The 10 Wonders of Greater Manchester

Some 2.5 million people live in Greater Manchester, with 98 times that many journeys made per year by bus. Ten times that number travel by rail with eight times that many taking the tram. A great many of our journeys are for mundane reasons like going to work, shopping, visiting a relative in hospital, or medical appointments.

System One Travelcards Continue reading “The 10 Wonders of Greater Manchester”

Ashton Through the Dole Ages

Unemployment in Ashton-under-Lyne during the 1980s

As mentioned elsewhere I was a child of the 1980s, but being one had a most disadvantageous fringe benefit. Both my parents were in the unfortunate position of being unemployed during that decade. Compared with today’s more inviting Job Centre Plus centres, signing on in the early 1980s was a more austere experience. Continue reading “Ashton Through the Dole Ages”

Shopping in 1980s Ashton-under-Lyne

Who remembers the joys of shopping in Ashton town centre during the 1980s?

Walking around the centre of Ashton-under-Lyne recently, I have often noticed how a Saturday in the Ashton of 2010 was a more sedate affair than the Ashton I knew of the 1980s. The greatest impact on this has been the shift of white goods retailers to the Snipe Retail Park, and of similar shops available in Ashton being attracted to the Crown Point North development in Denton. Another has been the dispersal of supermarkets to similar locations in borough. Most notably, this has included the opening of TESCO’s Stalybridge store (which has also have a grave effect on the nearby town centre itself), Morrisons’ first Tameside store in Dukinfield, and ASDA’s relocation from the northern to the southern side of Ashton in April 1989.

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Sun, Sea, Sand, Spells and Steam Trains

NRM York goes back to the 1930s seaside holiday.

GWR Class 5600 0-6-2 Tank, 6693 pulling into Swanage station (British Railways livery).

I have been a long term rail user since 2005, and a railway enthusiast since 1984. After being whisked to Barry Island and Ayr before starting school, I spent part of these holidays on British Rail’s Inter-City services from Manchester Victoria and Piccadilly stations. The one place which gave me the railway bug was York. Continue reading “Sun, Sea, Sand, Spells and Steam Trains”

Now You Know What I Did This Summer…

Bus operations in Eastbourne and surrounding area

Recently I was holidaying in the East Sussex seaside town of Eastbourne, staying for a week in The Queen’s Hotel (ideally placed for the pier and the town centre). The place is a short distance from Brighton and London, and has a regular rail service between the two places. Southern Railway is the rail franchise for this area. Most of its bus services are operated by Stagecoach Holdings and the Go-Ahead Group. A handful of services are operated by independent companies offering weekly services to Eastbourne from outlying villages. Continue reading “Now You Know What I Did This Summer…”