Sunday, 26 August 2012

Trip on the Beatrice 26-08-2012


FJ10 BJXCemetery Road, SheltonCheddletonCharterAiming High
FJ10 BJXCheddletonCemetery Road, SheltonCharterAiming High

Today Matthew was due to go on the Beatrice but he didn't really want to go out! We persuaded him to get up and told him that if he wasn't going to go out he had to tell the Crossroads workers himself. When They turned up a little a little after 09:00 he decided that he was going to go after all! Off he went to meet up with the rest of the group at Shelton. Matthew went past the Hem Heath pub and along Stanley Matthews Way. They then got onto the A50 and then onto the A500. They cme o the A500 at Shelton New Road and to Cemetery Road. The bus was waiting and it was the usuual Crossroads based Aiming High bus FJ10 BJX.

Aiming High FJ10 BJX in Shelton
After calling into John Street on Hanley they set off towards Cheddleton. They headed off to Meir, and then went along the A520 though to Cheddleton. Scraggs Blue bus 42 was on the #16 service. They then spent a few hours in the Beatrice.

The Beatrice at her moorings in Cheddleton
After boarding the barge Matthew informs me that they headed South East out of Cheddleton towards the railway. They passed a few moored barges. One such barge was this black one named Kurt.

A barge named Kurt
After passing through a lock they passed another barge coming the other way.

A barge on the move
Another barge they saw was this blue one called Walveran.

They must have turned around and headed back to the mooring. This gave Matthew a chance to photograph a few moor barges such as this red and green on.

A different red and green barge
After the barge got back to the mooring they got back on Aiming High Fj10 BJX before going back down the A520 to Cellarhead and then across through Bucknall . They went passed Scraggs depot and saw Blue Buses 64 and 1655 VT. He then went on the A5008 to Hanley and then Shelton. He got off the bus and into the the car of one of the staff. They went along Shelton New Road to the A500. They got onto the A50 up to Longton. On the way home He passed Z Carz depot which had T131 SGA parked up there along with BV51 BNO and T408 JUX. They then went past Longton bus station traveling down he old A50 through Fenton. He went on the A50 link road to Heron Cross going past Duke Street. He the went though Heron Cross before traveling home passing Wardle Transport 2532 on the #22 service. He got home a little after 15:15 and then he settled down for the evening. He had chicken popcorn or tea and had a bath before bedtime...Mark

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Trip to Ormskirk / Skelmersdale 25-08-2012


3089Ormskirk BSClay Brow, opp Hare and Hounds375Ariva NW&W
4104Clay Brow by Hare and HoundsOmskirk BS385Ariva NW&W
4100Ormskirk BSSkelmersdale BS375Ariva NW&W
YJ56 AUFSkelmersdale BSOmskirk BS3AHolmeswood

Today we decided to go to Ormskirk. We decided to go here a few day previously. This was a place where we have passed through but never really spent any time here. Preperation consisted of downloading timetables from Arriva and the Merseytravel websites. Matthew had a bit of a late nigth on Friday, and so he didn't get up until gone 10:00. The weather had been forecast to be mainly cloudy with sunshine and showers. He had some breakfast and used his computer and we were ready to go around dinner time. We set off at 12:15 headed through Blurton. We passed the Lightning house where we saw a yet to be identified minibus being prepared for service. We got onto the A500 and immediately we were stuck in traffic. That had been an accident near Etruria and this added around 15 minutes to our journey. Whilst we were waiting on the A500, Aiming High FJ10 BJY passed us heading towards Shelton. After we passed the accident we made good time up to the M6. As we approached the M6 we could see the traffic was standing on the Northbound side, so we decided to head up to the Next junction via Radway Green. Back on the motorway traffic was still heavy. There was a bit of a rain shower and then the road and rain cleared up as we headed North of the M62. We arrived in Ormskirk at 13:55 and we parked in in Morrison's as this was where Matthew wanted to have dinner. Matthew had a breakfast and lemon meringue pie for afters. This was was down with a cup of Coke. We couldn't stay parked in Morrison's and so we headed off to park in the car park on the inside of the bus station. When we got there we found out it was a short stay car park and so we drove around and found another car park by the council offices. We parked up and walked back into the bus station. We saw Stagecoach Versa 25231 and Holmeswood MX07 LBG.

