Saturday, 28 September 2013

Trip to Ellesmere Port / Chester 28-09-2013


3123Ellesmere Port BSChester BS2Arriva NW&W
4488Chester BSBroughton, Glynne Arms (SW-bound)X11Arriva NW&W
2352Broughton, Glynne Arms (NE-bound)‎Chester railway station4Arriva NW&W
4143Chester BSBoughton, o/s Bridge Inn84Arriva NW&W
SB23Boughton, opp Bridge InnChester BS82GHA

Today we decided to Chester. We had not visited since back in March, when there was deep snow all around! I didn't do any research except to check the weather, as we only decided on Chester on Thursday night. Matthew got up a little before 10:00 and had toast and orange juice for breakfast. We set off just before 12:00 and we went along Stanley Matthews way onto the A50. We headed up the A500 stopping in Etruria for LPG. Whilst there we saw 60193 & 41493. We went onto the A53 and back onto the northbound A500. As we joined the M6 we were followed on by Stagecoach Megabus 55004. The motorway was busy and we were passed by a few different buses Leon's Coaches 206 & Happy Days Coaches 226 were going to Manchester United from West Brom. We headed west when we reached the M56 and then north on the M53. We drove into Ellesmere port along the A5032 and we saw GHA MX56 AAZ on the 7 to Rivacre. We also passed GHA SB15 on the #36 to Runcorn. We parked up near the market and we ate in the market food hall. We had to wait for a few minutes, so we went to the toilet.It was a while before we could get a table but eventually we did, (we shared a table with an old couple) and Matthew had a breakfast followed by a Victoria sponge cake. After we had finished eating we said goodbye to mum and walked to the bus station via the shopping centre. We walked out of the shopping centre and we saw Stagecoach Merseyside 28547 parked up in the bus station.

Stagecoach Merseyside 28547 in Ellesmere Port bus station
There was a solitary 'Into the port' GHA bus parked up (YM52 TPO) which we photographed and then we walked up to the top end to wait for a bus. I checked the time of the next 2 and it was due in about a minutes at 14:08. It turned and we saw it was dud Arriva NW&W 3123.

Arriva NW&W 3123 in Ellesmere Port
We got on the bus and sat down near the back. This was a bus that we had done when it was first delivered to Birkenhead back in September 2012. The bus was around 1/2 full and it dropped off a few passengers as we went through the estate before we joined onto the A5117. We carried on down the A41 dual carriageway and then we turned right onto the A5116 and went passed the Hospital ad Morrisons. We carried on passed the stagecoach depot and into the bus station via Northgate. When the bus emptied out Matthew took a picture inside the Arriva NW&W 3123 too.

Inside Arriva NW&W 3123
When we got off the bus Matthew decided to walk to the bus station the long way around passed the library before turning into Princess Street. On the way to settling on our usual perch, We spotted and photographed Stagecoach Merseyside 21258 on the 1A to Blacon.

Stagecoach Merseyside 21258 in Chester bus station
We carried onto the perch and we sat down. We were followed down by MacPhails Van Hool coach LCZ 6332.

MacPhails LCZ 6332 in Chester bus station
We sat around for a few more minutes then we decided to do a bus. Required Arriva 2636 was on the #10 to Connahs Quay and dud Arriva NW&W 4488 was on the #11 to Holywell. We decided to do 4488 on the #11.

Arriva NW&W 4488 in Chester bus station
We waited for a few minutes for the driver to return to the bus and then it started to board. We got on the bus and went upstairs which was empty at the rear. Matthew got a picture of the bus whilst it was empty.

Inside Arriva NW&W 4488
We set of out of the bus station and off towards Hawarden. This was a bus that we had done twice before...First in June 2012 and then again in December 2012! When we crossed over the Dee we noticed there were large amounts of coaches parked up and that the races were on today. We carried on the A5104 and we passed a couple of darts on the #3 and #4 service. We passed required Arriva NW&W 2359 & 2348. We decided to get off at the end of the A5104 and see if we could get a required Dart on one the other service. When we got to the end of the road we got off the bus. Matthew got a picture of Arriva NW&W 4488 before it set off towards Holywell.

Arriva NW&W 4488 in Broughton
We crossed the road (eventually), and waited at the stop on the other side of the road. Whilst we waited we spotted Arriva NW&W 675 on the #12 service.

