Sunday, 28 September 2014

Trip to the 'Potteries Connection' running day 28-09-2014


53828Blurton, adj Ladybank GroveFenton (Stoke-on-Trent), adj Clifton Street23First potteries
65040Fenton (Stoke-on-Trent), adj Victoria PlaceLongton (Stoke-on-Trent), opp St James' Church6BFirst Potteries
30033Gladstone pottery MuseumHanley, Bethesda StreetSpecialFirst PMT (Preserved)
GSO 90VHanley, Bethesda StreetGladstone pottery MuseumSpecialBluebird (Preserved)
ORS 60RGladstone pottery MuseumFoxfield RailwaySpecialBerresfords (Preserved)
ORS 60RFoxfield RailwayGladstone pottery MuseumSpecialBerresfords (Preserved)
170Gladstone pottery MuseumHanley, Bethesda StreetSpecialBournemouth (Preserved)
170Hanley, Bethesda StreetGladstone pottery MuseumSpecialBournemouth (Preserved)
H860 GREGladstone pottery MuseumHanley, Bethesda StreetSpecialStoniers (Preserved)
H860 GREHanley, Bethesda StreetGladstone pottery MuseumSpecialStoniers (Preserved)
DOG104Gladstone pottery MuseumTrentham GardensSpecialCrosville (Preserved)
DOG104Trentham GardensGladstone pottery MuseumSpecialCrosville (Preserved)

Today was Matthew second biggest day of his bus related social calender...the Potteries Connection running day. After a good night sleep I woke Matthew up just before 10:00 and he came down and had toast and orange juice for breakfast. Mum had gone out for the morning, so once Matthew was up I phoned uncle Dave to arrange a time and a place to meet to travel up to the main site of the rally, which is of course at the Gladstone Pottery Museum in Longton. There is now no longer a direct bus from Blurton to Longton on a Sunday. So we had to travel down to Fenton, to catch either a #1 or a #6 service. Before we could catch that though, we had to get to Fenton. We set off on foot just before 10:30 with the aim of intercepting the 10:32 #23 service from Newstead to Hanley. We walked all the way to the Ladybank Grove stop, and when we got there there was a young man with a Rottweiler at the stop who kept barking at matthew every time he made a noise. The bus came around the corner and it was required First Potteries 53828.

First Potteries 53828 in Blurton
We got on the bus and booked to Christchurch Street in Fenton. Matthew was very well behaved and didn't attempt to honk the horn on this Optare Solo... We sat down a few seats in front of the Rottweiler and th bus set off through Blurton Farm estate and onto Blurton Road. We passed Lightning T2 DLT near to the Lighning house, and we crossed the A50 and went into Fenton along Heron Street. At Christchurch Road we turned left and when we got near to Albert Square, we got up and got off the bus. Matthew got another picture of First Potteries 53828 as it carried on towards Stoke.

First Potteries 53828 in Fenton
We walked towards the square where we met up with uncle Dave. It seemed very busy in this part of Fenton with people in the square. We walked up towards City Road and as we did we saw preserved PMT Leyland National 279 going towards Longton. We also saw my old car! We carried onto Victoria Square and we waited at the stop. going the other way towards Hanley we saw dud First Potteries Scanias 65040 and 60175. We seemed to wait for quite a while, longer than the 20 minute frequency timetable suggested we should have waited. It was quite warm for September, and I ended up taking my jacket and jumper off. Eventually First Potteries 65040 turned up.

First Potteries 65040 in Fenton
We got on the bus and booked to Uttoxeter Road and the driver saw the First bus rucksack and asked if we were going to the bus rally. We first had 65040 back in from Hanford to Stafford back in February 2012. Matthew decided he wanted sit on the two seats behind the driver, and uncle Dave sat further back down the bus. Th bus carried on up City Road, which became King Street as we went closer towards Longton. We went under the railway line and the bus went into Longton Interchange. We saw First Potteries 60057 and 60175 which had caught us up. A minute or so later we carried on out of the interchange and onto Market Street. On Uttoxeter Road quarter a mile or so up the road after the the one way system finished we got off the bus outside St James Church. Matthew took another picture of First Potteries 65040 as it carried on towards Blythe Bridge.

First Potteries 65040 in Longton
We crossed over Uttoxeter road and walked down towards the Gladstone Pottery Museum. The is a short cut into the car park off the road, and when we climbed the steps we saw the first bus on the site, dud Midland Fox GJW 43N.

