Summer Bussing, Ever So Far: Summertime Fare Offers in Greater Manchester

Good clean bus fun for all the family, ages 5 and up

First Greater Manchester, Volvo B9TL, Wright Gemini Eclipse, Ashton-under-Lyne bus station
From Carrbrook to Carrington, or Radcliffe to Ringway… the bus can be a great way of exploring Greater Manchester. Seen in this October 2012 shot is one of First Greater Manchester’s Volvo B9TLs on the 348 service to Carrbrook. Today, this service uses ‘A’ stand at Ashton-under-Lyne Bus Station and is more likely to have Wright StreetLite single deckers on its route.

The summer holidays are in full swing. Yes, four to six weeks of “Mum, I’m bored”, or trying to find suitable childcare options. Or trying to budget for six weeks of lunches without breaking the bank. On some occasions you may wish to leave the house. A bus trip could be a good excuse for visiting Greater Manchester’s finest attractions, or somewhere further afield. Or for notching up your Pokémon Go score. Continue reading “Summer Bussing, Ever So Far: Summertime Fare Offers in Greater Manchester”

Whatever Happened to The World Disco Dancin’ Championships?

“From the Empire Ballroom, Leicester Square, London…”

In the last week, ITV have announced the arrival of Dance Dance Dance, a new big budget dancing themed programme. Due to be aired next year, it is a Dutch format from Talpa Media, producers of the newly defected reality TV show, The Voice.

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The Greatest Cover Versions by The Toy Dolls: The Not So Perfect Ten

Ten “must-listen to” cover versions by Sunderland’s finest musical export

Nellie the Elephant
An elephant, in South Africa. Supposedly called Nellie. Image by Chris Hills, 2010 (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

Hagiographies of punk and new wave music in Northern England seldom breach the Standedge Tunnel’s Diggle end. Lazily, history tells us about the Buzzcocks, Joy Division, Slaughter and the Dogs, and the Sex Pistols’ gig at the Lesser Free Trade Hall. Fewer column inches are devoted to the Liverpool groups, or the Leodisian contributions of the Gang of Four and The Mekons. What about the North East of England? Usually Penetration and another band famous for the cover of a soppy elephant song. Continue reading “The Greatest Cover Versions by The Toy Dolls: The Not So Perfect Ten”

Brexit Fails to Curb Brits’ Enthusiasm for International Travel

Survey Reveals Britons’ Spirit of Adventure

  • 43.2% wish to travel internationally this summer;
  • 20.3% are planning a staycation;
  • 65% of participants cited affordability as the key factor when choosing a holiday;
  • 80% of Britons abroad opt to live live a local and use public transport in their host country.

How I Spent My Staycation: one in five UK holidaymakers wish to holiday in Britain. Seen leaving Scarborough is 185117, bound for Liverpool Lime Street via Stalybridge and Manchester Piccadilly. Image by Matt Buck (Creative Commons License: Some Rights Reserved).

In spite of Brexit fever, our love of holidays abroad hasn’t been sullied (least for now) thanks to a survey by users of the Moovit app. The survey questioned 3,000 users about choosing an overseas holiday or a staycation. Also their preferred modes of transport, public or private. Continue reading “Brexit Fails to Curb Brits’ Enthusiasm for International Travel”

Sunday Brass Goes To The Movies: Boarshurst Silver Band’s Blockbuster

Music from Stage and Screen concert the hottest ticket in Saddleworth

Forget the dismal Grease special shown the previous night to the concert. The Boarshurst faithful spent a summer night at the most august of institutions (where else but the Boarshurst Band Club?). The cause? Boarshurst Silver Band’s trip to Cheltenham for the National Finals on the second Saturday in September. A worthy one indeed.

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Cuts Scene Investigation: Changes to Tameside’s Libraries

Cuts Scene Investigation: Tameside’s Libraries (Part Three)

Longer hours, less staff, but all eight libraries saved by technological developments

Dukinfield Library, Concord Way, Dukinfield
Dukinfield Library, Concord Way, Dukinfield, as photographed in 2012 with a Zenit TTL 35mm SLR camera.

Almost four years have passed since we did our previous Cuts Scene Investigation on the future of Tameside’s libraries. A lot has happened since then with libraries moving to smaller premises in more convenient locations. It has meant reduced opening hours and the retention of West End and Haughton Green libraries – as community-run facilities.
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Oldham and Saddleworth Bus Service Changes, Summer 2016

The old station’s not for turning 

First Greater Manchester Alexander Dennis ALX400, YJ51 RCX, Ashton-under-Lyne bus station
At the Sharp End: Summer 2016’s raft of service changes have gravely affected the people of Oldham. The 409 service will see fewer evening journeys on weekdays and Saturdays.

In an ironic twist of fate, the severance of Diggle Old Station Turning was announced at around the same time as Theresa May’s appointment as Britain’s second female Prime Minister. Whilst the MP for Maidenhead took her cue from Thatcher, the only thing that hasn’t been for turning was First Greater Manchester’s cuts to the 184 service in Diggle.
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Tameside and Glossop Bus Service Changes, Summer 2016

Summertime timetables and subtle service reviews

Enviro400 MMC SN16 OUC, Stagecoach Manchester, Ashton-under-Lyne Bus Station
The New Order: one of Stagecoach Manchester’s latest additions to the fleet.

Unless you travel from anywhere in Tameside to Diggle, or use the 409 service after 6pm, this summer’s set of changes are fairly minimal. Most of them are the usual Summer Timetable changes, that take advantage of the lack of the schools traffic.
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Milnrow Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club

Another great night, with a little help from Count Basie, Herb Alpert and Duke Ellington

Regular readers would be wondering why Count Basie and Duke Ellington would be featuring anywhere near this week’s Sunday Brass review. Unlike most concerts at the Boarshurst Band Club, our fellows a short distance from Rochdale turned to jazz and swing influences for last night’s [17 July] programme. In front of an excellent turnout at the Boarshurst Band Club, Milnrow Band took an experimental approach – and succeeded.
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Antiques Bus Trip: Day Seven, Ramsbottom

The final instalment of our bus trip through from Glossop to Ramsbottom

East of the M60’s series of seven posts for Catch The Bus Week 2016

Ramsbottom Bridge Street
Day Seven: Bridge Street, Ramsbottom. A familiar sight to anyone who has been on the East Lancashire Railway. Image by Nicholas Smale, 2011. (Creative Commons License, Some Rights Reserved).

We are near the end of our seven-day long tour ’round Greater Manchester’s antiques and collectables shops. In our trip, we have seen retro clothing, screw mount Leica cameras, 1970s radio and cassette recorders, and we’ve been through a ginnel to look at collectable items. For our final day, we take two buses towards the River Irwell town of Ramsbottom.
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