Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Trip to Uttoxeter 31-10-2012


PAG 512AUttoxeter BSBlythe Bridge, adj Aynsley School184Phil Smiths Travel
60078Blythe Bridge, opp Aynsley SchoolBlythe Bridge, adj Police Station6AFirst Potteries
4650Blythe Bridge, adj Police StationUttoxeter BSX50Wardle Transport
2259Uttoxeter BSThe Wharf, nr The Fire Station4Arriva Midlands
4017Uttoxeter BSSudbury, adj Portway Head1Arriva Midlands
4777Sudbury, opp Portway HeadFenton, adj Travers CourtX50Wardle Transport

Today we decided to go to Uttoxeter and cover the WO #184 Uttoxeter - Weston Coyney service. It also gave us the chance to travel on the X50 and then pick up a few Arriva Midlands buses too. As usual we checked the weather the night before and it was supposed to be cloudy with intermittent rain. I didn'tdo much research appart from download the latest X50 timetable, which had changed since the last time we used it. The X50 no longer runs express from Blythe Bridge to Uttoxeter. The bus now runs via Draycott, Tean and Checkley. This adds around 10 minutes to the journey to Uttoxeter, but it also helps the service to be more viable. Matthew got up around 09:30 and had some toast and orange juice for breakfast. We set off a little after 12;00 and we stopped at the bakery on Nashe Drive for bacon and egg sandwiches to keep us going. After we had finished eating we set off onto Longton Hall Road and into Longton. We dropped onto the A50 at the eastern end of town and then headed off to Uttoxteter. Just West of Uttoxeter we came off the A50 and drove into town along the A522. We parked up around 12:50 and there was a flurry of activity at the bus station. Trent Barton 738 was broken down in the bus station. 3715 was stabled between duties, Trent Barton 737 was on a Swift service. First PMT 65002 was on a #32 service and required Arriva Midlands 2259 was on the #4 town service.

Arriva Midlands 2259 in Uttoxeter bus station
We had a quick trip to the toilet and then after a short wait, the bus that we had gone up to travel on appeared and it was dud Phil Smiths Travel Mercedes 814d PAG 512A. We waited for it to load up before getting a picture of the bus.

Phil Smiths Travel PAG 521A in Uttoxeter bus station
After all the regulars had loaded we got on and sat at the back of the bus. We then sat back to enjoy what is a great run on a high spec modern minibus. It is a shame for some of the elderly passengers that great bus is a step entranced vehicle. As is often the case on these kind of services the driver was great in helping the passengers on and off the bus. It was really nice to go thundering through the South end of the Staffordshire Moorlands in Autumn. When we passed through Cheadle we saw an unidentified Wardle Transport Dart in the new livery. As we left Cheadle we saw Wardle Transport 2546 also in the new Livery. After the last passengers had alighted in Draycott,we decided to move to the front to talk to the driver. Wedid find out that they do have another vehicle that works the service from time to time so maybe we will get a ride on that sometime in the future. We were originally going to go to Catchems Corner, but as the bus was on the route of the #6A/X50 we decided to get off near Aynsley School on Uttoxeter Road. When we got off Matthew got a picture of the empty Inside of this fine minibus.

Inside Phil Smiths Travel PAG 521A
After we got of I decided to download the #6A timetable to see if we could get another bus in whilst we waited for the X50. I looked up the time for the next Meir bound bus and it was due of Blythe bridge at 14:16 booked in Meir Broadway at 14:26 which would give us 3 minutes if the bus was on time. I couldn't remember seeing a bus go towards Blythe Bridge so I decided to look up the time of the inbound bus. The bus was due at the terminus at 14:11 and was due passed our location around 14:07. The time passed and required First PMT 60012 went up towards Blythe Bridge just under 10 minutes late. I thought if the bus didn't appear back for around 14:22 there wasn't much chance of meeting the X50 at Meir. 14:22 came and went and then we crossed over to wait for the X50. A few minutes later 60012 returned and Matthew got a picture.

First PMT 60012 in Blythe Bridge
Of course in hindsight if we had know the bus was going to be late, We could have caught the bus up to Blythe Bridge and back. The X50 was due here at around 14:41 and it occurred to me that the next #6A to Blythe Bridge may appear before the X50. The #6A did appear and it was required First PMT 60078

First PMT 60078 in Blythe Bridge
We did the bus 3 stops up the Road to a point where I knew the X50 would call. I was no longer familiar with the route since the timetable change. When we got off in the distance we saw the crossing barrier going down, so we knew we would have a few minutes to wait. Whilst we waited Wardle Transport 2546 made another appearance and Matthew got a picture.

Wardle Transport 2546 in Blythe Bridge
A couple of minutes later we saw a NC bodied Olympian cross the crossing and we thought there was a 50/50 chance of this being required for Matthew. As it got closer we saw it was dud Wardle Transport 4650. It was dud for Matthew as he had been on this bus albeit for a few hundred yards back in August 2011 when he was out with Crossroads. It was however required by me! We got on the bus and went upstairs. As we set off we passed the inbound X50 service and it was required by all Wardle Transport 4652. After passing through Blythe Bridge we set off along Uttoxeter Road to Tean. At Tean we joined the A522 which was the road all the way to Uttoxeter. As we passed through Checkley everyone else on the top deck got off the bus and then Matthew got a picture of the empty top deck.

