Saturday, 13 September 2014

Trip to Stoke / Tunstall 13-09-2014


43876Magdalen Road, BlurtonTrentham, adj Man-in-Space22First Potteries
41499Trentham, adj Man-in-SpaceStoke-upon-Trent, adj stop R21BFirst Potteries
66310Stoke-upon-Trent, adj stop QNewcastle BS3First Potteries
37158Newcastle BSKeele, Nr Sneyd Arms PH3First Potteries
133Keele, adj Sneyd Arms PHNewcastle BS85D&G
61243Newcastle BSBurslem, Town Hall (stop G)8First Potteries
66302Burslem, Wedgwood Street (Stop A)Tunstall, adj stop M3First Potteries
40367Tunstall, adj stop ASmallthorne, adj Regina Street9First Potteries
60171Smallthorne, adj Ashman StreetTunstall, adj stop B9First Potteries
3604Tunstall, adj stop ABradeley, opp Crediton Avenue91Wardle Transport
40367Bradeley, adj Moorland ViewThe Brampton, adj Sidmouth Avenue9First Potteries

Today we decided we were going to have a local trip. We hadn't been out locally since the timetable change at the end of July apart from on #22's, plus mum had something she needed to do. The weather had been forecast as dry and research consisted of download some of the local timetables on to my phone from Matthew got up just after 10:00 and had toast and orange juice for breakfast. WE decided to go out on the 12:07 departure towards Newcastle, and I had already been out to see what this would be by viewing the 08:07! Just before twelve we said goodbye to mum and we walked all the way to the bus stop on Magdalen Road. Bang on time, as expected First Potteries 43876 rounded the corner.

First Potteries 43876 in Blurton
We got on the bus and booked a Smart Day ticket at £5.30. This ticket is a multi-operator ticket valid throughout the North Staffordshire area. We sat down ear to the back of the bus and the bus set off onto the A5035. There were a few people on the bus but Matthew was able to get a picture of the empty back seat.

Inside First Potteries 43876
The bus carried on along Trentham Road and we passed First Potteries 41502 on a Dresden bound #22. We had agreed that we were going to go to Stoke for dinner so we decided to get off in Trentham and catch a #21 into town. As we turned into New Inn Lane we passed dud First Potteries 41499 on the #21B to Trentham Gardens. We knew that there would be a good possibility that this would be the next service to Stoke. We got off First Potteries 43876 and Matthew got another picture of this fine MPD Dart.

First Potteries 43876 in Trentham
We waited at the stop for around five minutes and then as expected dud First Potteries 41499 appeared on the #21B to Hanley.

First Potteries 41499 in Trentham
We got on the bus and we flashed out Smart Day ticket. The bus was nearly empty and we sat down ear to the back and Matthew took a picture of the empty back seat.

Inside First Potteries 41499
The bus traveled through Trentham and into Hanford before joining the A34. We have only been on one of the Caetano Darts allocated to Adderley Green and it just happens to be First Potteries 41499! Or previous trip on this bus was from Stoke to Hanley, our first trip on one of these Caetano Darts back in November 2012. We crossed under the A500 and then turned onto London Road. As we headed towards Stoke the bus filled up, by the time we reached Stoke it was standing room only. We got off the bus outside of Maplins and Matthew took another picture of this bus.

First Potteries 41499 in Stoke
We walked into town along Campbell Place, and we saw required First Potteries 41493 on a #21 to Pacific Road Trentham.

First Potteries 41493 in Stoke
We walked around the corner to the cafe which was nearly full. Ti was busy due to it being a Stoke City match day. Matthew went to the toilet with uncle Dave and I ordered the food. Matthew had a breakfast washed down with a glass of orange Tango. As we had a window seat we were able to see the buses on Church Street. Highlights of the passing buses included Scraggs Blue Buses step entranced minibus 64 on the #31 to Werrington and D&G Solo 136 on the Trentham Plumline. After we had finished eating we walked down Church Street to the Newcastle stop. In the distance we saw dud First Potteries 31518 on a football shuttle service. At the Newcastle stop was First Potteries 66310 awaiting time.

