Saturday, 6 July 2013

Trip to Accrington 06-07-2013


N230 TPKAccrington BSGreat Harwood, by Towngate20APilkington Bus
G301 UYKGreat Harwood, by Holgate Street‎ Oswaldtwistle, by Town Hall‎21Pilkington Bus
N202 LPNOswaldtwistle, opp Town HallAccrington BS1M&M Coaches
X374 NNOAccrington BSGreat Harwood, by Holgate Street‎20Pilkington Bus
G301 UYKGreat Harwood, by Holgate Street‎Accrington BS21Pilkington Bus

today we went to Accrington. This had been planed since the trip to Chorley, but we couldn't go last week due to going Mansfield instead. Research consisted of looking at the Lancashire County Council website and checking the weather. The weather was forecast for fine sunny weather. Matthew got up around 10:00 and had toast and orange juice for breakfast. We set off arund 11;0 today. We went onto the A5035 and and along Stanley Matthews Way onto the A50. We got on the northbound a500 and we came off at Shelton to get some LPG. We returned back onto the A500 off the A53 and then we headed up to the M6. The route up to Accrington was M6, M62, M60, M66 and then onto the A56. A few miles up the A56 we turned onto the A680 for the last few miles into town. Mum put in instruction for a particular car park in her phone. The phone took us though town and past the M&M coaches depot and into a housing estate! So we headed back into town to a different car park just off thee Blackburn Road. We parked up and walked into town as we walked into town we saw M&M coaches N213 UHH leaving town.

M&M Coaches N213 UHH in Accrington
We walked into town and we decided to have our diner alfresco outside the market. Matthew had burger and chips which was washed down with a can of Coke. Whilst we were eating we we saw Pilkington Bus Olympian G301 UYK depart around 1340 to Blackburn. We went into the market and Matthew used the disabled toilet and then we headed round the corner to the bus station. The first thing we did was to have a look around for a travel office, and Matthew took pictures as we walked around. First thing we saw was M&M coaches N202 LPN on a #1 service.

M&M Coaches N202 LPN in Accrington bus station
We crossed over and carried on along the stands. We then saw Rossendale 169 on a #484.

Rossendale 169 in Accrington bus station
We crossed over the road again and we asked a local about a travel office. Apparently the office is closed on a Saturday so we had a quick think about what we were going to do. As we contemplated what we were going to do we saw required Pilkington Bus N230 TPK on a #20A service. We decided to do this and maybe go after the Olympian we saw earlier too.

Pilkington Bus N230 TPK in Accrington bus station
We got on and booked day rover ticket at £3.50 each. As we got on we saw a timetable so we grabbed it. There were a few people on the bus so it wasn't easy to get a picture inside with it mainly brown with beige and green. He had to get one of the back seat area. The back seat had been replaced with standard Arriva fare during it days in Kent.

Inside Pilkington Bus N230 TPK
From the timetable leaflet we realised that the 20A is a near identical anti-clockwise run of the #21, so we could possibly head the Olympian off somewhere along the journey. As we traveled through Clayton-le-Moors we passed M&M coaches N195 LFV. We also passed another different double decker on the #20/21. We worked out we could go to Great Harwood and we could meet the Olympian there. As we approached the town the driver asked us where we wanted. I told him wherever is best to catch the bus going back the other way! He directed us to the stop just around the square to catch the bus back and we got off. Matthew got another picture of this well presented Dart.

Pilkington Bus N230 TPK in Great Harwood
We didn't have to wait long for G301 UYK to turn up. In fact we should have missed it as I had miscalculated the timings. Luckily it was running a couple of minutes down. It arrived from the South along the B6535 and went around the square to our stop.

Pilkington Bus G301 UYK in Great Harwood
We got on the bus and the plan was to go around the circle through Accrington and Blackburn, so we could check out Blackburn from the comfort of the top deck of this fine bus too. As I did tried to work out where we needed to booked to on the fly, I booked to Oswaldtwistle when I should have booked to Rishton. In the end this worked out quite well as can be seen. As we got on the bus Matthew photographed the empty lower saloon before we went upstairs.

Inside Pilkington Bus G301 UYK
We went upstairs and we sat near the front. The only problem with this design of bus is that there is no opening window in the front half of the top decker and windows on all side so it gets very warm on a sunny day! On the run into Accrington we passed the other 2 anti-clockwise turns which were Consecutively registered Dennis Darts R845 VEC and R846 VEC. With it being so warm I think Matthew was a little disappointed not to be getting off in Accrington. We carried on though town and we passed N230 TPK again near the railway station. We realised that we had made a mistake with the booking and we had just passed a bus going the other way. We decided to get off anyway, and Matthew got a picture of this 24 year old beast as he did.

