Saturday, 5 December 2015

Trip to Northwich / Chester 05-12-2015


GA04 GHANorthwich InterchangeTarvin, o/s Londis Store82GHA
G760 UYTTarvin, o/s Londis Store Chester BS82GHA
N8 GHAChester BSKelsall, o/s Sable CottageX20GHA
S644 KJUKelsall, o/s Sable Cottage Northwich Interchange82GHA

Today we decided to re-visit Northwich to try and ride on some of the older GHA double deckers in their fleet. I had the idea when we saw required GHA double decker K129 DAO on the #82 to Northwich back in October 2015. We checked the weather for today and it was for cloudy weather with high winds. Matthew got up around 10:00 and had toast and orange juice for breakfast. We set off around 11:30 and we drove onto Beaconsfield Drive and through Blurton. At the end of Beaconsfield we turned right onto Church Road and right again onto the A5035. We dropped something off on the main road and we continued into Trentham over the railway line. In trentham we passed required First Potteries Dart 42356 teasing us as we were missing it again. We turned right at New Inn Lane and right onto Pacific Drive. We dropped some more stuff of and we got back onto New Inn Lane and we cut across to the A34 via Trentley Road and Allerton Road. We turned Northwards onto the A34 and at hanford we saw MT Travel MK08 OUU. When we got to the A500 we turned Northwards. North of Sideway we started to see vehicle heading to the Britannia Stadium as Stoke City had an early kick off today. We saw Copeland's Tours MIB 229, First Potteries 32079,Scraggs 79 & 1 HVT, Barratt's T9 BCL, Challinor BU03 LYV. We also saw a couple of Belle Vue coaches & I Buses Y773 TNC. We turned Northwards onto the M6 and we came of the motorway at the A54. We went west to Middlewich and we parked up at The Country Kitchen food van to have dinner. Matthew had a breakfast with a butter bap, washed down with a small bottle of Coke. Whilst we were parked up eating Stoke City went two goals up against Manchester City! Once we had finished Eating we carried on Westwards along the A54 for a short distance before joining the A533 for the last 4 miles or so into Northwich. As we entered town we passed the new Waitrose store which has been completed since our last visit. We turned left onto the A559 and we parked up in the car park behind the Seafarer. We said goodbye to mum and we walked onto the A559 were the Interchange is. On stand C was Arriva NW&W 2616 on the #1 circular to Weaverham.

Arriva NW&W 2616 in Northwich Interchange
We then saw GHA single decker 1151 running past out of service.

GHA 1151 in Northwich Interchange
The next service towards Chester looked likely to the dud GHA single decker GA04 GHA.

GHA GA04 GHA in Northwich Interchange
Matthew decided he wanted to go toilet so we walked across the car par in front of the market to the facilities. When he was done I went to the cash machine whilst Matthew and uncle Dave walked over to get a picture of Network Warrington 48 on the #46 service to Warrington.

Network Warrington 48 in Northwich
Also in the Interchange was Arriva NW&W 2502 on a #29 to Winsford.

Arriva NW&W 2502 in Northwich Interchange
We walked back up to stand D and the GHA bus had now been readied for service. We booked GHA Day tickets at £5 each. The driver asked if we were going to Tarvin as the market and festival had been cancelled due the high winds. We sat down towards the back of the bus and we saw dud GHA double decker W465 WGH arrive on the #82. The bus set off right onto Chester Way and then over the river Weaver. We turned left onto the A559 and we headed out of town and past Greenbank railway station in Hartford we saw former London Transport RM1590 which is now a mobile charity shop. We passed Hartford railway station and we joined the A556 for a short high speed run. As we approached the turned we passed required GHA double decker G760 UYT. We turned right into Sandiway and we weaved through the estate and joined the A54. At the petrol station we joined the A556 and we went West until we joined back up with the A54. The road became a dual carriageway an we turned left onto Chester Road to run though Kelsall. In the village we passed required Dart GHA FJ06 URR. We rejoined the A54 and we carried on further West and then we turned left onto Tarvin High Street. We got up and got off the bus. Matthew took another picture of GHA single decker GA04 GHA before it carried on towards Chester.

GHA GA04 GHA in Tarvin
In theory we now had 15 minutes before the bus was due back towards Northwich. We went to the Co-operative Food store where Matthew had a can of Coke and a bottle of Irn Bru. He also had a twin Milky Way and a pack of Curly Wurlies. When we had finished shopping we headed back to the stop at the end of the alley to wait for the bus. 14:30 came and went and no bus appeared. Whilst we waited we saw Arriva NW&W 2619 going towards Crewe and double decker 4102 going towards Chester.