Holmeswood MX07 LBG in Ormskirk bus station
The first Arriva bus we saw was Arriva NW&W 4100 on a Southport bond service. We decided to turn this down and wait a couple of minutes for the Wigan bound bus. This was Arriva NW&W 3089.

Arriva NW&W 3089 in Ormskirk bus station
We asked Matthew if he wanted to do this and he said yes. I looked up 3089 and it was required. I also looked up 4100 which I'd thought we had been on only to find out that was required too! We got on and booked 3 Arriva day tickets as well as Matthew ticket as mum was again travelling with us. I thought it would be good idea to go to Skelmersdale (Skem as it is known by locals) and beyond so we could learn the route and see where places we could get off in the future. We passed several buses in the opposite directions. There were a mixture of Pulsars and Volvo B7's on the 375/385. The 395 was mainly Pulsars with the exception of Cadet 2494. Just before we reached Skem bus station we noticed a canoe lying on a path near a roundabout! We passed Skem bus station and it seemed like quite a nice little place. There was a bus enthusiast there with a red jacket talking to the driver on a #311 service. At this point over 30 minutes had passed so we decided to get off at a convenient point. We spied a place in a nice residential area where there were stops on opposite sides of the road and so we got off. As we got off the bus Matthew got another picture of 3089.

Arriva NW&W 3089 at Clay Brow
Matthew spotted a Total garage just down the road, so we went for a spot of shopping. Matthew choosing some Coke and a Milky Way. We headed back to the bus stop where there was already a gentleman waiting for the bus. We were discussing with Matthew as to whether it was going to be a double decker or not and the gentleman said that it was as he could see the reflection! We then heard the bus before we heard it as it was the magnificent Arriva NW&W 4104 with its loud roar!

Arriva NW&W 4104 at Clay Brow
We got on the bus and went upstairs again. It was quite full and we sat near the back on the drivers side. We went back through Skem bus station and then we noticed something we didn't notice on the way out. A bus yard containing all sorts of vehicle from small minibuses to Mercedes minibus with proper bus doors. It was the Ashley Travel garage. When the bus emptied out a little, Matthew took a picture of the inside of the top deck.

Inside Arriva NW&W 4104
We carried on through and eventually got back to Ormskirk around 16:20. Matthew had a quick visit to the loo before waited for our bus. having seen 4100 was required when in came in earlier, we decided to do it when it reappeared.

Arriva NW&W 4100 in Ormskirk bus station
We got on and Matthew took a picture of the rear of the bus where it was empty.

Inside Arriva NW&W 4100
We headed back east and this time we decided to get of in Skem bus station. Matthew decided he wanted to go use the toilet. He then visited a newsagent get a few more drinks and sweets before visiting a Nat West cash point to get some money. We headed back to the bus station. There was required Arriva NW&W 2945 on a #311 service. Matthew spotted required Holmeswood Solo YJ56 AUF. We knew it was required as we have never been on a Holmeswood vehicle before.

Holmeswood YJ56 AUF in Skelmersdale bus station
As we got on Matthew honked the horn. We booked to Ormskirk, and an adult single costed £2.60. Before we sat down Matthew took a picture of this empty bus.

Inside Holmeswood YJ56 AUF
The bus set off and after entering and leaving Asda it stormed through the country lanes of West Lancashire. We called at Parbold and there was a train stopped in the railway station. We then went to Burscough Bridge and there was a train stopped in the railway station there too. A gentleman got on and said he got off the train as there was a blockage on the line. We eventually reached Ormskirk and as we passed the railway station we noticed a train stopped there too! We got off and we took a few more pictures before we left the bus station. One such picture was of Arriva NW&W 2966 on a #395 to Wigan. These service work back to St Helens on the #352 as the 352 and 395 interwork.

