Monday, 31 December 2012

Trip to Hanley / Tunstall 31-12-2012


40003Ladybank Grove, BlurtonHanley BS23First Potteries
3415Hanley BSEndon, adj The Plough Hotel118Wardle Transport
40155Endon, opp The Plough HotelHanley BS18First Potteries
4687Hanley BSBradeley, adj Moorland View61Wardle Transport
60004Bradeley, opp Moorland ViewHanley BS29First Potteries
4687Hanley BSTunstall, adj stop M61Wardle Transport
40020Tunstall, adj stop MLongport, adj Longport Road99AFirst Potteries

Today we decided to do a local trip. We had had heard on the Stafforshire and Merseyside bus group that Wardle Transport Scania 3415 had been doing the #118 Hanley - Buxton service. We thought that if we were lucky then the bus would work again today. We checked the weather for today and it was for rain. Matthew got up around 11:15 and he had an oatcake and some orange juice for breakfast. we set off just after 12:00 and we walked to the distance over to the Ladybank Grove stop. We saw a Plaxton bus approaching as we walked to the stop and we decided to run for it. As we got to the stop we turned to see it was dud first Potteries 40003.

First Potteries 40003 'Dinky Donut' #23 favourite!
We got on the bus and booked a Smartday ticket. We sat down near the back of the bus and it was nearly empty. The bus filled up as we headed through Blurton and Heron Cross. At Heron Cross we passed Lightning Travel NX03 JYJ parked up. In Stoke we saw First Potteries 32632 on a Hanley bound #25. We then headed up past the railway station and up College Road. We reached Hanley a little before 13:00 and when we got there we went onto the balcony. I went to fetch some chips and Matthew and Uncle Dave stood on the balcony. Whilst I was getting chips required Wardle Transport 4896 made an appearance on the #30 to Bradwell.

Wardle Transport 4896 at Hanley bus station on a #30
At the same time Wardle Transport 2038 appeared to work the #190 service to Cranberry.

Wardle Transport 2038 at Hanley bus station on a #190
As I walked up with the chips to the balcony, Wardle Transport 3415 made an appearance and it was on the inbound 118 service. So unless it swapped it was going to work the 13:45 to Buxton. We ate our chips and we spent 30 or so minutes taking picture from the Balcony. We saw required Wardle Transport 4652 on the 13:00 #61 to Tunstall. We also saw Wardle Transport 4687 on the 13:30 #61 to Tunstall too. So we had seen 2 of the 3 Wardle double deckers buses that Matthew requires working in a few minutes. Just before 13:45 we decided to walk down to stand W to wait for the #118 service. Matthew got a picture of the bus whilst it waited on the opposite side.

Wardle Transport 3415 at Hanley bus station
Just before time it pulled of the waiting area and did a lap of the bus station and pulled onto the stand. Inside the bus it had been configured for schools work, with 57 seats arranged in a 2 + 3 arrangement, fitted with seatbelts too.

Inside Wardle Transport 3415
With this arrangement its chances of working a service bus are somewhat limited. We deicede to do this bus up to Endon which is the limit of our Smartday ticket. As we pulled off we also saw Wardle Transport 2300 was also parked up by the bus station between duties. As we passed Meigh Street we saw Wardle Transport 4692 on the other #61 turn. This meant that all 3 of Matthew required wardle deckers were working today. The bus sounded really good and hopefully it will have a few more years work left in it. As we approached Endon we shouted to let the driver know we wanted to get off. There appears to be only one bell one this bus and it is at he front. You don't really need bells on a School bus as they generally only have one destination! After we got of we crossed the road to wait for the return service to Hanley. We had around 10 minutes w saw a bus in the distance. A couple of minutes dud First Potteries 40155 appeared.

First Potteries 40155 in Endon
We sat down near the back and then relaxed as we did the 20 odd minute journey into town. We got off and went onto the balcony. We decided to do the next #61 as 2 of the 3 buses out were required ones. Unfortunately for us, the next one out at 15:00 was worked by the one bus we had been on before, Wardle Transport 4687.

Wardle Transport 4687 in Hanley bus station
We got on and sat upstairs. Matthew took a picture of the bus which had been re-upholstered since we last did this.

