Sunday, 31 March 2013

Trip to the MTT Easter running day 31-03-2013


1788Seacombe FerryKing's Parade, New Brighton14MPTE
1365King's Parade, New BrightonSeacombe Ferry1AMPTE
1Seacombe FerryGrove Road station (opp)2AWallasey Corporation
1Grove Road station (opp)Seacombe Ferry2AWallasey Corporation
1236Seacombe FerryNew Brighton, adj Warren Drive16MPTE
1032Wallasey, opp Lyndhurst RoadSeacombe Ferry2MPTE

Today we decided to do a spontaneous trip up the Seacombe to attend the Merseyside Transport trust's Easter running day in Seacombe. We had seen information on the Internet about this event, stating it was taking place between 10:00 and 15:00. It looked like it was going to be nice day if a little cool, so we woke up Matthew around 09:30 to ask him if he wanted to go out and he said yes. He got up and had a crumpet (which he didn't particularly like) followed by toast and some orange juice. We set off around 10:30 and as we loaded the car for the trip we saw Wardle Transport 2534 whizz by on the #22 to Newcastle. We set off towards heron Cross passing FD53 UNX at the LIghting house, and then we stopped to pick uncle Dave up. We carried on and joined onto the Nothbound A500 and then up to the M6. The motorway seemed busy but it was fast moving due to there being very few lorries on the road. It took 20 minutes to get up to the M56 and another 18 minutes to reach the M53. We did the M53 up to junction 3 and then we headed into town. As we passed through Prenton we spotted a cafe open and so we decided stop here for dinner. Te cafe was called Changez. Te food was very nice but it was a little more expensive than the establishment we usually stop at (£3.50 for a sausage sandwich). As we ate we checked out the #423 service to see how long it would take. it was around 12:00 and there was a bus due then. Journey time from Prenton was just under an hour. After we had eaten we decided te best course of action was for me to drive up to Seacombe and then mum would drive back to Birkenhead to go shopping and then come back for us later. We carried on along the A552 and then cut across the the A553 via Woodchurch Road Oxton road and Exmouth Street. We then went along Conway Street before turn right past Birkenhead Park station and Happy Als bus garage the same route as the #411 bus. We then turned right by the railway wagons and on to the Seacombe ferry terminal. As we turned the corner we saw Birkenhead single decker 93. Mum dropped us off and then said goodbye. We went over to the buses parked up and then got a few pictures. Single decker Merseyside PTE 1054 and seemed to be the 'control bus'. There were 2 other double deckers that were in service. Wallasey Corporation 1788 was the first vehicle.

Wallasey Corporation 1788 in Seacombe
This was followed by Merseyside PTE 1365 in a nice blue and cream livery.

Merseyside PTE 1365 in Seacombe
At this point the only information we had we courtesy of a temporary bus stop with departure times. There was a 12:45 departure for New Brighton. As we required all of the buses present we decided to do the first service to depart! At a little after 12:45 Wallasey Corporation 1788 move onto stand and we got on it. I asked about a programme and the driver said we could get one from the trade stand inside the ferry terminal. That could wait until we got back, as there were only just over 2 hours before the end of the event or so I thought at the time. We went upstairs an sat down near the front of the bus. The seat we a dark red vinyl. I had forgotten as to how slippy these seat were until we sat down on them. We set of toward Liscard and then along the route of the New Brighton service bus we have done previously. We stopped outside a cemetery for a photo opportunity where te driver got out and then we continued on to King's Parade in New Brighton. We were considering whether to get off and take a picture until we saw another bus in front of us. We got a picture and then decided that we were transferring onto the other bus.

Wallasey Corporation 1788 in New Brighton
We got a picture of that too and then we got on it.

Merseyside PTE 1365 in New Brigton
We sat down upstairs opposite Morissons. We considered going back there later for a cake bu then we realised it was shut for Easter Sunday! Whilst there we saw one of the new hybrid buses on a Liverpool service. Mum called to say Birkenhead was shut ans she had returned to Seacombe ferry. We then set of back to New Brighton along past the funfair then back west past the railway station. We wound our way through back street before stopping on Steele Avenue for a booked connection onto the #27 circular service (something we would have known about if we had got the programme). We got back into Seacombe a little after 13:30 and Matthew went to the toilet. We met up with mum and we brought the programme along with a few other books from the 2 stalls. We worked out the next required bus was Wallasey corporation 1 on the 1405 to Grove Road. Whilst we waited Matthew got a picture of A2B Travel MX12 JXA on a #125 Wallsaey circular.

