Warrington

My home town for much of the last twelve years, and therefore prone to neglect punctuated by mad photographic frenzies. Most of my knowledge of the local bus scene has been picked up "organically" through constant use of the buses, with only a few deliberate photo shoots. Most of the snaps on this page have been taken in the last couple of weeks as I try to get shots of everything noteworthy before I depart for a new job in Carlisle. Throughout this page there may be evidence of my poor typing skills: I almost always mis-spell Warrington initially, and not all errors get corrected.

The picture above is one with which I am very pleased, having taken it with no flash or exposure compensation, despite the bus being under the roof of the gloomy and cavernous Bus Station in Warrington. It is Warrington Borough Transport 3, a Dennis Dart SLF/ Marshall.
 
 

 28th February

I thought I'd better get some decent shots of the local buses before I leave for pastures new. I seem to have neglected them in terms of photography, probably because I see them so often and never make a special trip to spot and snap them. A few were snapped today before the cold took its toll of my willpower.

A Dart SLF/ Marshall, no 17, leaving the bus Station. This one is the only bus in the Warrington fleet with a dot matrix indicator. Several of the most recent batch of Darts are route branded for routes 20 and 21, but this isn't one of them. It is quite common for them to stray onto other services, as do 1 to 4, which have rather modest branding for route 16.
 
 


A regular Dart SLF, no 18, with no special livery or route branding and a standard Warrington destination display, in Rylands Street.
 
 
 
 


Warrington 42, an early Dennis Dominator with rather unstylish East Lancs body, parked up on Golborne Street after working a morning schools service.
 
 
 

 

Another bit of luck. One of the ECW bodied Leyland Olympians recently purchased from Arriva North West to operate school routes taken over from the same company. No 73 looks considerably smarter in this livery than it did in the Arriva livery. This style seems to suit the bus, which looks nice and shiny, aided by having no advertisement and the company crest on the front. It was rather hemmed in by no 42 in front and the tree.


 

At risk to life and limb, I wandered into the middle of the road to get a shot of the other side of 73. This side has been defaced by an advert.
 
 
 

 

Warrington 235, the last 1994 Dennis Dart with very noisy (I speak from experience!) Northern Counties bodywork, leaving the Bus Station on Warrington's only interplanetary bus route.
 
 


 

Arriva North West 1177, a Dennis Dart/ Plaxton dating from early 1995, one of the original Warrington Goldline buses brought in to compete with Warrington Borough Transport. It is seen in Golborne Street on route H5 to Liverpool, the route letter and number being a legacy of the Crosville operations in this part of the world.
  

 

4th March

Travelling to a womens football match in Warrington on Sunday 4th March gave the opportunity, courtesy of an hourly bus service, to do a bit of snapping in Warrington. It is amazingly quiet on Sundays in Warrington, and most of the Warrington Borough Transport services are operated by the Dart SLFs, the exception being the Northwich service. The light was not great, but I got a few nice pictures, one of which (Halton 81) has already migrated to the Widnes page

North Star P460EFL, a Marshall Minibus. According to Buses magazine it has recently arrived from Glossopdale and is still in Glossopdale livery. This was my first and last encounter encounter with North Star. The bus is operating the tendered Sunday service to St Helens.
 
 
 
 

Warrington Borough Transport 16, a Dennis Dart SLF/ Marshall, leaving the Bus Station. The bus is in a special livery  (including vinyls on windows - yuk) to promote Warrington's (unsuccessful) bid for City status. Although the image is not particularly sharp it is the best I have managed of this bus, and I can envisage this bus defying all attempts to get a truly sharp image!.
 
 
 
 
 

Warrington 248, the last of  the "ordinary" Darts, with Marshall body and dating from 1995, laying over in the Bus Station before taking up a journey to Northwich on Sunday variation 45A. This bus and 247 have very restrained route branding for the Warrington - Northwich routes 43-46.
 
 
 

Warrington Dart SLF/ Marshall 3, taking a break under lights in the Bus Station. I was amazed that this photo came out so well, as it was taken without any messing with the camera. I also took a picture of this bus with exposure compensation, which made the image too pale. More proof, I suppose, that my camera is happier with poor light than bright sunlight.
 
 

7th March

Another photographic foray during a shopping expedition, this one partially spoiled by erratic sunshine and shadows.

Arriva North West 1146, a 1990 short Dennis Dart with Carlyle body which came from Arriva London South. This is all too apparent from the signs inside the bus, the characteristic London Transport "way out" signs being prominent in most of the batch of buses which found their way to Warrington. As a passenger of Arriva North West I was less than impressed when these 28 seat buses arrived to replace some of the 1994/5 40 seat Darts which were the mainstay of the Warrington operation.
 


Warrington Borough Transport 228, one of the 1993 Northern Counties bodies Darts, pictured in sunlight about to turn from Bold Street into Suez Street in the town centre on route 1 to Westy which, as is to be expected, is in the south-east of the town!
 
