Saturday, 29 August 2015

Trip to Tamworth / Sutton Coldfield 29-08-2015



















































BusFromToServiceOperator



4411Tamworth bus interchangeSutton Coldfield (Birmingham), Gracechurch Shopping Centre (Stop SD)110Arriva Midlands
3010Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham), Gracechurch Shopping Centre (Stop SH)Tamworth bus interchange110Arriva Midlands
3008Tamworth bus interchangeLichfield BS785Arriva Midlands
2378Lichfield BSRugeley BS825Arriva Midlands
3758Rugeley BSLichfield BS825Arriva Midlands


Today we decided to re-visit Tamworth. We checked the weather and the weather was forecasting showers in the North West. We were also anticipating heavy traffic on the motorway with it being a bank holiday weekend. We gave Matthew a short list of places to chose from, and from the list he chose Tamworth. Matthew got up a little after 10:00 and had toast and orange juice for breakfast. We set off around 12:00 onto the A5035 and we went Westwards towards Trentham. At the A34 we went South. We followed ABC Supreme CA04 FUD Southwards for a while and we passed First Potteries 65042 and Copeland's Tours MIB 229 coming the other way. Around Darlaston we passed through some roadworks and we passed to the West of Stone before going South Eastwards down the A51. As we traveled down towards Rugeley we saw Attain YT13 ALU parked in a lay by. We skirted the Northern edge of Rugeley and we continued through into Lichfield. As we passed through town we saw Arriva Midlands 2722 on a #35, 3725 on a X60 and Rotlala Diamond 20203. On the A51 east of Lichfield we saw Central Buses YX63 ZYK on a X55. We went into Tamworth and we saw required Arriva Midlands 3004 on a X60 to Cannock leaving town. We turned left into Aldergate and then we parked in the car park adjacent to the interchange on Corporation Street. After we parked up Matthew used the toilet in the tourist information centre and then we went to eat at cafe Rio where Matthew had an English breakfast with toast washed down with a can of Coke. As often is the case Matthew made friends with the people in the cafe... After we had finished eating we said goodbye to mum and we took the short walk towards the bus interchange. I asked Matthew which direction he wanted to travel, and from the choices he chose to go towards Sutton Coldfield. There were two double deckers in the interchange bound for Sutton. The on at the rear was dud Arriva Midlands 4411.


Arriva Midlands 4411 in Tamworth bus interchange
Behind this was required Arriva Midlands 4414.


Arriva Midlands 4414 in Tamworth bus interchange
Behind those two buses was Arriva Midlands 3501 which was on a #65 to Nuneaton.


Arriva Midlands 3501 in Tamworth bus interchange
The Scania appeared to have a re-paint in the older colours, with the cream part of the livery looking almost brilliant white! We hadn't check which buses we had been on, ans so we got on the rear bus which was the one we had been on before to Sutton Coldfield back in October 2014. We purchased a Midland Day saver at £6.20 and we went upstairs and sat down. Despite this being the second bus in the row it was still quite well filled. We set off out of the bus station and we traveled West towards the first roundabout. We turned South over the rivers before going East for one junction. We turned right and we passed the retail park and went under the A5. We continued south for a while and we entered Fazeley. We turned right and we went west on a straight road which presumable was part of the old A5 / Roman road Watling Street. At Mile Oak we turned left onto the Southbound A453. We traveled for a few miles before crossing the A38 and the M6 toll. We continued South and as we approached we saw Arriva Midlands 2156 on a #604 to Four Oaks. We past the hospital and the adjacent cemetery (I know!), and we came into town. As we approached the centre of town, Matthew took a picture of the empty seats opposite to us.


Inside Arriva Midlands 4411
We turned into The Lower Parade and we got up and got off the bus. In front of us was National Express West Midlands 4915 on a #905 to Birmingham.


NX West Midlands 4915 in Sutton Coldfield
Matthew indicated to me that he wanted to use the toilet. We decided to go off down the street to try and find one. Opposite to us was WMSNT 126 on a #168 to Erdington.


WMSNT 126 in Sutton Coldfield
Matthew also got another picture of Arriva Midlands 4411 before we carried on around the corner.


Arriva Midlands 4411 in Sutton Coldfield
As we turned the corner into South Parade we saw National Express West Midlands 2207 on a #71 to Solihull, branded for a #37 from Birmingham to Solihull.