A2B Travel MX12 JXA in Seacombe
We also saw Wirral Peninsula 1070, bus we have seen before in the Potteries.

Wirral Pennsula 1070 in Seacombe
Then we saw Eazibus Dart X602 AHE arrive in the terminial.

Eazibus X602 AHE in Seacombe
Around 14:05 Wallsaey Corporation #1 pulled up on stand and we got on it and sat upstairs near the front. The bus went through Liscard and then on a windy tour of Wallasey, going past a strange walled cutting around Hilary Brow and then before circling Grove Road station and pulling up outside. We stopped for a photo stop and we also worked out there was a connection onto the #27 which was Merseyside PTE 2160. We got off and got a picture of Wallasey Corporation 1.

Wallasey Corporation 1 opposite Grove Road station
We asked the driver of #1 about the #27 service but it was a fair walk away from where we were so we decided to stay on the bus and go back to Seacombe. When we got got back to Seacombe Matthew waited for the bus to empty before get a photograph inside.

Inside Wallasey Corporation 1
We then had a choice of buses. We could do Birkenhead 93 to Conway Park or we could do one double decker for another to Grove Road. We got a better picture of Mersayside PTE 1054 which had moved forward from it's earlier position.

Merseyside PTE 1054 in Seacombe
We called mum who had walked half way to New Brighton and told her we were going to be back around 16:15. The move was going to be Merseyside PTE 1236 to Grove Road on a #16 for Merseyside PTE 1032 on a #2 back from Grove Road. 1032 was going first and so we let that bus go. We then got a picture of 1236 before boarding the bus to Grove Road.

Merseyside PTE 1236 in Seacombe
The bus was nearly empty an so he got a picture of upstairs too.

Inside Merseyside PTE 1236
We set off and the journey to Grove Road was swift. I spoke to another enthusiast about our plans and he let me know when we had reached the destination. I need not have worried as our bus did a 180' around a roundabout and then stopped. we got off and got another picture of 1236.

Merseyside PTE 1236 on Grove Road
We walked down the road to get on 1032 and Merseyside 2160 made a slightly unexpected appearance (I had forgotten about this other service.)

Merseyside PTE 2160 on Grove Road
A couple of minutes later 1032 made an appearance and we got a picture before getting on it.

Merseyside PTE 1032 on Grove Road
We got on and sat upstairs near the back. The journey was over all too soon and when we got back around 16:10 Matthew photographed the inside of 1032.

Inside Merseyside PTE 1032
We thought we would take a few pictures before we returned to car. We saw Arriva NW&W 3128 0n a #423 to Liverpool.

Arriva NW&W 3128 in Seacombe
We also took another picture of Merseyside PTE 1032.

Merseyside PTE 1032 in Seacombe
We got back to the car and Matthew had a flapjack and a small sausage roll. We drove back to Birkenhead along a more direct route that mum had discovered a more direct route back to Birkenhead along Tower Road. We then carried straight on to Prenton and back on the M53 at junction 3. We headed south and then onto the M56. part way along the M56 we ran out of LPG and so we decided to stop at the moto2000 services on the M56. We the toillet and then visited Greegs for sausage roll and a cake. We visited WH Smiths for the latest Buses magazine. We got back to the car and he photographed his cake.