First Potteries 66310 in Stoke
I asked Matthew if he wanted to do this bus and he said yes. This was the first one of these buses we have traveled on since here arrival in Stoke from Leicester earlier in the year. A few minutes later the bus set off out of town up hartshill Road. The bus in Hartsill the bus turned left into Harpfields Road and through the hospital. This was the first time we had been this way on a First Bus. First Potteries 65732 was running late on a Keele bound #3 and turned into the A34 behind us. Form a while we were running side by side on the A34. We pulled into the bus station and Matthew waited for the bus to empty before getting a picture inside this bus with its unusual internal layout.

Inside First Potteries 66310
After getting offthe bus we decided to head towards the toilets. Required Wardle Transport 2234 was on stand and about to work the #92 to Ball Green and required First Potteries 42727 was coming into the bus station about to work the #8 to Ball Green.

First Potteries 42727 in Newcastle bus station
Whilst Matthew was in the toilet both buses departed. When he came out we saw required First Potteries 43875 on the #22 to Dresden.

First Potteries 43875 in Newcastle bus station
We walked down to the bottom of the bus station whilst we thought about what bus we would catch next. On layover from working #33 Westlands circulars was Wardle Transport 2221.

Wardle Transport 2221 in Newcastle bus station
We thought about where we were going next. We wanted to end up in Tunstall eventually so that we could have cake from Tunstall Cafe later. On the #91 was dud Wardle Transport 3604. On a B2 football shuttle was required First Potteries 37156. This bus was a relatively new arrival from Cannock depot. Required Bakerbus hybrid 247 was on layover in between working on the #94 to Biddulph. Then we saw he first First Potteries double decker working in ordinary service. Dud First Potteries 37158 was on the #3 to keele.

First Potteries 37158 in Newcastle bus station
As we hadn't eaten that long ago we decided to go for a spin up to Keele on First Potteries 37158. We got on the bus and flashed our smart day tickets. We went upstairs and it was empty, so Matthew took his empty bus picture there and then.

Inside First Potteries 37158
This was our first run on the #3 to Keele, but there was no difference to the route from the old #25 along this section of the journey anyway. We turned South onto Barracks road before going North up the A34. We turned left onto Pool Dam before going right onto Orme Road. After a mile or so of bouncing over the speed humps we rejoined the A525 just West of Hampton Hump. When I used to work at Keele drove past this point every day. There is a slight up and over hill adjacent to Hamptons scrap yard, and it was henceforth know to us as Hampton Hump. We crossed over the Cemetery Road roundabout and we climbed the steep hill up towards Keele. At the top of the hill was the new entrance to Keele University. When I lasted worked in Keele this was a new feature! We headed through the science park area before going through the main campus area and through to Keele Village and the turning point of the #3 service. When the bus stopped we alight from First Potteries 37158 and took another picture of this beast in picturesque Keele Village.

First Potteries 37158 in Keele
Rather than go back on First Potteries 37158, we decided to check out if there was a #85 Crewe - Hanley bus due on the opposite side of the road. We got to the stop and we were about to have a picnic. Matthew had a Milky way and we checked the time of the next service, 1357. At this point I hadn't checked the time, because if I had we would have started to eat... We looked up to see dud D&G MCV eVolution 133 hurtling towards us!

D&G 133 in Keele
We got on the bus and flashed out Smart Day ticket before siting down. We hadn't had a lot of luck with buses today... This was our fifth bus and only one f the so far had been a new bus. The last time we had this bus was as D&G 33 back in June 2013 on the same service. This was before the the majority of the fleet were renumbered to begin with 1. This bus was reasonably well filled today, on previous occasion this bus has been packed full! The bus went back down the A525 main line avoiding the humps of Orme Road before going back into the bus station via Pool Dam, the A34 and barracks Road. We got off the bus and we considered what bus to do next. We saw dud Wardle Transport 3616 on a #91 to Bradeley, and we decided not to do this.