Midland Fox GJW 43N in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
We walked through the site, and most of the buses that were not running in the rally were parked on the left hand side of the site as viewed from Chadwick Street. Amongst these buses and coaches was DW Coaches BIG 2094 which was on JB Tours charter from Doncaster to the event.

DW Coaches BIG 2094 in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
Another bus not running in the rally was Crosville 783 EFW.

Crosville 783 EFW in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
Closest to Chadwick Street was Posh Limo Iveco minibus P20 SSH.

Posh Limos P20 SSH in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
We purchased a rally programme at £3 and continued looking around the site. Most of the running entrants to the rally were parked towards the right hand side of the site in two rows. In the back row was dud First PMT 866.

First PMT 866 in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
Also in the back row was dud Midland Red 1918.

Midland Red 1918 in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
We had been there long, when we saw T Deakins fine Leyland Olympian First PMT 30033 (G757 XRE).

First PMT 30033 in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
It was on a service on a service to Hanley and Stoke station, so we decided to do this bus. We got on the free service and went upstairs. The bus set off out of the site and across the A50. We went past Z Carz and joined the A50. And this fine example of an Olypian, which showed off it speed on the dual carriageway. We came of the main A50 and onto the A50 link Road before heading down Victoria Road. We crossed the roundabout at Joiners Square and went up Lichfield Street to the ring road around Hanley We turned Left onto the ring road and then right onto Bethesda Street. The bus stopped outside the Museum. There was another bus outside the museum, so we got to take a picture. It was required Bluebird GSO 90V.

Bluebird GSO 90V outside Hanley museum
Originally we had planned to go back on the Olympian, but we couldn't resist getting at least one new preserved bus in for the day. We got on this great example of a Leyland Leopard / Alexander 'Y' type single decker, and we sat down towards the rear of the bus. The bus had duplicated the previous run 20 minutes earlier, but for some reason was still outside the museum. The bus set off onto Broad Street and across the ring road onto Snow Hill. At the top of college Road the bus turned into left and we went down College Road to the railway station. After a brief pause here, the bus went towards City road along the A52. We turned left at City Road, and went directly to Longton up King Street. The bus went around the one way system, coming back into the site via Normacott Road and Chadwick Street. The bus pulled onto the car park and we waited for the bus to unload before Matthew took a picture inside Bluebird GSO 90V.

Inside Bluebird GSO 90V
We got off the bus and we had around 5 minutes for the next bus that we wanted to catch, Berresfords liveried Leyland Leopard ORS 60R was on the next service to the Foxfield Railway. Whilst we were there we had time to take a few nore pictures. Stantons of stoke open top double decker JTF 218F was just leaving on a service to Trentham Gardens.

Stantons of Stoke JTF 218F in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
Also leaving the site was PMT Leyalnd Atlantean 766.

PMT 766 in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
A few minutes later we saw the driver jump into ORS 60R and drove the bus up to the bus stop.We let the bus load up before getting a quick picture and then jumping on it.

'Berresfords' ORS 60R at the Gladstone Pottery Museum
WE sat down near to the back of the bus and the bus set off onto Uttoxteter Road and towards Normacott. We joined the Eastbound A50 and we went through Meir tunnel, the Leopard engine resonating all around as we traveled through it. We came off the A50 at Catchems Corner and we joined the road to Blythe Bridge. After we had crossed the level crossing we turned left and climb up the hill to the Foxfield Railway. The coach turned around and parked up to wait a few minutes before returning. We got off and we took pictures of Berresfords ORS 60R.

'Berresfords' ORS 60R at Foxfield Railway
Besides the railway engines, there was a minibus doing a shuttle service to the colliery site. You had to pay for railway tickets to do the bus though. It was being worked by required Masons B13 PSV.

Masons B13 PSV at Foxfield Railway
We got back on Berresfords ORS 60R and we sat down at the back for the return journey. he bus set off down the hil and we turned right at the bottom of the lane and across the level crossing. We joined the Westbound A50 and we went through the tunnel again, coming off the A50 at Normacott. We went along Uttoxeter Road and we took the tight left turn into Chadwick Street passing required Bournemouth 103 coming the other way. We got off the bus and we waited a few minutes for mum at the edge of the site. She was running a little late so we walked down the A5035 to Go Eat and we met up with mum there. Whilst there matthew had a breakfast washed down with a can of Coke, and he had a millionaires shortbread, which went into the trip bag for later. Mum took us back up to Gladstone and we said goodbye again as she left us there for the afternoon. We were just in time to do Bournemouth 170, which was about to work the 14:20 to Hanley.

