It Happened One Night in Friezland: A Special Hallowe’en Short Story for 2014

East of the M60’s second short story for All Hallow’s Eve

Any reference to persons, public houses or cultural references, living or dead are purely coincidental. Thank you.

For many people, Smallshaw doesn’t lend itself to beach bums and their ways. Though zorbing had been introduced to Stamford Park boating lake, Chadwick’s Dam was hardly Newquay. Nobody told Wendy, in her youth, about that in 1982 when she slipped and end up in the children’s ward of the nearby hospital. Yet, during that strange incident in September 1982, she met Francis Holland, a 12-year old boy who would later become her husband.

Continue reading “It Happened One Night in Friezland: A Special Hallowe’en Short Story for 2014”

Rochdale and Ripponden Route Reprieved

  • 528 route saved from withdrawal;
  • Service renumbered, though with loss of evening journeys and cuts to Sunday service.

A scenic cross-boundary bus route, following consultation with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, has been given a reprieve. The 528 service, from Rochdale to Halifax via Ripponden, is the most direct bus route between the two towns. It passes Blackstone Edge and covers part of the 2014 Tour de France Yorkshire route. It was one of two subsidised services slated for withdrawal on the 24 January 2015, as part of departmental cuts foisted upon Metro West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority. Continue reading “Rochdale and Ripponden Route Reprieved”

The Night The Christmas Lights Went On In Old Street

Christmas lights switch-ons east of the M60 motorway, and more besides!

With only weeks to go till Christmas, the highlight for most shoppers and shopkeepers is the local Christmas lights switch-on. From the big budget extravaganzas to traditional celebrations, the important of which cannot be underestimated in towns and villages the world over. Greater Manchester, including our area east of the M60 motorway is no exception.

Though not a complete list, here’s a rundown of most of the Christmas lights switch-ons that are about to take place this year. For reasons of clarity, only principal bus routes with a full time service or partial service around the time of the switch-on are detailed for each entry. Continue reading “The Night The Christmas Lights Went On In Old Street”

Cheadle Bus Driver Fourth Best in the UK

Stagecoach Manchester employee within Britain’s top ten bus people

  • A third of UK Bus Driver of the Year finalists from Stagecoach;
  • Two Stagecoach drivers finish in the top 10;
  • 35 Stagecoach staff compete in national finals.
Daniel Wilton (left) seen with the UK Bus Driver of the Year’s award for fourth place. (Photograph courtesy of Tangerine PR Ltd, 2014).

A Cheadle bus driver came fourth in the UK Bus Driver of the Year Awards at the annual finals held in Blackpool.

Daniel Wilton (40) was one of 119 drivers who battled for the ultimate accolade for passenger transport professionals: The UK Bus Driver of the Year. He was one of two Stagecoach Group employees to finish in the top 10 best drivers at the competition with Thomas Grant from Stagecoach in Warwickshire finishing ninth. Continue reading “Cheadle Bus Driver Fourth Best in the UK”

Tameside Bus Service Changes, Autumn 2014 (Or Should That Be Ashton Service Changes, Then?)

Traffic triggers latest tranche of service revisions

  • Slight change to 348’s Monday to Saturday timetable;
  • Route revision to some 350 journeys.
First Greater Manchester, Wright StreetLite, SN14 EAF Ashton-under-Lyne bus station
Common fare on the 348 service as seen on the 29 May 2014: First Greater Manchester’s state of the art Wright StreetLites.

Dear passenger: have you tried getting to Ashton-under-Lyne by road lately? To say it is awful could be an understatement unless you’re travelling after 7pm. Yours truly has resorted to reading Tolstoy between Crescent Road and Penny Meadow on the 346 as a consequence. Guess what? It is going to get worse, though the hold ups are partly due to the electrification of the ‘Old Lanky’ line. This time it is affecting Mossley Road and that’s before you mention the roadworks on BT and Asda roundabouts. Oh well… Continue reading “Tameside Bus Service Changes, Autumn 2014 (Or Should That Be Ashton Service Changes, Then?)”

Lost from the Supermarket: A Trolley Load of Anachronisms

Several things which 21st century children will never see or hear in their local superstores

Take a trip to a 21st century superstore, anywhere in the United Kingdom. Today’s stores are sprawling; some of which architecturally nondescript. Commonly, a great number have petrol stations and generous amounts of free parking.

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Back to Back Winners? Stagecoach Manchester Shortlisted for 2014 UK Bus Awards

Stagecoach Manchester Enviro400, MX07 HLZ, outside Dukinfield Town Hall
An Enviro400, usual fare on Stagecoach Manchester’s 330 service outside Dukinfield Town Hall. This one was photographed shortly after VTU 76’s running day.

Have they gone and done it again? Could Stagecoach Manchester be proud winners in the UK Bus Awards for the third year running? This month, it was announced that Stagecoach Manchester will represent its home city in this year’s UK Bus Awards ceremony, due to be held in London next month.
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In Praise of the Aggborough Pie Hut

Supporters’ survey fails to do justice to Murdoch’s delectable dishes

Regular readers may be familiar with some of my ramblings on The Mighty Stalybridge Celtic®, whom I have followed home and away through thick, thin, thinner and thinnest of times. In nearly 20 years of supporting them, I have been to a fair number of grounds and tried several epicurean delights from Blyth to Weymouth.
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Shall We Take A Trip, 1978 Style? Part Two: Outer City Tour

45 miles around Manchester, 1978 to 26 attractions: is it still possible?

If you thought the city centre has changed beyond recognition in the last 36 years, the same is also true of its immediate surroundings. Continue reading “Shall We Take A Trip, 1978 Style? Part Two: Outer City Tour”

Two Pints of Jaipur and a 346, Please…: The Top Beer Not So Perfect Ten

Ten pubs near to bus stations and bus stops

A pint before the last bus: what is there not to like? All the better if our desired public house is a short stagger from our bus stop or favoured bus stand.

The history of public houses dovetails with the development of modern day bus operations. Stagecoaches used to call at coaching inns and roadside pubs. On a long journey, for example Manchester to London each coaching inn would constitute a stage where passengers stayed overnight prior to embarking on their next leg. In later years, some of the coaching inns would remain stops on modern-day bus routes. For example, the Old General on the corner of Crescent Road and Astley Street with the 346. Continue reading “Two Pints of Jaipur and a 346, Please…: The Top Beer Not So Perfect Ten”