Who is Stuart Vallantine?

Stuart Vallantine is a performance poet and visual artist. Born in 1979, Stuart’s drawings and poetry offers its readers and viewers unique perspective. Most of his drawings are a marriage of the mathematical and artistic form, heavily influenced by post 1945 architecture, hellish town planning and the architectural styles of Womersley and Wilson, G. Noel Hill and Lord Foster.

Regarded as “autistic” and “hyperactive” in his very early years, Stuart was diagnosed in 1986 with Semantic Pragmatic Language Disorder. Within that period, he gained an interest in public transport, which persists to this today. His specialist areas are ‘Greater Manchester Transport’ 1974 – 86, post deregulation bus operators and post Beeching era British Rail.

January 2006 saw the opening of the Stuart Vallantine web experience. This website, in the 1974 – 80 Greater Manchester Transport livery is a showcase for his poetry, drawings and longer articles.

He has also contributed to ‘Asperger Syndrome and Employment: Adults Speak Out About Asperger Syndrome’, released in March 2008 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

The Stuart Vallantine web experience address is http://www.stuartvallantine.co.uk

Favourite song (all time): Take the Long Way Home, Supertramp (1979).

Favourite LPs (all time):

  1. Crime of the Century, Supertramp (1974);
  2. Duke, Genesis (1980);
  3. Architecture and Morality, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (1981);
  4. Breakfast in America, Supertramp (1979);
  5. Out of the Blue, Electric Light Orchestra (1977);
  6. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Genesis (1974);
  7. Urge For Offal, Half Man Half Biscuit (2014);
  8. Then There Were Three, Genesis (1978);
  9. Red Mecca, Cabaret Voltaire (1981);
  10. Open The Door, Roger Hodgson (2000).


  • Post-1945 architecture;
  • Real ale and real pubs with character;
  • Anything with Peter Kay in;
  • Greater Manchester Transport, its predecessors and forerunners;
  • Stalybridge Celtic A.F.C.;
  • The Guardian and the Daily Mirror newspapers;
  • Single malt whiskies (Islay malts especially);
  • Maps, especially Ordnance Survey ones and Goad plans;
  • A good mug of Yorkshire Tea.


  • Delayed public transport services;
  • All forms of privatisation and unnecessary contraction of the public sector;
  • The Trafford Centre;
  • The Daily Mail or any other right-wing newspaper;
  • The X Factor;
  • Merseytravel PTE specification Class 142 Pacer units (also known as ‘Merseyfailers’ due to poor legroom and hard ergonomically challenged seats);
  • Plastic pubs serving only keg lagers;
  • The M6 motorway on a bad day (especially between Knutsford and Keele services).

First record: The Holiday Tape (a cheesy compilation album from 1987).

Last records purchased: So, Peter Gabriel (1986); The Singular Adventures of The Style Council, The Style Council (1989) – both from That’s Entertainment, Arcades Shopping Centre, Ashton-under-Lyne.

Favourite colour: orange (Greater Manchester Transport of course). Especially with brown and white.

Favourite quote: ‘You know where you are with a Hi-Viz jacket’.

Worst quote: ‘Megarider…’ (when uttered on slow running peak-hour Stagecoach Manchester buses).

Worst nightmare: post-Brexit Britain and a permanent Tory government.

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31 Comments Add yours

  1. Barbara Allinson says:

    Hi Stuart ,
    You don’t know me, my name is Barbara and I work with your sister Sarah. We had a conversation one day about websites because my daughter is learning how to do her own. Sarah told me how proud she was of you , and gave me your website address to look at….I am very impressed also !! It is a very easy to follow site and I enjoyed looking at all your photos.
    I have listed it in my favourites and I will pop back from time to time to see how it is progressing.
    Well done Stuart !!
    Best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Barbara,

    Thank you for your comment – and congratulations on being the 100th person to do so within ‘East of the M60’! My website has a steady stream of visitors each day and was designed with maximum accessibility and cross-browser compatibility in mind from the start. This is the product of 6+ years experience in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and web development.

    From the start I decided against buying/downloading a template and decided to design my own from the start, so as to ensure improved user interface design and search engine friendly clean coding. My idea was ‘if my Nana could use it, then anybody can’ without having to think.