 
 
 


The unhelpful destination blind is alive and well and living in Warrington!! Dart/ Northern Counties 235, seen above setting out for the planet Vulcan, is seen here going to somewhere called Service. This is odd, as route 18 is a regular all day route, and all the Warrington fleet have correct blinds for it. There are a couple of the Carlyle bodied Darts which have been running around showing either "Service" or "Warrington Borough Transport" for several months, implying a problem with the blinds, but seemingly causing little difficulty to passengers.
 


Another bus which appears earlier on this page, no 42. This time it is seen climbing Golborne Street on a service 15 journey. On 7th it operated all day on "ordinary" journeys as opposed to the school journeys which are where the double deckers are usually found. Some 16 years after first encountering these d/ds I still find it hard to believe that anyone could build such a horribly unstylish body.
 


 

Despite being caught out by the shadows, I feel that this one is worthy of inclusion. It is Warrington 82, a 1988 East Lancs bodied Dennis Dominator which originally ran in Warrington Coachlines livery of blue and yellow with a fleetnumber I can't remember, before being transferred to the main fleet and renumbered 122. It was renumbered 82 to make way for the Optare Metroriders. Of note is the correct destination indicator for route 234, which is basically a positioning journey for a schools service starting in the Altrincham area, something of a contrast to Dart 235 above.
 


In the same spot, turning from Golborne Street into Bold Street, is Dart SLF/Marshall 23. At last, a decent shot of one of the brand new Darts, less than a week old and sporting a nice layer of muck. On 7th I managed to see several of the new batch, including 20 and 25, which have non-matching registrations (Y629GFM and Y631GFM respectively), the others seen (21,22,23and 24) having nicely matching plates.
 


A different angle for a change. Warrington 95 laying over in Warrington Bus Station before leaving to take up a schools journey. The bus is slightly off centre in the picture due to the need to remove the rear end of an Arriva Dart in front of the 1989 Dennis Dominator with East Lancs body.
 
 


 

A more conventional shot of one of the 1989 Dominators, this time 96, turning into Suez Street, on one of the few regular double decker diagrams in Warrington.
 
 


A few miscellaneous shots

Back in time to late 1999, Warrington Borough Transport 210, a Carlyle bodied Dennis Dart from 1990, parked up on Golborne Street at the head of a line of Atlanteans. This was one of the first batch of Darts for Warrington, and had non-matching registrations and less informative blinds than the Warrington standard.

 
 
 

Warrington 26, a Leyland Atlantean with East Lancs bodywork in the Bus Station in late 1999. At this time the remaining Atlanteans were regular performers on routes 20 and 21, later being replaced by route branded Dart SLFs.
 
 
 
 


Warrington 37, a 1984 Leyland Olympian/ East Lancs which originated with Derby, turning into Winwick Street on the same day.
 
 
 
 
 


Warrington 237, a 1995 Plaxton bodied Dart unloading in St Helens Town Centre on 14th December 1999, with a North Western minibus creeping round from behind.
 
 
 
 
 

In more or less the same spot, this time in March 2000, is Warrington 93, an East Lancs Dennis Dominator of 1988 vintage, originally numbered 3 but renumbered to make way for the new Darts. This was a point and click shot with no preparation, the result of an unexpected appearance by the double decker. This accounts for the rear end of the Nip-On Travel Dart ,on the right and the railings on the left. I was waiting for the Arriva North West Volvo coming round the corner to take me all the way home to Birchwood on route X4.
 

Warrington 10, an almost new Dennis Dart with Marshall body operating service 21 in Warrington Bus Station on 25th January 2000.
 
 
 

 

Warrington 87, a Leyland Olympian/ East Lancs dating from 1984, parked at the head of a line of 'deckers on Golborne Street on 25th January 2000.
 
 


 

March 19th 2001 was one of those days when I got lucky. I was passing through Warrington, on my way from work to Warrington Central Station, my aim being to catch a train to York (photos from this trip are on this site). Parked up on Golborne Street was 318 (originally 18), one of the two remaining East Lancs bodied Leyland Atlanteans in the Warrington Borough Transport fleet. Used on school journeys, seeing it here at 5.15pm was a surprise,but I made the most of it.
 

As with 73 above, a quick dash into the road was necessary for this shot of 318.
 
 
 
 

I was so pleased at seeing 318 that I tried to get as many angles as possible. This one was taken from a slightly elevated position as opposed to ground level, as is so common.
 
 
 
 

A brief visit to Warrington on May 20th afforded me the opportunity to hang about in the Bus Station for about half an hour. As usual, most, if not all, Warrington Borough Transport services were being operated by the Marshall bodied Dart SLFs. This one is seen laying over between trips on the Northwich service. No 21 is one of three route branded for routes 16 and 16A, the vinyls on the window being hard to read.
 
 

On the same day the newest Dart, 28, appeared, carrying an overall livery for Warrington and the name Spirit of Partnership.
 
 





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