Saturday, 23 February 2013

Trip to Shrewsbury 23-02-2013


2223Harlescott, opp TescoShrewsbury BS25Arriva Midlands
2348Shrewsbury BSGains Park, adj Woodcrest Jct1Arriva Midlands
2722Gains Park, adj Woodcrest JctShrewsbury BS1Arriva Midlands
2727Shrewsbury BSBayston Hill, opp Beeches PH27Arriva Midlands
2708Bayston Hill, opp Beeches PHShrewsbury BS27Arriva Midlands
2383Shrewsbury BSBayston Hill, opp Beeches PH27Arriva Midlands
2383Bayston Hill, opp Beeches PHShrewsbury BS27Arriva Midlands
2345Shrewsbury BSHarlescott, opp Tesco24Arriva Midlands

Today we decided to revisit Shrewsbury. We haven't been for just over a year. The last time we went it was to ride on Arriva Midland Darts 2309 & 2310. We didn't do any research for this trip, other than check the weather. The weather was for grey skies and temperatures of 3' C. We got up around 09:00 and Matthew at some of his toast and drank his orange juice. We set off around 11:00 today and we headed North to get some LPG from Etruria, on the way we passed 40145 on the #22 service. After we had got the LPG we headed south down the A500 to it Southern end before joining on the A5182. We did this along to the A53 and then it was one straight road. Just North of market Drayton we encountered roadworks and a very strange phenomenon. The was a short stretch of road where all the tree's were draped in ice, but only 20 yards or so. Everywhere else was ice free. We carried on South. When we reached the A41 we stopped at the Shell garage and put some air in the tyres. We carried on a bit further. When we got to Shawbury we stopped again to have chips and sausage from the chippy here. Arriva Midlands 3732 came past whilst we ate. After eating the food we carried on to the Harlescott park and ride site. Since we last came there has been a new bus depot built here, and we could see a #64 branded Centro parked outside the depot. After visiting visiting the toilet we went to the back of Tesco to catch a bus down. Required Arriva Midlands 2345 made an appearance but it went to stand near the depot. At roughly the same time required 2223 appeared so we decided to catch this bus as it was going straight back. Matthew got a picture and we got on the bus.

Arriva Midlands 2223 in Harlscott
We booked Shrewsbury Daysavers and we sat down at the back. The journey in was pleasant enough and we got into town in no time. as we approached the main rod again we passed a Co-op on our right which mum pointed out to Matthew. Mum downloaded a Greggs app to her ohone so she could find sausage rolls for later. The app didn't work too well as it failed to render a map of where the shop was! At the same time she discovered the was an app for Poundland too! We got to the bus station and Matthew took a picture of the inside of 2223 too.

Inside Arriva Midlands 2223
We came out of the bus station and went across to the stabled buses. There was another bus photographer present but we did not recognise him. We walked past Arriva Midlands 2706 which had been on last February and also Bryn Melym M403 EFD which we had seen in Wrexham last January.

Bryn Melyn M403 EFD between duties in Shrewsbury
There were a group of teenagers sitting where we usually sit with Matthew so we had a bit of a wander round taking bus pictures. I was hoping something useful would turn up quickly and sure enough it did. Arriva Midlands 2348 came in on a #1 gains Park service.

Arriva Midlands 2348 Arrives in Shrewsbury bus station
The bus pulled into stand B and we raced around to get on it. I though we had been in this direction before and I was right. We had done 2308 in this direction back in October 2009! I downloaded the #1 timetable from the Arriva Midlands website to check how long it would take and the service frequency. It took around 20 minutes to get to the end and the frequency was every 15 minutes. As we waited to depart we saw a UVG bodied Dart enter the bus station. It was required Arriva Midlands 2383. We would try and go after this later. We set off over the Welsh Bridge and up toward Copthorne Barracks. We went beyond the point to which we had travelled before back on 2009 and then turned into the Hospital. Air Ambulance G-EEMA was parked on the helipad adjacent to the bus stop. We came back out of the hospital and carried on along to Gains Park Way. Weret sure if the end of this service was circular so when someone was at a stop getting on the bus we decided to get off. Matthew photographed the bus empty as we got off.