Inside Wardle Transport 4650
We carried on along the A522 into Uttoxeter, and when we got off Matthew was able to get a reasonable picture of 4650.

Wardle Transport 4650 in Uttoxeter
When we got off, required Arriva 3711 had arrived on the #428 from Lichfield and Matthew got a picture of this.

Arriva Midlands 3711 in Uttoxeter bus station
This then chnage to work the #402 to Burton which was due off at 15:40. Sibce the re-routing and re-timing of the X50 meant that we had just missed the #4 town service, we decided to wait for this to re-appear at 15;25 to see what was on it. This turned up and it was still Arriva Midlands 2259 as was earlier. I asked Matthew if he wanted to do Arriva Midlands 3711 and he said 'yes'. I worked out that we could do the town service out of town a couple of stops and then walk back to do the 15:40. We caught this out to the Fox's biscuit factory and got off. As we walked back into town we also saw Trent Barton 737 reappear on the Swift service. as it was 15:35 when we got back we had a quick toilet stop. The plan at this point was to do 3711 on the #402 to uttoxeter station for a plus 3 onto the inbound #402 and then to wait for the X50. As we rounded the corner into the bus station we saw an Arriva double decker! Having never actual seen a double decker here before (we have passed a double decker on the #1 once in the past) I asked Matthew if he wanted to do this to Sudbury instead and come back on the X50. Matthew of course said yes and so he got his picture and then we got on the bus.

Arriva Midlands 4017 in Uttoxeter bus station
We got on and went upstairs. As it was quiet apart from a couple of kids at the front of the bus, Matthew got his empty bus picture looking backwards.

Inside Arriva Midlands 4017
As we set of at 15;40, I downloaded the #1 timetable from the Arriva Midlands sight. My calculation worked out that we had a plus 3 at Sudbury for the returning bus. I had given mum instruction to wait in Uttoxeter until i called her to say that we were safely on the X50 just in case the move went horribly wrong. We set off through Doveridge and we made good time. We arrived at our stop bang on 15:53. We then crossed the road to wait for the X50. After a round 5 minutes, the bus appeared and it was Wardle Transport 4777. Matthew got a picture in the now failing light.

Wardle Transport 4777 in Sudbury
We got on and went upstairs. We made the call to mum to say we were on the bus safely and that she could go and pick up Uncle Dave from work. As we hadn't been to a shop I decided to break out emergency rations. Firstly we shared a can On Coke. We then arrived at Utoexeter. We switched seats onto the other side of the bus so that we could get a picture of Arriva Midlands 2259 which was stabled up ready to work the #428 service in the bus station. We also saw Wardle Transport 4652 on its way to Derby After the bus set off from Uttoxeter we broke out the emergency Flapjack which we also shared. By the time we had got to Tean it had gone dark and the rain started to fall. We trundled though Blythe Bridge and in Meir Heath we saw an ALX200 Dart set off in front of us on a #6 service. Matthew made a not in my phone that it was First PMT 40154 even though it was to dark and to far away to see if it was correct. Out by rough Close we passed Wardle Transport 4650 which was Derby bound. When we got to Meir Broadway we caught up with the ALX200 Dart and it was indeed 40154. We then set off along the A50 straight past Longton and off at Heron Cross. We said bye bye as we went past the end of Duke Street and then we went into Fenton. We then passed 41494 heading towards Longton. We got off at Travers Court and Matthew got another picture of Wardle Transport 4777.

Wardle Transport 4777 in Fenton
We walked down to Smithpool Road to meet mum. On the way we saw Copeland's Tours MIB 797 on the #40 service. We got in the car and we ate a sausage roll each that mum had purchase from Uttoxeter. When we got back home around 17:20 he had his proper tea which was Sausage Chips and gravy. After a couple of hours chilling at home we went around Uncle Dave's house for pop and Custard Creams. We set off just after 22:00 and we got home and started to write the Blog before bedtime...Mark

Monday, 29 October 2012

Trip to Sherratts Wood 29-10-2012


FJ10 BJXShelton, opp Cemetery RoadSherratts WoodCharterAiming High
FJ10 BJXSherratts WoodsShelton, adj Cemetery RoadCharterAiming High

Today Matthew went to Sherratts Wood with Aiming High. He got up at around 08:45. After having some orange juice and toast we set off to Shelton around 09:30. On the way we passed First PMT 41495 & 41502 on the #23 service. We also passed first PMT 40016 on the #22 service. We Drove to Heron Cross and got on the A50. We then did the A500 up to Shelton New Road. We got to the place about 09:50 and Matthew took a picture of the minibus before going inside to wait for the time to go. It was Aiming High FJ10 BJX.

Aiming High FJ10 BJX in Shelton
we got on a little after 10:00 we set off to Sherratts Wood. As we left we saw First PMT double decker 34285 in Shelton. The route we took was down to the A500 and then South to the A50. we travelled along the A50 to Draycott and then along Cresswell Road for 3 miles. we then took a left to Morrilow Heath and to their destination. When they got there they had a look around the farm. The first animals we saw were Shetland Ponies.

