Sunday, 27 September 2015

Trip to the 'Potteries Connection' running day 27-09-2015


53208Blurton, adj Ladybank GroveStoke railway station23First Potteries
55Stoke railway stationGladstone pottery MuseumSpecialBournemouth (Preserved)
472Gladstone pottery MuseumStone, Crown StreetSpecialHuddersfield (Preserved)
472Stone, Crown StreetGladstone pottery MuseumSpecialHuddersfield (Preserved)
DOG104Gladstone pottery MuseumHanley, Bethesda StreetSpecialCrosville (Preserved)
RM467Hanley, Bethesda StreetGladstone pottery MuseumSpecialLondon Transport(Preserved)
60100Gladstone pottery MuseumFoxfield RailwaySpecialFirst Potteries(Preserved)
GSO 90VFoxfield RailwayGladstone pottery MuseumSpecialBluebird (Preserved)
JTF 218FGladstone pottery MuseumTrentham GardensSpecialStanton's of Stoke(Preserved)
JTF 218FTrentham GardensGladstone pottery MuseumSpecialStanton's of Stoke(Preserved)

Today was the Potteries Connection bus rally. We had seen on the Potteries Omnibus Preservation Society's web page that they were running shuttles from Stoke railway station at 10:00, 10:25 and every 30 minutes for most of the day. We worked out that if we did the 09:38 from Blurton we could get to Stoke railway station with 4 minutes to spare... Matthew got up around 09:00 and had toast and orange juice for breakfast. Just before 09:30 we set off on foot to the stop all the way over on Beaconsfield Drive. there were people at the stop so we knew that we hadn't missed the bus. We saw the bus going towards Newstead and it was First Potteries 53208. A few minutes later the bus returned from Newstead and it was as expected First Potteries 53208.

First Potteries 53208 in Blurton
We got on the bus and we booked to Stoke railway station before sitting down in the middle of the bus. The bus set off up Beaconsfield Drive and through the Blurton Farm estate until the end. We turned left on to Church Street and down under the railway bridge before turning left onto Blurton Road. We carried on through the rest of Blurton and over into Heron Cross before going over the A50. We went straight across the traffic lights into Heron Street before following the road to the left onto Station Bridge Road. We turned left at Christchurch Street and left again at the end onto City Road. At the bottom of the hill we went forwards onto the A52 and under the railway line. We crossed over the A500 and we went straight into Stoke town centre on Church Street. After stopping in the town we followed the one way system around and we crossed over the A500 and back under the railway before turning left onto Station Road. We got up and the bus pulled over... At the same time we saw Bournemouth 55 pull up on the opposite side of the road. We spotted uncle Dave who we had arranged to meet at the railway station as we got off the bus and Matthew took another picture of First Potteries 53208 as it carried on towards Hanley.

First Potteries 53208 by Stoke railway station
The shuttle bus to the rally was due to depart any minute, so Matthew took a picture of Bournemouth 55 before we crossed over the road.

Bournemouth 55 by Stoke railway station
We got on the bus which was nearly empty and within a minute or so we were on our way. We went to the end of Station Road and forwards onto the A52. At the end we turned left onto City Road and we headed up through Fenton. We carried on forwards to King Street and we entered Longton under the railway bridge. Forwards onto the on way system we carried on straight onto Uttoxeter Road before turning right onto Chadwick Street. We turned left into the car park of the Gladstone Pottery Museum were the rally was being held. After going past the static buses on our left we stopped to let the passengers off. We let the bus empty and Matthew took a picture inside Bournemouth 55.

Inside Bournemouth 55
Once off the bus we had a walk around. Departing on the 10:15 to Foxfield railway was Strathtay Coaches CRS 66T.

Strathtay Coaches CRS 66T in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
Arriving on site we saw Middleton's Plaxton bodied coach KPC 204P.

Middleton's KPC 204P in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
Also present at the rally was Tim Deakin's excellent Leyland Olympian 757 painted in silver black and red as it would have been when it entered service back in 1989.

