Great bus journeys of the world: A sampler

YouCanAllJoinIn

Any excuse. The best sampler ever made.

You’ll remember sampler albums of course, especially if you’re of a certain age. Budget priced LPs which gathered together the best of a label’s acts, one track apiece. Well this post is like all of them ‘You can all join in’ and ‘Rock machine turns you on’ sort of albums. Except it’s a sampler of bus journeys.

I said a week ago I intend to use my new bus pass for a series of blog posts about journeys around Greater Liverpool. In imitation of, and in homage to ‘The End’ magazine which did the same thing, using the same title, about Liverpool in the early 1980s. So today I decide to get it all started with a few sample journeys to give us all a taste of the delights to come. And also to sharpen my taking photographs from moving buses skills.

Let's go then. Round the corner to Smithdown Place at the top of Penny Lane to catch the 68.

Let’s go then. Round the corner to Smithdown Place at the top of Penny Lane to catch the 68.

Now the 68 is one of Liverpool’s great round the city routes, running from Aigburth Vale in the south, round to Bootle in the far north. But we won’t be covering all of that today. This is a sampler remember.

Crossing Wavertree High Street.

Crossing Wavertree High Street.

Inside the bus. Just to give you a sense of, well, place.

Inside the bus. Just to give you a sense of, well, place.

Through Wavertree Garden Suburb.

Through Wavertree Garden Suburb.

Along Queen's Drive to Edge Lane Drive.

Along Queen’s Drive to Edge Lane Drive.

Turning into Broadgreen Road. And no, we won't be hopping off or in.

Turning into Broadgreen Road. And no, we won’t be hopping off or along as the church frog suggests.

Down into Old Swan.

Down into Old Swan.

Given time I’d get off here for a nose around. But we’re meeting someone in a bit.

Curious how pet care is surviving austerity so well.

Curious how pet care is surviving the LibCons ‘austerity’ so well.

Finally we get through the complex and wonderfully old-style Old Swan crossroads.

Finally we get through the complex and wonderfully old-style Old Swan crossroads.

Along Prescot Road for a bit.

Along Prescot Road for a bit.

The into Green Lane past the main bus depot.

Then into Green Lane past the main bus depot.

Left into West Derby Road.

Left into West Derby Road past a plastic bag tree.

Sorry about the slightly hazy picture there, I’m obviously breathing too much on the bus window.

Right into Lower Breck Road.

Right into Lower Breck Road.

Soon arriving in Anfield, where we say goodbye and thank you to the 68.

Soon arriving in Anfield, where we say goodbye and thank you to the 68.

Walking along past the gorgeous Flatiron pub.

Walking along past the gorgeous Flatiron pub.

And Spirit of Shankly.

And Spirit of Shankly at this ‘not your average matchday’ shop.

It’s an early kick-off today, so the street’s full though it’s only 11:30 in the morning.

So are the pubs. The Sandon here, where Liverpool and Everton FCs were formed.

But we’re here for a cup of tea.

And to meet up with Robin Lawler, a friend from Liverpool Housing Trust in the 1970s.

And to meet up with Robin Lawler, a friend from Liverpool Housing Trust in the 1970s.

Robin’s now the Chief Executive of Northwards Housing in Manchester, managing North Manchester’s Council homes. So we do talk housing a bit before Robin goes off to take his seat in the Kop. We’re playing Arsenal, the League leaders today. Robin thinks we might ‘edge a win.’

I stay on for a bit and buy some bread, obviously.

I stay on for a bit and buy some bread, obviously.

As kick off time approaches the shop is heaving with hungry fans queuing out the door.

As kick off time approaches the shop is heaving with hungry fans queuing out the door.

And soon nearly all the pies are gone. Mediterranean Veg first, then the Scouse pies run out. Then five minutes before kick off time Mia here shouts ‘Only 3 Shanklys left!’ Where else on earth could you hear that said? Such a precious place.

A Shankly pie by the way is steak and mushroom. ‘More or less vegetarian’ one fan tells his disappointed mate who’d been hoping for a Mediterranean Veg. Never mind, as I leave they’re just putting the first of the post-match pies into the oven.

And don't forget, Homebaked's not just for matchdays.

And don’t forget, Homebaked’s not just for matchdays.

Next I make a mistake.

At the top of Oakfield Road I get on a number 14 bus to town.

At the top of Oakfield Road I get on a number 14 bus to town.

‘What’s wrong with that?’ I hear you query. Well, what I’ve got on is not so much a bus as a moving advert. Don’t know what for but I can hardly see, much less take photos, out of the windows.

So here we have a wonderful view of Walton Breck Road.

So here we have a wonderful view of Walton Breck Road.

And following a glorious panoramic view of the city, down the hill from Everton, which you’ll have to imagine the bus turns down London Road.

For this view of the gothic splendour that is TJ Hughes's.

For this view of the gothic splendour that is TJ Hughes’s.

Oh well, that’s taught me. The journey’s not without its pleasures though.

Going down London Road we find that back in Anfield things are going well. The driver of a bus travelling in the opposite direction shouts through our driver’s open window ‘Skrtel’s scored. It’s 1-0!’ Then just as we’re absorbing this joyous news someone at the back of the bus shouts ‘Me mates texted me, 2-0, Skrtel again!’

