Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Trip to Chester Zoo 31-07-2012


FJ10 BJYMiddleshurst, PackmoorChester ZooCharterAiming High
FJ10 BJYChester ZooMiddleshurst, PackmoorCharterAiming High

Today Matthew was going Chester Zoo with Aiming High. The weather for today was grey skies and showers so we packed a coat in his rucksack as well as his packed lunch. Matthew got up at around 08:30 and he had some breakfast. We departed for Middlehurst around 09:30. On the way up to the A50 at Heron Cross we saw Copeland's Tours MIB 978 loading up on Blurton Road.

Copeland's Tours MIB 978 loads in Blurton
We then carried on to Middlehurst to meet the rest of the group getting there a little before 10:00. Everyone else was waiting inside, so we used the opportunity to go and take a picture of the bus he was travelling up to Chester Zoo on, Aiming High FJ10 BJY.

Aiming high's FJ10 BJY in Middlehurst
I said goodbye to him and left him there. A little after 10:00 he would have set off to Chester Zoo. The route was along the Tunstall by-pass, North along the A500 up to Nantwich. On the way we saw Copelands Tours MIB 236 going to Bolton. From there they went to the A51 and then Westbound to Chester. In Chester we saw GHA MX56 AAZ and First Manchester 65738. They then headed North through town to the Zoo. They parked up in the coach park and Matthew 'persuaded' someone to let him on the coach to take a picture. Matthew informs me this high specification vehicle was Atlantic Travel P7 OPR.

Inside a coach at Chester Zoo
we then spied a lone Ogdens Travel coach in the car park.

Ogdens Travel coach in Chester Zoo
After the excitement of the coach park, Matthew and his group then entered into the zoo itself. One of the first thing they went to see were the monkeys.

Monkeys in Chester Zoo
Matthew didn't take many picture of the bigger animals like Giraffe or Elephants, but he did get a few picture of these deer like creatures.

Some kind of deer
Afterwards, he spotted one of them on it's own.

Another deer
Afterward they went for dinner, Matthew used the toilet and they sat and ate their packed lunches by the fountain.

The fountain by the main visitor building
After dinner Matthew went into the Amphibian house and then went in to see the bats.

Matthew declined to go into the butterfly house. This is probably just aswell as at home he usually tries to kill moths! They then got to see a dinosaur...

Erm...T Rex!
After they had finished with the animals it was back out to the coach park. we took a picture of this P G Coaches coach as he was waiting to go home.

P G Coaches N995 UPR at Chester Zoo
Back in the minibus he took another picture of the row of coaches in the distance.

The row of coaches at Chester Zoo
The route home would have been a reverse of the route out. South through Chester and then onto the A51. They then got onto the A500 at Nantwich and headed South and then along the Tunstall by-pass. They got back in and went indoors until just before 16:00 when we arrived to pick Matthew up. Mum talked to the Aiming High workers about his trip whilst I chased him around the building. After photographic the art supplies for a craft project, using the toilet and then taking a picture of another minibus at the back of the school we returned to the car. We headed to Longton to see what was parked up at the Z Carz depot. There was only three vehicles there today. Here we see V690 EBC with D104 XAN in the background.

Z Carz V690 EBC at their Longton Depot
we also saw a onetime school bus of his, LDV minibus DS51 ZJU.

Z Carz DS51 ZJU at their Longton Depot
We then went to MacDonalds in Longton to pick up tea for mum and matthew. He also had two 'London 2012' Coca Cola glasses and 2 blue wristbands. We then went home where he ate tea and then settled down for the evening before bedtime...Mark

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Trip to Leigh / Wigan 28-07-2012


37305Leigh BSWigan BS600First Manchester
31946Wigan BSPemberton, o/s House 563 Ormskirk Road/Enfield Street‎628First Manchester
4102Pemberton, o/s House 563 Ormskirk Road/Enfield Street‎Wigan BS375Arriva NW&W
31934Wigan BSLeigh BS598First Manchester
7676Leigh BSLane Head, Newton Road/Travellers Rest (SW-bound)34Arriva NW&W

