Saturday, 22 September 2012

Trip to Hanley / Biddulph 22-09-2012


40373Ladybank Grove , BlurtonHanley BS23AFirst Potteries
234Hanley BSSmallethorne, Ashman Street9Bakerbus
248Smallethorne, Ashman StreetBiddulph, High Street9Bakerbus
185Biddulph, High StreetLongport, Longport Road94ABakerbus

Today we decided to stay local. Matthew isn't due to go to the Meadows for a few weeks. We had no plan as such, we just decided that we would go to Hanley and then see what was out. Weather forecast for today was for sunshine and then sunny intervals. It had been raining for most of the week and it was forecast for rain from Sunday and so we were quite lucky. Matthew got up around 09:30 and had some toast for his breakfast. We set off around 12:00 and walked all the way to the Ladybank Grove bus stop. Whilst there we saw 40151 heading towards Longton on a #22 service and 40163 heading toward Longton the opposite way on a #23A service.

First Potteries 40163 in Blurton
We didn't have to wait for long before a hanley bus rounded the corner. It was dud First Potteries 40373. This is a bus that we had been on last year.

First Potteries 40373 in Blurton
We got on the bus and brought a Smart Day ticket. We sat on the near side of the bus on the hump, which is the best place to see out of the front window. The journey to Hanley was quite pleasant. In Stoke we passed 2 of the new to the Potteries double deckers. They were First Potteries 32627 and 32635. As we reached the edge of Hanley we saw Bakerbus Volvo B6 227 heading North, presumably on a #9 service. When we got to Hanley Matthew waited for the bus to empty and then got a picture of the inside of our bus.

Inside First Potteries 40373
Matthew and uncle Dave went onto the balcony, and I went to get some chips for diner. New to the Potteries fleet Dart 41499 was seen on a #7 Kidsgrove service. After that in came one of the double deckers.

First Potteries 32635 in Hanley bus station
Also seen for the first time was one of the Bakerbus Streetlites 254 on X75 service. East Lancs bodied Dart 40779 came into the bus station and then parked up. It was displaying #5 Abbey Hulton. We saw Arriva Midland 2706 on a #164 service. I think Matthew was quite keen to ride on this bus because he turned down a few other buses hoping that this would work. One such bus was step entranced Wardle Transport 4692 on a Derby bound X50 which we could have done to Blythe Bridge.

Wardle Transport 4692 on the X50 (Mark)
We saw an interesting Bakerbus 194 on the #9 which seemed to have seats similar to the GM Volvo's and Darts. We also saw Wardle Transport 2260 on a #41 service in the new livery.

Wardle Transport 2260 in Hanley bus station
We had spent an hour in the bus station, and Matthew now wanted to go to the toilet. The green tardis toilet at the end of the bus station was broken and the nearest one was at least 600 yds away through busy streets, so we decided to catch a bus to somewhere else with a toilet. I thought there was still a toilet in Smallthorne so we decided to do the next #9, which just happened to be required Bakerbus Primo 234. We got on the bus and sat near the back. It was the first time we had been on a Primo, despite there being quite a few locally in 2 different fleets. This bus was branded for working the X38 service from Congleton to Sandbach and Crewe. As we left hanley bus station we passed the row of bus parked up between duties. Wardle Transport 1421 & 1460 were 2 of the buses that were here. This bus was only going to Fegg Hayes so we decided to try and do the Smallthorne toilet. We got off and Matthew got a picture of this bus which is unusual in Stoke-on-Trent.

Bakerbus 234 in Smallthorne
We walked up Ford Green Road to the junction of Community Drive only to find a space were the tardis toilet once stood. Drat! So we went back to the bus stop to wait for the next Bidduplh service were we knew there was definitely a working toilet! Whislt we waited we saw a few buses come past. On such bus was Wardle Transport 2301 on a #62A service.

Wardle Transport 2301 in Smallthorne
Going the other way on the same service was Wardle Transport 2408.

Wardle Transport 2408 in Smallthorne
Just after that came a Hybrid double decker 247 going towards Hanley. We the saw another hybrid going towards Biddulph.It was dud Bakerbus 248 which we have been on twice before!

Bakerbus 248 in Smallthorne
We got on and went upstairs. As it was empty Matthew got his picture as we got on.

Inside Bakerbus 248
We then sat down to relax for the journey up. As we turned the corner into Chell Heath Road, we passed bakerbus 250 on a Hanley bound service. By the time we got to Biddulph it was just before 15:00. We went to the toilet and then sat in the bus waiting room. The next bus due was a #7A to Hanley which should have been at 15:13. it still hadn't turned up by around 15:25. When bakerbus 247 turned up just before 15:30 we asked Matthew if he wanted to do this but he said no. He decided now he wanted to go to the cafe in sainnsbury's, which we could have done 30 minutes earlier! We went upstairs to the cafe and he had a chocolate cake and a draught Pepsi. he also bought a millionaire's shortbread and a bottle of Lucozade for later. He then wanted to go shopping, so we went and got some cans of Coke and some cornflake cakes. After our unscheduled stop it was nearly 16:00. there was a 16:05 94A, which I thought we could do to Longport where we could meet mum. This turned out to be unrequired Bakerbus 185 which we had been on almost a year ago to the day!

Bakerbus 185 in Biddulph bus station
The bus was empty and so he got his picture straight away.

Inside Bakerbus 185
I texted mum to meet us at Longport for 16:30, and we sat back and enjoyed the journey. the bus was virtually empty most of the way with only a few people getting on during the entire 30 minute journey. As we went down through Pits Hill we saw Stanways minibus KX51 LWR. We got off and I didn't notice mum was parked up in the adjacent street. She honked the horn and I turned around...eventually. We stooped to pick up LPG at the BP garage in Longport. We got in the car and then headed off towards Longton to go past the Z Carz garage. Most off the coaches were parked up with Matthew getting a picture of V690 EBC.

Z Carz V690 EBC in Longton
We then headed home, and we saw First Potteries 40166 on a #23 service. We got in at approximately 17:00. After sausage mash and carrots for tea we settled for an evening of telly before bedtime...Mark

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