PMT 757 in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
We found the control bus and we purchased the rally programme at £3. We then walked to the west side of the site to take a few pictures. Only restored in 2013, we also saw Mr Fee's AEC Reliance SL805.

PMT SL805 in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
At the Northern end of the site was Devon General 23.

Devon General 23 in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
We headed towards the eastern side of the site taking picture of the buses parked up. In the back row was POPS owned Mercedes minibus carring the Minilink livery MMM120.

PMT MMM120 in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
Another bus recently preserved was First Potteries 30031.

First PMT 30031 in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
Next to this was another bus that we saw Northern Scottish 16.

Northern Scottish 16 in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
Back on the West side of the site we saw Midland Red Leyland Leopard 227.

Midland Red 227 in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
Another bus preserved this year was former First Potteries / Copeland's Tours J917 SEH still carrying the Copeland's Tours colours but with original First Potteries registration plate.

J917 SEH in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
We also saw Posh Limos very nice example of a Mercedes minibus PO55 SSH.

Posh Limos PO55 SSH in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
We went around the stalls and Matthew purchased a bus DVD made locally earlier this week! We also brought an old North Staffs fleet list from 1999 which cost us 50p. We sat down for a while and we tried to work out the beat way we could travel on a few new buses. We had just missed out on Alder Valley Leyland National 127 which had worked the 10:10 to Newcastle and wasn't going to work again until 12:10. The only bus we could do that we hadn't been on before was Huddersfield 472, or at least that what I thought as I quickly tried to work out what buses we needed and when they were going to work. A late arrival on site was Bassetts Coaches SUX 476X.

Bassetts SUX 476X in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
PMT Bristol VR 604 just arrived back from a round trip to Hanley and was about to work again on the 11:00 trip to Hanley.

PMT 604 in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
Alder Valley Leyland National 127 arrived back on site after it's a trip to Stoke and then parked up for a while before it's next turn.

Alder Valley 127 in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
Another late arrival on site was Stanways former Brighton & Hove Optare N408 MPN now carrying the Stanways livery.

Stanways N408 MPN in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
We walked up to the top end of the site and we got a picture of the bus we hoped to travel down to Stone on when it worked the 1120 service, Huddersfield 472.

Huddersfield 472 in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
We sat down and Matthew had a Curly Wurly and a can of Limeade whilst we waited for the bus departure time. On the 11;20 to the Foxfield Railway was Bluebird Alexander 'Y' type GSO 90V.

Bluebird GSO 90V in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
We saw the driver of Huddersfield 472 climb into the cab and the bus was started up. The service to Stone was being duplicated with London Transport Routemaster RM467 being the other bus. The Routemaster pulled up behind the Bluebird bus and Huddersfield 472 pulled up to the stop behind the Routemaster. We got on the bus and we went straight upstairs. Due to the fact the most of the other Stone passenger were on board the Routemaster, The top deck of Huddersfield 472 was empty! Matthew took a picture inside of Huddersfield 472 and we sat at the front of the bus.

Inside Huddersfield 472
A handful of passengers came aboard the bus and the bus set off a few minutes late due to buses arriving on site and being last in the queue to leave. We set off onto Chadwick Street and onto Normacot Road following London Transport RM467. We crossed the A50 and joined the A5035. We ran along through Dresden and into Blurton travelling nearby to our house. We crossed the railway and we went into Trentham. At the A34 we went South and down through Tittensor and the the West of Stone through the roadworks. At the bottom end of town we turned left onto the A520 and we went onto the one way system and onto Crown Street. The buses pulled up at the bus stop and we got up and got off the bus. Matthew went to the toilet, missing First Potteries 32635 go by, which was on the #10 to Hanley. We had time to take a couple of pictures and they decided to go back on Huddersfield 472 as we had been on the Routemaster a few time before. We got on board and went upstairs sitting down in the middle of the bus. This time they were a few more people on the bus, some having transferred onto this off the Routemaster. At 11:55 the bus set off around the one way system and onto the Northbound A520. We headed up this winding dark road surrounded by trees and we burst out into open countryside for the run up to Rough Close. At Rough Close we took the A5005 through Lightwood and into Longton. We crossed the A50 and onto Normacot Road before turning left onto Chadwick Street. We entered the rally site and pulled up to the top of the car park and the bus emptied out. We had arrange to meet mum at 12:20 when the bus was due back but we had arrived a few minutes early. We sat by the entrance for a few minutes and we waited for mum to appear. We decided to walk onto Normacot Road to wait for her, and whilst we were there we saw a few buses come and go. We saw Midlands Red 1902 on the 12:20 to Stone.