A Shetland Pony at Sherratts Wood
we then walked around to see the other animal. These included Horses, Birds, Goats,a Cat and also Pigs.

A Pig at Sherratts Wood
we stopped for a while to eat their packed lunches before spending some time with the Shetland Ponies.

Another Shetland Pony being led at Sherratts Wood
we got on Around 14:00 we set off back towards Shelton they headed back to Draycott and then onto the A50. When we went passed Longton they diverted up to the high level so that we could see what buses were parked up at Z Carz. Parked up were Mercedes minibus BV51 BNO and the coach V690 EBC. we then carried on along to the end of the A50 before turning onto the Northbound A500. They turned off on Shelton New Road and then back to their base. Matthew used the toilet and then we arrived around 14:50 to pick him up. We went back down to the A500 and onto the A50 to Heron Cross. As we headed through Blurton we saw 40373 and 40009 on #23 service and we saw 40019 on a #22. We got back home a little after 15:00. Matthew had a nap before having beefburgers and potatoes for tea. We then settled down for the evening before bedtime...Mark

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Trip to Warrington 27-10-2012


F3Warrington InterchangeWesty, Whitley Avenue (N-bound)1CFairbrothers
F3Westy, Whitley Avenue (N-bound)Warrington Interchange1CFairbrothers
F15Warrington InterchangeDallam, Harrison Square (S-bound)21HFairbrothers
F15Dallam, Harrison Square (S-bound)Warrington Interchange21HFairbrothers
2262Warrington InterchangeWinwick, o/s B&Q360Arriva NW&W
2556Winwick, opp B&QWarrington Interchange360Arriva NW&W
SF06 LLGWarrington InterchangeGrappenhall, nr Pilling Gardens37Warrington Coachways
F13Latchford, o/s Kwik SaveWarrington Interchange1CFairbrothers

Today we decided to pay a visit to Warrington. As well as the mixture of Arriva visitors to Warrington and the unusual buses in the Warrington Coachways fleet, since our last visit there has been a new operator starting up. As we made the decision quite late in the week we did not do too much research other than find somewhere different to park! We checked the weather the night before and it was for a sunny but cold day. Matthew got up around 09:00 which is unusual for a Saturday. After breakfast and getting ready we set off around 12:00. As we were a little late we decided to visit the Bakery on Nashe Drive for dinner. After consuming some bacn and sausage sandwiches we set of on our journey. We joined the A50 at Heron Cross and then went onto the Northbound A500. We then got on the M6 Northbound. Traffic was a little slow and it took quite a while to reach the M62. We had decided to approach Warrington from the North as it is the easiest way to get into town along the A49. We parked in an open car pack near Warrington Central station at around 13:30. As we walked down we saw a few buses parked up on Winwick Street just North of the railway station. One such bus was Ex Arriva NW&W 3271 which is now Fairbrothers F3.

Fairbrothers F3 between duties in Warrington
After taking a few pictures we visited the toilet at Warrington Central station before walking down to the bus station. Matthew took a picture of one of the Fairbrother Volvo B6's with ALX200 bodywork. As we got to the bus station we saw Fairbrother F3 pull into the bus station and so I asked Matthew if he wanted to do this bus and he said yes. We looked to see were the bus was going and it was on the 1C Westy circular. We booked some of the day tickets for £2.50 and we went upstairs. In the stand next to us Arriva NW&W 2259 which had arrived on the #360 from Wigan had broken down. As the top deck was empty Matthew got a picture of the inside of this bus.

Inside Fairbrothers F3
We sat at the front and settled down for the journey. As we didn't really know where we were going we paid close attention to our route out. The main road along which this service travels is the A5061 Knutsford Road down to Latchford and then a right turn onto the A50 before doing a circuit of the housing estate at Westy. When we reached the Whitley road terminus of the service I went down to the driver to flash the tickets and Matthews pass before we returned to Warrington. As we left the estate in Westy someone took a picture of the bus. On the inward journey we passed another on of the B6's working the following 1C service. When we got back into the Interchange, there was a B6 along side us about to work a 21H. As we had the day ticket I asked Matthew if he wanted to do it and he said yes. So we got straight on it and as it was empty Matthew got his inside picture of this bus too.

Inside Fairbrothers F15
We flashed the tickets and got on and sat near the back. Once again we didn't really know where we were. We stopped outside a Co-op about 20 minutes into the journey and so I got up to flash the tickets to return back to Warrington. Shortly after this we crossed the A49 and we saw a Northbound Arriva bus that Matthew wanted to catch. It was too late to catch this bus because by the time we would have got off we wouldn't have made it to a bus stop. After we had crossed the A49 I asked Matthew again if he wanted to get off and he said no. So we stayed on the bus and went into an housing estate along side the Wigan line and then past the Hospital and then we came back into familiar territory as we crossed over the railway line just North of Bank Quay station. When we got back we had a visit to the toilet and the shop. We had a quick wander around and took some more pictures, we then sat and had a drink until we saw required Arriva 2262 appear on a #360 Wigan service. As we queued up to get on Matthew got a picture of this bus.

