Oldham and Saddleworth Bus Service Changes, Autumn 2017

Trunk bus routes revert to schooldays timetable, whereas slimline Saddleworth Sunday route replaces two services

First Greater Manchester Alexander Dennis ALX400, YJ51 RCX, Ashton-under-Lyne bus station
No change for the 409 service, loading at Ashton-under-Lyne bus station.

This autumn, Saddleworth passengers will be seeing the most fundamental service changes, thanks largely to departmental spending cuts affecting TfGM. In place of Sunday and Bank Holiday journeys on the 353 and 354 services, there will be a brand new route. On the plus side, another journey option for the people of Denshaw. On the minus side is a more modest frequency and some changes affecting the more southerly parts of Saddleworth.
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Tameside and Glossop Bus Service Changes, Autumn 2017

School day timetables restored plus some changes to Stalybridge routes

Enviro400 MMC SN16 OUC, Stagecoach Manchester, Ashton-under-Lyne Bus Station
Back to normal: the 216 route, outside Ashton bus station.
  • First Greater Manchester withdraws Stalybridge journeys on 408 route;
  • Sunday and Bank Holiday journeys of 353 and 354 withdrawn and replaced by new 355 service;
  • Plus the usual minor changes, and details of services reverting to school day timetables.

This Autumn’s set of changes make for mixed reading in the borough. Unless you live in Stalybridge or the Roughtown area of Mossley. Both areas are at the sharpest end of cuts to tendered and commercial services from the 03 September.
Continue reading “Tameside and Glossop Bus Service Changes, Autumn 2017”

Morecambe: The Decline, Fall and Rejuvenation of a Seaside Resort (Part Two)

Part Two: Soul Searching and Birdwatching

Stone Jetty
Tower of strength: the lighthouse at Stone Jetty, Morecambe. Image by Neil Turner, 2010 (Creative Commons License: Attribution-Some Rights Reserved)

Throughout Morecambe’s most prosperous, and its leanest of years, there is one structure that has been key to the town’s future.

The Stone Jetty.

The Stone Jetty has been a feature of the town centre since 1853. Before Heysham port opened, passengers bound for the Isle of Man took a ferry to Barrow-in-Furness. From there, they would transfer onto another boat for Douglas. They stayed at The Midland Hotel. It was also a terminus for Scottish and Irish ferries

Continue reading “Morecambe: The Decline, Fall and Rejuvenation of a Seaside Resort (Part Two)”

Morecambe: The Decline, Fall and Rejuvenation of a Seaside Resort (Part One)

Part One: To Hell With Blobbyland

Morecambe Heysham advert LMS
In the resort’s heyday, Morecambe’s 1930s grandeur brought day trippers and holidaymakers to the resort, which also coincided with the introduction of the Holidays With Pay Act.

Before package holidays grew in popularity, Morecambe was known as Bradford-by-the-Sea. Owing to the “Little” North Western Railway line via Carnforth, it was a popular resort for Bradford folk. A western alternative to Bridlington and Scarborough for a Wakes Week jolly. There was at one time the largest lido in Britain, neatly complementing the Midland Hotel. The Winter Gardens had a ballroom as well as its theatre. There was two piers: three if you counted the Stone Jetty. Continue reading “Morecambe: The Decline, Fall and Rejuvenation of a Seaside Resort (Part One)”

Go-Goodwins Sell Buses to Rotala

Eccles based bus and coach company sells bus routes for a million

Enviro 300, Go Goodwins
An Enviro300 single decker loading at Altrincham Interchange in 2009 – back when the Eccles-based company expanded its stage carriage operations via GMPTE contracted routes.

With effect from the 31 August this year, Go Goodwins will transfer its bus operations to Rotala. The Eccles-based company, noted for its coach operations, expanded its stage carriage operations in 2009. Their growth came via winning GMPTE/TfGM tendered services, mainly in and around Trafford. This has included local services in Altrincham and Eccles.

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Northern Rail Strike Update: Two More Dates in September

News of the latest Arriva Rail North strike dates

Following on from July’s strikes, there will be another two days of rail strikes next month. Again, this is due to the RMT members’ opposition to Driver Only Operation.

Continue reading “Northern Rail Strike Update: Two More Dates in September”

Stalybridge Old Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club

An August treat from the world’s oldest brass band

It has been a long time since Stalybridge Old Band darkened the doorstep of Boarshurst Band Club. Over three years, in the words of Musical Director, David Ashworth. The last time your reviewer saw the world’s oldest brass band, was at Stalybridge Civic Hall in December 2015. This was weeks before the Sunday Brass concert reviews appeared on East of the M60. At that gig, they were supported by The Yew Tree Singers.

Almost two years on, without Jean Depledge’s choral group, yours truly was glad to see Stalybridge Old Band in live form. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and Stalybridge Old Band proved just that on Sunday night.
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Why My Heart Lies in Non League Football

Why there’s more to the beautiful game than telephone number sized transfer deals

Football. Britain’s national game. One of many things we brought to the world, yet fell hopelessly behind as other countries improved. See also the railways: once the most advanced in the world, though now behind its peers in France and Germany.

The railways are still popular today, and rising in popularity despite being overpriced for the masses. Yes, it sounds a bit like the cost of watching Barclays Premier League football. Without the railways, there would have been no Football League, fewer theatres and tourist attractions, and certainly no away days. How did Stalybridge Celtic fulfil their Southern League fixtures before the First World War? By train. How else would a smattering of ‘Bridge fans get to Rushall for an early afternoon? By road these days. The nearest station is at Walsall. Continue reading “Why My Heart Lies in Non League Football”

Ten Shops That Have Defined The Ladysmith Centre: Ashton Review of Shops Extra

An Ashton Review of Shops Extra Not So Perfect Ten

Ladysmith, Ashton-under-Lyne
Fifty years old: the Ladysmith Shopping Centre, Ashton-under-Lyne. This is the Warrington Street entrance. Photographed by Mikey in Easter 2015 (Creative Commons License: Attribution-Some Rights Reserved).

Back when the creator of East of the M60 was born, this entrance seen above was between two iconic stores: Marks and Spencer, and Woolworths. It was also the last weekend before VAT almost doubled from 8% to 15%. Warrington Street wouldn’t be pedestrianised till 1985, and the market ground had three roundabouts. A gigantic yellow-bricked hulk was under construction.

Continue reading “Ten Shops That Have Defined The Ladysmith Centre: Ashton Review of Shops Extra”

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