Bournemouth 170 in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
We decided to do this bus as a filler move whilst we waited to get Stoniers liveried 860 which was working the 15:00 to Hanley. We got on Bournemouth 170 and we went upstairs. This was a bus we first had at this event last year. This bus set off out of the Gladstone site and onto the A50. The bus took the same route as 30033 had done earlier. A50, A50 Link Road, Victoria Road, Lichfeld Street, Hanley ring road and onto Bethesda Street. When the bus got to the museum we got off and took another picture of Bournemouth 170.

Bournemouth 170 outside Hanley museum
When the bus was due to return, it took similar route to the railway station along Broad Street, Snow Hill and College Road. When it left the railway station it went along the A52 before we turned onto the A50 link Road and into Longton along the A50 and along Normacott Road and Chadwick Street. We left the bus empty and Matthew took a picture inside Bournemouth 170.

Inside Bournemouth 170
We had around 5 minutes to kill before 860 was due depart. Matthew decided to visit the Busflix gazebo and checck out the DVD's. We picked the local DVD and whilst he was considering buying another one, we saw 860 move onto the stop. We quickly paid £10 for the DVD and went out to catch required H860 GRE.

Stonier H860 GRE in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
This is a bus that had been in preservation for a few years but we keep missing it. That was until now... We got on the bus and we sat down towards the back of the bus. This Leyland Lynx is a modern classic, with original grey & maroon zig-zag moquette as was the standard with all new buses in the late 80's and early 90's. The bus went upto Hanley along the same route as the other 3 trip had made. When we got to Hanley we jumped off to get another picture.

Stonier H860 GRE outside Hanley museum
Matthew decided he wanted to go toilet. We went into the museum and Matthew used the facilities whilst I brought us a couple of lollies. One of the guys working at the museum asked if we were going on the bus as they were holding it up until we were ready. we rushed Matthew out of the toilet and we jogged over to the waiting bus, sitting down towards the back. The bus left the Bethesda Road and we went down to the railway station via College Road. We departed the railway station and we went back to the site via the A52 City Road, King Street, Market Street and Uttoxeter Road before coming back into Chadwick Street from the opposite end. When we got back We let the bus empty out so Matthew could take a picture inside this single decker with a classic PMT interior.

Inside Stonier H860 GRE
We got off the bus and Matthew spotted that there had been a new North Staffs fleet list book produced by POPS, so we walked over to their trade stand a brought a copy at £4. We then sat by the bus stop to wait for the 15:45 which was booked to be 30033. It appeared 30033 had suffered a minor failure at some point, so was able to do the service as booked. A replacement was found in the form of Former PMT 30039, which now carries its original Crosville livery and fleet number DOG104.

Crosville DOG 104 in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
I asked Matthew if he wanted to do this bus and he said yes, so we got on board and went upstairs. As the top deck was empty behind the stairs, Matthew took a picture inside DOG104 before sat down.

Inside Crosville DOG 104
The bus set off out of the site and onto the A5035 we went through Blurton and into Trentham before crossing the A34 and entering Trentham Gardens. We turned left inside the site passing Frankie & Benny and then we went around the car parks and we stopped outside the Trentham retail village.We got off and took a quick picture.

Crosville DOG 104 at Trentham Gardens
We got back on and at 16:00 at it's booked departure time we set off back to the Gladstone Pottery Museum. We crossed the A34 and onto the A5035. There was a small queue at the temporary lights for the roadworks, and once we passed through them we went through Blurton and Dresden an into Longton. When we got back to the site mum was waiting in thr car park opposite. We had one quick look around and we saw Bassetts Coaches SUX 476X parked in a favourable position for a photograph.

Bassetts Coaches SUX 476X in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
We visited the Mersey Transport Trust Stall in front of MTL 1070 and Matthew studied the bus driver ties that were for sale and brought a single photograph for 30p. We walked across to the car and jumped in. Mum drove us down the Strand and passed the bus station which was empty, so we continued down to King Street and to the A50 link Road. We went through Heron Cross and we dropped uncle Dave of at home before returning home via Heron Cross, getting back around 17:00. For tea Matthew had fish fingers and fries and the millionaire shortbread we brought earlier at Go Eat. Matthew then chilled out on his computer and watched his bus DVD before going to bed around 23:30...Mark

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