Monday, February 13, 2012

Manchester Transport Museum

Until recently I didn’t even realise that Manchester, my home town, had a transport museum. Based in an old bus depot its home to some 60+ buses that rotate in the exhibition hall, as well as row of buses awaiting their turn to be made new again. There’s also a vast array of related artifacts from old ticket machines to a period office, there was even an exhibition stand for Manchester Metrolink tram system with a full size carriage replica. The walls are covered with information charting the use of buses and trams in Manchester over the last 100 years or so.
To say the old bus depot was full of nostalgia would be an understatement, every single spare bit of space is taken up with photo’s, old signs, information and bus company logos. I can’t honesty see how they’d fit anything more in, every turn sees a wall of bus fronts and rears creating an almost maze like feeling in this extraordinary place. Seeing all the old bus company emblems just take you back to a time when the local authorities ran the bus services before the privatisation in the late 80’s. Back then each bus could be traced back to its origin by the colour of its livery.

The one bus that did it for me was from my youth, the sporting cream/orange/brown GM Buses livery that I would board every Saturday morning with my two best mates and head in to town for no other reason that we could, great days indeed. Memories also went back to the rivalry of the Buzzy Bee (as it was nor locally known) and Little Gem buses, small buses that took the very long route through housing estates, neither company now exists. It was just great seeing one of those bright yellow buses again.

If you’re of a certain age like me then you cannot walk round with a smile on your face.

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