Arriva NW&W 2262 in Warrington Interchange
We got on and settled down. Matthew made a friend on the bus as he often does and coincidentally she was getting off at the B&Q Winwick stop. When we got off Matthew got a picture of the bus.

Arriva NW&W 2262 in Winwick
After taking his picture Mathew said goodbye to his new friend. We then decided to grab a quick snack at the adjacent Burger King. Matthew used the toilet whilst he was there and then we went outside and had a little Burger King picnic by the North bound bus stop After we had finished we disposed of the rubbish and then crossed over the A49 to the Southbound stop which is no easy job! It was around 16:00 and the next bus due was a #329 at 16:12. However the next to turn up was a late running #360 which was dud Arriva NW&W 2556.

Arriva NW&W 2556 in Winwick
I asked Matthew if he wanted to let this bus go as I remembered he had been on this bus last time we came to Warrington. He decided he wanted to do it anyway and so we got on and sat in the group of 4 facing seat near the rear of the bus on the nearside. The journey in was quite as most inbound buses are at this time of day. As we got back to the Interchange Matthew go a picture of the empty inside of the bus.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2556
Back at the interchange we saw mum. We also saw Warrington Coachways step entranced minibus SF06 LLG and so Matthew decided he wanted to do this! I booked to Lymm as this was the only intermediate place on the route I knew. As we set off I noticed we were taking a similar route to the 1C service, so I decided it would be a good idea to get off near Latchford Village. As the bus went passed the end of the village I shouted next stop. Unfortunately due to the railway and the Ship canal the next stop was about a 1/4 of a mile away. When we got of we were in Grappenhall and Matthew got his picture into the late evening sun.

Warrington Coachways SF06 LLG in Grappenhall
We got off and walked back. Across the ship canal and uder the railway bridge until we got into Latchford Village. As we walked under the railway bridge we saw a warrington bound 1C disappear around the corner, and so I knew we had 15 minutes to wait. We decided to get some money from the cash machine at the Co-op and to get lottery tickets, and Matthew brought some Irn Bru and frozen cakes! We sat at the bus stop and Matthew drank the Irn Bru. This made him miss getting a picture of the bus as it came around the corner. It was required Fairbrothers F13. As we got he got a picture of the inside.

Inside Fairbrothers F13
We sat down for the journey. It was very quite and I think we were the only ones on this service all the way. As we reached the edge of town we passed Warrington Coachways 476 CEL on a #38 service. When we got back to the interchange we met up with mum and it was time to go. We walked up to the top edge of the bus station taking picture of the stabled buses. Parked up were Network Warrington 40,46 & 73 and Arriva NW&W 2940 between X30 duties. Afterwards we walked up winwick street taking pictures of the buses parked up there too. As well as Hiltons double decker RED 448 which ws on rail replacement duties, the were Network warrington 35 & 54 and Arriva NW&W 2992 parked up. There was also Fairbrothers B6 F14.

Fairbrothers F14 between duties in Warrington
We then walked back to the car and tucked into some Greggs mini sausage rolls which mum had picked up whilst we were travelling. We got back to the car at 17:10 and put the radio on to hear Stoke had drawn 0-0 with Sunderland. We drove out the same way we came in. along Winwick street and onto the A49 to Winwick. It was then M62 West on junction and then M6 South. We came off the M6 at the A500 near Crewe and then headed to Longport where we stopped at the BP garage for air in the tyres and LPG. We then headed South to the A50 before heading into Longton. We went passed Z Carz and there wasn't much stabled with T131 SGA at the front of the row with a couple of the airport fleet present too. We then headed home and we were back for around 18:20. We then had some frozen cheesecake! Later we had sausage potatoes and carrots for a late tea before bedtime...Mark

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Trip to Bucknall / Jackson's Nursery 23-10-2012


1450BlurtonAbbey HultonCharterWardle Transport
A19 BNTAbbey HultonJacksons NurseryCharterBennetts
A19 BNTJacksons NurseryAbbey hultonCharterBennetts
1649Bucknall Newhouse RoadBlurtonCharterWardle Transport

Today Matthew was visiting Jacksons Nursey from college today. He got up around 07:00 and got ready for college. The bus turned up a little after 8:00 and it was his usual charge, Wardle Transport 1450. Matthew then took a picture o the bus before he got on it.

Wardle Transport 1450 in Blurton
The route to college was via Fenton, Victoria road, Leek Road and then the A52 to Newhouse Road. He arrived in college around 09:00. After registration, he went out to find his ride to Jackson's Nursey was Bennetts A19 BNT. The route to the nursery was along Newhouse Road to Abbey Hulton and then North to Milton. At the traffic lights he turned East and travelled for a couple of mile until he reached a left turn which leads down to the Nursery. At the cafe Matthew used the toilet before ordering chocolate fudge cake and a Coca Cola with his communicator. They then returned to college on a reverse of the route up. Back onto the minibus bennets A19 BNT, they left the nursery road and turn right onto Bagnall Road. at the lightd they turned Right onto Leek Road which they did down to newhouse Road before returning to college. After dinner and afternoon lessons Matthew returned to Wardle Transport 1649 for the journey home. The route was onto the A52, Leek Road, Victoria Road and then through Heron Cross to home. After eating a snack of toast we usually go to Macdonald for tea on Tuesday's where Matthew has a chicken nugget meal and a plain cheeseburger. He then chilled out on his computer before bedtime...Mark

