this second part nearly didnt happen as when i arrived i found the yard had changed hands and was all set to write it off as a waste of time and head home untill i spotted something in the far corner of the yard and sought permission to take some photographs which was given by way of intercom so off i trotted across the yard camera in hand to find my subject.
mass transit was founded in May 1998 by Michael Strafford an engineering business, performing contract maintenance for other operators. It also specialised in the conversion of buses for non-passenger use. It then diversified into the operation of school bus services At the time operations ceased it operated 86 routes serving 32 schools and at its peak carried some 15,000 children a day to and from schools across south yorkshire and lincolnshire
Between 2001 and 2005, Brightbus, then known as Mass Transit, had a substantial presence in lincolnshire following the acquisition of the bus operations of Applebys Coaches, Reliance Travel of great gonnerby and the grantham depot of lincolnshire roadcar.
The Grantham operation failed under Mass ownership and was sold to centrebus and the Lincoln area operations to dunn line in 2005
In 2004, BrightBus purchased the long established Leon Motors of finningley that was formed in 1922 and operated buses in doncaster by 2008 the company's stage-carriage work had passed to first south yorkshire and concentrated on school contracts which were based at the main BrightBus depot at north anston
mass/transit now brightbus disposed of the elderly leon and northern bus fleets which had kept the stage carriage and school services going and ran
a fleet of 73 buses, including many English built three-axle dennis dragons and leyland olympians the dragons repatriated from Hong Kong.
painted in what i thought was a very sickly green michael strafford retired at 55 stating ill health but didnt want to sell the business although he has disposed of the vast majority of the bright bus fleet possibly to other school or service bus operators .
today the yard is in the hands of hallam express a logistics company full of lorries and fork lift trucks but a few of michaels buses are stored in the far corner of the yard
all be it in a scrap state i think he is trying to sell these vehicles on for preservation rather than send them to booth roe or carlton PSV at barnsley he also still owns the former depot at leon wether these are to pass on to his family or he his hanging on for a better price i wouldnt know what i do know is like leon this marks the passing of another operator from the bus world.
i acknowlage the author of the brightbus photos
a rather scruffy mass transit bus possibly filling in between school runs heads for hexthorpe near doncaster
a mixed group of bright buses mostly repatriated hong kong tri axles wait for the school run
a wider view of the hong kong tri axles sandwich in a leyland olympian
a hong kong tri axle MIL 55774 stands under the bus wash
hong kong BIG 9823 which moved to leon finningley for a short time and C887 RFE parked at the rear of the yard near the inspection ramps
viewed through the fence american schoolbus GHL 212 V in the yard
as stated bright buses yard is now home to hallam express logistics lorries now park where buses once used to
the former bus repair sheds now used for storage
this is all that remains of brightbus a hong kong tri axle and a few scrap buses stored in one corner of the yard
a side view of tri axle E537AKU and olympian W141 EON which spells leon the company brightbus aquired in 2004
the hong kong still retains its brightbus fittings
and that of its previous company
an interior view of the downstairs of hong kong
looking down the bus it smelt like one of the museum type buses a unused shut in smell not unpleasant
looking up the bus to be honest its in good condition and would make a runner again
where as leon was in a deploreable state
had to squeeze past rammels corner to get the interior shot
SN53 KKH stands in pieces far from its london home
although inside it could have just finished the days service
came across this dennis dominator a long way from home formally with greys from ely
complete with its cambridgeshire county council notice
with junk dumped in its interior
but wait all is not what it seems ...its colour and the sticker insider gives it away it was formally a magic bus based near piccadilly manchester
the american schoolbus GHL 212 V is still parked up in the yard
the interior and drivers seat tastefully redone ..... in moquet...yuck!!
and as i take my leave the bus wash still exists but out of use
mass brightbus still need fitters
and the spirit of mass /brightbus continues to haunt the north anston industrial estate
an early finish today prompted a visit to the former colliery site at manton and the sidings at manton wood
after parking the car in manton pit wood park trying to look like an afternoon stroller and not an urban explorer a circuitous walk through manton pit wood was required to reach my goal and avoid the security cameras in the car park.
after much huffing and puffing uphill through the trees i gained the main path about half wayup the pit tip another path led me around the side and down to the old trackbed when i discovered a flatter way and the tree cover was enough to hide what i was up to.
climbing down the bank with a few choice oaths i gained the old trackbed of the former manton colliery.
opened in 1898 manton was a 3 shaft colliery fully operational in 1907 in 1947 it was part of south yorkshire area not nottinghamshire
closing in febuary 1994 manton was the 29th pit to close and the 8th pit in bassetlaw .
