Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Trip to Hanley 31-07-2013


1649BentileeHanleyCharterWardle Transport
1649HanleyFentonCharterWardle Transport
1649FentonCentral Forest ParkCharterWardle Transport
1649Cental Forest ParkBentileeCharterWardle Transport

Today Matthew was in respite. He was going out with someone from Crossroads. Matthew got up and had toast for breakfast before being picked up around 10:00. The us that took matthew to Hanley was Wardle Transport 1649 we got on bus sat down near the back. The bus went along Dividy road and through Bucknall and up limekiln bank into Hanley. drove to Hanley and parked, Whilst there Matthew visited the museum. He went to the toilet first. Then he spent some time in the natural history section. First he photgraphed a Lion

Then he took a picture of a horse.

There were also birds too, Here is a Buzzard.

There were also local mammals such as a Badger.

The was a Fox.

There were also boxing Hares.

Then they went to see the Spitfire. here was the plane itself.

There was also an engine out of one.

Spitfire engine...
Afterwards they got back in the bus and headed up to Fenton. There they visited MacDonalds for a burger. Whilst there he went to the toilet. After we had eaten they set off through Hanley to Central Forest Park.

Central Forest Park
They had around an hour here before retuning to the bus and going back to Bentilee. Matthew spent some time in the office. he also had chips and sausage for tea with ice cream for afters. He then had a bath and supper of toast and then chilled out watching telly and using his computer before bedtime around 00:00...Mark

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Trip to Ashton / Stalybridge 27-07-2013


40406Ashton BSHazelhurst, nr house 14 Hazelhurst Road/Matlock Avenue38First Manchester
40406Hazelhurst, nr house 14 Hazelhurst Road/Matlock AvenueAshton BS38First Manchester
19087Ashton BSStalybridge, o/s Town Hall Waterloo Road/Market Street237Stagecoach Manchester
37454Stalybridge BSCarrbrook, opp Reservoir South View/Castle Lane348First Manchester
37388Carrbrook, opp Reservoir South View/Castle LaneAshton BS348First Manchester
40374Ashton BSHyde BS389First Manchester
19100Hyde BSAshton BS330Stagecoach Manchester

Today we decided to return to Ashton-under-Lyne. Research for today consisted of checking the Dennis Dart Forum to see which Darts wee still rnnning for First Manchester and to check the weather. The Darts in service at Ashton were 40382/384/403/406 with 40374 out of service at Oldham and 40380 on loan to Oldham. Matthew only needed 3 of the 6 First Darts in this area 40384 & 40406 were still around and 40374 didn't look likely to work. we also learned of two new ALX400 bodied Volvo's at Bury which were 30879 and 30880. The weather was for cloudy with sunny intervals, with rain later. Matthew got up around 10:30 today, and had some toast and juice for breakfast. We set off around 11:45 and went onto the A5035. We went past the Hem Heath pub and onto Stanley Matthews Way. We got onto the westbound A50 and then onto the northbound A500. Today we decided to stop on the end of the A500 to eat food from the van there. We hadn't found anywhere that did food that Matthew liked in Ashton the time before, so we decided to stop early. He had a bacon and egg sandwich with tomato sauce washed down wit a can of Coke. We got onto the Northbound M6 and there was a little traffic. It was the college holidays and the RHS show was on at Tatton Park. We the got on the Eastbound A556 which we did up to the M56. We then got on to the anti-clockwise M60 which we did up to the A6140. We came into town a different way and we accidentally missed the turn and had to turn in the road near the railway station. We the went back past the bus station before we parked near the leisure centre. As we came into town we saw required First Manchester Dart 40384 on a #331 service. We parked up and the we started to head towards the bus station. we then saw Stagecoach Manchester 22098 enter the bus station on a #317 Stockport to Ashton service.

Stagecoach Manchester 22098 in Ashton
We said goodbye to mum and we walked around the bus station to go to the toilet. As we went we spotted this Magic bus liveried ALX400, Stagecoach Manchester 17628.

Stagecoach Manchester 17628 in Ashton bus station
When we got to the betting shop we saw that it had closed down! We decided to try the bus station toilet which had never been working on our previous visits. On this occasion the door actually opened and Matthew went to use the toilet. He used the toilet but he couldn't flush because it didn't appear to have any water! We walked around the top of the bus station and we saw a First Dart on the stop for the Hazelhurst circulars. We got closer and saw that it was required first Manchester 40406.