Greggs split doughnut...Mmmm
The Total garage was a total waste of time as the LPG pump wasn't working. so we had to stop at Knutsford services on the M6. this did have LPG, so we carried on down to the A500. We went to Stoke before dropping uncle Dave at home. We then went through heron Cross and were back home by 18:15. He had a bath and For supper Matthew had chicken popcorn and oven chips followed by chocolate gateau. He then chilled out on his computer before bedtime around 00:00...Mark

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Trip to Northwich 30-03-2013


2616Northwich InterchangeNorthwich, Iron Bridge (SW-bound)1Arriva NW&W
2610Northwich, Iron Bridge (NE-bound)Northwich Interchange1Arriva NW&W
2515Northwich InterchangeWharton, nr Wharton Gardens31Arriva NW&W
4040Wharton, opp Wharton GardensNorthwich Interchange37Arriva NW&W
3346Northwich InterchangeMiddlewich, Queen's Drive (cnr)‎37Arriva NW&W
2516Middlewich, Queen's Drive (cnr)‎Northwich Interchange37Arriva NW&W

Today we decided to go to Northwich to try and ride on the last 2 Olympians that we hadn't been on before they are withdrawn from service. We checked the weather the night before and it was for cool cloudy weather around 6'. Matthew got up around 11:00 and he had some toast and orange juice for breakfast. We set off around 12:15 and we headed to heron cross passing Lightning travel FD53 UNX on our way. We got onto the A50 and then onto the Northbound A500. When we reached the motorway it was a little slow so we decided to come off at the next junction and drive through Sandbach. This also gave us chance to see some buses on the #37 service as we went. Between Sandbach and Middlewich we passed one of the Ex Runcorn Cadets. It was Arriva NW&W 2516 on a Sandbach Short #37. We stopped at the country Kitchen food van for dinner and whilst we were there I saw a unidentified double decker heading to Crewe on a #37. I did consider waiting for the next northbound bus to come passed but I worked out it was going to be 2516 anyhow. We carried on up the A533 into Northwich and parked up. There were required Centros on the #37 and #29A but Matthew didn't fancy them. We also saw Network Warrington 60 on the #45 service.

Network Warrington 60 in Northwich
Matthew went to the toilet and then we had a look what was about to work. Unusually, there was also a Centro on the #1. It was unrequired Arriva NW&W 2616, but Matthew decided he wanted to do this anyway so he got a picture of 2616 before we boarded to bus.

Arriva NW&W 2616 in Northwich
We booked our Arriva Daysavers and sat down near the back. This is a bus we first had back in January when we had it around Leftwich on the #29A. We did the bus to the iron bridge as we do when we catch the #1 and we got off and got another picture.

Arriva NW&W 2616 by the iron bridge
We crossed the road to wait for the next inbound #1. We only had to wait a couple of minutes and required Arriva 2610 made an appearance. We got on and sat down near the back. The bus was nearly empty and the journey back was swift. When we reached Northwich Matthew got a picture of the inside of this bus.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2610
We got off and he also got a picture of the bus of the outside too.

Arriva NW&W 2610 in Northwich
We had a short wait for the next batch of services. We knew 2516 was on it's way up and was going to work an #29A soon. W then saw another ex Runcorn Cadet 2515 on the #31 service so we decided to do this. We also saw GHA YJ04 BVB on a #82 to Chester.

GHA YJ04 BVB in Northwich
After we got a picture of the GHA bus we got a picture of Arriva 2515 and then got on it.

Arriva NW&W 2515 in Northwich
We got on and as the bus was lightly loaded Matthew photographed the inside of the bus too

Inside Arriva NW&W 2515
We sat near the back and we set off at 14:15. The bus seemed really nice for a 55 reg bus. It was better than the 54 reg Cadets and better than the centros too. As we passed by Davenham we saw an as yet unidentified Northern Counties double decker. We thought that there was a 50% chance of being 3346 (forgetting there were 3 of these type) so we knew we had head back to Northwich. We carried on to Wharton Gardens where we knew both the #31 and #37 go along. We got off and then matthew got anothr picture of this fine bus.

Arriva NW&W 2515 near Wharton Gardens
We crossed the road to wait for the next bus back. There was a #31 at 14:50 and the was a #37 at 15:01. We had a little picnic at the bus stop. We shared a Galaxy caramel and Matthew had a small bottle of cherryade. As we waited we saw a Pegasus Coaches coach J941 JWP which was on its way to Everton for the football match and it stopped in the distance. After a short while it approached and Matthew got a picture of it.