Arriva NW&W 675 in Broughton
A few minutes late we saw a Dart head into the shopping centre. A few minutes later it reappeared and headed towards us. As it got closer we could see it was required Arriva NW&W 2352. We got on and sat down near the back. The bus was nearly empty, but it did pick up a few extra passengers going into town. As we headed into Chester we passed another required Dart 2358! Further into town we also passed 2348 on the #3 towards Mold. The bus went around Chester and then headed towards the railway station. When we got to City Road the bus terminated. Matthew got a picture inside 2352 as we got off.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2352
The area was packed with buses and coaches and we could only get a picture between other buses.

Arriva NW&W 2352 near Chester railway station
We walked back along City Road and we saw former Procters van Hool coach HIL7614 which is now with Atlantic Travel of Bolton.

Atlantic Travel HIL 7614 near Chester railway station
We carried on towards gorse stack and we saw Arriva NW&W 4405 on the #1 to Wrexham. we also saw GHA SB30 on the X20 to Winsford. On Gorse Stacks we saw 'Into the Port' liveried Solo X9 GHA on a Mold service. On Delamere Street we saw Walter Martin coach WAL 895.

Walter Martin WAL 895 on Delamere Street
We carried on up Delamere Street and we saw Arriva NW&W gas powered bus 5004 and Arrowebrook MX07 NTT. Matthew decided we were going to walk back to the bus station around the ring road. whilst walking down we saw Stagecoach Merseyside 17502 on the City Sightseeing Tour open top service. We entered the bus station via Hunter Street and we saw required Arriva NW&W 2341 on the #10 to Connah's Quay. I asked Matthew if he wanted to do it and he turned it down. asked if he wanted to go to the toilet and he said yes. Instead of going to the market car park toilets that we usually use he decided he wanted to use the Portaloo's in Northgate! We walked back to the bus station and we sat on our perch whilst we decided which bus to do. We let go required Arriva NW&W 2636 on the #10, required 674 on the #12, required 4485 on the 11, and also required 4061 on the #84. This was followed by required gas bus 5005 on the X30.

Arriva NW&W 5005 in Chester bus station
Matthew decided he wanted another wander around, so we walked out of the bus station through princess Street and onto Northgate. We photographed some buses and coaches by the cinema before walking back to the bus station. by this time mum had arrived in the car from Ellesmere Port. We walked back down to the bus station and we saw Avon Buses 356 on the #22 to West Kirby.

Avon Buses 356 in Chester bus station
Shortly afterwards required Arriva NW&W 4143 arrived on the #84 and actually decided he wanted to catch a bus! The problem was that I hadn't done any research on the Deeside Daysaver Zone so I didn't know how fr east you could travel on the #84! We had to wait for a few minutes for the driver to ready the bus and whilst we waited we saw Arriva NW&W 5003 on the #21 to Runcorn. When the bus was ready the bus loaded up and we got on.

Arriva NW&W 4143 in Chester bus station
We went upstairs and it was already quite full. The bus set off through Chester and picked up even more passengers in Foregate Street. We decided to go a few stops out of Chester. on the way we saw Burland Group minibus X863 BVN. We also passed Arriva NW&W 4489 on an inbound #84! We got off the bus in by The Bridge Inn and Matthew got another picture of it.

Arriva NW&W 4143 in Vicars Cross
Looking at the bus stop timetable we had nearly half an hour to wait for the next #84 which was no surprise, but I didn't want to go too far on the tickets in case weren't valid. The problem was the next bus was a GHA one on the #82, and the alternative was a long wait. Around 17:25 the bus rounded the corner and it was GHA SB23.

GHA SB23 in Vicars Cross
We got on and asked for Chester and it cost us £1.70 each! I nearly died (well I didn't feel too chuffed with paying out those fares...)! Even worse when looked up SB23 in the list it was dud, having previously done it back in October 2011 on our first visit to Northwich, the one and only time we had previously covered the #82. We travel back into Chester along the A51. As we entered Chester we passed Copeland's Tours MIB 346. We then headed up Gorse Stacks and when we got back Matthew took a picture inside this bus.

Inside GHA SB23
He also got another picture of the bus at Chester too.

GHA SB23 in Chester bus station
To make things worse as we walked back to the car we saw required Arriva NW&W 2258 on the #10 to Connah's Quay.