Today we decided to go to Leigh. I though it would give him a choice of buses to do, but still be linked to St Helens if he decided he wanted to cover some of their buses before the new Solo SR's were deployed. Matthew had a late night and didn't go sleep until after 03:00. After such a late night he didn't get up until 11:00. The weather forecast for today was for a cooler day with the chance of the odd shower. After a quick breakfast we set off around 12:15. We headed North on the A500 and onto the M6. He saw Z carz V690 EBC. The M6 to junction 18 was slow due to an earlier accident. We got on Winwick Lane at junction 22 and then turned right at Lane Head onto the A572. We decided to follow this road into town as opposed to going on the quicker A579 route so we could see what buses were on the #34 service. As we headed into town we passed required Arriva NW&W 2346 on what would have been the 13:20 off Leigh to St Helens. As we pulled up into town we could see an Interurban liveried Pulsar about to work the 13:40 off Leigh. We parked by the Spinning Gate shopping centre and walked into town via the market. After using the toilets in the bus station we decided to eat at the burger van by the corner of the bus station. Matthew had a sausage and egg barm and a bottle of Coca Cola. We then walked down to the end of the bus station to see what was working. We saw 40386 arriva on a Higher Fold bound #658 service.

First Manchester 40386 in Leigh bus station
We the decided to wait to see what the 14:20 #34 was. We waited patiently until about 14:15, when required Arriva NW&W Cadet 2489 appeared to work the service. Matthew decided not to do this and instead decided to do a newish required double decker, First Manchester 37305.

First Manchester 37305 in Leigh bus station
We got on and booked 3 System One bus only tickets, as once again mum was coming with us. We went upstairs and Matthew took a picture of the empty top deck of this bus.

Inside First Manchester 37305
We sat down on the front seats to enjoy the journey. I wasn't sure how far we were going on this service so I had booked Matthew ticket to Wigan just in case. As we set of in a South Western direction out of town it started to rain. We passed required Arriva NW&W Scania 1055 on the next #34. I asked Matthew if he wanted to get off and waited for it and Matthew said no. As we went further along through Lowton and then towards Golborne I asked Matthew if he wanted to get off to cover the #360 service and Matthew once again said no. A group of 3 lads got on in Lowton as the bus headed Northwards toward the top end of Golborne. The lads who where already drunk got on the bus and sat at the back. They carried on drinking, swearing talking very loudly about how they had beaten this person up and about their sexual exploits. They were "on the way to Blackpool to get wasted" as they were "currently on bail and they were likely to go back to prison anyway". Before get off at Wigan North Western railway station they dropped a glass they had taken from a pub and it smashed. I think everybody on the bus let out a collective sigh of relief when they got off. As we were getting off the bus in Wigan we spied required First Manchester 31946 on a #628 Kitt Green circular on the opposite stand and it was bout to start loading. We pretty much got straight off the one double decker and got straight on to 31946, with Matthew stopping briefly to say hello to someone before we got on. We went straight up to the top deck and Matthew got a picture of the empty bus.

Inside First Manchester 31946
We sat down at the front to enjoy this trip around Wigan. We also saw Arriva NW&W 4105 which would be working out towards Southport later. We had been on this circular before last time we came to Wigan, so we knew exactly what we were going to do. The plan was to do the service around the circle until we got back onto the main road at Pemberton, and then to do something else back into town. The rain had now stopped and we were in bright sunshine again. As we left Wigan we past a #395 service going into Wigan. As we went around the circular route we passed 3 Excels on the #621. These were First Manchester 60146, 60148 and 60141. We also went past a Co-op with Matthew got a picture of. As we got back onto the main road we got off the bus and Matthew got a picture of this beast as it headed off towards Wigan.

First Manchester 31946 in Pemberton
We checked the time and it was 15:53. A quick consultation of the bus stop timetable said the next bus was due at 15:53 and it was a #375 service. We looked up and we saw it was a double decker and bang on time. As it got closer we could see it was required 4102.

Arriva NW&W 4102 in Pemberton
We got on to do the short journey into town. When we got into Wigan Matthew took a picture of the empty top deck.