Inside Arriva Midlands 2348
We didn't know whether to wait at this stop or the stop opposite for the next bus. We decided to go for a short walk rather than wait 15 minutes in the stop. A few minutes later we saw 2348 return out of Gains Avenue. We had a little bus stop picnic and Matthew drank a can of coke. We thought that we could get a picture of the next bus on the opposite side of the road before catching it back. Arriva Midlands 2722 pulled up opposite an immediately behind it was Tanat Valley 214.

Tanat Valley 214 in Gains Park
After we had taken a picture of 214 we returned to the stop to wait for Arriva Midlands 2722 to return, which it did a few minutes later.

Arriva Midlands 2722 in Gains Park
We got on the bus which was nearly empty and sat down near the back. I looked up if we had been on this bus, and it was one that we had been on from Harlescott to Shrewsbury last February. I had thought that we we had aleady been on 2348 before, but I a had misread 2248 on his list when I hadn't used my glassed. So we had picked up 2 out 3 new buses so far. We got back into town only to see Arriva Midlands 2383 depart on the #27. We also saw the Dart 2345 which we had seen earlier. We now had a plan sort of. We would do the next #27 down towards Bayston Hill and try to intercept it. In the mean time we walked around to the edge of the bus station to take some pictures. Tanat Valley 573 made an appearance on a football shuttle.

Tanat Valley 573 in Shrewsbury
We saw the next #27 arrive and it was required Arriva Midlands 2727. We walked around to the correct stand and Matthew took a picture of Arriva Midlands 2727 which turned out much better than I thought it would.

Arriva Midlands 2727 in Shrewsbury bus station
We got on and sat near the back of the bus. This time last year we would have been on a #25 service. The #25 was split in two, with the Southern half becoming a #27. The route around the end has also changed slightly too. The circle at the end has become bigger, crossing the A5 on the A5112/49 and returning North along Pulley Lane. as we passed the end of Pulley Lane we saw Arriva Midlands 2383 heading back North. We did the bus well into the estate and we got off outside The Beeches pub as we turned a corner.

Arriva Midlands 2727 in Bayston Hill
We decided to wait 15 minutes for the next bus. We had worked out that there were either 3 or 4 buses doing this run, but the tiings didn't seem to quite work out. It was 15:00 and we didn't know if we were late or early as buses were due at this stop at 14:53 and 15:08. approximately 10 minutes passed and then we saw another DAF approaching. It was Arriva Midlands 2708.

Arriva Midlands 2708 in Bayston Hill
For some reason I thought we were on 2706, which was dud. Matthew soon corrected me at looking at the picture he was right as we had taken a picture of 2706 in Interurban livery as well as 12 months earlier. We passed 2383 again at the end of Hereford Road and we worked out there were only 3 buses in the circuit and we had been on 2 of them! We would go back to Shrewsbury and wait 15 minutes for 2383 to appear. We got back into Shrewsbury and Matthew took an inside view of Arriva Midlands 2708.

Inside Arriva Midlands 2708
We now had a short wait. We took Matthew to the toilet and walked around the outside of the bus station to wait for 2383. Arriva Midlands 2345 came and went again and we realised it was taking an hour to return and it left at around 35-40 minutes past each hour. Whilst there we saw Bryn Melyn's Icarus bodied bus W235 CDN arrive.

Bryn Melyn W235 CDN in Shrewsbury
We also saw Tanat Valley's plain white Wright Cadet MM02 ZVJ which used to be Arriva NW&W 2559 and is required

Tanat Valley 284 in Shrewsbury
A few minutes later we saw the UVG Dart 2383 arrive and so we got a picture of it as it came in.

Arriva Midlands 2383 arrives in Shrewsbury bus station
We raced around the outside of the bus station and then got on 2383. We sat down near the back and when the bus left the bus station it was nearly empty. that soon changed when we stopped at St Mary's Street as it was now around 16:00 and shoppers were returning home in droves. The bus was due back around 16:32 ish. I had worked out that we could get 2345 in as well as long as mum was ready to go as soon as we got back to Shrewsbury so I texted her to tell her what we planned to do. After a quick phone call we worked out the details. The bus was reasonably well filled and did not empty much until after we crossed the A5. when we reached Bayston Hill I went to the front to flash tickets for the return journey. We got back around 16:32 and Matthew took his empty bus photo of this UVG, only the second one he has been on the other being First 40751 back in May 2011.

