Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Manchester Bus Museum

Malc, Ivan and myself had originally planned to do this trip on two wheels, but decided to go by train and bus. We got the 09:51 Wilmslow to Manchester Piccadilly train, walked to Piccadilly Gardens, where we boarded a 135 bus to the museum in Cheetham Hill.

As ever, please click on any picture for a larger image.

Ivan and Malc in front of the horse-drawn bus

Terrain-dependant variable power for the horse bus

Such a place would need to be capable of miracles...... 

Ivan is the only one of us who is not retired, so phone calls from work even when he is on holiday are par for the course for him. I remember it well and don't miss it a bit!

Welsh spelling of Nefyn.... rather unusual for those days.....

I remember these North Western Road Car Company double deck buses which operated from Stockport on routes with low bridges. The sunken gangway on the right enabled a lower roof line.

Karrier (later part of Commer) engine, with magneto ignition

The rear of an Atlantean bus with the engine removed

The classic London Transport Routemaster earns its place in this museum as it was trialled for a few months by Manchester Corporation, but none were ordered as it was felt that the City's buses should come from North West manufacturers such as Leyland

I remember these two North Western buses; the single decker was of a type used on the Altrincham to Hale Barns service when I was at school and I travelled on them regularly. The Daimler double decker ran up Ashton Lane in Sale on the Sale Station to Ashton on Mersey service.

Malc, former Boeing 747 driver, tries the Daimler for size

The Daimler's 'flight deck'

Daimler lower deck

It doesn't seem like yesterday that the Metrolink trams began running in Manchester, and now an early one is retired to the museum

 One of the volunteers showed us around the museum, including allowing us on buses not normally open to the public, and opening up engine bays for us. This AEC engine is tilted nose-up and slewed slightly so the gear box fits under the stairs to the upper deck.

A 6 cylinder Gardner engine on display

Yet another engine bay is opened for us at Malc's request...

 ....To reveal the Crossley engine within

'Big Cat' themes seem popular with bus manufacturers

This Park Royal-bodied Leyland Atlantean was known as the 'Mancunuian', being developed by Manchester City Transport in the 1960s. It was Manchester's first 'one man operated' type and its handsome design would not look out of place on the City's roads today.

 A rather nice pre-war Leyland Tiger of Manchester Corporation

A Bedford light coach of Warburtons Coaches

After a fascinating morning in the museum, being shown around by a knowledgeable volunteer, we made our way back to Cheetham Hill Road for a 135 bus into central Manchester for a scoop or two of ale and some lunch. For lunch we'd planned to visit one the 'all-in buffet' Chinese restaurants on Portland St, but before that, a pint!

Holts always was a good pint at a reasonable price as I remember from my Systems Programming Limited days at Heaton Mersey, when The Griffin was our local. The barmaid at this pub on Portland Street, Manchester, pulls us a scoop each.

Then it was over the road to do a bit of 'hoovering' at the 'all you can eat' Chinese. Excellent value and very good quality, too!

We made it to Piccadilly Station in time for the 15:38, arriving in Wilmslow just after 4pm where Ivan is shown, above

And so ended another superb day out for us Old Gits. Where next, I wonder?


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