Saturday, 30 June 2012

Trip to Macclesfield 30-06-2012


2239Macclesfield BSWilmslow, Styal Road (cnr)130Arriva NW&W
2243Wilmslow, opp Styal RoadMacclesfield BS130Arriva NW&W
861Macclesfield BSBollington, adj Turners Arms PH10Arriva NW&W
861Bollington, adj Turners Arms PHMacclesfield, opp Lord Street Alighting Only10Arriva NW&W

Today we decided it would be a relatively short trip again with Warrington and Chester being offered to him and Matthew chose Macclesfield. In respite from 07:00. He saw Wardle Transport 1454. Heron Cross is his favourite place in the whole world and he would prefer to live there rather than live at home good morning. I feel quite upset that he feels this way after all I have done to try and make him happy Birthday. Matthew was eating toast and drinking orange juice. He got up just after 10:00 and spent a couple of hours chilling before we set off. The weather was overcast with rain due for most of the afternoon in Macclesfield. Setting off around 12:00 we made it to the snack van at the north end of the A500 before 12:30, the time at which it usually packs up on a Saturday. We purchased 4 sausage/bacon sandwiches and 3 can for just over £10. We set off just before 13:00 and we saw the motorway was at a stand, so I diverted onto the Radway Green road. We then went to the edge of Crewe, turning towards Haslington and joining the route to Sandbach. We joined back onto the M6 at the next junction North. The motorway was slow here too and we decided to head to Macclesfield along the A54. The route was passed Jodrell Bank and then through Holmes Chappel. In Macclesfield we missed the car park we wanted to go into so we did a lap of town. In the end we parked on Park Green next to the toilets. As we arrived the heavens opened and there was a heavy shower for around 10 minutes. We visited the toilet and then got back in the car for a few minutes whilst the rain died down. We saw 2239 arrive from Manchester, and so we knew that this was going to be the 14:35 departure out. This bus was dud, being the only Manchester area Dart that we had previously done in Macclesfield. We also saw the bus go empty out of service, presumably to park up out of the bus station for a short while. When the rain slowed down and it started to brighten up we headed into the bus station. As we walked up the hill Arriva NW&W 4489 went passed on the #38 to Crewe. We got to the bus station just in time to see Clowes Coaches T459 JRH on the Leek service just before it left.

Clowes Coaches T459 JRH in Macclesfield bus station
We then had a 20 minute wait before 2239 was due to depart. We saw bakerbus 218 on a #391 service. We also saw a few of the Arriva MPD's such as 856,857,861,869 and 882. Around 14:30 we walked down to the stand after 2239 came back in to the bus station. Once again mum was going with us as I'm still not feeling 100%. We booked the arriva day savers and sat down. The original plan was to go to Monks Heath crossroads, where we know there are bus shelters (essential in this poor weather...). As we headed out past broken cross and along the A536, we passed an Arriva bus, which must have been the #130 we were going for. I checked the timetable on my phone only to find that the timings had changed since we last did this move and the buses pass much closer to Macclesfield! We had to quickly formulate a plan, because if we got off at the stop we originally intended to we would have been waiting for nearly an hour! A quick look at the timetable indicated the buses past each other North of Wilmslow and South of Handforth. So off we went into the unknown! North of Astra Zenica we hit the Edge... Alderley Edge that is. It was certainly an eye opener seeing the shops and people of this town from the bus. It was a tiny glimpse of seeing how the other half live. As we went through town we saw a Co-op next to a Waitrose by the railway station. A couple of miles North of this we were in Wilmslow, another affluent town. We decided to get off just North of town where it would be a little quieter. Two or three stops North of the town was Manchester Road. As we got off Matthew got a picture of this bus.

Arriva NW&W 2239 in Wilmslow
The sun was shining for a change as we crossed the road to wait for the return service. At the stop there was no shelter but there was a bench. The bench was wet and so we wiped it off so Matthew and mum could sit down. Using the txt service 84268, we confirmed the next bus was due at 15:26. Pretty much bang on time, we saw the bus approaching in the distance. It was almost certainly going to be required, The Dennis Dart got closer and we could see it was required Arriva NW&W 2243.

Arriva NW&W 2243 in Wilmslow
On the bus we asked Matthew if he wanted to get off and cover the bus that we had missed, or to go all the way back to Macclesfield. Matthew chose to go all the way back on 2243. The journey back was fairly unremarkable other than passing 2244 going the other way. Back in the bus station Matthew got a picture of the now empty 2243.

Inside 2243
When we got back Matthew indicated that he wanted to visit the facilities so we walked back down the hill to Park Green whilst mum went to Greggs to pick up some sausage rolls for later. On the way out he spotted someone in the furniture shop which he wanted to say hello to and so he ran into the shop and left me behind. We then walked up the hill back to the bus station, with a quick stop in a newsagents for pop and lottery tickets. Back at the bus station we met up with mum again. It was decided that we only had time for a quick out and back trip on something. One possiblility which I thought we were going to do was required Arriva NW&W 856, as seen here from the side of the bus station.

