Saturday, 6 June 2020

Ensign in May

Ross Newman continues to supply monthly updates on the comings and goings at dealers Ensign

May's report includes the arrival of ten buses from First Essex and included among the three Darts is a one time member of the First Great Yarmouth fleet. ADL Pointer bodied Dart 4295 WX06 OMM was one of two transferred to First Caister Road from First Cymru during November 2018. Whilst in use at Lowestoft it transferred to First Essex Colchester depot in February this year.

Contributor Mark Doggett visited Ensign on the 4th June and also observed the presence of former Lowestoft Dart 42908 WX05 RVR plus ex Great Yarmouth Volvo B7TL 32058 W218 XBD and Wright Eclipse bodied 66334 MV02 VBZ.

Another First Great Yarmouth exile, Volvo B7TL 30947 YJ51 RRU, made its final trip from Ensign to Shelton Motors for scrap during May. It had arrived in Norwich from Oldham in November 2018 and moved to Great Yarmouth in June 2019 to assist with with the summer season. Four months later it transferred to Lowestoft and was withdrawn there the following February.

My thanks to Ross for the updates and to Mark for the use of his photos.


Friday, 5 June 2020

Excel Oddities

Regular contributor Omar Atiallah contacted me this afternoon regarding a couple of odd workings on Excel services at Norwich Bus Station today.

The first shows Volvo B9TL/ Wright Gemini 37579 AU58 EDK which had been employed on the D service to Dereham all day instead of the usual Scania

Not to be outdone, the eastern part of the Excel route came up with the use of elderly 30961 YJ51 RDV on the 15:25 X11 service to Belton. Not bad for an eighteen year old bus

My thanks to Omar for the information and photos.


Friday Flashback ~ May 2007

This week's Friday Flashback looks back to May 2007 with a visit to Norwich on the 5th of the month dominating the post.

We start with a scene in St Stephens Street in the fine city with Sanders Coaches decker DAF DB250 R381 GTW passing Eastons Coaches Optare Delta bodied DAF H843 UUA. The former was new to Harris Bus of Thurrock in March 1998 and was subsequently with Hayletts of Thrapston and Geldards Coaches of Leeds. The latter, which began life with KF Cars of Gatwick in November 1990, was employed on service 25 to Reepham

For some reason I changed my vantage point to Queens Road where, in the lay-by, I found one of First's Routemasters laying over during a wedding private hire. JJD 480D was new in May 1966 and during its say with First Eastern Counties was used on many seaside services originating from Great Yarmouth

Back into the bus station where I found Optare Excel V90 EEN on Neaves' 36 route to Sea Palling. It was new to Reading Buses in September 1999 as V941 DCF

For the final photo we move on to the 21st at St Peter's Road in Great Yarmouth where Ambassador Travel's F106 CCL is being overtaken by First's K742 KAH. The Ambassador coach was new to the company in February 1989 and was on the afternoon's 826 St Mary's Roman Catholic School service from Gorleston to Great Yarmouth. First's Dennis Dart 46042 was new to Eastern Counties in December 1992 and appears to be running empty to take up its next duty to Belton.

More memories from May 2007 in next week's Flashback Friday


Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Service Alterations Registered ~ 3rd June 2020

Only two entries are of interest in today’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner. 

They relate to timetable amendments to the 146 service operated by BorderBus.  Both sections of the route, Southwold to Kessingland and Kessingland to Norwich, are to be altered with effect from 8th June 2020.

The full report will be available to view here soon.


Monday, 1 June 2020

Semmence Arrivals

There are two new arrivals to report at Wymondham based H Semmence and Company. The first is former Anglianbus Optare Solo MX53 FDN which arrived a few weeks ago from Galloway of Mendlesham where it was previously registered 4092 PP

MX53 FDN was new to Anglian in January 2004 but it never attracted the attention of my camera whilst it was there. It moved to Galloway in May 2009 and gained its new registration in February 2014. I did see it in that guise during a visit to Bury St Edmunds in November 2017

The other more recent arrival is believed to be Plaxton Beaver EN53 NOF previously with Coach Services of Thetford who had acquired it from Euroview of Dereham by August 2017

My thanks to Joe Wilson-Smith for the Semmence update


Saturday, 30 May 2020

Sunny Saturday

A few photos from today whilst returning from a shopping trip plus a few in the village from this afternoon whilst enjoying the sunshine.

Various First vehicles are now relicensed and back in use after a couple of months out of action due to the ongoing situation. Timetable changes begin on June 1st meaning a bit more of the normal fleet will be seen out and about rather than just the Blue E400's. First sighting today to my surprise was former Manchester Volvo B7TL/ALX400 30960 YJ51RDU which has survived the recent cull of this type and was noted in Caister this morning on 8 duties.

Parked up at Caister Road was former Yarmouth Gemini 37043 YJ06XLT now sporting Lowestoft fleet names.

Another ex Leeds Gemini based at Yarmouth is 37022 YJ06XKL, seen above heading out of West Road in Ormesby heading for Lowestoft on the 1 service.

Finally we have 37174 SF07FDE which was heading towards Martham this afternoon, having not managed to photograph it since its arrival i have now got it twice in two days!. The only Blue Enviro 400 noted on the 1's in the village today was 33809 YX63LJU which is pictured below.

Strange how normal vehicles now become different variety after a long spell of having the former Excel Enviros around the town on most routes for the past couple of months!

Stay Safe, Grahame.

Friday, 29 May 2020

First Update

With the Covid 19 Lockdown now being eased First will be increasing their frequencies again in June. Various delicensed Buses are now returning to service and we are told that Lowestoft Depot will also be reopening and operational again shortly.

Yarmouth based Gemini 37174 SF07FDE has been reinstated and noted this evening back on the 1 service to Martham. Another Gemini 32348 was noted heading in the opposite direction shortly before, the first time that two Olympia liveried Geminis rather than E400's have been noted in the village at the same time for a couple of months!

We have been told that 5 of the Excel liveried Scanias have returned to Kings Lynn for use in their normal enviroment which means some Blue Enviro 400's will move back to Lowestoft from Yarmouth also.

Thanks to First for the Info and Updates

Stay Safe, Grahame.