Bus Pass Trip 14 – 01-06/04/2019

Bus Pass Trip 14 – North-East Circular
Just when I think I can’t improve on my previous trips I’m proven wrong! Last week I spent 6 days in glorious sunshine (albeit somewhat cold) exploring the beautiful countryside of North Lincolnshire, Humberside, East Riding, North Yorkshire, Cleveland, County Durham and West Yorkshire before returning to find the hills around Oldham bathed in sunshine too! Everywhere there were lambs in the fields, daffodils along the roadsides and blossoms on the trees, all enhancing the most breath-taking scenery.
To start my trip I caught the train to Hull and from thereon it was ‘bus pass’ travel to Grimsby, Hull, York, Whitby, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Darlington, Richmond, Ripon, Harrogate, Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield and finally over the border into Greater Manchester where I boarded a (free) tram back into to Oldham . I travelled on 23 buses, stayed at 4 Anchor-Hanover Guest Rooms, visited 7 Wetherspoons’ pubs, researched my family history in 3 libraries and did 2 BBC Radio broadcasts about my adventures. Radio York invited me into their studios to talk, live, to their listeners and BBC Tees conducted a telephone broadcast whilst I was on a bus to Whitby! I spent £40 on accommodation, zilch on travel and my Wetherspoons bill is a secret!
As ever, I picked up and ‘talked’ a load of rubbish, distributed my Social Media information cards to anyone and everyone who was prepared to listen about the #1PieceOfRubbish campaign and received lots of positive and encouraging reactions. A lovely volunteer in Age UK in Richmond was very complimentary about my efforts, students in Darlington promised to share my details with their friends, the staff at Hartlepool library were keen to inform their colleagues and a young man I met in Hull Interchange is now an ardent litter-picker!
In an effort to show the route I was following, I bombarded you with pictures of rubbish going into various bins, photos of guest rooms and information about radio stations. I thank you all, most sincerely, for your responses, tweets, retweets, posts, shares, ‘likes’ and ‘loves’! Responding to every one of them is nigh on impossible but I appreciate your unerring interest in – and support for – the campaign. THANK YOU!

Bus Pass Trip 15 is already in the planning stage but until then I’ll leave you with this thought from Mahatma Ghandi:
“In a gentle way you can shake the world”
Much love and gratitude to you all. Go gently!

Climate Coalition Green Heart Hero Award 2019

  1. I didn’t win an award but I ‘picked up’ a couple of hearts and spread the #1PieceOfRubbish campaign by ‘card-bombing’ dozens of people with my ‘business’ cards. Hopefully I’ve won over lots of important and influential hearts!!! 💚💚💚. It was an amazing experience… one I wouldn’t have missed for the world and that was ample reward in itself. 

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’!



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.