NX West Midlands 2207 in Sutton Coldfield
We crossed the road and we asked a bloke standing by Santander where we could find a public toilet. He did say that there wasn't a public toilet but there was one in the pub next door, Talk of the Town. When we went in it was a little bit daunting. Matthew went to the toilet first and it wasn't the best. The door hinges were loose and you had to lift the door to close it. When we had finished we went to the bar and we ordered 2 halves of Coke. It cost a mere £2.10! They were playing so Reggae music, and the people in there all seemed very friendly. Once we had finished our drinks we went back outside to join uncle Dave. We walked back around the corner and we saw National Express West Midlands 4918 on a service from Birmingham.


NX West Midlands 4918 in Sutton Coldfield
This was followed by Midland Classic 1 on a X12 to Burton-on-Trent.


Midland Classic 1 in Sutton Coldfield
We also saw National Express West Midlands 4044 on a #5 to West Bromwich.


NX West Midlands 4044 in Sutton Coldfield
We walked a little further up the road and we saw National Express West Midlands 4324 on a #905 to Birmingham.


NX West Midlands 4324 in Sutton Coldfield
We also saw National Express West Midlands 4476 on a #906 to Birmingham.


NX West Midlands 4476 in Sutton Coldfield
We walked up to to top of the Parade and we crossed Victoria Road. I got my camera out and took a few pictures, Matthew also had a look at my camera and I thought for a moment he was going to start using it! We spotted an Arriva Midlands single decker come into The Lower Parade... It was dud Arriva Midlands 3010 on the next #110 to Tamworth.


Arriva Midlands 3010 in Sutton Coldfield
We went over to catch it and at this point I wasn't aware that we had already been on this bus before. we had been on the bus before from Coton Green to Tamworth back in October 2014. We got on the bus and we flashed the Arriva Midlands Day Saver to the driver and we sat down in the middle of the bus. As we waited for departure time we saw National Express West Midlands 4297 on a #77 to Walsall.


NX West Midlands 4297 in Sutton Coldfield
The bus set off onto Victoria Road and we rejoined the route we came down when we turned off Riland Road onto rectory Road. We headed North and we rejoined Tamworth Road before carrying on along the A453 and over Bassetts Pole roundabout. We headed up to Mile Oak and we turned right for the long,straight run run towards Fazeley. At Fazeley Square we turned left and we went North under the A5 and past the Ventura retail park. At the maim road we turned left before going West. At the roundabout we turned right and we crossed over the towns two rivers before going East. We went up Aldergate before turning left into the interchange on Corporation Street. Matthew took a picture inside Arriva Midlands 3010.


Inside Arriva Midlands 3010
We got off the bus and we saw required Arriva Midlands 3008 on a #785 to Lichfield.


Arriva Midlands 3008 in Tamworth bus interchange
As we hadn't had a new bus all day, I asked Matthew if he wanted to do the Mercedes Citaro single decker and he said yes, We got on the bus and we flashed the Arriva Midlands Day saver ticket to the driver before sitting down towards the back of the bus. The bus set off West out town and onto the A51. We crossed the Coventry Canal and we climbed the hill and went past the 'Pigs in Space' also know as the Packington Farm free range pigs. We turned right into Whittington Barracks. We ran through Whittington village and we re-joined the A51 further West. At the Southern end of town we turned North onto Upper St Johns Road. We crossed under the railway line and we turned right into Birmingham Road passing Hamilton Executive Travel TUI 3638 coming the other way. We turned into the bus station and the bus emptied out. Matthew took a picture inside Arriva Midlands 3008.


Inside Arriva Midlands 3008
As we had seen coach loading up as we entered the bus station, we decided to go over and get a picture before it left. On the way we saw Central Buses Dart AE06 ZBT which is route branded for the 'Route 66' service to Burntwood.


Central Buses AE06 ZBT in Lichfield bus station
At the end of the bus station was the coach we had seen as we entered the bus station, Ideal Motor Services 55 KXU from York.


Ideal Motor Services 55 KXU in Lichfield bus station
We walked back to the other end of the bus station and Matthew visited the toilet. After using the toilet we walked around to the Kiosk around the corner and Matthew had a bottle of orange tango, a toffee crisp and a millionaires shortbread to fill up the trip bag. We walked back to the middle of the bus station and we sat down. Matthew ate his Toffee Crisp and drank the orange Tango. Then there was a flurry of activity in the bus station. We saw Midlands Classic 81 on a Lichfield bound X12 service.


Midland Classic 81 in Lichfield bus station
As Matthew continued to eat and drink we also saw Midland Classic 2 on a Sutton Coldfield bound X12 service. Rotala Diamond Solo 20828 made an appearance on a local #20 service. We then saw a Dart approaching... It was required Arriva Midlands 2378 on a #825 to Rugeley.