First Manchester 40406 in Ashton bus station
We got on the bus and booked our System One bus only tickets. We sat down near the back and relaxed as we headed out of town. We passed First Manchester 40403 on the #39 circular so we knew that was one service we didn't have to cover. The jurney time each way only takes around 10-12 minutes. When we got to Hazelhurst I flashed the tickets to the driver and we came back into town. We passed 40403 again as it headed back out to Hazelhurst. When we got back we could see another Dart in the distance on the stop used by services #346 and #389 to Hyde. We waited for the bus to empty Matthew got picture inside First Manchester too.

Inside First Manchester 40406
As we got off the bus we saw the Dart pull off stand in the distance. It came past us and we saw it was required First Manchester 40384 on a #389 to Hyde. We decided to walk over to the travel shop to pick up a few timetables so we could try and head off 40384 on it's return journey. After picking up a few timetables we stood at the end of the bus station for a few minutes whilst we worked out what to do. We took a few of buses too. One such picture was of First Manchester hybrid 59011.

First Manchester 59011 in Ashton bus station
We also saw Stagecoach Manchester on a #7 Ashton to Stockport service.

Stagecoach Manchester 22218 in Ashton bus station
We worked out we could head off 40384 at Stalybridge, so we looked for a service to there. We looked at the stop and saw there was a Stagecoach Manchester double decker on a #237 to Glossop about to depart. I asked Matthew if he wanted to do this service and he said yes. So he took a picture before we went down to the bus.

Stagecoach Manchester 19087 in Ashton bus station
We went upstairs and he took a picture of the of the rear of the top deck which was empty.

Inside Stagecoach Manchester 19087
We sat down and we saw a National Holiday coach arrive in one of the adjacent stands. It was national Holidays NH04 HCH.

National Holidays NH04 HCH in Ashton bus station
The bus set off and this was quite a direct journey. it didn't take very long to get into Stalybridge. We passed the railway station and the bus station and we got off. We sat on a step whilst we worked out how much time we had. whilst we sat there we spotted First Manchester 37383 on a Aston bound #348 service.

First Manchester 37383 in Stalybridge
We saw also saw the previous #389 service heading to Aston so we knew we had 30 minutes to use. We decided to go the toilet and go and get drinks and lottery tickets. We used the toilet in Stalybridge railway station and we went to a newsagent between the railway station and the bus station. As well as lottery tickets we brought 3 cans of pop and a large Galaxy Caramel and twin pack of Milky Way. We sat down in the bus station and Matthew ate the twin Milky Way and had a bottle of cola that we had in the bag. bang on time First Manchester 40384 appeared on the #389 to Ashton. At the same time First Manchester 37454 came in on the #348 to Carrbrook on the opposite stand. Matthew decided he wanted to do 37454 instead so we got on the bus and sat down upstairs. We looked at the route on the map and we saw that it was only a short journey out of Stalybridge and it was also a frequent service, so we decided to do it to the end and wait for the next one. We went up toward Mossley and turned into the Carrbrook estate. When we got to the end Matthew waited for the top deck to empty before taking a picture inside of First Manchester 37454.

Inside First Manchester 37454
We got off the bus and we crossed the road and took a picture of the outside of First Manchester 37454 too.

First Manchester 37454 in Carrbrook
We had a few minutes to kill so we went to see Duck Island and we shared a can of Barr lemonade that we had brought in Stakybridge early. Whilst we were there a JPT bus went passed and then we heard the First bus arrive on stop. It was required First Manchester 37388.

First Manchester 37388 in Carrbrook
The bus was empty when we got on so we went straight upstairs and he got a picture of the inside of the bus too.

Inside First Manchester 37388
We sat back and enjoyed the journey into Ashton via Stalybridge. At this point we didn't hold out hope of catching up with 40384 again today as we had to be back in Ashton 17:30 when the car parking ran out. When we got to Ashton we saw First Manchester 53144 with its rear engine cover up. We thought that if we were lucky we could do a #346 to Hyde and catch up with 40384. The next #346 was going to be First Manchester 37413 as we saw it parked up at the end. Whilst we waited for it to come on stand we saw Manchester Community Transport YJ13 HLF on a #396 to Newton Heath.

MCT YJ13 HLF in Ashton bus station
5 minutes before it was due to depart, First Manchester 37413 came on stand.

First Manchester 37413 in Ashton bus station
We walked over and waited for the bus to be ready for service. For some reason the driver shut the doors and went back around. it soon became apparent that he was clearing the stand for another bus. We could see a Dart at the top end of the bus station and it looked like 40374. We didn't think this was possible, but when it pulled up we saw that it was indeed required First Manchester 40374.

First Manchester 40374 in Ashton bus station
We decided to do this instead of 37413 and we got on and sat near the back. After First Manchester 53144 failed it must have been pressed back into service. We headed off towards Stalybridge via a housing estate and then once we had passed through there we took an indirect route in Hyde too The #389 service between Ashton and Hyde takes around 40 minutes to do a journey that only takes 20 minutes on a direct service such as the #330. We got to Hyde a little after 17:00 just missing a #330 to Ashton. When the bus emptied Matthew got a picture inside this rare beast.

