Non League Day Comes to Bower Fold: Stalybridge Celtic v Leamington F.C.

Saturday 06 September 2014: Real football, plus mascots, live music and discounts 

New Windmill Ground covered end
Saturday’s opponents will be of significance to Keith Briggs, whose second match in the dugout was a 2-0 win at Bower Fold. Seen here is a view of the ‘Bridge’s travelling army at the previous away match. A late winner for the Brakes separated the sides and the heavens literally opened – a thunderstorm appeared seconds later.

Over the last five years, Non League Day has become an established part of the footballing calendar. It coincides with a point where English Premier League sides have a Saturday. This for international fixtures; this season, three days after England’s match against Norway. A friendly. With a nondescript starting XI. Continue reading

In Pictures: The Glory Days of the 10/10A Recaptured

East of the M60 on today’s heritage bus trip around Dukinfield

Today’s 41 service from Ashton-under-Lyne to Dukinfield [Tennyson Avenue] is a compromise between the former 339 and 340 services. They were hitherto operated by Greater Manchester Transport and its forerunners. Before 1973, they were part of the 10, 10A and 10B services to Yew Tree Lane/Lyne Edge Crescent. Seen below is how the routes varied according to S.H.M.D’s May 1967 timetable: Continue reading

Behind the Mike: A Look At The Glory Days of Piccadilly Sport

Commemorating Piccadilly Radio’s first full football season

If you thought Milton Keynes Dons’ tonking of Manchester United was eventful, cast your mind back to the 1974-75 season. M.K. Dons was Southern League side Wimbledon (home ground, Plough Lane); Manchester United played Second Division football, and top of the First Division that week was Carlisle United. Continue reading

A Call on the Fylde: The Shard Riverside Hotel

Inside a real gem on the banks of the River Wyre

Shard Bridge at dusk, Hambleton/Poulton-le-Fylde
The Shard Bridge at dusk, viewed from the outdoor seating area of the Shard Riverside Hotel, Hambleton, Lancashire.

I don’t leave the house as often as I should, for reasons besides work or following The Mighty Stalybridge Celtic®, but this time last week I had good reason. A very good reason as to why East of the M60 was quiet. Continue reading

A Stagecoach Story Time for Francis House

The adventures of Bobby Bus, Stanley Supertram and Molly Megabus

Left to Right: Francis Mouse (Francis House's mascot), Sandeep and Stagecoach Manchester M.D. Christopher Bowles. (Photograph © 2014 Tangerine P.R. Ltd).
Left to Right: Francis Mouse (Francis House’s mascot), Sandeep and Stagecoach Manchester M.D. Christopher Bowles. (Photograph © 2014 Tangerine P.R. Ltd).

Children at Francis House can now enjoy the tales of Bobby Bus, Stanley Supertram and Molly Megabus after Stagecoach Manchester donated thirty copies of the specially commissioned book – ‘A Very Special Family Party’ to the children’s hospice.

The book was created to celebrate co-founder and chairman, Brian Souter’s 60th birthday and tells the story of his birthday party, with the different methods of transport provided by Stagecoach.

Stagecoach Manchester’s managing director, Christopher Bowles, visited the children’s hospice to donate the books to mascot, Francis Mouse, and Sandeep, who uses Francis House with his family for short breaks of respite care.

The books have been donated as part of the leading local bus company’s continued support for the local hospice, after it was chosen as its charity of the year.

Talking about the donation, Christopher Bowles, said: “We are always looking for ways to support Francis House, so when we heard about the creation of this children’s book we were keen to donate some to the children at the hospice.

“Our drivers and staff are taking part in numerous fundraising activities throughout the year, but this book gave us the opportunity to give something directly to the children of Francis House. We hope they enjoy reading about the adventures of the different methods of transport.”

Emma Siddle, fundraising officer at Francis House, said: “Reading books is a great way of giving one-to-one attention to the children, plus it gives siblings and family members valuable time together. The children will no doubt enjoy the book.

“We were delighted to welcome Christopher to the hospice to receive the book donation and hear of Stagecoach’s future fundraising activities.”

The Stagecoach children’s book is available online at priced £4.00 (paperback, excluding postage and packaging). At least £1.50 from each book will be donated to the National Literacy Trust which works to improve the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in the UK’s most disadvantaged communities, where up to 40 per cent of people have literacy problems.

Left to Right: Francis Mouse (Francis House's mascot), Sandeep and Stagecoach Manchester M.D. Christopher Bowles. (Photograph © 2014 Tangerine P.R. Ltd).
Francis Mouse, Sandeep and Christopher Bowles seen holding their copies of ‘A Very Special Family Party’. (Photograph © 2014 Tangerine P.R. Ltd).

S.V., 22 August 2014.

JPT Takeover Given Green Light

Stagecoach acquisition cleared by Competition and Markets Authority

JPT Travel Enviro300, ST59 JPT, Ashton-under-Lyne
Gone: JPT Travel, now absorbed by Stagecoach Manchester.

JPT Travel after 40 years of operation is of today, no more. The former independent operator’s takeover was confirmed yesterday by the Competition and Markets Authority. Continue reading

Countdown to Black Monday, 08 September 2014: Your Questions Answered

Everything you need to know about changes to evening peak fares this coming month

Class 153, Manchester Victoria, Platform 2
Another export from Workington: this stunning Class 153 which came from the same Lillyhall plant as your beloved Pacer unit in the previous article. Here’s the old roof, which is being dismantled and replaced by a new one. Paid for by yours truly, the squeezed commuter and even more squeezed casual traveller.

On hearing about the changes covered in our previous article, we at East of the M60 were aggrieved to say the least. Incensed because of the effects it would have on casual travellers. Fuming over this sanction being the most retrograde rail development in Greater Manchester since the arrival of the Class 142 Pacer unit. Continue reading

DfT Imposes Evening Peak Restrictions on Northern Rail Users

Price of a cheap day trip set to double in September

  • Evening Ranger tickets face abolition;
  • Blow for Northern English nighttime economy;
  • Changes set to boost Metrolink patronage and increase road congestion.
Class 142 Pacer DMU, Manchester Piccadilly, post-rush hour
See this Pacer unit here: you’ve paid for this when it was one of many Leyland’s Nationals from Workington. Then you paid for British Rail to convert it into a DMU. Guess what? From early September, you’ll be paying even more for it if you wish to travel after 4pm!

From the 08 September, the price of a short train journey between 4.00 to 6.30pm is set to double on weekdays. Passengers wishing to travel by train throughout the Transport for Greater Manchester, Metro West Yorkshire and Travel South Yorkshire will be unable to use Off-Peak Day Return tickets during the evening peak. Continue reading

‘It’s the Time of the Season…’ The 2014 Great Kick-Off

Stand by for real footballing action

From 3 o’clock tomorrow afternoon the Football Conference season kicks off, heralding for many people the start of the football season. Some may argue the season starts proper on the 16 August, next Saturday. To some extent, they could be right, being as both the Barclays Premier League and the Evostik Northern Premier League kick off on the same week. Tomorrow also sees our North West Counties League sides on their third game. Continue reading

Great Non-GMT Standard Double Deckers: The Not So Perfect Ten

A round-up of some of the greatest non-SELNEC/Greater Manchester Transport double deckers ever to grace the Earth

Regular readers on East of the M60 would be familiar with any of the references to Ralph Bennett (particularly the distinctive Bolton and Manchester Leyland Atlanteans), or the GMT standard double deckers. For this month’s Not So Perfect Ten, we are spreading our wings a little and focusing on groundbreaking vehicles from other parts of the United Kingdom. Both aesthetically and functionally. Continue reading