Inside Wardle Transport 4687
We decided to do this to Bradley, hopefully getting one of the other required buses back. We did the bus up to Bradeley but we didn't pass any of the other buses whilst we were out. If I had checked I would have seen the the 15:00 off Hanley only goes to Chell and then comes back. We got and got a picture.

Wardle Transport 4687 in Bradeley
We then crossed the road to wait for the return. I had the idea of catch the #29 back instead of doing the #61. We could always do the #61 back out. The #29 approached and it was dud First Potteries 60004.

First Potteries 60004 in Bradeley
The bus was empty so he got his empty bus picture there and then.

Inside First Potteries 60004
We got back in Hanley around 15:50ish and then a few minutes later Wardle Transport 4687 re-appeared! We thought it was going to be one of the other 2 buses. Matthew want to go to the toilet, but as we tried to go to the tardis at the end it was busy with someone else waiting to use it too. I asked Matthew if he wanted to do 4687 to Tunstall so he could use a toilet there instead and he said yes. So we got back on Wardle 4687 to go to Tunstall. it was now starting to go dark and it rained quite hard for most of the journey up. When we got to Tunstall High Street it was fully dark and raining hard. We got off the bus and jogged down to the toilets. I then arrange with mum to meet us at Longport. We ran back up to the stop and there was an Optare Solo at the stop on a #99A. It was required First Potteries 40020.

First Potteries 40020 in Tunstall
Matthew beeped the horn as he got on and we sat down. It was nearly empty but a couple more people got on before we set off. We went down the road towards Trubshaw Cross, past the potential site of a new Morrisons. We picked up a couple more on the trip down and then we got off at Longport. Mum wasn't waiting for us so we decided to nip to the local off license. Matthew got a big bottle of Coke and a galaxy Caramel. We went back to the stop to shelter from the rain. A few minutes later mum appeared to rescue us from the rain. We headed back down the A500 to stoke where came off on Wheildon Road to drop Uncle dave off home. We then went up to heron Cross and then home. We got home around 17:30. For tea matthew had a fish finger sandwich with a chocolate cake and cream for afters. He then chilled out before welcoming in the New Year...Mark

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Trip to Southport 29-12-2012


2141Esplanade Park & RideSouthport, adj Duke StreetPR1Arriva NW&W
3084Southport, opp Duke StreetCrossens, on Rufford Road49Arriva NW&W
7648Crossens, on Preston New RoadSouthport, Chapel Street (Stop EA)44Arriva NW&W
4103Southport, Monument (Stop CA)Crossens, on Rufford Road49Arriva NW&W
7651Crossens, on Preston New RoadSouthport, Chapel Street (Stop EA)44Arriva NW&W
2725Southport, opp The WellingtonCrossens, on Preston New Road44Arriva NW&W
3084Crossens, on Rufford RoadHighpark, High Park Place (W-bound)49Arriva NW&W
7654Highpark, adj Roe LaneSouthport, London Street (Stop Hb)43Arriva NW&W
2143Southport, MonumentEsplanade Park & RidePR1Arriva NW&W

Today we decided to go to Southport. No research was done for this trip, other than to check the weather. When we checked on Friday it was down for sunshine, but by Saturday morning it was forecast rain. Matthew got up around 10:00 and had some toast and orange juice for breakfast. As it was a longer trip we set off around 11:15. We headed toward Heron Cross, passing Lightning Travel NX03 JYJ parked up in Heron Cross. We also saw First Marshall Dart 40173 on a Hanley bound #23 service. At the A50 we headed West to the A500. We did this North to Etruria where we came off on shelton New Road to get LPG. After filling up we got back on the A53 which we did West to the A500. We then got on the Northbound M6. It was quite busy and wet, and we averaged around 50mph as we headed North. Traffic improved a little as we headed North and we eventually got onto the M58. At the A570 we headed North and the road to Ormskirk was quiet. At Ormskirk we pulled into Morrisons to have dinner. Matthew had a small breakfast and his favourite lemon meringue pie for afters. After we had eaten we go back into the car and carried on along the A570. We headed into Southport passing a Volvo B7TL on the inbound #385 service. As the Kew park and ride site was shut for the Winter, we had to head into town and throughtto the Esplanade park and ride site. As we approached we saw an Arriva liveried Enviro 200 so we knew it was going to be a required one if we parked up quickly enough. We parked up and went straight for the bus, forgoing a toilet stop. Matthew got a quick picture of required Arriva NW&W 2141 before we boarded the bus.

