Saturday, 20 June 2015

Trip to Ellesmere Port / Chester 20-06-2015


3131Ellesmere Port BSChester BS2Arriva NW&W
4641Chester BSWepre, Wepre War Memorial (NW-bound)10Arriva NW&W
673Wepre, Wepre War Memorial (SE-bound)Broughton, Glynne Arms (NE-bound)12Arriva NW&W
2208Broughton, Glynne Arms (NE-bound)Lache, o/s Brewery Arms PH4Arriva NW&W
2796Lache, St Mark's Road (cnr)Broughton, Glynne Arms (NE-bound)4Arriva NW&W
2620Broughton, Glynne Arms (NE-bound)Lache, o/s Brewery Arms PH3Arriva NW&W
672Lache, o/s Brewery Arms PHChester BS12Arriva NW&W

Today we decided to revisit Ellesmere Port & Chester. We checked the weather and the weather appeared to be better in the North West than in the Midlands. We gave Matthew a choice of destinations and from the list Matthew chose Ellesmere Port & Chester. Matthew got up at 09:45 and had toast and orange juice for breakfast. We set off a little after 12:00 and we headed out onto the A5035. We turned right onto Stanley Matthews Way before joining the Westbound A50. We got onto the Northbound A500. On the way North we saw Z Carz PY08 KDX & Daw2Door MA59 KME. We realised that we were nearly out of diesel so we diverted to the Asda in Wolstanton. Whilst we waited to fill up we saw First Potteries 41512 & 43875 on the #17 service. We rejoined the Northbound A500 and we carried on until we got onto the Northbound M6. Traffic was slow moving and we crawled along for the first few miles. We saw Selwyns Coaches National Express liveried FJ61 EWL on a #314 coach service and we were overtaken by Britannia Travel AY14 NVM.

Britannia Travel AY14 NVM on the M6
We carried on North to junction 20 before going West on the M56. We Travelled for approximately 15 Miles before going 2 junctions up the M53 and taking the A5032 into Ellesmere Port. On the way to the car park we passed the bus station where we saw Helms WX09 TCK stil in Jim Stones livery, GHA T317 UOX and Stagecoach Merseyside 28543 on a #1 service. We parked up the car and we walked into the market hall. Matthew wanted the toilet so we took him to the toilet which seem to have been refurbished since our last visit. Back in the Market hall we sat in the food court and we ordered food form Kelly's Cafe. Matthew had a breakfast washed down with a small bottle of Coca Cola. Whilst we ate an eight foot tall robot entered the market hall. We couldn't decided if it was being controlled by the man following behind him, or if it was a person in a suit! After we had finished eating we said goodbye to mum and we walked up to the bus station. There were a few buses parked up there when we arrived. As we rounded the corner we saw Stagecoach Merseyside 21236 depart on a #2 to Chester.

Stagecoach Merseyside 21236 in Ellesmere Port bus station
In the bus station on layover and about to work a #6 to Stannet Grange was GHA Solo BA56 GHA.

GHA BA56 GHA in Ellesmere Port bus station
As we were taking pictures of the buses on layover we saw the Arriva #2 to Chester come into the bus station. We saw it was dud Arriva NW&W 3131. I asked Matthew if he wanted to run and try and get it and he said yes. We ran the the top of the bus station crossed over to the end stands and ran down. I booked the tickets and uncle Dave & Matthew photographed the bus and caught up.

Arriva NW&W 3131 in Ellesmere Port bus station
We got on the bus and we booked Arriva Deeside Day Savers £4.50 each. We sat down towards the back of the bus and the bus set off out of the bus station. As we were leaving required GHA R217 HCD came in on the #36 to Runcorn. On Civic Way there were police cars and an Ambulance attending what looked like an accident involving a mobility scooter. We joined the Southbound A5032 and passed through Whitby. We turned right into the housing estate and we wound our way through until we got to the A41. Went went South on a fast section of road for a mile or two until we got the A5116 and we turned right. We passed the countess of Chester hospital and then the Stagecoach bus depot. At the front was park and ride bus Stagecoach Merseyside 21272. We crossed the ring road and we went into town along Northgate. We passed under the city wall and we turned right into the bus station. Sometime the bus used to empty on the road as the bus pulled into the station, as the cinema is being refurbished and the road has been partially blocked making it a single lane and impossible for buses to stop without blocking the bus station. We pulled onto the stand and the bus emptied out. After the bus had emptied Matthew took a picture inside Arriva NW&W 3131.

Inside Arriva NW&W 3131
When we got off the bus there were a couple of double deckers in the bus station. On a #84 to Crewe was dud Arriva NW&W 4100.

Arriva NW&W 4100 in Chester bus station
In front of the Arriva double decker was required GHA decker S644 KJU on a #82 to Northwich.

GHA S644 KJU in Chester bus station
On one of the local services was required Stagecoach Merseyside 34596.

