Friday, 31 July 2015

59 Ventures out on the 3's

Since 32059 has returned from repaint into GYT livery it has normally been found working the 8 service, last week it ventured to Lowestoft on the 1's and today i noticed it at Yarmouth Rail Station waiting for passengers on the 3 service.
59 at Vauxhall Station

I thought i would venture through to Hemsby to get some shots at the Beach Road terminus but those plans went up in smoke (literally!) as a rather large fire had broken out opposite!


Grey Green ~ Ipswich Recollections

Yesterday's post on Grey Green prompted a response from our regular Ipswich contributor, Jim Long, on his memories of Grey Green in the Suffolk town

'Having looked at your blog ,it jogged the ole brain box on George Ewer. Personally I wasn't a follower until, like all things, they pulled out of coming our way on the Yarmouth to London service via Ipswich. I could kick myself, if i was double jointed, all those superb Leylands & tired ole Bedfords that tried to keep to time as they pulled into St Margaret's Green Ewer depot over the years My loss entirely.

I did take two pix, the first was of TWU845Y with Dix Travel which is in your blog photo. Looking at where I took her, I gather she was off route slightly in order to take in the Orwell bridge & it's river settings. Behind her is the old coaled fired Ipswich power station, long gone now. The photo was taken in the late 80's or early 90's.

The other is of E899KYW. I only caught this one as the other two had already pulled out onto the main road, which made me call in at Tesco Copdock. This is where I captured this gal and I expect she was off to Great Yarmouth or Felixstowe; or as it said on the board a tour.'

Many thanks for the your recollections and photos Jim

Thursday, 30 July 2015

#TBT Ewer Group

Before you know it - its Thursday once more and time for our regular Throw Back Thursday feature and we continue the Grey Green theme from last week

This time the photo is taken at Beach Coach Station in the early 1980's when the former railway buildings were then still intact

I quickly glanced at the photo and initially thought there was a trio of Grey Green coaches but I was wrong. The one on the left IS from the Ewer Group but the Dix Travel subsidiary. Leyland PSU3E/4R A848VML was registered new in 1983 but was in fact was a rebuild of FRA64V delivered new to Skills of Nottingham in August 1979. It later saw service with G & G Travel in Leamington

The other two vehicles are also 1983 rebuilds; TMU845Y and TMU846Y were respectively JRK621K and JRK618K. The Duple bodied Leyland PSU3E/4R's were therefore sister vehicles to JRK622K featured last week which was also rebodied at the same time becoming TMU847Y. TMU845Y later saw use with Hills of Tredegar


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Worthing Bus Gathering ~ Photo Special

An assortment of Southdown double deck buses lined up
along Worthing's Seafront
The morning started dry and bright but by 9am it was overcast and the rain had started. It continued through most of the day although your intrepid explorer decided to brave the elements at just before 2pm

Upon entering the display area I enquired how many attended - sixty was the reply but many have already left for home!

Many of the entrants were either Southdown or London Transport orientated and have been featured before. So this year's report concentrates on the other operators

The first of these was ABO 145B an AEC Reliance /Harrington Grenadier new to Western Welsh in February 1964 as their 145.

Seaford and District was showing UUF 329 J - "Brighton Belle" a 1971 Leyland PSU3BR/4R Leopard with Plaxton Elite luxury touring bodywork. The coach has only 28 luxurious seats and would normally accommodate 53 people. 'Brighton Belle' was operated by the former Southdown Motor Services of Brighton, and is in "Pullman" chocolate and cream livery.

Another AEC product on view was that of former East Kent WFN513. Shown in that livery it is a 1961 built Reliance 470 with Park Royal 41 seater dual purpose bodywork.

Maidstone & District vehicles often appear at the Gathering and this is a Park Royal-bodied AEC Reliance 277DKT. New to the company in June 1959 it carries fleet number SD277

Also displayed was Maidstone & District/Arriva Kent & Sussex Volvo Olympian P928MKL. Purchased in March 1997, it has a Northern Counties H47/30F body and bears fleet number 5928

A surprise find was this Eastern Counties ECW bodied Bristol RELH RPU869M with Eastline branding. New in May 1974 to National Travel South East, it moved to Eastern Counties some four years later when it received fleet number RE849. In September 1984 it moved to Ambassador Travel and stayed for eight months before being sold to dealer. It then passed to a number of owners including Shearings, Rose Hill Coaches and Northern Bus Company of North Anston. It was there where it was withdrawn after catching fire at the beginning of 1993 but repaired and reinstated two months later. It was subsequently acquired by a Hastings preservationist by January 2007

