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Your memories of 20 years of the MDDW!
Your memories of 20 years of the MDDW!
As we rapidly approach the point at which the Merseyside Dennis Dart Website or (dartslf.com as a lot of us now know it as) is coming up to its 20th anniversary, so I was thinking, what memories do you have of the last 20 years as regards to changes to the bus industry over that time?

What is the most unexpected change over that time? For me probably learning to drive a bus, that wasn't the plan 20 years ago but a very good thing that happened!

What 'could have beens' do you remember the most? Things like Go Ahead nearly buying Gillmoss depot back in late 2000!

What is your favourite bus or type over that period? Enviro400MMC or Optare Solo?! lol

Favourite liveries (or least favourite) from that time? Stagecoach Beachball is one of the best but I've always liked the proper original First Barbie livery too.

What is your own personal favourite photograph of a bus taken during that time? Not sure what mine would be, possibly Stagecoach 10534 VKB708 in Poppy livery, the first day it went out as VKB708.

Please do share any memories you have at all over the time, also let me know if you have been 'here' the whole 20 years and if not how long you have been a reader/member of the website!

All members are welcome to add their thoughts!

buses7675
http://dartslf.com/

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RE: Your memories of 20 years of the MDDW!
While i am only 25 so cant comment too far back but i feel i can respond to the Questions in the Nine Years i have been a Bus Enthusiast!

One of the most unexpected changes for me is how many routes Arriva have lost, Back when i started Bus Spotting Arriva North West and Wales had around 980 Buses in Service and i think now its around 800. A lot of the welsh division and some big cuts in Greater Manchester are mostly down to that.

As for the What could have been, Its an opinion that will divide people but Strawberry could have been a good Bus operator but the frequent changes to Commercial Services meant people could not get used to them so for the most part did not work out, Then they gave up most their Contracted routes at once (There where reports on here at the time they had under bidded but we will never know for sure!) then the company merged with SLT and ceased to be.

The Bus type that really got me into the hobby was the Wright Axcess Ultralows, Very powerful and great sounding Buses which i will forever miss!

The Livery i like the most currently is the Stagecoach Beachball Livery, Still looks modern to me and better than the current Livery which feels too White!

As for Photos, I have around 6 Years of Photos but one that stands out for me is Stagecoach Gillmoss Wright Axcess Flonline S102 TNB on the 53A at Aintree Station


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RE: Your memories of 20 years of the MDDW!
First of all, congratulations on reaching 20 years! My first post came all the way back in November 2005, when the site had a guestbook rather than a structured forum like it has now. My post? It was to ask what had happened to the deckers that were allocated to the 79/79D. They were nowhere to be seen. They had been replaced by darts (later replaced themselves by Commanders) and the new Cadets for the 79C. Much needed capacity gone, purely because of one man’s personal dislike of double deckers. Unfortunately, he was the MD at the time.

The introduction of 44 Gemini 2s was probably the most welcome change, back in 2011. I can still remember how strong the ‘new’ smell was on these.
It’s good to see that both Stagecoach and Arriva have changed their attitudes on double deckers in Liverpool. Single deckers are just not appropriate for the vast majority of routes in Liverpool.

The most unexpected change was probably when Ace Travel revived route 38 (Halewood - City Centre). A route that had its origins with LiverLine and then MTL MerseyRider before being renumbered and withdrawn by Arriva. It’s a shame Ace Travel went bust as their 38 appeared to be doing quite well.

A mention has to go to Impera. They had a good go at providing links that didn’t exist beforehand. Alas, like most independents who try to have a go, they went under also.

My favourite bus type in Merseyside has to be the Enviro400MMC.
My favourite livery has to be Glenvale’s initial red and cream. It was MTL in disguise!

Right now, compared to 20 years ago, the bus scene is quite boring. Routes have been slashed, there are only two main operators in Liverpool and their fleets are pretty standard with little variety. That’s what’s missing these days compared to the year 2000. There is no variety any more.

Anyway, here’s to the next 20 years!
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RE: Your memories of 20 years of the MDDW!
Congratulations on reaching 20.

Best memory of this site was in 2008 when Fairway Travel started in St Helens. I think it would be reasonable to say that this operator definately divided opinions (and there was a fair amount of those opinions on here lol!). At least they did a few links which no-one else was interested in.