Pilkington Bus G301 UYK in Oswaldtwistle
We crossed over and went to the local shop. It was an old fashion looking shop with wooden displays. Prices were great in here. Two cans of pop and a milky way for £1.15...Unbelievable! We had a picnic at the bus stop and we checked the bus stop timetables. The next 21A was at 15:23 but there was a #1 in front of it. we decided to do this if it was a step entranced minibus as we thought it would be, as it was run by M&M coaches. It was due in a few minutes. It appeared and it was required M&M Coaches N202 LPN.

M&M Coaches N202 LPN in Oswaldtwistle
We booked into town. The adult fare was £1.50 on this bus. There were a few people on this bus but they all emptied out at the stop before the bus station. We got off at the bus station and Matthew photographed the inside of this ex Stagecoach Mercedes.

Inside M&M Coaches N202 LPN
We got off and he also got a picture of the outside to.

M&M Coaches N202 LPN in Accrington bus station
we decided to have a shot break fro the buses. We visited the toilet and took pictures and made notes on the buses that we saw. M&M Coaches P350 NKH was seen as was N195 LFV. We also saw R845 VEC close up after passing this bus earlier in the day.

Pilkington Bus R845 VEC in Accrington bus station
The other clockwise circular was seen and that was optare excel S289 RAG. We decided to stay put and to take a few pictures and to wait for the other double decker on the clockwise Hyndburn circulars. Whilst we waited we saw rossendale Transport 101 on a #464 service and Lancashire United 212 on a #6. Eventually the double decker turned up it was required ex stagecoach trident X374 NNO. We booked to Great Harwood and the driver told us we would be quicker going the other way around. We told him that we were only on the bus for a ride he didn't seem very enthusiast friendly! We got on and sat upstairs. Matthew got a picture of the inside of the bus.

Inside Pilkington Bus X374 NNO
There were 2 options for us after this bus. We made a bus around 16:25 at and came back the opposite way around, or we waited for around 20 minutes and did G301 UYK again. We did the bus out through Oswaldtwistle and into Blackburn. There was traffic around Blackburn and this made us a little late. We were able to view Ainsworth Street which appears to be the shoppers centre of town but the service didn't call at the interchange. We headed back out of Blackburn and then turned towards Rishton. As we approached Great Harwood we passed the last anticlockwise service Which was R846 VEC on a #21A so that ruled out that! We came into the sqaure and we got off. Matthew then got a picture of the outside of X374 NNO.

Pilkington Bus X374 NNO in Great Harwood
We had about 20 minutes left before the bus was due. We crossed the square and we brought 2 cans of pop and a Galaxy Caramel bar. It was unsurprising more expensive than the shop in Oswaldtwistle at around £2. We went back to the stop and we had a little picnic at the bus stop whilst we waited. We didn't have to wait too long before we heard the roar of the approaching Olympian G301 UYK. We got on and after a quick chat the driver who was definitely more enthusiast friendly than the last driver, we went upstairs. The bus had cooled a little from earlier but it was still quit warm upstairs. The journey back was swift and when we got back to Accrington we got off and got another picture of this fine old beast.

Pilkington Bus G301 UYK in Accrington bus station
We walked up Peel Street and met up with mum. As we started back we saw Dart P729 RYL which was on a local service.

Pilkington Bus P729 RYL in Accrington bus station
We walked back to the car that was now parked by the town hall in shade. We sat for a few minutes eating our sausage rolls and drinking Coke. We set off around 17:20 and it was far easier leaving town than when we came in. we got back onto the A680 that we did down to the A56. We carried on onto the M66 and then at the end of the that road we went onto the M60 clockwise by accident. We carried on regardless as it was traffic free and we went around past Stockport and onto the M56. Here we saw an Hollinshead coach so I slowed so Matthew could get a picture.

Hollinshead J10 BUS on the M56
We went down the M56 and onto the A556 down to the M6. Here we saw 2 other local coaches. First we saw Copeland's Tours MIB 246 returning from a trip to Liverpool.

Copeland's Tours MIB 246 on the M6
Then we saw a Paul's of Stoke tri-axle coach TIL 8196.

Pauls of Stoke TIL 8196 on the M6
We carried on down to the A500 following the coaches. MIB 246 left at the Northern A34 junction, presumably to drop of passengers in Newcastle. We turned at the A50 and we heading into Longton to the Z Carz depot. tonight there were only two vehicles here Scania coach D104 XAN.

Z Carz D104 XAN in Longton
The other was relative newcomer Mercedes minibus M372 NWN.

Z Carz M372 NWN in Longton
We checked out the Willow Row compound and it was empty. We headed down Longton Hall Road and into blurton. 42726 was on the #23 and 40016 was on the #22 to Longton. We got hoe at 19:00. Matthew had a toffee yogurt whilst he waited for his late tea of bangers and mash followed by cheesecake. Afterwards he chilled out on his computer until bedtime around 23:45...Mark

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