How clued up are you on your Greater Manchester bus history?

As a bit of light relief from the recent bus posts I thought it would have been a good idea to have had a quiz on all things bus related. For gardeners looking for anything to do with Bill Sowerbutts or Alan Titchmarsh, the spelling of Gardner’s refer to the Salfordian engine company, not the often back breaking hobby. So accept my apologies for expecting this post to feature references to Begonias, Nasturtiums or hardy perennials.

I have split this quiz into two rounds: a GM Knowledge round and a picture round, one with a difference. Without further ado…

Part One: GM Knowledge Round:

1. GM Buses launched their new services with which slogan?

  • Leave you in the rain all day;
  • Pick you up tomorrow as usual;
  • Our bus left yesterday, check your timetable.

2. Which The Who song was adapted for use in their pre-launch advert?

  • I Can’t Explain;
  • Won’t Be Fooled Again;
  • Magic Bus.

3. Which coach company was formed under the name of Trimtrack in 1979?

  • Stuarts;
  • Smiths;
  • Shearings.

4. In 1991, which three GM Buses depots closed?

  • Weaste, Hindley and Birchfields Road;
  • Tameside, Rochdale and Altrincham;
  • Northenden, Howe Bridge and Frederick Road.

5. Before moving to Gorton, UK North’s original depot was based where?

  • Hadfield;
  • Hyde;
  • Chadderton.

6. In 1988, which company competed with GM Buses’ 82 route with a 407 service from Manchester to Denshaw?

  • Stotts of Oldham;
  • Citibus Tours;
  • Central Coaches.

7. In 1984, how were you able to ‘Hound Around For a Pound’?

  • With a SaverSeven;
  • On a Sunday Rover;
  • With four 23p Clippercards.

8. What was so unique about SHMD’s 1968 Daimler Fleetlines?

  • Dual door with sliding exit door and narrow entrance;
  • Centre loading doors;
  • Bodied by a company other than Northern Counties.

9. Which person links Bolton Transport with Manchester City Transport?

  • Charles Baroth;
  • Tom Dunstan;
  • Ralph Bennett.

10. If you boarded the 430 route one Sunday in 1986, where would you be going to?

  • Uppermill from Rochdale;
  • Oldham from Ashton;
  • Shaw from Stalybridge.

Part Two: Picture Round

Unlike most pub quiz picture rounds where you have to name celebrities, this one is totally different. Instead of sitcoms or famous people, we are asking for your knowledge of…

Bus Indicator Layouts.

For the purpose of this round, two marks are awarded for each one. One point is given for identifying the company/municipality/nationalised operator’s indicator layout, Another point is awarded for correctly identifying which vehicle this indicator layout was used on. Happy answering.

S.V., 25 May 2011.

1. Centro of Attention
2. Ralph's Pride and Joy
3. Stephen's way to Fitton Hill
4. From Rusholme with Love
5. The Shaw Thing for Hydonians
6. ...And not yet a Leyland...
7. Alas no longer found in Oldham these days...
8. Once the better way to get away
9. A View from a Kiln
10. Temporary measure for Millbrook?

11 thoughts on “Gardner’s Question Time (or Leyland’s, Cummins’ and Volvo’s)

  1. 1 – B
    2 – C
    3 – C
    4 – A
    5 – C
    6 – A
    7 – A
    8 – B
    9 – C
    10 – C

    4. UK North
    6. GM Atlantean
    8 (Where was that coming from?)


  2. As for the other end of the 118 I think it may have been Middleton. If I told you whose route it was, that would give the game away. I can assure you that it is not JP Travel’s route, but the colour of the number and destination indicators offer a clue as to whom the previous operator was.


  3. 2 – C
    3 – A
    4 – B
    5 – A
    6 – B
    7 – B
    8 – C
    9 – C
    10 – A

    destination displays

    3 – a guess at a scania n113 / northern counties?
    4 – uk north, without a doubt
    5 – possibly SHMD or GMPTE era ?
    8 – a guess at a Bee Line Buzz?
    9 – Stagecoach manchester flipdot, as seen on the MAN’s
    10 – a temporary, stuck-to-the-windscreen First display?


    1. A very good 8 out of 10 for the first round, though less success with the picture round. You are spot on with the fifth indicator: it is a SHMD one with is quite similar to the displays which GMT adopted for its Olympians.

      UK North and the final one, most obvious. I have often seen the temporary number displays on the 348 myself though they are fewer and farther between at this moment.


  4. Indicator 8 – I’m sure I’ve seen that – was it Yelloway or Shearings that used the yellow blinds, or have I gone miles off? I laughed out loud when I got to the bottom and the 348 indicator!


    1. Hi Mark,

      I thought you would have liked the last one! Regarding Indicator 8, this has stumped a few other than yourself. In fact you are correct in identifying the eighth one as a Yelloway indicator (well spotted) from its inglorious twilight period under ATL.

      Bye for now,



  5. Part One

    1: B
    2: C
    3: C
    4: A
    5: C
    6: C (then taken over by Vale of Manchester and re-numbered 82)
    7: B
    8: B
    9: C
    10: A (also went to Holmfirth)

    Part Two

    1: Stotts – Leyland Atlantean (as mentioned on this site)
    2: Bolton Transport
    3: Mayne – Bristol VRTs (as mentioned on this site)
    4: UK North
    5: SHMD
    6: North Western
    7: Oldham Corporation
    8: Yelloway (as mentioned above)
    9: Stagecoach Manchester
    10: First Manchester


    1. A mediocre 5 out of 10 for the GM Knowledge Round though I wouldn’t have thought many would get Question 6 right!

      Also a very good 8 out of 10 for naming the indicators, though no bonus points for guessing which bus they came from. The first one came from a West Midlands PTE MCW Metrobus, hence the space where the fourth number would appear. Without the space it would have been one of their former South Yorkshire PTE Atlanteans.

      The Mayne of Manchester indicator came from their ex-London DMS Daimler Fleetlines.


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