An early start but not as early as tomorrow bank holiday Monday when I'm up at 4045 and over to Peterborough for truckfest. Llandudno was bright and very breezy, I feel as if I've been in the sun. The only few spots of rain came in the evening waiting for the Gt Orme run. It was on time and had a good start then about 40 minutes of nothing as a lorry had broken down I presume mid way on the toll road round the Orme which meant that with cloudy sky it was nearly dark towards the end and I guess a lot of people had turned back or never started, there were hardly any tractors compared with the normal turn out. It;s been a couple of years since they last managed the run its a shame it got disrupted. It's time to have a brew and think about bed as I'll be up again soon. Lots of film taken today of trucks and buses but meanwhile here are some still shots
As bad news piles on bad news this week and Britain faced with the appalling May and Brexit combo we can see the economy getting ready to nosedive thus Dear Leader May Blossom's rush to the polls. I doubt if any number of votes will stops the Lemmings rushing to the cliff edge but one thing is certain May holds no hope for Britain and Brexit brings out the worst in Europe. When put in a corner Britain will stand alone as it has done before, the French and Germans should remember that 50% didn't vote for Brexit but the tone of their comments will see most Brits united.
People with nice sensible peaceful hobbies will be undertaking all manner of things over the holiday, for me I'm heading off to the Llandudno festival of transport tomorrow whilst tonight together with friend Sue we are off to a show at the RNCM in Manchester. On Monday I'll be at Truckfest at Peterborough. I'll have another try at Youtube links, we gave up on it the other evening, blessed Weebly throws a wobbly all the time. I did a morning in the garden at No17, trimmed up some pictures for filing and having a rest now for a few minutes. I checked my weight this morning and it wasn't so bad it's just everything starts to sag a bit when you are 65! Non English comments on our Youtube channel are likely to be removed and any annoying or rude comments will see the originator banned from further comments. Most are very supportive in fact 99% are lets make it 100%. The subscription site does exist, I'm populating a bit more before making the launch public but if you want to has a go and be among the first let me know. Blast the Youtube link is still not working I'll have to report it. Here are some recent photos from the South Wales trip in Cardiff
Well it was a long day, my first officiation at a church event as elected church warden, Les' funeral went off well with a good turn out and nothing untoward to disrupt proceedings. They had the wake back in the Bells pub next door, we went in but just had a coffee and had lunch at home, well a biscuit. Many is threatening to do some baking again now she is getting a bit more steady on her legs. The chap from the alarm system was supposed to come this afternoon another reason we needed to get back but never turned up, finally found he was off sick a pity they didn't contact clients on his schedule though.
I've finally managed to get all but 4 of my latest couple of months worth of DVDs loaded on Amazon, what a nightmare and when you ask for help you get a teenager from Mumbai talking techo double Dutch and making it up as it goes - they just win on price and convenience but on every other measure they stink. I've loaded another film on the subscription channel and more trailers on the regular PMP Youtube site. We are up to date on most items on the whole other than the Lower Peover pageant film on 16mm to copy and a rake of 8mm film to copy. I'm going to do some gardening Saturday morning, friend Sue arrives pm and we are off for a show and dinner at the RNCM in Manchester for the evening. Well Corrie is back on again in a few minutes, it's my relaxing time perhaps get Mandy a G&T and myself a pastis. Here are links to some of our recent release trailers, ooops Youtube link not working familiar territory on Weebly hosted sites - covers instead
The jobs are piling up but I did take advantage of the early sunshine and went down to the A500 west which leads to Crewe and got an hour of film. I've edited the DVDs for the three locations I filmed yesterday in South wales. I've started to prune out the better pictures ready to trim up and file from the N Ireland South Wales etc. I need to get some other jobs done, I'll hopefully spend some time in the garden tomorrow, tonight it's the PCC agm at the village school when I'm officially chosen as church warden, I'm sworn in by the arch deacon, it looks like being at Stockport as I'm away in the Balkans when the more local ceremony is held. The forthcoming bank holiday weekend so hot on the tail of Easter is causing a lot of problems with getting meetings arranged, I might stand in next week at the builders site meeting on the church toilet build as at least two of our usual number are away.