Arriva NW&W 856 in Macclesfield bus station
At the last minute Matthew decided to do dud Arriva NW&W 861 on a #10 Bollington service. The round trip take just over 40 minutes so we decided to go all the way to the end and then back on this bus. On the way there we passed the other bus working #10's today. It was dud Arriva NW&W double decker 4042. At the end off the route he got up and took a picture of the bus.

Arriva NW&W 861 in Bollington
He also got a picture of the inside too.

Inside 861
We then headed back into town. A passenger got on who looked as if he'd been working in a house removing a ceiling. He had gotten so dirty that the driver only let him on the bus if he didn't sit down! Back in Macclesfield we got off a stop early so we didn't have as far to walk to the car. we got back to the car just before 17:00 and we headed out of town, going towards the A34 and then South through Congleton and Kidsgrove. In Chesterton Matthew decided he wanted to go through wolstanton. We then got onto the A500 at porthill and then headed onto the A50 at Sideway. He then requested that we went past the Z Carz depot, and so we got off at Longton so he could get a picture of the buses as we drove past. Seen at the depot were W344 WNS ,D104 XAN and W187 RRE.

A Z Carz line-up
We then headed home via Duke Street respite before getting back around teatime at 18:00 which was bangers and mash and cake for afters washed down with coke. He visited a house across the road too and went upstairs to the bedroom and then downstairs and ate cake and used their toilet before going to the table outside to drink sparkling orange crush. Today respite unit bath and toilet. He also had toast and orange juice before bedtime...Mark

Friday, 29 June 2012

Trip to Tatton Park 29-06-2012


1450BlurtonAbbey HultonCharterWardle Transport
TLZ 2659Bucknall Road, HanleyTatton ParkCharterProcters
TLZ 2659Tatton Park Bucknall Road, HanleyCharterProcters
1626Bucknall Newhouse RoadHeron CrossCharterWardle Transport
BV51 BNOHeron CrossTrent ValeCharterZ Carz
BV51 BNOTrent ValeHeron CrossCharterZ Carz

Today Matthew was going on a trip from college. He got up as usual just after 07:00 and the his usual bus came to pick him up for college. It was Wardle Transport 1450.

Wardle Transport 1450 in Blurton
He got to college around 09:00. The coach came to pick them up on Bucknall Road Hanley around 09:30 and it was required Procters coach TLZ 2659. This coach is a 53 seater vehicle. The coach took just under an hour to get to Tatton Park. The route was the A52 to Hanley, and then just before 10:00 they went around Hanley past the Tesco Extra and then down to the Festival Park. They then did he A53 to Basford and then got on the Northbound A500. They did the M6 to e A556 and across to Tatton Park. In the coach parking area there were lots of other vehicles. we saw Copelands Tours MIB 236 there as well as that we saw Howards bus BUS 44A we also saw GHA coach EAZ 2584. In Tatton Park Matthew walked around the gardens and visited the toilets. He also ate a meal which was an all day breakfast with chips. He also had cake for afters. They also went to look at the animals. They also visited the playground area. They then went back to their coach, was Procters TLZ 2659. They returned home around 14:00. The route back was the reverse on the route up. They headed back onto the A556 and then back onto the Southbound M6. They then got back onto the A500 and the A53 to Festival Park. They went around Hanley and then down to Bucknall Road. He them walked back to college. They saw Wardle Transport 1649 on the way back in. They also saw Wardle transport 1450 whilst out. They got back in college just before 15:00 in time for his transport which was Z Carz S973 OVP. Outside he ate cake then was Wardle Transport 1626 back to respite in Heron Cross. he used the toilets. This was once again saw Wardle Transport 1450. Around 17:00 Matthew he being in respite in Heron Cross, Matthew and a couple of the staff went out on Z Carz BV51 BNO. They were going out for tea at the Black Lion in Trent Vale. This is a 33 seat mini coach inside. The route was onto the A50. They saw Wardle Transport 1453 on the way. They then go onto the A500 to Hanford and saw Wardle Transport 1421 running empty and then onto they got onto the Northbound A34. They went out on was Z Carz BV51 BNO. After having a brunch and then toffee sponge and custard for afters, they returned back to was Z Carz BV51 BNO Heron Cross on via the A34, A500 and Heron Cross he saw First Potteries 40779 on a #23 service. They got back on Z Carz BV51 BNO As often is the case, Matthew wanted to photograph the interior. I told him to wait until we arrived in Heron Cross and then he could photograph the bus empty. He got back into respite around 18:45 came past the in He had a respite unit too bath and then chilled out with some toast for the rest of the evening before bedtime..Mark

