Bus Regulation The Musical graphic

Bus Regulation The Musical: The Review

How Ellie Harrison’s show brought us fifty years of Greater Manchester transport history on wheels

Baroness Castle of Blackburn (played by Summer Dean, left of centre) with the eight skaters.
  • Bus Regulation The Musical.
  • Manchester Art Gallery, 28 September 2019 (2pm and 3pm).
  • Produced by Ellie Harrison.

I could think of several ways of spending half an hour of my leisure time. One is listening to the entire ‘B’ side of Foxtrot, Genesis’ 1972 LP which includes the magnificent Supper’s Ready. Another is sitting on a 216 bus or tram bound for Manchester city centre. By opting for the latter, I unearthed a little gem in Ellie Harrison’s production, Bus Regulation The Musical.

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Ashton-under-Lyne Interchange, August 2019

Have Your Say on Bus Franchising in Greater Manchester

Bus franchising consultation to begin in October

Next month, the people of Greater Manchester will be involved in a far-reaching consultation to transform the city region’s bus routes.

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Packed Pacer

TfGM’s Prospectus For Rail: A Bold Vision to Boost GM Rail Journeys

How would Our Prospectus For Rail boost heavy rail and light rail journeys in Tameside?

Make no bones about it: Manchester is a UEFA Champions League city with EFL Division 2 rail services. In spite of Northern’s introduction of new trains on the Manchester Airport to Barrow-in-Furness route, it can do a lot better.

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RadioShack Tape Recorder, J. Smith, 2006

The Duffers’ Guide to 8-Bit Computing #1: Software on Tape

The first of a new Duffers’ Guide, celebrating the joys of 8-bit computing

I have recently found a YouTube channel that celebrates the wonder of audio tape. It is headed by a fellow from Lancashire who knows his TDKs from his Maxells, and his chrome tapes from his ferric tapes. What has amazed me is how no two audio cassettes are the same in terms of quality.

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Fairey Engineering Works, Heaton Chapel (Google Maps)

The Fairey Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club (22 September 2019)

A truly stunning night of brass band music from one of Britain’s finest brass bands

This year, there has been a number of great Sunday Brass Nights at the Boarshurst Band Club. We have had some memorable solo performances, and a few more full houses than this time last year. These have been due to a mouthwatering programme that has featured Leyland, Carlton Main Frickley and Hammonds bands.

On the eve of the Autumn Solstice, there was another addition to this year’s illustrious list: The Fairey Band. Over two glorious hours, The Fairey Band gave us all a a traditional yet captivating programme. Yours truly saw them at Glossop Old Bandroom earlier this month, and they were brilliant then. At Boarshurst Band Club’s humble abode, they raised the bar a lot higher, and the results were truly spectacular.

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Stalybridge Whit Walks 2019, Trinity Street

One Answer to the Million Pound Question: the Stalybridge Heritage Walk

A possible approach to the Stalybridge Heritage Walk

In our previous article entitled The Million Pound Question: Stalybridge’s Historical Quarter, we looked at the story behind Tameside MBC’s successful bid. We also looked at how the heritage walk should form part of a greater scheme. In other words, how the Heritage Walk should be accompanied by prospective private and public sector development.

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Stalybridge Civic Hall, 2015

The Million Pound Question: Stalybridge’s Historical Quarter

Could the town’s rich history be a panacea for economic growth?

Stalybridge has a proud history. In spite of losing its town hall and the conversion of its market hall to a civic hall, there is still a lot to like about the Cheshire town. Especially Cheetham’s Park and the town centre’s equivalent of The Three Graces (Holy Trinity Church, Stalybridge Civic Hall, and the Astley Cheetham Art Gallery and Library).

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Macclesfield Heritage Centre image by Mike In Macc, 2013.

Silk Brass: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club (15 September 2019)

Another warm reception and enjoyable night from Tony Wyatt and Co.

For some brass bands, the middle of September means the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain finals in Cheltenham. Last weekend’s National Finals saw great success for Boarshurst Silver Band (3rd in the First Section final) and the Uppermill Band (Third Section title winners). After six hours and forty minutes on a coach to and from Cheltenham, and seeing several bands at The Centaur, seeing another band would have made you a glutton for punishment.

Whether you took the M5 motorway to Gloucestershire and/or the 350 bus to Greenfield, Silk Brass gave us all a superb concert. A neatly balanced, highly entertaining programme with four memorable solos. After hearing Philip Sparke’s Endeavour up to sixteen times (or Stephen Bulla’s Beecher Variations earlier) there was nothing too heavy going. Light, yet meaty. A perfect concert for anyone who wanted something light-hearted with real substance.

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Boarshurst Silver Band Oldham Coliseum Ad

Coming to the Oldham Coliseum: Boarshurst Silver Band

Why you must see Boarshurst Silver Band at the Oldham Coliseum Theatre this Friday

No matter where you are, nothing beats the power of a good brass band concert. You can listen to brass bands on YouTube, on CDs, cassettes, or vinyl, but nothing beats seeing one in the flesh. You can be moved by stunning solo performances, tremendous trombone work, and the thrash of a good percussion and bass section.

The best place to watch a brass band in comfort is either in a purpose-built concert hall or a theatre. If your local brass band is doing theatre gigs, you know they have arrived. This Friday, Boarshurst Silver Band’s autumn concert will be taking place at the Oldham Coliseum Theatre.

This week’s autumn concert will be a traditional one, influenced by The Last Night of the Proms. There will also be a selection of traditional concert standards and a few stunning solo performances. Boarshurst Silver Band are no stranger to the Oldham Coliseum stage: they have made a few appearances in the Oldham Coliseum Theatre company’s production of Brassed Off.

In the last half decade, Boarshurst Silver Band have risen from the Third Section to the dizzy heights of the Championship Section. Next year, the Greenfield-based band will be up with the likes of Black Dyke, Brighouse and Rastrick, Cory, Fairey and Foden’s brass bands. To be up to the challenge of being a force among brass banding’s elite, the hard work begins now.

In this year’s National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, Boarshurst Silver Band came third. They were pipped at the post by Rainford and Unison Kinniel bands at The Centaur, Cheltenham. Both bands had hitherto been in the Championship Section. Only two years ago, Boarshurst Silver Band won the Second Section title at the same venue.

Boarshurst Silver Band’s success is down to local talent and a spirit of togetherness among Team Boarshurst. This is apparent throughout every concert and each contest they enter. Its members include up and coming brass band players of college age and seasoned campaigners.

If you wish to see a brass band that is truly going places, you must see Boarshurst Silver Band this Friday. Recent concerts with the band have been nothing short of amazing. Each programme has plenty of items to placate seasoned concertgoers as well as Mr/Mrs/Ms Average on the Middleton omnibus.

Don’t just take our word for it…

The concert begins at 7.30pm and admission is £15.00, whether you choose the stalls, circle or gallery. If you are making your way by public transport, the 180, 184 and 350 services to Saddleworth stop nearby. Your nearest Metrolink stop is Oldham Central. Oh, and you might bump into this fellow.

You can either book online via the Oldham Coliseum Theatre website, or call in to the Box Office (Monday – Saturday from 10am). Alternatively, telephone 0161 624 2829.

S.V., 16 September 2019.

Skelmanthorpe Station, Kirklees Light Railway, 2018. Image by Zath Ras.

Skelmanthorpe Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club (08 September 2019)

A concert of two halves with a swinging second half

Was it really two years ago since Skelmanthorpe Band’s previous concert at the Boarshurst Band Club? During the 23-month hiatus since their previous gig at The Mecca of Brass Banding, the Championship Section band of the Skelmanthorpe band community has changed musical directors. They have recently returned to the Championship Section. One thing that hasn’t changed since their previous soiree was entertainment value. With a mix of traditional concert pieces and a swinging second half, they had that by the bucketload.

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