Pegasus Coaches J941 JWP near Wharton Gardens
14:50 came and went. There was a driver waiting for a driver change so we knew the bus was imminent. The bus arrived at 1458 and it was dud. As we waited to get on the bus we spotted a double decker in the distance. We thougt that it was proabably going to be on the #37 so we decided to turn down 2501. It turned out to be a good move as the bus was ALX400 DAF 4040. It was a bus that we had only done once before back in May 2012 to Nantwich. Matthew got a picture of the inside of this bus as it was empty behind us when we got on.

Inside Arriva NW&W 4040
The run up to Northwich was swift, and as we pulled around the corner we could see a double decker waiting. The gamble had paid off, it was required Arriva 3346. We got off and then got a picture of 4040.

Arriva NW&W 4040 in Northwich
I asked the driver of 3346 if he was due off at 1530 and he was. This gave us 10 minutes to go to the toilet before coming back and getting a picture of 3346.

Arriva NW&W 3346 in Northwich
We got on and went upstairs. The driver said that these buses have around 2 weeks left before they were being replaced. Matthew also got his inside bus picture too.

Inside Arriva NW&W 3346
We set off South and I asked Matthew where he wanted to end the day Sandbach or Northwich. Matthew chose Northwich so we decided to go just South of Middlewich on 3346 and then catch a bus back. We passed Olympian 3334 on a Northbound #31 and then we passed 4156 between Winsford and Middlewich. At this point we knew we would be returning on required Cadet 2516. We passed around the back of Middlewhich as there are still diversions on around town due to roadworks. As soon as we got back on route and to a place with stops both sides of the road we got of to wait for 2516. We only ad to wait about 2 minutes and 2516 made an appearance.

Arriva NW&W 2516 South of Middlewich
The bus was empty when we got on and so Matthew got a picture inside too.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2516
We set off north and in Winsford we saw 2608 on a #31, which means it must have swapped with 3334. Sure enough we passed 3334 just outside Winsford. We also passed 4040 coming south around the Brighton Belle pub. We got to Northwich a little after 17:10 and matthew got another picture of 2516.

Arriva NW&W 2516 in Northwich
We then walked back to car and we drove to the nearby Co-operative food store. We went around the shop and Matthew brought some Coca Cola and some Milky Ways and a chocolate Gateau. After paying for the shopping Matthew visited the toilet before we got back in the car. We drove home listening to the Everton Stoke game and Matthew ate a sausage roll. Everton took the lead after Mirales went passed a couple of stoke player and then beat Begovic! We traveled along the A556 and then onto the Southbound M6. We did this down to the A500 and to Longton on the A50. At Z carz tonight there were quite a few vehicles. At the back was LDV minibus YN03 HJC. First on the front row was coach V690 EBC.

Z Carz V690 EBC in Longton
Then was Iveco HX51 HRU.

Z Carz HX51 HRU in Longton
Next was minibus CE02 LYX.

Z Carz CE02 LYX in Longton
We turned into Willow Row where there was a VW transporter DX55 WGE.

Z Carz DX55 WGE in Longton
We ten headed home down Longton Hall Road. We passed First Potteries 40015 on a #22 and in Blurton we saw First Potteries 53830 on a #23A.

First Potteries 53830 in Blurton
We got home around 19:00 and Matthew had a late a of battered burger and chips. He then chilled out on his computer before bedtime around 12:00...Mark

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Trip to Bucknall 28-03-2013


1321BlurtonBucknall Newhouse RoadCharterWardle Transport
1647Bucknall Newhouse RoadBlurtonCharterWardle Transport

Today was Matthew's last day of college before the Easter Break. He got up just after 07:30 and the bus appeared a little after 08:00. It was Wardle Transport 1321.

Wardle Transport 1321 in Bentilee
The bus went to Heron Cross and then Down Victoria Road and onto the A52. In Bucknall they turned in Newhouse Road and to college. Matthew had a party today and took some doughnuts into college. For dinner Matthew had bangers and mash and a cake for afters. In the afternoon he had a drink of coke. At hometime around 15:00 the bus turned up to take him hoe and it was Wardle Transport 1647. The bus went onto the A52 and passing Copeland's tours coach MIB 246. They then went onto Victoria Road and through Heron Cross were he saw Wardle Transport 1649. They then carried on towards home. At home he had chicken popcorn and fries for tea and then used his computer before bedtime...Mark.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Trip to Ellesmere Port / Chester 23-03-2013