Monday, 25 June 2012

Trip to Cheddleton / Beatrice 24-06-2012


FJ10 BJXJohn Street, HanleyCheddletonCharterAiming High
FJ10 BJXCheddletonJohn Street, HanleyCharterAiming High
D104 XANJohn Street, HanleyLongton BSCharterZ carz
T131 SGALongton BSLongton BSCharterZ Carz
BV51 BNOLongton BSLongton BSCharterZ Carz
T131 SGALongton BSLongton BSCharterZ Carz
2532Longton BSBlurton Ladybank Grove22Wardle Transport

Today Matthew was lucky enough to be invited on a second Aiming High trip in two Sundays. As last week we discovered there is no access from John Street we decided to go out a little bit earlier so Matthew could see some buses before he went on his trip. We got up around 08:00 and we set off after breakfast around 09:15. Matthew directed up to Hanley via Milton and back along the A53 to Cobridge before coming into Hanley along Waterloo Road. We parked up in the small car park opposite the bus station and the plan was to spend a few minutes here to get a few bus pictures before we drove around to John Street. Matthew dragged us across to the bus station, but because this wasn't planned we didn't have his pass with us. Whilst there we saw 40025 parked up and 60063. Also wardle Transport 3152 was on the #118 to Buxton. We eventually got back across saw Z Carz W344 WNS Copelands Tours MIB 236 going to Llandudno, but Matthew didn't want to get in the car to fetch his pass or drive around to John Street. I sat with Matthew by the car park whilst mum drove around to John Street to see someone from Crossroads. Mum brought back a member of staff from Crossroads and this time Matthew got in the car and we drove around to the bus. This was Z carz HX51 HRU, one that Matthew has been on a few times before. Matthew got a picture of the minibus. He said hello to a few people before he went. was Aiming high FJ10 BJX waiting.

Aiming High FJ10 BJX in John Street Hanley
Matthew got into the bus and was now all smiles after his few minutes of drama and off they went. They went up to Weston Coyney via Dividy road and past the Esso garage. They got to Cheddleton where the Beatrice was waiting for them at her moorings. Matthew got a picture of the barge.

The Beatrice at her moorings in Cheddleton
As far as I can tell from his photo graphs Matthew headed eastwards along the route of the railway towards Consall. They passed through at least one lock as he took a picture of the lock wall through the barge window. Further down the canal they passed this sorry looking barge moored up along side of the canal.

Boat moored by the Cauldon Canal
Somewhere down the canal the turned the boat around and head back towards Cheddleton. Matthew photographed some more boat that where moored o but these appeared to be just resting temporarily.

More boats moored by the Cauldon Canal
Further along there were some more boats having a short rest.

More boats moored by the Cauldon Canal
Back at Cheddleton, they headed back towards Hanley on the Aiming high bus. They arrived back by Z carz coach D104 XAN in Hanley just a little after 15:00 and he was in a far better mood than he had been this morning. As we were low on LPG we decided to have a drive around. We headed to the Shell garage at Festival Park as this was the closet that did LPG. On the way we saw Z carz V690 EBC heading East along the A53 through Cobridge lights. Whilst I filled up mum and Matthew went shopping! Matthew brought some Coke, millionares short bread. We drove back towards Hanley and then headed towards Bentilee so we could drive past the First garage at Adderley Green. We also went past Longton bus station which was empty at the time. we had just passed First PMT 61554 on either a #6 or #26. We then went passed the Z carz garage where we saw D104 XAN which had been to York, W344 WNS to Manchester,BV51 BNO local and T131 SGA local too. Matthew took a picture as we drove past the depot on Edensor Road.

Vehicles parked up at Z Carz in Longton
He then took a couple of trips on the Z carz buses BV51 BNO from Edensor Road depot T408 JUX was out as well as S973 OVP was then and then and from Longton bus station was Z Carz T131 SGA and then back there to the in Longton depot.We saw M283 BLD to Longton Bus station was Wardle Transport 2532 on the #22 service before we headed Home. He also saw PMT MMM120 & PMT SDC863 out and about today. We headed home on 2532 and saw Z carz W591 YBN in Blurton. we also saw First PMT 42727 on the #23 service. We had a homemade Chicken dinner for tea before we settle down for the evening...Mark.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Trip to Southport 23-06-2012


MIB 986Longton Hall RoadSouthportCharterCopelands Tours
3084Southport, opp Duke StreetCrossens, on Rufford Road‎49AArriva NW&W
7673Crossens, on Rufford Road‎Highpark, High Park Place (W-bound)49AArriva NW&W
3085Churchtown, High Park Place (E-bound)Crossens, on Rufford Road‎49AArriva NW&W
3309Crossens, on Rufford Road‎Southport, Market Street (Stop BE)49AArriva NW&W
3083Southport, opp Duke StreetScarisbrick, opp Bullens Lane385Arriva NW&W
3082Scarisbrick, adj Bullens LaneSouthport, adj Duke Street375Arriva NW&W
3041Southport, opp Duke StreetCrossens, on Preston New Road‎47Arriva NW&W
3079Crossens, on Preston New RoadSouthport, Chapel Street (Stop EA)42Arriva NW&W
MIB 986SouthportLongton Hall RoadCharterCopelands Tours