Wardle Transport 3616 in Newcastle bus station
We walked down to the bottom end of the bus station to take a few pictures whilst we decided which bus to catch next. Arriving on a #41 service was required branded Wardle Transport 2167.

Wardle Transport 2167 in Newcastle bus station
We then saw First Potteries 61243 on the #8 to Ball Green.

First Potteries 61243 in Newcastle bus station
As there were a few buses in this batch that we need we decided to do it. Closer inspection of the buses I have traveled on page revealed that it was dud! We decided to do it anyway. It could help us get closer to Tunstall and there was a good chance of scoring a new bus on the #3 from Burslem to Tunstall anyway. We got on the bus and it was empty so Matthew got a picture there and then.

Inside First Potteries 61243
We flashed the Smart day ticket and sat down near to the back of the bus. At departure time we left the bus station and onto Barracks Road before crossing the Jubilee roundabout onto the A527. We headed through Wolstatnton and then turned right down Porthill Bank. We then saw another new to the area ALX200 Dart, required Wardle Transport 2238 on a #92 to Newcatle. The bus crossed over the A500 and we went right at Trubshaw Cross and into Burslem town centre. The bus stopped outside the old town hall and we got off, and Matthew took another picture of this bus.

First Potteries 61243 in Burslem
Matthew spotted the toilets housed in the Ceramica building, so he went to use those. Whilst in there dud First Potteries 66847 went past on a #3 service going towards Tunstall. When matthew had finished we walked to the stop oppsite the Queens Theatre. We could see about a mile down the road, down into the valley and up into Cobridge. We could see a bus approaching that didn't look like a normal service bus in these here parts. As it got closer we saw it was required Bakerbus 235 running out of service in Cheshire Connect livery. '

Bakerbus 235 in Burslem
On the opposite side of the road we saw a couple of Hanley bound #3 services. One of these buses was dud First Potteries 66838.

First Potteries 66838 in Burslem
Eventually we saw another bus approaching in the distance from Cobridge. As it got closer we saw it was required First Potteries 66302.

First Potteries 66302 in Burslem
We got on the bus and flashed the ticket. the bus was nearly full and we sat down on the short back seat at the rear of the bus next to the vertically mounted engine. We picked up and dropped off a few more passenger as we made our way up Scotia Road towards Tunstall, we passed the old PMT depot (now part of Dudsons pottery) and we went left onto Williamson street before going right onto Tunstall High Street. At the top of the High Street we got off the bus. Right behind us was dud First Potteries 65732 on the #3, which had been following us around all day!

First Potteries 65732 in Tunstall
We got off the bus and we headed into the Tunstall Cafe. Matthew used the toilet and then he had a slice of toffee cheesecake and a glass of Coke. After we had finished eating we headed back onto the High Street. We decided to head towards Smallthorne on a #9 service. In the opposite direction towards Newcastle we saw dud First Potteries 40154. going South on a #3 was dud First Potteries 60205.

First Potteries 60205 in Tunstall
A few minutes later we saw a Dart approaching. As it got closer we saw it was required First Potteries 40367.

First Potteries 40367 in Tunstall
The bus was empty when we got on it so Matthew took his picture immediately.

Inside First Potteries 40367
We flashed the ticket and sat down near the the back. The bus set off as the old #29 used to do, around the roundabout at the top off the High Street before passing the police station and going onto Queens Avenue. We went down to the bottom of the hill before turning left onto Irene Avenue. We traveled via Carlton Avenue and Little Chell Road onto High Lane. As we headed towards Turnhurst and we passed required First Potteries 65578 on a Hanley bound #7A service. We turned onto Biddulph Road and there was a slight variation from the old #29 service.The bus traveled down Fegg Hayes Road before rejoining the old #29 rout on Oxford Road. We turned right and headed past Matthew old school which is now boarded up and looking overgrown. We headed into Bradeley and we turned right onto Ford Green Road. As we passed Sammy Lowe's chippy we had a look to see it was open yet (it wasn't 16:00 yet). WE decided to get off here to see what we could catch. As we got off Matthew took another picture of First Potteries 40367 in his old home town.