3131Ellesmere Port BSChester BS2Arriva NW&W
2629Chester BSChester, opp Sealand Road P&R10Arriva NW&W
2635Chester, opp Sealand Road P&RChester BS10Arriva NW&W
4486Chester BSQueensferry, Deeside Leisure Centre (NW-bound)X11Arriva NW&W
2629Queensferry, Deeside Leisure Centre (SE-bound)Chester BS10Arriva NW&W

Today we were going to Ellesmere Port and Chester. The day before it started to snow and snow and snow. It eased off during the day. Matthew didn't go to college as it had been closed for the day. We checked the weather for Saturday and it was going to continue to snow albeit lightly. The night before mum ad been out wit her friend from Barlaston and I dropped her off there. Blurton Road in Wedgwood was quite bad as snow had drifted off the nearby fields and snow was 2 feet deep in places. In the early hours of the morning I dropped off her friend again and the drifts were 3-4 feet deep now and we only just got there. Needless to say we came back the other way over the railway line! Mums friend was coming with us again today so after breakfast we set off just after 11:00 towards Barlaston the roads had cleared a little since the night before so we decided to go along Blurton Road again. Half way along we came across the Wardle Transport support vehicle and we could see a Wardle bus stopped in the distance. Another driver in front of me had turned in the road and come back passed me. I decided to get out and have a look. ardle Transport 2224 was stuck and it was being dug out. I got a picture whilst stood in a 2 foot snowdrift but it wasn't a very good one.

Wardle Transport 2224 on Blurton Road
Even tough the bus was nearly free at this point we decided to turn in the road and go around as it was cutting into Matthew's bus traveling time. We turned and went back onto the A5035 and then along Barlaston Old Road. and then across the level crossing at Wedgwood. We picked up mums friend and then headed back North. Barlaston Old Road, A5035, Stanley Matthews Way and onto the A50. It was now around 12:00. We stopped at Longport off the A500 to top up with LPG and then carried on North. The motorway was quiet. In Cheshire there didn't appear to be any snow! We passed Knutsford services and we saw City Buses and Coaches TJI 3131 from Fenton parked up there but I don't know where it was going to. When we reached the M56 we headed west and the snow appeared on the ground again. We headed North when we reached the M53 and came into Ellesmere Port along the A5032. We parked up at the markets and we had dinner there around 13:30. After a visit to the toilet Matthew ate a breakfast and drank Coke and had a chocolate cake for afters. We then walked to the bus station to wait for a bus to Chester. First bus that we saw was GHA ALX bodied bus SB46 on a #36 to Runcorn.

GHA SB46 in Ellesmere Port bus station
It was around 14:00 and there was a #2 service due at 14:08. band on time, required Arriva NW&W 3131 appeared.

Arriva NW&W 3131 in Ellesmere Port bus station
After getting a picture we trotted down to the stop and booked some Deeside Daysaver tickets. We sat down near the back on the bus which was relatively empty for a Saturday. The bus didn't pick many people up and we made good time down to Chester. I heard a rattling coming from behind me and i thought this vehicle was too new to have such a noise. Further investigation revealed an an empty can of carling had been wedged between the seat and the window cause the the rattle! We passed Stagecoach trainer 52172 which was on a MBC tour and then we passed the depot with stagecoach Dart 34604 at the front. We got to Chester bus station and Matthew waited for the bus to empty before taking a picture of the inside of 3131.

Inside Arriva NW&W 3131
We walked into the bus station to see that half of the bus station was closed for refurbishment. Most of the local Stagecoach service were operating from Gorse Stacks with only the Blacon Pointers and Saughall uses and the longer services such as the 1,2,10,11 and 22 operating from the bus station. It was very cold and so we decided to get on a bus as quick as possible. The first #10 to come in was dud Arriva NW&W 2629.

Arriva NW&W 2629 in Chester bus station
We decided to do this anyway as it was far to cold to hang around. We first did this bus back in December 2012. We got on and sat near the back. Once again the bus was a lot quieter than you would usually expect on a Saturday. We decided to do this bus to the Welsh border arnd get another #10 back. we got off in snowy Sealand and Matthew got another picture of 2629.

