Saturday, 11 January 2014

Trip to Middleton / Oldham 11-01-2014


22400Middleton BS‎‎Moston, opp Moston Lane/Blue Bell112Stagecoach Manchester
22167Moston, before Moston Lane/Blue BellMiddleton BS112Stagecoach Manchester
432Middleton BSMiddleton Junction, Greengate/Middleton Junction (Stop D)‎112JPT
40361Middleton Junction, Greengate/Middleton Junction (Stop C)Oldham BS‎415First Manchester
37556Oldham BSWatersheddings, o/s House 415 Ripponden Road/Radcliffe Road83First Manchester
37556Watersheddings, opp 455 Ripponden Road/Radcliffe RoadOldham BS83First Manchester
41788Oldham BSMiddleton Junction, Greengate/Middleton Junction (Stop D)‎415First Manchester
22404Middleton Junction, Greengate/Middleton Junction (Stop C)‎‎Middleton BS112Stagecoach Manchester

Today we decided to revisit Middleton. It was the last day of JPT operating the #112 service, plus wefound out there was another First Manchester Plaxton Dart that we hadn't been on. Not much research was done other than a check on the weather which was for sunny intervals and cold 5'. Matthew got up around 10:00 and he had toast and blackcurrant juice for breakfast. We set off just after 11:30 and we drove through Blurton to Heron Cross and into Fenton to pick up uncle Dave. After picking up uncle Dave we drove onto the A500 which we did to Shelton Old Road where we came off for LPG. After filling up we joined the Westbound A53 and then back onto the Northbound A500 were we passed Andrews coach PIL 6648. We joined the Northbound M6 and the matrix sign were flashing the M6 was closed between junction 22 & 23. Later signs were saying traffic was backed up to junction 21A so we decided to take some evasive action. We came of the M6 at the A50 Lymm junction and then got onto the eastbound M56. We did this past the airport to the M60 which we did anti-clockwise to the A576. We then did the last couple of mile into Middleton on the A576 and then parked up near the shopping centre. We decided to have dinner at the pavement cafe adjacent to the bus station again. Matthew had a sausage barm and a portion of fries washed down with a can of Coke. Whilst we were there we saw 40361 appear and it was working the #415 service. After we had finished eating we walked across the the bus station to see what was working. We knew 40361 had gone off to Oldham and wouldn't be back for just over an hour. At the bus station was JPT 455 laying over from a #156 service.

JPT 455 in Middleton bus station
We then saw a JPT Dart, 153 arrive on a #112 service and we thought that will do nicely. We got to stand B and it pulled off. We realised it had gone around the other side of the bus station to go on layover. We went around to have a look at it and it pulled off and went onto stand B again. We walked around to get a picture before we caught it was on stand for about 30 seconds and it pulled off as we took the picture!

JPT 153 in Middleton bus station
It must have been running late... We then saw First Manchester 41782 on the following #415 to Oldham which we briefly considered before turning it down. Rather that wait around for the next JPT service we decided to catch the next #112 down to Moston, where we might get a JPT #112 back. A few minutes later Stagecoach Manchester 22400 arrived in the bus station.

Stagecoach Manchester 22400 in Middleton bus station
We got on the bus and we booked our system one bus only tickets (£5). As the back of the bus was empty Matthew took a picture inside this bus here.

Inside Stagecoach Manchester 22400
We sat down and we set off out of town. We went around the Tesco store and then we headed off towards Middleton Junction. As we headed out to the junction we passed required JPT 182 going into Middleton. We headed South past the Stagecoach depot and into Moston. Just before we got off we passed dud JPT 512 going North to Middleton. We crossed the road to wait for the next bus. We could see a Stagecoach bus approaching and it was required Stagecoach 22167. Just as we were flagging down the bus someone walked past on the pavement in front of us. It seems to be a regular occurrence at this stop. We got on this bus and sat down near the back. We had seen mainly MAN's on #112 today. so far we had seen 22167/181/400/403/406 & 407 on the #112 and #80 today. The only exceptions were Dart 33863 and 27598/599 & 600. We headed North to Middleton Junction and then West into Middleton. on the outskirt of town we saw another on of the buses on the #415 which was First Manchester 40416. When we got back to Middleton Matthew photographed the inside of 22167.

Inside Stagecoach Manchester 22167
As he didn't get a good picture in Moston, he took a picture of Stagecoach Manchester 22167 here.

Stagecoach Manchester 22167 in Middleton bus station
When we got into the bus station we decided to have a walk around to see what was about. We walked around the outside of the bus station where there were two First Manchester bus on layover from service #58. First in the row was required First Manchester 66853.

First Manchester 66853 in Middleton bus station
Behind 66853 was First Manchester 66855. As we were about to head back into the bus station we turned and we saw JPT 432 arriving on a #112 to Manchester.

JPT 432 in Middleton
We walked back to the bus station and then bus went onto layover for a short while. We waited on stand B and Matthew had a drink of vimto and a galaxy caramel. The bus made it's appearance a few minutes later. We got on the bus and sat down near the back. Matthew got a picture inside JPT 432 facing forwards.