First Potteries 40367 in Smallthorne
Matthew spent the first ten and three quarter years living in Smallthorne. This is where he developed his interest in buses. Generally, if we were going towards Hanley we used to get on the bus at Regina Road stop and get off the bus at Ashman Street. We crossed the road to go to the Ashman Street stop. They had put in a traffic island in the last couple of years to assist pedestrians crossing the road here, and I must say it was long overdue! We sat down at the Ashman Street stop and we looked at which buses we might catch. we could do a #8A to ball Green, a #90 to Ball Green or perhaps another #9 back to Tunstall. Going towards Newcastle we saw required Wardle Transport 2238 pop up again.

Wardle Transport 2238 in Smallthorne
Going towards Bradeley on a #19 was dud Wardle Transport 2278.

Wardle Transport 2278 in Smallthorne
The last time that we had been on this bus, it was D&G 91 which we had back in June 2011! This was followed by another bus that we hadn't been on for a while, First Potteries 40030 on a #8A to Ball Green.

First Potteries 40030 in Smallthorne
As the next bus passed the former pub, we could see it was required First Potteries 60171 in it's heritage red and yellow livery.

First Potteries 60171 in Smallthorne
We got on the bus and flashed our ticket to the driver. We sat down near the the back of the bus and the bus pulled off from the stop. It was maybe a little ironic that we had this bus from Smallthorne, as it was the red and yellow buses of the old PMT company that used to make Matthew sit up and pay attention as they went past his pram! The bus turned the corner onto Chell Heath Road and Matthew took a picture of the rear empty seats.

Inside First Potteries 60171
Here's a thought... Maybe if the buses were painted in a different colour, Matthew would have developed a different hobby...? We went back into Chell Heath and back past Heathfield School before returning onto High Lane via Fegg Hays Road and the A527. On High Lane we passed the other required ex Northampton Scania 65567 going North towards Biddulph on a #7A service. We headed back though the Mill Hill estate and onto Queens Avenue before passing Tunstall police station and entering the North end of Tunstall High Street. WE got up and gt off the bus and Matthew took another picture of this fine example of a Scania.

First Potteries 60171 in Tunstall
We decided to head off and get some chips to have between us. Not before taking a few more bus pictures. We saw First Potteries 66841 whizzed past us on a #3 towards Hanley.

First Potteries 66841 in Tunstall
We decided to go up the High Street in search of a proper chip shop. We saw a kebab / pizza place on the corner of Roundwell Street, so we thought if we didn't find one we could always come back to there. We walked up to the top almost as far as the Furlong Road and there was no tradition chip shop. As we waled up we saw First Potteries 66851 on a #3 to Leighton Hospital.

First Potteries 66851 in Tunstall
On the way back to the kebab shop we saw Bakerbus President double decker 268 on a #94 to Biddulph. We ordered 2 large portions of fries and whilst we waited we saw Roseville minibus MF06 KLL going North up the High Street. Once the chips were ready we walked down to the square and we sat on a bench and ate the fries. Matthew drank a can of orange Fanta and then we headed over to the toilets on Butterfield Place. I check the football on my phone to find Stoke were losing 0-1 to Leicester! We walked back to the stop outside Burton's, with the aim of catching either a #90, #91 or another #9 service. There was a #91 due at 16:50 and a #90 due at 17:05. We saw an ALX bodied bus approaching and as it got closer we saw that it was dud Wardle Transport 3604.

Wardle Transport 3604 in Tunstall
We got on the bus and it was empty so Matthew took a picture inside the bus as we got on to it.

