Buzzin’ !

‘Buzz’ Pass Trip 13 – an extra, spontaneous adventure for 2018.

The Manchester Bee Trail has opened my eyes! As a Manchester lass, born and bred, I thought I knew pretty much everything about the City, but I was surprisingly mistaken.

The Football Museum, Manchester Youth Zone, Wythenshawe Forum, Croxton Park, The Aquatic Centre, Etihad Stadium, The People’s Museum, The Mackie Mayor, Saddler’s Yard, Clayton Hall and Plant Hill Park are just some of the places I have discovered whilst following the trail.  It has also been an absolute joy to rediscover old haunts and regions where redevelopment and rejuvenation of the City have taken place and magically transformed many of them from derelict and dilapidated places into modern, inviting community areas for living, working and socialising – Angel Meadow, Spinningfields and Ancoats are wonderful examples.

I was determined to travel by free Bus Pass to find the whole swarm – 101 big bees and 131 little bees, designed & decorated by local artists, schools and community groups and which will be auctioned off in October to raise money for the Lord Mayor’s fund. It proved to be an amazing adventure which took 9 days to complete and involved travelling on 26 Metrolink trams, 20 buses and 1 train, plus miles of walking! At each venue I managed to persuade passers-by to take my photograph and handed out dozens of cards advertising the #1PieceOfRubbish campaign.

Along the way I met many very interesting and lovely people, e.g. a man from London spending 2 days in Manchester specifically to photograph the bees, a married couple from Dundee at the Lowry Theatre, lots of families with very excited children, a mum from the Isle of Wight visiting her son, Karen who ‘buzily’works in the Bee Shop at the Corn Exchange and a Polish lady who took my photograph at my 101st bee on Oxford Road and gave me a huge hug!

This project has been a fantastic success and brought people of all ages, colours and creeds together, sharing their interest, enthusiasm and excitement at every newly-discovered bee.  Congratulations, Manchester, for creating a BUZZ in the City and reinforcing my feeling of being ‘Manc & Proud’!

 

 

‘Bee Buzy’ in the City….Day 3

‘Bee Buzy in the City. Please pick up #1PieceOfRubbish every day!

Day 3: Spinning Fields, People’s History Museum, New Bailey, Manchester Art Gallery, Royal Exchange Theatre, Corn Exchange, Football Museum, Greengate Square

16 big bees, 20 little bees

It’s The Final Countdown…!

It’s The Final Countdown…!

22 buses, 4 trams, 6 trains, 8 counties, 4 Hanover House guest rooms, 3 libraries, 16 Wetherspoons and glorious sunshine over 7 days constituted Bus Pass Trip 12 which was my fourth and final trip this year.  Rail fares and accommodation totalled £130 and, as ever, bus travel was completely free. I ventured through Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Greater London and Kent and spent progressively more money the further south I went.  I dread to think what my Wetherspoons bill will amount to!

The 3 Local Studies libraries I visited (to research theatres where my great-grandmother had performed) were in Northampton, Reading and Croydon and produced varied amounts of information. I discovered that The Royal theatre in Northampton is still a ‘working’ theatre, though it was closed for renovation at the time, so a return visit to attend a future performance is a ‘must’.

My Hanover sleep-overs were in Loughborough, Northampton, Henley-on-Thames and Windsor, where I managed to watch the changing of the guard at Windsor Castle. It was an incredibly hot day and I certainly didn’t envy the guardsmen wearing their red double-breasted tunics and bearskins.  From there I travelled to Folkestone to spend a couple of nights with a friend before returning, 1st Class, by train to Manchester! I switch from the ridiculous to the sublime!

In addition to 2 beach cleans I picked up dozens of pieces of rubbish and, as most of you are aware, posted very exciting pictures of them on Social Media. Ha-ha!! I engaged in ‘rubbish’ conversations with some very interesting people, including Dave Brubeck’s daughter-in-law, Catherine (wife of Darius Brubeck, Jazz pianist in the Darius Brubeck Quartet) and Catherine Bell, head of Broadcast Systems, Europe & Africa, for Fox Networks Group. Some TV publicity for my new role as Litter Heroes Ambassador for Keep Britain Tidy would be nice!

I’m always very conscious that I rarely have either time or Wi-Fi connection to respond to all your messages, likes and retweets, but I assure you that I’m always very grateful for your continued support and encouragement. Once again, I’ve visited many new places, twisted the arms of new recruits and had the greatest fun.  It’s a rubbish life but someone has to do it!!!!

And finally, to all you wonderful ‘eco-warriors’ doing your bit, please remember to never let small minds convince you that your dreams are too big!

Thank you and much love to you all.

Rubbish Ruth.