Sunday, 17 May 2015

Trip to the POPS rally 17-05-2015


8763Britannia StadiumNewcastle, School StreetSpecialGM Buses (Preserved)
RM467Newcastle, School StreetBritannia StadiumSpecialLondon Transport (Preserved)
658Britannia StadiumTrentham Gardens, coach drop off pointSpecialYorkshire Traction (Preserved)
1902Trentham Gardens, coach drop off pointBritannia StadiumSpecialMidland Red (North) (Preserved)
NXL 847Britannia StadiumStoke, railway stationSpecialEastern Belle (Preserved)
JVY 516Stoke, railway stationBritannia StadiumSpecialYork Pullman (Preserved)
CRS 66TBritannia StadiumStoneSpecialStrathtay Coaches (Preseved)
CRS 66TStoneBritannia StadiumSpecialStrathtay Coaches (Preseved)
604Britannia StadiumHanley, Bethesda StreetSpecialPMT (Preseved)
604Hanley, Bethesda StreetBritannia StadiumSpecialPMT (Preseved)

Today was the day of the annual POPS rally, currently held at the Britannia Stadium. It is one of the highlights of Matthew's social calender... Matthew got up just after 10:00 and had toast and orange juice for breakfast. We set off around 11:30 to go and pick uncle Dave up. We set off through the Blurton Farm estate and onto Church Road. We turned left at Critchlow's Corner and down Blurton Road. We cross the A50 and we turned left at Heron Cross. We picked uncle Dave up and we headed back up through Heron Cross. This time we joined the A50 and we went West the short distance to the turning for Stanley Matthews Way we turned by the Britannia Stadium and we parked up in front of the West stand. We set off down to where the buses were being displayed behind the Boothen End and on the way we stopped to look at dud Crosville Olympian DOG 104, formerly First Potteries 30039. Behind this was required Crosville half cab double decker DFG 157

Crosville DFG 157 at the Britannia Stadium
We visited Dave Spencer's stall to buy a few DVD's. We also visited the book stall and brought a Stagecoach fleet book. We also brought the North Staffs fleetlist produced by POPS, and the programme for today's event. We then went around the corner to where the buses were being diaplyed. One of the stars of the show was Tim Deakins very fine example of an all Leyland Olympian.

PMT 757 at the Britannia Stadium
The bus which has been in preservation for around a year has been returned to the livery it carried when the bus was delivered back in 1989. Also present was one of the regulars at the local bus rallies, PMT 198. Freshly painted in red and yellow livery was former PMT Leyland Lynx 860.

PMT 860 at the Britannia Stadium
One we haven't seen at the rally before was Northern Scottish Oympian double decker 16.

Northern Scottish 16 at the Britannia Stadium
Only in preservation for around 2 years was former PMT Dennis Lance 866 / 60100. Keith Stanton recently started his own company have started Wardle Transport and working with Arriva after their take over of Wardle Transport. He brought the welfare bus fleet along with a couple of the coaches. He expanded the business with a few schools contracets, buying some of the double deckers that used to be with Wardle Transport. One such example is 815 DYE, which used to be 4898 in the Wardle Transport fleet.

Stanton's of Stoke 815 DYE at the Britannia Stadium
It had recently been repainted in this variation of the old Wardle Transport colours. There were a few buses parked right against the Boothen End stand. One such vehicle was National Travel West 4771. Also present today was newly preserved Leyland Olympian 30031, which official presented to POPS by First in a ceremony today.

First PMT 30031 at the Britannia Stadium
At the top end of the Boothen end was Merseybus 1301. We started to look at the diplays on the other side of the row. One bus which we have seen before on our travels is First Worcester Dennis Trident 33404.

First Worcester 33404 at the Britannia Stadium
This is a bus that we haven't been on yet, but we have seen it a few times on our trips to Bromsgrove as it is a regular on the #144 from Worcester to Birmingham. Next to this was Bury corporation double decker 201. At the very back of the site was this very unusual bendy coach, Mortons 3111.