Today it was decided to go to Southport. I'm still nowhere near 100% at the moment and mum thought it would be a good idea to go on a coach trip so I don't have to worry about driving. Choices of trip for today on Copelands website were for Blackpool, Bury and Southport and Matthew chose Southport. Research for today trip was minimal as we have been here a few time before however I did wish I'd taken the Arriva Southport map with me to help with choosing which buses to catch to where. The weather forecast for today in Southport had been for rain all day. The only thing that varied during the week as we checked it for today was how heavy it was going to be abd whether there was going to be any sun. We drove down to Longton Hall Road a little after 08:15 getting there around 08;20 just before the coach was due. Whilst we waited we saw First Potteries 40146 on a Newcastle service. A few minutes after the booked time we saw a Copelands Tours coach approach. As it got closer we could see it was MIB 986 which we thought was required. A quick check of the page revealed it to be true and so we picked up another new coach. OUr coach was also picking up Bury passenger as there were only a half a coach full going to each destination. We whizzed around the city quite quickly with very few pick-ups. We also saw required MIB 293 going around town and when we passed it we could see it was doing pick-ups for a holiday trip to Weymouth. from this we assumed MIB 293 to be one of the newer vehicles and it therefore mainly does the holiday work. When we reached Newcastle some of the passengers transferred onto MIB 270 on the Bury trip. We then set off towards Southport non stop. The coach took the route that we always take once it had dropped onto the A500 at Wolstanton. The route was via the M6,M58 and then the A570 through Ormskirk. It was much quiter and easier to navigate Ormskirk around 10:30 in the morning! On the way in we passed a couple of the Wigan turns and these were both Pulsars. We turned left onto Lord Street and then we circled around to the prom, setting down outside the pier around 11:00.

Copelands Tours MIB 986 in Southport
First things first we had to get something to eat. We had spotted that the Cleveland cafe was open today. Its a place we had been before, but the last few times we had been it had seemed to be closed. It was a fair walk down to here from the pier. As we walked down we saw required Arriva NW&W 7653 on a #43 service. When we got there we ordered 3 slices of home made meat and potatoes pie and a breakfast for Matthew. Whilst we ate we saw required Arriva NW&W 7673 heading towards Woodvale on a #49A as well as another Pulsar on the Wigan turns. We also saw an unrefurbished Arriva double decker heading North but we did not see what it was on and where it was going to. The food was really nice but the only downside was that there is no toilet in this cafe. So we made a quick trip into Morrison's to use the facilities, and we promised Matthew that we would go back later for a cake and a drink. Back on Lord Street we thought we would head northwards on a #49A. If it wasn't Arriva 7673 next then perhaps it would be on the following service. We waited for the #49A and turned up with a required Pulsar Arriva NW&W 3084.

Arriva NW&W 3084 in Lord Street
As we headed Northwards along Lord Street we passed required Arriva NW&W 3309 on a southbound #49A. It is quite a big working for a step entranced double decker to be out on a Saturday so we had to go after this. We also passed Arriva 2343 on a #43 service which we would try and go after if we could. We decided to go the Crossens on 3084. We had never been that far north on a #49A before, but it meant that Matthew would be able to photograph the bus empty when we reached the end of the run. When we got to Crossens Matthew did just that.

Inside 3084
We got off and decided to wait for the next service with the hope it was required 7673. Mum who doesn't usually go on the buses kept herself occupied by reading. We let 3084 go on the 12:25 and waited at the stop. We also noticed that this was a great stop to see other services such as the X2, 47, 42 and 44. With a 12 minute Saturday frequency we knew we wouldn't have to wait to long. Sure enough after a few minutes we saw a Marshall Dart round the corner in the near distance. We were lucky in that it was 7673 and Matthew got a picture.

Arriva NW&W 7673 in Crossens
We got on a Matthew photographed the inside too.

Inside 7673
The plan was now to go back towards Southport and get off, trying to guess how far to go to pick up 3309. We decied to go back to High Park / Churchtown area to try and intercept the double decker. On the way we passed a Marshall and a Pulsar along the route. We got off and crossed the road to wait for the 12:58 towards crossens. It turned up and was required Pulsar Arriva NW&W 3085.

Arriva NW&W 3085 in Churchtown
Back at Crossens we let 3085 go on the 13:13 service. The Next one turned up and this was required Arriva NW&W SPD 2292. We let this go as we didn't want to miss 3309. As we waited we saw 2722 coming off the #42 about to work to Formby on a #44.

Arriva NW&W 2722 in Crossens
The next one appeared around the corner and it was what we wanted and well worth the wait. Very much required Arriva NW&W 3309...

