The Collected Works of Ken Mortimer: A Not So Perfect Ten Special

A pictorial journey of the Stalybridge based industrial designer and transport artist’s creations

Though known to nobody else other than bus enthusiasts, Mancunians would be most familiar with his handiwork. Even to this day, examples of his work are seen in bus museums and rallies or in regular service. The creative genius behind SELNEC and GMPTE’s image was Ken Mortimer. In recent times he has started selling watercolour prints of 1950s and 1960s transport scenes. Some of which are available as postcards and greetings cards. Continue reading “The Collected Works of Ken Mortimer: A Not So Perfect Ten Special”

Celebrating Non League Day in Greater Manchester: 03 September 2011

Stuff the Overpaid Prima Donnas, why not see your local side in action?


The brainchild of East of the M60 is a fervent follower of The Mighty Stalybridge Celtic, and has seen them home and away since November 1994. He has survived the most dour of draws, most dire of weather conditions and enjoyed the dizzy heights of seeing at the top of non-league. Of late, Stalybridge Celtic has opted for a full-time professional set-up. Lacking the millions of its illustrious neighbours off Warwick Road and Ashton New Road, their model is based on home-grown talent (akin to Crewe Alexandra) instead of players who earn more than Stalybridge Celtic itself. So far, it is paying dividends with the ‘Bridge unbeaten this season and an unbeaten run at home since January 2011. Continue reading “Celebrating Non League Day in Greater Manchester: 03 September 2011”

Wilkinson’s 360˚ Vision for Rowlandsway

64 jobs created for new Wilkinson store in Wythenshawe

In an age where shops are closing instead of opening, it is always welcome to see someone buck the trend. Set to open on Thursday 15 September, 9.00am, is Wilkinson’s new store, their 360th branch. Continue reading “Wilkinson’s 360˚ Vision for Rowlandsway”

Ennui On The Buses: Getting to Grips with Tedious Bus Routes

Or ‘It’s a Bland Life on the Buses’

Thankfully not the long awaited or lost fourth film in the On The Buses TV spin-off movies. We hope. Not.

Whilst at its best, the local bus route enables its communities to travel from A to B most effectively. The success of which is the route’s ability to take them to the shops, clinic or workplace. These are determined by its overall frequency, reliability and connections with other services on longer journeys. Continue reading “Ennui On The Buses: Getting to Grips with Tedious Bus Routes”

Transpennine Express Strike: 26 August Strike Off

Industrial Action Suspended.

Stalybridge Railway Station
Normal Service Has Resumed: TPE services on the 26 August will be calling at Stalybridge station as normal. Picture by calflier001 (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License).

Transpennine Express passengers facing disruption tomorrow will be most relieved to find that Friday’s strike is off. Therefore a normal service will be in operation.

The recent change will come as a sigh of relief for Stalybridge’s commuters who would have been at the mercy of cramped Pacer units. Or faffing about with trams for reaching Piccadilly and Oxford Road stations from Victoria. On another note, the timing of the strike’s postponement will be helpful for passengers heading off to the Leeds Festival and Manchester’s Gay Village for the Mardi Gras. Not least holidaymakers en route to Scarborough having to battle with the joys of the A64 between York and Malton.

It will also be a boost to the organisers of tomorrow’s ‘I Love Manchester Day’, given the train’s role as an affordable way of visiting Manchester outside the peak hours.

Though trains are scheduled to run normally tomorrow, it is still worth checking before you travel in case of any last minute changes. For further details, visit the Transpennine Express website, their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.

S.V., 25 August 2011.

Our City United: I Love Manchester Day, 26 August 2011

System One Travelcards to give away 2000 one-day Any Bus DaySaver tickets

I Love Manchester Day, Friday 26 August 2011

Regular readers of this blog would be all too familiar with the recent riots in Manchester, Salford, Birmingham and London and the fall out from that. According to a BBC Northwest Tonight report, footfall [in Manchester] on the Saturday after the riots was 25% lower than usual. Instead of moping about over several smashed windows and attempts to loot Cash Generator, our city’s been getting off its collective rear ends to woo back lost custom.

Along with the city’s post-riot voluntary street sweepers, another party has joined the crusade against the looters. That of System One Travelcards, a company owned by Greater Manchester Travelcards Ltd with a stake from each of Greater Manchester’s bus operators to ensure multi-operator through-ticketing within the TfGM boundary.

From today until tomorrow, System One Travelcards are going to give away 2000 one-day Any Bus DaySaver tickets. Unlike the usual tickets (which are bought on the bus), these limited edition day rovers will be self-validating by means of a scratchcard (like the Wayfarer tickets). Tickets will be given away at TfGM’s Travelshops on Piccadilly Gardens and Shudehill Interchange.

Choose your date by rubbing off the number, month and year. Then sit back, relax and enjoy a good day’s bus hopping (peak hour conditions may apply), or a trip to the centre of Manchester. From Pemberton to Littleborough, or Stalybridge to Hale, Greater Manchester’s yours to explore from the first off-peak bus to the last one of the day.