Arriva NW&W 4102 in Tarvin
We saw a notice in the bin by the bus stop and it was a notice of closure for the High Street today between 12:00 and 23:00 for the festival. It would appeared that the event being cancelled means the closure was lift. It occurred to us that maybe not everyone knew the event had been cancelled and drivers were missing the village! We crossed the road to try and get the next Chester bus. Time past and 14:45 came and went... I decided to look on the GHA website to contact them to let them know about the situation, afterall the depot was only around the corner. I rang the number and spoke to someone who said they were going to out me through to the Tarvin depot. The phone rang for around 3 minutes and no one answered. The other people at the bus stop had got off the #84 to catch the #82 because the #84 no longer serves Chester bus station. They had a connecting bus they needed to catch... The X30 to Warrington which was due of Chester at 15:35. I thought the the driver of the next #82 to Northwich was the driver we had earlier, maybe he could flash the driver of the next bus at Kelsall to make sure he come through the village... So that was exactly what I did. I saw GA04 GHA coming the other way and I flagged him down to tell him that 2 other buses had missed the village. The Arriva bus was due at 15:05 and it appeared around 10 late. When it came it was dud Arriva NW&W 2501.

Arriva NW&W 2501 in Tarvin
As Matthew took the picture of the Arriva bus, We saw a GHA double decker approaching. We jogged to the other end of the stop and we flagged down required GHA Northern Counties double decker G760 UYT.

GHA G760 UYT in Tarvin
We got on the bus and we flashed the GHA day ticket to the driver. The lower saloon was empty so Matthew took a picture inside G760 UYT.

Inside GHA G760 UYT
We went upstairs in this bus that is still going strong despite being older than Matthew! The top decker was empty too so Matthew took another picture inside GHA decker G760 UYT.

Inside GHA G760 UYT
We sat down and the party for Warrington had seen us rush backwards for the GHA bus and had decided to do it aswell on the off chance that they made the X30 at Chester. We set off along the high Street and we went back onto the A54. A short journey up the road and we joined onto the A51 for the run into Chester. On the run towards Littleton we passed GHA double decker W465 WGH going the other way. It definitely by-passed the village going the other way... We crossed the A55 and the A41 and we ran into Chester through Vicars Cross. On the left we saw the Dee which looked almost as if it was going to burst its banks. We went around the one way system and onto the ring road. We passed Gorse Stack and the site of the new bus station before going into town under the wall along Northgate. We turned into the bus station after the old cinema and in the distance at the bottom of the road we could see the X30 leaving the bus station down Princess Street. We got up and got off the bus ans we took another picture of the very fine GHA double decker G760 UYT.

GHA G760 UYT in Chester bus station
The plan now was to have 30 minutes in the bus station and then head back towards Northwich. In the mean time we would take a few bus pictures. In the bus station was Stagecoach Merseyside 27261 on the #1 to Liverpool. Adjacent to the GHA double decker was Arriva NW&W 4640 on the #10 to Connah's Quay.

Arriva NW&W 4640 in Chester bus station
As we had some time we went to the toilets in the Market Street car park. The disabled toilet was still broke and so was one of the stall in the gent so Matthew had to wait until one was free. After he used the facilities Matthew queued up to wash his hands... Ironic as there is a locked room full of functioning sinks adjacent to the janitor room. We walked back out into the bus station and Matthew sat on his usual perch. As we got there we saw Stagecoach Merseyside 34809 on a #53 to Kingsway.

Stagecoach Merseyside 34809 in Chester bus station
A few minutes later we saw Stagecoach Merseyside 47034 on a #51 to Plas Newton.

Stagecoach Merseyside 47034 in Chester bus station
At the top of the bus station we saw a step-entranced GHA single decker come into the bus station. It was dud GHA Volvo N8 GHA on the X20 to Middlewich.