Mortons 3111 at the Britannia Stadium
Another favourite at the local rallies was this former Bassetts coach, SUX 476X.

Bassetts SUX 476X at the Britannia Stadium
We carried on down the row... We also saw this very nice Barton coach, 966. One that we haven't seen before was this Alder Valley Leyland National 127. First Potteries sent along a couple of buses. On of which was Caetano Dart 43877.

First Potteries 43877 at the Britannia Stadium
Other Staffordshire bus companies attending the rally also sent vehicle. One such vehicla was this rather nice modern double decker representing Midland Classic 55. They have painted in Stevenson of Uttoxeter's old colours. First Leicester sent this double decker painted in Leicester City Transport heritage livery, First Leicester 32646.

First Leicester 32646 at the Britannia Stadium
Another old favourite was this Mercedes minibus carry a the red and yellow livery, PMT MMM120. Copeland's Tours sent along 3 of there vehicles. One of the coaches they sent was Van Hool bodied coach MIB 394.

Copeland's Tours MIB 394 at the Britannia Stadium
Arriva Midlands sent along one of their new Streetlites allocated to Cannock, Arriva Midlands 3305.

Arriva Midlands 3305 at the Britannia Stadium
Arriving back on site after a run out on the road was dud London Transport Routemaster RM467. Towards the bottom of the site was GM Buses Metro Cammell Weymann bodied double decker 5320.

GM Buses 5320 at the Britannia Stadium
Select buses, the South Staffordshire operated sent 2 of their buses along. The was J722 GAP double decker and Enviro 200 WA09 FHK.

Select WA09 FHK at the Britannia Stadium
Routemaster Buses of Nantwich sent along former Stagecoach coach BAH 809X as well as their ALX200 bodied Dennis Dart.

Routemaster Buses BAH 809X at the Britannia Stadium
Further up the row was Chester City Transport double decker 4. There was also a former Warrington Borough Transport Dart 214 in this nice light blue livery.

Warrington 214 at the Britannia Stadium
One of Martin Hearson's Bournemouth bus fleet is required Bournemouth 103.

Bournemouth 103 at the Britannia Stadium
We decided to head to the bus stop and to catch something, as we headed to the stop we saw required GM Buses 8763 was about to work a service to Newcastle. We stopped to get a picture of the bus before we got on it.

GM Buses 8763 at the Britannia Stadium
We got on the bus and we went upstairs. We set off out off the stadium and onto the A50. The bus went South down the A500 before we came off the road at Hanford and we joined the A34. We headed along through Trent Vale an passed the hospital before we came into Newcastle. The buses were stopping on School Street, so we headed over the Jubilee roundabout and around the one way system. We turned off the A52 onto Hanover Street and then right into School Street. The bus stopped and the other bus that was duplicated the service was already parked up in front of us. It was dud London Transport Routemaster RM467.

London Transport RM467 in Newcastle
We took pictures of the buses and I asked Matthew what bus he wanted to travel back to the Britannia Stadium on. He chose the Routemaster so we got on the open platform at the back and went upstairs. When it was time the bus set off onto Barracks Road and down onto the A34. We continued South to the A500 and then we went North. when we got to the Sideway roundabout we went East up the A50 and we circled around the Britannia Stadium. When we got back to the Stadium, we got up and we let the bus empty out. Matthew took a picture inside London Transport RM467.

Inside London Transport RM467
We decided to have a little break from the buses and we walked back towards the car. Arriving in after a run out on the roads was Yorkshire Traction 658. This was followed in by two Northern Irish based Leyland Tigers with Alexander bodywork. Leading the group was Ulsterbus 1321.

