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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Blackpool Postcard

The Wonder of Wakes Weeks

Ever wondered about the Wakes Weeks and when they are?

Many moons ago, before East of the M60 was as well-known as it is nowadays, we posted a review of Channel Five’s documentary on the Oldham Wakes. It was part of a series called Disappearing Britain, the Oldham Wakes episode was hosted by Sarah Lancashire (or Raquel off Corrie if you watched the soap in the 1990s). The programme had vox-pop interviews with Ms. Lancashire decrying the state of Blackpool.

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Holy Island, 2015

A Northern Wake-Up Call: IPPR North Report Confirms Westminster Failings

How COVID-19 has intensified inequalities in Northern England

This week, IPPR North’s report The State of the North has confirmed what many Northerners have known since the height of Thatcher’s term in office. With Brexit and COVID-19, the North-South divide has grown dramatically – to a point that the gap between South East England and North West England could be akin to that of West Germany and East Germany prior to reunification.

Before last week, one of the few things that set Northern England apart from the South East of England was consigned to history forever. If you wanted to know where the North of England really began, it was at the most southerly terminus of a rail service that was served by Class 142 Pacer units. With franchised buses as part of a fully integrated transport system, Greater London feels like another planet compared with Greater Manchester.

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Preston Bus Station, 2011

Seven Bus Station Wonders of the United Kingdom

Britain’s most iconic bus stations – past and present

In the great scheme of things, architectural critics look at structures like Egypt’s Great Pyramids, St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, and the vertical skyline of New York City. Sports venues around the world are revered for their iconic status due to famous victories or unique atmosphere. To get to any of these places may require a bus or two. (Well, other private or public modes of transport are available).

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Northern Nationalised: Franchise Transfers from Arriva Rail North to DfT

Northern franchise taken over by DfT as Operator of Last Resort from the 01 March

After several rumours and persistent lobbying by Northern English political figures in the last six months, it was announced today that Arriva lost its Northern rail franchise. Under the Anglo-German company’s tenure, the rail franchise was dogged by poor service, delayed rolling stock deliveries and gross overcrowding.

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Roberts Wondrous White Bloomer

Roberts Bakery Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club, 15 December 2019

A tasty programme by Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s band

A baker’s dozen of pieces made for a most entertaining concert for Roberts Bakery Band. With all but one piece being Christmas themed, there was everything in the Cheshire band’s festive hamper to suit all tastes. For Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s band, this was the band’s final concert of 2019.

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