Inside Arriva NW&W 4102
When we got into the bus station, we visited the facilities before making a choice of what we were going to do back to Leigh. There were at least 2 #360's to Warrington / Golborne which were turned down including required Arriva NW&W 2454. We also turned down a Volvo's on the #600 to Leigh which was 60397. We also saw Arriva 2680 on a #575 service. He also turned down a #658 to Leigh. We had a bit of a wandered around and Matthew took a picture of Arriva NW&W Pulsar 2679 which was stabled up between #362 services.

Arriva NW&W 2679 in Wigan bus station
Just when we were thinking that we were never going to leave Wigan we saw required First Manchester 31934 Arriva on a #598 from Leigh. It dropped it passengers off and then drove around about as it tried to get onto stand H. There wasn't a space and so it did a lap of the bus station. Eventually it parked up on stand H behind another bus. I checked the timetable to see what what going on. If it was going to work out on the #598 then it would be on the 16:38 to Leigh in about 6 minutes time. The bus in front moved and then Matthew took a picture from the front.

First Manchester 31934 in Wigan bus station
After a driver change to bus drew fully onto stand H and changed it's desination to Leigh. We got on the bus and Matthew took a picture of the empty top deck.

Inside First Manchester 31934
After a couple of minutes we set off. As we left town we hit a bit of a bump in the road and mum dropped her Kindle! One of the downside to riding on the older vehicles is that they are often a little less comfortable when it come to ride quality. We had never done the #598 before so it was an interesting ride through Hindley and Hindley Green. We hit familiar territory when we reached Tamar as we had done the #658 service last time we visited Leigh. We passed a variety of vehicles on the opposite workings including 2 Darts, newer Volvo and a Volvo B10 on the #658. When we got to town it was just past 17:00. Matthew used the toilet and had us walk around the corner into town. The shutters were down on Greegs so we knew we couldn't get sausage rolls today. The was a butcher and delicatessen on the corner which sold gigantic cooked sausages and spiced chips for £2 a portion. We decided to have 2 portions between us. As we walked back we saw a shearing coached parked up by the side of the road. It was Shearings 540 (MX03 AEW) a Volvo B12M coach. Matthew didn't like the spicy chips much. which me and mum shared, but he did like the sausage which he ate, as well as eating some of Uncle Daves too. He turned down Arriva NW&W 2489 again on the 17:20 to St Helens.He did however get a picture of Newtwork Warrington 56 on a #28A service to Warrington.

Network Warrington 56 in Leigh bus station
He also turned down 60397 which was on a #600.

First Manchester 60397 in Leigh bus station
We asked Matthew if he wanted to wait until. 17:40 for the #34 service, which we though would be Arriva NW&W Scania 1055. He said yes to that. We thought we could get off at the pub The Travellers Rest and have a drink on the seats at the front of the pub like we had done before. Mum would drive the car down to meet us to take us home afterwards. When the bus turned up it wasn't 1055, but was required Arriva NW&W Dart 7676.

Arriva NW&W 7676 in Leigh bus station
He stilled wanted to do the same move to the traveller rest, and so that is what we did. We usually avoid doing bus at this time of the day because they are too crowded. There were only about 6 people on this bus as it left Leigh and it was a very pleasant ride. The bus was nice and cool. As we left town we passed Arriva NW&W 7563 on an inbound #34 service We got off as planned but when we got to the pub we found that the table at the front of the pub had been removed. We decided to wait for mum at the bus stop. Whilst we were waiting we saw Arriva NW&W 2314 on another inbound #34 service. When mum turned up we told her about the table predicament and we decided it would be better to go to the local Co-op for drinks and lottery tickets. We drove back towards Leigh and stopped at the Texaco Petrol station / Co-op on the A580. He used the facilties here to. We brought some Coca Cola and few other bits and pieces and then we head homewards. We set off along the A580 towards the M6. Before we got there it started to rain. We got onto the M6 and then the heaven opened. It was quite an heavy shower and the road was under a cm of water of so. The rain had stopped by the time we reached the M56 junction and then the sun came out again. As we drove past a couple of cars we were driving through rainbow coloured spray as the sunlight defused through the fine water droplets. We reached junction 15 and then turned off onto the A500. we then went onto the A50 at sideway before turning off at Longton to go passed the Z Carz depot. As we were about to turn onto the road past Z carz Matthew batteries ran out in his camera. I drove back and forth between 2 rounadbout whilst uncle Dave changed the batteries on his camera. We then when passed the depot where Matthew got his picture of the 2 buses parked up. D104 XAN and YN03 HJC.

