A Lost Train to London: The Highwayman

The cheap yet slow way of getting from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to London Road and rail competition, whether private car versus train or scheduled coach versus train is far from new. The private car was, and remains, a threat to the viability of any communal transport options due to its convenience and perceived economy. The opening of…

The Other UK Singles Chart: 2. The New Musical Express Singles Charts

A beginners’ guide to the NME Charts, the UK’s original Hit Parade The UK’s first singles chart, like its American pioneer owes its existence to an iconic music magazine. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, it is the Billboard Singles Chart that was (and remains to this day) compiled by Billboard Magazine. In…

The Other UK Singles Chart: 1. Independent Local Radio Music Charts

A beginners’ guide to chart tracking on ILR stations from 1974 to 2008 If you mention the UK singles chart, the first thing that springs to mind in the Official Charts Company’s countdown. This goes out every Friday on BBC Radio One. Before then, it used to go out on Sunday afternoons and, prior to…

An Awesome Alliterative Album: Rebellious Mixtape #12

Can you create a good album with songs by alliterative artistes? Rebellious Mixtape will be your music and your friend Before social media became a thing, we used to stand out from the competition by using catchy names and jingles. ‘Murray’ would always rhyme with ‘hurry’ among Baby Boomers because of a 1950s advertising jingle.

Bus Regulation The Musical: The Review

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

Great Unrealised Mancunian Transport Plans: The Not So Perfect Ten

In 1984, we were promised jetpacks; we got Pacer units instead We haven’t had a Not So Perfect Ten on here for a while. With urban public transport forever in the news agenda, our latest NSP10 reflects this. Given how Northern Powerhouse Rail and Manchester Piccadilly’s 15th and 16th platforms hang in the balance, we…

Last Tiger in Paris: Greater Manchester’s Cross-Channel Links

Who remembers getting a coach from Manchester to Paris? Cast your mind back to 1976. Many people associate the year with its long hot summer, hose pipe bans, and queueing outside stand pipes. For many readers of this blog, 2018 could have similar parallels to that year (weather and hose pipe bans alone). With the…

Could You Spend a Week in Oldham?

Does Oldham and surrounding area have enough attractions for a week’s holiday? This week, Northwest Tonight and its predecessor Look North West have celebrated its fiftieth birthday. Via social media channels, the BBC Archive has scoured the library for weird and wonderful regional clips.

On Reflection: The Joy of 3-2-1

A look at the bafflingly popular Yorkshire Television quiz show which ran for ten years Before the 29 July 1978, Saturdays in front of the television meant World of Sport or Grandstand. Then a peek at the latest imported programme at teatime (something like The Man From Atlantis). Encroaching into the prime time slot, there…

The Three Ages of Greater Manchester’s Bus Stations

A look at the evolution of Greater Manchester’s bus stations from 1969 onwards In the last fifty years, Greater Manchester’s bus stations have changed dramatically. More recent trends favour single terminals and improved connections with other modes of transport. In smaller towns, they form part of a focal piazza, as seen at Radcliffe’s bus station.