Sunday, 18 May 2014

Trip to the POPS rally 18-05-2014


30033Britannia StadiumStoneSpecialFirst PMT
356StoneBritannia StadiumSpecialTrent
952Britannia StadiumHanley MuseumSpecialUnited Counties
279Hanley MuseumBritannia StadiumSpecialPMT
6225Britannia StadiumStoneSpecialWM
6225StoneBritannia StadiumSpecialWM
MMM120Britannia StadiumNewcastle BSSpecialFirst PMT
MMM120Newcastle BSBritannia StadiumSpecialFirst PMT

Today was the highlight of Matthew's social calender! We checked the weather forecast the day before and was for sunny intervals. Matthew got up around 10:00 and had some crumpets and orange juice for breakfast. We set off to pick up uncle Dave around 11:00. We had planned on getting some food from the sandwich shop on Blurton Road but, it was closed despite what the sign said in the window about being open Sundays. After picking up Uncle Dave we drove through Heron Cross and onto the A50 and turned onto Stanley Matthew Way. We were directed onto the car park in front of the West Stand and we parked up. As we walked up to the area where the buses were parked we saw PMT 604 about to depart on a trip out.

PMT 604 at the Britannia Stadium
The first thing we did was to go shopping! Matthew went to Dave Spencer and spent nearly £100. He didn't take long to chose the DVD's that he wanted. I suspect that he had already researched exactly what he wanted online during the past year! Whilst mum carried on chatting to Dave and Mandy, uncle Dave and I took Matthew around the buses to take few photos. As we went down the first row Matthew got a picture of Chester City Transport 99.

Chester City Transport 99 at the Britannia Stadium
Further down the row was one of the newer vehicles in the newly formed Stantons of Stoke fleet, Mercedes minibus KN61 EYG.

Stantons of Stoke KN61 EYG at the Britannia Stadium
Further still down the row was former Brighton & Hove Optare bodied Dennis Lance N408 MPN.

Stanways N408 MPN at the Britannia Stadium
We also got a look at a fully decaled First Potteries branded bus for the revamped Keele to Hanley service.

First Potteries 66307 at the Britannia Stadium
After we had finished looking at the first row of buses we moved to the area behind the Boothen End. Stanways had brought along their rare Wadham Stringer bodied Dennis Dart N983 BHE.

Stanways N983 BHE at the Britannia Stadium
Looking very similar to a Bassetts coach was Jackson's AEC coach TEC 599N.

Jackson's TEC 599N at the Britannia Stadium
This year there was a second Turners liveried vehicle. We did not notice at first... This newest vehicle on the scene was Turners 8.

Turners 8 at the Britannia Stadium
We then walked down to the back row of vehicles. These were new vehicles and recently preserved buses. On the end of the row was a rather nice Leyland Lynx formerly with Halton Transport, 35.

Halton Transport 35 at the Britannia Stadium
After we had done a quick lap of the site we bought a program and a North Staffs fleetbook and sat down in front of the West stand to plan our next move. As we though about what we would do we saw recently preserved First Potteries Leyland double decker 30033 move up to the stop. We decided to get a run on this. We got on the bus and sat down upstairs. A minute or so later required Trent 356 pulled up behind us. It was OK as this was the second bus going to Stone and we could get it on the way back. The bus left the Britannia Stadium and we headed South down Stanley Matthews Way. We then turned right onto the A5035 which we did to Trentham. At Trentham we turned left onto the A34. Once on the A34 put in a great turn of speed as we went past Tittensor and onto the 60mph section of road. We carried on along the Fillybrooks and we came into Stone from the South end. Once we crossed the canal we turned onto the one way system and stopped on Crown Street. Matthew went to use the toilet and once he had been he came out and got a picture of First Potteries 30033.

First Potteries 30033 in Stone
A couple of minutes later the slower and older Trent 356 made an appearance. Matthew then got a picture of this dual door Bristol RE.

Trent 356 in Stone
Whilst we had taken this trip down to Stone mum had bumped into Grandma and they had checked out the price of the food at the Britannia Stadium and decided we would get better value eating elsewhere. Unfortunately Grandma had to leave before we got back. The bus left Stone up Newcastle Street and we rejoined the A34 North of Stone. We then had a spirited run up to the A34 but nowhere near as quick as First Potteries which was at least a 1/2 a mile in front of us. We came back into the Britannia Stadium via the A5035 and Stanley Matthews Way and when the bus had finished emptying out Matthew got a picture inside Trent 356.

Inside Trent 356
We met up with mum and we drove off site to go eat at our favourite cafe Go Eat! Situated on the A5035 just outside Longton we went via Stanley Matthews Way and the A5035 and we got there in no time. After visiting their toilet Matthew sat down to a breakfast with oatcakes and toast and a drink of Coke. After we had finished eating we said goodbye and we decided to return to the bus rally via Longton and the site Z Carz. At the site today there were three more buses than last night. The first bus we saw was GL04 CVE.

Z Carz GL04 CVE in Longton
Beside this was Mercedes minibus BV51 BNO.

Z Carz BV51 BNO in Longton
Next to this was Volkswagon OV05 WSW.

Z Carz OV05 WSW in Longton
Finally was the newest arrival, Ford minibus FP06 WTW.

Z Carz FP06 WTW in Longton
We headed back onto the A50 and we drove down to Stanley Matthews Way and into the Britannia Stadium. We knew the 13:50 departure to Hanley Museum was booked to be required United Counties 952. As we turned the corner we saw the bus at the stop. Mum dropped us off and we got a picture of this fine Bristol VR as we waled up to the stop.