Arriva NW&W 2141 at the Esplanade P&R site
We did the PR1 to the last stop on Lord street. We saw Arriva NW&W 7654, seen on a #43 service. Matthew got a better picture as we got off the bus.

Arriva NW&W 2141 in Lord Street
We crossed the road to see what was working. At the stop was Tyrers Optare Solo SJ54 GDA on a #347 service. This is the first time we have seen this operator in Southport.

Tyrers SJ54 GDA in Lord Street
There was a long time to wait for the next #375/385 service. so we decided to do a #49 up to Crossens so we could see what was out. The net #49 to turn up was dud Arriva NW&W 3084, but we decided to do it anyway. As we got on we passed Volvo B7TL 4103 heading South on a #49. We also saw required Marshall Dart 7648 on a Northbound #42. We thought that if the #49 was quick enough. We might catch up with 7648 at Crossens. The bus was fairly quiet today and we made good time as we headed North. When we got to the end Matthew got a picture of the empty interior of 3084.

Inside Arriva NW&W 3084
He got off and then took a picture of the outside of the bus too.

Arriva NW&W 3084 at Crossens
We walked down to the stop on the Preston New Road to see when the #44 was due and it wasn't fo another few minutes. Then we saw 7648 approach from the South. Matthew wen to the toilet as he is such a cool character and I waited for him to come out. He then got a picture of 7648 before getting on it.

Arriva NW&W 7648 at Crossens
As it was empty he also got his empty bus picture too.

Inside Arriva NW&W 7648
We sat down and wait a minute or so for the bus to depart. as we came into town we also saw two other required buses. Marshall's 7643 and 7646 were out on the #43/46's. I thought it might be a good idea to do a #49 South to Carr Lane. to see if we could get one or the other of these buses. We waited for 5 minutes for the next #49 to appear and it was dud Arriva NW&W 3085. Matthew decided he didn't want to do this bus and was a little unsettled for a short while. We then spied B7TL 4103 approaching from the South so we decided to do this instead. It took ages to get across the road but it took the bus even longer to move up Lord street! We got on and went upstairs. I asked Matthew if he wanted to go to High Park to meet the #43 or go all the way and he chose to go all the way. the top deck was nearly empty but it didn't empty out complete until the end of the run. matthew then got his empty bus picture.

Inside Arriva NW&W 4103
We got off and got a picture of the outside of the bus too.

Arriva NW&W 4103 at Crossens
We checked the time and we saw that there was a #44 due. It was already at the stop and it was dud Arriva NW&W 7651. It's always nice to do one of these Marshall although they are starting to show their age a little.

Arriva NW&W 7651 at Crossens
This bus was empty too and so he got his picture here.

Inside Arriva NW&W 7651
We headed South into town. past the 2 co-op food shops on the #44 route. When we got to the edge of town we saw Arriva NW&W 2727 on a #300 service. We did this to the stop on Eastbank Street again and as got off. We saw One of the required Marshall pull off the stop in front on a Souhbound #43. We saw required Volvo B10BLE on a Nortbound service #44. I asked Matthew if he wanted to do it and he said yes. He took a picture across the street before we coolly crossed the road to get on the bus.

Arriva NW&W 2725 on Eastbank Street
He must have know there was a drive change taking place because we had to wait a short while to get on. We then formulated a plan which might help us get one of the required Marshalls. It was starting to go dark and we knew it would be out last trip out before returning home. We thought we could go to Crossens on this #44, do a #49 to High Park and then get off for a #43 into town, hopefully doing one of the required Marshalls. The journey up was nice on this fine beast. and when we got to the other end he got his empty bus picture.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2725
We got off and crossed the new Preston Road and walked up to the #49 stop. The bus was already on the stop and it was dud for the day Arriva NW&W 3084.

