In Pictures: The Last Days of Mercedes Citaro Operation in Tameside and Oldham

A fond farewell to First Greater Manchester’s longest serving single decker buses

Today [31 March 2018] marked the end of an era in First Greater Manchester’s 22-year history of bus operation. Their Mercedes Citaro single decker buses have been retired from revenue earning service. A popular sight in mainland Europe, the Mercedes Citaro bus has had a mixed reaction on these shores. They are seen as the bus equivalent of the ‘Burning Bush’ valve radio due to their combustibility.

Continue reading “In Pictures: The Last Days of Mercedes Citaro Operation in Tameside and Oldham”


Could You Spend a Week in Oldham?

Does Oldham and surrounding area have enough attractions for a week’s holiday?

This week, Northwest Tonight and its predecessor Look North West have celebrated its fiftieth birthday. Via social media channels, the BBC Archive has scoured the library for weird and wonderful regional clips.

Continue reading “Could You Spend a Week in Oldham?”

Middleton Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club (March 2018)

Gibbs’ Boarshurst return results in another exciting concert

Newly promoted Middleton Band sprung into action with a superb concert at the Boarshurst Band Club. Last night [25 March], they also became the first senior band to feature in Boarshurst Band Club’s live concert streams.

By coincidence rather than design, Middleton Band’s visits to Boarshurst Band Club are close to the clocks going back or going forward. Whereas November’s concert was close to the former, last night’s concert was hours away from the latter. Continue reading “Middleton Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club (March 2018)”

Stalybridge Celtic: Your Local Club Needs You

Why Stalybridge Celtic Football Club, more than ever, needs your support

Spectators: The More The Merrier: Stalybridge Celtic Football Club desperately need some more bums on seats and feet on terraces several times over. Image by Matthew Wilkinson, 2011 (Creative Commons License: Attribution-Some Rights Reserved).

On the 22 April 2017, Stalybridge Celtic Football Club were relegated from the National League North Division of the National League. Their fall from the sixth tier of English football to the seventh tier came as no surprise to many fans. The ‘Bridge had had struggled in the lower reaches of National League North in the five years prior to their relegation. Away wins were rarer than UK Number One singles by an artiste other than Drake or Ed Sheeran. Continue reading “Stalybridge Celtic: Your Local Club Needs You”

The Ray Mill Fire: How Stagecoach Manchester Drivers Kept Manchester Moving

How 63 drivers responded to the Ray Mill fire in Stalybridge

Stagecoach Manchester MAN, MX54 LRV, Ashton-under-Lyne bus station
Business as usual: thanks to 63 quick-thinking drivers, emergency plans to keep Tameside and East Manchester moving saw minimal disruption to Stagecoach Manchester services.

Last Saturday night/Sunday morning, a huge fire engulfed Ray Mill on Tame Street, Stalybridge. Built in 1907 it was seen for miles around from many a passing train, numerous 343 buses, and local hills. Like its long demolished sister mill, Victor Mill, it was one of Courtauld’s Stalybridge cotton mills.

Before Saturday night, Ray Mill was home to a number of small businesses. There was also an highly acclaimed dance studio. It was also one of the last mills in Stalybridge to cease cotton spinning. Previous occupants had included the double glazing company Warmshield.

Continue reading “The Ray Mill Fire: How Stagecoach Manchester Drivers Kept Manchester Moving”

Dobcross Youth Band: A Special Sunday Brass Night at the Boarshurst Band Club

Dobcross Youth Band’s video stars sparkle in a thrilling concert – with over 18,000 viewers 

I heard them on my wireless back in ’92/Roy Newsome’s programme blasting Punchinello too…*

In 1979, Buggles topped the charts with Video Killed The Radio Star. On the 01 August 1981, it was the first song to be played on the original MTV music channel. Back then, brass bands had extensive radio coverage on local and national BBC radio stations. With the loss of Listen To The Band, this is no longer the case.

Over at Boarshurst Band Club, today’s video stars – thanks to the wonders of internet streaming – may include the full XXXIII that make up a brass band. In addition to a good turnout at the venue, last night’s concert was seen by more than 18,000 viewers. Over 6,000 of which saw the concert in its entirety – more than the Latics’ average gate at Boundary Park.

Continue reading “Dobcross Youth Band: A Special Sunday Brass Night at the Boarshurst Band Club”

Oldham and Saddleworth Bus Service Changes Extra (Spring 2018)

Further bus service changes and retimings which affect Oldham and Saddleworth passengers

First Greater Manchester Mercedes Citaro, W349 RJA, Oldham bus station
A Mercedes Citaro on the 425 service to Fitton Hill, seen loading at Oldham bus station.

Since our little look at the future shape of Oldham’s and Saddleworth’s bus routes, a few more changes have been announced in the last fortnight. We now know more about the 59’s early morning journeys. Once again there are changes in store for the 408 route (no change there, then).

Like the Tameside and Glossop addendum, please treat this one as a companion to our more comprehensive bulletin (published on 07 March 2018).
Continue reading “Oldham and Saddleworth Bus Service Changes Extra (Spring 2018)”

Tameside and Glossop Bus Service Changes Extra (Spring 2018)

Further changes to Tameside and Glossop’s bus network

Four In A Row, Ashton-under-Lyne Bus Station
A row of MCT Travel buses seen in front of a Stagecoach Manchester single decker.

In the last fortnight, further changes have been announced for Tameside’s bus network by First Greater Manchester and Stagecoach Manchester. Many of which are minor retimings to existing timetables. To get the full benefit of this post, please treat this as a companion of our more comprehensive bulletin that we published on Wednesday 07 March 2018.
Continue reading “Tameside and Glossop Bus Service Changes Extra (Spring 2018)”

Uppermill Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club, March 2018

A great night from Boarshurst’s neighbours 

After the weather put paid to Whitworth Valley and Healey Band’s and Middleton Youth Band’s concerts, normal service resumed at The Mecca of Brass Banding. This time with the first of two Saddleworth bands this month. For Mother’s Day, Uppermill Brass Band came to Boarshurst’s Band Club and delighted us all.
Continue reading “Uppermill Band: Sunday Brass at the Boarshurst Band Club, March 2018”

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