2006 Bus Tour weekend:   
28-30 April 2006   

The report is now almost complete, some more pictures have been received and captions have been received where requested (and where not requested).   Now we await the solicitors' writs for defamation.   

   Friday 28 April 2006

The weekend began with a visit to the Wirral Bus and Tram Museum in Birkenhead to ride on the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society's newly restored tram, Lisbon 730.   A donation a few years ago out of the LUPTS slush fund sponsored the addition of LUPTS TOUR to the destination blind.   With some technological difficulty, your webmaster eventually managed to press the right buttons on his mobile phone and record the ceremonial rotation of the blind to show this display.   A video stream of this momentous occasion is available here.

The event is also reported on the MTPS's website - chick here.   We even got a mention in the July 2006 edition of Tramways and Urban Transit - click here.

The LUPTS group poses alongside Lisbon 730 after its second trip to Woodside with the group aboard.   On the steps is Mike Mercer of the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society who was our host for the afternoon.   Photo: Charles Roberts/Online Transport Archive (CCR30029)
Friday evening took us to the West Lancs O-gauge Group's layout in Crosby.   We met at the appointed place where we were met by one of Crosby's drunks, who claimed to be the Chief Superintendent of Police and rang up to get us arrested.   To be fair, we were looking a bit suspicious, even more so when we queued on a set of stairs leading to an unmarked room.   After about 10 minutes one of the West Lancs members arrived and expressed surprise that we were visiting, as "there's nothing to see."   This was a slight exaggeration.   Much of the layout has been dismantled in preparation for the Group leaving the building after 50 years so that it can be demolished but there was still much of interest.   LUPTS members also came away with boxes full of Buses, Model Engineer and Railway Observer magazines which the Group would otherwise have been left behind them.
Nick Richardson and Alan and Jean Atkinson survey the sad sight of the West Lancs O-gauge Group's layout in Crosby in the process of being dismantled after 50 years of operation.   Photo: Charles Roberts/Online Transport Archive (CCR30039)

  Saturday 29 April 2006


There are plenty of pictures of the Saturday and Sunday events on Paul Hollinghurst's website - click here.

The bus tour took us in Helm's of Eastham (ex- Nottingham) Dennis Arrow N402NRA from Liverpool.

The tour vehicle rests in Baslow during our mid-morning stop.   We actually arrived there early, unheard of for a LUPTS tour.   Photo: Charles Roberts/Online Transport Archive (CCR30048)

The incredible sight of four Deltics inside the same building.   The tour party is being given a talk about the DPS's activities.   Photo: Charles Roberts/Online Transport Archive (CCR30055)

Our first port of call was the Deltic Preservation Society at Barrow Hill near Chesterfield.   Although the 2000 LUPTS Tour visited Barrow Hill, the DPS did not take up residence until 2003, when its own purpose-built facility was completed.   We had  a talk from the Graham Clarke of DPS about these most powerful and fabulous of all British diesel locomotives.   There was also just enough ('not enough'? Ed) time to catch up on developments at Britain's last operational roundhouse engine shed.
Naturally, the invitation to sit in the cab of D9009 'Alycidon' was accepted by many of the youngsters in the tour party.   Photos: Charles Roberts/Online Transport Archive (CCR30067, CCR30068); Hugh Hollinghurst, Rob Marsh

We were conveyed from Barrow Hill to our lunchtime stop in an ex-Crosville Series 2 Bristol VRT of Johnson Bros Tours of Hodthorpe, Notts.   Johnson Bros have two ex-Crosville Series 2 VRTs; we used HTU159N (ex-Crosville DVG270), which was based in Liverpool at one time.

A smiling bus tour organiser, before he realises that about a dozen of the party have failed to board the special tour vehicle in time for the scheduled departure time.   Many of the absentees were in search of gunge - click here if you can be be bothered.   Photo: Charles Roberts/Online Transport Archive (CCR30092)

The bus tour party split into two for the guided tour around Sandtoft.   Here the story of the museum and many of the individual vehicles is told by Geoff Sandford.    Photo: Charles Roberts/Online Transport Archive (CCR30098)

We then moved on to The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft, the world's largest trolleybus museum, for the first time since 1986.   Sandtoft were running a North-East weekend, with a vehicle or two visiting from Beamish and we had our own guided tour.   

Note that our every move at Sandtoft was being recorded by someone else: click here.