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Trip to Bath 20-10-2012


222Stafford Town Centre, opp Railway StationBath Coach ParkCharterHappy Days
42633Bath BSBatheaston, High Street (NE-bound)231First Somerset & Avon
67338Batheaston, High Street (SW-bound)Bath BS231First Somerset & Avon
42824Bath BSBathford, Dovers Park (SE-bound)13First Somerset & Avon
42824Bathford, Dovers Park (SE-bound)Bath BS13First Somerset & Avon
46247Bath BSBailbrook, Bailbrook Lane (NE-bound)231First Somerset & Avon
42557Bailbrook, Bailbrook Lane (SW-bound)Bath BS13First Somerset & Avon
222Bath Coach ParkStafford Town Centre, opp Railway StationCharterHappy Days

Today we finally managed to get to Bath! We had been trying for most of the year to spot and book a suitable trip but the last one we had booked was canceled due to low numbers. We booked this trip which involved a 15 mile journey to meet the coach and then we kept our fingers crossed that the bus was full enough to run. We checked the weather for today as always and the forecast was for sunny interval and unseasonably mild weather. Research for the trip didn't really happen due to a lack of time. Departure on the coach was at 08:45 from outside station and so we set our alarm for 07:00. Matthew got up and had some toast and orange juice before setting off just after 08:00. Our route to Stafford was A5035, A34 through Trentham, Whitmore Road and then onto the M6 Southbound. We then came into Stafford from the North and around the town centre to the railway station. We parked up at the railway station. Parking is reasonable here on a Saturday as it is only £2 to park here all day. We crossed the road and waited for the coach. As we waited for the coach we saw Arriva Midlands 3604 on a #76 service. We saw the coach approaching from the Newport end of the station and as we had never been on a Happy Days coach before we knew it was going to be required. It turned out to be required Neoplan coach 222 (MT61 HUP). We got on the coach and we were lucky enough to have the front 4 seats. The view of the trip down was fantastic. we set off through Rising Brook and Baswich before heading into Cannock and the bus station. Whilst in Cannock we saw Arriva Midlands double decker 4791 on a #26 service. We then joined onto the M6 and headed Southwards. We had a hostess drinks service which started after we had left the bumpy park of the M5. Matthew was fascinated when he found out there was a fridge in the front window of the coach! I think he would like one fitted in the front of our car to replace the glovebox. The driver told us he was going to stop at Michaelwood services which we did for 10 minutes. We got off and went to the toilet. He also visited the WH Smith shop and brough some pop and the latest Buses magazine. We also had time to get a picture of this fine coach.

Happy Days 222 in Michaelwood services
We jumped on and carried on South down the M5. The driver was dropping off people in a place called Bog Island in the town centre as this was the most central location. We asked if we could stay on the coach and go to the coach park as we wanted to take pictures of the coaches and also we wanted to be close to the bus station. After everyone else had been dropped off Bog Island we carried on to the the coach park. As we went passed the bus station we saw First Somerset and Avon step entranced Dart 46225. I cannot believe that no one else on the coach had come to Bath to ride around on the local buses! We got to the coach park at just after 12:00 and we had to be back around 16:30 if we wanted to get a few pictures of coaches before we left. We decided to eat at the cafe by the coach park. We ordered breakfasts and uncle Dave had a sausage sandwich. It took a while to cook because the lady there was on her own but it worth the wait. After using the 'wonderful' toilets at the coach park we walked down to the bus station via Ambury where all the Faresaver buses usually park. Here we saw and he photographed Faresaver T436 EBD and Bugler Coaches Mercedes minibus BIG 7763.

Bugler Coaches BIG 7763 in Bath
By the time we had eaten and walked up to the bus station it was nearly 13:00 there were a couple of First Step entranced Darts parked up and a Mercedes minibus but these didn't look like they were going anywhere anytime soon. We also saw 46925. There was a low floor Plaxton Pointer about to move off so we decided to do this. It was required 42633 and when it moved onto stand Matthew got a picture through the glass of the door on stand 5.

First 42633 in Bath bus station
We got on and booked some local First Day tickets. We got on and sat near the back. We saw a double decker arrive on the 332 service. We fought our way through the busy Streets and back past Bog Island before heading off up on to London Road. We decided to travel out for around 20 minutes to give us time to get back and do at least 3 out and back journeys. As such, once we had sussed out which direction we were traveling in we decided to get off a few stops after we had crossed the A4/A46 roundabout. This turned out to be in the village of Batheaston, and when we got off Matthew got a picture of 42633 here too.

First 42633 in Batheaston High Street
We crossed the road to catch a return service. It was now around 13:40. We looked at the timetable on the bus stop and we saw that there was a #231 service due the other way. Shortly after this there was a #13 service too. We saw a long single decker approaching and as we had not been on any before we knew it was going to be required. As it got closer we saw it was First 67338 and Matthew got a picture.

