In Pictures: Edited Highlights of the Trans-Lancs Transport Show

East of the M60 at Heaton Park, 01 September 2013

For vehicle preservationists and transport geeks alike, the Trans-Lancs Transport Show in Heaton Park is a ‘must-visit’ event. Beside one’s ability to look at preserved vehicles, it is also a chance for operators to showcase their newest buses and coaches. For some, a chance to accumulate more ephemera like old bus timetables, new books or models.

This year, Greater Manchester’s operators had few new buses to showcase. Stagecoach Manchester’s contribution included an Enviro400H and three former Bluebird Bus and Coach single deckers. Disappointingly, no representation from First Greater Manchester. A lost opportunity given their recent arrivals and repainting of existing buses into heritage liveries.

Chesters Coaches showcased a new Mercedes minibus, two coaches with personalised number plates (3 LXE, an Iveco and 3 KLC, a Volvo) and an Alexander bodied Volvo Olympian. Making their Trans-Lancs Transport Show début was Club Class Travel’s Dennis Dart, with I’mALittleGem.com branding for the 61 route to Higher Blackley.

The weather was cold and windy, but the rain held off. As usual, the Heaton Park Tramway was in full swing whilst the Tramway Museum held its Model Show. Shuttle buses operated from the Middleton Road entrance and the park itself to the Greater Manchester Museum of Transport in Cheetham.

*                      *                      *

The Pictures

Three Little Bluebirds
The Three Amigos of Greengate: a trio of former Bluebird Bus and Coach single deckers seen in their present owner’s livery.
Sky News camera crew
Sky News camera crew seen here, filming one of their reporters in front of an AEC Routemaster. Surely, somebody could have directed them to a proper bus like a GMT standard double decker? Still…
AEC Routemaster JJD 452D
Here’s the said AEC Routemaster which Sky News used as a background for their reporter. I only photographed this fellow because of the Electric Light Orchestra’s 1981 album being advertised. (And why not? ‘Twilight’ and ‘Ticket to the Moon’ are among the stand-out tunes on this album. SaverSeven to the Sea of Tranquility anyone?).
Leyland Atlantean UWA 312L
When is a London Bus not a London Bus? When it has been painted in a version of the London Transport livery which is more akin to Southampton Citybus’ late-1980s one. In this guise it offered sightseeing tours in Sydney. It was new to Sheffield Transport in 1973 and went to such famous London suburbs like Woodhouse, Wybourne, Gleadless and Burngreave.
Leyland Titan ANE2T (driver side window view)
A real beauty, and one which would have been more commonplace in Greater Manchester had it not been for delivery delays at British Leyland. As a result, Metro Cammell Weymann benefited with GMT’s shortfall of Leyland Titans comprising of 190 MCW Metrobuses from 1980 to 1987.
Mercedes minicoach CC13 AVA
Silver Dream Rider: a new acquisition for Chesters Coaches (Walkden) Ltd. Notice how the local registration plate happens to be CC for our operator’s vehicle.
Ford Cortina CFR 408V
Proper early 1980s car! Beloved of boy racers and taxi drivers for comfort and keen acceleration. Worse is the fact I’m able to remember these vehicles first time around!
GM Buses North Freight Rover van B194 TVM
Though atop a low loading recovery truck, this fellow and the like were use for fleet support at Greater Manchester Transport and GM Buses depots.
Austin Allegro ALG 305M
A certain motoring journalist would have expected this fellow to join the Freight Rover van on the low loader. Instead, this Austin Allegro has been lovingly cared and is seen in ‘as new’ condition.
Daimler Fleetline VNB 177L
Our fellows from the SELNEC Preservation Society have supported the Trans-Lancs Vehicle Rally/Transport Show since 1997. Seen here are three examples from their collection with 7206, a dual door Daimler Fleetline nearest to the camera.
Belle Vue, Optare Versa electric hybrid, YJ12 GXX
One of the newer additions to this year’s Trans-Lancs Transport Show: a Transport for Greater Manchester Yellow School Bus. Leased to Belle Vue by TfGM, it uses electric hybrid power and has a 2+3 seating layout.
Dennis Dart, Wright Crusader body, R404 FFC
Another new addition to the bus scene. Not the vehicle, but the operator. Over the last three months, Club Class Travel introduced the 61 route from Manchester to Higher Blackley. After several years experience in private hire operations, its first foray into stage carriage services come under the trading style of I’mALittleGem.com.
Leyland Atlantean A758 NNA
Along with the Leyland Titan, my star of the show from this year’s event. The freshly repainted Leyland Atlantean A758 NNA, seen in the Bus and Coach Council’s anti-bus deregulation livery.
Zippy and Atlantean
I shall leave the last word to this fellow…

S.V., 02 September 2013.

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “In Pictures: Edited Highlights of the Trans-Lancs Transport Show

Add yours

  1. I’m 16 years old and I’ve got to say that I enjoy reading your blog as it is always updated with an interesting article and is very unbiased journalism, as well as being about our local area, could you do an article on the Wright Crusader darts at First Manchester as they are being withdrawn in the coming days and they have lasted almost 17 years and never been cascaded elsewhere, they are the last of the ‘tomato-soup’ era buses left, once they are gone that’s it, thanks.

    Like

    1. Hi Aaron,

      Glad to see you like the blog and this recent post. I am happy to see you find ‘East of the M60’ as a very unbiased blog, though I consider it to be left-of-centre in some parts. Plus, I began the blog partly as a personal one, but also as one which would have great local emphasis – addressing a need left vacant by some of our local news media.

      I may consider a future article on the last of the Wright Crusader bodied Dennis Darts. I believe Bolton and North Manchester’s still a hotbed for that marque. They sometimes surface on the 415 route from Oldham to Middleton.