This is serious. The driver stops the bus and shouts back ‘Are you sure? Skrtel hardly ever scores. Has your mate sent you the same text twice? Check!’ He does and it’s true. Most of the bus swears with delight and we move off round into Lime Street.

Getting off at St George's Hall I find I've been travelling on an advert for caravans at Talacre. Won't do that again.

Getting off at St George’s Hall I find I’ve been travelling on an advert for caravans at Talacre. Won’t do that again.

I cross Williamson Square into crowded little Richmond Row.

A gem of a street.

A gem of a street.

Seconds after I take this photo a mighty roar explodes out of the Richmond pub on the left there. ‘Yyyessss 4-0!!!’ Just crossing the square I’ve managed to miss the third goal, but I watch through the pub window as they replay Daniel Sturridge whacking in number four.

Premier League football has been priced beyond the pockets of so many of us in the working classes. But how the teams are doing still matters so much that even the people not watching TVs in pubs just know. And as I walk across town the city is beaming. They’ll never beat us now.

I love this place so much.

Time for bus journey sample number 3, the 86. And joy of joys, it's a double decker.

Time for bus journey sample number 3, the 86. And joy of joys, it’s a double decker.

So I baggy front seat upstairs.

So I baggsy front seat upstairs.

This is more like it. Making up for the savage disappointment of the opaque previous journey into town.

Along Hanover Street, through Liverpool One.

Along Hanover Street, through Liverpool One.

Past the bottom of Bold Street.

Past the bottom of Bold Street.

Past Central Station, up towards the Adelphi.

Past Central Station, up towards the Adelphi. Bits of closed precinct round here.

Between another precinct and the old Blackler's store to St John's Market.

Between another precinct and the old Blackler’s store to St John’s Market.

Onto Lime Street. Well that might be a bit of a ruin, but it's got more dignity than the awful student housing looming over the top of it.

Onto Lime Street. Well that might be a bit of a ruin, but it’s got more dignity than the awful student housing looming over the top of it.

Yes, student housing still there despite my calling for its demolition the other week!

Past the Lewis's building. Still undergoing its agonisingly slow transformation from a department store into whatever it's supposed to be a new concept in.

Past the Lewis’s building. Still undergoing its agonisingly slow transformation from a department store into whatever it’s supposed to be a new concept in.

Past Grand Central Hall to St Luke's.

Past Grand Central Hall to St Luke’s.

Turning left up Leece Street, Hardman Street, Myrtle Street.

Turning left up Leece Street, Hardman Street, Myrtle Street.

Yes, one street, three names. We’re used to it.

Past Bumper.

Past Bumper.

The bar changes its joke every week or two. This is one of its best.

Up past the Philharmonic.

Up past the Philharmonic.

The day’s getting gloomier, raining steadily now.

Along Catharine Street, crossing Canning Street.

Along Catharine Street, crossing Canning Street.

The world’s greatest terraced street, as you probably know.

Along Upper Parly.

Along Upper Parly.

To the Lodge Lane crossroads.

To the Lodge Lane crossroads.

That’s the Boundary pub there. One of the many places that were once the edge of the spreading city.

Down the hill of Smithdown.

Down the hill of Smithdown.

Past the Housing Market Renewal Initiative Memorial Fields.

Past the Housing Market Renewal Initiative Memorial Fields.

Thank you so much, John Prescott and the local Liberals who knocked down so much that people could have been living in now, without having a clue what was going to replace it.

Anyway, nearly home now.

Raining hard on the darkling day. And it still isn't 2:00 in the afternoon.

Raining hard on the darkling day. And it still isn’t 2:00 in the afternoon.

I loved that. There will be many more bus rides.

This won’t be news to anyone who actually cares, but the final score was Liverpool 5 Arsenal 1. We ‘edged it’ Robin!

See all of the ‘Great bus journeys of the world’ here.

5 thoughts on “Great bus journeys of the world: A sampler

  1. Helen Devries

    I enjoyed that very much indeed…but the highlight for me was The Flatiron.
    There’s a ‘flatiron’ in a run dwn bit of San Jose which has just been restored after years of decay – wonderful shape.

    Reply
    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Yes, it’s one of the very few pubs around the ground to have survived the demolition of so many of the homes around it. I like to think it’s because of its exquisite architecture. Won’t be anything of the sort of course.

      Glad you’ve got one in Costa Rica though.

      Reply
  2. Cathy Alderson

    Having just got MY buss pass on Friday, a volunteer at HomeBaked Anfield and regular match goer,and also having bought that album when I was about 15, it resonated brilliantly with me!!!
    I’m sending it to my ex-pat sisters too! Thanks. x

    Reply
  3. Jan Hasak

    I like the turquoise double-decker and the bar joke the best! These are so much fun. I thought of you as I watched the CBS special last Sunday night celebrating 50 years since the Beatles came to America for the first time, appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was so cool to see Paul and Ringo as soloists and then duetists, and to see who was in the audience. Go, Liverpool! You rock!

    Reply

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