Arriva NW&W 3084 at Crossens
We waited for the bus to be readied for the return journey and then we got on. Matthew then took another empty bus picture. We sat down and I downloaded the #43 service timetable to check on times and frequency. The next bus was due of High Park at 16:59 so we had 10 minutes to get there. It was every 30 minutes so we didn't want to miss it. We set off on 3084 and I think we only picked up 1 other passenger as we traveled in. We got to High park with about a minute to spare and we leapt off 3084 before jogging around the corner to a waiting Marshall. Unfortunately it wasn't one of the required ones it was dud 7654. Matthew got a picture before we boarded.

Arriva NW&W 7654 at High Park
He got on and got his inside picture too.

Inside Arriva NW&W 7654
We called mum to ask her to meet us at the stop at the end of Hoghton Street. when we got there we got off and e got a picture of this bus.

Arriva NW&W 7654 on Hoghton Street
We crossed the street and we saw Arriva NW&W 4101 on a North #43 too.

Arriva NW&W 4101 on Hoghton Street
We met up with mum and then visited a papershop for a chocolate bar and a can of Coke before walking to the monument to catch the returning PR1 service. We arrived at an empty bus stop and the bus turned up almost immediately. It was dud Arriva NW&W 2143. We got on the bus and almost immediately a dzen peopl turned up to get on the bus. We did this back to the Esplanade P&R site before a quick visit to the toilet. We then went around the end of the building to get a picture of the bus.

Arriva NW&W 2143 at the Esplanade P&R site (Mark)
We will have to return to ride on the Marshall Darts 7639,7643 and 7646 on another day. The journey back was quite quick. We set off around 17:30 and we headed through town and onto the A570. we went around Ormskirk town and on the A570 down to the M58. We did this back to the M6. We headed south to the A500. It was quite busy as there was and accident between junctions 16 & 15. We were able to keep moving and then we got on the Southbound A500 down to the A50. We then went past the Britannia stadium, scene of the earlier 3-3 draw with Southampton. we then went along Stanley Matthew Way and past the Hen Heath pub before getting home around 19:00. As it was a longer trip we ordered some food in and matthew chiled out on his computer before bedtime...Mark

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Trip to Newcastle 27-12-2012


T131 SGABlurtonLower Milehouse RoadCharterZ Carz
T131 SGALower Milehouse RoadBlurtonCharterZ Carz

Today we to go to Morrison's in Milehouse to have a late dinner. Matthew got up around 12:00 and had some toast with some orange juice for a late breakfast. We set off 14:15 and our transport was Z Carz T131 SGA. We went down the A5035 to Trentham. We then headed North up the A34 to Newcastle. We passed the bus station where we saw 40136 on a #22 and 40146,40151 and 60006 on other services. Wardle Transport 2407 was parked up between duties. We then headed North up the A34 and then down Lower Milehouse road to the Morrisons. When we arrived Matthew went to use the toilet first. For dinner Matthew had the alternative big breakfast (minus the mushrooms and tomatoes with extra toast). We were unable to get a lemon meringue pie in the cafe as they had run out. Whilst we waited for the food Matthew and mum went into the shop to get a lemon Meringue pie for later. By the time they had finished the food had arrived and we tucked in. We then set off back home on Z Carz T131 SGA. We called at the petrol station for diesel before setting off via the First Newcastle garage where 66842 was at the front of the depot. We then headed up George Street where we passed 32635 on the #25 service. We then went onto Shelton New Road. We got on the Southbound A500 and then onto the A50 to Longton where we went passed the Z Carz depot. On the depot today was D104 XAN.

Z Carz D104 XAN in Longton
Next on he row was LDV minibus T408 JUX. This had a sticker in the front saying Stone.

Z Carz T408 JUX in Longton
This was followed by T131 SGA.

Z Carz T131 SGA in Longton
Then was Mercedes minibus BV51 BNO.

Z Carz BV51 BNO in Longton
Last but not least was airport transfer bus DL03 HHU.