One of the new buses exhibited was Reading Buses Alexander Dennis Enviro 400MMC YY15OYA and very smart it looked too

Former Alder Valley Leyland National 251 NPJ472R also made an appearance and was new to the company in September 1976

Another East Anglian representative was Southend Transport Van Hool Astromega JEV245Y. It was new in April 1983 and was acquired by Ensign earlier this year following service with Fords of Althorne

The final bus is that of Southern Transit's Leyland Olympian/ECW B194 BLG which was acquired from Axe Valley Buses in May 2013. It was new to Crosville in March 1985

Last but not least is this 1940 Austin K2 registered FYY413, complete with trafficator ears. Whilst in London Transport green, it was never owned by London Transport. Apologies for the poor quality photo as, by then, the rain was getting the better of the camera and me!

I hope you enjoyed this photo special and let's hope that next year we are blessed with better weather and that I don't get soaked to the skin!


Monday, 27 July 2015

First Ipswich Ticket Sale

Today saw the start of a Ticket Sale in Ipswich for First's Town Services. Routes 53, 60, 61 & 61A are now offering Adult Single Journeys at £1 with Child Singles at just 70p. Vehicles are carrying new branding for the sale as well as programmed Destination screens showing the prices on offer to travel.
Volvo B7RLE 69009 now with the new branding in Boyton Road today.

 Many Thanks to Jim Long for the Info and Photo.

Monday in the City

I Finally managed to get up to Norwich this morning to catch up with all the recent repaints, loan buses and new arrivals here and there. A very sucessful day was had with the camera, the weather held out allowing for some good photos
66977 in Castle Meadow.

Former Ipswich B7RLE 66977 KX05MHA was on my list and it was duly captured working the 37 in Castle Meadow with its new Purple front. All recent repaints were noted out and about including the controversial 42921 EU05AUN which caused some raised eyebrows regarding its repaint as it was done in house rather than by a contractor and the style of it, it was working the 29A today. Both South Yorkshire loanee Volvo B10BLE's that came via Yarmouth, 60818 & 60622 were noted in use, 60818 on the 29A whilst 60622 was on the 22's.
42921 sits waiting its next driver in Castle Meadow
An unusual sight today was Simonds using Alexander ALX300 bodied Dart MSU916 on their 1 service,            I know it has appeared on the route previously but nevertheless a break from the normal vehicles seen. MSU916 was originally registered R239KRG, new to Stagecoach Busways, the batch then passed to Ensign from where it was purchased by Simonds.
ALX300 bodied MSU916 heads out of Castle Meadow.

The last of Sanders 'Musketeers' Porthos YN06JWP i needed was also noted along with another May arrival DAF YJ10DJU,both were working the X44 Express service today. A couple more photos below to finish off with, a very productive day was had catching up with the latest goings on in the city
Driver Trainer 60808 S659RNA 

Refurbished 32100 sits alongside one of the Go Dragons on Castle Meadow.

Too many photos to post on the blog so i will be uploading more to my Flickr site in due course.


Saturday, 25 July 2015

The Other 85

As you will probably know by now, two Great Yarmouth single deckers with the fleet number 85 are now preserved locally with the most recent limelight taken by the return of the prodigal son

However, the AEC Reliance adorned with the 85 number (AEX85B) is in the care of the East Anglia Transport Museum (EATM) and is currently undergoing repair as Tim Major relates

'I thought you might be interested in an updated on 85 at the EATM as it has been confined to the depot for sometime! This is due to a bearing failure in the gearbox and the consequent damage caused to the gears by fragments bouncing around inside, which adds up to very expensive repair. Fortunately the museum had a spare gearbox which provided parts to effect the repair, I attach a couple of pictures, one showing

the gearbox on its return from repair and the other shows 85 on the lifts awaiting the reconnection of the gearbox. (I have not heard whether all is in order as I had to leave before it was tested)

Additionally LFL57 has been off the road awaiting a radiator re-build, now fitted and a couple of other repairs. Again the cost of the repair to the radiator was 'jolly expensive' (understatement!).'

Many thanks to Tim for the update and photos