Arriva NW&W 3309 in Crossens
So off we went on the bus we thought would probably be the highlight of the day. These double deckers are only usually used on schools work, but with a couple of the buses that usually work to Wigan in the refurbishment programme, this has taken Pulsars off local routes and these need to replaced with something. The journey back was OK. It was nice to see thing from a different / elevated angle, but the journey was made less enjoyable by a bunch of rowdy teenagers. Back at Southport Matthew got another picture of this fine beast.

Arriva NW&W 3309 in Lord Street
We decided to have a bit of a break from buses at this point. We sat outside the Pound bakery and we had some cream doughnuts and drinks. Doughnuts that are 2 for £1 suddenly become £1.35 each when you put a plate under them... Go figure! As we ate we saw required Arriva 4105 arrive and depart on the #375 to Wigan. We knew that we wouldn't see this bus again today as the round trip takes nearly 4 hours. However, Matthew decided he wanted to do the next #385 out at 14:46. We waited for around 20 minutes and it turned up unrequired Pulsar 3083.

Arriva NW&W 3083 in Lord Street
It's amazing how many times we get unrequired Pulsars considering how few of them we had been on before today. Mum had decided to sit this round trip out in order to do a bit of shopping and to get the sausage rolls in for later. As we left town we passed another Pulsar on inbound #385 service. We decided to get off in Scarisbrick to catch the next one back. When we got off it took us quite a while to cross the busy A570. Once across the road we only had to wait around 2 minutes for the #375 to appear. It was another Pulsar! As it got closer we could see it was required Arriva NW&W 3082. We did the bus back into town. We stopped opposite the Arriva office for two or three minutes where we had a driver change before completing the journey onto Lord street where Matthew got his picture.

Arriva NW&W 3082 in Lord Street
We met up again with mum and this time we decided to go to Morrisons with Matthew like we had promised him earlier. After a visit to the toilets we went into the Cafe and Matthew had a lemon meringue pie and coke before we left for one final out and back trip. We had just over an hour to go out and back and to get back to the coach. We decided to do a #47 to Crossens on the most direct route, and then we would have a choice of buses back. We turned down 3084 again on a #49A and then the slightly late running #47 turned up with required branded Arriva NW&W 3041. We did this to the roundabout at Crossens.

Arriva NW&W 3041 in Crossens
Matthew had gotten his picture and then we crossed over to the toilets. We had a choice of 3088 on the #49A and the next #42, which turned up and was required Arriva NW&W 3079. We got on this and as we set of we passed one of the commanders that was going to do the next #44.

Inside Arriva NW&W 3079
The #42 is one of those service that dont stop on Lord street because they cant stop going the other way when they turn right and right again. We ended up getting off in front of the Arriva offices. We saw another double decker on the incoming Wigan - Southport service as we walked back towards the coach. We stopped to get some pop for the journey back and we also stopped for an ice cream. We nearly died of shock when we were told the price for three ice creams was £9! We wont be going back to that ice cream place that is for sure...Back on the promenade we didn't have to wait for long for the coach to appear. I needed he toilet so as we weren't due to depart for 10 minutes I raced off to the arcade to use the toilet there. Matthew was waiting for me as he wouldn't get on the coach without me. Despite the last minute hitch I still wasn't the last person back on the coach. We set off on time and we saw another double decker on the edge of town on the incoming Wigan service. We also passed 4105 which we had seen around 14:00 on the run back down to Ormskirk. There seemed to be only 3 out of a possible 8 buses that were double deck on the Wigans and we weren't lucky enough to get near any of them. At least it gives us something to do another time at Southport. The journey back was quick and it started to rain as we headed Southwards. Despite it being forecast for rain all day in Southport we only had an odd drop or two. We were back in Newcastle just after 19:00, and with only a few drop offs on the return we were back on Longton Hall Road well before 20:00. As it was late and as we hadn't had any chips today we decided to drive to Smithpool road for a small fish with a few chips for tea. Matthew had a cheeseburger instead. We got home a little after after 20:00 and settled down to eat our food...Mark

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Trip to the Roaches 17-06-2012


FJ10 BJXJohn Street, HanleyThe RoachesCharterAiming High
FJ10 BJXThe RoachesJohn Street, HanleyCharterAiming High
40144Hanley BSNewcastle BS34First Potteries
2203Newcastle BSAudley Council Offices94AWardle Transport

Today was an Aiming High trip to the Roaches. We got up around 08:30 and had bacon on toast for breakfast before setting off towards Hanley at 09:30. Because of the construction of the new bus station we had to go into John Street from the other end. We arrived in Hanley just before 10:00. We had a short wait before the bus appeared. It was one of the usual two aiming High vehicles FJ10 BJX. Matthew got a picture of this bus before getting on with his backpack.

Aiminhg High FJ10 BJX in John Street
They set off towards Limekiln bank just after 10:00 and saw 40179 on a #2 service. They then onto the A53 via Abbey Hulton and then through to Baddeley Green. The also went past the Total petrol station and past a Shell petrol station too. The journey would have taken just over 30 minutes. On the way they He also saw 65041 on a #18 Leek service too. beyond leek they did the A53 up to Blackshaw moor and then turned into Tttesworth reservoir. Whilst there Matthew came across and photographed this Staffordshire County Council coach PN57 CVG.