First 67338 in Batheaston High Street
We got on this bus and sat near the back. The bus seats had a moquette design which we had not seen before. The bus journey back in was quite swift due to the bus lane on the inbound A4, and we were back in town a little after 14:00. As we came into Dorchester Street we saw a First East Lancs Sprite Dart. It's a type of bus that we had never seen in Bath before. When we arrived Matthew took a picture of the inside of the bus.

Inside First 67338
I had not realised that we had been on a Dennis Lance even though I saw Matthew taking a picture of the Dennis logo just inside the door! We came out of the door of the bus station and the Sprite was still on Dorchester street. It was going to be required as we have never been on a bus of this type before. We saw it was 42824 and then Matthew got a picture before we got on.

First 42824 in Dorchester Street
We booked to the end in Bathford and sat down near the back. So we went out through the town centre and back up the A4. The outwards journey were starting to take a little longer as traffic was starting to build towards the Saturday equivalent of the evening rush hour. I thought that we may get off before the end as we might be able to get in a different bus back but Matthew had other ideas! I think he wanted to get a good picture of the inside of this bus as it was the First of this type we had been on, and it also had the pastel purple moquette that we had seen for the first time on the last bus. When we got to the terminus of the service he did get his picture.

Inside First 42824
Whilst we were off we had a sandwich each from our emergency supplies and we also shared a can of Barr limeade. We headed back into town and we were due in around 15:30. We came into own along the A4 and we stopped at the bottom to await time for 2 minutes. We also saw 46260 on a #272 service. As we went through the centre of town we saw a Plaxton Pointer Dart behind us on a #231 service. I stood up to look at which one it was and we saw it was required 46247! I arranged to meet with mum at the bus station so that I give her the lottery fast pay cards. We got off 42824 to get a picture and we also got a picture of 46247 too.

First 46247 in Dorchester Street
Mum had the lottery cards and came with us to wait for 46247 to come into the bus station and ready itself for service. Matthew was keen to get a picture of the inside of this bus so he kind of got to near the front of the queue to make sure that he did! When the door did open having seen Matthew keeness the family at the front decided it might be a good idea to let him on first. As I booked his ticket he got a picture of the inside of the bus.

Inside 46247
As we were leaving we also saw 46261 and 46238 on a #161 service. The bus had filled to standing and we picked a couple more people as we passed through town. The journey out of town on what was the slightly late running 15:17 #231 to chippenham was quite slow. as we crossed over the A4/A46 roundabout we passed 42633 on a inbound #231 which we had been on earlier. We knew if we got to Batheaston for 15:54-ish, there would be an inbound #13. We got there for around 14:48 and Matthew got another picture of this fine old step-entranced bus.

First Somerset & Avon 46247 near Batheaston
We crossed the road and we had around 5 minutes to wait for the next Bath service. It was required First Somerset & Avon 42557.

First Somerset & Avon 42557 near Batheaston
The bus was empty as we got on Matthew got a picture before we sat down.

Inside First Somerset & Avon 42557
Only a few people got on this service as would be expected at this time of day and we had a swift inbound journey. We had quite a wait at the Snow Hill timed stop before setting off again and we still got to Dorchester Street early due to the slack timings for this service in a very busy town. When we got of the bus mum was waiting for us. We started to make our way back to the coach park, taking a few pictures on the way. We saw 40535 heading off under the railway line. Faresaver MCW Evolution TBZ 5834 was parked up on Ambery, and then we turned the corner to walk towards the car park and we saw the Wessex Connect rum Uniconnect service too.

Uniconnect BX62 FYY in Bath
Back at the coach park, we used the facilities and then took a few pictures of coaches in the car park. Matthew saw a really good example of a Van Hool bodied DAF, which was endeavour G2 END. He smiled at the driver and went to the front window to have a look in the coach to get a good look. The driver let him on and took a picture or 2 of the inside of the coach before say thank you. We got back to our coach and chatted to our driver awaiting time before departure. Matthew had his picture taken in the drivers seat of out coach and the driver had a quick flick through Matthew's Buses magazine! Around 16:45 we set off through town to Bog Island to pick up the rest of the passengers. We arrived there for our designated 16:50 pick-up slot and the coach filled up with the exception of one passenger. As it was getting close to 17:00 the driver had a look around to see if he could see him. He was sitting outside a pub finishing off his pint! After he had boarded we set off bang on time. We set of Northwards on the reverse of our route down. We stopped around 18:20 at Strensham services again for a quick 10 minute toilet stop. As usual we squeezed in a visit to the shop and taking a couple of pictures. Park's National Express Liveried coach HSK 652 was also here. Back on the motorway we continued to reverse the route we had done coming down. We started to drop off in Cannock around 19:30 and we reached Stafford railway station around 20:00. I think this trip has to qualify as the most well organised and profession coach trip that we had ever been on. It was then back to the car and after I had paid for parking we set off towards Stoke-on-Trent. We dropped off Uncle Dave and then drove back home. back home matthew helped me to upload my pictures to flickr before we went to bed...Mark

Friday, 19 October 2012

Trip to Bucknall 19-10-2012


1450BentileeBucknall Newhouse RoadCharterWardle Transport
1450Bucknall Newhouse RoadBlurtonCharterWardle Transport

today was Matthew last day in respite of a week long stay. He got up around 07:00 and had breakfast before his transport to college arrived. The first bus we saw was wardle Transport 1649. Then we saw his bus which was Wardle Transport 1450.