Inside First Manchester 40374
We also ran around the outside of the bus station and got a picture of 40375 there too.

First Manchester 40374 in Hyde bus station
Matthew walked back inside and used the toilet. We didn't have long to wait for the next #330 service, which was required Stagecoach Manchester 19100.

Stagecoach Manchester 19100 in Hyde bus station
We got on and sat upstairs. The journey back was much faster and we got to Dukinfield in around 9 minutes. We carried on into Ashton and we got there around 17:30. The bus emptied and Matthew got a picture inside Stagecoach Manchester 19100 too.

Inside Stagecoach Manchester 19100
We got off ad took another picture.

Stagecoach Manchester 19100 in Ashton bus station
In the background was what is now Matthew's last required Dart. 40384 was now on a #346 but it was time to go home. We headed back to the car and tucked into sausage rolls and drank Coke. We set off back to the M60 along the A635. When we got there we went clockwise past Stockport and ten onto the M56. Today we did the M56 to the A50 and cut onto the M6 near Lymm. We did this because we thought there would be lots of traffic on the A556 because of the RHS show. We traveled South along the M6 as we passed the A556 and there was virtually no traffic coming on! We left the M6 at junction 16 and we went down the A500 to the A50. As we left the a50 we passed Z Carz DL03 HHU. At Z Carz today there were only 2 buses. First there was LDV minibus T408 JUX.

Z Carz T408 JUX in Longton
Then there was DAF mini coach W344 WNS.

Z Carz W344 WNS in Longton
We headed into Blurton via Longton hall Road and we saw First Potteries 41500 on a #23 service. We got home around 19:00 and after looking at our pictures from today, Matthew had a late tea of bangers and mash with carrots followed by cheesecake. Matthew chilled out on his computer and went to bed around 00:30..Mark

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Trip to Uttoxeter 24-07-2013


SN04 GBZUttoxeter BSCatchems Corner184Phil Smiths Travel
61246Blythe Bridge, adj Greenacres AvenueMeir Broadway6First Potteries
4895Meir BroasdwayUttoxeter BSX50Wardle Transport
2221Uttoxeter BSThe Wharf, nr The Fire Station4Arriva Midlands
4212Uttoxeter BSSudbury, adj Portway Head1Arriva Midlands
4776Sudbury, opp Portway HeadFenton, adj Travers CourtX50Wardle Transport

Today I had a day off work so that we could go to Uttoxeter and cover the #184 service. Matthew got up a little after 10:00 and had toast and orange juice. Matthew got dressed and we set off around 12:30. As we left we saw one of our neighbours and we discussed the new X5 service starting next week. We headed towards Longton on the A5035 and then we dropped down onto the Eastbound A50. We headed out towards Blythe Bridge and then onto towards Uttoxeter. We got off the A50 and and onto the A522 into town. When we reached the town centre we turned left past the bus station and then parked in the car park behind the Co-op. We walked through to the bus station and we immediately saw Ashbourne Community Transport HF55 FPN was parked up between duties.

Ashourne Community Transport HF55 FPN in Uttoxeter bus station
Also making a slightly unusual appearance on the #32 as opposed to the normal Scania Omnicity was First Potteries 60061.

First Potteries 60061 in Uttoxeter bus station
We waited by the stop where the usual crowd waited for the #184 and a few minutes later SN04 GBZ which is new to the Phil Smiths fleet made an appearance.

Phil Smiths Travel SN04 GBZ in Uttoxeter bus station
The driver put the correct number in the front window and we got on and sat near the back. The journey was pleasant as always, passing the JCB factory and traveling through Denstone, Stub Wood and Hollington before heading into Cheadle. We then went to Blythe Bridge via Forsbrook and then up to Cresswell before returning to Catchems Corner where we got off the bus. Before we got off Matthew got a picture of the inside of this well fitted Mercedes.

Inside Phil Smiths Travel SN04 GBZ
He also got a close-up of the front when we got off.

Phil Smiths Travel SN04 GBZ at Catchems Corner
We then we walked across to Uttoxeter Road to wait for a 6A back to Meir. We saw First Potteries 61246 go up towards Blythe Bridge on time. We decided to have a little roadside picnic and Matthew ate 1/2 a sausage roll and drank a can of Irn Bru. The bus turned up pretty much on time and Matthew got a picture as we flagged down the bus.