    You can also look on Archive.org (search under http://www.stuartvallantine.co.uk) to see how the site has progressed since January 2006. I also recommend the book ‘Don’t Make Me Think’ by Steve Krug which is an excellent treatise on user interface design and web design. ‘Web Design on a Shoestring’ by Carrie Bickner is another great book on the subject.

    Bye for now,



    1. Lewis Bowker says:

      Hi Stuart,
      I’m Lewis Bowker an Old Ashtonian(1942-1963 but relatives still resident there) now living in Wokingham, near Reading, Berks.
      Absolutely terrific blog/history manual of the best market town in the northwest. Todate no-one has mentioned the plethora of shops, small businesses and pubs that were on Penny Meadow, Mellors (Bakers) for one. Fingers crossed some-one with better retention level than I have will add to your wonderful and knowledgeable potted reports of a byegone age.


  3. Ryan says:

    Hi. Great site! I was told about it by a mate of mine (I think you know him too) James Stott. Very interesting to read your posts especially as I’ve only been a Tamesider for 4 years nearly and a Manc for 9!


    1. Hi Ryan,

      Many thanks for the comments. The header graphics were inspired no less by Greater Manchester Transport – hence the buses and use of the Helvetica typeface. The seat moquette is from a preserved West Yorkshire PTE coach which was trimmed with GMT’s rather than Metro’s moquette! It was the standard moquette design from 1974 to 1983.

      Bye for now,



  4. lee stafford says:

    Hi Stuart, my name is Lee Stafford. I have been enjoying your posts since i first stumbled across your Mary Portas article.
    The reason I stumbled across your post is that at the time I was watching out for all things ‘Mary Portas’
    I was the person who arranged the first meeting with Jonathan Reynolds MP with the aim of creating ‘Stalybridge Town Team’ with the intention of making a bid for a part of the million pounds.
    Although a founder member I have now sadly left the team due to the team being TMBC top heavy.
    I am now working hard with another group known as Stalybridge Business Forum and we have now got Stalybridge moving forward once more.
    Last night we launched our new web-site stalybridgetown.com along with a £500 competition. These are just a couple of the small steps we are taking but hopefully they are in the right direction.
    As i began this reply I have really enjoyed reading your posts and would be really pleased if you could visit our site and post some of your comments. The factual and unbiased way that you write really is fantastic.

    Many thanks and keep writing,



    1. Hi Lee,

      Many thanks for the compliments regarding East of the M60. I’ve often made sure each news post on the blog saw both sides of the story. Anything historical and factual would also be diligently researched using old and new research methods. Therefore, along with the internet, I still use books, microfilm readers, public libraries and to some extent, my own experiences.

      I am glad to see that the great people of Stalybridge (your group included) have continued to support the town and not let the disappointment of the Portas Pilot bid get to them. Though the town has suffered a lot in terms of retail space, I have always enjoyed making the short walk to its centre from Dukinfield. Before Morrisons opened in June 1986, we [Mum, Dad and I] used to call in Victoria Market for fresh food, Polar Pantry for frozen food, and Kwik Save for anything cheap and cheerful. In more recent times, Stalybridge for me, and my Dad, has become a place of enjoyment, thanks to real ale and The Mighty Stalybridge Celtic AFC.

      I have returned your invite by looking on the Stalybridge Town website, ‘liked’ it on Facebook, and followed your Twitter and Google+ feeds. It is a very good site, and one which will improve in future as the forum and events board becomes more active.

      Kind regards,



  5. lee stafford says:

    Hi Stuart, thank you for your reply. Thank you also for ‘liking’ us. Since my e-mail to you I have introduced various members to your site who were in agreement with my thoughts as to the way you write an article.
    Also for you information, we lost a huge amount of information due to a group from ‘Caltech’ flexing their technical muscles and taking joy from bringing the site down. Apparently they were using the college system to bring down sites A-Z. We were ‘S’ by chance ! The University have assured us that the students involved will be ‘dealt with’ and have assured us that it will not happen again. You will always find a hacker that will challenge a hacker and this allowed us to locate the source thankfully.
    Anyway, I would appreciate your permission to replicate some of your posts on our site. Obviously we would acknowledge the source and add your site for reference.
    Please let me know how you feel about this. I will not be offended in any way if you decline.