Arriva NW&W 2966 in Ormskirk bus station
As we walked back to the car we spotted some artwork on a wall of a man dangling naked from a window as his lover and her husband look out the window! We decided we were going to get something to eat. Uncle Dave said he had noticed a chip shop just outside of town on the Skem road. As we left town we passed Arriva NW&W 4107 heading towards Southport. We eventually found the chippy in the Woodrow area of Skem a good 15 minutes out of Ormskirk. After stopping for sausage and chips we carried on our way home. We were on the M58 within a couple of minutes and then we got back onto the Southbound M6. The heavens opened and it was slow progress on the M6 in the heavy rain with poor visibility. We passed Hartley Travel R419 AOR. We drove through the rain which was quite bad between The M62 and the M56. After a brief break it was back heavier than before as we reached the A556 and it continued until just before the A500 junction. We stopped at Longport for LPG. Whilst we filled up First Potteries 40143 went past heading towards Burslem / Tunstall. We then headed to Longton and Copelands MIB 278 went past us as we got off the A50 at Longton. We passed the bus station and then went to the Z Carz depot where Matthew got a picture of BV51 BNO.

Z Carz BV51 BNO in Longton
We then headed home seeing First potteries 40376 on a #23 service. We got home around 20:10 just before it went dark. We then settled down for the evening before bedtime...Mark

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Trip to Hanley Park / Newcastle Fire Station 21-08-2012


FJ10 BJXShelton, opp Cemetery RoadHanley ParkCharterAiming High
FJ10 BJXHanley ParkShelton, adj Cemetery RoadCharterAiming High
FJ10 BJXShelton, opp Cemetery RoadNewcastle Fire StationCharterAiming High
FJ10 BJXNewcastle Fire StationShelton, adj Cemetery RoadCharterAiming High

Today Matthew was out with aiming high on a trip to Newcastle fire station. He got up around 08:30 and had some breakfast before setting off to Shelton around 09:30 The route was through Blurton passing First Potteries 40017 on the early #22A turn. We then continued through Heron Cross and up Victoria Road up to the edge of Hanley. As we approached Hanley we passed 60136 on a #6 service. We went around the town and down through Snow Hill to Shelton. We dropped Matthew off at the place and whilst it was quiet he got a picture of the transport for today Aiming High's FJ10 BJX.

Aiming High FJ10 BJX in Shelton
I walked him into the building and had a quick chat with one of the members of staff. They were going to Hanley park First for a short while before going on their fire station trip. After I left him they set off to the park which was less than a mile away. Matthew got another picture of the minibus here.

Aiming High FJ10 BJX in Hanley Park
He visited the playground and also went to the toilet whilst they walked around the park. They then headed back to Shelton for a while, presumably having their packed lunches here before heading off to Newcastle fire station. As they went through Newcastle, we spotted reliveried 40018 around town. At the fire station they had a good wander round. They went upstairs into the offices. He had his picture taken with a Firemans helmet on! They then walked around the depot. Here is a close up of the rear of one of the fire engines.

Fire engine DX61 GXG in Newcastle Fire Station
He also got to sit in the cab of on of the engines.

Inside a fire engine
After the visited the headed back to Shelton. We picked him up and Matthew took a close up of a cab that was waiting to pick up one of the other Aiming High users.

Close up of an Intercity cab
We then headed home via Z carz! The route took us down Stoke Road and passed a Shell Petrol station which is being refurbished. We then went onto the A500 and then onto the A50. before doubling back to go by the depot. There wasn't very much on today, with the exception of the 2 bigger coaches. Here's V690 EBC.

Z Carz V690 EBC in Longton
Besides D104 XAN, the only others visible were LDV minibus YN03 HJC and Mercedes minibus T131 SGA.

