Adaptable Carriages: 42 Technology’s Answer For Provincial Routes

Could adaptable carriages with retractable seats be a bold move?

In spite of its expense and plethora of fare options, Britain’s railways are carrying more passengers than ever. For many people it is their only way to work. Some view buses as a slow option and drive to the nearest railway station. Anyone travelling in the peaks would be overly familiar with overcrowded trains.

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Saddleworth Comes to Blackpool! Boarshurst Silver Goes Fourth

Newly promoted First Section band gains fourth place spot in the North West Regional Championships

  • Oldham Band (Lees) wins First Section prize – and promotion to the Championship Section;
  • Second section joy for Middleton Band;
  • Plus a look at how our other local brass bands fared at Blackpool.
Empress Ballroom Winter Gardens Blackpool
The Empress Ballroom in its full glory. Image by Michael D. Beckwith, 2016.

Yesterday at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, Boarshurst Silver Band and Oldham (Lees) Band both had a North West Regional Championships date to remember. The Greenfield-based band, conducted by James Garlick, have made waves in their short time as a First Section band. After clinching a Second Place prize at Brass At The Guild in Preston, they came fourth in the North West Regional Championships. Continue reading “Saddleworth Comes to Blackpool! Boarshurst Silver Goes Fourth”

A History of Piccadilly Radio Jingles (Part Two): The Nineties

Another nostalgic look at the former radio station’s jingles

The 1990s was a seminal decade for Piccadilly’s two radio stations. It opened with an upsurge in Key 103’s fortunes and the transformation of its AM service as a golden oldies station. By the end of the decade, Key 103 was top dog among Greater Manchester’s radio listeners. Piccadilly Gold became Piccadilly Magic 1152 – later Magic 1152 and Key 2 in the 21st Century.

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The Correct Use of Toast: Feast of the M60

Feast of the M60’s opportunist/timely post celebrates National Toast Day

Random slice of toast
“A little bit of…” toast, will mop away your bean juice. Image by Peter O’Connor, 2009 (Creative Commons License: Attribution Share Alike).

There is only one foodstuff that turns a cooked breakfast from SkyBet League Two to Barclays Premier League status. It is a five letter word which is also used to celebrate a momentous occasion. After about five minutes under the grill it goes well with baked beans, cheese, or a dippy fried egg. No prizes for guessing which one (it is too easy for a Midday Money question). Continue reading “The Correct Use of Toast: Feast of the M60”

Moovit’s $50 Million Expansion Plans

New deal permits expansion of smartphone app

M-Travel Dennis Dart SLF, MX56 HYR, Oldham bus station
As well as the Lees Circular, future versions of Moovit will cover driverless transport. By 2021, ‘The Wikipedia of Transit’ aims to have more than a billion global users.

It has been a long time since we’ve heard from our friends at Moovit. This week they have announced a new deal that will cover the future expansion of their app.

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One Thousand Years On The Buses

Stagecoach Manchester staff recognised for a thousand years combined service in the bus industry

Thirty-five members of staff at Stagecoach Manchester were recognised for their dedication at the 2017 Long Service Awards. Each of them, having worked for Stagecoach and its predecessors for 20 years or more, have clocked up a total of 1,033 years of service. Back in 986, Dino would have had to pay full fare. Fred and Wilma, back in the day, were so frustrated with the LIII to Belle Vue that they bought their own set of wheels.

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What’s Eating Into Greater Manchester’s Bus Network?

Why has Greater Manchester’s bus patronage fallen by 15 million since 2014? East of the M60 wonders why we’re all missing the bus

“The Free Market Experiment” – officially known as The Transport Act 1985 – stated that competition would benefit all bus passengers. This was based on the precedent set by The Transport Act 1980. By the end of that year, the state-owned National Bus Company would see competition from private coach operators. The launch of British Coachways, a private sector consortium, would introduce more choice and competition for passengers. Within two years, National Express saw off the British Coachways consortium with its fares and integrated network.

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Stalybridge Station: The Pride of Cheshire

Stalybridge station beats Crewe, Manchester Airport, and Chester railway stations in awards ceremony

Stalybridge Station Buffet Bar
The iconic Stalybridge Station Buffet Bar, as seen in January 2013.

A week after Stalybridge Celtic clocked up their first away win of the season (versus Alsager Town in the Cheshire Senior Cup), another Stalybridge institution enjoyed some success. One that is used by a million passengers a year.

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Deepcar Brass Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club

Treacherous weather fails to dampen spirits in a most memorable concert

The journey to Sheffield from Saddleworth can be an epic trek on the sunniest of days. When you add snow to the mix it becomes a nightmare. Slush and/or ice can test the driver’s patience on the Isle of Skye Road into Holmfirth. Last night, Deepcar Brass Band gave us a concert to remember in more ways than one.

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Tecsun PL-310ET radio receiver (with Revolution 96.2FM).

Irritating Radio Adverts of Times Past: The Not So Perfect Ten

Ten earworm-tastic radio adverts from the last 40 years of Independent Local Radio

Four sources of inspiration are behind our latest Not So Perfect Ten. One is my memories of 1980s Independent Local Radio – Piccadilly Radio in particular. The second source is an episode of Pablo [CBeebies’/RTEJr’s exciting children’s television series] where Pablo is tickled by a radio advert. Which reminded me of my formative years with Piccadilly’s adverts. The third source of inspiration is Half Man Half Biscuit’s cover of Mandy.

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