The EM60 Trivial Enquiry Bureau (#2, November 2018)

Once again, East of the M60’s creator responds to your searches

Some time ago on East of the M60, we looked at a selection of search terms that were used to find your way to our blog. This was our June 2016 blog post which answered questions on the William Andrew Swimming Baths in Dukinfield, Richard Tompkins (the founder of Argos), and Silvio’s coffee shop in Oldham.

In the last article we answered ten questions, as detailed in East of the M60‘s rear end. For our latest article, more of the same. The most searched for terms in the last 30 days are as follows:

  1. East of the M60 (20);
  2. Duck a Muffin (6);
  3. Los Amigos Tapas Denton (6);
  4. Cob Coaling (5);
  5. Cob Coaling origin (4);
  6. Atora works Ogden Lane Openshawe [sic] (3);
  7. VTU 76 Daimler bus (3);
  8. Bus trip to Blackpool East of the M60 (3);
  9. What were the bars in Stalybridge called? (2);
  10. Manchester to Liverpool railway timetable every station (2).

Here’s a selection from the last month. Please note that many of which may have been outside our Top Ten seen above.

1. VTU 76 Daimler bus

VTU 76, a Daimler CVG6, is David Jones’ preserved front engine double decker bus. It is also in the care of Keighley Bus Museum.

Before entering preservation, it saw regular service on SHMD Joint Transport Board’s routes within Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley, and Dukinfield. There’s every chance it may have been seen on the 4/4A services, which forms part of today’s 340 and 343 services (now operated by First Greater Manchester, Stagecoach Manchester, and Stott’s Tours).

What sets it apart from many other buses of that era is its entrance. VTU 76, like many of SHMD’s buses from the 1950s were centre loading vehicles. Another example is 70, the only Atkinson double decker bus left in the world. That is in the Greater Manchester Museum of Transport in Cheetham.

In more recent times, VTU 76 has been seen in Dukinfield, whisking passengers back to 1950s and 1960s Dukinfield, with tours along the former 10/10A Dukinfield Circular routes. Which we have Councillor Brian Wild to thank (as seen in our 2014 blog post).

2. What were the bars in Stalybridge called?

How long have we got? I think there is about 35 pubs in Stalybridge from Heyheads to Hydes (or Matley to Ridge Hill and Heyrod). To be truly pedantic, we could look at the bars that have gone. Bars, as distinct from pubs like The British Protection instead of The Cotton Club. Here’s a few former bars I could think of from the top of my head:

  • The Millpond, Armentieres Square: now the Summers Quay mixed-used housing and retail development;
  • The Cotton Club, Armentieres Square: again, from the same block formerly part of the Stalybridge Industrial Cooperative Society’s flagship store like…
  • Shades, Armentieres Square: back in the day (1983 to be precise), this would have been described as ‘a fun pub’;
  • Bar Max, Market Street: started life as The Steam Engine Tavern then became an Indian Restaurant before becoming Bar Max. Now part of the Stalybridge Tavern a pub with live music venue;
  • Szoda, Market Street: now Stalybridge’s answer to Reflex, though independent of that chain and under the alias of Back to the Eighties bar;
  • The Pavilion Bars, Market Street: vacant for over half a decade, The Pavilion started off as a quiet drinkers’ bar with food before becoming a ‘must-visit’ club. Then came the global financial downturn and antisocial behaviour;
  • Pad, Shepley Street: today, Pad now stands for Purchase And Donate; it is the flagship charity shop of the Willow Wood Hospice;
  • Castle Hall bar, Castle Street: how can you not forget SIDS? Before the Huddersfield Narrow Canal was restored, its brief sojourn in Stalybridge was a memorable one. The bar overlooked its multipurpose indoor sports floor (5-a-side football, racquet sports, exhibitions) and played host to many a wedding, christening do, and the like – above the changing rooms and sauna.

3. Second-hand shop in Ashton-under-Lyne precinct

Only three spring to my mind. On Old Street, there are The Salvation Army and Willow Wood Hospice charity shops. On Staveleigh Way, CeX is a noted purveyor of used DVDs, electronic devices and CDs. The fourth one was Cash Generator which at one point had twelve copies of Oceans Eleven on DVD for sale.

4. London Weekend ident Terry Griffiths

The London Weekend television idents of the 1970s, especially those by Terry Griffiths scream On The Buses, The Adventures of Black Beauty, and End of Part One. The first Terry Griffith ident arrived in 1971 with the ‘LW’ in orange, white, and sky blue stripes resembling the River Thames (with ‘London Weekend’ above in glorious Helvetica).