Call in to any of the two Travelshops, but don’t delay as these day tickets are available on a strict first-come first-served basis!

S.V., 25 August 2011.

Train Interiors from Hell: The Infamous Five Alive

Go back to your stations and prepare for backache, piles and migraines ahead…

Greater Manchester, besides having more Pacer units than anywhere else on the planet plays host to some rather grim trains. Most of which are fellow Northerners built in Lillyhall, Workington from bus bodies. Till recently, a lot of our rolling stock were cast-offs from the South of England. By 2012, we will getting some more Southern cast-offs, though seven of these are returning to their spiritual home. They are the seven Pacer units returning to the North of England from First Great Western, four of which The Infamous Oldham Four, referring to the spare units used on the Oldham-Rochdale Loop line.

For the purpose of our new feature, The Infamous Five Alive, we are focusing on the railway carriage interiors which have brought shame onto our railways. Continue reading “Train Interiors from Hell: The Infamous Five Alive”

East of the M60’s Road to Wembley: Them’s the Preliminaries (Part 1)

Early Exits for Glossop North End and Chadderton

For our teams East of the M60 motorway, we couldn’t have asked for the worst possible of starts. Both sides were trounced by some margin.

At Andrew Street, Chadderton‘s early exit in the FA Cup was marked by an 8 – 2 defeat against Cheadle Town. Matthew Chadwick and Kevin Melvin scored Chaddy’s goals with Andy Lindon scoring a hat-trick for Cheadle Town. The Cheshire club’s other five goals came courtesy of Ben Brookes (2), Jade McDonagh (2) and Paul Whalley. In their 48 year history, Saturday’s fixture saw their biggest ever away win.

It was no better for Glossop North End, who crashed out at Surrey Street against Boston Town, losing 4 – 2. Just to make matters worse, the Hillmen took the lead thanks to a ninth minute goal by Josh Hill. Boston Town equalised in the 26th minute courtesy of Tom James. By half time, it was 2 – 1 to the visitors with Alex Beck scoring in the 44th minute.

The game was more or less up for Glossop North End when Gary Bull and Tom James (72nd and 82nd minutes respectively) made it 4 – 1 to Boston Town. Nobody told Jason Gorton that with his 84th minute goal. Alas it was too late, leaving New Mills and Buxton as the High Peak’s best chances of gaining FA Cup glory.

*                                         *                                         *

Preliminary Round Draw (all matches will take place on the 03 September 2011):

  • Trafford v Cheadle Town;
  • AFC Liverpool/Runcorn Linnets v Mossley;
  • Heanor Town v Boston Town;
  • Curzon Ashton v Bamber Bridge;
  • Woodley Sports v Bootle;
  • New Mills v Rainworth Miners’ Welfare.

All teams denoted in bold type are situated East of the M60 motorway from Denshaw and Middleton up to Stockport along the A6 up to Buxton, taking in the High Peak.

Extra Preliminary Round replay:

24 August 2011: Runcorn Linnets v AFC Liverpool (The Millbank Linnets Stadium, K.O. 1945 hours).

The victors of the above tie will see Mossley travelling to Prescott (Valerie Park) or Runcorn (The Millbank Linnets Stadium) for their first step on the Road to Wembley.

Update: Runcorn Linnets’ 3-1 victory over AFC Liverpool (goals by Prescott, Towey and White for the home side with Jones scoring a consolation for the visitors) sees Mossley visiting the Millbank Linnets Stadium on the 03 September 2011.

S.V., 22 August 2011.

Tameside Bus Service Changes, 04 September 2011: A Lick of Paint Here and There

Though not a deep cleaning job, thankfully…

  • End of Summer timetables;
  • First Manchester takes over 168 Sunday service and evening 205 journeys;
  • Slight changes to 217, 218, 221, 231, 236 and 237 routes.

Dennis Trident, Alexander body, T613 MNF, Stagecoach in Manchester, Piccadilly Gardens

The beginning of September often sees the end of the summer times and a few more permanent changes to Tameside’s bus timetables. Passengers will be relieved to find that most of the forthcoming changes are pretty minor with two exceptions to that rule. Continue reading “Tameside Bus Service Changes, 04 September 2011: A Lick of Paint Here and There”

Transpennine Express Strike: Important Notice for Stalybridge Passengers

Transport information for users of Stalybridge railway station on the 24 and 26 August 2011.

Stalybridge Railway Station
Like Hen's Teeth: TPE services on the 24 and 26 August calling at Stalybridge will be a scarce commodity. Picture by calflier001 (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License).

Following a pay dispute with Transpennine Express between ASLEF and the RMT trade unions, industrial action will be taking place on the 24 and 26 August 2011. All services apart from a skeleton service between principal railway stations won’t be running. Any trains running under the skeleton service (Anglo-Scottish journeys excepted) will be declassified with Standard Class ticket holders able to take advantage of the First Class carriage at no extra cost. Continue reading “Transpennine Express Strike: Important Notice for Stalybridge Passengers”