Classic Bus Lotto: Another Escape to the Pantry Special

Do you have a young child who is mad on Greater Manchester’s buses?

Due to Coronavirus-orientated cabin fever or stir craziness, you may be wondering what a bus looks like. You might have a youngster who wants to go to the Greater Manchester Museum of Transport, though couldn’t do thanks to recent events. You know, the very rugrat whom in later years might want a British Rail moquette cup coaster for his or her office.

With the near lockdown entering the fourth week on our soggy group of islands, this has seen East of the M60 being ‘same but different’. ‘Same’ in the sense of being pro-public transport, a haven for bus and train geeks and in championing useful-yet-overlooked bus routes. ‘Different’ in the sense that we have had to find other things to write about. Hence the launch of Escape To The Pantry – our selection of posts for indoor activity ideas.

To complement our moquette quiz, we have now come up with Classic Bus Lotto. It is a picture matching game that is best played with two to four people. If one of your cards has a picture of a Leyland Atlantean, you place it on part of the sheet which matches the picture of that bus. Your aim is to match all twelve buses that have seen service with SELNEC, Greater Manchester Transport or GM Buses.


You will need

  • Sticky-backed plastic or an A4 size laminator;
  • Scissors or a paper trimmer;
  • Some white card or a cereal box;
  • Pritt Stick (other lipstick style adhesives are available);
  • A suitable cardboard or plastic box to store the cards and boards.

Before you play, you can download the board and cards from this website. All you need to do, once you have downloaded the board and cards is:

  1. Print four copies of this file: better still if you have a colour printer. This gives you four sets of twelve cards and four boards.
  2. Mount the boards and playing cards on card: a bog-standard cereal box should also do the trick. Corrugated cardboard may be a good option for the boards, whereas an old cereal box should suffice for the cards.
  3. Find a suitable box or a folder: if you cannot find a box or basket (which we prefer for longevity), a paper document folder could be a suitable alternative. If you have a folder, a grip seal freezer bag could be used for storing your cards.

Playing the game

You could play this game on a one-to-one basis with one person dealing the cards, with the other player matching each bus. With four players (three and a dealer), the dealer could choose a card for one contestant. Then the next one and third one in a Round Robin format.

In the 3+1 format, the next player could identify the same bus if his or her opponent gets the bus wrong. The game finishes once the lotto board has been filled up.

Online play

Using Zoom, Skype, YouTube or Facetime, the one-to-one version of Classic Bus Lotto comes into its own. Each player has to download the board and cards from East of the M60. The dealer could hold one of the cards up to the webcam.

Happy playing!

We hope your bus loving five-year-old has hours of fun with this game. As soon as this COVID-19 pandemic is over, we hope he or she gets chance to go to the Greater Manchester Museum of Transport (other transport museums in the City Region are available). If you liked this one, we could consider another version with more modern buses.

S.V., 13 April 2020.

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