Z Carz D104 XAN in Longton
We then headed homeward. Later on we went out for a MacDonalds on Victoria Road. As well as eating is own he pinched some of his mums too! He then settled down for the evening before going to bed...Mark

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Trip to Wigan / Standish 18-08-2012


31928Wigan BSLockett Road, Bryn610First Manchester
31928Lockett Road, BrynWigan BS610First Manchester
4107Wigan BSOrrell Post, Orrell Road/Orrell Council Offices (Stop D)385Arriva NW&W
2990Orrell Post, Orrell Road/Orrell Post (Stop C)Wigan BS352Arriva NW&W
2997Wigan BSStandish, o/s House 104 Wigan Road/Almond Crescent362Arriva NW&W
2683Standish, Wigan Road/Prospect Lodge (SE-bound)Wigan BS362Arriva NW&W

Today we decided to return to Wigan. Three Saturdays ago when we visited Leigh, we made a brief visit to Wigan. We told Matthew we would return again soon and so we decided that today would be the day. The weather was supposed to be mainly dry and cloudy with sunny intervals, but very warm and humid. Matthew got up around 10:00 and had his breakfast. we set off a little after 11:30 heading off towards Hanford. We stopped at Hanford Wrights Pie shop in order to get some sausage rolls but they had sol out. We set off North again on the A500 and as it was before 12:00 we stopped at the cheaper LPG garage to fuel up. We still had to stop at Longport to put a little air in the tyres before going North up the A500 around 12:15. We got on the M6 and headed North. The traffic was quite busy and so it took a while to get up to Wigan. We came off at the A49 junction and we parked up in a small car park opposite Wigan Wallgate railway station. last time we had ridden up to Wigan mum had noticed a cafe on the corner of the road by the railway station and so we had a ticket for an hour so we could go have dinner here. As we were about to cross over to the cafe Matthew took a picture of Arriva NW&W 4100 on a Southport service.

Arriva NW&W 4100 outside Wigan Wallgate
We crossed the road and went into the cafe. Todays we had 3 pie and peas, A sausage and chips meal for Matthew with a drink included and another tea and a Cola. It came to little over £10. Matthew was able to see most of the buses entering the bus station from this end including the Southports and the Kitt Green circulars which have always produced at least one First Manchester Dennis Arrow on our previous visits. From what we could see the circulars were mainly Excels and there was at least one Dennis Dart out. We did see First Manchester Dennis Arrow 31941 running towards the bus station out of service. After we had finished eating, we headed back to the car park. We drove the car a little closer to the bus station and parked up. We walked into the bus station and Matthew went to use the facilities. It was a few minutes before 14:00. As we came out we spotted a Dennis Arrow on a #610 service. It was First Manchester 31928. We had never been on this service before but we were reasonably certain that we had not been on this bus before.

First 31928 about to work the #610
We got on and booked 3 system one bus only tickets plus we used Matthew's pass. Mum was still coming with us to help out. As we booked the tickets and explained to the lady driver that we just wanted to ride on this bus, she informed us that this service went through through the bus garage. We sat upstairs and mum got chatting to another woman on the bus who was also on the double decker because her young son liked travelling on the buses. Apparently she had been forced to turn down the previous service as it wasn't a double decker! We checked the 'Buses I have Travelled on' page and we saw that 31928 was required. Mum and the other woman chatted about various things as we headed South. We passed Arriva NW&W 4103 on an inbound #375 service. The lady eventually got off near Sainsbury's as we got back on the A49 South off Wigan. We headed South past the junction for the M6 and then into Bryn. We turned onto the industrial estate and then waited at the gates on the bus garage to be let in. There is a one way system in operation around the depot, and so you have to do a complete lap of the main shed before pulling up outside the drivers mess. As you circle the depot you get quite close to the scrap line at the back of the depot. Buses include 30586,34262 and 40338. Matthew took a few pictures as we went around including a school bus and a trainer. Here is a picture of the head of the scrap line.