Arriva NW&W 2258 in Chester bus station
We went to the car where mum was waiting with sausage rolls and pop. We set off out of the bus station and clockwise round the ring road to the A56. We did the A56 north up to the M53 and then onto the eastbound M56. We did this to the m6 and then headed South. The coaches that we had seen going North Leon's 206 and Happy Days 226 went south with jubilant West Brom fans after there win against Manchester United... We got onto the southbound A500 which we did down to the A50 and into Longton. At the Z Carz depot we saw 5 buses on the spare ground. Newest Mercedes minibus S952 VMY was at the front.

Z Carz S952 VMY in Longton
Next the this were 2 coaches. The first was Scania D104 XAN.

Z Carz D104 XAN in Longton
Next to this was M534 RSO, which has had the purple decals added to the front and sides.

Z Carz M534 RSO in Longton
At the rear of the land was the coach ALZ 8539, and the last bus on the land was LDV minibus R920 WNT.

Z Carz R920 WNT in Longton
We had a look in the Willow Row compound we saw LDV minibus T408 JUX. We turned around and Matthew got another picture of R920 WNT from the other side.

Z Carz R920 WNT in Longton
We headed back along Longton Hall Road and into Blurton. We passed First Potteries 40017 on the #22 and 53828 on the #23. We got back just after 19:00. For a late tea Matthew had bangers and mash followed by Cheesecake. Matthew then chilled out on his computer until bedtime around 12:30...Mark

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Trip to Accrington 21-09-2013


707Accrington BSAccrington, opp Victoria Hospital231Transdev Lancashire United
X374 NNOAccrington, opp Victoria HospitalGreat Harwood, by Towngate20APilkington Bus
G306 UYKGreat Harwood, by Holgate Street‎ Accrington BS21Pilkington Bus
N652 VSSAccrington, Bridge StreetAccrington, opp Victoria Hospital9M&M Coaches
N230 TPKAccrington, o/s Victoria Hospital Accrington BS20Pilkington Bus
L339 FWOAccington BSForts Arms, adj Sparth Road1M&M Coaches
L339 FWOForts Arms, adj Sparth RoadAccrington BS1M&M Coaches
G306 UYKAccrington BSOswaldtwistle, by Town Hall‎21Pilkington Bus
VU52 UEJOswaldtwistle, opp Rhyddings Street‎Accrington BS20APilkington Bus

Today we decided to re-visit Accrington. No research was done, we didn't even check the weather! Matthew got up around 10:00 and had toast and orange juice for breakfast. Today we set off around 11:20 as wanted to get home a little earlier. We went ont the A5035 and then along Stanley Matthews Way. We went onto the westbound A50 and onto the Northbound A500. We came off at Shelton to get LPG and we saw 65730 on a #34 service. We got onto the Westbound A53 and back onto the Northbound A500. On the M6 we saw a couple of coaches. First we were passed by National Express 138 (NFZ 9138) on a #921 to Belfast, and then we were passed by Motts MT11 MTT on the Oxford City team coach on it's way to Vauxhall on the Wirral. We carried onto the the M62 and then onto the clockwise M60. Around the A56 junction we passed First West Yorkshire 66762 running out of service. We then headed North on the M66 and onto the A56. We drove the last few miles into town along the A680 and then we parked up just off the Blackburn Road just after 13:15. We set off walking to the bus stop cafe on Peel Street. On the way we saw Pilkington Bus R846 VEC on the #20 Hyndburn circular service.

Pilkington Bus R846 VEC in Accrington
We carried on to the cafe, On Peel Street we saw M&M Coaches N652 VSS on a local service.

M&M Coaches N652 VSS in Accrington bus station
We stopped at the toilet on the way to the cafe. Whilst we were on the wrong side of the road we saw M&M Coaches L339 FWO on the #1 to Clayton-le-Moors.

M&M Coaches L339 FWO in Accrington bus station
We crossed back over to get something to eat. In the cafe Matthew had a small breakfast followed by a slice of jam roll in custard. When we had finished eating we came out of the cafe to see required Pilkington Bus G306 UYK going towards Oswaldtwistle. It must have been running a little late because it carried straight on at the end of Peel Street instead of waiting. We decided to have a walk up to Bridge Street to see what other M&M coaches buses were out. On Bridge Street we saw 2 buses. Dud N202 LPN was on the #46 to Blackburn.

