Saturday, 26 January 2013

Trip to Northwich 26-01-2013


876Northwich InterchangeNorthwich, Iron Bridge (SW-bound)1Arriva NW&W
7628Northwich, Iron Bridge (NE-bound)Northwich Interchange1Arriva NW&W
2497Northwich InterchangeLeftwich, opp Shops29AArriva NW&W
2497Leftwich, opp ShopsNorthwich Interchange29AArriva NW&W
2616Northwich InterchangeLeftwich, opp Shops29AArriva NW&W
2616Leftwich, opp ShopsNorthwich Interchange29AArriva NW&W
4156Northwich InterchangeLeftwich, opp Shops29AArriva NW&W
4156Leftwich, opp ShopsNorthwich Interchange29AArriva NW&W
3349Northwich InterchangeLeftwich, opp Shops29AArriva NW&W
3349Leftwich, opp ShopsNorthwich Interchange29AArriva NW&W
869Northwich, opp TescoBarnton, Broomsfield Lane (cnr)4Arriva NW&W
869Barnton, Broomsfield Lane (cnr)Northwich Interchange4Arriva NW&W

Today we decided to go to Northwich. No research was done other than to check the weather and it was to be a tropical 6' C and sunny! Matthew got up around 09:30 and had toast and juice for breakfast. We set off a little earlier today at 11:45 to try and avoid some of the football traffic. That had been heavy snow the night before so driving was a little tricky on the side streets. We got on the A5035 and headed down to the A34. We did this West to the A500 and we did this North. As we headed up past the Britannia Stadium we passed Wardle Transport 4547 & 4898 and a Stanways coach on football specials. We got on the M6 and we took it steady up to the A54. As we headed North we were passed by Selwyn's SEL 133 and expat explorer YJ11 ANX. when we reached the A54 we did this into Middlewich where we stopped at The Country Kitchen. We were hoping the New Morrison's was going to be open, but it doesn't open until Monday. So we had dinner at the food van with a promise to re-visit Middle sometime in the near future! Whilst we ate our Dnner we saw 2 Northbound #37's Arriva NW&W was the first one, and this was followed by 2497 30 minutes later. We caried on to Northwich along the A533 and we reached there a little before 13:30. We parked up at the car park adjacent to Watling Street Northwich and walked back to the interchange. The #37 and the #29A were both Centro's so we scratched our heads for a few minutes wondering what to do. First we visited the toilet by the markets. We then saw required Arriva NW&W 876 on the #1 so we decided to do this up to the bridge. Matthew got a picture of this fine bus before we got on it.

Arriva NW&W 876 in Northwich
We got on the bus and booked Arriva Daysavers before we sat down near the back. The journey out was quite pleasant in the sunshine and we arrived at the bridge in no time. We got off and Matthew got another picture of this bus as it powered away into the distance.

Arriva NW&W 876 by the Iron Bridge
We crossed the rod to wait for the other #1 turn. we only had to wait a couple of minutes and we saw a Marshall Dart approaching. As t is now the only one at Winsford we knew it was Arriva NW&W 7628.

Arriva NW&W 7628 by the Iron Bridge
We on got on this bus and it was nearly empty. we sat near the back and enjoyed the journey back into town on what is currently Winsford's finest Dart. When we got back the bus emptied out and Matthew got his empty bus picture.

Inside Arriva NW&W 7628
When we got off this time we saw Arriva NW&W 2497, which had caught us up and was now about to work the next #29A. I asked Matthew if he wanted to do this required cadet and he said yes. He got a picture of this bus and then we got on it.

Arriva NW&W 2497 in Northwich
As the bus was nearly empty, Matthew got a picture of the inside of the bus as he got on.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2497
We set off to the Leftwich estate on this bus. The melted snow had caused flash flooding in some parts and there was a gigantic puddle near the entrance of the estate on Old Hall Road. The bus went through the puddle and it caused a tidal wave. The bus went down to the shops and waited for a few minutes before returning, and back through the puddle as we have to go on the opposite side of the road to go around the parked cars. Before we knew it we were back in Northwich. We got back and the only choice was to do the next #29A which was required Arriva NW&W 2616. We waited for the driver to ready the bus for service and whilst we waited we saw Tomlinson's Mercedes minibus Y556 KSC run past out of service. A few minutes later 2616 was ready. Matthew got a picture of this bus.

Arriva NW&W 2616 in Northwich
Once again the bus was nearly empty as we got on. I think the weather must have been keeping people indoors today.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2616
We set off around to Leftwich again. Back down London Road and back through the gigantic puddle. back to the shops and then back into Northwich. This time as we approached we saw a double decker heading North onto town. As we entered Watling Street we saw 2 double deckers! Arriva 3334 was on the #31A and we assumed Arriva 4156 must be on the next #29A. The stand that we would usually go onto was blocked and so we parked up at stand B or C. As we walked back down to the double deckers we saw Network Warrington 63 and Matthew got a picture of it.