We are well on top of all orders, there is a steady trickle coming in but it's gone quiet on the net, I haven't added anything to our new subscription Youtube channel so far this week, another job along with copying the 16mm film of the Lower Peover Pageant held over 30 years ago which we may resurrect for 2019 and sell DVDs of the old one as a money raiser. I got today's DVD orders cleared before the post office closed so I feel a little clearer for tomorrows tasks. I've checked the weather and Llandudno should be dry if cloudy and breezy on Sunday then ditto although less wind for Truckfest at Peterborough on the bank holiday Monday. I saw my first load of golden oldie trucks making their way in the direction of North Wales. We have a concert on Saturday night in Manchester and eating at the RNCM at Brodsky's. Here are photos from todays filming near Crewe.
Up at 5am, out on the road by 5.30, roadworks a pain as ever and traffic still grinds to a halt by Walsall even at an early hour, so much for the SMART motorways. The head of the valleys road courtesy the EU continues to be a pain as they blast what is left of rocks in it's path in an effort to get this lonmg term project finished before we jump out of the plane named Brexit- shame it's at 30,000 without a parachute. I arrived at Merthyr about 8.40, there wasn't much of a rush hour to witness but it's fairly busy all the time, there were many oddballs wandering around, the sick of mind, the weary, the drunk, just another day in the life of aimless Methyr where a few new paving slabs aren't enough sticking plaster for a deep malaise. On the bus side there no longer seem to be any deckers working from the bus station at least not while I was there, this marks it down the ranks no end and really there is little to set the blood racing.
The next stop was at Pontypridd, casual street violence where not even the dossers would dare to tread, it's a shame decent people have to survive and live their lives among such squalor. The bus side saw about 6 or may be 7 operators with a good assortment of buses and really as always doesn't let the place down with NAT continuing to provide the odd deckers. Time was pacing by and no chance of stopping for a brew as I had yet to reach Cardiff. There were the usual friendly bus drivers, full marks to all on that score. There were millions of French people falling out of coaches all over the place, storming into the stadium and out again 5 minutes later, I wonder what that's all about. There were random chavs providing the annoying backdrop and the weather which had started off with snow across the Midlands had been bitterly cold and seen some sleet, snow and clouds rolling around annoyingly disrupting the exposure when I use manual settings so I don't get 'rolling' destination blinds, one thing London is good for it's buses use the old fashioned roller blinds still. There were a lot of buses to be seen, time eventually started to overtake me and it was nearly 4 pm when I set off home just stopping to report progress from the services before Birmingham and I made it back to catch the end of Emerdale soap. Photos from Merthyr Tydfil from our first stop this morning.
Greetings friends, family, customers worldwide, we are still catching up with scenes from the trip to Northern Ireland over the past week and I'm rapidly getting through the editing stages of the 6 films with just one left to do. I've updated the list and will upload on the site asap. I will try and get the covers for the latest DVDs done then I can get them listed on the shop. It's quite a busy week, we've a funral at which I'm officiating on Friday, we have the agm of the PCC at which I will be elected officially as St Oswalds church warden joining my friend and mentor Keith Phillips who is desperately trying to arrange business requirements to join with us at the funeral . We are tied up Saturday evening at the RNCM at Manchester and then Sunday I'll be filming at Llandudno Sunday and I've just booked my Truckfest ticket online for Monday. All that should make the current 7 days one of the richest for film in the year so far. We will continue with Ireland next giving you the scenes from Dublin of the buses. There will be a lot of trailers going on Youtube probably overnight today. All the DVD orders were cleared by lunch time and also the large batches of cine film.
It was a successful trip to Northern Ireland getting all the film we had anticipated albeit not a very profitable outing with the only customers at Cultra our band of loyal regulars who would probably have caught up with us online or other events. That said the weather remained ok for much of the time never sparkling and really let the side down after some earlier brightness had graced the Ulsterbus at 50 rally at the transport museum - when steady light rain came it was 3pm and no event really stands a chance of surviving such a late dampener on proceeding. We had a really good stay at our latest favouri8te at Comber where the Old Schoolhouse vies with Browns in Derry to take the annual accolades for cuisine in Northern Ireland. I was 'spotted' by our great band of followers in Derry and Belfast plus whilst filming truck in Belfast. As the Cultra event faded out so early we were left with a considerable amount of time before our departure from Belfast to Stranraer, it was a good job we'd brought books with us. The driver from the port to home is a very long haul and although much improved and quiet in the late night hours it still took about 4.5 hours to get back including stops for fuel and getting fresh milk.