    Thank you.

    Lee Stafford.


  6. Lisa phillips says:

    Hi stuart .. I was the year below you at all saints and remember u well. My dad used to collect yours and your dads coupons. Stumbled across this page this evening and very glad I did. Very interesting 🙂


    1. Hi Lisa,

      I remember you as Lisa Shaw, and if I’m not mistaken, you was (and probably still) an avid Manchester City fan. That would be on Thursdays, around 1845 hours when Northwest Tonight was on.




      1. Lisa phillips says:

        Brilliant… Massive city fan and yes Lisa shaw. Hope ur keeping well. See u at the bus stop almost every day near morrisons


  7. Alan Barber says:

    Hi Stuart, my name is Alan Barber and I wrote to you back in November 2012 and you gave me some wonderful news about Potters Insulation on park road who made asbestos products, well I have some great news to pass on re my claim for compensation. Potters went into administration and ceased trading circa 2000 but my lawyers reinstated the company and found their insurers who were Aviva who we sued and won our case against them. Your reference to the book you mentioned was very helpful to my lawyers and it has been instrumental in me getting compensation for the dreadful disease Mesothelioma which as you may know is a terminal illness but it does at least give me the comfort of knowing my wife and children will be well provided for when I am gone. I would like to thank you for your help and I know you will pass on the information re Potters so other sufferers will be able to get compensation for their illness, thank you again, Alan


    1. Hi Alan,

      Well done on winning your case. I am glad to see you found some closure and that the source proved to be most helpful.

      Kind regards,



      1. Alan Barber says:

        Hi Stuart, Thanks for a prompt reply, you do a great job on here keep up the good work and I hope other people can be helped by the information you post. I am in good health at the moment and long may it continue. Thanks again Stuart. kind regards, Alan


  8. historytalks says:

    Hi Stuart

    I will do appericate how hard condition like Autism, Learning Disability and other disability, as i longer term stuffier of it and i was always bullied at school. I use and still have days of depression and i Take so many hobby’s and buildings up my own blogs to help me socialist in the community. all ways looking for inspiration on your blogs and looking at your post about Autism, i found help full, you a grate writer and Great Person.

    I’m now thinking of taking by blog the way your blog gone but the Bolder in the way is my writing skills,

    I don’t want say to much about my battles with Special Needs as it upsetting.



    1. Hi Michael,

      Thank you very much. Speaking as someone else who has made a similar journey, I too try and be active as much as possible. Firstly, it would drive me mad if I was unable to create, and by ‘create’ I mean anything from haikus to triptychs.

      From past experience, with the maintenance of this blog, I always find 1) carving out a niche – particular localities for instance; and 2) giving the blog a distinct personal voice helpful. Since the off, the remit had always been to 1) promote my bog standard website; and 2) provide the reader with something different – possibly something superior to the local press.

      Referring to your last sentence, it is probably best to leave the personal stuff and battles with the system to yourself. Unless you have a book to promote or wish to consider being on the autism speaking circuit. Or, it could be part of the subject of a future self-help type blog outside of ‘History Talks’, helping people in a similar position to yourself.

      Kind regards,



  9. historytalks says:

    Cheers Stuart Vallantine is ok to carry this convo on in a private message on Facebook or Flickr as there a lot me i need to discus with you what i dont want your blog to know about


  10. jeff travis says:

    Says your favorite song is the logical song from breakfast in america, if you look at the back of the ablum, one of them is reading the manchester evening news, the article refers to a mate of mine who was tragically killed


    1. Hi Conor,

      I saw the article after tea and it seems to lack some detail. Contrary to the MEN’s article, the 407 and 412 services are going to be taken on by Rosso. One difference with the former route is its last departure from Denshaw is going to be one hour earlier than the present timetable.

      Pencilled in for April are changes to the 348 service. Evening journeys will serve Brushes Estate (covered by the 343 at present). The 343’s evening service will consume the 81A’s route from Oldham to Lees, and renumbered 344 (in line with the solitary AM peak journey to Hyde). Furthermore, the Gee Cross section of the 343 service will be reinstated on evening journeys of the 389. Since the 31 January this year, the 346’s evening journeys have seen a change of route in Gee Cross.

