I can only give a sketchy outline of the evolution of the 398 and would welcome further information if anybody has some.
Stott's Tours eased their way gradually into stage carriage work following deregulation in 1986 and it was a couple of years later that operation of the 398 started.
Technically an Ashton to Uppermill service, I believe that only a handful of journeys extended beyond Grotton to Uppermill although these are quite well-represented in this gallery.
By 1995 the service had extended beyond Ashton to Ridge Hill estate in Stalybridge and had ceased running beyond Grotton. The extension to Ridge Hill had gone by early 1996 and the service became an Ashton to Grotton service until it ceased from 25th November 1996. This was the result of a deal with First which saw Stott's cease operation of local bus services. The agreement only lasted five years after which Stott's started working the 427 - see that gallery.
© David Beilby