Arriva Midlands 2378 in Lichfield bus station
I asked Matthew if he wanted to do this service and he said yes. We got on the bus and we flashed our Arriva Midlands Day saver tickets to the driver. We sat down towards the back of the bus. The back seat was empty so Matthew took a picture inside Arriva Midlands 2378.


Inside Arriva Midlands 2378
The bus set off out of the bus station and we left town up Staford Street. We joined the A51 on the edge of town and we went as far as the A515 where we went North. Aftyer a fast run along the A515 we left the main road to run through the village of Armitage made famous by the production of the sanitary ware Amitage Shanks. after traveling through the village we joined the A51 North of Rugeley and we turned as if to head back towards Lichfield. At the first roundabout we turned right and we headed into Rugeley town centre via Brereton. When we got to the bus station we got off the bus and we got another picture of Arriva Midlands 2378.


Arriva Midlands 2378 in Rugeley bus station
Across the way was required Arriva Midlands 3707 on a #31 to Cannock.


Arriva Midlands 3707 in Rugeley bus station
On the free Tesco service was dud Arriva Midlands 3797.


Arriva Midlands 3797 in Rugeley bus station
Matthew indicated that he wanted the toilet so we tried the 'tardis' style toilet in the bus station. It wouldn't accept the money so we went back to the stop to check the timetable. There was a X25 to Lichfield due in around 7 minutes and then a #825 due around 12 minutes after that. I decided to check the petrol station across the road to see if it had a toilet. They didn't have a toilet in the petrol station but he teller informed me there was one in the Subway / Burger King opposite. We rushed across the road and we went in the toilet. Matthew was in the toilet and I was try to get the attention from one of the members of staff in Subway so that I could quickly buy something. They were all too busy to serve me as they were sweep up! In the end We had to leave without buying anything. as we came out of the shop we saw the X25 disappearing towards Lichfield! We now had another 12 minute wait. The Tesco free bus came back around with Arriva Midlands 3797 and Matthew ate a packet of Milky Stars. It had now turned 17:00... Just before it's due time at 17:05, dud Arriva Midlands 3758 entered the bus station.


Arriva Midlands 3758 in Rugeley bus station
This bus was new to us back when we did it from Lichfield to Rugeley back in January. We got on the bus and we flashed the ticket to the driver. I asked him what time we would get into Lichfield and he told us it would be 17:35! We sat down near to the back of this nearly empty bus. I thought it wo9uld be best if we called mum to meet us at Lichfield as it was getting late. She was bored and was talking to the phone, so she agreed! The bus set off out of town through Brereton and at the roundabout at the top of the hill we turned left. Near to the power station we turned right to had up towards Armitage. We crossed under the railway line and we entered the village and we went out of the other side crossing back over the railway. We had a fast run up to and onto the A515 and we went southwards towards the A51. After joining the main road we went down a junction so that we could join Stafford road to run into town along the path of the old A51. we picked up another couple of passengers and we ran into town. mum texted to say that she had arrived in the car park opposite to the bus station, and I texted her back to tell her we were a mile or so away. When we got in the bus station we let the bus empty and Matthew got a picture inside Arriva Midlands 3758.


Inside Arriva Midlands 3758
He also got a better picture of the outside of the bus too...


Arriva Midlands 3758 in Lichfield bus station
On an adjacent stand, we saw dud Arriva Midlands 2986 displaying 'Sorry, Not in Service'.


Arriva Midlands 2986 in Lichfield bus station
We had this bus almost a year ago to the day from Burton-on-Trent to barton-under-Needwood last August. As we walked back to the car Matthew made a couple more friends... We got back into the car and mum had got Greggs sausage rolls and a bottle of Irn Bru for Matthew. We set off out of town and we joined the A51 and we went West. We passed Attain YT13 ALU which was parked in the same lay-by as we had seen it on the way down. We joined the A34 to the South of Stone and we headed past the town. We stopped at the Shell petrol station but the pump was broken and the price was more than at Tesco in Longton so we decided to drive on... We rejoined the A34 and we passed First Potteries 53830 on a #23 to Eccleshall. As we passed the roadworks near to Darlaston we saw First Potteries 32633 on a Stafford bound #10 service. Further north in Tittensor we saw Copeland's Tours MIB 516 going South. At Trentham we turned right onto the A5035 and we ran up to Longton. Once again there were loads on minibus on the spare ground today parked in two row facing the A50. In the middle of the front row was Z Carz Iveco minibus GK02 NWJ.