GHA N8 GHA in Chester bus station
We had forgotten about that service. I asked Matthew if he wanted to do the single decker or wait for the next service on the #82 and he chose to do the X20. This was a bus that we first had back in January 2015 on the X81 from Hanley to Talke. We got on the bus and we weren't exactly sure of the route so we booked to Middlewich. I looked up the timetable and we saw that it was going through Kelsall. So we decided to do it to the and catch the #82 forwards. We set off out of the bus station down Princess Street and as we were leaving the bus station we saw a coach in Johnson Bother livery that was under new ownership. We joined the ring road. We passed TK Travel coach KT64 TKT and we headed back into town down Northgate. On Delamere Street we saw another 2 coaches... The rear of the two coaches was LL Travel YN13 GFV. As the bus in front was empty Matthew took a picture inside GHA Volvo N8 GHA.

Inside GHA N8 GHA
At the bottom of Gorse Stacks we turned left into Frodsham Street and then left again into Foregate Street. We stopped to take on more passengers and then we went forwards onto the A51. We travelled through Vicars Cross and then we crossed the A41 and the A55 and went into Littleton. We passed GHA Dart FJ06 URR which was going into Chester on the #82. We assumed that this would be our bus back to Northwich. We carried on along the A51 until we got to the split and then we went left up the A54. We by-passed Tarvin and we went up to Chester Road were we turned right and entered the village of Kelsall. We passed the Co-operative food store and we got up and got off the bus. Matthew took another picture of GHA Volvo N8 GHA as it carried on towards Middlewich.

GHA N8 GHA in Kelsall
Once we got off the bus we had a look at the timetable board. The bus to Northwich was due in 15 minutes. We wouldn't have time to visit to Co-op, so we raided the trip bag and Matthew had a Milky way and a bottle of Cherryade. We thought the bus was going to be the required Dart, and we also thought it may be late as we passed it on the A51 near to Littleton. When we saw a double decker approaching and it was on time we were surprised. As if got closer we saw it was required GHA Northern Counties double decker S644 KJU!

GHA S644 KJU in Kelsall
We got on the bus and we flashed the GHA Day ticket to the driver for the final time today. We went upstairs and sat down and the bus set off along the Chester Road Eastwards towards the A54. We joined the main road and then we ran up to the petrol station were the road forks. We took the A556 and we went towards Sandiway. We turned left onto the got Northbound Road before going through the housing estate. The bus emptied out a little and Matthew took a picture inside GHA double decker S644 KJU.

Inside GHA S644 KJU
We passed G760 UYT going the other way. When we got to the A556 we went left and ran fast up to the A559. We went past Hartford railway station and we could see a white Mercedes minibus Y556 KSC parked on the other side of the railway. We continued Eastwards past Greenbank railway station and we the saw Arriva NW&W 2616 on the #1 to Weaverham again. We went into town past the back of the Waitrose store and we pulled up outside stand D to see mum waiting for us. We got off the bus and Matthew got another better picture of GHA double decker S644 KJU.

GHA S644 KJU in Northwich Interchange
Once we met up with mum we walked over to the car park and mumhad Greggs sausage rolls and Irn Bru waiting for Matthew. Once we settled in the car we left town eastwards along the A559. we passed GHA 1151 on a #45A to Northwich and Network Warrington 42 on a #46 to Warrington. We went forwards off the A559 onto the A556 and we ran the last 4 or 5 miles to the M6 junction 19. At the M6 we went South and we caught up with coach Middleton HX07 TYF.

Middleton HX07 TYF on the M6
We carried on South and came of the motorway at junction 16. We went down the A500 through Stoke and we went Eastwards onto the A50 at Sideway. We came off the A50 at Longton to go and check out what was parked up at Z Carz tonight. In the front row we saw Z Carz Volkswagen minibus OV05 WSW. .

Z Carz OV05 WSW in Longton
Next to the Volkswagen minibus OV05 WSW was Z Carz Ford minibus T418 WYJ.

Z Carz T418 WYJ in Longton
In the second row was Z Carz Mercedes minibus M372 NWN.

Z Carz M372 NWN in Longton
We turned left into Willow Row to see what was parked up in the compound. In the compound tonight was Z Carz Ford minibus LG09 JVX.

Z Carz LG09 JVX in Longton
We headed back onto the A50 so that we could go to the Tesco petrol station. On the way we saw First Potteries 60171 on a Longton bound #22 service. We filled up at the petrol station and then we got back onto the Eastbound A50 and we saw Crystal Shandelles former PMT double decker G759 XRE. We joined the A5035 and we ran through Dresden to Blurton. We got home around 18:20. For a late tea Matthew had bangers and mash with carrots followed by a jam filled shortbread biscuit. Matthew then chilled out on his computer until bedtime around 23:45... Mark

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