Network Warrington 63 in Northwich
Arriva 3334 set off before we got to it and that left 4156. There was also 2615 which was also displaying 37. We had noticed Arriva MPD Dart 866 was on stand every time we returned to Northwich. What appears to have happened is that 866 must have failed. It was decided to put a Centro of the #37 on the #2/4 diagram and this was taken over on #37/29A by 4156 which had run up empty from Winsford. We decided to do 4156 rather than anything else that was about at this time. i got a picture of this bus before we got on it.

Arriva NW&W 4156 in Northwich (Mark)
The top deck was empty and so Matthew got his empty bus picture.

Inside Arriva NW&W 4156
Whilst were waiting for time the #289 Altricham service arrived with GHA T789 KNW. Matthew got a picture of it out of the front window of Arriva 4156.

GHA T789 KNW in Northwich
At 15:00 we set of back to Leftwich. Back down london Road and back through the big puddle on Old Hall Road. We stopped at the shops and the bus had to move back to let a car through as someone had parked a car opposite the bus stop with almost as if they had stolen it! We set off back North into Northwich. As we passed he museum a Victorian gent doughed his bowler hat as we passed by. We arrived back and we didn't know what we were going to do next. The #31 was a Centro and then the next #29A mae an appearance. It was required step-entranced Arriva NW&W 3349. I knew this was the bus that we were going to to do next even though it meant a 4th spin around the leftwich estate! This is a bus we have only seen work once before back in March 2012 when we passed it whilst doing 4156 to Middlewich. We waited for the bus to be readied for service and we took a picture before getting on this fine beast.

Arriva NW&W 3349 in Northwich
Once again the top deck was empty and so he got his empty bus picture.

Inside Arriva NW&W 3349
We set off down London Road again and through the puddle on Old Hall Road. We stopped at the shops and this time the car that had been parked like an abandoned vehicle had been moved. We then set off back to Northwich. We decided that the next trip would be the last of the day but we didn't know what we were going to do. We could do 3349 to Sandbach, do the Next warrington bus to the railway station or hopefully not the #29A was going to be required and useful. We got back and we saw that the next #29A was 2614. A required bus, but Matthew didn't want to do it today pass. The Network Warrington bus on the #45 was required 74 but he didn't fancy that either.

Network Warrington 74 in Northwich
We asked him if he wanted to do 3349 to sandbach and he didn't. We walked up and down the stands and he also visited the toilet. He eventually chose to do dud Arriva 869 on the #4. It was a good choice as we had never been on a #4 before and we got to see another part of Northwich.

Arriva NW&W 869 in Northwich
We got on and we sat at the back. we set off North out of town and past the hospital. we then crossed over a railway line and canal before climbing up into Barnton. We whizzed around the Barnton estate before returning to the main road and back down the hill. We passed the canal and the Chemical Work and went back down past the hospital and into town. back at the interchange, Matthew got his empty bus picture.

Inside Arriva NW&W 869
Mum was waiting for us and we took a couple more bus pictures before returning to the car. We ate a sausage roll and a small egg custard before heading out of town. We went east along the A559 until we met up with the A556. It was now going dark. We did this to the M6 and then South 14 or so miles to the A500. Today we went back down the A34 through Newcastle. As we passed the garage most of the bus were too far back to identify, but we did see an unidentified Marshall Dart. We presume this must be one of Adderley Green's old buses here for component retrieval. We then headed out of Newcastle along George Street and onto Shelton New Road. We joined the southbound A500 and did the A50 to Longton. At Z carz tonight we saw the following... Coach V690 EBC.

Z Carz V690 EBC in Longton
We then saw LDV minibus T408 JUX...

Z Carz T408 JUX in Longton
then we saw DAF coach W344 WNS...

Z Carz W344 WNS in Longton
next we saw another LDV minibus DS51 ZJU.

Z Carz DS51 ZJU in Longton
We the Willow Row pen and that was empty, so we turned in the Road before heading down Longton Hall Road. We stopped at the one stop shop and we brought some pop and a chocolate bar and some lottery tickets before getting home around 17:45. We chilled out at home before having a late tea of bangers and mash with cake. Matthew went to bed just before midnight...Mark

Friday, 25 January 2013

Trip to Bucknall 25-01-2013


1321BlurtonBucknall Newhouse RoadCharterWardle Transport
1500Bucknall Newhouse RoadBlurtonCharterWardle Transport

Today it was a normal college day. What was unusual was the transport ans the weather conditions. Matthew got up around 07:20. The bus arrived a little after 08:00 and it was Wardle Transport 1321.