Stagecoach Merseyside 34596 in Chester bus station
We sat on our usual perch to see what buses worked next. We let one of the new Sapphire double deckers go. It was raining and a road sweeper was partially blocking out view. Another Sapphire decker came in on the #10 service. It was bound to be required as it was a new bus and had been delivered since our last visit. It was required Arriva NW&W 4641. On the way up to the stop we saw a giant being wheeled along on a pram chassis. As Matthew took a picture it waved back!

A giant in Chester bus station
Matthew then took a picture of required Arriva NW&W 4641.

Arriva NW&W 4641 in Chester bus station
We got on the bus and we flashed the Deeside Day Saver tickets to the driver. as we were going into wales we had to buy an addition Day Saver ticket for Matthew. The lower saloon was empty as we got on the bus so Matthew took a picture there and then.

Inside Arriva NW&W 4641
We sat down at the front of the bus and started to see some strange sights. First we saw a pirate ship on a trailer being dragged around by a bunch of pirates...

A pirate ship in Chester bus station
This was followed by a family of giants dressed in Medaevil clothing that were about 12' tall.

The family of giants Chester bus station
When it was due to depart the bus set off out of the bus station and onto the ring road we joined the A548 and we left town. We crossed into Wales and we travelled at high speed for a few miles before crossing the A494. In Garden City we stopped to have a driver change. Even the car in which the driver came from the depot had an Arriva fleet number! Driver change over we carried on to into Queensferry. We passed required Arriva NW&W 4487 on an inbound #11 service followed by a number #10, so we decided to go a little further. We decided to go to the war memorial at Wepre, as we had been there before back in October 2011 when both the #10 & #11 services were worked by Dennis Darts. We got up and got off the bus. Matthew took another picture of Arriva NW&W 4641 as it carried on towards Connah's Quay.

Arriva NW&W 4641 in Wepre
This was followed almost immediately by required Arriva NW&W 4485 on a Holywell bound #11 service.

Arriva NW&W 4485 in Wepre
We crossed the road to wait for a bus back towards Chester. A lady came up to Matthew who said she had seen him before. I told her we were from stoke and that we hadn't visited Chester for months! She still said that she remembers him and that he was a lovely lad... After the lady had said goodbye and left we saw a Solo approaching. I sked matthew if he wanted to do it and he said yes. We knew there was a good chance it was a required bus as we had only been on one Chester Solo before. As it got closer we saw that it was required Arriva NW&W 673.

Arriva NW&W 673 in Wepre
We got on the bus and we flashed the Day Saver tickets to the driver. As we went along the bus started to empty out. Matthew took a picture of the empty seats behind us whilst they were empty.

Inside Arriva NW&W 673
The bus carried on along the B5129 before turning right into a housing estate. We past some shops on Central Drive and then we came out on a roundabout adjacent to the A494. We went down a different road into the estate and pat the Deeside Community hospital before returning to the same roundabout as before. This time we travelled on a side road adjacent to the A494 and we did the down to the Asda store. At Asda we dropped everyone else off and picked up another solitary passenger.The bus then went under the A494 on the big roundabout and onto the B5129. We visited the villages on Mancot and Sandycroft before rejoining the B5129. At the end in front of harwarden Airport we turned right to head towards Broughton. We turned into the industrial estate and we passed the Arrive Chester depot. Aftr a short wait we exited the estate down the same road passing the depot again. At the back of the depot were a few withdrawn Darts and a driver trainer. We carried on towards Broughton and we entered the retail park. We saw M&H Coaches FBZ 1473. The bus pulled out of the retail park and onto the A5104. We decided to get off and try and pick up a required dart or two on the #3 and 4 services. We got up and got off the bus. The driver thought if was a strange place to get off, but we knew what we were doing honest...! Matthew got another picture of Arriva NW&W Solo 673 as it carried on towards Chester.

Arriva NW&W 673 in Broughton
Looking at the bus stop timetable, we had around 10 minutes to wait for the bus. Whilst we waited Matthew had a drink of Irn Bru. On the other side of the road on a mold bound #4 service we saw required Arriva NW&W Cadet 2434.

Arriva NW&W 2434 in Broughton
The cadet had been a very recent arrival at the Chester depot to replace a withdrawn Dart. We also saw required Arriva NW&W 675 on a #12 to Connah's Quay and dud Arriva NW&W 4486 on a #11 to Holywell. In the distance we could see a Dennis Dart... If we were lucky it could be a required one. As it got closer we saw that it was required Arriva NW&W 2208.