Inside Arriva Midlands 2383
Mum was at the bus station and 2345 was already on stand albeit without a driver. Matthew said hello to a cooupe of girls and we waited for the bus. One girl musn't have said hello back to her loud enough, so he dragged me onto an unidentified Versa on the #70 to Oswestry to say hello to her again and this time he was happy with it! A couple of minutes later the driver for 2345 appeared and we got on the bus.

Arriva Midlands 2345 in Shrewsbury bus station
We got on and sat near the back of the bus. The journey back was pleasant, although when the bus went over to the East side of the A5112 we did get a bit worried! The bus eventually crossed over to the other side of the Road and we headed around the back of Tesco. We got to the end and Matthew photographed the bus empty.

Inside Arriva Midlands 2345
We went to the toilet before returning the the car. we saw NCB Motors coach C20 NCB arrive, dropping off a few fans or had just left the Shrewsbury match. We left Shrewsbury and headed north up the A53. By the tie we had retuned to the mystery icicles it was nearly dark. We decided to stop at the co-op at Loggerheads for lottery. and Matthew had some pop and Chocolate cake. We carried on North to the A5182 and across to Whitmore road, We joined the A34 and then turned left onto the A5035. We went passed the Hem Heat pub and Matthew wanted to go to Z carz so we carried onto to Longton. As we passed the depot we saw there were 4 buses present. We saw Mercedes minibus T131 SGA.

Z Carz T131 SGA in Longton
This was followed by V690 EBC, currently for sale on E-bay!

Z Carz V690 EBC in Longton
We then saw LDV minibus R920 WNT.

Z Carz R920 WNT in Longton
A car came up behind us and so we went on to Willow Row and turned around. Matthew then got a picture of W344 WNS.

Z Carz W344 WNS in Longton
We went down Longton Hall Road and then to Blurton. We got home around 18:20. For a late tea we had bangers and mash with carrots. Afterward he had some of his cake. Matthew chilled out on his computer and went bed around 00:00...Mark

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Trip to Leek 21-02-2013


WA62 HHZChell HeathLeekCharterABC Supreme
WA62 HHZLeekChell HeathCharterABC Supreme

Today Matthew had an activity day in his new watermills school. He got up around 08:45 where we drove him down the stairs into the living room so he could get dressed and have breakfast. Breakfast was toast. I made him a packet lunch and cut all the crusts off his bread because he wont it otherwise. We set off around 09:30 passed the Hem Heath pub. As we waited at the junction we saw Warringtons of Ilam MX56 FXG. We carried on along Stanley Matthews Way. We then went on the A50, A500 and A527 Tunstall by-pass. At Turnhurst we went onto High Lane and then headed down Spring bank Road to his destination. We said goodbye to him as we went off to do the weekly shop. we saw it was ABC Supreme Renault minibus WA62 HHZ.

ABC Supreme WA62 HHZ in Chell Heath
we got on to Leek. We sat down near the back we set off down Chell Heath Road to Smallthorne where we turned left. we Headed through Norton and Brown Edge until we eventually reached the A53 at Endon. we then carried on to Leek town centre. we got off had his packed lunch (he ate it for a change) and then we returned back down to Endon on the A53 where we turned right towards Brown Edge. we went through Norton an turned right on Chell Heath Road. Mum picked him up former school. we went to the Premier shop in Chell and brought some pop and a toffee cheesecake and a kinder egg. After getting the food we headed towards Fegg Hayes. We saw 40152 on a #99 service. we carried on up to Turnhurst and then got onto High Lane. we drove to Hanley and then drove around hanley to Stoke Road. The drove down Stoke Road onto the A500. we did this to the A50 and then we came of at Heron Cross. we stopped in Blurton to see a friend then drove home. I arrived home and we had tea of fish fingers, chips and bean. Matthew had a whole family sized toffee cheesecake for afters. He then chilled out before bedtime...Mark

Monday, 18 February 2013

Trip to Newcastle / Hanley 18-02-2013


34311Ladybank Grove, BlurtonNewcastle BS22First Potteries
32627Newcstle BSHanley BS25First Potteries

Today we hadn't planned on doing anything! We had just been out on a big day out the day before, so we thought we would spend most of the time writing the blog. Matthew was up around 09:30, so I decided to check out what was on the early #22A turn. its quite rare to get anything good work on this turn, but it has dropped a step entranced double decker of 2 previous occasions this year. To my surprise i saw First Potteries 34311 heading towards me. Matthew quickly got dressed and he had a couple of crumpets for breakfast. It was a fine day and unseasonably warm. We walked around to he stop on Beaconsfield Drive to wait for the bus to appear. First potteries 53208 appeared on a Hanley bound #23 just before we saw 34311 approaching. Matthew got a picture of this bus before we boarded it.