M&M Coaches N202 LPN in Peel Street Accrington
Required M&M Coaches N652 VSS was just departing on the #9 Laneside circular.

M&M Coaches N652 VSS in Peel Street Accrington
We decided to go back towards the stop by the toilet to see if we could catch up with M&M coaches L339 FWO. At the stop was required Transdev Lancashire United 707 on the #231 to Clitheroe.

Transdev Lancashire United 707 in Accrington bus station
We crossed over and Matthew decided he wanted to catch this bus. We got on and sat down. After making inquires with the driver we realised we could do this out to the Victoria Hospital and still be able to cover the Hyndburn circulars and get back for the required M&M Coaches buses. As we waited to depart we saw dud X374 NNO on the following Hyndburn circular. We sat down with Matthew and the bus set off. The bus didn't take long to get to the hospital. We got off and Matthew got a picture of this fine example of a MPD Dart.

Transdev Lancashire United 707 in Whalley Road Accrington
We waited at the stop for the next Hyndburn circular. Going the other way we saw Pilkington Bus N230 TPK. We Also saw Required M&M Coaches N652 VSS returning from the #9 Laneside circular. The plan was to do X374 NNO to Great Harwood and hopefully get G306 UYK back. There were a few people around. We guessed that Accrington Stanley were at home and we must be fairly near to the ground. What we didn't realised until now is that it was a local derby against Rochdale! Just after 14:07 we saw the bus coming up Whalley Road and as expected it was dud Pilkington Bus N374 NNO.

Pilkington Bus X374 NNO in Whalley Road Accrington
We booked a Pilkington Bus day ticket and went upstairs. We carried on towards Clayton-le-Moors and we passed Accrington Stanley where crowds were starting to amass. We also passed required R846 VEC which Matthew had photographed earlier. We didn't have the timetable n us today so we were winging it as such. We got to Great Harwood and thankfully we hadn't passed anything. We got off and we both took pictures of Pilkington Bus X374 NNO.

Pilkington Bus X374 NNO in Great Harwood
We looked to the timetable on the stop to see when the bus was due. It should have been there 2 or 3 minutes ago! We didn't have to wait long before G306 UYK made an appearance. It came around the square and Matthew got a picture of this required Olympian.

Pilkington Bus G306 UYK in Great Harwood
We got on the bus and we went upstairs. The top deck was empty and so he got a picture of the inside of the bus.

Inside Pilkington Bus G306 UYK
The bus returned back through Clayton-le-Moors, the roads were full of parked car of people attending the match. We passed the Pilkington Bus VU52 UEJ which was on the Hyndburn circulars and we also saw the final turn which was required R845 VEC. We got back to Accrington around 14:45. We decided to get off and get a pictuure of g306 UYK from the opposite side of the road.

Pilkington Bus G306 UYK in Accrington bus station
We then decided to see if there was a bus abut to depart from bridge Street. Required N652 was at the stop and it was abut to do the #9 Laneside circular which was perfect timing! We got a picture and we crossed over to get on the bus.

M&M Coaches N652 VSS in Peel Street Accrington
We got on and booked to the Victoria hospital. As the rear of the bus was empty Matthew got a picture inside M&M Coaches N652 VSS.

Inside M&M Coaches N652 VSS
We sat down and the bus set off. The bus went through town and we climbed up the hill towards the Victoria Hospital. That was one required M&M Coaches out of the way, one left to go. We got off at the hospital and Matthew got another picture of the fine Mercedes beast.

M&M Coaches N652 VSS in Whalley Road Accrington
We crossed the road to wait for inbound service. We had about 10 minutes to wait. We guessed that the bus would be dud Pilkington Bus Dart N230 TPK. A few minutes late the bus turned up and it was as expected dud Pilkington Bus N230 TPK.

Pilkington Bus N230 TPK in Whalley Road Accrington
We got on and sat down near the back. I was only a short journey and we were back in town in no time. The bus emptied out and Matthew got a picture inside this bus.

Inside Pilkington Bus N230 TPK
We also got another picture of the outside of this bus too.

Pilkington Bus N230 TPK in Accrington bus station
We had just over 15 minutes to wait before required L339 FWO returned on the #1 to Clayton-le-Moors. Matthew went to the toilet an whilst he was in there the bus turned up. We had a few minutes and so we crossed over the road to get a picture of L339 FWO.

