Sunday, 19 August 2018

Norwich Observations

Yesterday a little time was spent observing bus activity in the fine city of Norwich whilst the other half was enjoying some retail therapy

With the need to spend a penny I thought I would look in at the bus station and was rewarded with a photo of Whippet's National Express branded  Caetano bodied Scania K410EB6 bearing the registration BV67JKN. New to the Swavesey based operator in January this year, it was being used on the 727 London Gatwick route.

A few minutes later a Mercedes-Benz from the PTS Group passed through the bus station in the form Wrights Coaches' W25BUS

The final photo is of Konectbus Alexander Dennis Enviro200 298 OU57FHA on the 50 service between Mousehold Heath and Eaton Park/Cringleford. It was new to Thames Travel of Wallingford in November 2007, with the company becoming part of the Go-Ahead Group in May 2011. OU57FHA subsequently moved on to Carousel Buses following it too being absorbed into the Go-Ahead empire the following year. It joined the Konect fleet earlier this year retaining the Carousel corporate colours


Saturday, 18 August 2018

Coaches Galore in Great Yarmouth

A Busy Saturday at Beach Coach Station today, i passed around lunchtime with no less than 31 Coaches in attendance, these days an unusual sight!

First up is AA66UKA A Volvo B11R, Plaxton Panther of Hamiltons Coaches, Desborough in Northamptonshire.

Next up is Lawmans VDL RL17RSL which is numbered 53 in their impressive fleet.

The first of two new vehicles noted for Falcon Coaches , Potters Bar was Scania YN18SBZ this was parked up alongside sister vehicle YN18SBV which was carrying Enfieldian Tours livery.

A further vehicle in the Falcon Fleet was also in attendance, that being Volvo/Sunsundegui BF65WKM.

Last up is a slightly older vehicle, Neoplan Skyliner BIG9803 belonging to Jans of Soham, It was new as YN56BGE. Previously with Hodsons Coaches and was new to Marchants of Cheltenham in 2006.


Its A Wrap

First Norwich based Volvo B9TL 36201 BN12WOB has gained an allover wrap for NHS Organ donation in conjunction with the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

32201 is Pictured above at Roundtree Way Depot about to head out into service.
Many thanks to Samuel Stelling for the photograph.


Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Route One ~ Thanks

Please click to enlarge photoToday's Route One Magazine carries an advertisement placed by Reynolds Coaches under the Auctions section of the publication

I understand at least one of the operator's former coaches is to remain in the East Norfolk area and further details will be revealed soon.

Photo shows some of the coaches on display at the viewing day


Service Alterations Registered ~ 15th August 2018

This morning's Notices & Proceedings Report contains numerous entries affecting local bus operations.

Applications to Vary Existing Services
First Eastern Counties is to amend the timetable of its 14/15/15A services between Wymondham and Wroxham, Blofield Heath, Lingwood and Acle from 16th September 2018.
BorderBus is to amend the routes and timetables of its SL6 and SL7 services to Sir John Leman School in Beccles from Southwold and Oulton Broad respectively from 7th September 2018.
Konectbus is to amend the timetable of its 87/88 Halesworth to Norwich and Halesworth to Southwold services from 6th September 2018

Cancellation of Existing Services
North Norfolk Community Transport is cancelling a host of its services from 3rd September 2018 including:-
NNCT1 Tuttington Church and Aylsham Market Place.
NNCT2 Aldborough Green and North Walsham Market Place.
NNCT3 Aldborough Green and Hoveton Roys Department Store.
NNCT4 The Poplars/Swanton and North Walsham.
NNCT5 North Walsham/ Roys Department Store and North Walsham.
NNCT6 Hoveton Roys Department Store and Hoveton Roys Department Store.
NNCT7 Little Barningham and Oulton.
NNCT8 North Walsham and North Walsham.
NNCT9 East Ruston and Stalham or Wroxham.
NNCT10 North Walsham and Trunch.
NNCT11 Worstead to North Walsham.
NNCT12 Worstead and North Walsham.

New Applications Recieved
Michelle Cushing has applied to use premises at Englands Lane in Acle as an operating centre for two vehicles.

Licence Revoked Without a Public Enquiry
The licence of Forget-Me-Not (Travel) Limited (Directors: Anthony Soames, Mandy Soames and Andrew Soames) has been revoked with immediate effect.

The full report is available on the East of England Traffic Commissioner's website


Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Southwold Sojurn

A visit to sunny Southwold earlier today with four coaches noted parked up close by the pier

The first couple comprised Alpha Travel's Mercedes Benz Tourismo BX14LCL and Bucklands Omnibus Volvo P78OEW. The latter is a Plaxton bodied Volvo B10M acquired from Forget-Me-Not Travel (Soames) in 2016.

