Saturday, 19 October 2013

Trip to St Helens / Earlestown 19-10-2013


2729St Helens BSNew Boston, opp Vista Road320Arriva NW&W
2254New Boston, adj Vista RoadSt Helens BS20Arriva NW&W
2693St Helens BSClock Face, Gartons Lane (NW-bound)32Arriva NW&W
712Clock Face, adj Jersey StreetSt Helens BS33Arriva NW&W
2261St Helens BSEarlestown BS34Arriva NW&W
2238Earlestown BSSt Helens BS20Arriva NW&W

Today we decided to revisit st Helens. We didn't do much research other than to check the weather. The weather was for cloudy with sunny interval and showers. We hadn't checked the Arriva St Helens allocations recently and were surprised that there was only one Marshall Dart left there 7634. Matthew got up around 10:00 and had bacon and oatcakes for breakfast. We set off at 12:00 and went onto the A5035. We headed north up Stanley Matthews Way and onto the A50. We then got on the Northbound A500 where we passed Rigby's minibus SUI 8773 and Ausden Clarke BIG 9834. We got onto the Northbound M6 and it was quite busy. We decided to eat in Earlestown as we knew where there was a cafe, and then drive into St Helens. We got onto the westbound M62 and then drove into Earletown via Newton le Willows. As we parked up around 13:10 we saw required Arriva NW&W 2346 on a #34 service. As we walked to the cafe we saw required Arriva NW&W 2261 on a #34A to St Helens.

Arriva NW&W 2261 in Earlestown
We had dinner at Crumpets again, Matthew had a breakfast washed down with a bottle of Coke. After dinner we walked back to the car. On the way back we photographed South Lancs Travel 23 on a #603 service.

South Lancs Travel 23 in Earlestown
We got back in the car and we drove into St Helens along the A572 and onto the A58 and passed the Co-op. We went behind the bus bus museum and then we parked up near the town hall. We walked to the travel centre and purchased our Saveaway tickets. We scratched off the date and went to look for a bus to catch. We let required Arriva NW&W 2254 go on the #20 and we had a walk around to see what we could catch. A few minutes later we saw required Arriva NW&W 2729 on a #320 to Wigan and we decided to do it.

Arriva NW&W 2729 in St Helens bus station
We got on the bus and sat down near the back. The bus was empty looking forwards so Matthew got a picture of the inside of the bus too.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2729
The bus filled up a little and then we set off. We decided to do the bus to the far end of Haydock just before the #20 turns off towards Earlestown so we had a few choice of bus back. As we set off out of town we passed Arriva NW&W 2238 on the #20. This was followed by Arriva NW&W 2701 on the #320 and Arriva 2712 on the following #20. When we got to Penny Lane we got off the bus and Matthew took another picture of Arriva NW&W 2729 as it went off into the distance.

Arriva NW&W 2729 in Haydock
Across the road was Arriva NW&W 2422 on a St Helens bound #620, but we couldn't get across the road quickly enough. We checked the timetable a the bus stop and the next bus due was a #20 next in around 7 minutes. Whilst we waited Matthew had a Rice Crispy squares. The bus turned up and it was Arriva NW&W 2254. We got on the bus and sat down near the back. I had thought it was dud, but a quick check of the page revealed that it was in fact a required bus! The bus set off back towards town through Haydock and passed the Tesco store. As we traveled back into town in addition to the buses that we passed heading inbound earlier, we also saw Arriva NW&W 3025 on a #320 and 2242 on a #34A. When we got to St Helens Matthew waited for the bus to empty before getting a picture of the inside of Arriva NW&W 2254.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2254
As he hadn't been successful get a picture of the outside of Arriva NW&W 2254, he had another successful go here.

Arriva NW&W 2254 in St Helens bus station
We then had a break from buses for around 30 minutes. matthew wanted the toilet and the tardis toilet in the bus station was out of action again. We took him around the outside of the shopping centre to use the disable toilet by the entrance of the shopping centre. when we walked back we took a few bus pictures. One vehicle type that we didn't tkae many pictures of were the electric shuttle buses. Here is Selwyns Travel 193 on the E11 to Ravenhead retail park.

Selwyns Travel 193 in St Helens bus station
We carried out another circle of the bus station and we took some more pictures. Here is former D&G buses 30 which is now there sister company South Lancs Travel.

South Lancs Travel 30 in St Helens bus station
Another vhicle which took us by surprise was Arriva NW&W 3047 which is now painted in a gold livery.

Arriva NW&W 3047 in St Helens bus station
Time was moving on and we need to catch another bus quickly. Of all the thing in the bus station at that moment, Matthew decided we should do required Arriva NW&W 2693 on a #32 to four Acre Lane.