First 34262 leads the scrap line at Bryn
We had a short wait in the depot before heading off back to Wigan. as we returned back Northwards we passed 60145 on a #610. The bus was very warm upstairs with it very few opening windows, and by the time we got off we desperately needed to! We got back into Wigan around 15:00 and we saw Arriva NW&W 4107 arrive from Southport. We decided to do this bus on it's 15:13 departure, as unbeknown to us it was one of the few of these buses we had already been on our last trip to Southport. We decided to do this to Orrell as this is about as far as you can go on a System One ticket. The bus filled up reasonably well and we passed Arriva NW&W 4105 on a inbound service. When we got off Matthew got a picture of these fine bus.

Arriva NW&W 4107 in Orrell
A few seconds behind us was St Helens allocated Arriva NW&W Volvo B10 2705.

Arriva NW&W 2705 in Orrell
We then walked down to the local co-op so Matthew could do a little shopping. After buying out most of the store we crossed the road. A quick consult of the timetable told us that there was a #352 due followed by a bus from Southport. We saw a Pulsar approaching on the #352. We didn't flag it down but it stopped anyway as here was someone getting off. It was required Arriva NW&W 2990. He got a picture of this bus as it pulled up.

Arriva NW&W 2990 in Orrell
Matthew decided to do this so we got on a trooped towards the back of the bus. The bus was nearly empty and the bus didn't stop often as we headed into town. When we got in Matthew waited for the bus to empty and took his customary empty bus shot.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2990
We then had another visit to the facilities and Matthew did some more shopping in the bus station news agents. We saw required Arriva NW&W 4104 arrive on what we would have been on had we had waited for the service. I thought we would be doing this out to Orrell again as it was a required bus and he really likes double deckers. We also saw First Manchester 31934 on a #598 service that we had been on previously. First Manchester 31941 which we had seen running out of service early was on a #631 Beech Hill circular. He chose to do unrequired Arriva NW&W 2997 which we had been on on our first visit to Wigan returning from Platt Bridge on a #360 service. I asked the driver how far we could go on a System One ticket and he told us we could do the bus to Standish. Matthew then got a picture of the bus.

Arriva NW&W 2997 in Wigan bus station
We got on this nearly full bus and rode up Standish. The bus emptied out a little as we headed North and it was reasonable cool when it was running at speed. We got off the bus and Matthew got a picture as it sped away.

Arriva NW&W 2997 in Standish
Had we know what we were doing we could have ridden on Stagecoach 47226 on a #113 service. This was followed shortly by a #362 service which we flagged down. It turned out to be Required Bolton Allocated Arriva NW&W 2683.

Arriva NW&W 2683 in Standish
The bus was nearly empty as tea time inbound service usually are. It was really nice and cool with the windows open running virtually non stop into Wigan. When we arrived Matthew waited patiently for the bus to empty as the bus emptied out before taking the interior bus photograph.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2683
Matthew took a few picture as we walked around the bus station towards the facilities. One such picture was Arriva NW&W 2732 on a #360 service.

Arriva NW&W 2732 in Wigan bus station
After visiting the toilets we walked around the road near the bus station where the buses park between duties. On of the buses parked up was First Manchester 60144.

First Manchester 60144 near Wigan bus station
We carried on around taking a few more pictures and then headed back to the car. As we were unable to get sausage rolls anywhere, we decided to stop at the MacDonalds so that Matthew could have a quick snack. Afterwards we headed down the A49 and then joined onto the Southbound M6. We put the radio on the find out Stoke had drawn after giving away a penalty in the 90th minute. We reached the M6 and then for most of the journey home we ran just in front or just behind Bakerbus coach 16 (4085 RU). We turned onto the A500 and then headed onto the A50 so we could do a pass of the Z Carz depot. There were only two vehicle parked up tonight.

