matt)

Also seen was First Potteries Optare Solo 40027.

40027 entering Hanley bus station (Matt)

After a short while FJ10 BJX appeared in John Street, where Matthew got a good picture of of this bus.

FJ10 BJX in Hanley about to work to Tatton Park (Matt)

At this point we had his camera off him whilst he went on his trip. Staff report he had a good time and was well behaved. he Then had Chicken popcorn and fries for tea before bath and bedtime...Mark

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Trip to Ellesmere Port / Chester 10-09-2011


4096Ellesmere Port BSChester BS401Arriva NW&W
2296Chester BSWepre, Wepre War Memorial (NW-bound)X11Arriva NW&W
2107Wepre, Wepre War Memorial (SE-bound)Chester BS10Arriva NW&W

today we decided to go Ellesmere port & Chester as we often do. We set off around 12;30 today and we picked uncle Dave up on the way. Traffic seemed to slow on the A500 and this was because we were stuck behind a wide agricultural vehicle. When we got on to the M6 it was deserted. This was because there had been an accident around junction 16 blocking 2 lanes, and little traffic was getting through. we then had a quick run th Ellesmere Port and we pulled into Asda a fraction before 14:00. As we pulled into the car park we passed Arriva DAF 4158 heading towards Liverpool. we ate at the market as usual and today food was from Laura's. Matthew had a breakfast and the rest of us had sandwiches. Food came to a little over £10. We headed back to the bus station and were there around 14:30. Todays GHA crew mess was another double decker but this time not DD09 but another with no fleet numbers on that we could see.

GHA Olympian B148 TRN in Ellesmere Port bus station (Matt)

We then waited at the end of the bus station and Matthew took several more shots. The 14:37 to Chester was a few minutes late and we were surprised to see another DAF 4096 appear to work this service. Matthew mis timed his shot here and then we ran to the stand to get on the bus. We went onto the top deck to better enjoy the journey to Chester. At the junction of the A5117 we passed 2429 seemingly 'out of service' heading North. When we arrived in the bus station Matthew got his empty bus shot before we got off.

Inside the top decker of Arriva NW&W 4096 (Matt)

We then moved to our usual spot and we didn't have to wait long to get another shot of 4096.

Arriva NW&W 4096 leaving chester bus station for Liverpool on the #401 (Matt)

We then stayed for around 30 minutes and observed buses. The most interesting ones were the first double deckers. Alexander bodied Volvo Olympian 34223 was seen leaving chester on a #25 service.

34223 on leaving Chester bus station (Matt)

Also seen was 30069. The bus had an official retirement do on the 20th of August but as can be seen it it still going strong 3 weeks later.

Still going...30069 on a #53 Kingsway service (Matt)

Then we decided to head into Wales as we often do on an Arriva bus. given the choice of Chester allocated 2359 and Rhyl 2296, Matthew chose the Rhyl bus. when it arrived we walked over to the stand and Matthew got a shot from behind as it was very busy.

2296 in chester bus station about to work the X11 (Matt)

The bus was full leaving Chester, and took on a few more passenger on the way out. the bus did not really start to empty until it reached Queensferry. we decided to get off just the other side of Shotton where we hoped it would be even quieter still, and it was just about. When we got off by the Wepre War memorial Matthew got a better shot of this bus.

2296 by the Wepre war memorial (Matt)

we crossed the road and waited for a bus, we had seen a 12 go past just before we got of and the next service would be a 10. After about a 10 minute wait 2107 turned up. We did not recognise this bus and after looking up at home it appears to be Ex Wrexham. We did this into town and matthew got a picture of the Smartie pattern interior.

Mmm Smarties...Inside 2107 (Matt)

After that we had a few minute in the bus station until we met up with mum. Matthew got a better shot of 2107.

2107 in Chester bus station between #10's (Matt)

We also saw 2641 on Chester -Liverpool #401 which did seem quite odd. is this bus now allocated to laird Street?

2641 about to work on the #401 to Liverpool (Matt)

We then went back to the car for sausage rolls. As we left chester we caught the last few minutes of the Stoke game commentary. on the A56 we passed 30069 again and we soon learned that Stoke had won 1-0 against Liverpool! it might have been a bit lucky but we did defend everything they threw at us. The M56 and M6 were quiet and We got home around 18:00...Mark

Friday, 9 September 2011

Trip to the Britannia Stadium 09-09-2011


1450BlurtonAbbey HultonCharterWardle Transport
1450Abbey HultonmBlurtonCharterWardle Transport
2404Britannia StadiumStanley Matthews Way, Blurton500Wardle Transport

Matthew is back at college and the new term brought a new operator on his transport. We did get a letter telling us it was going to be Wardle, but the information was contained within the text of the letter and on the fold of the page! When it turned up we were totally surprised, The bus of the moment from April 2010 appears to be Wardle Transport 1450.