The other twosome was formed by Simonds' Van Hool bodied Volvo B12B 98TNO and Neals' Volvo B13RT OIG6927. The former was new to the Diss company as YJ05XWV in June 2005, whilst the latter was previously with Lochs and Glens as their BX12CUK.


Sunday, 12 August 2018

Something Completely Different ~ Amended

For those who feel they have overdosed on Reynolds Coaches here is something completely different!

During a quick tour around, I found some coaches of interest at Beach Coach Station, the first being Peelings Coaches' Volvo B12B B12FAH. The coach is the second reincarnation of the registration, having been new to Country Lion of Northampton in 2007.

Another 'local' was Norse's Plaxton Prima bodied Dennis Javelin 7182 YM51WDY, but what caught my attention was two NH plates; Essex based Horizon's NH09LRH was a Setra 415GT-HD, previously with National Holidays, whilst similar NH11CTH is still very much with National Holidays.

My final visit was to Caister Road to see what was on the forecourt and one of the First ALX400 bodied Volvo's recently transferred from Greater Manchester was on display. In fact 30961 YJ51RDV still retains the First Greater Manchester fleet name above the entrance. Something I hadn't notice before.

My thanks to Jonathan Joplin for the updated information regarding his B12FAH - these cherished number plates can be a minefield at times!


Saturday, 11 August 2018

Reynolds Photo Special Part One

Well today sees the hammer coming down on Reynolds Coaches of Caister, The Auction to sell off the fleet is today so i thought i would share some of my photos gathered over the past few years showing some of the many types of vehicles operated by this celebrated Norfolk operator.

First up is DAF/ Caetano Algarve BEZ3135 which was new as K796VPJ, pictured in April 2005.

7289DD is a Van Hool bodied Volvo B10M and seen here at the garage in October 2009, It was aquired by Reynolds in 2001 and was new as H595EBX, It was refurbished in 2012 and repainted into the current silver livery and had a name change from Eleanor to Samantha.

Bova Futura T341NBV was aquired in late 2008 and is pictured above on one of its first outings to Carrow Road for a Norwich City matchday. It went on to gain cherished plate BIG6620 and also a slight name change albeit one letter from Christina to Kristina!

Next its back to 2002 and one of my first digital photos, a 3mp Olympus if i remember!. PIL5863 Lady June Fell was a Bedford YNV/Duple new as B136AAV to Youngs of Rampton. it was latterley sold on to Meridian Line Travel

Final one for this part is Mercedes Benz minibus PIL6595 Lady Grace, seen here at Ormesby Road in June 2007 wearing a rather fetching matt grey livery, it was withdrawn not long after this photo was taken.

Part Two to follow.......


Friday, 10 August 2018

Reynolds Viewing Day

This morning I visited Reynolds Coaches Ormesby Road depot for the very last time to see all the 'Ladies' on their viewing day prior to the auction tomorrow.

The Malcolm Harrison promotional vehicle with Charles Reynolds facing the camera
I was impressed with the very professional way it was being handled with all employees smartly presented in their new yellow Hi-Viz tabards with 'Reynolds' emblazoned on the back. Similarly all the coaches were smartly presented both inside and out; something you would expect from a well run and respected company.

Some of the twenty 'Ladies' (with their Lot numbers) who will be auctioned tomorrow 
I spoke with owner Charles Reynolds who had been onsite since 6 this morning and he was still very much involved with things by speaking to visitors and well wishers.

My thanks to auctioneers Malcolm Harrison for allowing me to take photos and to Charles for sparing the time for a chat. We would like to wish Charles all the very best in his retirement.


Reynolds Retirement Auction

Malcolm Harrison's website advertisement
Tomorrow sees the end of an era with the Reynolds Coaches Retirement Auction being held at the company's Ormesby Road premises in Caister on Sea.

Reynolds was Norfolk's oldest coach operator which closed at the end of July after more than 100 years in business.

Owner Charles Reynolds has taken the decision to cease trading following ill health and has no successor to take it over. 

Reynolds Coaches employed a staff of 24 looking after its coach fleet all named after family members or specially nominated VIPs. 
Coaches available for auction

Shropshire based auctioneer Malcolm Harrison is handling the sale of all assets including the current coach fleet

No doubt many will be eagerly sought following Reynolds' surrender of fourteen Norfolk County Council school contracts at the end of the last educational year. The operator has been ferrying children to and from schools for decades

With the help of Colin White, of the Eastern Transport Collection, a list of all the twenty coaches operated by Reynolds at closure can viewed in the Fleet Lists section of our blog.

It seems inconceivable that the sight of a Reynolds coach in its distinctive livery will no longer be seen on the streets in the Great Yarmouth area.


Thursday, 9 August 2018

Gorleston Interlude

A quick visit to Gorleston High Street to get a few things during yesterday afternoon and whilst there I got these shots.