Ulsterbus 1321 at the Britannia Stadium
This was followed by a slightly older bus, Ulsterbus 1250. Matthew visited the toilets in the stadium and then we headed back to the car where we had sausage sandwich and sausage rolls washed down with a bottle of Irn Bru. When we we had finished eating we said goodbye to mum and headed back to the Britannia Stadium to ride on a few more buses and take a few more pictures. At the bottom of the site we saw one of Stanton's of Stokes newest arrivals, minibus BV57 VGP.

Stanton's of Stoke BV57 VGP at the Britannia Stadium
We realised that the Yorkshire Traction Olympian we had missed earlier was about to work a service to Trentham Gardens. We saw the bus move on to the stop so we headed over to go and catch this bus, Yorkshire Traction 658.

Yorkshire Traction 658 at the Britannia Stadium
We got on the bus and we sat upstairs. The bus set off out of the stadium and onto the Southbound Stanley Matthews Way. We joined the A5035 and we headed into Trentham. We carried on to the end of the road where we crossed over the A34 and went into the main entrance of the gardens. We turned left past Frankie and Benny's and we circled around the car park to the coach drop off point. We got off the bus to take another picture of Yorkshire Traction 658.

Yorkshire Traction 658 at the Trentham Gardens
Also duplicating the service was dud Midland red 1902. We decided to do this back, but not before getting another picture of this fine bus.

Midland Red 1902 at the Trentham Gardens
We got on the bus and the bus headed back onto the A5035. We turned left onto Stanley Matthews way and we went up to and around the stadium before we stopped next to the other exhibits. We let thr bus empty and Matthew took a picture inside Midland Red 1902.

inside Midland Red 1902
Opposite us was a bus that we hadn't seen earlier. It was former Wardle Transport DAF double decker 4812, now D&G 178 and painted in D&G colours.

D&G 178 at the Britannia Stadium
We had managed to do the trip in less than 30 minutes, so when we walked down to the stop we saw the 14:20 departure hadn't left. It was Eastern Belle Duple bodied coach NXL 847.

Eastern Belle NXL 847 at the Britannia Stadium
We got on this fine example of a 1950's bus and we sat down near to the back. The 14:20 X60 service was a service that was serving the old gates to Trentham Gardens, Stoke railway station and then back to the Brit. The riding was very interesting. The suspension was very soft and when you went over a bump the bus continued to bounce for a short while. Gear selection seemed to be shear luck as to whether it would go in and the exhaust was quite noisy. All these little things added to the character of the ride. That with the superb Art Deco style coachwork inside the bus. Even the light fittings had an Art Deco style to them with their ridged form. The bus set off onto Stanley Matthews Way and then right onto the A5035. At the A34 we turned right and we stopped for a photo stop outside the old gate of Trentham Gardens. They shunted the buses around to get a few different pictures, but we decided to stay on the bus and swap to the other bus duplicating the service when we got to the railway station. When it was time to leave we set off first onto the A34 and up to Hanford. We turned right onto the A500 and the bus put in a good turn of speed. We did the A500 up to Stoke town centre. We joined the A52 and we went under the railway line and we followed the road around towards Stoke railway station. When we stopped at the we got off and as there was a crowd we crossed the road to get a better picture of Eastern Belle NXL 847.

Eastern Belle NXL 847 by Stoke railway station
We decided to do the other bus back that was duplicating this service, required York Pullman JVY 516.

York Pullman JVY 516 by Stoke railway station
This was another bus from the 1950's that had an Art Deco styled interior. We sat down near to the back of the bus and the bus set off up College Road. It soon became apparent that the ride on these two similar looking buses was very different. The suspension on this bus was hard... Rock Hard. College Road and the Avenue into which we turned left both have speed bumps and we felt every single one! We turned left onto Stoke Road and Left again onto station Road again. We followed the A52 adjacent to the railway line before turning left onto City Road. We turned right onto Christchurch street and we turned right again onto Station Bridge Road. We headed through Heron Cross before we turned right onto the A50 for the run up to the Brit. When we got back to the stadium Matthew didn't wait for the bus to empty to get a picture inside this bus, we just got off. We noticed that the 15:10 to Stone hadn't yet departed with Strathtay Coaches CRS 66T, so we walked over to it and casually got a picture of it before getting on.