Z Carz DL03 HHU in Longton
We then headed home via Longton Hall Road,getting home aound 15:50. After a couple of hour we went collecting around Trentham before going to Trent Vale Macdonalds. Whilst we were out we saw 60060 & 60083 on #21's. We then headed back home down the A34 and A5035. We got home around 19:45. Matthew then chilled out watching telly before bedtime...Mark.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Trip to Cannock 22-12-2012


2315Cannock BSHednesford BS25Arriva Midlands
2315Hednesford BSCannock BS25Arriva Midlands
3604Cannock BSLandywood, opp Holly Lane1Arriva Midlands
3736Landywood, adj Holly LaneCannock BS31Arriva Midlands
3719Cannock BSWest Chadmoor, opp West Chadsmoor Stadium25Arriva Midlands
3731West Chadmoor, adj West Chadsmoor StadiumCannock BS26Arriva Midlands

Today we decided to go to Cannock. We had decided to go to Cannock today as mum was due to meet up with her friends in Wolverhampton, and we had enjoyed our time there on our last visit. No research was done for this other than for me to study the Cannock area map to see where the different services got to. The weather was down as being light rain all afternoon. Matthew got up around 10:30 and had his usual breakfast of toast and juice. We set off around 12:10 and we headed to Heron Cross, passing the Lightning house where the current vehicle being refurbished was Mercedes minibus X86 JOJ. We then carried on to the the A50. At the western end of the A50 i remembered to turn left as we were heading South for a change. We did the down to the M6. and then we went South to the junction of the A5. After travelling a couple of miles Eastward we did the A4601 into town and we parked in the multi-storey car park. As we came into town we saw an ALX400 DAF working on a #26 Pye Green circular. We then walked to the bus station we saw required Arriva Midlands Dart 2315 on another #26 circular. We then went to use the toilet in the small shopping arcade before coming back to The Copper Kettle Cafe for dinner. Mum ordered the food and we sat at a table by the window which had just come free. As we waited for the food the DAF that we had seen early reappeared and we saw it was required Arriva Midlands 4791. I encouraged Matthew to get a picture of this bus just in case we didn't get a chance later and he did so.

Arriva Midlands 4791 in Cannock bus station
We had our dinner and then we walked down into the bus station. The required Dart that we had seen earlier was on stand so we decided to do that. Not before getting a picture of it first.

Arriva Midlands 2315 in Cannock bus station
We booked a Arriva Cannock Daysaver (£4 each) and we sat down near the back. We decided to do a full circuit on this bus as Matthew wanted to get a picture of the bus empty later. We headed North up Pye Green Road before heading back down through Hednesford. We passed the new Tesco which has now opened, before heading back into Cannock. As we approached cannock we passed 4791 on a #26 and so we knew we would have a wait if we stayed in Cannock to wait for it. As predicted we waited for the bus to empty at Cannock before Matthew got a picture of this inside of this refurbished Dart.

Inside Arriva Midlands 2315
We decided to try and do a quick out and back move away from the Pye Green circulars. Whilst there we saw Arriva Midlands MPD 2277 on a #31 service. Almost as soon as we arrived in Cannock we spied required Volvo B10M 3604 on a #1 Walsall service. Whilst we waited for the driver to ready the vehicle Matthew got a picture of this bus as Arriva Midlands 2328 pulled along side it on a #2 to Walsall.

Arriva Midlands 3604 in Cannock
Whilst we waited for 3604, most people boarded 2328, a bus that we had last time and one we have been on a few time before as a Wardle Transport or D&G bus. We got on 3604 and it was nearly empty. Matthew took a picture of the empty rear of this bus.

Inside Arriva Midlands 3604
We sat near the back to enjoy the noisy engine of this fine beast. We headed South down Walsall Road, and just after we crossed the M6 toll. Just south of this we passed 2 buses marked up A1. The was a single decker and a double decker, the later almost certainly being Arriva Midlands 4792. We decided to this #1 service to Landywood, just after the junction of Holly Lane so we had a choice of buses North. We got off and then walked back to see the stops. This was one of those occasion where the different services stop at different stops. On Holly lane the next #2 bus was not due until 14:59, so we walked around the corner to see when the next #1 was due. On this stop we saw that a #1 was due any minute and also we saw the details of the A1 service which runs from Wolverhampton to the Amazon distribution centre at Rugeley. Whilst we waited for the #1, Arriva Midlands 2328 appeared from Holly Lane on the Southbound #2 that we had seen earlier. A few minutes later we saw an Arriva Plaxton Centro approaching. As it came closer we saw it was Arriva Midlands 3736. We got on and sat down near the rear. A quick look at the buses I have travelled on revealed it was dud! It is a bus we travelled on during a trip to Stafford back in July. We did the bus back to Cannock where Matthew got a picture.