Our last, but not least, stop was The Appleby and Frodingham Railway, which is based on 96 miles of track at the massive Corus steel plant in Scunthorpe.   Locos and rolling stock on site are divided between Corus and AFPRS, the latter of which was running a diesel weekend.   We travelled on the last train of the day.   Mark predicted: "The railtour promises to be very special and unusual".   It was.   

A view looking backwards out of the of the train towards The Four Queens (aren't they the house band on Jonathan Ross's show? Ed), the four blast furnaces at Corus's Scunthorpe plant.   Photo: Charles Roberts/Online Transport Archive (CCR30171)

Courtesy of Paul Hollinghurst's GPS, you can follow where our route around the steelworks took us.   The apparently strange route in the south east of the steelworks does not represent the route we took, but is the result of strange reflections from the satellite bouncing of some of the bigger steelworks buildings.

We do pick the most of exotic locations for our group photographs - alongside the recycling bins in Morrisons supermarket in Scunthorpe.    Photo: Charles Roberts/Online Transport Archive (CCR30177)

Arrival back in Liverpool.    Photo: Charles Roberts/Online Transport Archive (CCR30180)

The tour organisers enjoy a well earned drink after a long day's work.   Photo: Charles Roberts

On returning to Liverpool, we adjourned to the Pig and Whistle in Chapel Street.


If you think you can do better (and let's face it, some of these are rubbish) p
lease send your entries to webmasterATlupts.org.uk (replacing the AT)


Photo: Keith Nason

  • “I never knew a radiologist could get a Good Beer Guide that far up a bus tour organiser”.

    • RMcC, Gloucester

  • What is the collective noun for people with cameras in truck parks?
    • NPR, Portsmouth

  • Reports that Alan Roberts has opened his wallet brings out the paparazzi.
    • CCR, Upton

Photo: Keith Nason

  • Is this where you put the coffin? [Reference to Mark's peculiar choice of attire]

    • NPR, Portsmouth [correct attribution]

  • I'm sure I put her in here this morning.

    • IP, Heswall

  • Is there a storage locker for the spare grey rubber window surrounds?

    • NPR, Portsmouth

  • “… and when did you stop appearing in those bank adverts (“Brand new customers only”) and start driving buses for Johnson’s?”
    • CCR, Upton

  • I'm not going to enter this year because you say it's anonymous but then you virtually give the person's name

    • Mrs X, Heswall

Photo: Mark Telfer

  • "Happy Deltic, Happy Deltic take a Pinza or Tulyar too ..."  to the tune of happy talk. [See note 1]
    • DFGR, Crosby

  • Trespassing on the railway can be dangerous.   [See note 2]

    • NPR, Portsmouth

  • Disco Deltic - presumably shed music is something like garage music.

    • NPR, Portsmouth

  • “C’mon baby, do the Locomotion.”

    • CCR, Upton

1 Only if you're musically illiterate (Ed).
2 Not so much a caption, as part of LUPTS's hitherto undeclared commitment to public safety (Ed).

Not originally part of the caption competition, but included here through weight of public demand:

Photo: Rob Marsh

  • "Hello, my pretty one!  Do you come here often?  I'm sure I can pull you with what I've got down here - 5,000 horses throbbing away!!"

    • JLE, Oakengates

  • Rover unveils its replacement for the Babe Magnet Metro

    • CCR, Upton

  Sunday 30 April 2006

Dessert time at the Farmer's Arms.   Photo: Charles Roberts

Sunday lunch was at the Farmer's Arms in Burscough ...
... followed by a drive to Preston for the Ribble Steam Railway.   John and Hilary Jenkins had gone straight to the railway and rang your webmaster to say that the last train ran at 16:00.   By this time it was about 15:40, and we were still a good 25 minutes' drive from Preston.   The Jenkinses managed to get then to hold the train for us and it ran at 16:10 instead.   The power of LUPTS.

The LUPTS contingent poses (above) alongside the train having just completed a round trip and before the stock was put to bed for the night.   In our rush to get the the Railway, one member of the party had to be sacrificed.   Graham Unwin (right) looks as if he doesn't really mind as we photograph him from the train, but you just know we're going to hear him going on about this incident for years to come.   Photo: Charles Roberts/Online Transport Archive (CCR30190)

Important note: 2007's bus tour weekend will be 53 weeks after this one, running from 4-6 May 2007.   Go out and buy a diary now and put those dates in.   Note the difficulty of getting hotel accommodation in Liverpool these days, particularly when Liverpool play at home and the Cockneys need somewhere to stay - book yourself up as soon as possible.  

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Last updated: 08 November 2008

© Charles Roberts/LUPTS 2006