Wardle Transport 1321 in Blurton
They set off to Heron Cross and then down Victoria Road. At joiners square they turned onto Leek Road and then onto the A52. In Bucknall they tuned down Newhouse Road and then to college. College rang us to say that they would be finishing earlier no computer today due to the snow heading in our direction. around 14:00 he went out to catch his bus home and it was required Wardle Transport 1500. The bus went down newhouse Road and onto the A52 They then turned into Leek Road and the onto Victoria Road. They then went through Heron Cross and towards home. The bus beat mum back by a coupe on mites so they went to drop another kid off before returning home. He then ran into the house to grab his camera and get a picture of this bus.

Wardle Transport 1500 in Blurton
i got home from work around 15:1 and then we went to the Black Lion for tea. We went along the A5035 to Trentham and then north up the A34 to Trent Vale. As we turned into the pub we saw Wardle Transport 1688 in the distance. Matthew had a brunch and toffee Sponge and custard for afters. After finishing the meal we went to pick up Uncle Dave. We set off south down the A34 and then North on the A500 up to the A50. We then went to Heron Cross and then down to pick Dave up. After Picking him up we went back through Heron Cross to home. We then had a evening in of watching MTV Rocks and eating snacks before bedtime...Mark

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Trip to Hanley 19-01-2013


40375Ladybank Grove, BlurtonHanley BS23First Potteries
2203Hanley BSBirches Head, adj Shops41Wardle Transport
41500Birches Head, adj ShopsHanley BS38First Potteries
4692Hanley BSTunstall, adj stop M61Wardle Transport
60173Tunstall, adj stop MHanley BS21First Potteries
183Hanley BSBiddulph, adj South View9Bakerbus

Today was going to be a walk at Westport Lake. Matthew was due to go to Heathfield in the morning and we were going to go walking in the afternoon. But the event at Heathfield was canceled the day before due to the heavy snowfall. We knew Matthew wouldn't be happy stuck at home on a Saturday, so we decided to travel on a few local buses. Matthew got up at 08:00 which is very unusual for him. We checked the weather and there was no more snow due today. I also checked the First Staffordshire sight to see if buses were running. The site showed that al services were running but there were some minor diversions around un-gritted or impassable roads. we also checked the Arriva site and there was no disruptions noted on their site either. Matthew had some toast for breakfast washed down with orange juice. I decided it would be a good idea to take some sandwich in case of emergency but we didn't have any sandwich meat in, so I waked to Aldi to pick some up. Whilst I was out i was able to check out how the buses were running locally and all seemed fine. Whilst out I saw Wardle Transport 2998 on the Plumline, Wardle Transport 2224 on a #350 to Newport. First Potteries 40147 & 40150 were out on #22's and 40175 on a #23 service. Back home today I decided it would be a good idea to have some hot food before we left. Matthew had a bacon sandwich and me and Uncle Dave had a stir fry. Matthew got dressed and we left home around 13:20. As we walked to the bus stop we spotted the 3rd #22 turn and it was First Potteries 40145. Matthew got a picture on the corner of Finstock Avenue.

First Potteries 40145 in Blurton
We carried onto the stop on Beaconsfield Drive missing a new Solo on a #23. As 40145 was still at the stop I asked Matthew if he wanted to go to Hanley or Longton and he chose Hanley. Whillst we waited we saw 40375 heading towards Newstead which we thought would probably our bus to Hanley. we also saw required First Potteries 42727 on a #23 to Longton. A few minutes later 40375 rounded the corner and Matthew got a picture.

First Potteries 40375 in Blurton
We tried to book a Smart ticket but the driver didn't have any of the protective wallets so one of us had a free ride to Hanley at least for now. We sat down near the back to enjoy our journey. It was the third time in the last year we had been on this bus, the last time was on a similar trip to Hanley back in November. We travelled through Blurton and Heron Cross, and through Fenton to Stoke. In Stoke we passed required First Potteries 32635 on a #25 Keele - Hanley service. We taveeled around the stoke one way system and on to the railway station. There were 2 coaches parked outside the station, presumebly on rail replacement work these were Global Travel T5 XLA and Hanley Travel G97 RGG. We carried on up past the college and then into Hanley. when we reached the bus station we entered the bus station but there were no empty stands so we went back out of the bus station onto Birch Terrace and back onto Lichfield street before re-entering the bus station to get onto a stand. The bus emptied and Matthew got a picture of the inside of the now empty 40375.

Inside First Potteries 40375
We went up on the balcony to look at buses. It was clear in part but there was some ice on the steps so we had to be careful going up and down. I went to fetch some chips whist Matthew and Uncle Dave stopped on the balcony. Dud Wardle Transport 4898 was on the X50 which is unusual, but not unusual enough for us to catch it over eating chips. However, he did get a picture of this bus.