In 1978, it was adapted to include the letter ‘T’ without the joined up writing. With the strip drawing from left to right, this was cut to spell ‘LWT’. Which meant for a lot of Children of the 1980s Play Your Cards Right or Blind Date.

1986 saw a slick adaptation of the 1978 slides with two styles. Solari, used on regional programmes, saw the LWT being revealed after the blinds were fully closed. For ITV network productions, Genesis created a dissolve effect with the LWT lettering. With music by Rod Argent and Peter van Hooke, the black gave way to a refined light grey background. Dignified and still pretty good looking in 2018.

5. Kids TV show filmed in Stalybridge

The Mighty Jossy’s Giants, created by the late great Sid Waddell, was set largely in Stalybridge for its town centre scenes. There is also cameo appearances of Greater Manchester Transport standard Leyland Atlanteans. As for the football scenes, Nordens Road (then the home of Oldham Town Football Club) was used.

6. How to make a British Rail sandwich

Our favourite one of this month’s search terms. Here’s the quick and easy answer for you, based on a BR style ham and cheese sandwich:

  1. Two slices of white bread (ALDI’s medium white loaf is a good substitute for Mother’s Pride and only 49p a loaf);
  2. Two slices of wafer thin ham;
  3. A single processed cheese slice (as Prue Leith said in a BBC documentary, British Rail used Kraft Cheese Singles);
  4. Some Anchor spreadable butter (you may prefer to substitute that for Flora);
  5. Butter both slices of bread;
  6. Place one slice of ham on each slice of bread;
  7. Place the processed cheese slice on top of one of the slices of bread in the dead centre;
  8. Place a slice of bread on top of the other slice then cut diagonally;
  9. Dinner is served. You could charge your best friends about £3.50, or find some decent sound effects of a Class 40 diesel locomotive and imagine you’re on the train from Scarborough to Bangor.

7. Bus from Littlemoss to Droylsden

You have two to choose from: the 168 which continues to Chorlton bus station, or the 231 to Piccadilly Gardens. The former stops in Droylsden town centre proper whereas the latter takes in Moorside and Edge Lane, only just missing the centre of Droylsden.

Unlike in 2002, let alone 1982, fewer towns are served from Littlemoss and Droylsden. In 2002, Mayne of Manchester’s 232 – 235 services gave passengers a direct link with Mossley and Stalybridge as well as Manchester. Back in 1982, you could even catch a 346 from these two points – taking in Dukinfield and Hyde without a change of bus in Ashton-under-Lyne. The Mossley link was introduced shortly after bus deregulation began.

8. Why don’t I get the Tameside Reporter anymore?

I can think of a few answers for this one. Firstly, there are fewer newsagents in Tameside compared with, say 2012, when Reporter and Chronicle Newspapers’ titles were saved from their demise. Some might have done away with paperboys and papergirls.

Secondly, the Tameside Reporter‘s circulation area seems to have changed. At one time, you could buy a Reporter in East Manchester – in Openshaw and Beswick as well as Stalybridge. I used to buy some of my copies of the Tameside Reporter from Aleef’s Newsagents on Station Approach leading to Manchester Piccadilly station. In more recent visits to Manchester, I had been disappointed with its omission from their news stands.

Thirdly, you can also pick up a Tameside Reporter in Ashton Market but the easiest way to catch your Tameside Reporter fix is on its website ( Their Twitter feed is worth following under their News In Tameside handle.

9. Universal Credit appointment frequency

For all the wrong reasons, Iain Duncan-Smith’s hobby horse (now ridden by Esther McVey) has dominated the headlines. One person asked us about the appointment frequencies expected by Universal Credit claimants.

From my past experience in 2013 (as one of the UK’s very first claimants), appointment times are set by your Work Coach. On making your Claimant Journey (their words, not mine), you are designated a Work Coach who you see at certain times.

Instead of being every other Wednesday at 12 midday, it could vary from three days to three weeks or more between appointments. Your times may vary, which inconveniences anyone without access to reliable bus services.

10. Where did Henry Afrikas used to be in Oldham?

Clegg Street, on the corner of Union Street. Its original purpose was a combined bus depot and bus station for the North Western Road Car Company, opening on the 15 May 1966. In 1972, SELNEC took over NWRCC’s stage carriage routes before transferring its buses to Wallshaw Street on the 20 May 1973.

Before becoming Henry Afrikas, SELNEC PTE sold the depot to the Cooperative Society.

“Bye bye everyone, bye bye…”

Before I go, feel free to elaborate on our selection of answers. We hope this has answered some of your questions. If another interesting set of search terms emerge they shall be the subject of another article.

S.V., 09 November 2018.

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