Arriva NW&W 2693 in St Helens bus station
We got on the bus and sat down. As we left the bus station the sky started to look very dark indeed... We also noted an unidentified ALX200 Dart behind us on a #33 service. We passed the hospital and headed South out of town. I seemed to remember us doing a Dart on a #32 and doing a #33 back from the same stop. It was Arriva NW&W 2102, and it was our first trip to St Helens back in January 2012. The bus emptied out a little in the Clockface area, and Matthew took a picture of empty rear of Arriva NW&W 2693.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2693
We were going along a road and I noticed the Dream in the distance on the left so I thought it was time to get off. We saw two stops opposite each other with shelters (essential with the inevitable rain) and got up to get off the bus. Just before we reached the stops, the bus turned left and stopped at a stop with no shelter! We quickly got off the bus and walked around the corner to the other stops. The view looked familiar, from the time we had gone after and caught up with Arriva NW&W Pointer Dart 7570 back in July 2012. The rain started to fall and fall it did... We all huddled under the shelter as the rain lashed down. Matthew had a drink of Irn Bru and we put the empty bottle in the bag as no one wanted to venture out of the shelter to the bin. Disappointingly we saw an Arriva NW&W Solo SR approaching. The only consolation was it was going to be required as we had yet to sample on of these buses. As you can see from the photo the light was very poor as required Arriva NW&W 712 approached the bus stop.

Arriva NW&W 712 in Clockface
We waited for the bus stop and the door to open before we ran onto the bus. We got on and Matthew insisted on honking the horn. Luckily we had a very nice obliging driver...We sat down near the back and enjoyed the journey. The rain was so heavy that every time we turned left water washed down the right hand side of the bus and vice versa. By the time we had reached the A569 and the run past the park we were running through a few inches of water and waves of spray were being sent up on either side of the bus. Some of the cars were struggling a little with the flash flooding but the bus went though these roads with no problem. We got to the bus station as the a was easing off and Matthew waited for the bus to empty so he could take a picture inside.

Inside Arriva NW&W 712
We had another quick wander around and Matthew took us down to the railway station to say hello to someone. We let required Arriva 2238 go on the #20 and then we told Matthew he had to catch another bus quickly. He decided to do required Arriva NW&W 2261 which we had seen a few times today. he got another picture of it through the glass of the bus station.

Arriva NW&W 2261 in St Helens bus station
We got on and sat down near the back of the bus. The bus was quite full so he was able to get picture inside at this point. We set off out off town towards Parr and then we turned onto the road to Earlestown at The Horseshoe pub. We carried on along the A572 and into Earlestown. The people behind us were getting off at Earlestown so Matthew took a picture of the inside of Arriva NW&W 2238 as we got off.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2261
We got off and we got a another picture of the outside of this bus too.

Arriva NW&W 2261 in Earlestown bus station
We had a few minutes to wait for either the next #34 or the next #20. We worked out that the next #20 would probably be required Arriva NW&W 2238. We saw required Arriva NW&W Cadet 2495 on the #34 but we decided to wait for the Dart. A few minutes later Arriva NW&W 2238 appeared as expected.

Arriva NW&W 2238 in Earlestown bus station
We got on and the bus was empty and so he got his empty bus picture first.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2238
We sat down near the back and the bus set off. As the bus set off North towards Haydock there was a bright rainbow in the sky. the bus turned right into Penny Lane and we headed into town. We got off and had a quick walk around the bus station taking pictures. Immediately we saw required arriva 2271 on the #329 to Warrington.

Arriva NW&W 2271 in St Helens bus station
Matthew decided h want to go to the toilet so we walked through the shopping centre and went to the disabled toilet at the other end. We walked back around the outside and as we walked back towards the car we finally caught up with the ALX200 Dart on the #33 to Widnes which was Arriva NW&W 2269.

Arriva NW&W 2269 in St Helens bus station
We also saw Arriva NW&W 2346 Which was on the #34 to Leigh. We waked back to the car where there were sausage rolls and Tizer waiting. We drove off and headed out of town on the A58. We joined onto the A580 and we passed an accident were two cars had collided. We then got onto the Southbound M6 and then onto the A500. We then got onto the A50 and we went into Longton to view the Z Carz depot. There were 2 coaches at the front of the depot. First was Z Carz M534 RSO with its purple decals.

Z carz M534 RSO in Longton
Next to this was Z Carz Scania coach D104 XAN.

Z carz D104 XAN in Longton
Behind these was the minibus OV05 WSW which was too far back to get a good picture in the dark. We turned the corner into Willow Row where we saw T408 JUX parked up at the back of the Z Carz compound. We went down Longton Hall Road and into Blurton. We got home around 19:15. For a late tea Matthew had bangers and mash with carrots followed by cheesecake. Matthew then chilled out on his computer until bedtime around 00:30...Mark

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