Z Carz GK02 NWJ in Longton
Next to the Iveco was Z Carz Ford minibus PY08 KDX.


Z Carz PY08 KDX in Longton
Next to the ford was another Iveco, this time in mint green... Z Carz minibus HX51 HRU.


Z Carz HX51 HRU in Longton
On the near end of the first row was Volkswagen minibus Z Carz OV05 WSW.


Z Carz OV05 WSW in Longton
In the secon row vehicles included Mercedes minibus M372 NWN and green Ford minibus T418 WYJ. The nearest bus in the second row was airport division minibus Z Carz DL03 HHU.


Z Carz DL03 HHU in Longton
We turned into Willow Row and there were more minibuses in the compound. These included Mercedes minibus S952 VMY and taxi minibus Z Carz X599 WDY.


Z Carz X599 WDY in Longton
We headed back onto the A50 and we went to the petrol station at Tesco to top up with diesel. We got back on the A50 and we went up to Heron Cross where we came off the road again. We headed through Blurton along Blurton Road and we followed dud First Potteries 66308 through the estate as it headed towards Newcastle on the #22. We got home just before 19:00. For a late tea Matthew had bangers and mash with carrots followed by a shortbread biscuit with a jam centre. Matthew chilled out on his computer until 00:15... Mark

Friday, 28 August 2015

Trip to Joiners Square / Trent Vale 28-08-2015
















BusFromToServiceOperator



DY08 FFXBlurtonFentonCharterShelton Care Group
DY08 FFXFentonJoiners SquareCharterShelton Care Group
DY08 FFXJoiners SquareFentonCharterShelton Care Group
DV10 JCUFentonBlurtonCharterShelton Care Group
60072Magdalen Road, BlurtonTrent Vale, opp Chubb Way (Unmarked)22First Potteries


Today Matthew was going to the pub for his tea, but not before he had been out with his day service. Matthew got up around 08:00 and had toast and blackcurrant juice for breakfast. Just before 09:00 his transport to his day service turned up and it was Shelton Care Group DY08 FFX.


Shelton Care Group DY08 FFX in Blurton
We set off onto the A5035 and we headed through Dresden to Longton. after crossing the A50 we went along the Strand before heading onto Anchor Road via Market Street. At the top of Anchor Road we turned left onto Dividy Road. After picking up another service user we went onto the A52 at Bucknall. We followed the road around to the left and we went to Joiners Square. We turned left onto Victoria Road and we went to the top before turning Sharp right onto City Road. We turn left onto Glebedale Road and to our destination. In the morning Matthew went into the sensory and spent time using a computer. We went to fetch dinner from the chip shop. For dinner he had sausage chips and gravy from the chips shop. After dinner we went to the pub. Today we went to the pub in Shelton Care Group DY08 FFX. We set off onto Glebedale Road and the right onto City Road. We turned left onto Victoria Road and we headed down to the roundabout. At the roundabout we went to straight across onto Lichfield Street and to our destination. Matthew went to the toilet and had a drink of Coke. Highlights of the bus sightings included First Potteries 63096 on a #6 to Meir. Matthew to listened to musid on the jukebox until it was time to leave for the day centre aboard Shelton Care Group DY08 FFX. We went down Palmerston Street and onto the A52. we turned left onto Victoria Road. We went to the top of Victoria Road before turning sharp right onto City Road. We turned left onto Glebedale Road and to our destination. For the journey home we transferred onto Shelton Care Group DV10 JCU. We set off onto Christchurch Street an right onto Station Bridge Road and Heron Street. In Heron Cross we went straight across onto Blurton Road and over the A50. We carried on into Blurton along Blurton Road and forward onto Church Road. We turned right onto Beaconsfield Road and arrived home just before 15:00. Matthew had toast and a drink of dandelion & burdock whilst he waited for the time to go out and catch the bus. Uncle Dave was coming with us to the pub today. After the scrap man had collected one of the cars, we set off i the other car to go and fetch him. We went along Finstock Avenue and onto Beaconsfield Drive. We turned left onto Church Road and we went under the railway bridge and onto Blurton Road and we saw Anytime Airport PE11 RWY going towards Blurton. We crossed the A50 and we went into Heron Cross. We headed into Fenton and we picked up uncle Dave. We went back through Heron Cross and as Crossed the A50 we saw Lucky Seven PK08 GGE going towards Longton. We carried on through Blurton and we passed First Potteries 66838 on a #22 to Newcastle. We turned onto Beaconsfield Drive and we got home around 16:48. There wasn't time to get out of the car and onto the #22, so we went back into the house for 20 minutes or so. We set off to the stop on Magdalen Road around 17:15 and when we got to the stop we saw A2B Airports WF11 MOA heading into Blurton.


