Thursday, 25 May 2017

#TBT ~ VNK481M

This week's Throw Back Thursday subject is a Plaxton Panorama Elite bodied Bedford YRQ believed to have been operated by Belle Coaches.

VNK481M was a regular performer on the Beccles to Great Yarmouth run and I remember the driver very well as being a tall thin gentleman with a husky voice. It was also used on the return service during the evening rush hour using the same driver. As I became a regular user of the service we became good friends.

All the information I can find about the coach is that it was new to Pavlou of London N8 in May 1974. (Thanks for the correction Harnser!) This places it in the Hornsey and Harringay area. The London operator also had similar VNK482M.

Unfortunately no other trace of it can be found so if any of you can provide additional information I would be very grateful.


Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Border Bus Goes Red

A fortnight ago I reported that Beccles based Border Bus had taken delivery of a former London Transport decker for fuel evaluation purposes.

I have tried, unsuccessfully, to capture a photo of Scania OmniCity LX59CNA on 580 duty in the Great Yarmouth area. However, Simon Bartram has had a bit more luck than I have, as he got a photo of the former Stagecoach London bus outside the old BHS Store in Regent Road at lunchtime this afternoon.

Many thanks to Simon for the photo.


Service Alterations Registered ~ 24th May 2017

A few changes to local bus services appeared in this morning's Notices and Proceedings Report.

National Express is introducing a daily (except Christmas Day) 727 limited stop service between the University of East Anglia and Gatwick Airport via Norwich, Thetford, Newmarket, Cambridge, Stansted Airport and Heathrow Airport From 17th July 2017. So it seems the 727 service is continuing!

Anglianbus is to vary the route, stopping places and timetable of its 61/61A/61B/61C service between Bungay and Lowestoft from 8th July 2017.

Under short notice, First Eastern Counties is to amend the route, stopping places and timetable of its 70/70A service between Old Cattle Market, Ipswich and the Turban Centre in Woodbridge from 2nd July 2017.

The full East of England Traffic Commissioner's publication can be viewed HERE


Wednesday Wonderings

After my 'taxi' run this morning I continued to Great Yarmouth to see what was about on the seafront and at Beach Coach Station.

Marine Parade, outside the SeaLife Centre, was host to three coaches; the regular National Holidays Mercedes Benz Tourismo NH15LDH plus similar Rambler Coaches UK15RAM and Olympia Travel's Volvo B9R L16WHY.

Included in the nonet at Beach Coach Station were two further National Holidays' coaches. The were both Tourismos - NH16FEH and, my first sighting of the operator's 17 registered vehicles, NH17JFH. For those interested, the fourteen 2017 deliveries are registered NH17BFH-HFH/JFH-NFH, PFH and RFH.

Among the other tourers were Shearings' Setra 516 BU13ZTH and Alfa Travel's Tourismos 88 BX14OMO and 78 BU13ZTY. GeeVee Travel's all white Bova WA54ECX was also present.


Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Blue Is The Colour!

Blue is definitively the colour - following on from the Shearings post of yesterday a couple of photos of Bluestar Mercedes Benz Citaros appear on the blog here today.

HX06EZA turns from Gorleston High Street into Church Lane on the 61 bound for Kessingland yesterday
HF55JZM heads for Great Yarmouth via Gorleston High Street
They are becoming more common on local services and are regularly appearing on Anglian's 61 route between Kessingland and Great Yarmouth via Lowestoft.

Finally, and more importantly, our thoughts are with all those affected by the horrific events in Manchester last night


Monday, 22 May 2017

Shearings 2017 Intake

The June issue of Buses magazine reports that twenty-nine Mercedes Benz Tourismos are in the course of delivery to Shearings Holidays

I was fortunate in seeing a couple of them yesterday at Shearings' base at Corley Services just off the M6 motorway immediately south of Birmingham. I was unaware that this facility existed and was able to observe another four vehicles that were also present.

The 2017 registered vehicles noted were 928 BN17JUX and 914 BN17JTY whilst Setras 203 BK10EJD, 228 BF10VCY, 301 BK11GJE and 639 BT63GCZ were also on site.

For the record the complete intake is numbered 901-929 and are registered BN17JRU/V/X/Z, JSU/V/X-Z, JUA/C/E/F/H/J/K/O/T-Y respectively.


Thursday, 18 May 2017

#TBT Bread Vans & Bucklands

This week's Throw Back Thursday looks at the large influx of Ford Transit and Fright Rover Sherpa minibuses into the Eastern Counties fleet during the mid 1980s.

Sherpas at Ipswich - C648BEX on the right was new in July 1986 and ended up at Spall of Dallinghoo in 1993
Just about all of them gave less than ten years service and the photos accompanying this post show the 'bread vans' (as they became affectionately known as) awaiting their fate at the rear of Ipswich's Foundation Street depot sometime during 1993.

The second photo shows Dennis TE7870 surrounded by the Sherpas (wonder what the name is for a collection of Sherpa Minibuses?!!) On the left is SD669 D669HAH which was new in November 1986 but ended its days at Manor Farm in Ringsfield being acquired by a Mr T Davies in 1993

TE7870 is a preserved 1929 Dennis 29 seat single deck bus owned by Buckland Buses which has a maximum speed of 30 mph. Further information on the vehicle can be viewed HERE

Since the mid 1980s the 16 seat minibuses have been replaced with larger vehicles with frequencies consequently reducing. However, a subsequent culture change means that passengers are now less likely to want to wait for the bus to arrive; expecting an instant service. This has been recognised by Stagecoach which is experimenting with the introduction of Mercedes Benz Sprinters on services in Ashford, Kent. No doubt many operators will be monitoring how well the service performs.