Marcopolo coach PN57 CVG near the Roaches Street
Matthew had his packed lunch out and they would have left the Roaches around 14:20. After going to the toilet they Left Tittesworth and went back towards Blackshaw Moor. They got back onto the A53 and they went through Leek Badderley Green to Cobbridge. They then traveled along Waterloo Road to the Hanley ring road. They then Travelled up Lichfield street to John Street. We got to Hanley to pick him up. He saw First Potteries 40154 on a #23 service. Around 14:50 they had already got back to Hanley. Back at Hanley Matthew saw 40144 on a #34 service which he wanted to do so we did it to Newcastle. We set off toward festival park and around the industrial units and then onto the A53. The bus then went through Etruria and down into Newcastle. At Newcastle we saw Wardle Transport 2203 on the 94A to Audley so we arranged with mum to pick us up from Audley Council Offices. We travelled up the A34 and through Chesterton to Audley. After a visit to the local Co-operative food store where he picked up some pop and cake. We went back to the car and mum picked us up from Bignall End and we headed home via Chesterton and Newcastle past the First garage. we then went along the A519 stopping at the BP garage. We then went onto Whitmore Road before returning home Via Trentham. We passed Wardle transport 2532 on the #22. Whilst stopped we We go home around 15:30 and later Matthew had a burger for tea...Mark.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Trip to Bolton 16-06-2012


40356Tonge Fold, Bury Rd/Tonge Fold Post Office (W-bound)Bolton BS561First Manchester
40349Bolton BSJohnson Fold Estate, nr House 81 Lightbounds Road/Chatburn Road519First Manchester
40349Johnson Fold Estate, nr House 81 Lightbounds Road/Chatburn RoadMontserrat, Chorley Old Rd/Montserrat Rd (SE-bound)519First Manchester
40344Montserrat, Chorley Old Rd/Montserrat Rd (SE-bound)Doffcocker, o/s House 584 Chorley Old Road/New Hall Lane519First Manchester
40353Doffcocker, Chorley Old Road/Devonshire Road (W-bound)Montserrat, opp House 30 Montserrat Road/Chorley Old Road519First Manchester
31922Montserrat, Chorley Old Rd/Montserrat Rd (SE-bound)Bolton BS519First Manchester
892Bolton BSBank Top, Ashworth Lane/Whitegate Drive (E-bound)538Arriva NW&W
892Bank Top, Ashworth Lane/Whitegate Drive (E-bound)Astley Bridge, Blackburn Rd/Three Pigeons (Stop E)538Arriva NW&W
2680Astley Bridge, Blackburn Rd/Three Pigeons (Stop E)Bolton, St Georges Road/Knowsley Street (W-bound)534Arriva NW&W

Today Matthew decided he wanted to go to Bolton. As I am not feeling 100% at the moment the plan was for mum to take Matthew on the bus bus whilst I had a break from it. As such research this time consisted of find the map and timetables from last time and getting mum to read the Blog so she could see what buses Matthew likes to ride on and on which services. Mum also took charge of the radar key and bus pass for the day. The pan was to drive to Tonge Fold like before, have dinner and then for mum and uncle Dave to ride into Bolton whilst I sourced the sausage rolls for the return journey home. The weather was overcast, but the forecast for Bolton was for heavy rain all day. We set off around 12:00, getting air in the tyres before setting off up the A500. It was then M6, M62, M60, M61 and A666 before turning right towards Bury, parking up in the street behind he Cafe in Tonge Fold just after 13:15. As we parked up we saw 40350 and 40352 on Wthins circulars. Matthew had a breakfast, with the food coming to £10.50 in total. After dinner I walked them to the bus stop and as the bus approached I was saying goodbye to Matthew and he refused to let me go. I had to quickly get the bus pass off mum and give the car keys to her so she could take the car into Bolton. The bus was unrequired First Manchester 40356, but Matthew didn't mind as he really likes the Bolton allocated P LND registered Dennis Darts. As we came into town we also saw First Manchester 40357 on a #533 service. In the kerfuffle Matthew didn't get a picture of the bus as we got on. He did however take a picture of the empty bus as we reached Bolton.

Inside First Manchester 40356
When we got off he got a picture of the bus from behind, as it's not easy to get pictures in Bolton bus station without walking around to the ends.

40356 in Bolton bus station
At this pint we didn't know what we were going to do. Matthew needed he toilet so we went to try the tardis toilet at the end of the bus station. I didn't have his radar key so I put some money in which it swallowed without opening. We the had to go and find another toilet. After asking a local, we were directed to a toilet at the other end of the market. We then walked back to the bus station to see what we could do. Mum called to say she was parked up and that she was going to come and meet us at the bus station and travel around with me to help me out today. Whilst we waited we saw 3 Dennis Arrow double deckers come into the bus station in quick succession. First was required 31917 on a #507 service.