M&M Coaches L339 FWO in Accrington bus station
We got on and sat down. The driver informed us that this was probably going to be the last few days of service for L339 FWO and that it was due to go some time next week. When it was time the bus set off out of town and up to Whalley Road. The bus travelled int clayton-le-Moors and then turned left into Pickup Street. After going through the terrace street the bus returned onto the main road off Sparth Road. The bus then headed back into Accrington. When we got into town the bus emptied out and matthew got a picture inside the empty L339 FWO.

Inside M&M Coaches L339 FWO
He also got another picture of the outside of L339 FWO too.

M&M Coaches L339 FWO in Accrington bus station
We decided to have one more short out and back on Pilkington Bus before we went home. We had around 20 minutes before there were any buses due we decided to visit the newsagents. Matthew had a can of Coke and an orange carton, as well as a Milky Way and a slice of cake. Matthew ate the cake and drank the orange carton, putting the Coke and Milky Way away for later. It was at this point Matthew noticed his camera battery door was open slightly. I returned to the newsagent to see if they had any sellotape for sale but they didn't have any. After we had left the newsagent guy came out to ask how much we needed and he very kindly gave us a piece to hold his camera shut until we got back home. The next Oswaldtwistle bound #21 was G306 UYK so we decided to have another run on this bus. We got on and we down upstairs. Just after 16:00 the bus set off towards Oswalldtwistle. on the Blackburn Road we finally passed the 4th M&M Coaches turn and it was dud N213 UHH on the 2nd #46. At Church we turned int Oswaldtwistle and we got off by the town hall. We crossed over the road and we checked the stop. The bus wasn't due for nearly 20 minutes. We could see another stop nearby so we decided to walk to it. When we gt to that stop we saw the war memorial so we decided to sit there for a while and Matthew had his milky Way and a bottle of Irn Bru. Whilst there we saw and photographed Transdev Lancashire United 1824 on a #6A service.

Transdev Lancashire United 1824 in Oswaldtwistle
A few minutes before the bus back to Accrington was due we crossed over the road to the stop. We also saw Transdev Lancashire United 272 on a #7A to Blackburn. The bus turned up and predicted it was required Pilkington Bus VU52 UEJ. We got on the bus and sat down. The bus returned down onto the Blackburn Road and then back into Accrington. When we got into town Matthew waited for the bus to empty before getting a picture inside this bus.

Inside Pilkington Bus VU52 UEJ
He also got a got a good picture of the outside of VU52 UEJ too.

Pilkington Bus VU52 UEJ in Accrington bus station
On the way back to the car we then saw Rossendale Easyride 105 in the new 'Rosso' livery on the #464 service and we got a picture.

'Rosso' 105 in Accrington bus station
We carried on past the market and onto the Blackburn Road where we met up with mum. We walked back to the car where there were sausage rolls waiting. Matthew washed this down with a drink of Irn Bru. he also had a cake which he decided to save for later. We set off through town following the directions for the M66. This took us a different way out of town along the A679 towards the A56. Until we got to the A56 we had considered turning back! Once on the A56 we headed South and continued onto the M66. We went past bury and then We did the M60 anti-clockwise and then onto the Westbound M62. We then turned onto the Southbound M6. When we reached junction 16 we turned onto the Southbound A500 where we passed a silver Arrowebrook minibus. We carried on south to the A50 and then into Longton to view the Z Carz Depot. First in the row was Mercedes minibus BV51 BNO.

Z Carz BV51 BNO in Longton
Behind this was coach Scania D104 XAN with ALZ 8539 n the background.

Z Carz D104 XAN in Longton
Next in the row was another Mercedes minibus M372 NWN.

Z Carz M372 NWN in Longton
The we saw Volkswagon minibus OV05 WSW..

Z Carz OV05 WSW in Longton
Last in the row was newcomer S952 VMY.

Z Carz S952 VMY in Longton
We turned left into Willow Row where the only bus was T408 JUX hiding behind some taxis. We returned home down Longton Hall Road and onto Blurton Road where we passed First Potteries 42726 on the #23. On Beaconsfield Drive we also passed First Potteries 53155. We got back home for 18:30. For a late tea we had bangers and mash with carrots, for afters he had the cake he had earlier. He then chilled out on his computer until around 01:00 in the morning...Mark