First Potteries 34311 in Blurton
We got on and sat down upstairs. it was completely empty on the top deck, but it was quite warm and the windows were steamed up. As we set off we saw the other #22A turn and we was First Potteries 60194. On New in Lane we passed 40383 on a #21A and then 40010 on a #22. This particular service does not go through the hospital and it goes straight along the A34. When we reached Newcastle Matthew photographed the empty top deck.

Inside First Potteries 34311
When we reached Newcastle we had to figure out what to do next. We saw required 60069 heading towards Hanley on a #34 and we were about to do this when required decker 32627 appeared on a #25 to Hanley. Matthew got a picture of it and we boarded this bus and went upstairs.

First Potteries 32627 in Newcastle bus station
The bus was nearly empty upstairs and we sat somewhere in the middle. As we were leaving I was looking at an approaching double decker on a #25 service. we then saw 34286 enter the bus station at the bottom on a #72 service.We headed into stoke and due to an unsafe building in Stoke we divert down Shelton Old Road and Copeland Street. The bus stopped in Glebe Street instead on Church Street. We carried on along the normal route and we were in Hanley in no time. Wardle Transport 4895 had passed us on college road on an inbound X50 service. As we approached the stand we saw First Potteries 30029 pull of the stand having worked in. We got to the bus station and Matthew photographed the now empty top deck of 32627.

Inside First Potteries 32627
I had to go to work, so we formulated a plan. mum was going to come pick us up so we had a few minutes to take pictures before she came. We saw a few interesting workings whilst we were there. Bakerbus step entranced Mercedes 183 was on a #9 service and Wardle Transport 4650 was on a #61 to Tunstall.

Wardle Transport 4650 in Hanley bus station
Mum arrived and we walked back to the car. she drive us around the ring road to Shelton and we headed back via Shelton New Road and picked up LPG in Etruria. In Etruria we saw Pats Coaches M534 RSO whizz by. We then got on the A53 and headed South on the A500. We then went on the A50 and Stanley Matthews Way getting home around 12:00. We had dinner of burger and chips and he had chocolate fudge cake. I went to Work. Mum took Matthew to Longton. we went along the A5035 to longton and then went past the bus station. we parked up and went to the bank, before retuning back home and past the Z Carz depot. On the Depot today was D104 XAN.

Z Carz D104 XAN in Longton
Maercedes minibus T131 SGA was there too and as we drove past, the Cannon Hiline coach V690 EBC arrived.

Z Carz V690 EBC in Longton
we then head home via Longton Hall Road and Naishe Drive. Matthew chose a Manchester Tart from the cake shop. Back home later on we had tea of chicken, roast potatoes and roast parsnips with gravy for afters. He then chilled out on his computer before bedtime...Mark

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Trip to Hanley 'Finale Running day' 17-02-2013


53829Ladybank Grove, BlurtonHanley BS23First Potteries
60100Hanley BSBurslem3First PMT
60100BurslemHanley BS3First PMT
4546Hanley BSFirst Adderley Green depot13AWardle Transport
4546First Adderley Green depotHanley BS13AWardle Transport
SUX 476XHanley BSNewcastle33Bassetts Coaches
SUX 476XNewcastleHanley BS33Bassetts Coaches
604Hanley BSStoke station5APMT
EFM 181HStoke StationHanley BS5ACrosville
537Hanley BSAdderley Green13Devon General
537Adderley GreenHanley BS13Devon General
EVD 406Hanley BSTwigg Street12Joseph Wood
EVD 406Twigg StreetHanley BS12Joseph Wood
GJW 43NHanley BSBurslem3Midland Fox
GJW 43NBurslemHanley BS3Midland Fox
3999Hanley BSBurslem3Arriva Midlands
3999BurslemHanley BS3Arriva Midlands
677Hanley BSStoke station5APMT

