Hazel Grove Goes Green: Electric Hybrids Reach the 192 Route

Popular service sees environmentally friendlier buses along the A6

Stagecoach Manchester Enviro 400 Electric Hybrid, MX60 BVT
Long Time Coming: After almost two years in service, electric hybrid buses will soon be seen on the 192 route. Here’s a taster of what the A6 corridor will be receiving, albeit with 62 registrations.

A £11.3 million investment over the next three months, will see the introduction of 40 brand new hybrid vehicles. Stagecoach Manchester announced its investment into the busy 192 service ahead of the introduction of the first 12 buses, on Friday 1st February. Continue reading “Hazel Grove Goes Green: Electric Hybrids Reach the 192 Route”

HS2 Northern Section: East of the M60’s Verdict

East of the M60 on the High Speed Two proposals

East of the M60 would like to apologise for the late arrival of this article and the inconvenience this has caused to your reading.

So, £32 billion for a thousand or so miles of high speed track, new trains and new stations? Sounds good to me. Sounds like an opportunity to bring our rail network towards Mainland Europe during the noughties. The only problem is the wait: 2033 is the proposed year of completion, by which time a great many of us would be working from home. Continue reading “HS2 Northern Section: East of the M60’s Verdict”

Once Seen, Seldom Ventured: Britannia Park, Ilkeston, Derbyshire

The first of a series of forgotten and unsuccessful tourist attractions on East of the M60

As we get older, memories aren’t the only thing which fade from view. In time, our schools will close. Bus routes will change, tourist attractions will change or close, and friends leave us. Some of which may have fond memories of their schooldays, the original 53 bus route, or riding the Bobs at Belle Vue Zoological Gardens and Amusement Park. Continue reading “Once Seen, Seldom Ventured: Britannia Park, Ilkeston, Derbyshire”

Returning to Analogue Photography: 1. Starting Out

An East of the M60 partwork for 2013: a refresher course and beginners’ guide to using film cameras

Kodak Retinette 1A, Ektar/Kodachrome version
My Kodak Retinette 1A, lovingly photographed in Stalybridge Station Buffet Bar.

Digital photography is convenient. You can just save your images onto a computer, memory card or post them on your favourite social networking site. You can even use your own printer, but in spite of all these creature comforts, we may forget to share our images or print them off. In a way, digital photography could be a tad antisocial and a little throwaway. Continue reading “Returning to Analogue Photography: 1. Starting Out”

Lost Cinemas of Greater Manchester: The Not So Perfect Ten

Forgotten flea pits, lost Empires and expired Essolodoes

Tameside Hippodrome, 29 March 2008: Last Night
Tameside Hippodrome, formerly the Empire and ABC Empire before becoming Tameside Theatre in 1975. In its recently renamed guise, it closed on the 31 March 2008. At present, remedial work is under way to ensure its reopening this spring.

Elsewhere on the blog and Stalybridge Town’s Facebook page, there has been much talk about restoring cinematic entertainment in Stalybridge. Today, only a minority of cinemas are situated in pre-1980s purpose built facilities thanks to the multiplex’s popularity. In Greater Manchester, the Regent in Marple is alone in that category. Continue reading “Lost Cinemas of Greater Manchester: The Not So Perfect Ten”

Once Upon a Breakfast Time in the North West…

My life betwixt 30 years of breakfast television

I was quite a hyperactive child in 1983. Unlike today, I had no trouble getting up early in the morning. This wasn’t down to my eagerness of going to the Hollings Lodge playgroup (God rest its little stone built soul now replaced by inferior brick built semis!), but more my inability to sleep properly. Before the 17 January 1983, my only option at half past six in the morning was Piccadilly Radio. The sleepless Stuart Vallantine of 1982-83 used to enjoy listening Pete Baker’s Nightshift show as a consequence. Continue reading “Once Upon a Breakfast Time in the North West…”

Banishing the January Blues: Doing Good and Feeling Good

Add a Rosy Tint to the January Blues by Volunteering to Help Others

As 21 January – labelled the most depressing day of the year hits, Big Lottery Fund (BIG) is calling on people across the North of England to give Blue Monday a rosy glow by volunteering their time at a local community group or charity. Continue reading “Banishing the January Blues: Doing Good and Feeling Good”

Rewind and Return Before 2013: Farewell to the Video Shop

East of the M60’s rewind to the glory days of video hire shops

Thirty years ago, the home video recorder was our answer to the iPad or smartphone. It was an object of desire, but this very object of desire would cost about £500. Prerecorded cassettes were around £20 – £25, with recordable tapes slightly cheaper. It is hard to imagine how in 1983 a VHS cassette would cost the same as a 16Gb Secure Digital memory card would now. Today’s camcorders also take them – a far cry from the colossal things which took full size VHS tapes. Continue reading “Rewind and Return Before 2013: Farewell to the Video Shop”

Rififi Closure: A Case for Reopening the Palace as a Community Cinema?

With the party more or less over for Stalybridge’s nightlife, is the case for reopening the Palace building as a cinema greater than ever?

“My chances of seeing Terminator 3, are moving away from me, As the cinema, 20 minutes away, could be closing any day.

“A night club is proposed, The town has its fair share, clubs and pubs everywhere. Alternatives will be needed: arts centres, amateur theatres, town centre cinemas…

“Town centre cinemas, are more inclusive, the multiplexes are more exclusive. The former are more accessible, the latter caters for motor vehicles, And the price of popcornʼs unbelievable. The architectureʼs wholly diabolical.

“Theyʼre just sheds, although theyʼre popular, though some exceptions…”

The Last Picture Show (Stuart Vallantine, 27 July 2003)

The Palace Cinema building in Stalybridge is set to celebrate its centenary in style. It has in the last decade been known as Rififi and Amber Lounge. Instead of celebrating its decade as a night club, or centenary as a building, it is going to see in 2013 in the same way as The Pineapple, H2O and Bar Liquid. Continue reading “Rififi Closure: A Case for Reopening the Palace as a Community Cinema?”

Tameside Bus Service Changes, 27 January 2013

Retiming order of the day instead of radical changes to network

First Greater Manchester Enviro400, SN12 AOH, Oldham bus station
10% faster than this month? Journey times on the above route are set to be reduced from the 27 January.

Our first set of changes for the New Year is a mere tinkering at the edges with bus’ biggest competitor, the motor car, its main problem. As a consequence, this season’s set of changes are mainly light tweaks to timetables, most of which slight extensions to peak hour journeys. Continue reading “Tameside Bus Service Changes, 27 January 2013”