Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Trip to Birkenhead 25-10-2011


7556Birkenhead BSNew Brighton410Arriva NW&W
4158New BrightonGorsey Lane433Arriva NW&W
2460Gorsey LaneBirkenhead Park Station410Arriva NW&W
2344Birkenhead Park StationNew Brighton, Seabank Road (NE-bound)410Arriva NW&W
3007New Brighton, Seabank Road (SW-bound)Birkenhead410Arriva NW&W

As it is half term we have planned to tae him out a few times this week. Matthew chose to go out today and given the choice of a few destination he chose Birkenhead. Research for today consisted of downloading and printing parts of the Wirral public transport guide as well as finding details on the saveaway bus ticket. Today we set off around 11:00 and picked up Uncle Dave on the way. It was a fine Autumn day and the roads were relatively clear. We made good time and we were parked up and eating in Birkenhead market around 13:00. After eating our food we went to the end of the bus station to choose which buses we were going to catch. As we ate Dinner Matthew noticed a few older Dennis Darts working on the 410 New Brighton service. We watched and photographed buses for a few minutes and then we saw an interurban liveried dart approaching. With no time to get a picture we hurried off to the stand to pick up the bus which was required Arriva NW&W 7556. The bus was quite full and we decided to do this all the way to New Brighton. The bus emptied out a little in Liscard and when we arrived in New Brighton we noticed that it looked a little different. Somebody had gone and built a massive supermarket by the seafront! As we got off Matthew got a picture of the inside of the beast...

Inside 7556 (Matt)

At this point we would usually have to chase Matthew around the tennis courts, but he decided he wanted to visit the new Morrison's instead! We purchased some Coca Cola and A Twix before Matthew decided to use the facilities. He also tried to go into the cafe and photographed the cake display. When we got outside Matthew didn't get a picture of the outside of 7556, but dad did.

7556 lays over in New Brighton (Mark)

There seemed to be a constant stream of buses and we didn't have to wait for long for something else to appear. 7554 turned up on a #411 service.

7554 in New Brighton on a service #411 (Matt)

For the first time we saw an Avon bus on a #10 service, I'll have to do some research on this one...

Avon 509 about to work a #10 to Arrowe Park (Matt)

Matthew had already chosen to do one of the refurbished DAF double deckers which had been parked across the road. It was required 4158. After a short while it turned around and came back and Matthew got a picture.

4158 on a 433 to Liverpool (Matt)

We'd already decided that we wouldn't go to Liverpool today, so we decided to get off at the bottom of Gorsey Lane, so we could catch a 4#410 forwards. As we got off Matthew got another picture of 4158.

4158 in Gorsey Lane (Matt)

We decided to let the first bus to Birkenhead go, because it was full to standing. It was required 2455. 10 minutes later another bus appeared which had empty seats so we decided to get on. This time it was dud 2460.

2460 on a #410 in Gorsey Lane (Matt)

We got on with the intention of going back to Birkenhead, but we thought if we went back all the way we would not be able to do much else today. We decided to get off at Birkenhead Park station and cross over and head back towards New Brighton. After we got off and crossed the road, we saw Marshall Dart 7642 going the other way.

7642 disappears into the distance on a #410 by Birkenhead Park station (Matt)

After around 10 minutes, another interurban liveried Dart round the corner. We thought it was 7556 again but as it got closer we saw it was required 2344.

2344 outside Birkenhead Park station (Matt)

The bus was quite full, and we decided to do this to the other side of Liscard but not all the way to New Brighton. We eventually got of at the Seabank road stop and then crossed the road. We had just missed the dud Dart 2285 going in the other direction. After around an 8 minute wait, surprisingly 3007 rounded the corner!

3007 by the Seabank Road stop, New Brighton (Matt)

We did this all the way back to Birkenhead and alighted at the stop behind Wilkinson's near the bus station. Matthew got another good picture of 3007.

3007 behind Wilko's in Birkenhead (Matt)

When we got back we walked back to the car. 7538 passed us on a #411 to Woodside. In the car Matthew tucked into a sausage Roll and a Bakewell Tart. We set offa little after 16:00 and we stopped in Longport for LPG. We got back home around 18:00 just as it was starting to go dark...Mark

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Trip to Northwich 22-10-2011


SB23Northwich InterchangeSandiway, Weaverham Road (NW-bound)82GHA
SB02Sandiway, Weaverham Road (SE-bound)Northwich Interchange82GHA
49Northwich InterchangeNorthwich, opp railway45Network Warrington
869Rudheath, o/s Telephone ExchangeNorthwich Interchange2Arriva NW&W

After last weeks trip to Chester, Matthew expressed a wish to travel on a GHA bus. He even pointed to the destination on one of his pictures and so we planned a trip to Northwich. planning consisted of visiting the Cheshire West and Chester council website and printing out a copy of the top half of the Northwich and Winsford bus map, and downloading a selected few timetables. Setting off at just after 12:00, we picked up uncle Dave on the way and we left his house around 12:30. We parked up on the edge of town having done a lp trying to find a good parking space. We parked a good way out of town in a car park opposite Lidl, and we walked back into town to the Weaver shopping centre. We had a quick walk around and found a self service restaurant in which to have dinner. 2 breakfasts, 2 baps and 3 Vimto's came to just short of £15. After dinner we got back to the transport interchange around 14:00. We took a couple of pictures before required GHA SB23 appeared on the #82 service. With the sun being where it was, the best pictures were taken from the back of the bus.

SB23 in Northwich Transport interchange (Matt)

This was not one of the timetables I downloaded, but I remember the buses passed on the other side of Sandiway, so we decided to travel to there. As we got off Matthew got a picture of the bus.

SB23 in Sandiway (Matt)

Not being exactly sure of how long we had to wait, Sandiway must have been where the bus passed with more than 5 minutes so we where here for closer to 15 minutes. When the bus appeared it was required SB02. Matthew mis-timed his picture and didn't get a very good picture. After the short journey back, Matthew took a picture of the empty bus.

Inside SB02 (Matt)

Matthew didn't take another picture of this bus, but I did.

SB02 at Northwich Interchange on a #82 (Mark)

We didn't have to wait long for our first sighting of a Network Warrington bus, in the form of 49 on the #45 service.

Network Warrington 49 about to work the #45 to Warrington (Matt)

Having missed read the timetable I didn't think there was a 15:50 departure, but i was looking on the weekday timetable. I asked the driver when he was due out and he said around 10 minutes. So we booked to the railway station with the intention of coming back on an Arriva service from around the corner. The driver was a really nice man and asked if Matthew want to go back out and take a picture with the destination blind switched on! As the sun was in a bad position we said thanks but declined! We did the service to the the station and alighted as planned. The driver even hung on a few seconds so Matthew could take another picture...

Network Warrington 49 adjacent to the railway station (Matt)

After we got off we crossed the busy road and went over the railway line and to the stop adjacent to the telephone exchange to catch a bus back into town. At this point i was hoping to see 7673 appear, but I had gotten my #2 and #29A services mixed up. We saw 869 head South around 10 minutes before he returned. Still, 869 was another required bus.

Arriva NW&W 869 by the telephone exchange (Matt)

As we approached the interchange, we saw 865 displaying #2. Buses on the #2 and #4 appear to inter work to compensate for the different length of service time. When we got back into town, Matthew photographed the inside of the refurbished Dennis Dart.

Inside 869 (Matt)

We also saw 7647 on a #29A service.

7647 about to work a 29A (Matt)

We then started to walk back to the car stopping to get a few pictures, including 865 about to work on the #2.

Arriva 865 also on #2 (Matt)

We then walked back to the car. Driving back in the late autumn sunshine the roads were relatively clear and we arrived back at Longport just after 17:00 where we filled up with LPG. We had a quick stop a t a local shop to pick up lottery as our Co-op is hut for renovation, and then we got home around 17:30...Mark

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Trip to Ellesmere Port / Chester 15-10-2011


2438Ellesmere Port BSChester BS401Arriva NW&W
2361Chester BSGarden City, Sealand School (SW-bound)10Arriva NW&W
2356Garden City, Sealand School (SW-bound)Wepre, Wepre War Memorial (NW-bound)10Arriva NW&W
2301Wepre, Wepre War Memorial (SE-bound)Chester BS10Arriva NW&W

Today we had decided to go to Chester. Preparation was to pick up the handful of timetable and put them in the bag! It was a really nice day for October and very warm. we set off a little before 12:00 and picked up uncle Dave on the way. Traffic was virtually non existent and we arrived in Ellesmere Port a fraction after 13:00. We had dinner in the market food court and then had a quick toilet stop. By the time we got to the bus station there was only about 5 minutes to wait for the 13:57 to Chester so Matthew didn't get many pictures here. After a short wait required 2438 appeared on the #401 to Chester.