Z Carz W344 WNS & V690 EBC at their Longton depo
We then headed down Longton Hall Road following 40140 on the #22 Newcastle service. As we got to the end of the road we saw a new liveried First vehicle. As we knew it has to be an Adderley Green vehicle, it was almost certainly going to be one of the new second hand Caetano Darts from London. We caught up and passed First 41501! We decided to stop by the church to wait and take a picture of the bus. Unfortunately it must have been empty and on it's last turn as it headed off to the depot and we didn't get a picture this time. We then got home around 18:20. We then settled down for the evening and a late tea of Bangers and mash before bedtime...Mark

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Trip to Rudyard Lake 15-08-2012


FJ10 BJXShelton, opp Cemetery RoadRudyard LakeCharterAiming High
FJ10 BJXRudyard LakeShelton, adj Cemetery RoadCharterAiming High

Today Matthew was going to Rudyard Lake. This was the third time he was due to go to Rudyard Lake this year, but it was the first time he actually got to go. The first the time the weather was really poor ans it was cancelled at short notice, the second time was the 15th July, The day before he was due to go and told us it was cancelled because the boat had broke and he went to Tatton Park instead. We checked the weather for today, and it said it would be clear until around 12:00 with rain moving in for the afternoon. Matthew got up a little after 08:00. He needed a little bit of persuasion to get up, but he got out of bed eventually and had toast for breakfast. He was picked up by a couple of members of staff from Crossroads and they took him up the Shelton to meet the bus. On the way up he passed Wardle Transport 4777 on the X50. When he got to Shelton his transport for the day was waiting. It was Aiming High FJ10 BJX.

Aiming High FJ10 BJX in Shelton
They went up to John Street in Hanley to pick up a few others and whilst there he saw First Potteries 60013 on a #20 to Crewe. Also in Hanley they saw GHA single decker SB27 on the X81. He also saw First 60081 on the #34. They headed North Eastwards to Leek and then up the A523 to Rudyard Lake. They also stopped at a new Shell garage. At the lake Matthew took a few pictures. Here is a picture of the lake with many boats moored up on there.

Boats on Rudyard Lake
Later he took a picture of the jetty.

The jetty on Rudyard Lake
They went out on a boat for a while and then it started to rain heavily so the headed back to shore.

Another jetty on Rudyard Lake
After they got back to shore they decided to have a trip on the Rudyard Lake Steam Railway. It was the red tank engine King Aurthur on his train.

King Aurthur at The Dam station
After a round trip on the railway, they headed back to the minibus and headed homewards. Matthew also saw a coach parked up at the lake. He headed back to shelton. They travelled down the A523 and then onto the A53. At Cobridge they turned left toeards Hanley. They then went around Hanley and then to Shelton along Shelton New Road. The two members of staff drove him home and saw Mercedes minibus N257 BWC. In Stoke he saw 60063 on the #26 service. they then went through Fenton to the A50 link road and then to Heron Cross and Blurton. Matthew got home a little earlier than expected just before 15:00. He then had his usual Wednesday night of a chippy tea and then a visit to Uncle Dave's before returning home just before bedtime...Mark

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Trip to the Gladstone pottery / Westport Lake 11-08-2012


FJ10 BJYMiddleshurst, PackmoorGladstone Pottery MuseumCharterAiming High
FJ10 BJYGladstone Pottery MuseumMiddleshurst, PackmoorCharterAiming High
N295 DWEMiddleshurst, PackmoorWestport LakeCharterBennetts
N295 DWEWestport LakeMagdalen Road, BlurtonCharterBennetts

Today Matthew was going on a short trip with Aiming high. We asked him if he wanted to go for a walk afterwards to which he said yes. So we planned to go to westport Lake afterwards. Matthew got up a little after 08:00. After breakfast we set off around 09:00 as we had to be at Middlehurst for 09:30. On the A500 we passed to Copelands Tours coaches doing pickups. First we saw MIB 986 and then we saw MIB 236. They had trips to Blackpool York and Llandudno so we probably saw the Llandudno and Blackpool coaches. On the way we also saw Z Carz V690 EBC and then we saw D104 XAN. They had trips to Blackpool and Southport. We arrived at Middlehurst just before 09:30 whilst they were still cleaning out the minibus ready for the trip. Matthew got a picture of the bus before saying goodbye and going inside for short while. Todays bus was FJ10 BJY.

Aiming High FJ10 BJY in Packmoor
Shortly afterwards they set off for the museum. Today they had a pottery class and made pottery masks. Here is the clay face before he started to put features on it.