Arriva Midlands 3736 in Cannock bus station
Matthew didn't take and inside picture of this bus, perhaps he remembered taking a picture back in July! Arriva Midlands 2315 was on the #25 so we decided to wait 15 minutes to see if 4791 turned up on the next turn. Whilst we waited we saw Midland solo 2565 parked up Matthew got a picture of this beast.

Midland 2565 in Cannock bus station
The next #25 was 3719, and we decided to do this thinking that we could pick up 4791 somewhere around the circuit. Matthew got a picture before we jumped on this bus.

Arriva Midlands 3719 in Cannock bus station
We sat down set off around towards Pye Green. I thought that 4791 was on the following #25 and that we would pass it as we left. We passed a single decker that was probably Arriva Midlands 3758. We decided to get of near some shops, to see what the next #26 was going to be and to visit a shop. We went in the Nisa shop and Matthew had a Galaxy Caramel and a can on Coca Cola. We checked the times of the buses at both stops and we decided to wait for the #26. A few minutes later the bus turned up and it was required Arriva Midlands 3731.

Arriva Midlands 3731 on Pye Green Road
As it had gone dark we decided this was going to be our last journey today, so we called mum to tell her to meet us in the bus station. When we got back Matthew took another picture of this bus.

Arriva Midlands 3731 in Cannock bus station
Mum had said she was up by he toilet and so we went up there to meet her. We were thinking that maybe 4791 had swapped off the #25/26's and that we had missed it by not doing it earlier. After going to the toilet Matthew sopped at a shop and had another can of Coke and a Milky Way. As we walked back to the car we saw 4791 reappear on a #26 so we must have been unfortunate and of the 4 buses we saw or caught late on that this bus was the 5th one we didn't see. Back at the car mum supplied Matthew with a sausage roll and a bottle of Irn Bru before she said goodbye and left to meet up with her friends. So we set of back onto the A4601 and down to the A5. We then went back onto to the m6 up junction 14 where we came off as there was congestion further North. I accidentally got in the wrong lane so I had to turn around on the Eccleshall road before heading back to The A34. We did this north to Trentham and then headed to Longton along the A5035. As we travelled along we passed First PMT Marshall 40167 on a #23 to Hanley. At Longton we passed the Z Carz depot where there were 5 buses present. D104 XAN & BV51 BNO were at the near end of the row.

Z Carz BV51BNO & D104 XAN in Longton
Also present were Airport Transfer DL03 HHU and Mercedes minibus T131 SGA. we then headed down Longton Hall Road before heading home. We got back around 17:30. Matthew then had some computer time before having a late tea of sausage mash and carrots. He then chilled out for the rest of the evening before bedtime...Mark

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Trip to Northwich 15-12-2012


869Northwich InterchangeNorthwich, Iron Bridge (SW-bound)1Arriva NW&W
868Northwich, Iron Bridge (NE-bound)Northwich Interchange1Arriva NW&W
3330Northwich InterchangeLeftwich, opp Shops29AArriva NW&W
3330Leftwich, opp ShopsNorthwich Interchange29AArriva NW&W
2617Northwich InterchangeLeftwich, opp Shops29AArriva NW&W
2617Leftwich, opp ShopsNorthwich Interchange29AArriva NW&W
2611Northwich InterchangeLeftwich, opp Shops29AArriva NW&W
2611Leftwich, opp ShopsNorthwich Interchange29AArriva NW&W
SB16Northwich InterchangeNorthwich, opp Tesco289GHA
877Northwich, opp TescoRudheath, Wright Avenue (cnr)2Arriva NW&W
877Rudheath, Wright Avenue (cnr)Northwich Interchange2Arriva NW&W
7628Northwich InterchangeSandbach, o/s Common37Arriva NW&W

