Bower Fold backdrop

Book Review: British Football’s Greatest Grounds

Not only a coffee table book for groundhoppers; a must for any football fan

  • Title: British Football’s Greatest Grounds: One Hundred Must-See Football Venues;
  • Author: Mike Bayly;
  • Photography: various contributors including David Bauckman, Paul Paxford, Colin McPherson, Andy Nunn, Stuart Tree, Ben Webster,
  • Publisher: Pitch Publishing Limited (2020);
  • Recommended Selling Price: £30.00 (hardback).

At this moment in time, you may be missing your football fix if you often go out to see your favourite team. Due to the lockdown, only Elite League football teams (National Leagues North and South upwards) can continue their season. In what is now known as The Trident Leagues (Northern Premier, Southern and Isthmian leagues), league football has been suspended till further notice. Likewise with its regional feeder leagues.

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Optare Solo, Stagecoach Greater Manchester, MX58 HCK

Exact Fare Policy Raises More Than £122k for NHS Charities Together

Stagecoach passengers thanked for supporting major donation to the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Appeal

  • Over £122,000 raised by Stagecoach passengers for NHS charity with £19,271.72 raised by Stagecoach Greater Manchester passengers;
  • Passengers thanked for their support in the exact fare scheme, though passengers still encouraged to use contactless payment wherever possible.

The Stagecoach Group has thanked its customers across the UK for helping to raise more than £122,000 for the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Appeal. As part of this total amount, Stagecoach Greater Manchester’s contribution was £19,271.72.

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Northern Class 195, Manchester Airport

Rail Franchising, 1994 – 2020: An Honest Obituary

System exacerbated fragmented nature of National Rail network

Rail Franchising, a part of British railway policy since 1994, was laid to rest at the age of twenty-six. Its original aim was to raise standards across the rail network and improve on services launched by the outgoing British Railways Board. Today, it was announced by Transport Minister Grant Shapps that all franchised operations will be replaced by Emergency Recovery Management Agreements for six to eighteen month periods.

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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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Stagecoach Manchester Enviro200 MX11 HHC, Ashton-under-Lyne bus station

Bus and Coach Worker Support Day: Stagecoach Pays Tribute

Industry united in supporting Britain’s bus and coach workers

On Tuesday, Stagecoach paid tribute to the country’s bus and coach workers, to mark Bus and Coach Worker Support Day. This recognises the thousands of people involved in keeping key bus services running during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Untied Shoelaces Show graphic (SV version)

Less Remembered 1980s Children’s Programmes #3: The Untied Shoelaces Show

BBC Scotland’s early 1980s summertime treat

The fusion of popular music and children’s television programming has been a solid formula for public service and commercial broadcasters around the world. In the United Kingdom, its commercial potential was seen in programmes like Lift Off With Ayshea (Granada Television) and Saturday Scene (London Weekend Television). By the 1980s, Razzmatazz and Hold Tight! assumed that role on ITV.

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The Beano's 4000th Edition

The Beano’s 4000th Issue: On Message as Ever and Glossy

Why, in the most darkest of days, we should never be without The Beano

In living memory, the last week has been one of the most darkest and tumultuous weeks. Within 24 hours of Jeremy Corbyn’s meeting with leaders of opposition parties to prevent a Tory No Deal Brexit®, Boris Johnson (and possibly his unelected puppets) decided to prorogue parliament. The Queen gave him the nod and within days, numerous protests have taken place across the UK.

For this post, we shan’t elaborate on the PM’s contempt for representative democracy. Instead, we shall focus on a British institution which came to the fore during the Second World War. A publication that has had a great influence on the nation’s humour and spawned several imitators.

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OCTD 163 Leyland Atlantean upper deck interior

Carry On Up The Fare Stage

An irreverent look at unusual places served by everyday bus routes

11: Cemetery Gates, 125: Doffcocker, 583: Dangerous Corner, 666: Hell…

From our disjointed list seen above, could you guess which one of our four bus routes is actually a fictitious one? Well, you may surprised to find that the 11 is a fictitious route. Cemetery Gates was the terminus of Stan Butler’s usual route on LWT’s ever-popular On The Buses. The only 11 bus I knew which ran close to a cemetery is today’s 346 route.

In a previous article, we did find you could catch a bus to Hell in Poland. With 666 as its route number. Dangerous Corner and Doffcocker are both in Greater Manchester, near Leigh and Bolton respectively. Somewhere along this soggy (well, scorching at this time of writing) island alone, are a plethora of unusual places that are served by everyday bus routes. Some of which might raise a titter due to their Carry On… style nature.

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The Duffers’ Guide to Rail Operations #2: Sleeper Trains

A rough guide to nocturnal and, mainly horizontal, travel options

Imagine boarding a long distance train by night and waking up in another part of the world the following morning. In another country, or another part of the country. Most of the great long distance trains, for example the Trans-Siberian Express, traverse more than one country. If you are an EU citizen, the journey from France to Czechia is as easy as one from Glasgow Central to London Euston (thanks to the lack of border controls in most of mainland Europe).

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The Joy of Silence and the Music of Being

Why Silence is Golden

The road to Gairloch in the Scottish Highlands
The road to Gairloch, leading to one of the most tranquil places I have ever had the joy of visiting in 2013. Image taken by Shearings Holidays (2014), who introduced me to this part of the world (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

I am probably the last person on Earth to be associated with silence. In nearly ten years of running East of the M60, my online life has multiplied. Firstly, my first online experience was via college, since 1996. This was in The Good Old Days of Netscape 2.0, when Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser was a mere upstart. We chatted to distant friends by email. As for our friends closer to home, we used to go to the pub. Continue reading “The Joy of Silence and the Music of Being”