      This year’s Easter changes have seen South Manchester at the sharpest end. Yet, there was little fuss in the Manchester Evening News when Tameside’s bus users were royally shafted in April 2015.

      By the middle of next month, stand by for East of the M60’s run down of the Easter service changes affecting Oldham and Tameside.

      Bye for now,



  11. Hello Stuart

    I enjoyed reading your blog on the new bar Hair to Ale: Stalybridge’s Future Micro Pub which you published last November. I will delivering Top Hop Best Bitter from Hornbeam Brewery to them on Wednesday (Tomorrow) so I presume they are about to open their doors. They will be selling bottled beer as well. Wishing Bridge Beers the best of luck. Kevin Rothwell – Hornbeam Brewery


    1. Hi Kevin,

      Bridge Beers will be opening this Friday. There will be a special opening night to celebrate their launch.




  12. Andy says:

    I hope you are keeping well. I very much enjoyed your ‘Live from Harrop Edge’ article, as I am one of the poor saps who used to run Andromeda Radio and Radio Aquarius back in the mists of time. I’ve saved you website and will be back to read more later.
    Many thanks



    1. Hi Andy,

      I am glad you enjoyed the Live from Harrop Edge article. When I wrote it at the time, it bridged a much-needed gap in Tameside’s radio history. Having been fascinated by the metamorphosis of Eight Towns into Tameside Radio, this enabled me to go beyond October 1983 [when Eight Towns was launched as Heartbeat Radio].

      Since its publication in 2011, there has been greater integration with the Tameside Reporter and the Glossop Chronicle. That could be added to a future update, being as NCHT have financed both the radio and print media of the Tameside and Glossop areas since September 2012.

      Bye for now,



  13. Catherine Dawson says:

    Hi Stuart, your Aunt here. Yes I’m biased I know but I am and always have been very proud of you. Keep up the good work !!!

    Catherine x


  14. jeff Travis says:

    See you like Islay Whisky`s.
    Same here, nice and peaty and smokey


  15. Tony Gibson says:

    Hi Stuart we have never met but we feel the same about transport issues I am the Community Ambassador for South Pennine C.T though at 74 yrs old I’m. thinking of changing my title to Geriatric Guru ! I can’t draw but like you I am a poet and people watcher. Aren’t Human Foibles wonderful ! I love the banta on the buses with the passengers getting them out and about and filling their lives with purpose
    Yours on a Riding to somewhere Tony Gibson

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Tony,

      The “banter on the buses” is partly my reason for sticking with public transport. It is the social aspect of any given journey on public transport which I revel in. On rural or semi-rural services, it is the views along the way that add to the journey. As you know yourself, the Holme Valley villages and Saddleworth make for some great bus journeys.

      As for Geriatric Guru, quite a good title. A friend of mine from Whitstable (he’s 80 years old) could qualify for that title in relation to his fine art and woodcarving works. He worked for LWT and (before 1968) Associated-Rediffusion.

      The social value of bus travel needs to emphasised more, whether a Global Megacorp, Metro West Yorkshire Mark 2, or a Community Interest Company runs the services in Huddersfield and surrounding area. A well managed network brings people together and encourages them to make new friends along the way. The bus’ role in building social cohesion goes beyond an odd trip to the shops.

      Before I finish, I have yet to go on any of your buses in spite of mentioning them in previous East of the M60 articles. The last time I did part of the 352/X50 routes between Greenfield and Holmfirth was en route to a Half Man Half Biscuit gig at the Picturedrome (in a friend’s car).

      Anyway, great to see you on the blog. Before long, I hope to find a spare day to venture out on any of South Pennine Community Transport’s buses.

      Kind regards,



  16. Rodger says:

    Hi Stuart – thanks for info on Stalybridge Rovers Ground. Do you have any other info on them?
    My g’grandad Robt Wm Illingworth was a director of Rovers, and I am hoping to piece together a little more history than the brief note that appears on Wikipedia & other websites.
    I discovered they had been going for about 5 yrs before in 1894 joining the Lancs Combination. In 1893-4 they were in the ‘Football Federation’ and finished 3rd. I got this from 1894 Reporter at Tameside Archive.
    My problem is that I live in Ireland, so anything you know would be welcome, or anyone out there with an interest in S/B Rovers can mail me!


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