Arriva NW&W 2438 on a #401 Liverpool - Chester service seen approaching Ellesmere Port bus station (Matt)

Matthew got his picture and we had a brisk walk to stop to get on. The journey was quite pleasant in the sun and we passed ALX300 DAF 2411 on an opposite working. As we approached Chester we saw school bus 60035 parked up at the front of the First depot. As we got off Matthew got his customary empty bus shot.

Inside 2438 (Matt)

We then had around 20 minutes or so in Chester. Matthew got a few more picture and I went to fetch Lotto tickets (turned out not to be winners again :-( ). Given the choice of 2361 on the #10 and 2349 on the X11, Matthew chose to do 2361. Either would have been a winner as they were both required. The bus wasn't as full as it has been the last few times we've caught this service and this made for a pleasant journey. I didn't notice, but instead of just drawing forward and taking the tight turn to leave the bus station, we reversed out, and then went round the back of the X11 stop so the turn wasn't so tight. Perhaps there was a problem with the steering on this bus. When we were traveling through the Garden City area. We noticed there was a bus in front stopped with it's hazard lights on. We thought that maybe it had broken down. We then stopped behind it and the driver asked us all to 'please get on the bus in front'. There must have been a fault on our bus. as we transferred, Matthew got a picture of 2361.

Arriva NW&W 2361 in Garden City as we swapped between buses (Matt)

We boarded the new bus, 2356 which was also required! Traveling through the Queensferry area we passed 7550 on an opposite working. We alighted by the Wepre war memorial and Matthew got a picture of 2356.

Arriva NW&W 2356 by the Wepre war memorial (Matt)

We crossed the road and waited for a return service. at 15:19 the electronic display said the next bus was 15:35 for a #12, but there was a #10 due at 15:24. A few minute later Ex Wrexham 2301 appeared and this was also required!

Arriva NW&W 2301 opposite the Wepre war memorial (Matt)

The journey back was noisy as there were a lot of teenagers on the bus. A few minutes later we arrived back in Chester bus station and Matthew got a picture of the 'Smartie' interior of 2301.

Inside 2301 (Matt)

We then had around 30 minutes in the bus station taking picture. Surprisingly, we did not see a single double decker bus in Chester apart from the sightseeing tours open toppers. Have 30069 and 30077 been withdrawn? First did seem to be a full complement of the Marshall Darts out, and also plenty of Solo's. What did take us by surprise was the addition to the fleet of ex Tameside Solo 40311 which we happened to get a photograph of by chance...

New to Chester 40311 (Matt)

Mum then drove into the Market car park for free parking (after 15:00). when she appeared she went to get sausage rolls from Greggs near the market and we took a few more pictures. When mum returned we set off back to the car, making sure we got the shot of our first sighting of a D&G bus in Chester on the relatively new #81 Winsford - Chester service.

First sighting of a D&G bus in Chester... D&G 40 on the #81 Winsford (Matt)

Returning home we tried to pick up Radio Stoke to listen to the match. The car had been int the garage for some work and all the presets had been lost. As the signal is always weak at Chester we were unable to get radio Stoke until we were on the outskirts of Warrington. We tuned in to find stoke 1-0 up and that was soon to be 2-0. Not a bad result against Fulham. We returned home via Longport to pick up LPG and Petrol. As we went south on the A500 we passed quite a few coaches heading North from Stoke's ground. At the A500/A519 junction we were trailing a Kings ferry coach which was probably the Fulham team coach. We reached home around 17:30 from another successful days bus photographing and bashing trip...Mark

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Trip to Blackpool 08-10-2011


D104 XANThe Strand, LongtonPleasure beach CP, BlackpoolCharterZ Carz
335Pleasure Beach, o/s Sandcastle and Pleasure BeachCleveleys, by Rossall Road1Blackpool Transport
525Cleverleys BSSquires Gate, by Starr Gate7Blackpool Transport
212Squires Gate, o/s Squires Gate StationCentral, by Buchanan Street7Blackpool Transport
301Central, by Buchanan StreetPromenade, Bank Hey Street (Stop 2)14Blackpool Transport
522Promenade, Promenade (Stop 3)Temporary stop, Watson Road11Blackpool Transport
D104 XANBond Street, BlackpoolThe Strand, LongtonCharterZ carz

This was the trip that should have gone on the 4th September but was canceled at short notice. Having rescheduled the date, eventually it came around. We went back to the Strand just over a month later and within a couple of minutes the coach appeared.

Z carz D104 XAN in the Strand, Longton (Matt)

The journey was non stop after a solitary stop outside Hanley bus station. On the way we got to watch half of Ratatouille on the tiny little screen at the front of the coach. We arrived at the Pleasure beach coach park at just after 11:00 and it was full!

Z carz D104 XAN in Blackpool Pleasure Beach coach park (Matt)

On arrival, we went off to get something to eat. We went to a cafe around the corner from the coach park and we all had breakfast with the exception of uncle Dave who had a sausage barm. After eating we decided to the coast to catch a #1 to Cleverleys. We reached to coast and within a few seconds required 335 appeared on a #1.

Blackpool Transport 335 by the Sandcastle (Matt)

We boarded and bought day rover tickets. We sat at the front of the top deck. Matthew was able to get a shot of the empty top deck.

Inside 335 (Matt)

Traffic was horrendous and it took until after 13:00 to get to cleverleys. The #1 doesn't go into the bus station and we realised this as we continued North past the town. We got off and walked back to the bus station. Mum went into a shoe shop and we watched the goings on in Cleverleys bus station for 20 minutes. After mum emerged from the shoe shop we decided to do the next Lytham service that came in. It was required Blackpool Transport 525 (Matt)

Blackpool Transport 525 in Cleverleys bus station (Matt)

We booked to Lytham, but traffic seemed to be going very slowly! Mum got off the bus in town to go shopping and we carried on South. as it was gone 14:30 by the time we left Blackpool we decided to get off the bus around Squires Gate. We got off around the corner from Squires gate near the Starr Gate tram depot.

525 at Squires Gate (Matt)

After we got off we walked back to Squires gate, passed a row of parked up coaches. Have photographed the coaches we waited for the next town bound bus. Whithin a few minutes, required pink and yellow Optare 212 appeared on a #7. This bus was far less crowded than most we had been on today bu at we hit town the bus filled up. We had booked to the Devonshire Road Junction, but we decided to get off just after Blackpool North station as the bus was full with people at the stop. As we got of Matthew got a good picture.

212 near Blackpool North station (Matt)

We crossed the road and decided to catch something back that went through town so that we could meet up with mum near coral Island. We saw Blackpool Transport 373 on a Northbound service. we let 2 #5 go because we weren't sure where the bus went through town. The next bus we knew was going through town was #301 on a #14 and this this was also required!

301 near Blackpool North station (Matt)

We got on the bus and we sat downstairs. and did the short run through town. As we got of Matthew got another picture.

301 behind Coral Island (Matt)

We met up with mum and walked onto the front to catch a #1. As we approached the stop we saw 522 on a #11 and I knew this went behind the pleasure beach, and it was also required!

522 at Temporary stop, Watson Road (Matt)

When we went to get off, the bus sailed past the stop and went over a quarter of a mile past and finally stopped on Watson Street. We walked back to the front and took a few more bus coach and tram picture before we were due to return. The driver arranged to meet up at the gate of the coach park at 17:00 and he met us and told us there had been a change of plan. Because the lights weren't being switched on until 19:00 we had to wait around before setting off. the other new was the coach was parked about 1/2 mile away behind the pleasure beach. We walked back to the coach taking picture of the other coaches on the way.

Z carz D104 XAN in Bond Street Blackpool (Matt)

Whilst we waited snacks and hot drinks were served on the coach. Fed and watered the driver attempted to start the coach just after 18:00 and it wouldn't start. The battery had flattened providing the hot drinks, despite the engine running whilst serving. The driver went off to find a coach driver with a battery boost pack or something similar. Around 30 minutes later a Jones coach appeared and within a few minutes the coach had been started again. We set off a little before 19:00 and then headed North through the illuminations. We left the Promenade at Bispham and headed inland. We hit the M55/M6 junction a fraction after 20:00 and we got to Longton a little after 21:30. After dropping uncle Dave home, we got in around 22:00...Mark