Arriva NW&W 2208 in Broughton
We got on the bus and we flashed the Deeside Day Saver tickets to the driver before sitting down near to the back of the bus. We decided to cover a few #3 and #4's along the long staright section of the A5104 up to the English border. The road was straight... very straight. I wouldn't be surprised if it used to be a Roman Road. When we got to Morrisons in Saltney the bus emptied out a little and matthew photographed the empty seats behind us.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2208
The bus carried on and over the border back into England. We crossed under the Chester to Wrexham railway line and we got up and got off the bus. When we got off the bus Matthew sign to me that he wanted to use the toilet. There was a pub right by the bus stop called the Brewery arms, so I took him in the pub. The people there seemed very friendly and they pointed us towards the toilet and we brought a can of pop before we left. We crossed the road to go and catch a bus back towards Broughton. Whilst we waited for the next bus which we believed would be a #4 as we hadn't passed one going the other way, we saw required Arriva Dart 2253 going towards Chester railway station. A few minutes later we saw a bus approaching... It had yellow lining between the two shades of turquoise so we thought that it might be one of the batch of buses that were assimilated into the Arriva fleet from KMP Llanberis. We had only been on one of these buses before from this batch, Arriva NW&W 2799. As the bus got closer we saw it was required Arriva NW&W 2796.

Arriva NW&W 2796 in Lache
We got on the bus and we flashed our Deeside day Saver tickets to the driver. The bus was quite full and we managed to get a seat at the very back of the bus. It was hot and a little unpleasant. I was glad I'd taken my jumper off on the previous bus. We did the 2 1/2 miles down the A5104 to Broughton and then we got off the bus. Matthew took another picture of Arriva NW&W 2796 as it carried on towards Mold.

Arriva NW&W 2796 in Broughton
We crossed over the road at the roundabout and we saw Arriva NW&W 2620 going into the retail park.

Arriva NW&W 2620 in Broughton
The bus whizzed around the retail park and it came back onto the A5104. We got on the bus and we flashed our tickets to the driver. We sat down towards the back of the bus and we set off along the A5104 again. As the seats behind us were empty Matthew took a picture inside Arriva NW&W 2620.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2620
We carried on into England and under the bridge and we got up and got off the bus. Matthew got another picture of Arriva NW&W 2620 as it carried on towards the railway station.

Arriva NW&W 2620 in Lache
Next to the bus stop is a kebab house so we decided to have a small portion of fries between us. We brought the fries and we sat at the stop and ate them. Whilst we were there we saw Arriva NW&W 2208 going towards Mold on a #4. In hindsight we should have worked out that required Dart 2253 would be on the following #3 to Mold. Instead we waited for the bus back to Chester bus station. We saw a bus approaching and we saw it was a Solo. As it got closer we saw it was required Arriva NW&W 672.

Arriva NW&W 672 in Lache
We got on the bus and flashed our tickets to the bus driver for the final time today. We sat down at the back of the bus. The bus set off along the A5104 and we joined the Northbound A483. We crossed over the river Dee passing required Arriva NW&W 2253 going the other way. We joined the ring road and we went clockwise up to the bus station. When we got to the bus station we let the bus empty and Matthew took a picture inside Arriva NW&W 672

Inside Arriva NW&W 672
When we got off the bus we decided to take a few pictures. First we saw Stagecoach Merseyside 21256 on a #1A Blacon service.

Stagecoach Merseyside 21256 in Chester bus station
This was followed by required Arriva NW&W 3003 on a #2 to Birkenhead.

Arriva NW&W 3003 in Chester bus station
The next #10 arrived on stand and it was required Arriva NW&W 4638.

Arriva NW&W 4638 in Chester bus station
Just before we left we saw required Arriva NW&W 4216 on a #84 to Crewe.

Arriva NW&W 4216 in Chester bus station
We went back into the car park and Matthew used the toilet before we headed back to the car. We drove out of the car park and we went clockwise around the ring road. We turned left onto the A56 and we headed north past the railway station and up towards Hoole. We joined the Northbound M53 and we did this for one junction up to the M56 which we took Eastbound. On the M56 we saw pat's coaches J7 WXM. We went South on the M6 and the road was quiet. We did pass two London Transport ALX400 bodied double decker going North on a trailer around junction 18. We left the M6 at junction 16 and we went South on the A500. We left the A500 at Sideway to join the eastbound A50. At Longton we went to Z carz to see what buses were parked up this evening. First in the row was Z Carz Mercedes minibus S952 VMY.

Z Carz S952 VMY in Longton
Next to the Mercedes was Z Carz Iveco minibus GK02 NWJ.

Z Carz GK02 NWJ in Longton
The third bus in the row was Z carz Ford minibus LG09 JVX.

Z Carz LG09 JVX in Longton
Last bus in the row was Mercedes minibus Z Carz CE02 LYX.

Z Carz CE02 LYX in Longton
We turned left into Willow Row to see what was in the compound. There was a single minibus in an awkward position to get a photograph. It was Z Carz blue LDV minibus YN03 HJC.

Z Carz YN03 HJC in Longton
We got back onto the A50 and we came off it again at Heron Cross. Lightning Travel T2 DLT was in old usual position having been absent for a few weeks. We stop at the shop in Blurton to drop some stuff off and we carried on through Blurton. We turned right into Beaconsfield Drive and we saw First Potteries 53405. We got home around 19:00. For a late tea we had bangers and mash with carrots followed by a jam filled shortcake biscuit. Matthew chilled out on his computer and went to bed around 00:30... Mark

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