Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Morning's Megabus

With an early start this morning, I thought I would make a concious effort to get a photo of the daily Megabus M37 Cardiff service starting from Great Yarmouth

My efforts were rewarded with this picture of Plaxton Panther bodied Volvo B9R 53637 KX61GDV. Noticeable on the side was the slogan 'low budget reizen internationale bussen' which suggests the coach is also used on international services and there are photos on Flickr to confirm that

Monday, 6 July 2015

Triple Deckers

Whilst on my way to the seafront to see Swift 85 at the Independence Day Mega Meet, I looked in at Beach Coach Station and found three double deck coaches on site

Parked together were two of Richmond's of Royston vehicles registered 153WAR and 559ABX. The former is a Van Hool Astrobel bodied Volvo B12BT whilst the latter is a Van Hool integral with Astromega bodywork

The third decker was from Ausden Clark of Leicester in the form of BIG 9829, a Scania K113TRB with Berkhof coachwork. New with Thomas of Clydach Vale in 1993 as K330YDW, it passed through several operators before acquisition by Ausden Clark in 2008

National Holidays also had a presence there through Setras NH10CSH and NH14DBH. A third National Holidays' 15 registered coach was also subsequently seen making its way to the Coach Station

Museum's 50th Anniversary

Crimson Tours immaculate 675OCV
This weekend saw the East Anglia Transport Museum celebrating 50 years of its site becoming a museum with a lot changing since then!

My quick whistle stop tour on Sunday afternoon provided an opportunity of some photos of  the attendees but I was very much surprised at the low numbers of the public attending. No doubt due to the unreliable British summer weather!

Inside on display was Crimson Tours coach 1962 Bedford SB Duple Super Vega 675 OCV

Among the deckers providing trips was this Bristol VRT KRU848W. It was new to Hants & Dorset in December 1980 and became a Wits & Dorset bus in 1983 when the company was split into two. It was renumbered to 4448 in July 1984 and was totally refurbished by December 1996

It was primarily based at Salisbury and Poole depots and gave 28 years service before being withdrawn at Lymington in December 2008. After nine months storage at Poole depot it was eventually sold to Ensign at Purfleet. It was another nine months before it's current owner discovered it and bought it there and then.

Another decker making an appearance was ex London Transport Metrobus M394, GYE394W. New to Aldenham Works in September 1980, it was one of a batch of 300 Metrobuses ordered by London Transport. M394 was allocated to Finchley Garage in October 1980 replacing Routemaster's on routes 26, 125, 221 & 263. Transferred to Uxbridge Garage in August 1981 it spent two years at Alpeton Garage from September 1982 before being delicenced.

However, it returned to service in February 1985 ending up at Harrow Weald during privatisation as a Metroline vehicle in 1994. It remained there until withdrawal in 1999. After purchase by Ensign GYE394W was acquired by its current owner in June 2011.

Other vehicles were also in attendance including my favourite - Eastern Coach Works bodied Bristol MW APW829B from the Ipswich Transport Museum. A pity the event wasn't more well supported

Sunday, 5 July 2015

85's First Official Outing ~ Updated

As exclusively reported in Wednesday's post, former Great Yarmouth AEC Swift WEX685M made its first official appearance today in its home town

Driver and co-owner Chris Speed at the helm of 85
It was one of the star attractions at the East Coast Pirates Car Club's Independence Day Mega Meet at the town's seafront close to the Britannia Pier.

WEX685M had pride of place on the forecourt of the Pier's entrance and Jamie Skinner was on hand with his camera to take this photo early on in the proceeding

Jamie also gave me access to more than 40 photos he had taken on the day including a special run. He has also prepared a report HERE on the Coastal Radio website on the
appearance of 85 at the event which also focusses on the Swift's history. It appears

I was also intending to visit the event but limited time put a stop to that and I arrived just after 4pm when everything was over! Still there's always next time

Apparently there was a small gathering on board when driver and co-owner Chis Speed decided to give them all a treat with a short run on 85.

I would just like to place on record my thanks to Jamie for the report and photos of the event

WEX685M seen at the deserted Pleasure Beach - clearly the weather had taken its toll

With the sun now out the Swift is seen back at the Britannia Pier

Friday, 3 July 2015

Filby Fillip

KNG711 leaving East Anglia Transport Museum in May 2015
Owner Pat Burnside last night posted on Facebook that his preserved Eastern Counties Bristol L single deck bus LL 711 KNG711 will be operating a 'free to ride' bus service in the village of Filby near Great Yarmouth over the weekend of 18th & 19th July.

The village is hosting an 'open gardens' event and the Eastern Coach Works bodied bus will operate on a basic hourly frequency between 10am and 4:45pm . A full timetable has been produced and can be downloaded HERE

Thursday, 2 July 2015

#TBT Eastern National in Great Yarmouth

Yes, it's  Thursday already and time for another of our regular Throw Back Thursday features.
This week I reflect on the regular appearance of Eastern National visitors to Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station during the summer months of the 1980's

The photo is that of Dovercourt based TJN979W on its visit to the coach station on 9th June 1982. The Wadham Stringer bodied Bedford YMQS was new to Eastern National as 1056 in its fleet in July 1981. A further image of the 33 seater at Harwich can be viewed HERE. You will note from the background of the above photo that the remnants of the former railway buildings were still extant at the time

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Showground Specials

Today was the first day of the Royal Norfolk Show with First providing a direct link to the event via its service 100

My first photo of the day was of former First Ipswich 66981 KX05WHA now in Norwich Purple line colours
I headed over to the fine city this morning to witness the 'goings on' and first looked in at the Rail Station site at Thorpe but unfortunately nothing out of the usual was taking place. I decided not to walk to the city centre but to catch a bus just as Gemini 36167 BD11CFM was about to depart on the 25 route

My first sighting of the 100 service was that of Routemaster JJD480D looking very smart in the sunshine at its St Stephen's Street stand

I was then unexpectedly surprised by First's other Routemaster, NML623E, heading in the opposite direction along St Stephens but a quick sprint enabled me to get a photo

The new breed also contributed to the 100 workings and to prove my point Gemini 36180 BD11CDZ was next on the stand for the Royal Norfolk Show. Some of the 'new' StreetLites also worked the service at around lunchtime

I was then passed by a couple of Konectbus deckers on the 4 to the Showground which almost caught me unaware and hence the hastily taken photo

Finally, heritage liveried Transbus ALX400 AU53HJV was the next to appear and also looked good in its Eastern Counties colours wearing fleetnumber VA479

Having completed my haul (and wanting to get away from the hot city centre) I travelled back to the station on Green Line's Wright Eclipse 66342 MV02VCU with a very friendly lady driver in charge