A Merry Christmas to all our Readers

Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year to you all

A Christmas Card for our Loyal Readers

East of the M60 and the creator of this blog wishes you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope that instead of socks you get that model Leyland Atlantean you have hoped for. Or that instead of watching Downton Abbey, you are enjoying a DVD of British Transport Film archive footage. Whilst you get into the swing of things, please note that:

  • Rudolph would be most annoyed if you have forgotten his carrot;
  • Modern-day Santa Claus’ would prefer something more salubrious than a glass of QC Rich Ruby;
  • There are no buses, trains and trams on Christmas Day (unless you’re on the 43 route from Manchester Airport);
  • Pubs are only open for three hours on Christmas Day from lunchtime;
  • Sky Plus and its cousins are a useful ally in the battle for your preferred Christmas viewing needs;
  • Stalybridge Celtic are away to Hyde on Boxing Day;
  • Droylsden are away to Altrincham, again on Boxing Day.

Most importantly, enjoy yourselves: as the great Neville Holder said…

S.V., 24 December 2011.

East of the M60 Advent Calendar: 24 December 2011

24. Taking the Long Way Home for Christmas

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Step Entrance Survivors: First Manchester's Mercedes-Benz 0.405s. Image by Ingy the Wingy (Creative Commons Attribution License)

For our final window, we have a bus that has travelled quite a distance before getting to Greater Manchester at the start of the 21st century.

Ladies and Gentlemen, our last Advent Bus Associated Picture is P548 BSS, a Mercedes-Benz O.405 with the Optare Prisma style of bodywork. Built in 1997, these were among First Aberdeen’s standard vehicles, and quite beefy specimens they are too! Their high powered engines saw regular service on the Uppermill routes, some peak hour 343 journeys and the 562 from Oldham to Halifax. In recent times, they’ve been seen on the 24 route, a limited-stop service from Manchester to Rochdale.

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