First Potteries 61246 in Blythe Bridge
We sat down near the back and the bus headed along the A50 into Meir. This was a bus that we had last done in April 2012 from Victoria Place to Stoke. The journey was swift and we were there just a few minutes later. When we got off Matthew got a quick picture of 61246 before we headed off across the road to catch the X50.

First Potteries 61246 in Meir
We crossed the road and we only just made catching the bus. First 60073 was on the stop in front of us. The bus was dud Wardle Transport 4895. We got on and sat upstairs near the front. Matthew took a picture of the inside of this bus.

Inside Wardle Transport 4895
This was another of the bus we had been on back in April 2012 albeit on a different day. We sat back and relaxed for the journey to Uttoxeter. From next week the short journeys on the X50 will be diverted to Cheadle and renumbered X51. Out by Meir Heath we passed dud 4891 on a Hanley bound X50 service from Derby. We carried on through Blythe Bridge and Tean, through Fole and into Uttoxeter. As we entered town we saw Arriva 2221 on the town service. When we got to Uttoxeter Matthew got a picture of this fine bus.

Wardle Transport 4895 in Uttoxeter bus station
We met up with mum and Matthew had another 1/2 of sausage roll and a small bottle of cola. Between bites, we saw First Potteries 65033 on the #32A to Hanley.

First Potteries 65033 in Uttoxeter bus station
We formulated a plan on how to finish the day. We could catch the town service at 15:25 for a couple of stops out of town and then walk back for the 15:40 to Burton. We could get off near Sudbury for the X50 back to Fenton. A few minutes later Arriva Midlands 2221 returned on the town service. Behind that was Trent Barton 738 on the swift service. Matthew got a picture of 2221 before we got on it.

Arriva Midlands 2221 in Uttoxeter bus station
We got on and sat down near the back. We did the bus 2 stops up the A522 and then got off outside the Fox's biscuits factory. He got anther picture of Arriva Midlands 2221.

Arriva Midlands 2221 outside Fox's biscuits
All was still going to plan We started to walk back to the us station and we saw the Trent Barton 738 on the Swift service that we had seen in the bus station a few minutes earlier.

Trent Barton 738 on Uttoxeter High Street
We got back to the bus station and Arriva Midlands 4212 was n stand ready to work the 15:40 to Burton. Also arriving was Arriva Midlands 2227 which then went on layover. Matthew got a picture of Arriva Midlands 4212.

Arriva Midlands 4212 in Uttoxeter bus station
We talked to mum for a few minutes whilst we waited for 4212 to be ready for service. We also saw Arriva Midlands 2227 as it came off layover presumably to work the town service.

Arriva Midlands 2227 in Uttoxeter bus station
The driver was now ready for passengers and we got on the bus and went upstairs. Matthew went passed the last passenger to take a picture inside Arriva Midlands 4212.

Inside Arriva Midlands 4212
The plan was still working. We set off at 15:40 and we headed out of town. We headed into Doveridge and after we had navigated the tight turn in the village we headed out along Derby Road towards our destination. we didn't pass the X50 so it was all looking good. The bus was bang on time as we got off so Matthew got a picture of the bus before we crossed over to wait for the X50.

Arriva Midlands 4212 in Sudbury
We hope that this bus was going to be Arriva Midlands 4802, which is currently on loan to Wardle. 4802 was working this exact same service on Saturday. A few minutes later it rounded the corner and it was dud Wardle Transport 4776.

Wardle Transport 4776 in Sudbury
We got on and sat upstairs near the back. As it was quite warm this turned out to be a good move. In Uttoxeter We saw Arriva Midlands 2221 on layover and Wardle transport 4891 was heading out towards Derby on the X50. We carried on through Tean and Blythe Bridge and we passed Wardle Transport 4895 on the X50 to Uttoxeter. From Meir Heath we followed First Potteries 60083 down to Meir before we dropped down onto the A50 for a quick run down to Fenton. We came of the A50 and headed into Fenton along the link road. We then turned onto City Road and we got off outside Travers Court.

Wardle Transport 4776 in Fenton
We walked onto Smithpool Road and met up with mum who had picked up uncle Dave from work. We headed back hoe through Heron Cross and we saw Lightning Travel FD53 UNX parked up. We got home around 17:30. I went to the chip shop to get a portion of chips between us and Matthew had a sausage and gravy too. Uncle Dave looked after Matthew for an hour whilst we went out for a while and just after 20:00 we went to Uncle Dave's to take him home. We headed through Blurton and into Fenton via Heron Cross. After listening to music and eating custard creams and drinking Fanta we headed home around 22:00. We headed into Stoke and we got onto the A500 down to the A519. We then went along Whitmore Road, onto the A34 and we headed home along the A5035. Matthew then chilled out on his computer until bedtime around 00:00...Mark