2003 Bus Tour weekend:   
a review    

  Friday 2 May 2003

A party of 15 to the Williamson Tunnels in Smithdown Lane.   Beers in the Belvedere and the Phil.

Inside the Williamson Tunnels.   Photo: Adrian Humpage

The site of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway's Crown Street terminus (more or less).   Now nothing more than a headshunt from Edge Hill sidings.   Photo: Adrian Humpage


Intellectual discussion in the Philharmonic Pub.   Photo: Helen Ventry


  Saturday 3 May 2003

cumberland RE-visited


The trip started in the early hours of the 2nd May at Oxford Street.   Whilst getting stuff out of JC's car the might roar was heard coming down the road.   Said hello to Steve and then loaded up all the expected passengers and we were off.   Twisting round Liverpool's roads we get to Tithebarn Street to pick up the main group of passengers and the first headache.   Is everyone there?   A quick head count suggests one short but on the recount we were OK and off we go to the M58.



Tour organiser and daughter at Pooley Bridge on Ullswater.   Photo: Charles Roberts

Tour vehicle, preserved ex North Western RE 413 (JMA413L), at Burton Services on the M6.   The well worn LUPTS TOUR blind has just been fitted.   Photo: Paul Hollinghurst


Old Roan and too many apostrophes

Pick up 7 more passengers 5 of them booked by Graham.   How does he do it?   On joining the Motorway the kids are organised to hand out the itinerary.   Within minutes the back row boys are screaming for blood as I have put an unnecessary apostrophe on today.   It's a good job the smell chocker didn't suggest Toadies!

Near Preston

The booked stop was for 8:50 and we arrived at 8:51.   I apologised for being 60 sec late and Tom Kane who said they had only just got there.   Now the climb starts in earnest up to the destination of Penrith.   A short stop in Burton was allowed and this gave CCR the opportunity to change the destination of Keswick to 'LUPTS TOUR'. 



Coming off at junction 40 the signs outside the market caused great amusement.   Did anyone take a photo?

Pooley Bridge

As we arrived in good time the tour people stayed on the bus to turn it and allow a brief view of Pooley Bridge.   Chris Poole runs back to get a picture by the Pooley Bridge Inn - obviously.   10:50 Where is the boat?   It's a bit windy?   Kids are running up and down the pier DFGR is squinting for the Boat.   No need to panic (yet).    10:55 The boat appears and a few minutes later we board.   Once aboard the turning of the boat takes quite a few minutes.   This was due to 'Lady of the Lake' having a flat bottom and it being easier to turn on the Pier than in open water.   And it's a bit windy too.   For me getting onto the boat is a relief.   Firstly we got there in good time secondly its not raining and thirdly I can have my lunch and a cup of coffee.   Philip starts complaining about the cold so we go below where I take the 'Through the porthole' shots.   The views are fantastic and there is plenty of room for people to have a wander.   I point out Ullswater Sailing Club where I used to race until the 1980s.   On arrival at Howtown I check that we don't lose anyone and then we are off.   'Raven' appears on another service giving a photo opportunity.   Nearing 12:00 and we look for the landmarks of Glennridding,   The two islands and finally the Pier.   Can't see the bus in the car park though?


'Lady of the Lake' arrives at Pooley Bridge.   Photo: Paul Hollinghurst

On the deck of 'Lady of the Lake'.   Photo: Paul Hollinghurst


On deck again - a more artistic view this time.   Photo: David Richards


(Below: Webcam sequence at Pooley Bridge around the time of the arrival and departure of the LUPTS party.   Thanks to David Ellis, sitting at home warmly, for capturing the images as they appeared.   They are presumably copyright of the Ullswater Steamboat Company.)

Caption competition #1

Photo: Clare Marsh

  • WINNER: The audition for Compo's replacement reaches the final two.
    • Jointly claimed by JC, Crosby and DLE, Crosby
  • "Penny for the guy?"
    • DFGR, Crosby
  • LUPTS people are not a bunch of anoraks.
    • NR, Winchester
  • "You remember when you said that there was nowhere bleaker and more miserable than Redcar ...?"
    • CCR, Upton
  • Craig David was rather disappointed about the quality of entries in his lookalike competition.
    • BP, Heswall

Glennridding and where is the BUS !!!!

WHERE is the bus?   (Can I panic yet?)   After a few seconds the bus is spotted on the main road and JC runs (yes I know its hard to believe) to go and fetch it.   Some people walk up the beck to a suitable joining spot.   Everyone rejoins a quick count and we have gained no one extra and we are off again.   Following Ullswater we catch up with the service but until we turn off nr the Aria Force falls (NT).   The climb begins Wendy tells the kids that one of Beatrix Potter's houses was near this road.   Steve meanwhile is giving the bus big welly climbing up to the A66.   In Postman Pat countryside we have a 47 seater bus and great views and its not raining yet.   On we go to Keswick.

Tour vehicle at Glenridding.   Photo: Paul Hollinghurst


Group photograph at Keswick, shortly before it began raining.    Photo: David Richards


LUPTS: the next generation.   Photo: Paul Hollinghurst


Keswick and cheese

A brief stop in Keswick to allow for beers, gifts and in JC's case cheese.   My daughter was reviewing the site yesterday with me (20/5) and was berating me for not taking a photo as she thought it quite amusing.   I tell you its bad enough with adults but with 8 year olds!   CCR points out the not so fluffy clouds and the group photograph was taken in the car park before the journey continued to Ravenglass.