Today we decided to revisit Northwich. As we are near the middle o winter we once again gave him to nearby destinations to chose from and he chose Northwich. Like last week we had been to Northwich on the equivalent weekend last year. We didn't do any research for this trip, and we checked the weather on the night before. The weather was forecast for cloudy with sunny intervals, with a positively tropical temperate of 9' C. Matthew got up around 10:00 and had some toast and orange juice for breakfast. We set off around 11:30 today and mum drove as dad had been out the night before. We asked Matthew where he wanted to eat and he chose the Country Kitchen in Middlewich, a place we have visited before. We headed along Stanley Matthews Way and onto the Westbound A50. We then did the A500 Northwards to the M6. We did the M6 2 junctions North and came off at the A54 and went into Middlewich and onto the car park for The Country Kitchen. It was very busy today as there were workmen having there dinner from across the road, working on the new Morrisons Store. We had thought it was going to be ready but the opening has been delayed. We ordered our food and after a short while we were eating it. Matthew got a picture of the trailer just before he tucked into his breakfast.

The Country Kitchen in Middlewich
We saw Arriva NW&W 3330 heading North. After we had finished eating mum carried on driving We headed North up the A533 to Northwich and headed to the car park. We saw Arriva 7628 on a #37 Sandbach short and Arriva NW&W 3334 on a #29A service. We parked up and then walked back to the bus interchange. 7628 & 3330 had gone and it was just after 13:00. We had a quick toilet stop and then walked back to the stops. First thing that we saw was GHA Solo SL16 on a #48 to Frodsham.

GHA SL16 in Northwich Interchange
We saw Arriva NW&W 869 on a #1 service. I remembered doing this move last year, and I thought it would be a good thing to do before the next #37 service. Matthew got a picture and we got on the bus.

Arriva NW&W 869 in Northwich Interchange
We brought some Arriva NW&W Daysavers and sat down near the back. I checked to see if we had been on this bus before and we had. It was in fact the first Arriva bus we had done in Northwich on our first visit back in October 2011. We did this service as we had done before to the Iron Bridge and got off. Matthew tried to take a picture but his batteries were flat. Fortunately the driver stayed put whilst he changed his batteries for which we would like to say thank you if he ever reads this Blog!

Arriva NW&W 869 by the Iron Bridge
We crossed the road to wait or the return #1. We didn't have to wait or more than a couple of minutes and required Arriva NW&W 868 made an appearance.

Arriva NW&W 868 by the Iron Bridge
We got on the bus and sat down. On the equivalent weekend last year the bus was full. This year it was virtually empty. The journey in was swift and when we got back Matthew got a picture of the empty inside.

Inside Arriva NW&W 868
When we got off we could see Arriva NW&W 3330, which had finally caught us up. It was about to do the 29A to Leftwich. Behind it pulled in Arriva NW&W 3334 which was going to do the next #37 to Crewe. We asked Matthew which bus he wanted to catch and he chose 3330 on the #29A. We got a picture of this bus before boarding and going upstairs.

Arriva NW&W 3330 in Northwich Interchange
As soon as we got upstairs Matthew took his empty bus photo.

Inside Arriva NW&W 3330
We sat down and relaxed ready for the journey ahead.We set of and headed South under the railway arch. by the time we reached the letwich road junction 3334 had caught us up and the 2 palatine II double deckers stood side by side. If I had been quicker perhaps I could have got some kind of picture. We carried on around the estate and then we headed back into town on the bus. i had thought that we might carry on on this bus when it did the #37 so we could go after Arriva NW&W Marshall Dart 7628. When we spied a Network Warrington Dart 31 on the #45.

Network Warrington 31 in Northwich Interchange
We had followed Arriva NW&W 2617 into town on the #37 so we knew it was going out to Leftwhich on the #29A. when I gave Matthew the choice of 2617 or 3330 he chose 2617. He got a picture and then we got on and sat near the back.

Arriva NW&W 2617 in Northwich Interchange
Doing this bus did surprise me a little. it was a required bus, but Matthew has often turned down these Plaxton Centros and we have been waiting around other than catching one of these buses. We did the bus around the estate again and at his point it started to rain a little. We headed back into town and hen the bus arrived back and emptied out he got a picture of the inside of this bus.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2617
Arriva NW&W 2611 came in to work the next #29A and Matthew decided he wanted to do this too. This bus was a dud one, having done it before on a Sandbach trp back in March this year. We did the bus around the estate again and then when we got Back Matthew took a picture of the inside of that bus too.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2611
When we spied GHA SB16 on a #289 service. He got a picture of this bus.

