10th Anniversary Peak Park Rally Sunday 21st 2015
The summer months provided some very interesting rally venues, with the now annual Peak Park rally based at the Peak Rail station at Rowsley in Derbyshire, just near Bakewell, Matlock and Chatsworth House.
The day started very early with a trip through Yorkshire and into Derbyshire, as the sun shone for most of the day, allowing for some very interesting views. By the time your author arrived at Rowsley, it was time to get ready and photograph the arriving vehicles. Three Bristol VRs, two Leyland Olympians all preserved from the NBC period, a Willowbrook rebodied Atlantean, an East Lancashire Atlantean, three Barton coaches, Leyland Nationals and various half cab classics with the old Daimler Fleetline from Chesterfield.
Services were plentiful into Bakewell as extra buses were called into service, with many doing a single or multiple trips. This was because there was a special event held at the Bakewell show ground, which saw plenty of traffic in the town. Vehicles also ventured to the fine surroundings of the Chatsworth House and Matlock. Bakewell allows photographs in several areas on the day, mixing in with the First South Yorkshire heritage liveried buses and the Centre Bus Trans Peak buses heading for Manchester and Buxton. An added bonus was the fly past from the Battle of Britain Dakota from the showground in Bakewell, passing the church and round again, a magnificent sight.
Stagecoach Lillyhall depot open day
On Saturday May 23rd the annual Stagecoach North West depot open day arrived at Lillyhill bus depot, once the home to the Leyland bus manufacture.
It was an early start for your author for the trip across into the Cumbrian landscape, via the A1 and the A66 from Scotch Corner. Thankfully this time round the sun was out, which afforded the pleasant countryside views passing along the A66 into Keswick and Carlise, well near Workington to be honest. The former British Leyland site at Lillyhill in Cumbria was the setting for another annual Stagecoach open depot day, with car parking provided by Stagecoach just next to the bus depot, which was very convenient. As well as vintage preserved buses from the local area, vehicles from Stagecoach's modern fleet were also on display which included on of the Manchester ADL E400MMC deckers. The free bus trips allowed visitors to venture towards Whitehaven or Workington, these provided by classic former NBC vehicles and the visiting preserved buses. The Ribble group used their Leyland Tiger with Duple Dominant body to do a few runs as well. Workington also now has the 300 service which was recently upgrade to Stagecoach Gold using ADL E400 bodied Scania N230UD chassis, which look very smart indeed. After a few trips to various places and catching up with a few friends, it was time to leave and return home. Well after a little pause in Keswick to photograph some more stagecoach buses and then a wonder around the Lake district and passing Ambleside and Windermire.
Heath Common bus running day July 12th 2015
Heath Common just outside of Wakefield in West Yorkshire provides some pleasant countryside photography opportunities for the enthusiasts.
The annual bus rally at Heath common has seen many changes over the years, but it still attracts plenty for the budding bus and car enthusiasts alike. This year there were plenty of visiting buses from across Yorkshire with a good showing from the Aire valley Transport Group, and more besides. I joined the rally when it was in full swing as buses departed and arrived back to the common, with decent loadings of punters, all enjoying the sunny afternoon. My personal highlight of the day was seeing the vehicles departing for home, as owners drove them down the long stretch towards the main Wakefield road. Vehicle highlights were the Wallace Arnold 1959 AEC/Plaxton coach, Bradford 82 an East Lancashire bodied AEC, West Riding classic Leyland Tiger coach, which made its rally debut.
East Yorkshire's Big Bus Day September 19th 2015
The now annual Big Bus day returned to the very impressive Hull Streetlife Museum, mixing modern and Vintage vehicles and the visit of a very special World War One vehicle the London 'Battle Bus'
The journey from west to East Yorkshire was via North Yorkshire for your author, who managed to reach the Humber Bridge in just an hour from Harrogate! Those who know how bad Harrogate can get in the morning will know, however one arrive at the Priory Park Park&Ride site in another four minutes. Stagecoach Yorkshire provided a smartly turned out 13 plate ADL E300 in the dedicated Park&Ride blue livery. By 08:40 Hull city centre was reached and then with a small walk the Streetlife Museum was in view and a couple of buses were waiting to go into the museum grounds. EYMS chairman Peter Shipp was around to oversee proceedings before the event opened, which included the newly acquired 794 YX64Voo the former ADL E400MMC demonstrator bus, with 768 repainted into a new livery for the 103/105 routes. The Volvo/Plaxton Poppy Bus was also attending with VE 70th anniversary lettering now applied. The real highlight had to be the London Transport owned London General Omnibus Company B-Type 'Battle Bus', which was used for the 1914-1918 first World War duration. I was lucky to have a look aboard this fine looking bus, and listen to the LTM narrative about this LGOC B-Type. EYMS 202 the Leyland Titan preserved decker joined two modern Plaxton bodied open top Volvo buses on the free bus trip around the city centre of Hull.