Jason and the Argos Gnomes: East of the M60’s 2014 Advent Calendar

The unofficial follow-up to ‘Did I Want One Of Those?’

Last year’s Advent Calendar, our affectionate celebration of tat, was probably the best received of the East of the M60 advent calendars. So much so that we’ve decided to perpetuate the theme, only with better items. Continue reading “Jason and the Argos Gnomes: East of the M60’s 2014 Advent Calendar”

Christmas 2014 and New Year’s Day 2015 Bus Services in Tameside

Christmas and New Year service information for bus users in Tameside and surrounding area

It's Christmas time
Image: ‘It’s Christmas Time’ by Anna & Michal. (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

As sure as eggs are eggs, the run-up to Christmas has surely come upon us. Reports of excellent footfall at the Christmas Markets and the kerfuffle on Black Friday have been well documented which augurs well for retailers. Continue reading “Christmas 2014 and New Year’s Day 2015 Bus Services in Tameside”

It Was Twenty Years Today… Since I First Saw the Celtic Play

From passive fan to their Poet Laureate in two decades: a post of two halves

What were you doing on a typical Saturday in late 1994? There was a new fangled game known as The National Lottery. Noel’s House Party was ‘must-watch’ TV with 15 million viewers each teatime. Sleaze allegations continued to haunt John Major’s Conservative government. Bus Wars took a new dimension in Greater Manchester, with competition between GM Buses North and Merseybus, operating services in Greater Manchester as MTL Manchester. Continue reading “It Was Twenty Years Today… Since I First Saw the Celtic Play”

The Night The Christmas Lights Went On In Grosvenor Street

Christmas lights switch-ons in the Tameside area

Christmas Day is a only a calendar month away at this time of writing and so far, Denton’s and Mossley’s switch-ons have already taken place. The former was preceded with a Christmas market. Mossley’s switch-on took place on Thursday 20 November, and this included a lantern parade from the Mossley market ground. The lights were switched on at 7pm.

As an adjunct to the previous entry, we now have a more complete list of switch-ons in the borough. Continue reading “The Night The Christmas Lights Went On In Grosvenor Street”

Bus Boss Celebrates 40th Year in the Industry

Stagecoach Manchester chief marks four decade tenure

Leyland Atlantean, Christopher Bowles and Enviro400H.
Park Royal bodied Leyland Atlantean 7001, an Enviro400H and Christopher Bowles, with the numerical indicator denoting his length of service. (Photograph © 2014 Tangerine PR Ltd) 

Greater Manchester, 1974: a truly different place to the conurbation we see today. Firstly, our buses were orange and white. Manchester United was playing Second Division football; the Hulme Crescents, over a year after completion saw rats and cockroaches. Stalybridge Celtic was members of the Cheshire County League whilst Mossley played in the Northern Premier League – then the highest division after Football League Division Four. Continue reading “Bus Boss Celebrates 40th Year in the Industry”

£350 to Zagreb? The Real Scandal’s £321 from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston

Never mind the rail fare to Croatia, look at our standard fares!

I’m with Natalie Bennett, the leader of the Green Party of England and Wales for shunning the £90 flight in favour of the train option. Besides the obvious ecological advantages, the plane doesn’t give you enough space to catch up on work. Even on the shortest of routes, the view from a train window is infinitely superior. Continue reading “£350 to Zagreb? The Real Scandal’s £321 from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston”

Official: M25’s No Longer The Road To Hell

And it certainly isn’t the A666 either!

Regular drivers may be far from surprised as to where the UK’s real Road To Hell lies. The M6 between Cheshire and Staffordshire can be troublesome at times, and the M62 seems to have had road cones and a 50mph speed limit, between Ainley Top and the M1/M62 interchange since the start of this decade. The M25’s tropes are well publicised and form a metaphorical beltway between London and the rest of the United Kingdom. Continue reading “Official: M25’s No Longer The Road To Hell”

Bad Robots: Redefining Candid Camera for the 21st Century

E4’s dystopian answer to Allen Funt’s programme

  • Featuring: Sir Michael Gambon (voiceover);
  • Episodes: 6 x 24 minute episodes;
  • Time: 2100 hours, Tuesdays (repeated on Sundays, 2330 hours);
  • Channels: E4 and E4+1;
  • Producer: Objective Productions for Channel Four Corporation.

The Luddites had a point. Not only for the amount of job losses caused by automation but also for the controlling nature in the pursuit of profit. William Morris, pioneer of the Arts and Crafts Movement bemoaned the rise of machines and how they undermined craftsmanship. J.G. Ballard recognised how modern life would lead to a dystopian vision of the future. Continue reading “Bad Robots: Redefining Candid Camera for the 21st Century”

In Defence of ENCTS: Why Concessionary Travel is a Social Good

How reduced rate travel connects people with places, and does so very well

First Greater Manchester YJ51 RAU, Ashton Bus Station
YJ51 RAU a Volvo B7TL seen on the 389 service at Ashton-under-Lyne bus station to Hyde via Ridge Hill and Yew Tree estates.


This week saw mixed messages for passengers on the national concessionary travel scheme. To start with, a 36 year old disabled man won £5,500 damages after it was stated his local bus operator breached the 2010 Equality Act. He was denied access to a Leeds bound bus as a woman with a pushchair refused to budge. Continue reading “In Defence of ENCTS: Why Concessionary Travel is a Social Good”

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