Wardle Transport 4898 on the X50 in Hanley
We finished off our chips and we contemplated what to do next. Wardle transport 4687 was on the #61 which is unusual to get a decker on a Saturday, but we had been on this twice on New Years Eve. It was very cold and we knew had to do something quickly or get very cold indeed. We also saw Wardle Transport 2230 on the Northbound #500 to Norton. I tried to steer Matthew on one of the #25's so he could do one of the newer double deckers all of which are required. Eventually, we decided to do a #41 to Birches Head with Wardle Transport 2203. Matthew got a picture of this bus before we carefully went down the steps into the bus station to get on this bus.

Wardle Transport 2203 in Hanley bus station
We tried once again to get a Smart day ticket but the driver didn't have a wallet so that was another free journey! This was a bus that Matthew had done previously back in June last year. Whilst we waited to depart I noticed First Potteries 41500 was on stand on a #38 to birches Head. Also we saw Wardle Transport 3611 arrive on a #62 which is not an everyday sight. We had never done a Birches Head service before which is unusual considering all the interesting bus that have worked on the #38 in previous years. Also there has been some good buses working on the #41 with RML, D&G and latterly Wardle Transport too. We weren't familiar with the route but I thought the end of the route was circular, down through the newer houses and back through the terrace streets to edge of Hanley. As we left Hanley we saw required wardle Transport 4692 arrive on a #61 service. It is a bus that we have missed on a couple of occasions, on New Years Eve and the Wardle Transport running day. We saw a point which looked like the end, it was some shops on Diane road so we got off here. Not before Matthew had taken a picture of the empty bus.

Inside Wardle Transport 2203
We were considering going to the shop when we saw First Potteries 41500 approaching. I asked Matthew if he wanted to get the bus or go to the shop and he opted for the bus. He got a picture of required 41500 before we got on it.

First Potteries 41500 in Birches Head
On our third journey of the day we managed to get our Smart day ticket. The bus was empty so he got a picture of of the empty 41500 before we sat down.

Inside First Potteries 41500
We set of back into Hanley, and as we reached the townsend area I asked matthew if he wanted to get of and wait for 4692 on the #61 (it was 1459 and I thought the #61 left hanley at 15:00). He said no and it turned out to be a good move by him. We got into hanley bus station around 15:10 and we went up to the balcony to see that 4692 was still over in the parking area. I downloaded the #61 timetable and saw that the Saturday #61 left at half past the hour. By this time we only had around 12 minutes to wait for the bus. So we took a few picture before we saw 4692 move out of the parking area around 15:25. The bus pulled on stand and we got pictures of the bus before we carefully went down the steps again to catch the bus.

Wardle Transport 4692 in Hanley
We got on the bus and waited for time. Matthew got his empty bus picture as we awaited time.

Inside Wardle Transport 4692
As we set off we went down the row and we spotted 41540 'Not in Service' parked up in the parking area along with Wardle Transport 1406 and 1460 and Bakerbus step-entranced Volvo B6 227. We set off to Sneyd Green and then into Smallthorne as we headed to Chell we passed a couple of #21/29s in Bradeley. Dud 60136 was on a hanley bound #29 and 60173 was on a Trentham bound #21. We got to Tunstall and got off at the top of the high street so we could visit the public toilet. Matthew used the disabled toilet and inside there was a leaflet for the park and ride service. The fare was £1 and the bus on the leaflet was a step entranced Mercedes minibus so how old this leaflet is I don't know. I had asked Matthew if had wanted to go to Longport to meet mum and he had said no as he wasn't done for the day yet. That left us with perhaps a trip to Biddulph on a #99 or maybe back to Hanley on either a #20/20 or #21/29. We saw 60189 on a Kidsgrove bound #20A and we also saw 60173 again on the #21 to Trentham. I asked Matthew if he wanted to do 60173 and he said yes. He didn't get a picture of 60173 before we boarded but here is one he took in November 2011.

First Potteries 60173
When we got on 60173 it was almost empty and he got one as we got on.

Inside First Potteries 60173
I texted mum to say we were probably on our penultimate bus, and we would let her know where we were going to be picked up from if indeed we did need picking up. I thought the journey was going to take around 40 minutes and I was surprised when it only took around 25. We got into Hanley bus station just as it was going dark. We got off and Matthew immediately spotted a step entranced Mercedes at the other end of the bus station. It was dud Bakerbus 183 which he hadn't been on since he had a very short run on it in Stone back in June 2011. He got a picture of this bus and then we got on it.

Bakerbus 183 in Hanley bus station
We set of out of Hanley and then down Smallthorne bank. We passed 41498 on a Hanley bound #8 service. It was now fully dark and we headed up through Fegg Hayes and Brindley Ford. I had called up mum to arrange to meet her at Biddulph Sainsbury's. Eventually we pulled up in Biddulph High Street and we got off the bus. Matthew got another picture of this fine beast before we set off towards mum.

Bakerbus 183 in Biddulph High Street
We walked down to the car to meet mum. The plan had been to drop the bag off at the car and then go into sainbury's to get lottery tickets and some food, but Matthew decided to get n the car. We Drove out of Biddulph Southbound on the A527. We passed First Potteries 61237 on a Biddulph bound #7A. We got to the top of high lane and we spotted the Tesco express on the left so we decided to stop here. We saw First Potteries 60063 go past on a 21. In the shop Matthew had some coke, a milky Way and a chocolate cake for later. We got the lottery tickets and Matthew said hello to a couple of people in the shop. We carried on along the a527 nd we decided to take Matthew to the MacDonalds on the A50. After we had picked him up some food from the driver through we got back on the A527 and e did it down to the A500. We did this southbound to the A50 and we went to Longton so he could see what was on the Z Carz depot. There were only 3 buses there, and one of them was Mercedes minibus T131 SGA.

Z Carz T131 SGA in Longton in the snow
We then went down Longton Hall Road and then home, getting in around 18:15. Matthew finished off his MacDonalds and then settled down for the evening. For a late tea he had Sausage carrots and mash and his chocolate cake he brought earlier. He then spent time on his computer before bedtime around 00:00...Mark

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Trip to Leek / Cheadle 16-01-2013


1450BentileeBucknall Newhouse RoadCharterWardle Transport
28Sainsbury'sLeek BSTown ServiceD&G
N880 AVVLeek BSBridge End, adj Kiln Lane (Unmarked)108Clowes Coaches
28Sainsbury'sLeek BSTown ServiceD&G
T459 JRHLeek BSHigh Street, Cheadle234Clowes Coaches
T459 JRHHigh street, CheadleLeek BS234Clowes Coaches
M127 YCMLeek BSLeek BS165Clowes Coaches
1450Bucknall Newhouse RoadBentilleCharterWardle Transport

Today Matthew was going to Leek from college. we got up around 07:00 and had some breakfast before his college transport arrived. It was Wardle Transport 1450.

Wardle Transport 1450 in Bentilee
we got on did this down Dividy Road and onto the A52 before turning in Newhouse Road and to college. They then went to Leek by car to visit the new Sainbury's store in Leek. The route up was to Bucknall on the A52 before travelling through Abbey Hulton and Milton to the A53. They then did this straight into Leek and into the new store. Whilst there we visited the cafe for dinner. Afterwards they went around the shop. They came out and we saw D&G 28 we got on the free town shuttle bus. we set off So he did this we got off to Leek bus station. Whilst there we saw Clowes Coaches N880 AVV. we got on As N880 AVV was on a #108 to macclesfield we set off did this bus back to Sainsbury's instead we got off the shuttle. He did the shuttle a second time back to the bus station before we spotting Clowes coaches T459 JRH we got on the #234 to Cheadle. we set off to Cheadle and then straight back again we got off. The next bus we was Clowes Coaches M127 YCM we got on the #165 town service so we set off decided to do a lap of town on this bus we got off. we also saw Clowes Coaches N466 VOD. before being picked up. They then travelled back to college. hey went down the A53 to stockton brook and the headed towards Milton. They carried on to Limekiln Bank and then did the A52 to Bucknall and then to college. around 15:00 Matthew went back to respite we got on Wardle Transport 1450. The route back was down to the A52 and then onto Dividy Road. Back at respite we got off, we had sausage and mash for tea followed by cake and custards for afters. we then chilled out in the lounge before have a bath. He had toast or supper before bedtime...Mark

Monday, 14 January 2013

Trip to Longton 14-01-2013


30034Ladybank Grove, BlurtonLongton TI22AFirst Potteries
30034Longton TIFinstock Avenue, Blurton22AFirst Potteries

After yesterday's drive to Morrisons, today Matthew was going into respite and we had not got any bus plans. Before he got up I went for a walk around Blurton to view buses to see if anything interesting was working. I had already seen 30029 work a #22A on the 2nd of January, so I was expecting another to work soon. There had been some snow overnight and it was snowing again. The turn that 30029 had worked previous was ALX200 Dart 40145 today, and the next #22A turn was due Longton bound at 10:17. It didn't turn up, so I walked down to the A5035 to view the #350's. Perhaps the bus would appear for the 10:47 Blurton - Longton as it often did when the 10:17 didn't show. The #350's were Wardle Transport 2406 (southbound) and 2407 (Northbound towards Hanley). I walked back to the route of the #22A and as I turned the corner into Finstock Avenue required First Potteries Leyland Olympian 30034 made an appearance. I thought that I would go back and tell Matthew about this bus and that we could perhaps get a round trip on it before I had to go to work. When I got back Matthew had just got up and he was about to eat his breakkast of toast. I asked Matthew I he wanted to go out to do one round trip on 30034 and of course he said yes. He got dressed and we attempted to get out to the ladybank grove stop for the 11:17 working. We set off in the snow and as we turned in Finstock Avenue we saw 30034 turn into Beaconsfield Drive. We ran towards the stop but the bus was half way up the road by the time we turned the corner...Drat! Rather than wait in the snow we went back home. I set my alarm on my phone so we could set off for the 11:47 in good time and Matthew had a glass of Coke. The alarm went of and we put out coats back on and set off. We got to the stop a couple of minutes before the bus was due ans this gave Matthew time to adjust his camera before 30034 came around the corner ad got a picture.

First Potteries 30034 in Blurton
We got on the bus and went upstairs. As it empty we sat at the front on some original grey and red zig-zag seats. These were the only pair of originals on the bus. Matthew got a picture o the top deck when the bus stopped at the next stop.

Inside First Potteries 30034 top deck
We carried on along the length of Beaconsfield and turned left at the end onto Blurton Road.At the roundabout there were some roadworks so we waited at the lights before carrying on under the old railway bridge for the Florence Colliery to Hem Heath Line. At the bottom of Blurton Road we turned into Longton Hall Lane. We hit a branch as we stopped at the stop. The route doesn't get double decker more than a dozen times in a year if that. At the top of Longton Hall Road we went around the A50 and into the Interchange. Matthew stayed upstairs whilst I flashed the tickets to go back to Blurton. We saw Wardle Transport 1406 arrive into interchange presumably to swap drivers for one of the Local turns out of Longton. at 12:10 we set back from the stand and then the bus cut out. The driver switched everything off and restarted to bus. After a couple of attempts he got the bus to restart and we set off. The bus stopped a couple more times as we retraced the route back to Blurton. I phoned mum to ask her to put the kettle on for a Pot Noddle. The driver dropped a passenger of on Finstock outside the rent office and the bus stalled again. After the last stop on Finstock we got up to get of the bus. The driver stopped before turning into Beaconsfield. Matthew took a picture of the empty lower deck as we were about to get off.

Inside First Potteries 30034 lower deck
The driver asked if it was OK to be dropped off in Finstock. I asked if the bus was going out of service and he said yes as he was having gearbox problems. We got off and Matthew got another picture of 30034.

First Potteries 30034 back in Blurton
The bus then went empty along Magdalen Road and towards Newcastle garage. We walked back home to find out mum had done us both egg, beans and toast for dinner. I then said goodbye to Matthew and went to work. He chilled out on his computer for the afternoon before mum took him up to Bentilee for his respite stay. Mum set off and the weather was quite bad so she stopped to see if one of her friends daughters needed a lift and the answer was yes so they did a loop around Blurton and stopped at Costcutters to wait for the friend. Matthew had a can of Coke and a Milky way and then they met up with mum friends daughters who were very pleased to see we saw Wardle Transport 1321 go past. They drove the friends daughter up to Abbey Hulton. They drove to Heron Cross and then onto Victoria Road via the A50 link road. we passed Wardle Transport 4652 on the X50. They carried on to down to leek Road and then across the junction at Limekiln Bank. They dropped the friend off on the main road before going down School Lane and Abbey Lane and back onto the A52. The then headed off to Bentilee where mum dropped Matthew off for respite. we saw Wardle Transport 4546 from his window before tea. Tea was chips and Fish Fingers followed by chocolate cake with custard. After tea he had a bath and chilled out for the evening. For supper he had toast before bedtime...Mark

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Trip to Bury / Radcliffe 12-01-2013


P731 FCYLongton Hall Road, BlurtonMoss Street, BuryCharterCopeland's Tours
334Bury BSRadcliffe BS486Rossendale Easyride
37400Radcliffe BSBury BS98First Manchester
37417Bury BSHeywood, Bamford Road/Market Street (Stop C)163First Manchester
37398Heywood, Market Street/Hill Street (Stop A)Bury BS163First Manchester
60237Bury BSRamsbottom, Ramsbottom Lane/Market Place (Stop A)472First Manchester
331Ramsbottom, Ramsbottom Lane/Market Place (Stop B)Bury BS484Rossendale Easyride
30804Bury BSRamsbottom, Ramsbottom Lane/Market Place (Stop A)474First Manchester
165Ramsbottom, Ramsbottom Lane/Market Place (Stop B)Bury BS484Rossendale Easyride
P731 FCYMoss Street, BuryLongton Hall Road, BlurtonCharterCopeland's Tours