Compared to those, things are quite dull now. It was good to see new deckers back in St Helens after a long time of being all single deck.
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RE: Your memories of 20 years of the MDDW!
What is the most unexpected change over that time?
Ten years ago I never expected so many of Liverpool's trunk routes would be converted to decker operation when at the time many of the busiest routes were operated by Cadets, Darts and 44-seat saloons. I don't think I'll ever understand the logic of thinking Cadets and Darts were suitable vehicle types for Gillmoss, Green Lane or Speke when neither of those types should have been near any of those depots

What 'could have beens' do you remember the most?
The introduction of articulated Citaros on the Isle of Man. I was very happy when that idea was scrapped!

What is your favourite bus or type over that period?
The ones which stand out are the DAF/VDL DB250, DAF SB220, Neoplan N4016, VDL SB200 and Volvo B10B

Favourite liveries (or least favourite) from that time?
Favourites: Arriva "hybrid", Glenvale Transport (red and cream), Go North West (135/MCR/Orbits) and Isle of Man Transport
Least favourite: Bus Vannin (silver)

What is your own personal favourite photograph of a bus taken during that time?
I have a few

Arriva North West 2345: https://www.flickr.com/photos/n606cka/16212547274/
Arriva North West 4646: https://www.flickr.com/photos/n606cka/17356055192/
Arriva North West 8214: https://www.flickr.com/photos/n606cka/15225597747/

SK15 GZG
2010 | 2345 | 2474 | 2590 | 3052 | 3059 | 3061 | 5314 | 6408 | 6606 | 7537
4164 | 4593 | 4664 | 4670 | 4672 | 4678 | 4836
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RE: Your memories of 20 years of the MDDW!
This was the first forum I ever joined, back in November 2009. I have even kept my Welcome email!
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RE: Your memories of 20 years of the MDDW!
Today is the day, we've made it to 20 years! woohoo!

buses7675
http://dartslf.com/

Light up, light up as if you have a choice,
Even if you cannot hear my voice.
I'll be right beside you dear.
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RE: Your memories of 20 years of the MDDW!
It was just unfortunate that the forum crashed in 2012, wiping out our threads at that point.
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RE: Your memories of 20 years of the MDDW!
Congratulations on your 20 year anniversary .

One of the biggest changes in that time was the emergence of stagecoach in Merseyside and Cheshire , they revived the operations of First group that was near enough out on there feet , the Move from First Potteries to First Manchester being the final straw.

Another change was the demise of Avon which had ramifications on a lot of operations on the Wirral , some of the bus problems on the Wirral stem from that time .

Another operation that could of changed things Impera never really got going .

So all in all its been an interesting time , those last 20 years , with Coronavirus set to cause headaches for more companies i wonder what the next 5 , 10 and 25 years will bring .
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RE: Your memories of 20 years of the MDDW!
A big thank you to everyone who has made this website an enjoyable place to learn about buses throughout Merseyside, the North West and further afield for more than 20 years.

I've been a frequent visitor to the website for the last 14 years and contributed my first photo for the popular news pages back in 2007 (below).

[Image: 8200.jpg]
H107 GEV after conversion to promote Liverpool being European Capital of Culture for 2008.

What is the most unexpected change over that time?
I think my comments echo that of SK15 GZG, I wasn't expecting so many routes to return to double-deck operation after the big influx of single deckers. It's great to see demand has increased over time. I guess the next thing to watch out for is the conversion of traditional diesel buses over to electric, hydrogen and CNG.

What 'could have beens' do you remember the most?
As many are aware the rumour mill runs wild in this connected age. As buses7675 said, the fact that Go-Ahead were so close to buying Gillmoss leaves a lot of 'could have beens'.

What is your favourite bus or type over that period?
There are so many I could talk about but the introduction of articulated buses to the 500, 501 and 699 were certainly interesting to me. I do recall Arriva scoping all sorts of routes throughout Merseyside before their introduction - yet more 'could have beens'.

Favourite liveries (or least favourite) from that time?
Favourite has to be Arriva Sapphire pre 2017

What is your own personal favourite photograph of a bus taken during that time?
I've so many favourites, but I'll hark back to this one of the North West Vehicle Restoration Trust's Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer P533 MBU working the free Boxing Day 80B to Garston in 2013. For me, it took me back to my childhood of seeing these operate the 18 from Woodside to Mill Park Estate before the R-reg Dennis Dart SLFs arrived for that route.

[Image: IMG_7960.JPG]
Wirral Peninsula liveried P533 MBU on Banks Road in Garston, working the 80B to Garston.

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