If I Never Catch Another Bus: Blackpool By Bus and Tram

A Now You Know What I Did This Summer Special Edition

Modern Blackpool Tram (South Shore)
The Modern Face of Blackpool’s tramways: the Bombardier trams which see regular service from Starr Gate to Fleetwood Ferry.

If you enjoyed this year’s Now You Know What I Did This Summer which focused on the buses, trains, and ferries in Falmouth, we have a special treat for you. Yours truly, along with his old man (thanks to my old woman failing a fitness test), spent a longish weekend in Britain’s fun capital. Needless to say, the sighting of a Mr. Longthorne inspired the title of our special. Continue reading If I Never Catch Another Bus: Blackpool By Bus and Tram

Pub Food Classics: The Cheese Toastie

Feast of the M60 muses over what seems to be a dying art in public houses

East of the M60 does not endorse the use of borderline nationalism on this savoury snack. The opinions of the toastie are separate to that of this blog. And the person who photographed this image in 2012 (Image by Annie, Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

On the rare occasions that you go to the pub (for anything besides family occasions), you may fancy a quick snack with your pint. You yearn for something quite filling though not over facing. A quick sandwich, a tasty ham muffin or the like – anything besides pickled eggs, salted peanuts and crisps. Continue reading Pub Food Classics: The Cheese Toastie

Bus Stations from Hell: The Return

East of the M60’s reassessment of the Bus Stations from Hell of 2006

The Old Bus Station, Police Station and Multi Storey Car Park, Nelson
2006’s Bus Station From Hell: the former Nelson bus station, photographed by Robert Wade in 2010. (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved-Non Commercial).

Apart from the obligatory “Hello, Good Evening, and Welcome to our New Blog” type of post, Bus Stations from Hell was the first proper post on East of the M60. Just to recap, here’s the Not So Magnificent Seven from the 16 August 2006. Continue reading Bus Stations from Hell: The Return

Now We Are Ten: Our Not So Perfect Ten

A special edition of The Not So Perfect Ten celebrating ten years of East of the M60

Was it really ten years when East of the M60 began to trouble the deepest recesses of cyberspace? Indeed it was.

East of the M60 started life as a secondary blog to The Stuart Vallantine Web Experience. Its original aim was to promote my activities as speaker with an autism spectrum condition. It was also seen as an extension of the ‘old school’ website – the Mouth of S.V. to the MacNeil of the portfolio. In the early days, blog posts went out on a fortnightly basis, usually written in the last twenty or so minutes of my work dinner hour. As Chez Vall didn’t get broadband access till 2009, anything written at home was done via a 56k dial-up modem. Continue reading Now We Are Ten: Our Not So Perfect Ten

App Update Details Station Closures and Engineering Works

Moovit 4.13 for Android enables users to record temporary station closures and track maintenance issues

Automatic doors sticking at Scarborough station? The latest update for Moovit enables you to report problems affecting your train journey. Not only signal failures, but also malfunctioning lifts and escalators. Image by Matt Buck (Creative Commons License: Some Rights Reserved).

When Allen, Brady, and Marsh prepared their advertising pitch for the British Rail contract in 1976, the newly-appointed BR chief, Peter Parker, was ushered into a scruffy reception area. There were cigarette dimps, used coffee cups and a table with tea, coffee and beer stains. This gave the chief a look at Britons’ popular perceptions of waiting rooms in British Rail stations. Continue reading App Update Details Station Closures and Engineering Works

Tea Trip Tempts Ale Trail Abstentionists

Satire from East of the A627

Long-awaited alternative to Rail Ale Trail launched along Trans-Pennine routes

Merrie England
Not a Batman costume in sight: compare and contrast this genteel scene with the Hogarthian scenes you see at Marsden station on a Saturday afternoon. This image was taken at the 2011 Huddersfield Food Festival by Chris (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

Passengers cheesed off with the ale trail on Saturdays have been given a new way of exploring both the red and white rose counties. Starting on the 15 August 2016, it aims to provide a gentle alternative to doing battle with assorted Spidermen, Batmen and cowboys. Continue reading Tea Trip Tempts Ale Trail Abstentionists

Retail Comings and Goings in Tameside, August 2016: The Ashton Review of Shops

August’s window on the shop windows

Concord Suite, Droylsden
The Concord Suite, Droylsden. Designed by Bernard Engle. Image by Mikey, 2014 (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved)
  • BHS bows out;
  • TAC building razed to ground;
  • Controversial mixed-use development approved in Stalybridge
  • Plus the usual retail changes in the Tameside area.

This July has been a quiet one for the local retail scene. Most of last month’s events have been dominated by the murder of Bradley Moore (43) outside McDonalds, Warrington Street. Our condolences go out to his family, including his four children who survive him and their hitherto departed mother.

Continue reading Retail Comings and Goings in Tameside, August 2016: The Ashton Review of Shops

Drivers Accept Devon Cycle Challenge

Drivers from Stagecoach Manchester’s Hyde Road and Middleton depots take up Tarka trail

Devon Cycle Challenge image
Tarka Trail Two-Wheeled Task Taken With Both Hands: the five drivers from Hyde Road and Middleton depot who cycled through Devon. Image courtesy of Tangerine PR Ltd, 2016.

For thirty miles across Devon, Stagecoach Manchester staff from their Middleton and Hyde Road depots swapped four wheels for two. Their aim: to raise some money for Manchester-based charity, Prevent Breast Cancer. Formerly known as Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention, they undertake ground-breaking research into the prediction and prevention of breast cancer. 50,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Continue reading Drivers Accept Devon Cycle Challenge

Hidden Gems of Channel Five: 100%

They do exist! Such as this long forgotten quiz show

Channel 5. Or Five, or just the number five, was Britain’s last nationwide terrestrial channel to have started out on the 625-line PAL format. Launched on the 30 March 1997 with The Spice Girls and that oh-so-1990s phrase “gimme five”, it has established itself as the nation’s fifth channel. (Unless you’re Rupert Murdoch or Kelvin MacKenzie and think Sky One is more deserving of that tag).

Continue reading Hidden Gems of Channel Five: 100%

Now You Know What I Did This Summer: Falmouth, 2016

A Look at the Public Transport Network in a Cornish harbour town

Grace boat Falmouth Harbour
If you love your boats, Falmouth is the place to be. As for buses, a fairly elusive beast for a town of its size. Especially after 7pm.

In the last month, the head honcho of East of the M60 has taken a well-deserved break in Falmouth. For the uninitiated, Falmouth is a busy Cornish harbour town with the third deepest natural harbour in the world (after Sydney and Rio de Janeiro). It is a popular place with sailors, whether your choice of craft is a modest dinghy, or a multi-million Pound yacht. The best way of exploring the resort is along the Carrick Roads on one of FalRiver’s or Enterprise’s ferries (to St. Mawes or Truro). Or on many boat trips exploring the area. Continue reading Now You Know What I Did This Summer: Falmouth, 2016