Today we were going to Hanley for the "Hanley Finale" running day. We got up before 09:00 and had crumpets and orange juice for breakfast. I went to fetch uncle Dave and whilst out I saw 41492 on a #23 and Scraggs Mercedes minibus DX09 LAA parked up on Grove Road. For a change I didn't see the #22. We set off just before 10:00 as we were catching the 09:54 from Ladybank Grove. It rounded the corner and we saw it was a new liveried Solo so we knew it would be required. It was First Potteries 53829. We travelled through Blurton and passed the temporary traffic light on Blurton Road which wee out of action. Traffic was being controlled by the police. As we travelled down we saw that someone had sent a picture into the Staffordshire and Merseyside Yahoo bus group of an Arriva Streetlite parked up at Hanley. In stoke we saw Wardle Transport 2539 on the #41 service. We were diverted from the normal route due to the dangerous building on Liverpool Road. We went along Hartshill road, Shelton Old Road and Copeland Street before going back onto the proper route. when we reached Hanley Matthew got a picture of the inside of 53829.

Inside First Potteries 53829
We got off and Matthew cheekily honked the horn. He then got a picture of 53829 which wasn't great due to the sun being behind the bus.

First Potteries 53829 in Hanley bus station
We walked down to the side stand where all the action was taking place. At this time of year I expected there to be perhaps a dozen buses at the most, with the majority of them being local ones. As we reached then end we saw that the majority of the parking stands were filled with buses of all ages and colours, and quite a few of the side stands contained buses too. more than 20 buses had made the journey into the potteries for this event. The first bus that caught our eye was newly preserved ex First PMT 60100, which we decided that we were going to do first. We saw it was leaving the parking area so we knew it was about to work, so we walked up to the stands. It came in and Matthew got a picture of it.

Preserved 60100 in Hanley bus station
We asked the driver where we could get a programme and he said off the control bus which was PMT single decker SL805. So we asked the driver where he was going and he said "Burslem". That would do :). We could get a programme when we got back. The bus set off out of Hanley and up Waterloo Road. We stopped in Burslem for a few minutes, We got off and took a picture but the sun wasn't favourable. We got back on and travelled back down Waterloo Road into Hanley. When we got back Matthew waited for the bus to empty and he got his empty bus shot of this fine beast with PMT Grey seating.

Inside 60100
We purchased a programme from the control bus and then we decided to stop for an early dinner. We went to Tony's cafe and matthew had a breakfast and a can of Coke. It was around 11:30 now, so we decided to go for trip on the Wardle tri-axle double decker 4546 which along with 60100 was going up to Adderley Green. It pulled onto stand and Matthew got a picture of it.

Wardle Transport 4546 in Hanley bus station
We got on and went upstairs. As it was empty behind up Matthew got a picture of the top deck of this vehicle.

Inside Wardle Transport 4546
A few minutes later we set of out of hanley and down limekiln bank. 60100 which was also on this rum as a duplicate was in front of us. At the bottom of Dividy Road 60100 pulled over to let us catch up, we passed the bus and then pulled over ourselves whilst 60100 caught up. This seemed a little odd but we didn't know why this was happening. the reason soon became apparent when we got to Adderley Green. 60100 was being driven by a First driver, and we saw him indicate to pull into the depot. Then we pulled into the depot behind 60100 and we proceeded to go clockwise around the back of the depot piloted by the First Driver! As we went around we passed a collection of Solo's on our left followed by Dennis Darts old and newer one too we also saw withdrawn 40379. On the right was a solitary Solo and a Stafford branded Scania in the bus washing plant. The at the very back was a large collection of scania's. It was easy to get pictures of them through the misted bus windows, but #26 branded Scania's 65026 and 65027 can be seen in the photograph below with 60063 in front of them.

First Potteries 65026 & 65027 at the back of AG
We then went past a couple of newer Darts inside the shed, past the back of the trainer buses 60316 and 60317. We rejoined Dividy Road and headed back into Hanley. As we travelled back we worked out what we were going to do next. We had a choice of Ex Arriva NW&W Scania 1051 or Bassetts coach SUX 476X. We decided to go for the coach as we had been on 1051 last July in Earlestown just before it was withdrawn from service. When we got back we had around 20 minutes before the coach was due off at 12:25 so we went down to the bottom of the bus station to take a few pictures. Wardle Transport 3611 had arrived and was parked up at the top of the row of buses it may have worked in on the #118 from Buxton. It didn't work out again though as a Dart took over the rest of the duty. We saw the coach pull onto stand and we walked up to catch it. Matthew got a picture before we got on the coach.