Wardle Transport 1450 in Bentilee
we got on The bus took him down Dividy road to the A52, and then down newhouse Road. At college we got off had chips for dinner followed by cake. After college he rturned home was wardle Transport 1450. we got on the route was Down newhouse Road onto the A52, he then went to Limekiln bank before turning onto Leek road. He then went up victoria road to the A50 link road. They made there way through heron Cross before returning to Blurton where we got off a picture of this bus.

Wardle Transport 1450 in Bluton
Mum wasn't due back until late and so matthew had an evening in with me and Uncle Dave. For tea we had bangers and mash. We watched telly and used the computer and then went to bed around 00:00...Mark

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Trip to Foxfield 13-10-2012


M110 TVHBucknallFoxfieldCharterSS Travel
M110 TVHFoxfieldPark HallCharterSS Travel
M110 TVHPark HallBentileeCharterSS Travel
M110 TVHBentileeFentonCharterSS Travel
M110 TVHFentonBritannia StadiumCharterSS Travel
M110 TVHBritannia StadiumBucknallCharterSS Travel
BV51 BNOBucknallThe New Florence car parkCharterZ Carz
BV51 BNOThe New Florence car parkBucknallCharterZ Carz

Today Matthew was taken to Foxfield by the staff at the his respite place. Matthew woke up at 09:00. Matthew brushed his teeth and had a wash. After breakfast of toast and orange juice they went down to the entrance to see it we was SS Travel we got on silver and black Mercedes 814d minibus M110 TVH with 33 maroon coloured seats and a step entrance too. It was around 10:04. sat down bus set off headed toward Adderley Green and then into Weston Coyney. The then drove through Caverswall to Blythe Bridge and we got off took a picture of its empty inside some They spent some time at the railway. When they arrived he took a picture of the train in the platform.

MKI carriage at Foxfield
After using the toilet they then had a look around at the engines on the shed. On such engine was wolstanton No3.

Wolstanton No3 at Foxfield
He took another picture from a different angle.

Another picture of Wolstanton No3
He then saw a freshly painted MKII carriage.

MKII carriage at Foxfield
They then had a Irn Bru in the railway cafe. It was now 12:30. After visiting the railway they went for a quick visit to Blythe Bridge on minibus M110 TVH. we went back along the A50 and then up the A520 to Weston Coyney and then to Park Hall. The it was back onto M110 TVH. They set off through Bentilee. They then went to the computer in the library. It was now around 13:30. They we went M110 TVH to MacDoalds via Heron Cross, down Victoria Road to joiners Square. They had fries and a cheesburger with Cola. They went back on M110 TVH along the A50 and then along Victoria Road. we saw First PMT 41494 on a #7 service. They went up Victoria Road Heron Cross before getting on the A50 up to Stanley Matthews Way. They then went along Britannia Stadium.Around 14:32 they went on M110 TVH past Hem Heath to Blurton, through Longton up to Meir to and then Adderley Green and then Bucknall we got off M110 TVH around 15:00. SS Travel Mercedes minibus 16:05. Later they went on another bus which we was required white Z Carz BV51 BNO. we got on went down to we get off this bus. it was around 17:00. They did this bus to The New Florence. The route was via Adderley Green and then to Longton before heading down Lightwood Road to the pub Later we got off went to the New Florence pub for tea. Whilst there we used the toilet. He had an all day breakfast. For afters he had a Chocolate Fudge cake. we also had a drink of Pepsi. They then went back to the minibus Z Carz BV51 BNO. we went back along Lightwood Road to Longton. They then saw Copeland's Tours MIB 246. we then went up Anchor Road to the Co-operative food shop. After a quick stop of Coke, milky Way and a cake, they continued to Adderley Green. It was now 18:15. They turned right to head towards Bucknall. They got back to Bucknall around 19:05. Once back in the respite unit Matthew went upstairs to his room and settled down for the evening and had a bath before bedtime...Mark

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Trip to Blackpool 06-10-2012


MIB 246Longton Hall RoadPleasure beach CP, BlackpoolCharterCopeland's Tours
19042Royal Oak, o/s Grand HotelSt Annes, by St Patrick's Road South68Stegacoach M & SL
18150St Annes, by St Patrick's Road South, Don StreetRoyal Oak, o/s Royal Oak68Stegacoach M & SL
18156Royal Oak, o/s Royal OakSt Annes, by Norwood Road68Stegacoach M & SL
18146St Annes, opp Kilgrimol GardensRoyal Oak, by Station Road68Stegacoach M & SL
MIB 246Pleasure beach CP, BlackpoolLongton Hall RoadCharterCopeland's Tours

Originally we had planned on going to Bath today but the trip was canceled due low numbers. We had transferred on to a Stratford-on-Avom trip on the 7th October, and that was canceled for the same reason too. Knowing how desperate we were to travel, Copeland's put on a slightly bigger coach on the Blackpool Trip and we transferred our booking onto this. Knowing it was now a 57 seater, we looked up which coaches it might be. They have 5 different 57 seaters, and we had only previously been on one of them. We looked up the weather for today and it was for cool and cloudy weather with sunny intervals. It was a late departure and so we got up around 10:00. After breakfast we drove down to Longton Hall Road to wait for the 11:24 departure. Whilst we waited we saw Copeland's Tours MIB 797 on the #40 service, and First potteries 40147 on a #22 service. The coach turned up a few minutes late and it was MIB 246.