A2B airports WF11 MOA in Blurton
For most of the day the buses usually pass near to Magdalen Road. The timetable changes a little around 17:00 and the buses pass further into Blurton. As such we were able to see the Longton Bound bus first. It was First Potteries 60202 on the Longton Bound #22.


First Potteries 60202 in Blurton
A few minutes later we saw dud First Potteries 60072 round the corner.


First Potteries 60072 in Blurton
We got on the bus and we booked to Harpfield Road. We sat down towards the back of the bus and the bus set off onto the A5035. we crossed over the railway line into Trentham and we saw Free Spirits MK52 PXH parked up at the Trentham Hotel. We turned into New Inn Lane and we we went up into Hanford. We went down Church lane and we saw First Potteries 40155 on a #21 to the Trentham Hotel. As we joined the A34 we saw Stagecoach Megabus 50232 going Northwards as well as ABC Supreme N806 CRJ. We crossed under the A500 into Trent vale and we saw First Potteries 41522 on a #21B to Trentham Gardens. We turned right into Harpfields Road and we got up and got off the bus. Matthew took another picture of First Potteries 60072 as it carried on towards Newcastle


First Potteries 60072 in Trent Vale
Mum had been delayed an so we were going to eat without her. We walked to the pub and on the way we saw First Potteries 65038 on a Stafford bound #10 service.


First Potteries 65038 in Trent Vale
We went into the pub and Matthew had a brunch with bread and butter followed by toffee sponge pudding with ice cream. Whilst we ate highlights of the passing buses were Stafford Coaches CNZ 3828 going North. We also saw ABC Supreme YX03 JVX on a Stafford bound hospital link service. After we had finished eating we sat on the wall to wait for mum to come and pick us up. Whilst we waited we saw ABC Supreme P881 RND going North towards the hospital.


ABC Supreme P881 RND in Trent Vale
On a Southbound #10 we saw First Potteries 65027.


First Potteries 65027 in Trent Vale
Mum picked us up and we set off Southwards down the A34. We crossed under the A400 into Hanford and we continued South to Trentham along the A34. We joined the Longton bound A5035 and we did this up to Blurton. We had to drop something off in Finstock Avenue and we got home around 19:00. Matthew chilled out on the computer and for super he had a few fries with tomato sauce. Matthew went to bed around 00:30... Mark

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Trip to Middleton / Oldham 22-08-2015


























































BusFromToServiceOperator



36073Middleton BSMoston, o/s Moston Lane/Moston Cemetery112Stagecoach Manchester
17068Moston, opp Moston Lane/Moston CemeteryHigher Crumpsall, Delaunays Road/NMG Hospital (Stop C)118Stagecoach Manchester
36095Higher Crumpsall, Delaunays Road/NMG Hospital (Stop C)Middleton BS156Stagecoach Manchester
37462Middleton BSOldham BS59First Manchester
37437Oldham BSMiddleton BS58First Manchester
42944Middleton BSGreengate/Middleton Junction (Stop C)415First Manchester
17242Greengate/Middleton Junction (Stop C)Middleton BS112Stagecoach Manchester


Today we decided to re-visit Middleton. The weather was forecast for warm cloudy weather with the possibility of showers. The weather was predicted to be better further North or East. We gave Matthew a list of places to go and from the list Matthew picked Middleton. Matthew got up around 10:45 and had toast and orange juice. around 12:00 we set off onto the A5035. As we waited to join the road we saw City Cabs GN07 KXK heading towards Trentham. We turned on the A5035 and then right onto Stanley Matthews Way. We passed the Britannia Stadium which was quiet today as Stoke were playing away at Norwich. We joined the Westbound A50 and we went onto the Northbound A500. Going North on the M6 we saw MT Travel MK08 OUU, Anytime Airports PE11 RXA & Pats Coaches K7 WXM. At junction 21A we left the M6 an we went East on the M62. We passed a Thumbs Up truck and we continued onto the clockwise M60. We continued around to Junction 19 and we went North up the A576 into Middleton. As we went up the road we passed First Manchester 36280 on a #59 to Manchester and Stagecoach Manchester 36108 on a #156 to the North Manchester General Hospital. We parked up in the multi storey car park and we walked through the shopping centre. We stopped at the toilets and we went down to the bus station. On the way to the pavement cafe that we eat at we saw First Manchester 40319 on the #412 Middleton circular service.


