Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Trip to Newcaslte / Hanley 06-08-2013


40144Blurton, adj Ladybank GroveLongton TI22First Potteries
61235Longton TINewcastle BS26AFirst Potteries
34288Newcastle BSHanley BS25First Potteries
42Hanley BSNewcastle BS31Scraggs Blue Buses

Today we decided to go to Newcastle to see if there were any of First's step entranced double deckers out in service today. Matthew got up around 09:00 and went to Go Eat in dreseden with mum to get something to eat. They went up to it along the A5035. of the the A5035 we went passed the z carz depot. Passing Z Carz we saw D104 XAN and W344 WNS and OV05 WSW. For a late breakfast Matthew had sausages, bacon, eggs and been with toast. After they had finished they drove home back along the A5035. On the way back we saw Copeland's Tours coach MIB 536. I arrived home from work around 12:45 and I had some dinner. Around 13:30 we set of to Ladybank Grove to see what was working towards Longton. First potteries 40144 was working on the #22/22A turn and Wardle Transport 2259 was working on the new #46 service. Matthew had been on both of these buses before. We had done 2259 in Uttoxeter when it was in Arriva colours back in October 2012. Matthew hadn't been on 40144 for a while so he decided he wanted to do this bus.

First Potteries 40144 in Blurton
We got on the bus and sat near the back. The bus traveled through Blurton and then into longton up Longton hall Road. The bus was fairly quiet and we got there in no time. When we got to Longton we waited for the bus to empty and then Matthew got a picture inside this bus.

Inside First Potteries 40144
We got off the bus and there was a flurry of activity. Bennetts Solo MX53 FDJ was already in the bus station on the #249 service. Bennetts Dart DCZ 7648 arrived on the #250. We decided we were going to catch the next 26A service. 2 buses came at once. There was First Potteries 42726 which we didn't think was on a #26 and 61235 which we knew definitely was. Neither bus was required. First Potteries 42726 was done from Heron Cross to Blurton back in April 2012. First Pottries 61235 was only scored last month from Biddulph to Hanley on the 7A. We got on 61235 and sat down near the back. There weren't many people on this bus and when it got to stoke we briefly caught up with 42726, confirming that it definitely was on the #26. The bus emptied and it was just us on the bus for a short while. We carried on into Hartshill and we descended into Newcastle down George Street. When we got into Newcastle bus station we let the bus empty and then matthew got a picture inside 61235.

Inside First Potteries 61235
We got off and Matthew got a picture of the outside of 61235 too.

First Potteries 61235 in Newcastle
As there was nothing interesting in the bus station, We decided to go and use the toilet opposite the bus station. New to First Caetano Dart EU06 KDK was on the #96 service which Matthew saw for the first time. By the time we came out of the toilet the first First step entranced decker appeared. It was First Potteries 34286, a recent repaint into the new livery. It was on the #25 to Hanley. By the time we got down to where 34286, was First Potteries 34288 appeared in the bus station. It had to do a lap of the bus station before it could get on stand, making us think that we had missed it, but eventually it came on stand to work the #72 to Clayton. we managed to get a picture of 34288 as it made it's final approach.

First Potteries 34288 in Newcastle
We had to make a decision as to which one of the buses we were going to do. I asked Matthew and he decided on 34288. We waited for the new driver to appear and as we did 34286 departed towards Hanley. There was a bit of a kerfuffle and one driver said that the double decker was going to be taken off service #72 as the driver who was about to take it wasn't 100% fit and couldn't drive the double decker. We thought the double decker was going to run off empty to the depot, but luckily there was a Volvo B7RLE on an adjacent stand on the next #25 service to Hanley. So the swap was made and 34288 moved up a couple of stands so that the Volvo could be placed on the Clayton stand. The drivers had to do a bit of paperwork I think relating to the swap and we waited for the vehicle to be readied. Whilst we waited the next Clayton service came in with another double decker. It was dud First Potteries 34311, a vehicle we had been on back in April.

First Potteries 34311 in Newcastle
As we waited we also saw one of the new Darts. It should be carrying the fleet number 43876, but the bus still hasn't had it numbers applied yet! So here is First Potteries MX56 HYP.