Copeland's Tours MIB 246 in Longton Hall Road
This is the one 57 seater we have been on before! We settled down at the back of the coach and off we went. Traffic around town was very heavy. At Hanley we saw a handful of the new second hand First Caetano Darts like 41494,41498,41501,41522. It was close to 13:00 by the time we got to Newcastle for the last pick-up. We set of Northwards up the A34 and then onto the A500. Just South of the A54, we passed First Manchester 34295 heading South. We had a quick stop at Charnock Richard service for a toilet and shop stop, and then we carried on. We reached the Pleasure Beach coach park around 15:00. We then walked onto Bond Street to get something to eat. As we went Matthew got a few coach pictures.

Coaches at the Pleasure Beach coach park
We had a late dinner at the seaside cafe. We all had breakfast with he exception of Uncle Dave who had his customary sausage sandwich. Whilst we ate we saw a number of buses. By the way buses were coming though in groups it made us think that it was very busy in town and with the time we had it wasn't worth going in that direction today. Just before 16:00 we walked onto station road to go and catch a bus towards St Annes. We had a choice of doing a Blackpool Transport #11 service or a Stagecoach #68 service. We asked Matthew what he wanted to do and he chose Stagecoach. First bus to turn up was Blackpool Transport 351 on a #11 service. This was followed by a slightly late but required 19042 on the #68.

Stagecoach 19042 in Station Road
We got on the bus and booked some day tickets. As we were on the Fylde coast we were able to book a day ticket that cost a mere £3.50! We went upstairs and settled down for the ride. We decided to go just past St Annes so we could come back and maybe get a second trip in. After passed the town we did a right turn and we decided to get off. As we got off we were able to get pictures of this bus.

Stagecoach 19042 in St Annes
We then crossed the road and walked to the nearest stop which was only about 30 yards away. The next bus was due at 16;38 and pretty much bang on time required Stagecoach 18150 appeared.

Stagecoach 18150 in St Annes
We got on the bus and we went upstairs. It was fairly lightly loaded and we we had a quiet and pleasant journey into town. Near the Farmers Arms we hid a tree and were thankful that the bus had tree deflectors attached! We got off this time near Waterloo Road and then got a picture of the bus. Matthew jumped up and down and his camera strap broke. Luckily I had a spare wrist strap attached to my camera and we ere able to effect a repair. We then crossed over to wait for another Southbound service. After a few minutes a very heavily loaded Stagecoach 18156 appeared.

Stagecoach 18156 near Waterloo Road
The bus was full as it was just after 17:00 and there were a few football fans on from the Blackpool Charlton home game. The bus emptied out a little and we decided to get of between Starr Gate and St Annes to make sure we could get back in time to eat and get on our coach. As we got off we saw Blackpool Transport Optare Excel 222 on a Southbound service.

Blackpool Transport 222 near St Annes
We crossed the road and we had approximately 10 minutes to wait for the next #68. Whilst we waited we saw a few buses including Blackpool Transport Excel 226 and an Ashall's Mercedes minibus SF57 EUB. Our bus eventually turned up and it was required Stagecoach 18146.

Stagecoach 18146 near St Annes
We got on and once again went upstairs. The bus was lightly loaded and by the time we reached the South Shore the top deck was empty apart from us. Matthew got a picture of the empty top deck.

Inside Stagecoach 18146
We went to get off on Bond street, but for some reason the bus stop and then pulled off before we could get off. We eventually got of on Lytham road and had to walk back to meet up with mum. We had already decided we would have chips from a nearby chippy and so Matthew visited the toilet and then we waited outside watching the buses whilst mum was in the queue. The chips were fresh and very hot so we didn't have long to eat them before the coach was due to depart. We walked to the coach park and then ate the chips after they had cooled a little. Un fortunatley this didn't leave much time to get many pictures before we got back on the coach. Matthe did get a good picture of this Smiths of Marple coach.

Smiths of Marple Setra B7 WER
Back on the coach we set off a little after 19:00. The traffic was horrendouns and took until 21:00 to get to Gynn Square. At this point the driver announced that it was as far as he could go and everybody cheered! We then headed off onto the A585 and then onto the M55. Back on the M6 we stopped for a short while at Charnock richard services. Whilst here we saw Selwyns SEL 36 and Hamleys G97 RGG. We set off from here around 22:00 and then reached Newcastle around 23:00. Having dropped of most of the other passengers we got to Longton Hall Lane around 23:45. We drove Uncle dave home and drove home ourselves getting in just after midnight. We had 30 minutes on the computer before going to bed. If we had decided to go North we might have dropped on Blackpool Transport 373. This had it's last day in service yesterday and it can be read about here...Mark