Bassetts Coaches SUX 476X in Hanley bus station
A few minutes later we set off towards Newcastle. we went around Hanley on the ring road to Etruria Road and onto the A53. At Newcastle we went around the main roundabout and then headed back. we followed the route back passing RML 467 by Broad Street on a service for Stoke Station. We decided we would do Crosville EFM 181H next when we got back. Back at Hanley Matthew got a picture inside Bassetts SUX 476X.

Inside Bassetts Coaches SUX 476X
EFM 181H pulled in and we went to get on it. The driver said he was going out of service even though he was due off in 6 minutes! At the same time PMT 604 was running as a duplicate service and that pulled in and so we got on. The bus set of and EFM 181H pulled into Hanley bus station at roughly the same time. We thought we could get off 604 by stoke station and catch the crosville single decker back to Hanley. We set off around Hanley and we went down Stoke Road before turning into Station Road. We got off and Matthew got a picture of this fine beast.

PMT 604 by Stoke station
We only had to wait a minute of so before EFM 181H made it's appearance and we got on it. The ride back was via Leek Road and Lichfield Street, and when we got back he got a picture of the inside of this bus.

Inside Crosvile EFM 181H
We got back and we saw the bus T was about to work the 13:35 to Adderley Green. There was no t in the programme so didn't know what it was going to be. Devon General 537 pulled onto stand and we decided to do this. It turned out that this bus was T. Matthew got picture of it and we went upstairs.

Devon General 537 in Hanley bus station
We set off down Limekiln bank and headed on Dividy Road. We wondered if we would do another spin around the depot, but the answers was no. We went to the roundabout on Anchor Road and turned around. We did pause briefly outside the depot before returning back along Dividy Road to the bottom of Limekiln Bank. The driver opted not to do the steep climb into Hanley and instead went along Leek Road to Joiners Square and then travelled up Lichfield Street. When we got back we managed to get back in time for the next shuttle to Twigg Street which was due out 5 minutes before we should have gotten back. As it was another interesting double decker we decided to do it. Not before Matthew coolly took a picture of the inside of Devon General 537.

Inside Devon General 537
We jumped on the Joseph Wood double decker EVD 406 and we sat down upstairs. It was a front engine half cab bus and the conductor rang the bell before we set off. The bus was quite slow compared to some of the others we had travelled on and very noisy, the gears seamed to be quite hard work. The bus went to Twiggs Street and stopped briefly. Whilst there CRU 103C made an appearance on an unscheduled journey. We set of back expecting EVD 406 not to tackle Limekiln bank but we were surpried and delighted in equal measures when it did. By the time the bus had reached the first summit over the canal the bus was moving at walking pace! The bus managed to get to over 20mph on the flat before attempting the longer climb. it slowed gradually by the tie we reached the footbridge we were down to walking pace again. and we stopped on the level for the traffic lights. We got back just in time to transfer over to single decker GJW 43N on a Burslem service.

Midland Fox GJW 43N in Hanley bus station
We sat down on this fine vehicle with its high back coach style seats. The run up to Burslem was swift. We went along Waterloo Road and this tie we paused on Market Street. We returned back to Waterloo road via Woodbank Street. When we got back there was a booked dead time at hanley for the Arriva Midland Streetlite 3999. We got back a little early and Matthew to a picture of the inside of GJW 43N before we got off.

Inside GJW 43N
The Streetlite along with Wardle Transport 4546 were going the 15:00 up to Burslem. These buses seemed way more powerful than some of the old vehicle and we made it to Burslem in less than 10 minutes. We had a quick photo stop Place before retuning to Hanley.

Arriva Midlands 3999 in Burslem
We had a booked dead time at Hanley for the last shuttle to stoke station. We made it back with 12 minutes to spare. It was enough time for Matthew to use the before the bus was due. For some reason I ha it in mind that the 15:30 was being worked by GFM 104X. It was on stand but there was no-one onboard at 15:30. I checked the book again and realised it was meant to be PMT 677. A quick look around and we saw it was still parked up in the parking area. A few minutes late, 677 pulled onto a stand. The event was winding down and this was one of the last departures. We did it to the station and called mum to arrange to be picked up. Matthew got a picture of 677 outside stoke station.

PMT 677 by Stoke station
Whilst we waited for mum, we saw First potteries 41492 headed towards Hanley on a #23A and First Potteries 32639 appeared on a Keele service.