31917 in Bolton bus station
Then we saw 31922 on a #519 the Johnson Fold, which pretty much came straight in and out of the bus station. The a few minutes later we saw 31921 on a #572 to great Lever. Mum was still making her way across time when First Manchester 40349 pulled up on the stop to work the next #519 bus. Matthew sat with Uncle Dave at the stop whilst I went to the town Hall end of he bus station to meet mum. When we met up her umbrella had been destroyed by the wind and she was looking a bit damp from the rain. We walked up to the bus and we all got on after getting another System One bus ticket for her. The bus was fairly empty at this point, but as the bus went around town it picked up more passengers until it was nearly full. We decided to do the bus to the end of the run and then transfer onto the next bus in the circuit. On the way up we passed Dennis Dart 40353 and 31922 in very quick succession. When we got to the end Matthew got a picture of the empty bus.

Inside First Manchester 40349
As there was no shelter at the end of the run, we decided to go back part way so we could wait for the next bus out of the rain. We would see the bus go up to Johnson Fold before catching it back towards Bolton. The next bus was First Manchester 40344.

First Manchester 40344 in Montserrat
I looked it up and this was also required. A few minutes after it went up to Johnson Fold, it reappeared from around the corner. We got on the bus to ride back towards Bolton. It was still raining so we decided to go back to somewhere were there was a shelter on the other side of the Road. We got off shortly after the Doffcocker pub. We got off at a stop where there was a shelter, but we needed to cross the Road. And we couldn't see another shelter in sight. It was still raining and we left the shelter and walked down the road and crossed over. The rain eased off a little as we waited. A few minutes later dud 40353 appeared. we decided to do it anyway to get out of the rain. As we got on 31922 went past us. We decided to go back to montserrat, and with a bit of luck we would get there before 31922 came back from Johnson Fold. After turning off the main road we walked back to the stop with the shelter. We waited 5 minutes and eventually the bus we were after appeared required 31922.

First Manchester 31922 in Montserrat
We all we upstairs and Matthew took a picture of the empty top deck.

Inside 31922
Back at the bus station we saw 31924 on a #562 Withins circular. We were going to do this but Matthew needed the facilities again so we went all the way back to the other end of the market to use the toilet again. We decided to stop for a quick drink in the market before doing the last couple of buses. After a Coke and a flapjack. We walked back to the bus station. As mum was with us we stop to take a few pictures outside a shop whilst mum went in to get sausage rolls. One such vehicle was 31921 which was coming off service after working #572's earlier in the day.

First Manchester 31921 running empty in Bolton
Sausage rolls purchased we walked back to the bus station. We now needed to do a bus or buses that would get us back near the car and that Matthew wanted to do. We had been on everything on the Johnson Fold route as far as we knew so it had to be something different. We spotted an Arriva bus which we knew from seeing them previously go northwards out of the city so we thought that this would be a good service to do. We got closer and saw it was required Arriva Dennis MPD 892 and Matthew agreed to do it. We booked to the end an we decided to do the bus around the circle and then get off and wait for something else. When the bus was on the loop end Matthew got a picture of the inside as it emptied out.

Inside Arriva NW&W 892
As we started to travel back we spotted a stop with a shelter. We got off and Matthew stood in the rain to get a picture of this bus.

892 in Astley Bridge
it was now around 17:00 and time to finish for the day. We had a choice of 2 buses to catch back. at 17:05. I decided to go to the shop for lottery tickets and Matthew and everyone came with me as he fancied doing a bit of shopping. he brought drinks, a few loose sweets and a Milky Way. Given a choice between Transdev and Arriva Matthew chose Arriva. The bus appeared and by the type and the fact it was a Bolton based bus we knew it was almost certainly going to be a new bus for us. It turned up and was required Arriva NW&W 2680. He got on and took a picture of this bus as it was empty as we got on. The moisture and the warmth of the bus caused a little condensation to from on his camera!

Inside Arriva NW&W 2680
We did the bus back to the edge of town as the bus turned right we got off and Matthew go a picture of the bus as it was heading away.

2680 in on St Georges Road
We then walked back to the car and we saw 40352 as we walked back. We also saw First Manchester 40351 too. We saw Arriva NW&W 2678 on the #575. We got back on the A666 and then onto the M61. We travelled around Manchester on the M60 and then onto the West bound M62. When we got to the the M6 we headed South. Back In Staffordshire we went down the A500 to Sideway. We then did the A50 to Heron Cross and down to Blurton. Matthew wasn't happy at having to go home and was very angry as we traveled home. We got back home around 18:30 and it took most of the tonight for him to calm down. For tea he had sausage and mash. He then chilled out until bedtime...Mark.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Trip to Crewe 09-06-2012