Today we were going to Bury. We had spotted this date in the new website for Copeland's Tours, but as often is the case at this time of year we weren't sure it would run. We found out on Thursday that the coach was definitely running so we told Matthew Thursday night that we were definitely going by coach today. Research consisted of checking the weather for today, which was for sunny weather and cold (3'). Matthew got up around 07:30 and had some toast and juice for breakfast. We set off around 08:30 and drove down to Longton Hall Road, which was our choice of pick up point today. The coach appeared a little after 08:45 and as it approached we could see it looked a little odd but I couldn't work out why. Closer inspect revealed this coach to be a new vehicle to the Copeland's fleet. It had the colours but non of the lettering on it, and t had a convention registration P731 FCY and not one o Copeland's usual MIB plates. Matthew didn't get a picture of the bus getting one as Uncle Dave accidentally stepped front of him as the bus approached. We got on and sat down near the front. The coach only had 2 other pick-up today. These were Sneyd Green and Newcastle. We reached Newcastle around 09:10 and we loaded up with our final passengers. Whist we loaded up we saw Scraggs Blue Buses 75 on a #31 to Newcastle. We set off up the A527 and then onto the A500 at Wolstanton. We then headed North on the M6. The roads were quiet and we reached the M62 in no time. We the went onto the clockwise M60 and onto the M66. We finally drove up the A58 into town and stopped in Moss Street near to the bus station. Matthew got a good picture of Copeland's Tours P731 FCY as we got off.

Copeland's Tours P731 FCY in Bury
First things first, it was time to get something to eat. We walked down to a cafe named Radleys which was adjacent to the bus station. Mum ordered the food whilst I accompanied Matthew to the the toilet. After we had eaten we said goodbye to mum, and Matthew, Uncle Dave and I headed into the bus station to catch a bus. The first thing we saw was Rossendale 334 on a #486 to Radcliffe. It was a required bus and it was going to a town we were familiar with. I asked Matthew if he wanted to do this bus and he said yes. He walked to the crossing to get a picture of the bus before we got on.

Rossendale 334 in Bury Interchange
We booked our system one bus tickets before we sat down near the back. The bus headed West out of town taking a different route that we are used to, although it did cross over some familiar parts from our time on other services such as the #98 and #471. After around 30 minutes travelling through the Lancashire countryside and small towns we arrived in Radcliffe. As we got off Matthew photographed the inside of this fine Dennis Dart.

Inside Rossendale 334
We got off and we immediately went to visit the toilet opposite the market. we then had a few minutes watching buses and taking pictures. One such picture was of the First Manchester hybrid 49116 on the #513 service.

First Manchester 49116 in Radcliffe bus station
A Bury bound #524 came in with 66900 and I asked Matthew if he wanted to it and he said no. After a few other buses came in we saw a double decker approaching.We saw 60275 come in on a #524 to Bolton and then 37400 came in on a #98 to Bury. I asked Matthew if he wanted to 37400 and he said yes. He got a picture and then we jumped on this bus.

First Manchester 37400 in Radcliffe bus station
We went upstairs and sat down. Before we set of, Maytree Travel MX11 EGV had arrived and working the #95 to Salford. It went past us and sat at the traffic lights in front of us. We then set off back to Bury. Some of the route back to Bury is the same as on the #486, and we even travelled along Watling street as we did as we travelled down to Radcliffe. We got back to Bury and Matthew to a picture of the empty top deck of the bus before we got off.

Inside First Manchester 37400
We got off 37400 and we saw 2 other double deckers on the #163 service. 37295 had just arrived and 37417 was about to work and was loading up. £7295 left and Matthew got a picture of 37417 as it was finishing loading. We set of to get on the bus and it started to move. I thought we had missed it but it was just pulling onto the stand properly. So we got on and went upstairs. Matthew got a picture of the empty top deck.

Inside First Manchester 37417
I thought we had been on a #163 before, but I was mistaken! I thought we were heading towards Unsworth, but we set off eastwards towards the M66. We passed 30804 entering the bus station on a #474, so we said we would go after this later. As we weren't going to where I thought we were I hastily downloaded the #163 timetable to see where we were going. We were heading to Heywood, so I decided it would be a good idea to get off there. We headed through a couple of housing estates, and when were getting close to Heywood I started to look for the right place to get off the bus. We passed a Morrisons on the left as we went into town. We approached a stop that had a load of buses on the flag so I decided to get of there. We got off and Matthew got a good picture of the bus at the stop.

First Manchester 37417 in Heywood
We crossed the road to another stop, but that had only one bus to Norden an hour! So we knew that was the wrong stop! We were about to head further into town when we spotted a #163 turn a few yard in front of us. We thought if we follow the bus down to the next stop we would be OK. Th stop a a few hundred yards on the right so we walked down to the stop to wait for the bus. The next bus at 12:37 was a 163 (471's also stop here) so we didn't ave to wait long. Around 5 minutes later we saw required First Manchester 37398 approaching and Matthew got a picture.

