Revealed: Northern England’s Slowest Inter-City Train Route

The North of England’s slowest inter-city train route may surprise you

Once upon a time, 33 years ago, a famous female singer made a real comeback with the song If I Can Turn Back Time. Though 1987’s I Found Someone marked her return to the singles charts, it was the former song that made a greater impact. By 1991, thanks to the film Mermaids, her cover of The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss), she reached the top spot.

During Cher’s rise up the singles chart, Britain’s railways was in a state of transition. British Rail swapped Robert Reid for Robert Reid (in other words, Robert Basil Reid for Bob Reid). The InterCity sector started operated without a subsidy from HM Treasury. Regional Railways became a swish new identity for BR’s Provincial Sector. Locally, Stalybridge station’s buffet bar was under threat of closure with rumours of it becoming a florist; the Stockport to Stalybridge service was cut to three return journeys a day – still an improvement on the Saturdays Only return journey we see today.

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Meltham and Meltham Mills Band: Sunday Brass at Boarshurst Band Club (16th October 2022)

Marvellous Meltham Mills makes magical music matters in Sunday spectacular

It has been quite a long time since Meltham and Meltham Mills Band had a Sunday Brass Night at Boarshurst. It may be fair, if a little impolite even, to say our last review was chiselled onto stone tablets.

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Generic Euphonium picture

Hebden Bridge Brass Band: Sunday Brass at Boarshurst Band Club (9th October 2022)

Class act from Binns and Co.

It is said “you can please some of the people all of the time” and “all of the people some of the time”. This is true not only in politics (with the Abraham Lincoln quote, actually attributed to John Lydgate), but also in live performance.

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In Pictures: Tameside Pride 2022

Glorious weather makes for successful post-lockdown Pride event

After two years of virtual events due to COVID, Tameside Pride returned to Cheethams Park today. Running from 12 midday till 5pm, it was a joyous afternoon with fairground rides, stalls and live music. There was also an appearance from Greater Manchester Police’s Police Community Support Officers.

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I Went to Preston ‘Spoons at 9am and It Was Quiet As Hell

The eeriness of enjoying an egg muffin early doors at The Twelve Tellers

Over the last month, many of Reach Media’s local newspapers has given readers many Variations on an Early Morning Spoons Session articles. If you go to their Manchester Evening News website, we learned about The Water House at 9am. If you logged on to The Sheffield Star website, there’s every chance we’ll be told of how quiet that one in Hillsborough is on a school day.

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Tintwistle War Memorial image by Clem Rutter, 2010 (Creative Commons License: Attribution-ShareAlike).

Tintwistle Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club (24 April 2022)

Mallon and Co.’s entertaining show sees better all band performance

The last 12 months after a ban on organised concerts have been pretty tough for many brass bands. In a normal non-pandemic year, a year is a long time in brass banding. Players can move to other bands or pursue non-musical interests.  Income pressures can affect bar takings and subs as well as gaps in personnel. With less to go round, this affects ticket sales and competition entries.

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Time for a Cross-Boundary Bus Strategy?

England’s deregulated bus network has a fair few cross-boundary routes. Many are conventional stage carriage services where the travel-to-work area happens to be a county or unitary authority away. One example is the 237 route from Ashton-under-Lyne to Glossop via Stalybridge. Another one is the 125, a Stagecoach Gold route between Preston and Bolton.

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Northern Powerhouse Rail: Railing Against a Lack of Ambition

In 2015 we were promised hoverboards, but Stalybridge had Pacer units instead (Shapps 4′ 8″ Remix)

In a professional capacity, Preston has become my second home. I know almost every nook and cranny of its railway station. On some occasions I hope for a slack connection, so I could do a bit of spotting between trains. In the last six months, I have seen many a passing Pendolino, many a diesel, electric and bi-mode unit, and the odd goods train.

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Tintwistle War Memorial image by Clem Rutter, 2010 (Creative Commons License: Attribution-ShareAlike).

Tintwistle Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club (31 October 2021)

Tintwistle’s comeback special makes for splendid concert

With the weather, there was a sense of deja vu for this year’s concert with Tintwistle Band. On the eve of Glasgow’s COP26 summit, the heavens opened big style in Saddleworth and Glossop. On their previous visit to Boarshurst Band Club in 2019, pretty similar stormy weather to yesterday’s concert.

Over two years after Andrew Mallon’s Boarshurst debut, Tintwistle Band’s Boarshurst concert was their first indoor one since the first lockdown. For Andrew and the band, it was great to be back to the old routine. If the weather gods smiled on them, they might have been rewarded with a few more concertgoers.

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Now You Know What We Did This Summer: Bridlington By Bus, Train and Taxi

A look at Bridlington’s public transport offer

Thanks to previous lockdowns and pandemic conditions, it has been two years since we left our last Now You Know What We Did This Summer round-up. The last entry looked at Bournemouth’s buses, which we found were dirt cheap compared with Greater Manchester’s buses.

The last time yours truly went to Bridlington was nearly 12 years ago. I had an overnight stay there and used Lord Tennyson’s favourite resort as a halfway point between Doncaster and Middlesbrough. There, I was supporting the late great Donna Williams at what became her last UK lecture tour. After seeing her Doncaster lecture, I got Northern’s service to Bridlington (via Goole and Hull), then continued to Middlesbrough by bus via Scarborough.

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