2500Crewe BSNantwich BS84Arriva NW&W
SL17Nantwich BSNantwich, Millfields Marsh Lane53GHA
SL17Nantwich, Millfields Marsh Lane Nantwich BS53GHA
138Nantwich BSCrewe, opp The Brunswick44AD&G
4489Crewe, Crewe Arms Hotel (NE-bound)Sandbach o/s Common38Arriva NW&W
3330Sandbach o/s CommonCrewe BS37Arriva NW&W

Today we decided to do a fairly local trip as we have been out a few days this week. Matthew chose to go to Crewe. Today was overcast but dry and fairly cool for the time of year. We set off around 12:00, going North along the A500. We had planned on stopping at the food trailer at the top of the A500 but it wasn't there! So we decided to carry on and see if there was a burger van in the B&Q car park in Crewe. We parked up by the road so Matthew could see if any useful buses went past on the #37 or #38 whilst we waited and ate. Whilst I was getting the food an unidentified Olympian went past towards Crewe. After we ate we drove into Crewe town centre. We passed the Olympian going out on the #37 and it was 3330. After parking up we walked into the bus station. The first bus we saw was GHA SB55 parked up between duties.

GHA SB55 in Crewe bus station
We now had to choose what we were going to do. Arriva NW&W 2499 was on the #31, 2500 was on the #84 to Chester and 4491 arrived in on the #38. Matthew chose to do the one bus he had already been on Arriva NW&W 2500 on the #84. We booked to Nantwich and got on the bus. As we were leaving Crewe bus station we saw First Potteries ALX200 40144 on a #20. These don't work to Crewe very often. The journey down was quite quick and pleasant and we passed several Plaxton Centros on other #84 services. When we arrived in Nantwich, Matthew took a picture of the inside of the bus which was nearly empty.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2500
He also got a good shot of the outside of the bus.

2500 in Nantwich bus station
We decided to go use the facilities in Nantwich market. On the way back we called at the sweet store and picked up some Taveners mint chews. Back at the bus station we now had around 15 minutes to wait for a bus back to Crewe. Matthew was eying up GHA step entranced minibus MB29 which we presumed was being used as the crew mess bus. When the next #84 turned up it was a Centro and Matthew refused to do it! After it had left had dragged me over to MB29 and I told it again it wasn't working. I even asked the driver on the bus and he confirmed it to be the case. Whilst we were there GHA SL17 turned up on one of the town circular. Matthew wanted to do this respite having been on it before so we did a circle around the town on this.

GHA SL17 in Nantwich bus station
After doing the spin around time Matthew photographed the bus empty back at the bus station.

Inside SL17
There was a Crewe bus in the bus station, bus it pulled away before we got off SL17. Behind it was a D&G bus bound for Crewe so we decided to get on this as it wasn't a Centro. It was unrequired D&G 138

D&G 138 in Nantwich bus station
We did this bus back and as it was travelling along Gresty Road I though about getting off to intercept the #37 to Northwich. As we got up Matthew photographed on of the seats on this unusual Marshall bodied Dennis Dart

Inside 138
We got off at the end and Matthew got a picture of the bus.

138 in Crewe
We then crossed over Nantwich Road to wait for the #37. The bus stop looked like a normal bus stop and as we waited for the #37 we saw First Potteries 60194 go past on a #20 and D&G 21 on a #85. As the #37 approached we stuck out our hand to be picked up. The bus driver shook his head and waved and went past. We thought that the bus didn't look full so we guessed that the bus stop must be disused. Later research found that this stop is alight only despite there being no clue to this on the actual stop. We decided to walk to the stop by the railway station to wait for the #38. We had already seen it going towards Crewe and it was dud Arriva NW&W 4489. After around a 15 minute wait we saw 4489 approaching.

Arriva NW&W 4489 near Crewe railway station
We got on and climbed onto the top deck. The journey was swift and when we got off matthe got another picture of this bus.

4489 on Sandbach Common
We used the facilities at Sandbach Market and then went back to the Common. Required Arriva NW&W 2617 was on a Northwich short but Matthew turned it down again. As we had time to kill before the next bus we visited McColls for drinks and lottery tickets. When we got back we had around 15 minutes to wait for the #37 to Crewe, which was the Olympian we seen earlier 3330.

Arriva NW&W 3330 on Sandbach Common
We sat on the front seats. Matthew photographed the empty top deck.

Inside 3330
Matthew had wanted to sit on the seat behind but appeared to be broken. The journey back was swift, we had the top deck virtually to ourselves as we travelled back to Crewe bus station. Back at Crewe we saw 4040 on a #31A pull off as we arrived. We walked around the bus station where matthew said hello to a couple of people before we head back to the car. Not before getting a picture of First Potteries 60015 on a Hanley service.

First Potteries 60015 in Crewe bus station
Back at the car we had sausage rolls and drink before setting off back towards Stoke-on-Trent. We had a quick trip past Longton bus station where we saw First Potteries red and yellow 60171 on a #26 service. We also saw some vehicle parked up at the Z carz site before retuning home a little before 18:00...Mark.