Saturday 30 April 2016

Saturday 30th April Heritage

Bolton 66 at the Heritage Tram Tour stop at Bispham in the morning
The Heritage Tour output for the enhanced timetable on Saturday 30th April was duty A: Marton Box 31, duty B: Balloon 701, duty C: Fleetwood Box 40, duty D: Railcoach 680, duty E: Bolton 66 and duty F: Twin Set 272/T2. The weather was a mixture of cloud and sunshine, with some hail and rain thrown in for extra measure in the morning! The weather gradually improved as the day went on, but unfortunately the decision to replace planned Boat 227 with Railcoach 680 had been made earlier on when the weather was rather more inclement.

Marton Box Car 31 and Bolton 66 pass each other near to the Tower
Twin Set 272/T2 heading south at North Pier
Balloon 701 approaching the southbound Heritage Tour stop at the Cabin
Fleetwood Box 40 crossing from the centre track to the southbound running line at Bispham
Railcoach 680 arriving at Bispham with Flexity 013 approaching the southbound LRT platform

Friday 29 April 2016

723 is 'scruffy' no more

Balloon 723 at Bold Street at the end of its first Heritage Tour run since being repainted
Balloon 723 was relaunched into Heritage Tour service today after being repainted in 1980s livery once again. 723 left Hopton Road at 1615, and then ran through to Fleetwood for its inaugural run in the new paint scheme. More trips were made up and down the tramway, before the tour was scheduled to conclude back at the depot at 2125.

Balloon 723 passing the clock tower at Ash Street in Fleetwood on its first run north from the depot

Saturday 23 April 2016

2016 UK Coach Rally

Johnson Brothers BJ16KYY, a Mercedes-Benz Tourismo, parked in the line-up on Middle Walk

The 62nd annual UK Coach Rally was held in Blackpool over the weekend of the 23rd & 24th April, with the maximum number of fifty coaches being entered. Since the first event took place at Clacton in 1955, the UK Coach Rally has acted as a showcase for coaching and coaching people. The 2016 rally began on the Saturday, with a road run commencing from Middle Walk in Blackpool at 0800 and returning there about two hours later. The next item on the agenda consisted of individual driving tests for each of the 50 entrants, this taking place on the lower promenade below the Metropole Hotel, close to the North Pier. After the drivers had completed their driving tests each coach then made its way to the Tower Headland to be parked up for display with the rest of the entrants.

Weardale's Van Hool Astromega waiting on the ramp, while their Irizar i6 is taking the driving test below

Parrys International OU15ZWP, a Neoplan Starliner 2, which won the Coach of the Year trophy

Cooper's Tourmaster Travel B11CTT, a Volvo B11R with Plaxton Panther 3 bodywork

Webbs Coaches JUE860, a 1950 Bedford OB with Duple Vista bodywork

Bretherton's Gold Line Tours JB16GLT, a Volvo B11R with Volvo 9700 bodywork

Galleon Travel of Harlow YK15OKA, a 2015 14m VDL SBR-4000 with a Synergy 86 seater body

Bibby's PB16BYS, a Van Hool bodied DAF. Bibby's won the Highest Placed Coach Operator award

Galleon Travel of Harlow YN15YTP, an integrally built Irizar i6 coach

Holmeswood Coaches HC15HWC, a MAN RR4 with Carrozzeria Barbi Galileo HDH bodywork

Megabus 55022 (YX16NWV), a 15 metre long Volvo B11R with Plaxton Elite i bodywork, new in 2016

Friday 22 April 2016

Great War Steam Fair

One of the highlights of the event was the debut in service of newly restored 1907 Sheffield tramcar 264
The annual Great North Steam Fair that takes place at Beamish museum each April was retitled the "Great War Steam Fair" this year, in order to commemorate 100 years since the First World War. The theme was for WW1 era vehicles of all types to be invited to take part in the event, this gave a unique opportunity to observe a particularly elderly collection of vehicles in action around the site at Beamish during the four day event that ran from 7th to 10th April.

Saturday 9th April saw the return to passenger service of Sheffield 264 after an extensive overhaul and repaint, the tram having last seen use at Beamish over a decade ago. Sheffield balcony car 264 was delivered new in 1907 by the United Electric Car Company at Preston.