Wardle Transport 1450 on the College Transport (Matt)

Today he had the vehicle to college and back. After we had been up to the Bleeding Wolf for tea tonight after being back an hour or I asked matthew if he wanted to go and cover the 500 again tonight to which he said yes. We set off a little later than usual around 21:15 and we walked down getting to the Brit at 21:45 a mere 5 minutes before the bus was due. After a very brief sit down the bus appeared on the A50 ramp. Matthew got up and required 2404 rounded the corner. After the 3 or 4 minute journey to the other end of Stanley Matthew Way we got off the bus and then crossed the road to see the bus again after it turns at the roundabout to work the return journey. Matthew then got a shot a t the bus stop.

Wardle Transport 2404 in Blurton (Matt)

After that we crossed back and got one from the other side...

Wardle Transport 2404 in ready to work the #500 to Norton (Matt)

Another walk and we were home ready to look at our latest pictures...Mark

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Trip to Birkenhead 04-09-2011

Bus From To Service Operator

4421 Birkenhead BS West Kirby 437 Arriva North West & Wales
4422 West Kirby Birkenhead BS 437 Arriva North West & Wales

Today we thought we were going to Blackpool on one of Z Carz first coach trips. Matthew was so excited he did not sleep very well. He got back up and then stayed up past 03:30! Z Carz have purchased 3 coaches with a view to breaking in contract hire and tours and there was a trip going to Blackpool today. Unfortunately the had to cancel last minute due to a fault on the vehicle. we drove to Longton and waited for the coach around 09:15. after a few minutes, we phoned up to see where the coach was and we were told the bad news. We got in the car and drove from Longton to the depot to sort things out. Whilst mum spoke to the control Matthew got a picture of the coach we were due to be on. We went into the office to mum and we sorted out a new date for a trip on this coach. One of the staff then took Matthew onto the coach in order for him to take a few pictures of the inside.

Not quite yet...Inside D104 XAN (Matt)

With the future trip sorted, we had a packed lunch and nowhere planned to go. So we decided to go to Birkenhead as we hadn't been for a few months. We filled up with LPG at Longport and then drove North. Because of the late night I decided to go along the A54 instead of along the M56. we drove through Winsford, and then we had a quick stop in a lay-by for food and drink. After our short break we continued on the A54 and then onto the A51. we passed a BP petrol station that was burnt out before we got onto the M53 to go into Birkenhead. in birkenhead we headed to platter for dinner. After we dinner we went to the bus station whilst we decide what to catch today. We always ask Matthew if he wants to catch First or Arriva buses and as usual these days he chose Arriva! that didn't stop Matthew pointing out other buses he wanted to catch including 65736 on a #1 Liverpool.

65736 on a #1 Liverpool service (Matt)

Next bus of interest was Avon 155 on a service #164 to New Ferry.

Avon 155 on a #164 service (Matt)

Another interesting bus 60210 heading towards Heswall.

First Manchester 60210 on a #72 Heswall service (Matt)

Matthew then pointed to required 4421 on a #437 West Kirby service. We've never been there so we decided to have a go. Matthew wasn't able to get a picture before we got on. We did the bus for around 3/4s of an hour to West Kirby and it is quite a pleasant ride out through the Wirral. At West Kirby Matthew waited for the bus to empty and then got a picture of the empty top deck.

Inside 4421 (Matt)

We got off and then Matthew got a picture of the outside.

4421 in New Kirby (Matt)

In West Kirby there was a nice square and there were seats where we sat whilst we waited for the next service. After a short wait along came 4422 on the following service also required.

4422 in New Kirby (Matt)

We did the bus back and then we had to decided if we had time to go again.Mmatthew got a shot of 4422 as it left for Liverpool.

4422 departing Birkenhead bus station for Liverpool (Matt)

Had we caught something straight way we might of had time for another short out and back trip. As we did we only had time to take a couple of pictures before we left for home. One such bus was First Manchester 60111.

First Manchester 60111 on a #41 Woodchurch service (Matt)

After a short while we returned to the car for sausage rolls. We went home via the M53 and M56. We decided to have a quick break at chester service where Matthew was able to get a few more coach pictures. We then returned via the M56, M6 and A500. We dropped uncle Dave off and then returned home...Mark