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Trip to Oswestry 01-10-2011


2369Oswestry BSCollege Road, Oswestry70Arriva Midlands
2370College Road, OswestryOswestry BS70Arriva Midlands
510Oswestry BSLlynclys71Tanat Valley
510LlynclysOswestry BS71Tanat Valley

Today we decided to re-visit Oswestry. Since our last visit there has been a major timetable change in he area with the #445 and D71 being re-designated #71 & #72. Planning consisted of download the new timetable as well as the #449 for good measure just in case we got a chance to do this service. We set off after 12:00 and we had the head north up the A500 to Longport to get LPG. Afterwards we went straight down the A500 to the A519. Then it was the A5182 A53, A51, A525, A495. we arrived in Oswestry just after 14:00. First thing first we decided to get something to eat! Last time we came mum saw a cafe that was just about to close for the day called Jeanies. This time we decided to give this place a go rather than spending a lot of money in a pub on the way. matthew had a breakfast bap and a portion chips, mum had a sausage egg and mushroom bap and uncle Dave and I had the turkey bap as it was a red hot day. Along with 3 cans this came to around £11.50. This was much cheaper than a pub and just as enjoyable. Whilst we were eating we saw Tanat Valley 251 departing on the 14:22 towards Llynclys. The next departure along this route would be 15:17 so we had some time to kill. With the #70 service to Shrewsbury being every 30 minutes, we decided to do this service on a short out and back in order to fill time before 15:17. The 14:42 Shrewsbury appeared and it was required 2369. We got on this bus and booked to College Road. On the way we passed the Arriva bus garage. We saw a double decker and also preserved dart L116 YVK. we alighted on College Road and Matthew got a picture of our transport.

Arriva Midland 2369 in College Road, Oswestry (Matt)

We crossed the road and we nloy had around 5 minutes to wait for the return service. It was dud (for Matthew) 2370.

Arriva Midland 2370 in College Road, Oswestry (Matt)

I required this bus as Matthew had previously been on this one with his mum. We returned back passed the garage and Matthew got a shot of the parked up double decker. By the time we got into town, the bus had emptied out.We had the bus to ourselves as we entered the bus station again in Oswestery. Matthew got his customary empty bus shot here.

Inside 2370 (Matt)

When we got off there were busy scenes at the bus station. As well as 2370, Tanat Valley 259 which I think was doing #449's had come into the station on lay over. Also, Arriva Midlands 2348 was in a on a #2A Wrexham service.

Tanat Valley 259 and Arriva Midlands 2348 in Oswestry bus station (Matt)

On the other side of the bus station. Tanat Valley 510 was waiting time to work the 15:17 #71 service.

Tanat Valley 510 in Oswestry bus station (Matt)

After a very short while, 510 moved onto stand to work the #71. We booked to Llynclys and we went upstairs. Matthew then got a shot of the inside of the bus.

Inside 510 (Matt)

We eventually left the bus station, picking passenger along the way as we left town. We appsed another Tanat bus with #79 on the front at the edge of town. A few minutes later we were in Llynclys and we alighted from the bus. Matthew had time to take a picture before it departed.

510 at the White lion, Llynclys (Matt)

We had a bit of time to kill before the return journey so we decided to walk down to Llynclys station to have a look at the preserved railway. We heard a horn in the distance but we couldn't see anything working. We had a quick look around and Matthew had a Bakewell tart and I had a cCornetto from buffet car 1850. We then walked back to the road and waited for the bus. The bus turned up and it was 510 again.

510 returns (Matt)

When we looked at the timetable, I was hoping 251 would run light from Welshpool to pick up this service, But if I had studied it hard it can be seen that the 14:22 runs to Welshpool and lays over except on a shoolday. Otherwise it returns from Welshpool at 15:41. Also the 15:17 departure from Oswestry stops at Four Cross 9 minutes before the return bus departs! anyway we laerned something about the afternoon bus turns in the area. when we arrived back Matthew photographed the downstairs.

Downstairs in 510 (Matt)

When we got back we decided to call it a day. Matthew had time to get a couple more picture on the way back to the car including Tanat Valley 217 in the bus station

Tanat Valley 217 in Oswestry bus station (Matt)

On the way back we made a slight accidental diversion into Whitchurch. We saw Dennis Dart SN05 HDC on the #205 Chemistry circular, a service that we caught back in 2009. We got back home around 17:50... Mark