Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Bus Adverts Helps Business Celebrate 50 Years

Following our posts on the Wilco advertisements appearing on the rear of some local buses, First have now issued the following press release

Richard Shortis, Richard Alger and staff from the East Anglia Transport Museum with 
the two buses
In order to help launch his new venture in 1964, Norwich businessman Kevin Shortis booked an advert of the back of a bus.

Now five decades later, the Shortis Group has again trusted the bus to promote its message after a new mega-rear advert was been created on six First Buses.

Kevin Shortis, now almost 75, is still heavily involved in the business which has 81 trading sites across the country and 600 employees, it is his son, Richard, who leads the business day-to-day in his role as managing director.

The Shortis Group, which includes Wilco Motor Spares and Fast-Fit tyres and exhausts, was started in Barn Road, Norwich, in 1964. Its original advert is still on the back of a bus today – a vintage 1964 ACE Reliant which is stored at East Anglia transport museum in Carleton Colville.

Ten years ago, the bus was saved from scrappage and restored to its former glory by a team from the museum, including First Eastern Counties’ staff manager, Richard Alger.

Richard Shortis said: “It’s lovely that we managed to get the two buses together. We have done a lot of bus advertising over the years. It’s very prominent and eye-catching – it’s a brilliant way to raise awareness.”

Buses in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Ipswich and Leeds will carry the advert for six months.

First Eastern Counties’ General Manager, Hugo Forster, said: “For many businesses, advertising on buses is a great way to attract new customers and promote a brand. We are delighted that the Shortis group has continued to advertise with us over the years.”

Source: First Eastern Counties Press Release - 23rd April 2014

Full House!

Two National Holidays Setras at Beach Coach Station were NH11LTH and NH13LWH
Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station was full of vehicles when I called in at lunchtime today

However, the vehicles were primarily showman's vehicles parked up in connection with the traditional late Easter fair. Not only that, other roads in the area were being used too.

With new housing development recently built on the corner of Nelson Road North and Sandown Road, the site can no longer accommodate all the fairground vehicles

There continued to be a small area allocated for coach parking; if the coaches could get near to it! Amongst those that did were four coaches from the National Holidays/ Shearings Holidays fleet.

The former were three Setras in the form of NH11DTH, NH11LTH and NH13LWH. The later was represented by Volvo B12M MX05AFV

The fair opens from tomorrow until Sunday inclusive

Whippets Coaster Restarts

The first Whippet Coaster service of the season is worked by SF05XYZ
Today saw the return of the Coaster services from Cambridge to Great Yarmouth operated by Whippet Coaches

Service H began today operating via via Bury and Lowestoft with Volvo B12B/ Jonckheere Mistral SF05XYZ being the coach on duty. The service will also run on Tuesdays from 22nd July to 26th August plus Thursdays during May

Service A runs via Norwich on Saturdays only between 26th April to 20th December; Mondays only (not bank holidays) 28th July to 1st September; Wednesdays only between 30th April to17th December  and Tuesdays and Thursdays only between 5th June to 30th September

A third Coaster service is the G between Cambridge and Great Yarmouth via Mildenhall and Lowestoft and operates on Sundays only between 27th April and 26th October

I hope you got all that! For further information, including timetables of all the Coaster routes, visit the Go Whippet website

Tuesday in Norwich

Sanders Solo 210 YK04KWA on former Neaves 32 service to Wroxham
After delivering my daughter to Norwich Railway Station I decided to spend an hour or two observing activity in Norwich City Centre

My first noteworthy photo is of Sanders Coaches Solo 210 YK04KWA operating Neaves service 32 to Wroxham in St Stephens Street.

With that location not offering much out of the ordinary I decided to
National Express Volvo B9R/ Caetano Levante FJ12FYN arrives from Stansted 
visit the bus station. After signing in, I was about to take up residence on the west side of the site when a National Express service arrived.

It was National Express Volvo B9R/Caetano Levante 138 FJ12FYN on the 727 route from Stansted Airport, having left there at 10:35

Other National Express duties observed were the 490 by Chenery's similar FJ11MKC from 
Four different buses in four different liveries at Norwich Bus Station yesterday
London Victoria and Ambassador Travel's FJ09DXE on the 491 going in the opposite direction

Konect's bendibuses were in use on the Costessey Park and Ride with three of the five active examples seen during the hour I was there; 801 BD57WDA, 803 BL57OXM and 804 BL57OXN

The arrival of Norwich Sightseeing Leyland Olympian/ Northern Counties Palatine G520VBB made for an interesting line up as it passed through the bus station with four different buses seen in four different liveries. The partial open topper was flanked by Norfolk Green's Optare Versa 25271 YJ10EYD and Anglianbus Wright StreetLite 351 MX60BWK on the left and Sanders Coaches Scania OmniCity 309 YN53GFE on the right. My thanks to the driver for slowing down to allow me to get the photo

First ADL Enviro 33423 SN60CAA on the 12:00 Lowestoft to Peterborough
Finally, an excuse to get another photo of First Eastern Counties ADL Enviro400 33423 SN60CAA on the blog. First Great Yarmouth liveried 33423 has now moved up from the X1 shorts to duties covering the whole of the route. 

Its appearance is due to the servicing commitments with the existing fleet in addition to the absence of another vehicle for bodywork repairs

Latest Olympian Activity

Olympian trio in the rear yard at Caister Road Depot in December last
Regular contributor Ryan updates us with the latest Olympian activity at First's Caister Road depot

His report says that two of the Olympians were undergoing inspection repairs yesterday. They were 34109 W436CWX and 34114 W434CWX

Another two in the fleet are currently in the rear yard - 34108 W435CWX and 34111 W431CWX

Unfortunately, with the arrival of four of the former low floor First Leicester ALX400s, the Olympians are less likely to be seen in service now. They are mainly used on contract duties instead

Many thanks for the use of the photo and the update Ryan

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Anglianbus Update

On the Anglianbus website this morning there is an official update on some changes to the allocation of East Lancs Lolyne deckers

Former Brighton & Hove Trident 711 T811RFG has now been withdrawn from service. The photo shows 711 in Gordon Road, Lowestoft on 16th December last

The bus has been replaced by similar 725 W825NNJ transferred in from Konectbus

Monday, 21 April 2014

Latest Leicester, Lowestoft Bound

ALX400 W425SRP in Scratby heading for Lowestoft on the 1A route
The latest former First Leicester arrival was noted on a Lowestoft bound service in the holiday village of Scratby this afternoon

Regular contributor Grahame Bessey was fortunately in the right place at the right time to get a picture of ALX400 32065 W425SRP passing through with the 1A service to Lowestoft via Great Yarmouth
(I double checked this time to make sure I got the details correct!)

My thanks to Grahame for the report and photo