the majority of mantons coal went to the CEGB power station at cottham but after the privatisation of of the electricity industry in 1990 and the dash for gas led to the pits demise.
today the site is now owned by diy giant B&Q some bits of track still exsist as far as the other side of the retford road bridge
the bridge itself is now fenced off as a dangerous structure and will possibly be removed at some point for scrap severing forever the former track into manton colliery i dont think that B&Q are really intrested in products being shipped in or out by train as the bridge over retford road would possibly have to be replaced ruling out trains ever running again at this location on cost grounds.
the sidings at manton wood are still extant but see little use apart from the monday to saturday 17.35 east midlands trains service from nottingham which stables then runs round here to allow the northern rail sheffield to lincoln and lincoln to sheffield services to pass and use the platforms at worksop.
58029 prepares to leave manton colliery with a coal train to cottham power station the cripple wagon on the left awaits attention
the same scene today looking towards manton colliery sees only bright orange B&Q trailers parked up awaiting loading for another journey
sleepers and ballast litter the former trackbed near manton colliery
two views of the former railway bridge that used to connect manton colliery to the main line along with its bridge board
i doubt the safety of trains would be affected seeing as a train hasnt crossed this bridge for 24 years
a security fence and padlocked gate declare retford road bridge an unsafe structure
the rails end at a mound of ballast behind the camera
the single to double track points still in place
having done the batman routine (above) and ducked around the security fencing a small section being available here is the bridge decking with the track still in place not having seen a train for 24 years
the bridge from the other side batman time again !!!
the bridge from the main line end shows the track still connected
but covered by a mound of ballast
a rusty rail in the undergrowth
beyond the trees a rusty rail in the grass continues towards the main line
with another ballast pile just short of the main line
continuing beyond the ballast the rail has either sank or collapsed at this point
dolly signal wp270 protects the main line from phantom coal trains
A 2 ..2car set passes manton wood signal box heading for sheffield possibly from cleethorpes via gainsborough the colliery access tracks in the foreground of the hut and the rear of the DMU.
now overgrown and unused looking towards retford
apart from the monday to saturday east midland trains 17.35 from nottingham which stables here then runs round to allow 2 northern services to pass...looking towards worksop
and the occasional network rail train the signal box was where the boxes are now on the bankside the former manton colliery line turns right here the sheffield to lincoln main line is on the left
and finally the network rail access board
selwyn motors is an independent coach operator in the isle of axholme lincolnshire in the fairly remote village of belton between scunthorpe and gainsborough having previously done this yard a return to barry dodds was called for so a slight detour on the way home brought me to saxon lane selwyn motors is a difficult yard to find unless you know what you are looking for set back up a drive off the main road .
started by his father in 1939 selwyns is an independant operator run by barry on his own predominatly a coach operator although he did have a service route 292 belton to doncaster which has ran for many years and was a saturday only 1 journey each way shopping service using the double decker which ended in december due to a new rule where the buses have to have flat platforms for disabled/buggy access added to this a cut in subsidy by north east lincs cc this rural service doesnt carry enough passengers to make buying a flat platform bus viable and with 2 way travel and isle doing the school contracts barry in his 70,s has decided enough is enough and was in the process of a re mot of the 53 seater to join the 49 seater available for private hire although 90% of the work has been done this vehicle still stands idle.
almost every bus selwyns have ever had are at their yard many have been stood derelict for many years with trees and green moss growing either on them or around them refusing to sell his buses unless he can get the right kind of price for them it looks like a buses graveyard with the bus sheds and buses filled with all sorts of unimaginable crap.... barry selwyn dodd gives nothing away.
if you like this post check out my other bus posts.
one of the original buses in the name of E.R dodd mwb 310 a 1950 bedford ob previously owned by roevilles of stainforth
now 68 years old still stands in the shed at selwyn motors
along with ex wallace arnold aua 435 J.. a 1971 aec reliance passed to dodds in 1976
435 stands at christchurch when she was in service with the saturday afternoon return service to belton
OJD138 R ...a leyland fleetline fe30agr new to london transport as dms2138 in 1976 stands at christ church the bus stands themselves now long since gone
far from its london home 138 sits among the vegetation and assorted clutter in the peacefull lincolnshire countryside
still with its original 292 blind now filled to the brim with clutter retired due to broken springs
hsv 126 ex wallace arnold passed to wray of harrogate joined selwyns in 1994 and 23 years on it still retains its wray livery this has on one occasion filled in for the metrobus on the 292
90% completed 126 just needs a few more jobs doing before she can return to service
DDB 169 C a 1965 daimler fleetline new to north western as 169 shortly returning to belton via sandtoft
having been stood many years is in a very derelict state hardly any paint remains but uncovers it greater manchester origins
another bus filled with crap
844 FKX a DAF nothing else is known about this vehicle apart from it used to do selwyns contract to axholme school before the advent of 2 way travel sits derelict among its companions awaiting resurection.