Inside Wardle Transport 3604
We flashed the ticket and we sat down just before the hump. This bus was dud, however we have never been on it in Stoke-on-Trent before. Our previous journey had been from Cannock to Landywood back in December 2012. The bus went north up the High Street and we turned right onto Furlong Road. At the bottom of Furlong Road we saw another bus on the #91 that we hadn't seen previously today, and that was dud Wardle Transport 3601. The drivers spoke to each other as the buses passed and we headed up St Michaels Road and onto the A527. We headed down Biddulph Road and then right onto Oxford Road. At Chell Heath we turned left onto Cornhill Road, coming back onto Chell heath Road via Dogcroft Road completely missing Heathfield School. I can't remember doing this before on a #91 before, so I assume this is a new variation on the route. The bus was going to turn right to head towards Bradeley village, so we got up and got off at the last stop on Chell Heath Road before the turn. We both took pictures of Wardle Transport 3604 as we got off the bus before we walked down to the next stop.

Wardle Transport 3604 in Bradeley
Going towards Biddulph was dud Bakerbus 248 on their #9 service.

Bakerbus 248 in Bradeley
had we caught the #9 behind Wardle Transport 60171 it would have been dud First Potteries 60171 again. At the stop we thought that we would pehaps wait 15 minutes and then catch the #90 towards Ball Green. There was a good chance of one it being either required Wardle transport 2234 or 2238. As we stood at the bus stop we got a call from mum to say she was nearly back at Grandma, so we decided to change plans and go back towards Newcastle on the next bus. We crossed the road and using, we typed in the code stoajwap to see what was due. there was a #9 to Newcastle to in 3 minutes at 17:22. We were hoping that it would maybe be required First Potteries 42727 which we had been seeing or passing all day on the #8's and #9's. We saw it was a Plaxton Dart and we got a little excited that it might be 42727, but as it got closer we saw it was our earlier score, First Potteries 40367. We got on the bus and flashed our tickets for the final time and we sat down near to the back of the bus. The bus set off back through Chell Heath and past his old school for the final time today. We went up Fegg Hayes Road and onto High lane and we passed First Potteries 65567 again! We headed through MIll Hill and into Tunstall and we waited a minutes or two for time. Matthew had me take a picture inside 40367 and then we carried on down the High Street. A few yards South of the square we saw a proper chippy for future reference... We went down Newcastle Street and through Trubshaw Cross into Longport. We crossed the A500 and we climbed Porthill Bank before turning left into Newcastle. Every other time we have been picked up from Newcastle, mum has parked in the Ironmarket and we have walked to there from the bus station. This time we decided to get off before we got to Newcastle so that we would be closer to the Iron Market. We got off the bus and Matthew took a final picture of 40367 before we walked down towards Newcastle.

First Potteries 40367 in The Brampton
We crossed under the ring road using the subway and we came up into the Iron Market. We got there and the car wasn't there.I called mum only to find that she had parked in a lay-by near to the bus station! About a minute later the car appeared and we all got in. I jumped into the driving seat and um swapped over to the passenger side. Mum had been to the match and hadn't had anything to eat so we decided to stop at the Riverside Chippy on the way to Z Carz. We drover down Barracks Road and we saw First Potteries 32633 on a #101 service. We drove down the A34 and we did stop briefly at the chippy so mum could get something to eat and we carried on until we reached the A500. We turned left onto the A500 and right onto the A50. At Longton we came off the A50 at Longton so we could see what was parked up at Z Carz and there were 4 vehicles parked up on the spare ground. First on the spare ground was Z carz Mercedes minibus M372 NWN.

Z Carz M372 NWN in Longton
In front of the was Z Carz Ford minibus BN03 OVS.

Z Carz BN03 OVS in Longton
Next to these two vehicle was Z Carz M534 RSO.

Z Carz M534 RSO in Longton
Finally we saw airport transfer minibus Z Carz DL03 HHU.

Z Carz DL03 HHU in Longton
We turned the corner into Willow Row and we saw MJ03 DPU. We headed back onto the A50 and into Heron Cross. and down through Blurton. We got back home around 18:30. Matthew had a few chips, and for a late tea we had bangers and mash with carrots followed by a derby scone. Matthew then chilled out on his computer until bedtime around 00:45... Mark

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