First Manchester 40319 in Middleton bus station
We also saw First Manchester 39211 on a #18 service to the Central Hospital.


First Manchester 39211 in Middleton bus station
We walked around to the pavement cafe adjacent to the bus station and Matthew had a bacon and egg barm and a few fries (you have to travel further North or East before you get to have your bacon on a teacake). He washed it down with a can of Coke. Whilst we ate we were able to see quite a few buses. Noticeable was the absence of any Stagecoach Manchester MAN/ALX300 single deckers, replaced by Enviro 200's. Also noticeable was a lack of First Manchester Darts. Stagecoach Manchester had 36095 and 36100 on the #156 and #112 respectively. First Manchester Solo 40335 was on the #125 service and 53144 was on the 'Alkrington Rollercoaster' #415 service to Oldham. Also seen was First Manchester Wright Streetdeck 35102 on a #58 service. When we had finished eating we said goodbye to mum and we headed off to the bus station. As we crossed over we saw required First Manchester 37547 on a #58 to Manchester.


First Manchester 37547 in Middleton bus station
On layover on the opposite side of the bus station was required First Manchester 37437.


First Manchester 37437 in Middleton bus station
We saw required Stagecoach Manchester 36073 on a #112 to Manchester arrive on stand B. We decided to do this bus. Matthew took a picture and then we got on it.


Stagecoach Manchester 36073 in Middleton bus station
Aboard the bus we noticed that the bus was already quite well filled. We booked System One bus only tickets at £5.20 each and then we sat down towards the back of the bus. When it was time to leave the bus set off out of the bus station and through town. We passed Tesco and the Middleton Arena before turning onto Grimshaw Lane. At Middleton junction we turned right and went towards the depot. We passed our first Stagecoach Manchester MAN/ALX300 of the day, 22224 which was on a #114 to Alkrington. We stopped outside the depot for a driver change and we saw Stagecoach Magic Bus liveried double decker 17578 pull into the depot. We continued South down the B6393 Greengate and we crossed over the M60. At the large roundabout we joined Moston Lane and we followed it down through the shopping area and towards the cemetary. When we got to the cemetary we decided to get up and get off the bus. Matthew took another picture of Stagecoach 36073 as it continued towards Manchester.


Stagecoach Manchester 36073 in Moston
We crossed the road and walked to the bus stop opposite. As we were checking the bus stop timetable we saw a Stagecoach double decker approaching. AS it got closer we saw that it was required Stagecoach Manchester 17068.


Stagecoach Manchester 17068 in Moston
We got on the bus and we flashed our System one tickets to the driver. We went upstairs and sat down in the middle of this fine T reg reg double decker. This was a former London bus from the same batch as the 4 double deckers that used belong to Wardle Transport. At least two of these are now with Stanton's of Stoke. the bus set off North up Moston Lane and we passed the shops. We turned left onto Charlestown Road and we passed required Stagecoach Manchester 17245 on a #118 to Manchester. We passed Boggart Hole Clough and the terminal of the #88 service where we saw First Manchester 66832 on a #88 service. We crossed Rochdale Road and we went onto Old Markets Street. We went forward onto Mill Brow and we followed the road around the left hand bend onto Delaunays Road. We paused for a while on the road before continuing to the hospital. At the terminus we got up to get off the bus. Matthew took a picture inside Stagecoach Manchester 17068 before we got off.


Inside Stagecoach Manchester 17068
Once at the hospital we crossed over the other side of the road to get a good picture of Stagecoach Manchester 17068.


Stagecoach Manchester 17068 outside the NMGH
We crossed back over to the stop which today was very busy. We didn't have to wait long before another bus turned up. It was required First Manchester 33843 on a #52 to East Didsbury.


First Manchester 33843 outside the NMGH
This was immediately followed by required Stagecoach Manchester 36095 on a #156 to Middleton.


Stagecoach Manchester 36095 outside the NMGH
We decided to do the Stagecoach bus as we knew we use the toilet back at Middleton bus station. We got on the bus and we flashed the System One bus only tickets to the driver before we sat down towards the back of the bus. The bus set off out of the hospital and then turned right onto Delaunays Road and we went North onto Chapel Lane. We turned right onto Plant Hill Road and we went past the The Co-operative Academy of Manchester. At the top of Plant Hill Road we turned left onto Victoria Avenue which we did to the very end. We turned right onto the A576 and we crossed over the M60. We did the last few miles into town and we got to the shopping centre to see Rothwells Super Travel Mercedes minibus P173 NAK parked outside. We entered the bus station and we let the bus empty before Matthew got a picture inside Stagecoach Manchester 36095.