(Not everyone could be persuaded to participate in the group photograph.)

Photo: Chris Knowles


Ravenglass and rain

The next stage of the journey allowed everyone to view the countryside, look for sheep or in most cases sleep.   The rain started soon after and JC did point out the stone (or was it concrete) urinal and the Mk1 coach on the way to Ravenglass.   We arrive in good time and split into 2 groups.   The first have a guided tour round the engineering facilities and the second to the pub.   Change ends at half time and then to the train.   The rain now was really heavy and we were glad of the covered carriages.   Did anyone brave the open carriages?   All aboard and off we went.   After a gentle start (well there was beer sloshing about!) we start the climb to Dalegarth.   The children trying to answer the quiz and the adults having a good crack!   At Dalegarth a good opportunity to see the train turnaround or alternately duck inside to get a welcome cup of coffee.   It is alleged that Dave Armstrong was seen with his umbrella fully unfurled!!!


Inside the workshops of the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway.   Photo: Paul Hollinghurst


Ravenglass.   Photo: Paul Hollinghurst


Boot/Dalegarth.   The picture fails to communicate how cold and wet it was.   Photo: Paul Hollinghurst


Top comment of the day: "Why have we stopped here?"   (Stick to taking the photographs Paul.)   Photo: Paul Hollinghurst


On departure quite a few steep hills were negotiated on the return journey to Liverpool.   The rain came down and Steve took one side of a garage to fill up the bus.   Why?   Because he could!   His mobile did go mad for a while as the next days bus rally had been cancelled due to the amount of rain making the fields too muddy.

My phone goes and Clare (my wife) is offering to pick up the kids so that I can have a beer.

Journey's end

Nearing Liverpool negotiations are finalised and the kids are dropped off at Old Roan.   The bus continues on the final leg to Liverpool and the Pig and Whistle.   Steve did comment that the bus was a lot quieter. I don't know what he means?


Caption competition #2

Photo: Keith Nason

  • WINNER (a close run thing): Signs of pre-marital disharmony over the choice of nursery for Tinky-Winky Telfer.
    • JC, Crosby
  • Wendy's reaction made Mark realise that his 'Extremely Cheap Woman' joke needed a bit more of an explanation.
    • CCR, Upton
  • Having a lovely cheerful day out with the Telfers.
    • NR, Winchester
  • "When you said you'd bought yet another double decker, I thought you were just talking about the biscuit."
    • CCR, Upton
  • This was the only way to shut those kids up, though eating three in one sitting is asking a bit much!
    • DFGR, Crosby

Beer and who did break the vase???   This was not witnessed by the correspondent so this will have to be documented by someone else.   (It was John H Forrester.   Ed.)   All I know is that my head was sore the next day.


Whilst the bus tour was organised by myself this year I did have a lot of help and advice from two people namely Charles Roberts and Jonathan Cadwallader who helped by sourcing the bus, assisting by coming on the planning tour and of course sagely advice. I would like to thank them both for their help and assistance particularly as it has taken me over 20 years to get round to doing a tour!

Regards to one and all

David Richards (non HVP)

PS.  Good luck to the organiser for 2004

And for the weather freaks amongst you, here is a track of the rain during the day (courtesy of the BBC):


   Sunday 4 May 2003

For a change, we decided to relocate from our usual Merseyside area Sunday lunch locations and went to North Wales for the day.   The gloom merchants (ie Graham) said that no one would want to travel that far.   In fact we ended up with 16, more than we've managed in Merseyside some years.

Food was excellent.   JC made a pig of himself with the Ultimate Chocolate Challenge for dessert (pictured below).  The extended lunch took us from 13:00 until about 15:30.   People then went their separate ways - some home, some to hotels in and around Llandudno, others (including your webmaster) by train into Llandudno to catch the end of the Transport Festival.

Caption competition #3

Photo: Paul Hollinghurst

  • WINNER: "Are you absolutely sure there's no mayonnaise in this?"   (alternative entries substitute 'mayonnaise' with 'fried egg', 'tomato', 'foreign food', 'strange sauces' or indeed most foods other than steak, chips and ice cream)
    • BP, Heswall
  • "Now I have heard that if I eat both puddings I will get an extra one free."
    • DFGR, Crosby
  • Mr Creosote strikes again.
    • NR, Winchester
  • "Should I bother with the spoon or just bury my face in it?"
    • JC, Crosby
  • Actually I'd rather have a McFlurry.
    • BP, Heswall

The latter wasn't all it might have been.   The Crosville event had been cancelled because heavy rain on the Saturday had made the venue waterlogged, but there were other vehicles about.   Return train times, and lethargy on the part of those present, made us decide to have a wander through the streets looking at the traction engines and funfairs instead.

Train back to the Junction where a loco-hauled rake of Mark 2s was waiting to take us to Chester.   An impromptu visit to Chester City Transport's garage (please insert Clarkie impressions) took the day to about 20:00 which was just about enough for anyone for another year.

A steam lorry of some sort participating in the Llandudno Transport Festival.
Loco haulage (just about) survives on the North Wales Coast.
DA pays a return visit to Chester City Transport.   Rumours that the depot is shortly to be declared a World Heritage Site are untrue.

All Sunday photos: Paul Hollinghurst

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Last updated: 18 February 2005

Charles Roberts/LUPTS 2003-2005