Class 142, Newton Heath depot

What Can You Do With a Fallen Pacer?

Department For Transport launches scheme to bring new life to withdrawn Pacer units

Has April Fool’s Day 2020 been brought forward? The Department For Transport have conjured up a wheeze to bring new life to the Pacer family of trains. What you may be relieved to find is that continued use on our permanent way is out of the question.

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Darranlas from Penrhiwcaradog Farm (G. Evans, 2009).

TV Review: Our Lives: Battle of the Bands

East of the M60‘s review of BBC One’s documentary on brass banding

Our Lives: Battle of the Bands: BBC One, 27 May 2019, 7.30pm

  • Presenter: Ruth Madoc;
  • Musical Director (Tredegar Town Band): Ian Porthouse;
  • Musical Director (Cory Band): Philip Harper;
  • Executive Producer (BBC Wales): Christina Macaulay;
  • Executive Producer (Yeti Media Ltd): Siân Price;
  • Producer and Director: Gruff Rees.

© 2019 Yeti Media Ltd for BBC Wales.

Brass banding seems to be at the back of the queue in relation to television coverage these days. Before the late 1980s, BBC had Champion Brass which gave our brass bands a national arena for viewers who couldn’t afford the trip to the Royal Albert Hall. There was also similar competitions organised by ITV franchises, most notably Granada Television’s Granada Band of the Year.

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Sale Town Hall image by David Dixon, 2010.

Sale Brass: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club, 26 May 2019

A Bank Holiday weekend bonanza of a concert

In the last eighteen months, we have seen how Sale Brass have grown as a band. A lot of it has been due to the hard work of John Anderson. Early last year they clinched a Second Place sectional prize at the Butlins Mineworkers’ contest in Skegness. Six weeks later they came second in the Fourth Section Regional Finals.

This year they went one better – by winning the Fourth Section title in the Regional Finals. Once again, a trip to Cheltenham looms. In 2020, Sale Brass will be a Third Section band.
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Pyongyang Metro Station

Official! It Is Now Easier to Travel from Wigan to North Korea than to Dukinfield*

Why a Wigan travel company is offering an inclusive train tour from Wigan North Western to Pyongyang

A wee while back we looked at a 1976 Nationwide clip on Oldham MBC’s drive to promote Oldham as a tourist attraction. We looked at how you could spend a week in Oldham town centre and its surrounding area.

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The old Old Thirteenth Cheshire Astley Volunteer Rifleman Corps Inn, Astley Street, Stalybridge (2013).

The Return of the Old Thirteenth Cheshire Astley Volunteer Rifleman Corps Inn

Iconic Stalybridge pub to rise from the dead on a new site

2019 is set to be one hell of a year on this planet of ours. Britain is supposed to be leaving the European Union. Manchester City have achieved the first domestic treble in English footballing history. Game of Thrones has also ended its run as a drama series. The most surprising aspect of this surprising year so far is the return of an iconic pub. Especially in an era where pubs are still closing left of centre, far right and centre right.

Enter the return of The Old Thirteenth Cheshire Astley Volunteer Rifleman Corps Inn.

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LeylandTitanB15.05

Leyland Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club, 19 May 2019

Stunning concert sees Leyland Band firing on all four cylinders

Completing the hat trick of Championship Section bands at Boarshurst Band Club last night was a right humdinger of a concert. Thomas Wyss’ Leyland Band gave its live and streamed audience a night to savour. There was four great soloists and a programme that offered something for everyone whilst sating the desires of discerning listeners.

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Stagecoach Manchester Enviro200, SN67 WVJ, Stockport bus station

Wired For Sound! Audio Visual Announcement Trial for Stockport Bus Routes

Stagecoach Manchester to experiment with audio visual announcements on 23 and 325 services

If you travel by train, tram, or tube, you may be familiar with the sight of audio visual displays on your usual journey. Your friendly LED display might say “Next stop, Cockfosters” or “the next stop is Ashton-under-Lyne where this service terminates”.

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Enviro400 and Optare Solo, Ashton bus station

A Brief History of Teen Travel in Greater Manchester

Who remembers Greater Manchester’s previous attempts at wooing teenagers onto the bus?

Over the last week, details of Andy Burnham’s Opportunity Pass have been revealed in the Manchester Evening News and on the GetMeThere website. From the 01 September, young people aged 16 to 18 years old – so long as they produce a smart card – will be given free travel on Greater Manchester’s bus routes. Known as Our Pass, it aims to make bus travel more affordable.

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Milnrow Band at St. George's Square, Hebden Bridge, 2017.

Milnrow Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club, 12 May 2019

Another great night of brass band music with Dennis Hadfield and Co.

With the Spring Festival in Blackpool less than a week away, Milnrow Band gave us a great curtain raiser to their appearance in the Winter Gardens. This was a concert with talent by the bucketload: not only in terms of musicality, but also in term of musical arrangement.

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Greenfield Platform Sign, Ian Kirk (2018)

Greenfield Station Snubbed in Access For All Funding Scheme

Why is Greenfield station – the only railway station in Oldham Council boundaries – still inaccessible for mobility impaired passengers?

The Trans-Pennine route via Huddersfield should be given the same level of importance as the West Coast Main Line. Or at least any commuter route in the South East of England. Between Manchester and Huddersfield you have six trains per hour. All good and proper if you travel between the two points, but what if you want to travel from Stalybridge, let alone Mossley or Greenfield?

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