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Greater Manchester’s Most Shocking Bus Service Changes Since 1986: The Not So Perfect Ten

A look at the service changes that have shaken our city region’s bus network forever

We are now 35 years into what Andy Burnham called The Free Market Experiment.  As with any free market experiment, there is a smaller number of winners than losers.  Before the first lockdown, having a bus company and a rail franchise was a licence to print money for some operators.  

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Hyde North station by Rept0n1x, 2013 (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)

Greater Manchester’s Rail Fares: An Un-Fare Advantage?

How an £8.00 ticket caused a fuss over London and Manchester rail fares

Take one single train ticket, then add the most powerful elected mayor outside of London. Introduce another single train ticket for a journey within Greater London. Simmer for 24 hours or more on social media then add to existing North-South Divide and Us Versus London arguments till the end of time.

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In Praise of Superman: A Cheesy Tunes Special

The understated genius of Black Lace’s party anthem

Once upon a time forty years ago, the son of Enrico and a mate of his wrote a cheesy tune called Gioca Jouer. The songwriters, Claudio Simonetti and Claudio Cecchetto (the former being Enrico’s son) did pretty well with their tune. It was used as the opening theme for that year’s Sanremo Music Festival and a smash in their home country, Italy.

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Stagecoach Manchester Strike Action Called Off

Revised pay deal for bus workers confirmed

A new pay deal for the employees of Greater Manchester’s largest bus operator has staved off the threat of strike action. Yesterday (19 October), Stagecoach Manchester has confirmed that agreement has been reached on a pay deal for bus workers in Manchester. Local trade union representatives have worked constructively with Stagecoach Manchester on a pay offer that has now been agreed by employees.

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Arcades Shopping Centre and open market

Ashton-under-Lyne Brass Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club, 10 October 2021

Audience profit from highly enjoyable concert

Boarshurst Band Club’s journey back to brass gave us another enjoyable concert. This time with a brass band that was formed four years before last week’s band. As with last week’s concert, there was a welcome airing of one or two classic pieces. Though with half the number of solos as last week’s concert, a case of ‘quality not quantity’.

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Singing Our Way to Success with the Stronger Together Community Choir

How a blogger and a singer-songwriter took Future Directions’ inclusive choir to winning Care Sector’s Got Talent

Thursday 30th September 2021, 4.50 pm, five miles somewhere south east of Preston: after taking part in a nationwide talent competition, there were scenes of elation at a local community hall with a party of 15 people. Among the fifteen or so people were Stuart Vallantine, Kevin Phoenix, and Lorraine Chapman-Linnett – values-driven employees for Future Directions. With the Stronger Together Community Choir, they entered Championing Social Care‘s Care Sector’s Got Talent, a national talent competition.

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Lego GMT Standard double decker

Stalybridge Bus Station: A 2030 Vision

The shape of things to come with an all-singing and all-dancing bus/train/tram interchange

It has been a while since you could transfer from three modes of transport in Stalybridge town centre. 90 years ago to be precise. If you count trolleybuses as a third mode, that was 61 years ago.

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Diggle From Harrop Edge, Bill Boaden 2010

The Diggle Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club (03 October 2021)

First concert at Boarshurst since March 2020 impresses audience with bona fide classics for all the family

Yesterday’s first concert at Boarshurst Band Club since the first lockdown was most entertaining and cathartic in equal measure. In one respect, it was great to see a return to normality at The Brass Band Mecca of the North. On the other hand, it made us slightly bleary eyed over the friends we have lost in the brass band movement since the pandemic began.

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The A to Z of the ZX Spectrum

Remembering Sir Clive Sinclair and his wonder machine

The 1980s was a very grim time for many people. There was high unemployment and high inflation. The Labour Party – who should have been hitting the right notes in attacking the Thatcher-led government – was split between its left and right wing factions of the party. If you substituted Thatcher for Johnson, you could be forgiven for thinking ‘deja vu’.

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Beat The Bus Syndrome: A DSM Criteria

What are the signs of Beat The Bus Syndrome?

Whether you take the 192 to work or the 216 to Town, you expect the bus to get you from A to B as trouble free as possible. Stopping every so often on a busy route is inevitable as several other passengers fancy going the same way. Loadings vary according to the time of day, which is why journeys are faster in less busy periods.

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