First Potteries MX56 HYP in Newcastle
The bus was now ready so we went across and sorted out the tickets. We then went upstairs and sat at the front of the bus, and Matthew got a picture of the empty top deck.

Inside First Potteries 34288
We waited a few minutes for for the bus to depart and then we set off towards Hartshill. The emergency exit alarm kept going off intermittently and the driver stopped the bus in Hartshill to check the doors. We the carried on into Stoke. By the railways station we saw Bakerbus Volvo 164 on the X1 to Stafford. We carried on up College Road were we passed First Potteries 34286 coming back the other way.

Passing First Potteries 34286 in Shelton
We carried on passed the Hinde Street park and ride and then into Hanley. When we got there we waited for the bus to empty and he decided to take a picture on the inside of the lower deck too.

Inside First Potteries 34288
We decided to go and get some chips. As we walked down we saw 53830 on a #38 service.

First Potteries 53830 in Hanley
We walked across town to the seafarer where we brought a portion of chips and three cans of pop. We walked back to John Street to sit on a bench there and eat the chips. Before we sat down we saw and photographed First Potteries 61246.

First Potteries 61246 in Hanley
We ate the chips and Matthew had a can of dandelion and burdock. We then went into john Street car park so we could take some bus pictures. we spotted 32627 on one of the #25's to Keele.

First Potteries 32627 in Hanley bus station
We saw Wardle Transport 2167/2356/4802 in Arriva livery. 2167 had Wardle decals as can be seen in the photograph.

Wardle Transport 2167 in Hanley bus station
We also saw the following. Wardle Transport 2038 was out the #41 and deckers 4895 & 4896 were working on the #19 service. Scraggs 42/75 & VT 9284 were also out. Interesting buses for Bakerbus were Bakerbus 29(9), 194 (X1), 265/266(9). Here s a photograph of Bakerbus 266.

Bakerbus 266 in Hanley bus station
Around 16:40 we decided to walk down to the bus station to try and catch First Potteries 34286. When we got the the junction of Lidice way and John Street. We saw Arriva Midlands 2265 currently on loan to Wardle Transport.

Arriva Midlands 2265 in Hanley bus station
We then walked around the front of the bus station and Matthew saw the Wardle Transport driver shuttle bus.He decided to go over to investigate.

Wardle Transport 1454 adjacent to Hanley bus station
Matthew said hello to the driver and then sat on the bus for a minute or two. He took a picture of one of the maroon coloured seats.

Inside Wardle Transport 1454
We went to the toilet and whilst we were there First Potteries 34286 made an appearance. He had a chance to catch the bus but messed about for a bit and the bus came and went within a minute. Now this had gone we had to decided on what plan b was going to be. we spotted Scraggs Blue Buses 42 on a #31 Werrington service and he decided to catch that. He took a picture of the bus on stand before we got on it.

Scraggs Blue Buses 42 in Hanley bus station
We called mum to arrange for her to meet us up at werrington. The bus pulled of fro the bus station and went down passed the libabray before going past the front of the bus station. Whist we were passing we saw another step entranced first double decker. 34158 had made an appearance on a #34 service. We went down Limekiln bank and then onto the A52. We apssed through bucknall and up the bank to the top of Werrington and we got off by the scuba shop. We crossed over the road to wait for mum. Whilst we were there Scraggs 42 came onto the stop to work a bus back towards Hanley and Matthew took a picture.

Scraggs Blue Buses 42 in Werrington
We also saw Wardle Transport 2409 on the #16 service from leek to Hanley.

Wardle Transport 2409 in Werrington
As Matthew was unable to get a picture inside Scraggs 42, I suggested he took a picture of the seats fro the outside of the bus whilst we waited.

Seats in Scraggs Blue Buses 42
Mum ten appeared and she drove us back along the a52 and through Northwood to High Lane. We visited Smallthorne and ten we came back through Hanley to MacDonalds on Victora Road. We picked up some food and then drove home via Victoria rod, the A50 link road, heron Cross and ten Blurton Road. We got home just before 19:00. Matthew ate his chicken Nuggets meal and plain burger washed down with a drink of Coke. Matthew chilled out on his computer and we started to write the Blog entry. He went to bed around 23:40...Mark

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