The Metro-Cammell Weekend in Manchester

The Metro-Cammell Weekend in Manchester
Wallasey Corporation FHF 451 is pictured at the Museum of Transport Greater Manchester.Tom Harrison

Well I’m happy to say I return after a well deserved break with a more current update for you all!

I still have been contributing to our popular Facebook page, on the weekend of the 20th and 21st October 2012, the Museum of Transport Greater Manchester put on an event to celebrate Metro-Cammell, and Metro-Cammell Weymann bodies, however, we were only able to attend on the Saturday of the two-day event.

I’ve probably said before in earlier posts that I’m a member of a few different bus preservation societies and the like, which gives me the opportunity to get out of my local area and explore some new places and different buses that I’d not necessarily have ridden before.

I travelled with fellow bloggers Daniel Christopher and Sean Gillard to the event on preserved Wallasey Corporation Leyland Atlantean FHF 451 which obviously features a Metro-Cammell body, which of cause has a historical factor of being the first Leyland Atlantean off the production line, however it was briefly used as a demonstrator to other companies in full Wallasey livery, it is now lovingly cared for by the 201 Bus Group who have both the first and last standard Leyland Atlantean’s off the production line for the United Kingdom market.

Wallasey Corporation Motors Leyland Atlantean FHF 451

Anyway to the event itself, upon arrival to the museum, we where greeted with a lovely sight of Metro-Cammell bodied buses parked at the front of the museum most of which where part of the museum’s own collection, as well as a GM Buses MCW Metrobus which is part of the North West Vehicle Restoration Trust collection.

GM Buses MCW Metrobus SND 120X

The Museum of Transport Greater Manchester made us all feel very welcome indeed by catering for the 201 Bus Group’s sales stand of which it would have been unethical to have brought a bus, they had kindly allocated Wallasey 1 a parking space in the main hall of the museum so we could set up the sales stand at the rear of the bus.

Museum of Transport Greater Manchester’s Tea Room
© Daniel Johnson

Once the sales stand was unloaded off Wallasey 1, we then thought about having a spot of breakfast at the renowned museum canteen of which a selection of sandwiches where able to purchase, of which we all settled on having a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea after the chilly ride from the Wirral on the Atlantean.

Two MCW MetroRider’s in the Main Hall

After breakfast was taken care of we decided we would have a ride on one of the two free services that where being provided by the museum, we chose the Manchester city centre route, first of all, to have a wander around Manchester city centre, so we awaited our vehicle which turned out to be Salford City Transport Leyland Atlantean DBA 214C, which was a very enjoyable journey to Manchester Victoria railway station.

Salford Atlantean DBA 214C and Bury AEC Regent III BEN 177
© Daniel Johnson

We then decided to have a look at the bus scene at Manchester’s Shudehill Interchange where buses where plentiful, including a mixture of Volvo B7RLE’s and B10BLE’s from First Manchester, a DAF SB220 with ELC Myllennium bodywork with Arriva North West, a BMC Falcon with JPT Bus Company, and a few Alexander Dennis Enviro300’s with BlueBird Buses.

After around half-an-hour at Shudehill Interchange we then took a short walk to Piccadilly Gardens for a look at the bus services that where arriving there, quite a mixture of buses arrive here from many different locations, what was very evident was the amount of Stagecoach Manchester’s Alexander Dennis Enviro 400’s which where more than plentiful to say the least, the mix also contained various operators such as Arriva North West, Finglands Coaches, First Manchester and others too.

Then we found ourselves walking along the ever busy Portland Street to see the amount of buses flooding into the centre of Manchester, as well as this the idea was to photograph some buses that weren’t parked up in a bus station or bus stop, which found us walking to Princess Street to get some outbound buses heading out of the city.

Finglands TransBus Dart 8.8M YY52 KXL

Once we’d had enough of photographing buses on Princess Street, we then took the short walk to Piccadilly Station to sample some Hybrid Optare Solo’s and Optare Versa’s on the city’s free Metroshuttle service, we didn’t even have to wait upon arrival as there was already a First Manchester Hybrid Optare Versa YJ60 KDV (49111) loading for passengers, of which we boarded to take the MetroShuttle 3 service to Spinningfields to change service onto the Metroshuttle 2 service to take us to Shudehill Interchange.

First Manchester Optare Versa Hybrid YJ60 KDV
© Daniel Johnson

Once we had arrived at Shudehill Interchange it was lunch time so we went to a nearby cafe for some lunch, after this we decided to return to the Museum of Transport Greater Manchester, we had to sample some more preserved Metro-Cammell bodied buses before we were to return home, so we then took a trip on the other free service that I had mentioned earlier to The Woodthorpe turning circle which is situated close by to Heaton Park and provides a great photo opportunity to photograph the lovingly restored buses with a lovely background of trees and foliage.

Bury Corporation Leyland Atlantean REN 116

We ended up riding four or five buses to The Woodthorpe and back with the members of the 201 Bus Group, the timetable is cleverly put together so that two buses are meant to meet at the turning circle at the same time, thus enabling the passenger to exchange bus if they so wish, of which we did do to get maximum ride-ability of the vehicles on offer.

After one last trip to Manchester Victoria on Bury Corporation AEC Regent III BEN 177 with some of the members from the 201 Bus Group, we decided to remain on the bus to return back to the museum to have a natter amongst ourselves to reflect on the lovely day we had riding some wonderfully preserved Leylands, Daimlers and AEC’s.

Bury Corporation AEC Regent III BEN 177
© Daniel Johnson

It was approaching around half-four in the afternoon when the owner of the 201 Bus Group decided it was time to take us all home, so we gladly gave a helping hand in packing up their sales stand, and we thoroughly enjoyed a slow but steady journey towards the Wirral, as we had earlier learned that Wallasey 1 had undergone a full radiator flush to help with a previous overheating problem, but gladly no such occurrence happened on our journey there or on our return trip.

Tom Harrison

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