Z Carz YN03 HJC in Longton
we also. We then headed home. After a short sit down we had sausages and mash before bedtime...Mark

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Trip to Stafford 26-07-2012


2344Chell Road, StaffordWeeping Cross, opp Baswich Lane1Arriva Midlands
3762Stafford, opp Radford Bank Inn PHStafford Town Centre, adj Railway Station825Arriva Midlands
3736Stafford Town Centre, adj Railway StationStafford Town Centre, opp Bridge Street76Arriva Midlands
2352Stafford Town Centre, Gaol Square (Stand 2)Stafford, adj Radford Bank Inn PH3Arriva Midlands
3729Stafford, opp Radford Bank Inn PHStafford Town Centre, Guildhall Shopping Centre (Stand 1)74Arriva Midlands

Today we went to Stafford. Its the holidays and due to one reason or another we had been able to go out and do anything. So we promised Matthew we would out today, somewhere reasonably local. When asked if he wanted to got to Stafford Matthew said "yes". Matthew didn't get up until after 11:00 today. Before he got up I had looked out for the #22A to see if it was anything good. Today it was First Potteries 60196. Wardle Transport 1626 was seen about to Hanley. It was another hot and humid day. Since it stopped raining all the time we had experienced a week of sunshine, By the time we had eaten some breakfast and got dressed to go out it was close to 13:00. We headed North to Etruria to pick up LPG before heading Back South down the A500 and then onto the A34. We parked up in Stafford in a car park by Wilkinsons and behind Chell Road. This was a perfect place to park for visiting Theo's cafe, which is where we stopped for dinner. Matthew used the facilities before have a brunch. After eating we walked through the passageway opposite the market onto Chell Road. The first bus we saw was Arriva Midlands 2347, which had pulled up out of service.

Arriva Midlands 2347 on Chell Road
Across the road we saw Wardle Transport 2407 on the #482 service. We decided to stand at the last stop on Chell Road as this is where the local services go from and where the most interesting buses were likely to stop at. We didn't have to wait for long before required Arriva Midlands 2344 turned up on a Baswich service.

Arriva Midlands 2344 on Chell Road
We got on and booked to Baswich, getting an Arriva Staford day saver too as once again mum was travelling with us. We went right around the loop, and when the bus emptied out Matthew took a picture of the inside of the bus looking forward.

Inside Arriva Midlands 2344
Getting off at the end of the loop, we decided to walk down Radford Bank so we didn't have to wait 30 minutes for the next bus. Before we did we stopped at the Weeping Cross bus stop for a few minutes to have a drink. It wasn't very pleasant walking along this road in the hot sunshine. Matthew propelled me down the road as fast as he could and mum lagged behind. It's lucky that we were going downhill or else it might have been even more unpleasant. As we walked down the hill Matthew got a picture of Arriva Midlands 2338 on a #2 service.

Arriva Midlands 2338 on Radford Bank
When we got to the stop and there were a few people waiting. Matthew sat on the seat in the bus stop between two people. I told him he had to give up the seat for his mum so he sat on the floor instead. The first bus to turn up was a Pulsar. We asked Matthew if he wanted to do it and he said yes. As we had never been on a Midlands Pulsar we knew it would be required. It was Arriva Midlands 3762.

Arriva Midlands 3762 on Radford Bank
We did the bus back towards town. As the bus stopped at the railway station we decided to get off to use the facilities. Matthew got another picture as the bus went off into the distance.

Arriva Midlands 3762 by Stafford Station
As we went on the platform we saw 90047 rush through on a Northbound Freightliner. Matthew may not like me saying this, but he even attempted to get a picture of it! After we had done in the station we brought some more pop from the station stall before walking back to the bus stop. We saw a Plaxton Centro approaching, another type that had never been on with Arriva Midlands. I asked Matthew if he wanted to do this and he said yes. We soon saw that it was required Arriva Midlands 3736.