Arriva NW&W 2629 in Sealand
We hadn't passed another #10 which is quite unusual. We crossed over to see that there was one due any minute at 15:00. Oncee again bang on time required Arriva 2635 made an appearance.

Arriva NW&W 2635 in Sealand
We got on the bus and sat down near the back. The bus was nearly empty but that is quite common on a inbound bus at this time of day on a Saturday. Once again the journey was quick and we were back in Chester in just over 10 minutes. We walked over to our usual perch and waited for a bus we could catch. Matthew didn't fancy going back out on 2635 and there wasn't a #11 until 15:30. Whilst we waited we took a few picture. One such picture was of Stagecoach Merseyside 21249 which was First Manchester 66701.

Stagecoach Merseyside 21249 in Chester bus station
A few minutes later required Arriva NW&W Dart 2348 made an appearance on the #10.

Arriva NW&W 2348 in Chester bus station
We got up go and catch this and then required Arriva 4486 came into the bus station on a #11 to Holywell.

Arriva NW&W 4486 in Chester bus station
I thought it was best to do the Dart but Matthew wanted to do the 4486. After waiting a short while for the driver to re-appear We got on and went upstairs. There were a few people on this bus compared to some of the loadings we had seen today. The journey was quite pleasant and on the edge of Chester there was a diversion off the A5104. we turned back onto the Chester Road from Sandy Lane by the steel footbridge. As we carried on the snow was deeper on the ground. Hawarden looked like a scene from a Christamas card with snow covered trees and houses. We then headed into Queensferry passing dud 4484 at the stop opposite Asda. We got off at the next stop. Matthew wanted to stay on that side on the road and it soon became apparent why. We crossed over and sat in the stop opposite. We then saw Arriva 2348 on the opposite heading out to Connah's Quay. Matthew must have seen it in the distance as we passed the end of Chester Road East. There was a Chester bound bus due anyway and when it came we saw it was Arriva NW&W 2629 again!

Arriva NW&W 2629 in Queensferry
Not the bested planned move we ave ever done, but when it is this cold you just want to keep on traveling. In Garden City we passed required bus 2641. Back in Chester, Matthew photographed the inside of 2629.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2629
We got back to around 16:20 and the plan was to go toilet and then perhaps catch another bus or two. Matthew however wanted to go on a bit of a wander. We walked out of the bus station onto Northgate. We visited a shop and got Lottery tickets and Matthew had a can of Coke and a Milky Way. we then walked along the bottom of the wall to the Ring Road and back to the bus station. In the bus station we saw Avon 139 on a #22 to West Kirby. We also saw required dart 2352 on a #10. Matthew visited the toilet and when he came out required Arriva NW&W Dart 2341 was on the #10 too.

Arriva NW&W 2341 in Chester bus station
We went back to the car and had sausage rolls and Matthew ad his can of coke. We headed out of town around the ring road and then up the A56. We got onto the northbound M53 and then turned onto the Eastbound M56. Along here we saw Arriva ALX200 2303. Matthew was a little grumpy probably because we missed out on going on the required Darts. At the M6 we headed South and then came off at the A500. We got on the A50 and then we came off and dropped mums friend off near the Britannia Stadium before heading to Longton to go passed Z carz. It was still Light and there was snow on the ground. First in the row was on of the taxi fleet Renault YE52 UZX.

Z carz YE52 UZX in Longton
we then saw coach V690 EBC which still had its contract destination in the window 279.

Z carz V690 EBC in Longton
Next was Iveco minibus HX51 HRU with 'Blackfriars' in the window.

Z carz HX51 HRU in Longton
Next was Mercedes minibus CE02 LYX.

Z carz CE02 LYX in Longton
Then it was LDV minibus M420 UEH.

Z carz M420 UEH in Longton
Finally was minicoach W344 WNS.

Z carz W344 WNS in Longton
We then headed down Longton Hall Road stopping at the shop on Naishe Drive. Matthew had a can of Coke and we picked up a Chocolate Gateau for later. When we got home Matthew had a late tea of bangers and mash and this was followed later by a slice of the gateau with whipped cream. He then chilled out and used his computer up until bedtime around 23:30...Mark