Friday, 14 March 2008

Part 2: Seaburn-Sunderland-Grangetown-Sunderland-Seaburn-South Shields-North Shields-South Shields-Roker-Seaburn


Please click on any photo for a larger version

Waking up with a slightly sore head from my session at the bar the previous night, I had my full English Breakfast in one of the historic carriages. 102 "Rosalind" was built by the South East & Chatham Railway in 1921.
After a brief walk around the city, I took the Stagecoach service 11 to Grangetown where a bridge provided a good view of the railway to Middlesborough, and I managed to get a shot of Grand Central's 43067 leading the 1230 Sunderland to King's Cross.
Back in the city centre, a very good variety of vehicles could be seen. Most colourful of all were the various route-branded Go North East vehicles.
I then took a brief ride on the Tyne & Wear Metro to St Peter's station where I saw Grand Central's 43065 leading the ECS after working the 1127 King's Cross to Sunderland. It is seen below crossing the bridge over the River Wear as it approaches St Peter's station.
Also viewable from this vantage point was the Wearmouth Bridge. Amongst the many vehicles crossing this was Leyland Olympian/ECW CWR 510Y. This was new to West Riding Automobile Services in 1982. In its long career it has worked for Highland Country/Rapsons, and is currently with Tees Valley.
I also had an opportunity to photograph Metro 4025 on its way to Newcastle Airport.
Leaving St Peter's I called briefly at the Monkwearmouth Station Museum. Sadly, it does not have as many interesting exhibits as it did prior to its refurbishment.
Walking to the bus stop, I managed to get a quick photo of Stagecoach MAN/Alexander 22727 (T727 OEF) on a service 4 to Doxford Park.
After locating the bus stop near to the Stagecoach depot, I had an amazink stroke of luck. I had not managed to get a photo of the Stagecoach Leyland Lynx 29629 (K629 YVN) in service, when suddenly it turned up on a service 24 to Seaburn - where I was headed! So not only did I manage to get my photo but also had a ride on it as well! It is seen below at Seaburn on its return run to Thorney Close.
For the next stage of my trip, I boarded Stagecoach Dennis Dart/Alexander Dash 32788 (P788 WVK) on an E2 to South Shields. We encountered heavy traffic at Whutburn down to traffic lights and additional traffic on the school run. After picking up a lot of pupils, we headed along the coast. Unfortunately, our driver had a brief lapse of memory and we followed the E1 route as far as Marsden before turning to regain the correct E2 route. This, and the traffic delays earlier, meant arrival at South Shields Market was 17 minutes late. I made my way to the pier for a trip on the ferry, something I do every time I am in the area. One of the ferries, The Shieldsman was there, with a notice detailing its withdrawal from service in November 2007 and the fact that it is currently for sale.

The ferry crossing itself is only a short one, lasting all of 6 minutes, and costs just £2 return. It was an enjoyable trip, albeit a little chilly up on deck!
After returning to South Shields, a walk alongside the Tyne for a short distance gave a very good view of the DFDS ship "Queen of Scandinavia", which was loading up ready for its evening sailing to Amsterdam. Capable of 21 knots, it has capacity for 1,760 passengers.
I then took a look around the historic riverside with its cobbled streets and fine buildings.
Heading back to the bus station, I came across these rather novel sculptures!
Time to head back, this time on the 1731 Stagecoach E1 to Roker, on which was Dennis Dart SLF/SDL 35187 (NK56 FCA). I called for a brief pint at the Roker Hotel, then walked back down the coast to Seaburn, taking a photo of the Roker lighthouse on the way.


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