Inside Stagecoach Manchester 36095
We went to the toilet and before we went we saw required First Manchester 30960 on a #58 to Oldham. After using the toilet we saw required First Manchester 37462 on a #59 to Rushcroft via Oldham, so we decided to do this bus. Matthew took a picture through the glass before we got on this bus.


First Manchester 37462 in Middleton bus station
Aboard the bus we flashed the System One bus only tickets to the driver and we went upstairs. The bus sat for a few minutes and then we set off out of the bus station. We joined the Oldham Road and we went eastwards out of town. At Mills Hill railway station we stopped in the mini bus station and required Stagecoach Manchester 17067 in Magic Bus livery pulled up in the stand behind us 'Not in Service'. We carried on East through Chadderton and past Westwood tram station. In a street to the left we saw First Manchester 30958 parked up displaying 'Private'. The bus emptied out a little and Matthew took a picture inside First Manchester 37462.


Inside First Manchester 37462
We crossed under Oldham Way and we climbed the hill into the bus station. We pulled up in a stand on the Western part of the bus station and we got up and got off the bus. We saw dud First Manchester 33680 on a #409 service.


First Manchester 33680 in Oldham bus station
We also got another picture of First Manchester 37462 as it carried on towards Rushcroft.


First Manchester 37462 in Oldham bus station
We decided to go down to the Southern part of the bus station to see what was there. On the way we saw First Manchester 33754 on a #409 to Ashton.


First Manchester 33754 in Oldham bus station
In the bottom section we saw required First Manchester 30962 on a #408 to Shaw.


First Manchester 30962 in Oldham bus station
We walked around the other side and we saw First Manchester 47471 on layover.


First Manchester 47471 in Oldham bus station
We also saw required First Manchester Mercedes Citaro 60277 on a #425 to the Holts Estate.


First Manchester 60277 in Oldham bus station
We walked back up to the top and we stopped to use the toilet. Afterwards we saw First Manchester 37548 on a #58 to Manchester.


First Manchester 37548 in Oldham bus station
We saw another bus arrive and we went to the end off the bus station to see what it was. It was required First Manchester 33669 on a #83 to Manchester.


First Manchester 33669 in Oldham bus station
We visited the newsagents and Matthew had some chocolate and a couple of cans to fill up the trip bag. We sat down to have a drink and a chocolate bar as it was very warm. Whilst we were there we saw our first First Manchester Dart of the day... First Manchester 42944 was on a #415 to Middleton. Before we could finish off eating it left the bus station.... Drat! After we had finished eat we considered how we could get back to Middleton. We saw dud Stagecoach Manchester 49893 on a #406 to Mills Hill.


Stagecoach Manchester 49893 in Oldham bus station
Matthew must have remembered we had been on this bus back in September 2014 from the hospital to Moston on the #118 service. WE had a walk around and we saw required First Manchester 33671 on a #184 to Huddersfield.


First Manchester 33671 in Oldham bus station
whilst our backs were turned required First Manchester 37437 snuck into the bus station on a #58 to Middleton.


First Manchester 37437 in Oldham bus station
We got on the bus and we flashed the System One bus only tickets to the driver before going up the stairs. The bus left the bus station and we went down the hill under Oldham Way on the A669. We passed Westwood trams station and we went through Chadderton. Originally I thought we were going to get off the bus at Mills Hill, so Matthew took a picture of the empty bus behind us as we approached the railway.


Inside First Manchester 37437
We decided to stay on the bus so we carried on past Mills Hill station into Middleton. As we approached town we could see a First Manchester Dart coming into town on a parallel road. It looks like we managed to catch up First Manchester 42944! We got into the bus station and we appeared to be there before the Dart. We got off the bus and as we thought First Manchester 42944 trundled into the bus station just after us. As the bus was loading we crossed over to the side by the shopping centre to get a good picture of the Dart.