GHA SB16 in Northwich Interchange
Matthew wanted to do this but I told him he couldn't as we didn't know what we could do back if we caught it. Required Arriva NW&W 2608 had arrived to do the next #29A and Matthew didn't seem interested in catching it. I went back to the stop and saw that the #45/46 also went off the same stop and at least on of the service seem to go in the same direction.i went back onto the bus and asked the driver if he went past the station and he said yes. So i went to fetch Matthew and told him we could do the bus but only for a short distance. We got on a and sat near the back.The bus took a slightly different route to the station from what we could remember on doing the Warrington Bus last October, but we got to Tesco and we got off the bus. Matthew got another picture of this bus before it pulled off into the distance.

GHA SB16 by Northwich Tesco
When we did the Warrington bus last time we did a #2 back to Northwich, We walked back past Tesco and then we looked up and down the road. we couldnt remeber the route of the #2 from last time, and we decided to turn right as that was the most likely route. The stop on the Northwich side of the road had no timetable and no text information. There was a phone number to ring for bus time but the stop wasn''t marked! We went to the shop and Matthew had a bottle of Irn Bru and a twin Milky way. We decided to cross the road as that stop was marked. It also had a timetable and we saw there was a bus due 10 minutes ago and 20 minutes later.There was someone waiting so we assumed the bus was late. Almost immediately we spied an Arriva MPD Dart approaching. Matthew got a picture and it as required Arriva NW&W 877.

Arruva NW&W 877 on Station Road Northwich
We sat down near the back on this bus which was reasonably well filled. We headed put of town first and then around the end before heading back in. We knew that we had missed Arriva 7628 on the #29A, but we knew we should be back in plenty of time to see it do the #37 service. We got back and Matthew got a picture o the inside of this bus.

Inside Arruva NW&W 877
GHA wright bodied single decker YJ04 BVB made an appearance on the #82 service and Matthew got a picture.

GHA YJ04 BVB in Northwich Interchange
Matthew then revisited the toilet and we formulated a plan to get a decent run on required Arriva NW&W 7628. It arrived and then we got on.we then realised that it wasn't due o until 16:00 so we had 10 minutes. We were also going to be in darkness by the time we reached Sandbach. So we got off and got a picture and then got back on again.

Arriva NW&W 7628 in Northwich Interchange
We sat back down and waited for time. I arranged with mum to drive down to Sandbach and meet us there. When the bus pulled of I texted mum to let her know we were on our way. we headed south to Winsford and then through Middlewich. I thought that mum knew the way to Sandbach and so did she! She got a little lost and was going to head back towards Stoke-on-Trent when she saw a sign for Sandbach. It took her nearly an hour to do what should have been a 30 minute journey, but that was OK because the bus was scheduled to take longer. We got into Sandbach and we saw Arriva NW&W 4491 on a #38 Macclesfield service. On the Common Matthew got his empty bus picture.

Inside Arriva NW&W 7628
We met up with mum who was a little bit annoyed with her journey down, and she went to get some chips. Matthew went to the toilet supervised by Uncle Dave and I went to get lottery ticket from McColls. As Matthew walked back towards mum he got a picture o D&G 66 on the #78 service.

D&G 66 on Sandbach Common
We all met up back at the car and we ate chips and Matthew had a spam fritter and a sausage roll too. We set off around 17:15 and we headed back to the M6 along the A534 to the M6. On the radio we heard the stoke had drawn with Everton following an unfortunate Ryan Shawcross own goal and then a Kenwyne Jones header. We got of the M6 at junction 16 and headed southwards down the A500. at Sideway we headed east along the A50 to Longton and then we passed he Z Carz depot. On the depot was coach D104 XAN, Mercedes minibus T131 SGA, LDV breadvan M420 UEH and airport transfer bus DL03 HHU. We then headed down Longton Hall road and then home. We got back around 18:15. Matthew had sausage, carrots and mash for a late tea before spending time on his computer before bedtime...Mark