The weather was extremely variable over the four days of the fair, ranging from torrential rain and flooding through to glorious sunshine on the last day.

Blackpool Standard 147 and a replica double-deck bus meet at the Pockerley tram stop
Sunderland 16 passing a Ford Model T flatbed lorry at the Pockerley tram stop
Newcastle tram 114 leaving the Edwardian town at Beamish
1907 Sheffield tramcar 264 approaching the stop for the museum main entrance
An immaculate 1909 Commer RC estate bus
A 1917 Foden steam lorry in War Department markings in the colliery yard
A line-up of old vehicles in the Edwardian town at Beamish
A 1917 AEC Y Type War Department lorry driving along the Edwardian street at Beamish
A 1915 War Office Subsidy Dennis lorry needing some attention on the perimeter road at Beamish
A gathering of WW1 lorries in the colliery yard at Beamish
A 1916 Albion A10 War Department lorry transporting troops around the site at Beamish
A collection of steam vehicles in the colliery yard at Beamish
A collection of steam vehicles in the coal merchants yard at Beamish
Simplex 40HP armoured four-wheel petrol engined loco LR3090
A replica of 1874 Lewin 0-4-0T steam locomotive Samson at Beamish

Tuesday 19 April 2016

New overall bus advert for Freeport

Former Cardiff Bus Dennis Dart W363 VHB on Victoria Road in Cleveleys heading for Poulton
Former Cardiff Bus Dennis Dart W363 VHB entered service today with Catch22Bus Ltd in a pale green overall advert livery for Freeport Fleetwood. 363 has joined sister vehicles W366 & W369 VHB on the new service 24 bus route that operates between Cleveleys and Poulton.

Dennis Dart W363 VHB leaving the St Chad's Church bus stop on Ball Street in Poulton-le-Fylde
Former Cardiff Bus Dennis Dart W363 VHB on Tithebarn Street in Poulton on the service 24

Sunday 10 April 2016

Standard 147 at Beamish

Standard 147 at Pockerley with a 1917 Foden steam wagon in War Department markings passing by
On 29th February Standard 147 departed Blackpool for the long journey north to the Living Museum of the North at Beamish in County Durham. Blackpool 147 was being exchanged for long term Beamish resident Marton Box Car 31, which arrived in Blackpool two days later in order to take its place in the Heritage Tram Tour line-up for the 2016 season. Standard 147 was one of the four trams in daily use during the Great War Steam Fair event at Beamish, that ran from 7th to 10th April.

Standard 147 at the tram stop for Home Farm and the Pit Village at Beamish
Standard 147 passing Ravensworth Terrace in the Edwardian Town at Beamish
Standard 147 climbing the steep bank on the approach to the main entrance at Beamish
Standard 147 in rural surroundings at Beamish on Sunday 10th April

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Service 24 via Thornton

Dennis Dart X617 JCS passing over the level crossing on Hillylaid Road in Thornton
Catch22Bus Ltd began operating their new service 24 bus route on Monday 4th April. Service 24 runs between Cleveleys Bus Station and Poulton via Thornton Village, operating on a half hourly frequency. Two former Cardiff Bus Dennis Darts have been painted in all-over turquoise livery for use on the new route, these being W366 & W369 VHB.

Former Cardiff Bus Dennis Dart W369 VHB on Station Road in Thornton heading for Cleveleys
Dennis Dart X617 JCS on Alexandra Road in Thornton heading towards Poulton on service 24
Former Cardiff Dennis Dart W366 VHB passing the Bay Horse pub in the centre of Thornton on service 24

Sunday 3 April 2016

Ribble Running Day

Former Ribble Leyland Atlantean 1805 (RRN 405) running on service 22 at Queens Terrace in Fleetwood
Unfortunately a prior engagement had prevented me from attending the Lancastrian Transport Trust's Ribble Running Day on the Fylde Coast on Sunday 3rd April, however I did eventually manage to squeeze in the final round trip from Cleveleys to Fleetwood and return later in the afternoon. The bus used on the last Fleetwood run was Leyland Atlantean 1805 (RRN 405) with lowbridge Metro Cammell bodywork, new to Ribble Motors in 1962. The other two buses in use during the running day were former Ribble Bristol VRT 1997 (OCK 997K) and Bristol RESL 366 (OCK 366K).