Arriva Midlands 3736 by Stafford Station
We did this into town. The bus service ended at South Walls so we got off and Matthew got a picture of the empty inside of the bus.

Inside Arriva Midlands 3736
We then walked off towards Gaol Square. On the way we saw Ex Arriva NW&W 2114 which now carries the number 2359 in the Arriva Midlands fleet.

Arriva Midlands 2359 former Arriva NW&W 2114
We walked up the road at little further and then stopped for a rest. Whilst we were there we saw Arriva Midlands 2299 parked up, Arriva Midlands 2337 went past as did Arriva Midlands 2231.

Arriva Midlands 2231
We carried on walking up the bank to the stops at Gaol Square. Whilst we there we saw 3 ALX Darts. Arriva Midlaands 2231, 2232 and 2233 were all present at one point. After a few minutes Required Arriva Midlands 2352 appeared on a #3 Walton service, so we decided to do this. We got on the bus first and as such Matthew was able to photograph the bus empty as we got on.

Inside Arriva Midlands 2352
We did this bus to Radford Bank and got off. As we walked to the crossing we saw Heyfordian coach B16 HTL coming along the road.

Heyfordian B16 HTL on Radford Bank
We crossed over and waited at the stop. We didn't have to wait long and another Pulsar appeared. I asked Matthew if he wanted to catch it and he said yes. As it approached we could see it was required Arriva Midlands 3729. We did the bus back past the railways station and the bus went behind Chell Road close to where the car was parked. We had promised Matthew a visit to Morrisons for a snack before we went home and so that is what we did. We got in the car and drove North up the A34 to Stone where we parked up at Morrison's. It was now gone 17:00 as we went into the cafe. We used the facilities and we got to the cafe in time for Matthe to have the last slice of lemon meringue pie. He also wanted something to eat so we got him a very small chips sausage and beans meal with some bread and butter. After we had eaten we went into the store to buy some pop. We left and drove to the Morrisons garage to put some air in the tyres before we set off homeward. We headed around the one way system and then back onto the A34. matthew wanted to go back via Barlaston, so we turned off just before the Darlaston Inn. We then went through barlaston and over the level crossing. We then headed out through rough close to Meir passing Wardle Transport 2408 on the #250 service to Stone.. Onto the A50 we then did a slow pass of the Z Carz depot so Matthew could take a few pictures.

Z Carz V690 EBC in Longton
We then looped around Longton and we to Adderley Green. As we passed near the Wardle Transport depot we passed on of the Caetano Nimbus's running out of service and 1647. At the Adderley Green roundabout we saw 40154 on a #1 service. We then traveled on to Bentilee, We saw Scraggs Blue Buses 38 turned by the Hillberry. We then went to Bucknall, along Leek New Road and then Victoria Road and past Duke Street. We then headed through Heron Cross and then home. We got home around 18:45. For a late supper we had a sausage sandwich before bedtime...Mark

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Trip to Southport / Crossens 21-07-2012


2724Kew P&RSouthport, Chapel Street (Stop EA)PR2Arriva NW&W
15472Southport, opp Duke StreetCrossens, on Preston New RoadX2Stagecoach M & SL
2294Crossens, on Preston New RoadKew, opp Southport Hospital44Arriva NW&W
7653Kew, o/s Southport HospitalSouthport, Lord Street44Arriva NW&W
3034Southport, Lord StreetAinsdale, o/s Toby Carvery48Arriva NW&W
7568Hillside, adj Oakwood AvenueMeols Cop, adj Town Lane44Arriva NW&W
4107Meols Cop, adj Town LaneSouthport, opp The Wellington385Arriva NW&W
2724Southport, Lord Street stop HCKew P&R SouthportPR2Arriva NW&W