      I would also like to see somebody restore one of Wright Crusader bodied Darts. Complete with the red moquette and original style indicators. Has anyone restored any of the Wright bodied Volvos once branded in GM Buses North Superbus livery?

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

      Like

      1. I’m not sure about the Volvo’s being restored to Superbus, but I know 2 have been preserved.

        I agree about preserving the darts, a couple still carried the red moquette in places, they have been withdrawn today and replaced with X-reg First South Yorkshire Marshall Darts.

        P.S. I think the Wright Crusader’s at Manchester and Bolton are B6LE’s as the Dart versions are very rare.

        Like

      2. Hi Aaron,

        From a historical point of view, a shame about their withdrawal (here’s hoping the preservation movement make a move). Looking at it from a passenger point of view, I would say they have served their time.

        However, it seems to me that their replacements aren’t a real improvement on their predecessors. Some drivers have quibbled about the small cabs in the Marshall bodied Dennis Darts. I can speak from experience as a passenger on Mayne’s and SpeedwellBus’ examples with awful legroom being my gripe. And bad ride quality with rattles galore.

        Thankfully, the 415 from Oldham to Middleton isn’t too long a route, but the speed bumps in Alkrington Garden Village make for a hellish journey.

        Bye for now,

        Stuart.

        Like

      3. I agree especially Speedwellbus with their death trap Mercedes minibuses, they’ll never be missed, I haven’t actually been one of the Marshall Capital’s yet, but I’ve seen them in Oldham, and in terms of outward and interior appearence they seem to be a big improvement on the older Darts, I find it amazing that the Crusader’s were kept in service for nearly 17 years

        Like

      4. Hi Aaron,

        Most uncomfortable they were as well. The only thing less comfortable than a Merseytravel PTE specification Class 142 Pacer unit!

        Returning to the subject (well almost!), someone has already photographed one of the new secondhand arrivals at Middleton bus station. She looks pretty neat, but the speed bumps along Mainway would be quite a challenge:

        41781OM

        Warmly,

        Stuart.

        Like

    1. Hi Michael,

      Thank you for your comment. It is a shame we didn’t meet but I did see your pictures of the Trans-Lancs Transport Show.

      There’s one problem though: the pictures you took in portrait form on your camera need to be rotated 90º clockwise. A software package like Adobe Photoshop or (a very free equivalent) The GIMP should solve that in no time at all.

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

      Like

    1. Hi Michael,

      No problem. If I see a similar post on your blog or anybody else’s to one of mine, I always consider that as a coincidence.

      Some blogs may have similar subjects to each other, but writing styles vary. Their approach to photography or other visual art does too. It is each blogger’s unique viewpoint as well as an area of interest which attracts browsers.

      Warmly,

      Stuart.

      Like

  2. Looking at that Flickr photo they do ride quite slow and could easily be damaged by those speedbumps, I’d like it if they could bring back the old Northern Counties-bodied MCW Metrobuses, takes me right back to the 405 in the ealry 2000’s

    Like

  3. Just a heads up that if you do decide to do a history of the Wright Crusader Dart model at First Manchester is that despite what people are led to believe these days, not all of the batch were actually new to Oldham Depot as there was a batch (not to sure which ones unfortunately ) that actually were new to Bury Depot (yes Bury did have some) for the 468 Bury-Heywood service which I think ran 469 route to Queens Park Road, then down Queens Park Road to terminate in Heywood Town Centre.

    They have also operated out of Wigan Depot (not for long as management there didnt like them) and operated for about a year or maybe less out of Bolton Depot on various routes including the arduous 22 Bolton-Stockport service

    Like

    1. Hi Andrew,

      I think I may have copped for one of them around that Bolton and Wigan in the late 1990s to early 2000s. I do remember seeing them on the 22 as well. In Oldham, they used to be seen a lot on the 425 [Holts Estate – Fitton Hill] service.

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

      Like

  4. This is a fantastic site, I never thought that I would enthuse about Darts but find myself doing so. The Marshall darts may have some modern features but the ride is awful. More incomer’s to First Pioneer Dukinfield this week are 42944, 42945 56 plate ADL Darts with Plaxton Pointer 2 bodies, Modern stuff!,
    Still running are Dennis Arrows 31929 , 31943 there cant be many of these still on regular all day service, they are often supplemented by Oldham based Volvo Olympian’s which takes me back to the heady days of Pennine Blue who provided exotic buses after DE Reg and are ancestors of the First Pioneer operation of today

    Mike

    Like

    1. Hi Mike,

      Seconded on the ride quality and the seating of First Greater Manchester’s Marshall bodied Darts. To be honest, I was never impressed with any other operators’ Marshall bodied Darts; legroom a common complaint – even on Mayne of Manchester’s and SpeedwellBus’.

      The one operator’s Marshall bodied Darts which seemed to have the best legroom was Glossopdale Bus Company’s short length versions (and they had issues with the ride quality – theirs were purchased from new). Better still was Pennine’s 1995 Marshall bodied Dennis Darts in terms of legroom and plush seating.

      I’ve always found the Plaxton Pointer[I and II] versions more generous in terms of legroom, and a lively ride. Much as I would like to see newer buses on the Pioneer Depot Team’s routes, I do enjoy copping for the odd Olympian or Dennis Arrow 31929. The 56 reg Dart SLFs are pretty decent in terms of legroom and ride as I found out on an evening 41 service journey.

      You are right in the sense that the present operation has the same quirks as Pennine Blue and PMT/Badgerline era Pennine. However, the former era didn’t half give us some delights like former Chesterfield Transport and Grimsby Cleethorpes Transit double deckers. My favourite was the former Leeds City Transport Jumbo Atlantean with the panoramic windows. Second place, any of their Bristol REs – Hellfire!

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: