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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Towards Rivington Pike

Ten Good Reasons to Love Lancashire: The Not So Perfect Ten

Ten things that make Lancashire stand out from many other English counties

Where is Lancashire? Is it the present-day county that has been chipped away by the 1974 Local Government Act and the later creation of Unitary Authorities? Or, if you go to the Friends of Real Lancashire website, is it the historic county that covers Barrow-in-Furness, Ashton-under-Lyne and Liverpool as well as Morecambe?

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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 (27 October 2019)

Another fine Boarshurst début, and another superb concert

In the last few days, the weather gods haven’t exactly been on our side. There was reports of flooding in Derbyshire, Cheshire and the Midlands. Last night on Greenbridge Lane, there was no need to sail to Boarshurst Band Club in a Mirror dinghy. Nor a way of sailing from Chew Brook to Bottoms Reservoir without going via Stockport.

Making sure everything was shipshape for Tintwistle Band last night was Andrew Mallon, their Musical Director. As with Hebden Bridge’s concert last week, another pacy yet tight programme with something for everyone. Like Gareth last night, he was knowledgeable, precise, and humorous.

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Generic Euphonium picture

Hebden Bridge Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club (20 October 2019)

Brindle’s Boarshurst début marked by a superb concert

With the nights getting longer and the days getting colder, the warmest of receptions were reserved for Hebden Bridge Band at the Boarshurst Band Club. With their first choice Musical Director David Hamilton in Norwich last night, the baton was passed on to Gareth Brindle. For the former Rainford Musical Director, his first ever visit to Boarshurst Band Club was a most memorable one.

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Northern Class 195, Manchester Airport

Should Northern Rail Be Nationalised? Be Careful What You Wish For

Or: is the Grayling Curse to blame for Northern’s woes?

The rail franchising system is dead. Long live the rail franchising system. In the last year, we have seen a recasting of the rail franchising system in favour of management contracts. Since 1994, rail franchises in Great Britain have mirrored former British Rail profit centres, which in turn have roots in BR’s sectorisation programme by Sir Robert (Basil) Reid.

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