United Counties 952 at the Britannia Stadium
We jumped on the bus and we went upstairs. It was quite well filled and Matthew wasn't able to get a picture inside. The bus set off out of the Britannia Stadium and onto the Westbound A50. We took the A500 to Stoke before joining the A52 to head towards the railway station. After a quick stop we turned up college road and then into Hanley past the bus station. We crossed over the ring road and past the bottom of the new bus station before stopping outside the museum. We got off and took a picture of the bus before getting back on it.

United Counties 952 outside Hanley museum
A duplicate service should have been running with required PMT Leyland National 279. Whilst we waited for 952 to depart we saw Aimee's ex Cardiff Dart T147 DAX on the #16 to Leek.As we hadn't seen it we assumed it hadn't run when we saw PMT in the distance coming down Bethesda Street. We jumped off United Counties 952 and we got a picture of required PMT 279. We jumped on and sat down just in front of the glass screen by the rear raised section of the bus. I forgot about the glass screen in these buses were you used to be able to smoke! The bus set off and turned into Broad Street before turning into college Road. We had a quick stop at the railways station before carrying along the A52 to city Road. We then followed part of the old #46 route that the national used to be quite common on back in the day. We went up City Road and we turned right into the buses only section of Christchurch Street. We then turned into station Road before going across Heron Cross. We turned right onto the A50 and we turned into Stanley Matthews Way and then into the Britannia Stadium. We went passed the west Stand and we turned behind the Boothen End to the point where the buses were setting down. We then got another picture of PMT 279.

PMT 279 at the Britannia Stadium
We had a short break off the buses and we sat down by the Boothen End. I had planned on doing Coventry 244 but I had misread the timetable which is easy to do with the look up charts and flicking backwards and forwards in the book. The bus turned out to be West Midlands double decker 6225 which we decided to do instead.

WM 6225 at the Britannia Stadium
We got on the bus and we went upstairs. The bus set off onto Stanley Matthews Way and we turned right at the end onto the A5035. We turned onto the Southbound A34 and we headed South of Stone as we had done on First Potteries 30033. We turned back into town and stopped on Crown Street. First PMT minibus MMM120 had already beaten us to the stop. We got off and took a picture of the minibus.

PMT MMM120 in Stone
Matthew used the toilet and we decided to go back on the double decker rather than to transfer onto the minibus. We sat back the top deck of WM 6225 and the bus set off North. This time the bus went back up the A520 through Outon. At rough Close we turned onto Lightwood Road and we headed towards Longton. We turned onto Belgrave Road and then onto the A5035. We then went along to Stanley Matthews Way and then back into the Britannia Stadium. When we got back to the stadium we waited for the bus to empty out and Matthew got a picture inside of WM 6225.

Inside WM 6225
We were going to do Lynx 860 but we had a bit of time to kill so we had a walk around whilst we waited. We came across the former British Airways triple door Leyland National with Matthew like the look of.

British Airways B361 LOY at the Britannia Stadium
There was somebody with the bus so we asked if we could go on it and have a look around. Matthew then took a picture inside B361 LOY.

Inside British Airways B361 LOY
We also had a look on the new liveried First Potteries Volvo 66307.

Inside First Potteries 66307
The bus we hoped to catch later former PMT Lynx 860, was parked up between duties.

PMT 860 at the Britannia Stadium
It looked like Stanways Dart N983 BHE wasn't going to work today afterall. The was no-one with the bus so Matthew had to settle for taking a picture through the front window.

Inside Stanways N983 BHE
The Brisol RE that we rode on earlier, Trent 356 was parked up in a nice sunny location.

Trent 356 at the Britannia Stadium
We walked over to the newer buses and Matthew got a picture of one of D&G's latest acquisition, Enviro 200 109.

D&G 109 at the Britannia Stadium
The bus was open and unattended so Matthew went on and took a picture inside this bus.

Inside D&G 109
At this point we were epecting PMT 860 to work but we didn't see it. Matthew decided to look at the stalls again and by a few photographs. There were only a few departures left now, and only one full round trip as far as we could see. This was going to be dud First PMT MMM120. We decided to do this bus anyway because we hadn't been on it for a long time. The bus pulled up at the stop and we got a picture of the Mercedes minibus.

PMT MMM120 at the Britannia Stadium
The last time we had this bus was back in August 2010. We got on the bus and we sat down near the back. The bus was doing a round trip to Newcastle. he bus set off onto Stanley Matthew Way and we joined the Westbound A50 and then the Northbound A500. We came off the A500 at Shelton New Road and we headed up to the border of Newcastle. We dropped down into Newcastle along George Street and into Newcastle bus station. We asked the driver if there was time to take a quick picture and after he said yes we jumped off and got a nice shot of MMM120 in the sunshine.

PMT MMM120 in Newcastle bus station
We got back on and the bus set off out of town. We did the A53 through Basford and onto the A500. We then went back up the A500 until we met the A50 and back into Stanley Matthew Way and the Britannia Stadium. We waited for the bus to empty and Matthew got another picture inside First PMT MMM120.

Inside PMT MMM120
Mum was waiting for us and we decided to get a few more pictures as we walked back to the car. Former Big Green Bus E989 VUK was now in clear view.

E989 VUK at the Britannia Stadium
As we walked back Chester City Transport 99 set of back to it's home.

Chester City Transport 99 at the Britannia Stadium
Outside the West stand Midland Red 674 set off on it's journey home.

Midland Red 674 at the Britannia Stadium
We jumped into the car and we went to drop Uncle Dave off at home. We then came back through Heron cross into Blurton getting home just after after 17:00. For tea Matthew had chicken popcorn and fries. He then chilled out watching his new DVD's and using his computer and having a bath until bedtime around 23:00...Mark

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