Midland Red 1902 in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
Also making an appearance on a duplicate service was Stantons of Stoke East Lancs bodied open-topped double decker JTF 218F.

Stantons of Stoke JTF 218F in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
We called mum and she had been delayed, so we arranged to meet her at the cafe. We set pff on foot over the A50 and onto the A5035. As we walked down past Lomgton Club, mum picked us up and gave us a lift about 200 yds down to the cafe Go Eat. Matthew had a breakfast which he washed down with a can of Coke. After we had finished eating Matthew visited the toilet. On the way out Matthew spotted the Manchester Tarts and we had some for later... Mum gave us a lift back to the museum so we could carry on bus bashing for the rest of the afternoon. There was a required bus due to depart at 13:40 on a service to Etruria via Hanley Museum. Matthew was getting bored and he wanted to catch a bus, so we abandoned the plan to get Alder Valley 127. Former Crosville / PMT bus DOG104 currently on it's original Crosville livery was on the 13:30 to Hanley. Matthew took a picture of this bus and we decided to catch it.

Crosville DOG 104 in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
We went upstairs and we sat down in the middle of the top deck. The bus set off out of the site and over the A50 onto the Westbound relief road. We joined the A50 and we ran down to Sideway before going North up the A500. I looked at the programme and I worked out that Alder Valley 127 would only be 5 minutes behind us at the Museum so we could get off this Olympian and we could get a new bus in for the day. We came off the A500 at the A52 and followed the road under the railway line and up to the railway station. We made a unofficial stop at the station as this service was only booked to stop on the return journey at least one family took advantage of this and boarded the bus here. We went up College Road and we turned left onto Bethesda Street. We crossed over the ring road and the bus pulled up outside the museum. We got up and got off the bus and we got another better picture of Crosville DOG 104 before it carried on Back towards the Gladstone Pottery Museum via Stoke railway station.

Crosville DOG 104 outside Hanley museum
We sat on the benches outside Hanley Museum. 13:55 came and went but the Leyland National did not appear. Whilst we waited we saw First Potteries 41501 on a #7A to Biddulph.

First Potteries 41501 outside Hanley museum
We realised that the bus was probably not going to show up and we would be on the next Hanley, which was booked to be London Transport RM467. The time up to 14:20 passed quickly, and it wasn't long before we saw a Routemaster approaching. As expected it was London Transport RM467.

London Transport RM467 outside Hanley museum
We got on the bus and we went upstairs, sitting down near to the back of the bus. The bus set off onto Broad Street and we crossed over the ring road onto Snow Hill. We headed down the hill into Station Road for the scheduled pick up. We carried on forward onto the A52 and we turned right and went under the railway line and joined the A500. We headed South to Sideway and then we took the A50 up to Longton. We did the A50 relief road past the town and we entered the rally site via Normacot Road and Chadwick Street. We worked out that there was a plus 10 onto the 14:50 to Foxfield which was book to be Dennis Lance 60100. This just give us time to visit the Merseyside stall and purchase a few photographs. Stanton's of Stoke JTF 218F was occupying the the stand as it waited to work the 14:50 to Trentham. We decided to be cheeky and go up to the bus before it pulled up on stand, but not before we got a picture of First PMT 60100.

First PMT 60100 in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
As we got on the bus first it was almost empty, allowing Matthew to get a picture inside First PMT 60100.