Strathtay Coaches CRS 66T at the Britannia Stadium
The duplicated bus on this service had already departed and we didn't see it ahead of us. This was dud Midland Red 1918. We set off once again down Stanley Matthews Way and onto the A5035. This time we went South on the A34. We Seemed to go quite quickly although we never caiyght up with Midland Red 1918. We entered Stone from the North today. We came down Newcastle Road and around the one way system until we parked up behind Midland Red 1918 on Crown Street. We got off the bus and Matthew went to the toilet. Once he came out he took a picture of dud Midland Red 1918.

Midland Red 1918 in Stone
We decided to go back North on the Strathtay Coach again, mainly because I think Matthew wanted to photograph the inside of this coach empty when we got back to Stoke. The coach set off Back North up Newcastle Road and onto the A34. We carried on North up to Trentham before taking the A5035 back to Stanley Matthew Way and then to the Stadium. Once we got back we let the coach empty before Matthew took a picture inside Strathtay Coaches CRS 66T.

Inside Strathtay Coaches CRS 66T
Buses were now starting to leave the site and their were gaps making easier to get pictures of some of the buses. One of these buses was First Potteries 63250. The door was open so Matthew also took a picture inside First Potteries 63250 too.

Inside First Potteries 63250
The control bus for the day where the POPS team sell the programmes and fleet list from was required PMT 127. We also visited one of the stall and we brought a handful of photographs. We managed to get back quicker than the booked time on the last trip to Stone, enabling us to make the last full round trip service of the day which was being worked by dud PMT Bristol VR 604.

PMT 604 at the Britannia Stadium
We got on the bus and we went upstairs and we sat down in the top deck. This service wqs to Stoke railway station and Hanley Museum. The bus set off onto the A50 and onto the Northbound A500. We followed the A52 along adjacent to the railway line and we stopped at Stoke station. After a short while the bus carried on up College Road and onto Regent Street. We turned left into Bethesda Street and we crossed over the Hanley Ring Road before stopping outside the City Museum. We decided not to get up as we just stayed put for the trip back to the Brit. At departure time the bus set off onto broad street and we headed through Snow Hill. We turned right onto Shelton New Road and we joined onto the Southbound A500. We rocketed down the A500 to Sideway before turning onto the A50 and towards the Brit. On the roundabout outside the Stadium Mercedes Minibus PMT MMM120 had been dispatched to go and collect all the signs dotted around, guiding people into the event! We went into the stadium and the bus emptied out, and Matthew got a picture inside PMT 604.

Inside PMT 604
We got off the bus and we had one last walk around the site taking pictures. Leaving as we got there was Midland Red coach 674.

Midland Red 674 at the Britannia Stadium
Still parked up awaiting departure was Chesterfield 124.

Chesterfield 124 at the Britannia Stadium
As we headed back to meet mum at the car we saw Oldham Corporation double decker 163 departing the site We met up with mum and we went to drop uncle Dave off in Fenton. We went back through Heron Cross and into Blurton. We turned into the Hollybush estate to go pick something up off an friend. We rejoined Blurton Road and we went up to the Blurton Farm estate. We had to drop the something off that we had just picked up in Hatfield, but we weren't exactly sure where we were going. we did eventually find the place but it was by sheer luck. We headed home getting back around 17:30. Matthew watched a few of the PMP video DVD's we had just purchased and looked at the fleet books. For a late tea Matthew had chicken popcorn & fries with a few baked beans. He then chilled on his computer for a while whist I finished off writing Saturdays Blog entry. Matthew had a bath whilst I played on my Yahama keyboard (badly). For the last few hours Matthew chilled out on his computer until bedtime around 12:30... Mark

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