First Manchester 42944 in Middleton bus station
We crossed over the back into the bus station and we boarded bus. We flashed the System One Bus Only ticket before sitting down near to the back of the bus. The bus was quite full as we left the bus station. We went past Tesco and the Middleton Arena and we doubled back onto Townley Road. When we got to the corner by Grimsham Lane we went straight onto Kirkway. Now, if possible when we cover the the #415 we prefer to do it from the Oldham end. The Alkrington estate is quite possibly one of the worst places in the country for speed bumps. We bounced our way through the estate and we went the bus emptied out. No body in there right mind does this bus through to Oldham... It has nothing to do with the quality of the bus on the service, it relates to the bump roads. The long journey time and the back breaking speed bumps mean that the bus is almost always empty by the time it reaches Middleton Junction. towards the end of the estate we passed another Dart, First Manchester 42945. As predicted the bus was almost empty Greengate, so Matthew took a picture inside First Manchester 42944.


Inside First Manchester 42944
We turned the corner into Greengate and we got up and got off the bus. Matthew took another picture of First Manchester 42944 as it carried towards Oldham and Lees.


First Manchester 42944 at Middleton Junction
As we waited for the bus back to Middleton over the more direct route of the #112, we saw a Manchester bound #112 being worked by required Stagecoach Manchester 22221.


Stagecoach Manchester 22221 at Middleton Junction
We weren't expecting a bus back to Middleton for a few minutes so Matthew opened a pack of Milky Stars. Just as Matthew started to eat them we turned to see a double decker approaching. Matthew rushed to eat his chocolate... A it got closer we saw that it was dud Stagecoach Manchester 17242.


Stagecoach Manchester 17242 at Middleton Junction
We got on the bus and I flashed the System One Bus Only tickets to the driver for the final time today. Stagecoach Manchester 17242 was a bus that we had been on back in September 2014 from Moston to Charlestown back when the #80 service still ran. We went upstairs and I called mum to let her know that we would be just over 10 minutes. WE turned left into Grimshaw lane and then we ran into town and into the bus station, When we got back to the bus station we let the bus empty out and Matthew got a picture inside Stagecoach Manchester 17242.


Inside Stagecoach Manchester 17242
When we got off the bus we saw First Manchester 42945 arrive in the bus station. Once again we caught up with a #415 service after doing a more direct route. Matthew decided he wanted to say hello to someone on the bus and afterwards we crossed over to the other side to get a picture of First Manchester 42945.


First Manchester 42945 in Middleton bus station
We met up with mum and on the way back into the shopping centre we saw First Manchester 37390.


First Manchester 37390 in Middleton bus station
We walked through the shopping centre and we stopped to use the toilet. Mum paid the car parking which was a very reasonable £1 for 4 hours. Back at the car Matthew had a Greggs sausage roll and a bottle of Irn Bru. We drove out of the car park and across the roundabout onto the A576. We drove the couple of miles down to the M60 and we went onto the clockwise carriageway towards Hyde and Stockport. We went around the Southern half of Greater Manchester before joining the Westbound M56. We did the motorway over to Lymm and we headed towards the A50 before doubling back and joining the Southbound M6. As we went down the M6 we passed a number of coaches coming the other way. There was a grey coach with purple and orange wavey lines, A couple of National Express's, a B&N Coaches, a white and red Toyota coach and a Pats Coaches coach within a few miles of each other. We also saw Z Carz PY08 KDX. When we got to junction 15 we left the M6 and we went down the A500. As we came into Stoke-on-Trent it started to rain heavily. Passing through Stoke and up to Sideway the rain was torrential. We joined the Eastbound A50 and we came off it again at Longton so that we could go and check out what was parked up at Z Carz. At the spare ground the buses were parked facing the A50 in two rows again. Amongst the first row was Z Carz silver LDV CN57 HWA.


Z Carz CN57 HWA in Longton
Another bus in the first row was Z Carz Renault MV53 KKD.


Z Carz MV53 KKD in Longton
On the near end of the first row was Z Carz Volkswagen minibus OV05 WSW.


Z Carz OV05 WSW in Longton
Closest bus on the second row was Z Carz Airport Division DL03 HHU.


Z Carz DL03 HHU in Longton
We turned into Willow Row to see what buses were parked up in the compound. In front of Mercedes minibus S952 VMY was Z Carz Ford LG09 JVX.


Z Carz LG09 JVX in Longton
We got back onto the A50 and we came of the road again at Heron Cross. We went through Blurton a we stopped at the shop to drop something off. We carried on through Blurton and we caught up with First Potteries 60202 on a #22 to Newcastle. We got back home at 19:00. We had a few computer problems, which turned out to be a flat battery in a wireless mouse. The problems delayed tea, and we also realised that we didn't have any sausages! So I ended up going to the chip shop. For a late tea Matthew had sausage, chips and gravy followed by a shortbread biscuit with jam in it. Matthew then chilled out on his computer until he went to bed at 01:00... Mark