Inside First PMT 60100
We had to wait for the Stanton's of Stoke bus to leave, as well as Bassetts SUX 476X which was duplicating the Trentham service. Our service was being duplicated by Berresfords ORS 60R. We set off out of the site following Berresfords ORS 60R, and onto the Eastbound A50. We went through Meir tunnel and up to Meir Heath past the Copeland's garage, where orange coaches MIB 116 & MIB 118 were clearly visible. We joined A521 and we crossed the railway, before turning left onto Caverswall Road. As we passed Caverswall Old Road we saw Glovers minicoach AIG 7450 emerging from this side road. It was returning from a trip up to the colliery which was organised in conjunction with the Autumn gala going on at the railway. We got stuck in a minor traffic jam as we had to pass a steam traction engine that was towing two trailers. Eventually we got into the foxfield railway yard and we parked up. The colliery shuttle service worked by Glovers AIG 7450 parked along side us.

Glovers AIG 7450 at Foxfield Railway
For most of the day, the buses had a layover at Foxfield, allowing you to transfer onto the previous bus or just spend some time at the railway. We were transferring on to the previous service which had been worked by Bluebird GSO 90V. We had a quick walk around Foxfield where we were able to take a few pictures of buses, steam traction engines, steam trains as well as a beach buggy. We then jumped on Bluebird GSO 90V just before departure time. The bus set off down Caverswall Road and we stopped at the bottom to wait for a train at the level crossing. The Crewe bound service was being worked by East Midland Trains 158799. Once the train had passed we got on the A521 and we headed to Meir Heath. We joined the Westbound A50 and we headed through the Meir tunnel and Normacot and into Longton. We crossed over the A50 and we entered the site via Normacot Road and Chadwick Street. Once in the site we waited for the coach seated bus to empty out before Matthew got a picture inside Bluebird GSO 90V.

Inside Bluebird GSO 90V
Earlier in the day we had asked Keith Stanton what his bus was working and he informed us it was going out on both the 14:50 & the 15:50 to Trentham Gardens and back. We had decided we would finish the day off on this bus, so we had around a 15 minute wait. Walking around the site Matthew wanted to go inside this Winebago so he could use their toilet. As a precaution we decided to go and use the toilet in the Pottery Museum just in case he really needed it and he wasn't just wanted to explore. We walked around on Uttoxeter road and we entered the museum through the gift shop. We saw Keith who told us the toilet were upstairs. We climbed what is quite possibly the most creaky staircase that still stands and Matthew used the facilities. When we got back downstairs Matthew also went in the disabled toilet. Knowing Matthew he probably already knew where it was but just didn't say anything! We purchased a couple of cans of pop and we walked back round to the rally site. Around 15:50 we saw Keith jump in the cab of the Leyland open-topped PD2A and it moved up to the bus stop.

Stantons of Stoke JTF 218F in the Gladstone Pottery Museum
We got on the bus and we went upstairs. The top deck was only about 1/3 full on this run, unlike most of the earlier runs when the bus had been full. The bus set of over the A50 and onto the A5035. It was a straight run to Trentham Gardens... Through Dresden and Blurton and over the railway into Trentham. At the A34 we went straight across and into the gardens and we stopped outside the shopping village and we got off to take another picture of Stantons of Stoke JTF 218F.

Stantons of Stoke JTF 218F at Trentham Gardens
We got back on the bus and we went upstairs. The bus set off back over the A34 and onto the A5035. We went back over the railway line into Blurton and forwards into Dresden. We crossed the A50 and we entered the rally site via Normacot Road and Chadwick Street. When we got off the bus we went to to the corner of the site to wait for mum to arrive. Buses were now departing thick and fast, such as Berresford Leyland Leopard ORS 60R.

'Berresfords' ORS 60R at the Gladstone Pottery Museum
Mum appeared and we jumped into the car. We dropped uncle Dave off in Fenton and then we headed home via Heron Cross and Blurton Road, getting back just before 17:00. For tea Matthew had chicken and fries followed by a Manchester Tart we had from Go Eat. Later in the evening Matthew had a bath and then chilled out on his computer until bedtime around 23:30... Mark

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