My first is of Excel liveried First Eastern Counties Gemini 37578 AU58EDJ returning to Market Gates from Bradwell on the 6. Unfortunately nothing is shown on the front screen despite many efforts to get a photo showing the display. However, it can be confirmed by looking at the side destination next to the door entrance.

You may remember from a fortnight ago I posted that First Volvo B12M 20514 WV02EUP has returned to Caister Road for driver training purposes. It was also seen yesterday on Church Lane turning into the High Street with L plates afixed.

The final photo is of BorderBus 211 BB06BUS taking the same route to Great Yarmouth's Market Gates. It's the first time I have been able to get a photo of the Scania OmniCity in its new BorderBus livery.


Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Service Alterations Registered ~ 8th August 2018

This morning's Notices & Proceedings Report, published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner, includes two entries of note.

Our Hire is amending the timetable of its 33 service between North Walsham and Cromer. The changes take effect from 6th September 2018

BorderBus is to alter the route and timetable of its SJL2 service between the Sir John Leman School in Beccles and Oulton Broad from 7th September 2018

The full report will soon be available on the Traffic Commissioner's website


Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Returns to Norfolk

A double decker new to a Norfolk operator has returned to the county following a stint on the south coast. Wright bodied DAF DB250 YJ05PXA was new to Konectbus in May 2005 and was used on Norwich Park & Ride services. It is now back in the area with Lynx, Coastal Red following its acquisition from Compass Travel.

Paul Copley saw it at Hunstanton, still in Compass colours, working the 36 service to Wells-next-the-Sea. My last sighting of it was during a visit to Compass Travel's Worthing Depot in February this year. It was taking some time off as the local schools were on half term holiday.

My thanks to Paul for the information and photo.


Monday, 6 August 2018

Sanders Surprises

Sanders Service 6 between Great Yarmouth and North Walsham is normally operated by their fleet of Scania Omnicities or DAF/Wright single decks. Last week saw a couple of unusual vehicles operating the route.

DAF/Berkhof YJ12CHK (806) was noted on Friday working the service and is seen above in the town centre.

Later on my way home i then noted recent arrival SA60TWP (916) working the route in Caister.  This is an ex Parks of Hamilton Volvo B9R Plaxton Elite and was registered new as KSK953.

Thanks to Will Drake for the photo.


Thursday, 2 August 2018

Worthing On Monday

Whilst the rest of the group were indulging in their favourite hobby in Worthing, I decided to indulge myself in mine on Monday afternoon. I anticipated that I would be catching up on photographing the new Stagecoach deckers and the odd bus from the Compass and Metrobus fleets - but that was not the case as the accompanying photos show.

I decided to take up my position on Marine Parade opposite the Stagecoach depot at Library Place. Immediately outside the Pier entrance was ex London Transport AEC Routemaster RMA11 NMY648E. I had noticed it there on the previous evening and it appeared to have been abandoned. Owned by Southdown Heritage Vehicles, fitters were seen later in the afternoon attempting to revive it.

Immediately behind was a Heritage Coaches Bova Futura bearing the cherished registration of 8957FN. It is the second time the registration has been used by Heritage as it previously adorned a former Shearings Volvo B10M-60 J256NNC.

In between the Stagecoach South 700 arrivals was this Barnes Coaches of Swindon's YT17EZM. Fresh from dropping off its passengers at a Steyne Gardens hotel, the Irizar i6 was noted making its way to the coach parking area on West Parade.

The only Compass Travel bus noted was Dart SF bodied Dennis Enviro200 GX13FSO - new to them in September 2013.

Another surprise was the arrival of red liveried Volvo B7TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini YK55ATV. It is a former Yorkshire Coastliner bus acquired from Transdev Lancashire United by City of Chichester Coaches trading as The latter appears to part of the same group as Heritage Coaches.

Just I was getting ready to leave another member of the fleet turned up in the shape of Dennis Trident MSV617. It was new to Selkent X317NNO in January 2001 and subsequently with Stagecoach London as its 17317.

I later found out from a Facebook post that the vehicles were being used on schools contract work. (thought they had already finished for the summer break!)


Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Lowestoft Rail Replacement

Our roving reporter Tim Miller reports the use of rail replacement service in Lowestoft earlier this afternoon

Angies Tours' Neoplan Transliner T777GSM, formerly with Sunbeam Luxury Coaches, was substituting for the 13:48 Lowestoft to Norwich rail service. 

The reason for the replacement was thought to be due a shortage of units although it is understood that a speed restriction is thought to still be in force between Reedham and Haddiscoe

My thanks to Tim for the photo and information.


Service Alterations Registered ~ 1st August 2018

Just the one entry to record from this morning's Notices & Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

It concerns the cancellation of the Konectbus 83 service between Harleston Broad Street and Norwich Bus Station from 2nd September 2018. The four times daily weekday service runs via Pullham and Long Stratton with an additional Harleston to Norwich run on Mondays to Fridays

The full report is now available on the Traffic Commissioner's website