First Manchester 37398 in Heywood
We sat upstairs and we arrange with mum to meet up for an afternoon cake. When we got to the end of Argyle street we stopped for a moment to wait or time near the co-op and Matthew took a picture. We carried on down the hill to the M66 and then up into Bury. As we went along we saw 37299 going in the opposite direction. When we got into town Matthew got a picture of the empty 37398 before we got off.

Inside First Manchester 37398
We got off and then met up with mum. The cafe we had hoped to use was full, as were a couple of other we passed. We eventually found one but we had to sit outside in the cold. Matthew chose 2 cakes he wanted. first course was a lemon meringue, which was followed by a chocolate fudge cake. We then headed back to the bus station. The plan was to catch the next #472 or #474 to Ramsbottom. We would either pass 30804 and we would know what it was on, or we would be in front of it and so we wouldn't have to wait to long for the bus to arrive in Ramsbottom. The was assumption was made because i thought the #472's and #474 inter-worked, or at least they used to do when we covered them before. Required 60237 arrived and was on a #472 service, and so we got on this bus. As we left the bus station at Bury we saw 30804 arrive on a #474 so we though it was going to work the next #472 behind us. We headed North up the A56 and we only passed a couple of Citaro's coming the other way. The bus emptied out and Matthew took a picture of the rear of the empty 60237.

Inside First Manchester 60237
We carried on into town and we got off by the Market Place stops. Matthew used the facilities here, before we crossed the road to wait for 30804. We then saw 60237 return South after going up to the turning point and back.

First Manchester 60237 in Ramsbottom
We waited about 10 minutes and we saw a #472 and a #474 go South before a couple of Rossendale buses made an appearance. We saw Optare Solo 55 on a #477 service and then Dennis Dart 331 made an appearance on the #484 to Bury. Matthew took a picture of this bus.

Rossendale 331 in Ramsbottom
Matthew then decided he wanted to do this bus, and so we got on and sat down near the back. The bus went back down the A56, the same as a #474 would and we didn't pass 30804. I then realised that these bus must no longer inter-work and therefore it would be on the #474 behind us. When we got back to Bury Matthew got a picture o the inside of this bus.

Inside Rossendale 331 in Ramsbottom
Matthew went to the toilet and he seemed to be taking a while. it turned out there was a sticker on the cistern and he was removing it. when he came out of the toilet 30804 was on stand and was about to start loading. We walked passed the bus and we got a picture through the glass of the rear of the bus.

First Manchester 30804 in Bury Interchange
We got on a we sat upstairs near the front of the bus. There were a few people on this service, and he had to wait until we nearly reached Ramsbottom to get an inside bus picture of 30804.

Inside First Manchester 30804
We carried on to the Market Place and we got off 30804. the plan was now to do the first bus back to bury so that we would be back well before the 16:30 departure of the coach. We knew there was a #484 due at 15:37 from the last bus we had caught. Just before this time we saw a Rossendale bus approach with ALX bodywork. It got closer and we saw it was Rossendale 165.

Rossendale 165 in Ramsbottom
A quick check on the Blog revealed the bus was required. The bus was empty so he got his inside picture as we got on the bus.

Inside Rossendale 165
The bus waited a minutes or so until 15:37 and then we set off towards Bury. We crossed the railway after the gates had opened and we headed back down the A56. We got back in the bus station around 16:00 and we walked to the top end to meet mum. We took a few pictures and one picture was of Rossendale 61 on #477 service.

Rossendale 61 in Bury Interchange
We walked down towards the coach area and we needed to get lottery tickets so we went into the Mill Gate shopping centre. I got the tickets and Matthew bought a can of coke and a Milky Way. We walked around the shopping centre and we got to the coach on Moss Street around 16:20. We finished loading up and set off a fraction before 16:30. We headed back down the A58 and onto the M66 South. We did the m60 anti-clockwise to the M62 and then headed West. At the M6 we went South and onto the A500. Returning we went down the Southound A34 and past the Newcastle First garage where 34286 was outside, before dropping passengers of outside the Jubilee Baths. We then set off along the A53 up to High lane and then to Sneyd Green. More passengers dropped off, we went through Hanley and then onto Victoria Road. We did the A50 link road and then through Heron Cross and down to Longton Hall Lane. Just before we got off he ran to the toilet and used it. We then got off the coach and then across to the car. We drove to Longton and past the Z Carz depot. At the depot were V690 EBC and T131 SGA. We also passed Longton Transport Interchange and then down King Street, City Road to Heron Cross. We then headed home via Finstock Avenue and the co-op as Matthew was a little grumpy. We got home around 18:30 and we looked at our pictures from today. We had a late tea of sausage, carrots and potatoes and Matthew eventually cheered up and chilled on his computer before bedtime...Mark