Hip to See Squares: Ten Great Focal Piazzas

Our Latest Not So Perfect Ten looks at a fistful of focal piazzas outside London

In the last fifteen months, many of us have become more aware of their surroundings thanks to lockdown conditions. Exercising and trips out for essential items have been a local affair. Working from home has meant more people knowing their way around the local Co-op (other convenience store chains are available) instead of city centres or business parks.

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A Child’s Guide to Iconic Buses: The Not So Perfect Ten

Ten iconic buses for beginners – or anybody old enough to pay child fare without an iGo card

For many people, a bus is just a bus. A box on six wheels for 16 or 90 people. A way of getting home from school, or from home to the shops.

These boxes with windows and (in most cases) a front entrance come in different colours. Since the 1960s they have also been mobile adverts. Some of today’s buses look less like boxes and are rounded.

You might think that many buses look the same, no matter what colours they wear. If you look at one bus (an Enviro200) and another one (a Dennis Dart SLF) the differences are striking. Many Enviro200 buses look more rounded than a Dennis Dart SLF bus.

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"Put the needle on the record..."

Twice the Pleasure: Our Top 1980s 12″ Tunes: The Not So Perfect Ten

Our semi-definitive guide to the greatest 12″ singles of the 1980s

Sometimes, the radio edit of a chart single may lack that extra something which the 12″ version has. At the other end, some singles are better suited to the traditional two to four minutes of a seven inch 45.

The long single (in excess of five minutes) can fulfil a few other functions. It could either be a floor filler, as part of a series of different mixes to maintain its lofty chart position, or a convenient addition to the playlist. In other words, it is a suitable length to accommodate the DJ’s toilet break, or anything else s/he may do (which is best left to one’s imagination).

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Top Ten Tea: A Feast of the M60 Not So Perfect Ten

Our Top Ten black tea brands

I probably drink as much tea as the late Tony Benn ever did. After he retired from politics, he went on a speaking tour taking two props with him: a chair and a Thermos® flask. A flask full of tea.

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Optare Solo MA51 AEW, Denshaw (April 2015).

Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester V, The Ocarina of Bus Times: The Not So Perfect Ten

Ten more lost bus routes of Greater Manchester

When did we last do a Lost Bus Routes Not So Perfect Ten? The answer to that was eight years ago. Since then, Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester has spawned a fair number of spin-offs. These have focused on individual routes or a collection of routes in and around Greater Manchester.

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Class 142, Newton Heath depot

Ten Things That Millennials Never Enjoyed About Train Travel: The Not So Perfect Ten

Ten things about British rail travel that people born after 1980 never had the chance to enjoy or endure

For many passengers, today’s trains are shiny and efficient beasts. Some might say they are a little devoid of character. Sometimes they look scruffy or sport garish liveries.

In the space of forty years, the joys of British rail travel has changed beyond recognition. Besides preserved railways, today’s trains look more like buses or aeroplanes. There are some that look exactly like buses that are due to cease operation this year.

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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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SELNEC Futuroute machine

Great Unrealised Mancunian Transport Plans: The Not So Perfect Ten

In 1984, we were promised jetpacks; we got Pacer units instead

We haven’t had a Not So Perfect Ten on here for a while. With urban public transport forever in the news agenda, our latest NSP10 reflects this. Given how Northern Powerhouse Rail and Manchester Piccadilly’s 15th and 16th platforms hang in the balance, we are going to take a look at ten unrealised transport projects.

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Parking the Bus: Bus Routes That Share Numbers with Football Formations: The Not So Perfect Ten

Ever wondered which Greater Manchester bus routes share or shared their number with a football formation?

For many people, New Year’s Day isn’t only about giving up smoking, going on a diet, or alcohol abstinence. January sees the start of a 31-part soap opera known as The Transfer Window. Yes, it is that time of the year which leads to Transfer Deadline Day. The climax which sees Barclays Premier League and English Football League players change hands for silly money.

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Delectable Dark Beers: A Top Beer Not So Perfect Ten

Ten of the finest dark beers – mainly milds, stouts, and porters

At this time of writing we are in the midst of Black Friday, an American import which marks the first shopping day after Thanksgiving Day. Thanks inevitably to the internet it has become an international phenomenon. In these parts, it is associated with people fighting over 62″ screen television sets at knockdown prices.

This year, the media seems to have focused on plush toy carrots instead of flatscreen televisions. I suppose it makes a nice change from Brexit, where our attempts at trying to leave the EU could drive us to drink.

This reminded me of Guinness’ Black Friday ad, stating that every Friday is a Black Friday. Pure genius. As dark beers go, Guinness isn’t the only one on the market; our latest Not So Perfect Ten looks at another ten great dark beers. Which have been sampled by yours truly over the last two decades. Let’s tap and vent our ten barrels.

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