Today we decided to go to a trip Southport. At some point of the weekend we were going to go past the Z carz depot too. At 03:00 Matthew was fast asleep. We had asked Matthew the evening before where he wanted to go and Matthew chose Southport by typing in the number of a bus that is allocated to Arriva's Southport depot. Matthew woke up around 09:00. Matthew got up around 10:00 after mum went him to him to get him up. The weather forecast for today was for sun for a change. He had some toast and orange juice for his breakfast. We set off around 11:30 today. It was a little earlier than usual because Southport is further than we have been going lately. We headed North to Etruria where we stopped for LPG. After filling up we continued North along the A500 and then onto the M6. Traffic was surprisingly light for the first day of the holidays. When we reached the M58 we head West,and then onto the A570. For the first time ever as we passed through Ormskirk we actually saw a local service bus close enough to see what it was doing. Arriva NW&W 7633 was on a #311 to Liverpool. Traffic around Ormskirk was quite heavy and progress slowed down. On the other side of Ormskirk we headed to the Kew park & ride site. We got to the site around 13:30. When we got there required Arriva NW&W 2724 pulled up at the stop. Matthew went to the toilet and when we finished the bus was still waiting. So Matthew got a picture before we boarded this bus.

Arriva NW&W 2724 at the Kew P&R
The bus was lightly loaded and we got into town quite quickly. After a few people had gotten off 2724 Matthew got a picture of the rear off the bus from where he was sitting.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2724
At this point it was time to get something to eat. Matthew had been hinting that he wanted to go to Morrisons for a slice of lemon meringue pie. We had planned on eating some food first and then coming back to Morrison later in the day for a break before returning home. When we got to the cafe Matthew had other ideas and decided to have a tantrum. We then went to Morrison cafe. A man at the food counter told us there was nearly an hour wait for food , and then hadn't got a lemon merringue pie either. Matthew had a Victoria sponge and a Coke. After we had done we went back to the cafe and had bacon sandwiches. By the time we got out it was around 14:50. we saw required Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire 15472 on the Duke Street bus stop.

Stagecoach Mersyside & South Lancashire 15472 on Lord Street
We hadn't planned to catch this and we didn't have a Saveaway ticket. we got on it anyway and it cost us £5.10 to go to Crossens. we got on went upstairs and photographed the empty top deck.

Inside Stagecoach Mersyside & South Lancashire 15472
Once again mum was oming with us on the bus as I am currently not feeling at 100%. We followed him upstairs and did the bus up along the main road towards Preston. When we could see the big roundabout we got up and got off. Matthew got a picture of the bus as we got off.

15472 in Crossens
We crossed over and as we got to the other side we saw Arriva NW&W 7652 arrive on a #44 from Formby.

Arriva NW&W 7652 in Crossens
We decided out to use the facilities and the bus came and went off on the #42 to Walnut Street. The next bus to pull up was required Arriva NW&W 2294 which had arrived on the #42.

Arriva NW&W 2294 in Crossens
We asked Matthew if he wanted to do this bus and he said yes. We had to wait a few minutes before it was time, at which point it became a #44 to Formby. He got on and got a picture of the empty bus. We were soon underway and we decided to do this bus through town, to possibly pick up something else on the other side back towards Southport. We passed through Southport and then headed South Eastwards towards Kew. We Passed 2 double deckers heading into Southport on a 375 and a 385 just before we got to Town Lane Kew. These were Arriva NW&W 4101 & 4104. We decided to get off anyway in case we saw another #44 or even a #300 service. We got off and crossed the road. We saw Arriva NW&W 7656 on a #300 and then we dropped on required Arriva NW&W 7653 heading back towards Crossens. This was the last of the current Southport allocation of Marshall bodied Darts that we hadn't been on. Matthew got a picture as it pulled onto the bus stop.

Arriva NW&W 7653 outside Southport Hospital
We were going to do this back through town to Crossens, but as we stopped at the stop on Eastbank street, we saw required and soon to we withdrawn Arriva NW&W 7568 going the other way on a #44. We had still planned to stay on 7653 and then to come back part way to meet this bus. As we traveled North along Lord Street Matthew was getting stressed out so we decided to get off. We decided to have an ice cream or something. We could wait for 7568 to return from Formby. We stopped at an Ice Cream parlour that also did cakes. We got Matthew a lemon meringue with ice cream whilst mum and I had just ice cream. After we had done Matthew had us cross the road to the other side of Lord Street. I had no idea of where he wanted to go he just had an idea in his head. A #48 had pulled up next to us and Matthew decided that we were going to do that. It was required 3034, but we didn't know what it was at this point as we had just jumped onto it. I had looked at the #44 Formby timetable but it didn't seem to make too much sense. There appeared to be a long layover at Formby, Either that or there is a circular end to the serice. If this was the case then the points on the timetable and the times didn't to match. As we traveled down I wondered if we could get to Ainsdale before 7568 returned from Formby? This rote down to Aindale seemed to be twice as quick as going down on a #49A. We got off at the main rounadbout in Ainsdale and we looked at which bus we had been on. Matthew got a picture of this bus.