First Potteries 32639 by Stoke station
Mum appeared and we got in the car. We drove along leek road and then up Wheildon Road dropping off uncle Dave as we went. We went up to Heron Cross. Lightning visitor WX06 VSA was being worked on in the Lightning house and then to Blurton and home. Matthew had some pizza but he didn't enjoy it because there were onion and peppers in it so we did him some chicken popcorn and fries. After a bath he chilled out on his computer before bedtime...Mark

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Trip to Packmoor / Hanley 16-02-2013


GN60 GZMPackmoorYMCA HanleyCharterMiddlehurst
GN60 GZMYMCA HanleyPackmoorCharterMiddlehurst

Today Matthew was going on an Aiming trip to the YMCA in Hanley to do activities such as archery. We got up around 08:30, and then we realised that the activity started at 09:30 so we rushed to get ready and we set off just after 09:00. We drove onto the A5035 and onto Stanley Matthew Way past the Hem Heath pub. We then got onto the Westbound A50 and then the Northbound A500. We got off the a500 and did the Tunstall by-pass up to Packmoor turning left at the top of the hill. We got there just in time and Matthew we down to the computer room as he usually does as he waited for time. When it was time to go he got a picture of his transport which was unusually Middlehurst bus GN60 GZM instead of the usual Aiming High vehicle.

Middlehurst GN60 GZM about to set off for the YMCA
The bus left and went onto the A5272 to the edge of Hanley then around the ring road. They left the rod near the fire station and then drove down to the YMCA. First activity of the day was archery, and reports came came that Matthew did really well at this.

Archery in the YMCA
They then had a stint on the climbing wall, which is something he has done before so we knew he could do this well.

Climbing wall in the YMCA
They then set off back to Middlehurst. They went up to the ring road and back along the a5272 to Chell continuing on to middlehurst. He had a quick session on the computers before we arrived to pick him up at 12:30. Whilst mum talked to staff about his activities I drove him down the car park to get a picture of Aiming High FJ10 BJY in the bottom car park.

Aiming High FJ10 BJY in Middlehurst
We turned around and he got another picture of GN60 GZM before we left.

Middlehurst GN60 GZM back at school
We had decided to go Westport Lake for the afternoon but we had left uncle Dave at home. So we decided to pick up some food and go back before setting off to Westport Lake. We drove down the Tunstall by-pass down to the A500. We then drove south to the A50 and then came off at Heron Cross. We passed Lightning Travel NX03 JYJ and visitor WX06 VSA currently being worked on. We stopped at the new sandwich shop on Blurton Road and ordered some food before returning home passing 41512 on the #23. After eating the food we set off back to Westport Lake. We went along Stanley Matthews Way to the A50 and northbound on the A500, We came off at Longport and we saw 40145 on a Newcastle service. We then went up to Trubshaw Cross and turned towards Tunstall before turning off for Westport Lake. We had brought brown bread and seeds to feed the birds, and we spent around an hour going around the lake and feeding birds.

Ducks and geese in Westport lake
When we got back round to the car there was an ice cream van so mum and Matthew had some ice cream. We then set off on a bit of an extended drive home. We headed North through Tunstall and toward Kidsgrove. We passed 61143 on a Southbound #20 and we could see a Northbound #20 in front of us. We eventually caught it up a mile or so up the road and it was 60015. We carried on up the A50 to Fourlanes End before turning right. We travelled through the village of Smallwood and a few mile on before reaching the A34. We headed South through Scholar Green and Talke. When we crossed the A500 we saw Bakers Coach 3563 RU which we followed down to Milehouse. We passed the Newcastle First depot where we saw 40017/018/60069/205. We the headed up George Street and onto shelton new road before joining the Southbound A500. We did this to the A50, and we got off the A50 at Longton to view the Z Carz depot. There were only 3 buses present today. First we saw Scania coach D104 XAN...

Z Carz D104 XAN in Longton
We the saw coach V690 EBC...

Z Carz V690 EBC in Longton
Last but not least we saw LDV minibus T408 JUX

Z Carz T408 JUX in Longton
We then headed down Longton hall Road, stopping at the shops for lottery tickets, pop and cakes! We passed 40153 on the #22 and passed 41512 on the #23 again. We got home just after 16:00. We had a late tea of bangers and mash and Matthew chilled out on his computer before bedtime...Mark