Making a face at the Gladstone Pottery Museum
After they finished the face they headed back to Middlehurst. Next was Bennetts minibus N295 DWE done from Middlehurst to Westport Lake. They got back around 12:40. When we met back up with Matthew we decided to go find somewhere to go to eat. as we travelled down the tunstall by-pass towards the A500, mum spotted a sign for a snack van. After a short drive around we spotted the burger van in the car park of Wickes in Tunstall. The burger van overlooks the by-pass and from there you have a great view of the valley and all the woodlands surrounding the A500. We had some burgers and bacon baps between us before setting off for Westport Lake. On the way we decided to drive down Chemical Lane instead of going on the A500. We stopped for a short while on Peel Street because I wanted to see if the steps you can see on the A500 as you head North from Porthill can be accessed from here. I had a quick walk to the top of the hill and I discovered this to be the case. We also saw something which I hadn't seen in a very long time. 'The Thing' graffiti.

'The Thing' off Chemical Lane Lake
Back in the 1980's it used to be everywhere around Stoke-on-Trent and we even saw it in Rhyl once! Longport used to seem to be the centre of 'Thing' activity, but most of the concrete fences that use to be his canvas had disappeared. As we carried on along Chemical Lane we saw 2 class 66 locomotives parked up behind Longport Railway station. We then headed onto the A527. when we arrived at Westport Lake we parked up and headed off around the pool. we decided to go around the smaller pool and then we did a path from the far corner that eventually took us to the footbridge near Longport railway station. We walked back to the little lake and we stopped to feed the birds for a short while. It was mainly Mallards but a couple of swans came to feed.

Swans at Westport Lake
Matthew took another picture just to be sure...

More Swans at Westport Lake
We walked back to the main pool and then started to walk around in a clockwise direction. I wanted to walk in the woods towards the railway line and so when we saw a style we walked through. Mum stayed behind and had a rest. The path quickly turned very boggy and walked along the path for about 100yds which was at least an inch deep in mud all the way along. It's a good job mum didn't come this way in her sandals. We eventually got back onto the main path and headed to the North West corner of the site. As the path turned back towards the lake we spotted a clearing by the fence. We stopped for a while so we could look at the site of the old LPG terminal. In the 70's and 80's we used to see a train most evening heading up to this terminal. We then headed back onto the path on the lakeside. We called up mum and arranged to meet her up near where we left her. We met up and then decided to feed the birds again.

A collection of birds at Westport Lake
This time as well as the Mallards, there were coots, Black headed Gulls and Canad Geese. Matthew particularly liked the Canada Geese and spent most of his time feeding them. We walked back to the main building where Matthew used the facilities and also tried to clean his boots up a little. We got an ice cream and headed back to the transport. It was around 15:00 now and Matthew wanted to go on a bit of a tour before we headed home. We went through Tunstall town passing First buses 40147 and 40148 on the way. We then headed through the Mill Hill estate and towards Chell. We then went through Fegg Hayes and at the end of the road we turned right towards biddulph. As we climbed the hill we passed First 40142 in the new livery. We went through Biddulph, passing the Hollinshead coach depot and the big sainsbury's store, we then headed along the road ans passed Congleton railway station before heading through the town. Passing the bus station and Morrison's we saw a Beartown Bakerbus and of the new Arriva double deckers on a #38 Macclesfield - Crewe service. We then headed south down the A34. we saw First Potteries 34311 on a #20 Crewe service. We headed through Talke and onto Newcastle. As we passed the First Newcastle garage around 16:00, we passed 30029 on a Northbound #34A service. We then headed back onto the A500 through Basford. Back on the A500 we headed south to Sideway and then onto the A50. We decided to go past the Z Carz garage to see what was there. The only bus visible was DAF minicoach W344 WNS

Z Carz W344 WNS at their Longton depot
We went passed the willow road site of the depot too and that was empty of buses. We then headed back home passing First 40003 and 40171 on #23 Hanley services. We got home around 16:20 and we settled down for the evening. Tea tonight was the usual sausage and mash...Mark