Fun Time Friday

A Mission to Entertain: Future Directions’ Fun Time Friday

What do you get if you cross an extremely talented musician with a pretty good blogger and dancer (!) on a Friday afternoon?

Make no mistake: this sub-headline isn’t a dad joke, though a fast-paced mixture of dad jokes, dad dancing and mad music is behind one of Future Directions CIC’s most notable projects. Known as Fun Time Friday, it is a 45-minute programme of music, dad dancing and jokes which goes out on Friday afternoons.

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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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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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Green Triangle Joins the Rotala Club

Lancashire operator joins bus owning group

South Lancs Travel, Optare Tempo, T100 SLT
Seen at Moor Lane Bus Station, Bolton, South Lancs Travel Optare Tempo loading at Stand B on the 574 service to Middlebrook. Photograph by Danny’s Bus Photos (Creative Commons License, Some Rights Reserved)


Another chapter in the history of South Lancs Travel was written today as Green Triangle Buses changed ownership for the second time in three years. Continue reading “Green Triangle Joins the Rotala Club”

Preston Bus Station Now Grade II Listed Building

  • Victory for Bus and Architecture Geeks
  • Euston Arch of the Motorway Age saved from possible demolition
  • Cllr Rankin: ‘Very disappointing but not altogether unexpected’

Preston Bus Station, view from Tithe Barn Street
Saved: Preston Bus Station, seen in August 2011.

If you’ve spent the best part of your formative years en route to Blackpool or Morecambe, there’s every chance you would have come across what was Britain’s biggest bus station. For many bus and coach fanatics, it is probably their equivalent to Crewe or Birmingham New Street railway stations. Continue reading “Preston Bus Station Now Grade II Listed Building”

East of the M60 Advent Calendar: 22 December 2011

22. A Preston Bus Eastern Coach Works bodied Leyland Olympian

PrestonBus Leyland Olympian ONTL11/2R, ECW body, A33 MRN

Over the last 30 years, the Leyland Olympian has proved to be one of Leyland’s most enduring double decker vehicles. With the prototype originally conceived and built in Bristol (as a replacement for the Bristol VR), independent companies, PTE operators and the National Bus Company modernised their fleet with this vehicle. This example seen above was bodied by Eastern Coach Works in Lowestoft, Suffolk.

Besides the ubiquitous ECW bodied examples, Alexander bodied Olympians were for some time Stagecoach’s standard double decker. Greater Manchester Transport’s examples (bodied by Northern Counties, as you would expect) represented their second generation GMT Standard vehicle. GMT’s version outlived GMT and GM Buses itself by means of the Palatine and Palatine II style of body, which was seen in the latterly renamed Volvo Olympians till 1997. Some examples remain in service with First Manchester, primarily from Bury and Queens Road garages.

Bus Route of Christmas Past: Manchester Corporation’s Eccles – Levenshulme route. Starting at the Lloyd Road terminus, Levenshulme, this service took in Stretford and Urmston prior to reaching Eccles. It had a basic frequency of every 20 minutes with a 15 minute frequency during peak hours. In 1974 it was renumbered 262 with a second 22 taking over the 40/42 route, this time extended to Unsworth. Today’s 22, operated by First Manchester, runs every half hour and includes the former Manchester Corporation route in much extended form, with its southerly terminus in Stockport (via Burnage) and northerly terminus in Bolton (via Swinton and Farnworth).

Bus Route of Christmas Present: I could have opted for the Bolton to Stockport service as the soft option. Instead, I have chosen the BRoCPre is Preston’s 22 from the city centre to Royal Preston Hospital. The service runs every 12 minutes on Monday to Saturdays during the daytime, co-working with the 23.

S.V., 22 December 2011

East of the M60 Advent Calendar: 19 December 2011

19. A Royal Blue Bristol RE, National livery

Royal Blue Bristol RE

A small number of us will start our Christmas exodus to sunnier clines or UK seaside resorts, in a bid to avoid James Bond films, awful weather, railway engineering works or being stressed out over the Christmas dinner. Some of us may start our journey by coach, though on nothing quite as elegant as this one. Continue reading “East of the M60 Advent Calendar: 19 December 2011”