Arriva NW&W 3034 in Ainsdale
Matthew got a picture of the shell garage on the corner. It was now 17:00. The first stop around the corner didn't have a timetable or a shelter. I used my phone to check the timetable and it said we had around 12 minute to wait for the next bus. We walked down to the next stop and this had a shelter. As we walked down we saw Arriva NW&W 3086 on a Southbound #49A service.

Arriva NW&W 3086 in Ainsdale
A Northbound Pulsar came by on the #49A to Crossens and this was Arriva NW&W 3080. After a short wait we could see a bus in the distance. It was a Plaxton Dart in Interurban livery and it had a manual destination blind just as the bus we had seen before. As it closer we could see it was an R ABA Dart and therefore 7568. Almost by chance Matthew had put us in the right position to catch the bus that we wanted to ride on the most in Southport.

Arriva NW&W 7568 in Ainsdale
We got on the bus and it was empty. Matthew got a picture of this ex MTL bus's interior.

Inside Arriva NW&W 7568
We then set of towards Southport. I realised that if we got off by the hospital we might be able to get on a double decker into Southport. It would also give us an opportunity to get a drink and lottery tickets. So we got off just as we turned onto Scarisbrick New Road. We saw 4103 heading in the other direction towards Wigan. Matthew and mum went into a BP garage to get some pop and chocolate whilst I headed into Tesco to get lottery. I thought I would try their petrol station to see if they sold lottery rather than walking down to the main store. It turns out that they could do them albeit printed out on receipt paper. When we got back we had a sit down and chill out at the bus stop whilst we waited for the #385 service. We saw a few coaches go past. One such coach was this Attain Travel vehicle.

Attian Travel Coach YN58 BEU in Kew
A few minutes later we saw a double decker head off to the Hospital. It came back and we saw it was required Arriva NW&W 4107.

Arriva NW&W 4107 in Kew
We did the bus back to Eastwick street and got off. After a quick visit to Poundland We saw Arriva NW&W 7655 on a #44 service. We walked across the pedestrianised walkway and on London Street. We got to the stop a little after 18:00. According to the timetable there was a bus at 18:12 and then the last one was at 18:27. Whilst we waited for the bus we saw this coach going down towards the retail park.

Grayway Coach FP51 EUM in Southport
18:12 came and went and the bus didn't show up. Arriva NW&W 7673 went past on a Southbound #43 service. We also saw Arriva NW&W 7654 meaning we saw all the Southport allocation of Marshall Darts except 7637 which is being refurbished and 7656 which was on the #300 service. Eventually we saw a bus approaching and it was Arriva NW&W 2724 again. We got on and Matthew got a picture of the empty inside of this bus.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2724
We checked the time and it was 18:26.there seemed to be a bus missing. We got to the park and ride and Matthew went to use the facilities. He came out and got another picture of this bus.

Arriva NW&W 2724 at the Kew P&R
A few minutes later another bus turned up. It was required Arriva NW&W 2141. It would seem that the buses were running around within a few minutes of each other rather than 15 minutes apart. We then got in the car and set off home. It was now 18:45. We then set off homewards on the reverse of the journey we had made earlier. Through Ormskirk and past the bus station where the #311 service calls we saw Arriva NW&W 7557 on this here. We heed down the A570 to The M58 and then oto the M6 South. As we approached junction 16 we went passed a coach. We pulled in to turn onto the A500 and the coach overtook us and Matthew got his picture.

Finesse Coaches GT02 WAY on the Southbound M6
We went the onto A500 and headed in Stoke-on-trent. As it was getting late we decided to have chips for tea. We called into the chip shop on Smithpool Road before heading home. We finally got through the door around 20:20. Matthew ate a burger with a few chips before getting ready for bed...Mark