Inside JPT 432
It was around 14:50 and we knew First Manchester 40361 was due back into the bus station soon. Whilst we waited to depart First Manchester 40361 made an appearance. We set off towards Middleton Junction. we had decided to get off their so we could wait for 40361 going forward to Oldham. When we got to the Junction we got off as planned and crossed the road. It was around 15:00 now, so we checked the timetable. The #415 to Oldham was due at 15:08. Bang on time First Manchester 40361 came out of the Alkrington estate and drew up to the bus stop.

First Manchester 40361 in Middleton Junction
We got on the bus which was almost empty. The bus filled up as it headed towards Oldham. We paused outside the college for a minute or two and then we headed into the bus station. When we got there we let the bus empty and Matthew got a picture inside First Manchester 40361.

Inside First Manchester 40361
No we had gotten that bus out of the way we decided to do something different. I promised Matthew a ride on a double decker or two. We went out of the bus station and we took a few pictures. The first on we took was required First Manchester 33670 on the #409 to Ashton.

First Manchester 33670 in Oldham bus station
We then walked to the end of the bus station to get a good picture of First Manchester 40361.

First Manchester 40361 in Oldham bus station
We went to the toilet and then we walked up to the other part of the bus station. We then saw dud Stagecoach Manchester 10044 on the #76 to Manchester.

Stagecoach Manchester 10044 in Oldham bus station
I asked Matthew if he wanted to do this and he said no. He must have remembered that we had been on this before back in October 2013. We headed back to the other half of the bus station so we could choose a double decker to catch. As we walked back First Manchester 40361 was just departing on the #415 to Middleton.

First Manchester 40361 in Oldham bus station
We were considering doing 33672 on the #184 towards Manchester, We could have done this to Failsworth for something back to Middleton. We had taken a picture of the bus and we were going to get on it when 37556 came in on the #83 to Sholver. Matthew chose to do that bus so he got a picture through the glass of the bus station and we got on. We went upstairs and sat down. The bus headed East and through the town centre before heading up the hill to Sholver. The bus sounded a little bit sick, and was making noises like it was misfiring. Last time we had been on the #83 we had gone most of the way up the hill and had gotten a different bus back. As the bus emptied behind us, Matthew took a picture of the back of First Manchester 37556.

Inside First Manchester 37556
So we decided to get off on the hill and we hoped to get something different back. As we got off Matthew got a good picture of 37556 as it went off up the hill.

First Manchester 37556 in Watersheddings
We crossed the road to wait for the next #83 into town. We saw a couple of buses go up the hill, but the next bus back was unfortunately First Manchester 37556 again!

First Manchester 37556 in Watersheddings
The bus headed down the hill and into town. We climbed back up he hill into the bus station and then we got of. We visited the toilet and then Matthew took a picture of 33689 on the #409 to Ashton.

First Manchester 33689 in Oldham bus station
We visited the shop where Matthew bought some Coke, chocolate and a flapjack. I was considering sitting down for Matthew to have a picnic when he spotted and insisted on getting on First Manchester 41788. He took a picture through the glass and we got on.

First Manchester 41788 in Oldham bus station
We got on the bus and we sat down near the back. The bus set of down the hill and out of Oldham. It was now going dark. As we have done before we decided to do this bus to Middleton Junction and get off to catch the #112, rather than bounce through the Alkrington estate over the speedbumps! As the bus headed towards Middleton the bus emptied out. Just before we got off Matthew took a picture of the nearly empty bus facing forwards.

Inside First Manchester 41788
At Middleton Junction we passed First Manchester 41782 going the other way just before we got off. When we got off we crossed over the road to wait for the #112. We saw JPT 183 going South as we waited and then we saw a bus approaching. We were hoping for a JPT bus, but it was Stagecoach Manchester 22404.

Stagecoach Manchester 22404 in Middleton Junction
At least it was a required bus. This was one of the buses that were allocated to Wigan just after Stagecoach took over operations from First. We took a picture of it on layover back in January 2013. We headed into Middleton and when the bus emptied Matthew got a picture inside this bus.

Inside Stagecoach Manchester 22404
He also got another picture of the outside of the bus as we left the bus station.

Stagecoach Manchester 22404 in Middleton bus station
We went into the shopping centre and we used the toilets there. Before we left Matthew had a walk around and he said hello to a few of the ladies who were working in the shops. We walked to the car and Matthew had a sausage roll and a can of Irn Bru. We set off out of town and onto the A576. We then joined the clockwise M60 and then onto the Westbound M56. At Lymm we joined the Southbound M6 and then onto the A500. We then did the A50 East to Longton to check out what was parked up at Z Carz. There were 3 vehicle on the spare ground. First was former Alton Towers coach Z Carz M534 RSO.

Z Carz M534 RSO in Longton
At the back was minibus OV05 WSW and then there was Blackwood Coaches liveried B12 FWS.

Z Carz B12 FWS in Longton
We turned left into Willow road where we saw SORN LDV minibus T408 JUX. We headed back onto the A50 which we did to Heron Cross. We headed into Blurton passing Lightning Travel T2 DLT and First Potteries 53828. We got home at 19:00. For a late tea Matthew had bangers and mash with carrots followed by cheesecake. He then chilled out on his computer until bedtime around 01:00...Mark

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