R681 WRN formally R60 RED a volvo 49 seater was selwyns latest and possibly final aquisition
leaves axholme school epworth on completing a private hire job for the school
awaits its next job the majority of its work is now rail replacement jobs and occasional school trips out
mass/brightbus was the parent company of leon purchased in 2004 and stated in my leon post one of my other to do yards
as this would be a very lengthy report and so as not to spoil the present report i have decided to split this in to 2 parts
the mass/brightbus depot was located on houghton road of the north anston industrial estate some 12 miles from sheffield and were operators of local school bus contacts and a few stage carriage services.
but this yard has a history that goes back even further than mass/ brightbus as it was originally the yard of a former employer of mine northern bus or the northern bus company as it was offically known.
northern bus was formed during the 1986 deregulation era by duncan roberts northern bus challenged south yorkshire transport on the dinnington to sheffield bus corridor
resulting in syt handing all services over to the independent northern bus who ran all sheffield services from dinnington interchange to sheffield interchange and meadowhall along with school contracts for the local authority.
northern bus also ran cross border services between sheffield and worksop in nottinghamshire on the service x85 sheffield to halifax x38 and also challenged a yorkshire traction /west riding alliance on service x32 to leeds with a variation of bristol VR,s bristol RE,s and service coaches for the x32 service everything bought second hand mostly from crosville
in around 2001 northern bus was sold to a bus engineering company called mass transit later to become brightbus who took over the school contracts and stage carriage work for a short while longer.
as i said so as not to spoil the next part of the report i will leave the story there and continue it under mass/brightbus but leave you with some delightfull pictures of northern buses in service.
former crosville bristol RE HRN 108 N stands VOR at north anston depot awaiting repairs or being stripped for parts note the roof from the open top bus alongside.
another former crosville coach 222 WFM stands at north anston with 85 sheffield on the blind this was the cross border south yorkshire/nottinghamshire service to worksop in company with a RE which had been to rotherham.
looking like it has had bodyshop attention elderly ex crosville bristol RE EFM 178 H parked at the depot alongside interloper bristol VR HTU 159 N itself from crosvile liverpool formerly DVG 270 N bought by another school contractor and coach operator jhonson brothers from hodthorpe derbyshire possibly in for repair during the mass era.
The Winter Gardens is a Grade II* listed building in Morecambe, Lancashire. Designed by architects Mangnall and Littlewood, with Frank Matcham as a consulting architect, it was originally built as the Victoria Pavilion Theatre in 1897 and was an extension to the existing Winter Gardens complex, which has since been demolished. The theatre closed to the public in 1977 and was listed the same year. It is considered to be one of Morecambe's most significant features, and a campaign for its restoration has been ongoing since 1986.
photo by zero81
The Victoria Pavilion Theatre was built in 1897 as part of an existing complex. Dating from 1878, the original complex included seawater baths, bars and a ballroom. In the 1950s, the Winter Gardens were taken over by Moss Empires, however declining profits in the following decades led to its closure in 1977. Although the theatre building that remains today was listed the same year, the ballroom building was demolished in 1982.
In 2008, as part of an appraisal of the Morecambe Conservation Area, the Winter Gardens were listed as one of the area's most significant features, as the main example of the remnants of the resort’s nineteenth century entertainment buildings. In 2008, the Winter Gardens were featured on the tenth series of the ghost hunting show Most Haunted. They returned in October 2009, when the Winter Gardens was opened to the public as the live audience venue for the eight consecutive nights of the Most Haunted Live! broadcast.
Preservation and restoration
The Friends of the Winter Gardens were formed in 1986 to represent the interests of the building, and campaigned for its preservation and restoration. In 2006, the Friends formed a charitable trust company, The Morecambe Winter Gardens Preservation Trust (Ltd), to purchase the Winter Gardens. In 2009, Lancaster City Council applied for a grant from the government's Sea Change programme, which is intended to promote regeneration in coastal towns. The grant of £4m would have resulted in the trust receiving matching funding from the North West Development Agency (NSWDA), and allowed them to apply for a further £4.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). This would have brought them close to the total needed to complete the refurbishment, however in November 2009 it was announced that their bid was unsuccessful.
Thanks to Blue for the organization..........
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