The Cultra rally was probably about the same size as 2015, I heard that last year numbers were down on that, a pity that deckers didn't feature in the preserved ranks and that there was only minimal support from the ROI with high fuel prices being blamed. I think there was about 50 buses in the end with three older vehicles parked inside the museum grounds but readily accessible for photography. Ulsterbus staff proved just as friendly and accommodating as they have since I first visited in 1979, this time I went round Ballymena depot and bus station which rounded off the features mainly based on Derry where i was fortunate in meeting a local enthusiast who pointed out the the gem of a terminus used by North West Busways which is well away from the main bus station. Dublin was still in the midst of tram expansion road works with chaotic traffic of taxis and buses mainly although there were new opportunities for photography just as others vanished.
I'm planning a truck filming trip to ROI later this year as they are so popular there much more so than buses and we have the rally at Dun Laoghaire at the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of October using the former Stena premises. Stena lounges catering has plummeted to new depths although the standard of staff service and maintenance on the vessels looked and felt good.It was a very tiring day and we were shattered after the late arrival homer in the early hours and then having to be ready for warden duties at church so there was little time to waste. We have a plethora of photos to bring you as well as being busy with a landslide of cine film sales and the usual tranche of DVD postal orders after publication of Buses. Our next event is the Taunton running day in May. We shall be filming at Llandudno festival this bank holiday weekend which reminds me I should book my Truckfest tickets online tonight , that many people prebook that the cash purchase queue is actually quite short on the day We've not really got to grips with the UK election and to us Labour is the only option under Jeremy Corbyn sand his considered and fair vision of the way forward as we wade through the quagmire left by the Tories and their home goal of Brexit..Lets have the Ulsterbus at 50 rally first tonight. My list of to do jobs got longer again as having just put the 16mm cine projector away I unearthed the St Oswalds pageant from many years back to find it's on 16mm, just when I thought i'd got down to 8mm again.
Superb food last night and a lighter breakfast this morning although my tummy has settled after an upset with the giant pills I'm taking, the toe looks much better and hasn't given me an ounce of trouble all day. The weather could have been better it's stayed on the edge most of the time but never become impossible so i guess in Ireland that's as good as you can expect especially in the north. Today we headed straight over to Derry after breakfast and had a brew in debenhams before i got the camera set up. Almost immediately met one of our young fans and with his help i discovered the north west yeasts terminus which is well away from the normal bus station. Nothing of tremendous note but i made start progress filming and after bidding our friend farewell and thanking him for his assistance we then made our way to Ballymena where i managed to get the rest of the programme on ulsterbus finished and then back to our hotel or i should say restaurant with rooms near comber on the banks of through. The weather will be cloudy tomorrowClick the rally at cultra but hopefully dry, we look forwards to seeing our friends from this area and we'll have DVD and photo stocks of Northern Ireland as well as the ROI.. to orris evening we head home after the rally.
We had a hearty meal at the poachers pocket last night and i couldn't really face a full Ulster try this morning but i did my best, i think the large penicillin pills for my toe are making my tummy delicate. The toe hasn't been a problem at all today so i guess the pills are workjng. We had breakfast at 8am and then headed into the city, i was spotted by one of our customers within minutes of setting a up in Donegal Square. I did very well for shots and the best was a breakdown recovery with a tow away. I met Mandy at marks and Spencers before heading down to my favourite truck filming spot where i had about three hours with some shots lasting up to twenty minutes. When I'd finished we headed back to strangford Lough and just past the a old schoolhouse where are are staying a in an island on causeways in the Lough which house a lot of ancient ruins and is a week with some interesting wild flowers a and lots of birds. Having a brew and looking forward to dinner by celebrety chef Will brown. Tomorrow I well be heading west to Derry.Click
An early start up at five am and soon covered the very quiet roads to Holyhead although lots of lorry convoys heading inland from the overnight ferries. A very calm Irish sea but under leaden sky quite black and lots of rain which didn't hire well for filming in dublin. Actually it wasn't bad the rain stopped. We parked a up way up at the port end and i walked all the way down to the road works around trinity college and the area was still buried in day runs with the tram extensions although the poles are now up a track all in so progressing sliwly. I found a couple a of new angles which take in the road works but get all the services which will be a good historic context. Anyway i got wrapped up before four pm got a back to Mandy in the car and then took advantage a of the tunnel and motorways for the fastest trip we've ever done up to the north. The restaurant at the hotel wasn't open tonight so was had dinner at the gastro pub down the road meteoric ham hock plus two puddings and a couple of points of local iPad ale. Tomorrow after an Ulster try breakfast I'll start with the buses in Belfast and then turn to the lorries. Friday we'll go over to Derry and then try and catch the heritage convoy on its travels perhaps at Bangor.
PMP Sponsors of bus rallies for 25 years.