Wednesday 31 December 2014

New Years Eve in Norwich

Birthday present shopping took me to Norwich this morning so i boarded the X1 from Acle and headed for the city in glorious sunshine. All good apart from the fact the words "Bright Sunshine" and Norwich do not mix well if you have your camera with you as very few places are good for photography in the winter months.
33003 LK51UZS in St Stephens this morning

Nothing unusual to report apart from seeing 37562 FJ08FYN with a smashed destination screen in Castle Meadow, this quickly headed off out of service back to the depot. Yarmouth to Norwich services were affected quite badly due to Haven Bridge becoming stuck in the morning, my return trip was put back about 50 minutes due to this and a couple of X1 services were noted heading through Filby en route to Acle on my way home.
One of Norfolk Green's latest arrivals is Enviro 300 GX10HBY, seen here on the X29 In St Stephens
Just to prove there are places to get sunny shots in the morning! 36174 BD11CFY seen heading along Theatre Street
Finally i would just like to wish all our readers a Safe and Happy New Year and to thank Roy for letting me become part of the blog and also a special mention to Jim Long for his help and information from the Ipswich area plus thanks to Danny Beales & Chris Speed at First for their continued support and friendship. And to everyone elso who has helped me this year along the way!


Friday 26 December 2014

Boxing Day Buses

The only Boxing Day bus service running in the Worthing area was the special N700 route between Durrington, Broadwater, Worthing, Shoreham, Hove and Brighton
Brighton bound ADL Enviro400 15588 GX10HAA  captured in a wet and windy Worthing on Boxing Day
Next to the bus stop, outside the Dome Cinema, is Stagecoach South's Worthing depot.and I quickly looked in the depot yard. Understandably I observed many vehicles parked up because of the Christmas holiday period

ADL Enviro300's parked in the yard at Worthing's Stagecoach depot

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Christmas Eve on the South Coast

I have been spending this Christmas period at my daughter's home in Worthing,

So with all the preparations complete before the arrival of the man with the white beard and red coat, I decided to venture out to capture a few photos before the sunset on Christmas Eve

The main reason was to observe Stagecoach South's new buses operating on the 700 Coastliner service between Brighton and Portsmouth

One of the new Scania/ADL Enviro400 YN64XSV in the new Coastliner livery -  fitted with wifi and 'comfortable seating'
The twelve new double deck buses are ADL Enviro400 bodied Scania N230UDs and represent a £2 million investment by Stagecoach on the route which runs along the coastal shores of Sussex and Hampshire

The rear of  15991 YN64XSV showing places served by the 700 which runs at ten minute intervals during the day
Similar to the fate of our First Eastern Counties X1 route, the Coastliner has also been split into three separate parts from May this year. The first part runs between Brighton and Littlehampton with another Coastliner running between Littlehampton and Chichester with a third between Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth and Felpham Park.

Monday 22 December 2014

2014 Review ~ Part Two

The second part of our 2014 review follows which concentrates on the two major operators in the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft area

I was fortunate in being able to visit the Ellough, Beccles premises of Anglian in June and the Caister Road depot of First Eastern Counties during September - the latter being one of my personal highlights of the year

Optrare Versa AU11ESG departs Market Gates
Anglian was subjected to many transfers to and from the fleet during the period under review

Four Optare Versas (YJ60KGU/V plus AU11EPF and AU11ESG) were transferred to sister company Konect during September

However, the most intense activity concerned the comings and goings of the Trident deckers in the fleet. February saw the movement of V161MEV and W721NNT to Headingham Buses, Ex Brighton T811RFG was taken out of service in April to be sent to Headingham in
Demonstrator YT13YUK on loan to Anglian
November. T811 was replaced by Konect's
similar W825NNJ. A further Anglian liveried example, T813RFG, was withdrawn the following month with Konect again supplying W822NNJ and W823NNJ.

Also in February, Alexander Dennis Enviro 300 bodied Scania gas powered demonstrator YT13YUK was taken on loan. It later made the national press as the 'poo bus' being fuelled by biomethane gas produced from recycled sewage and food waste

Optare Solo AO57EXA on fire at Filby
However, the most dramatic report, including photos, was that of Optare Solo AO57EXA catching fire at Filby. Needless to say the vehicle was subsequently withdrawn

Timetable changes occurred in February and September with the former including the diverting of some of Anglian's 60 services via Lound, thereby restoring the bus link previously provided by Ambassador

First Eastern Counties
The most significant development at Caster
The new order - the first StreetLite at Caister Road 
Road was the arrival of six new Wright StreetLites 47501-6 (SN64CPU/V/X/Y/Z/RF) which entered revenue earning service in November. They were the first new buses for Great Yarmouth for a number of years with a similar number arriving for use in Norwich

Their arrival saw the beginning of a cascade of buses to Lowestoft with Caetano bodies Darts 43860-3 E52FGF/J/K/FFK and former First Essex Dart 42921 EU05AUN. Their arrival saw the transfer of 45118/9 ST09JPT and RT09JPT to Norwich

Operationally, its flagship X1 route was split into two in late July over concerns that roadworks on the A47 at Postwick might cause excessive disruption to the service. It was initially thought that this would be a retrograde step but apparently passenger numbers have continued to increase on both parts of the route. The X1 is to be divided even further next month when the route will be split into another four parts  

Four Olympians line up in December 
On the Volvo Olympian front the numbers in service at the beginning of the year were at an all time low with 34109  W436CWX taken out of service for repair. At the time both Northern Counties variants 34186/7 S686/7AAE were continuing in use on schools and contract work. The remaining active examples saw periods in and out of service as parts were being robbed from others stored at the back of the depot. Spring saw the numbers increase with the return to service of 34111 W431CWX and 34114 W434CWX.

Olympian 34187 ready for its last departure in October
As many of you will know, they appear quite regularly on Bernard Matthews duties and my photo of some of them in then quintet heading for the factory in early December led to a line up of Bernard Matthews vehicles at the depot for the next day's duties - including all active Olympians

Unfortunately not all have them have made it to the year's end as 34187 S687AAE left in October for scrapping after yielding its gearbox to 34186. Lowestoft's 34155 P655UFB was also collected by Alpha Recovery, although sister 34156 P656UFB was donated to Norfolk Fire Service.

Another vehicle making her last journey was Volvo N609APU 
Another long term resident at the rear of the depot was driver trainer 20109 N609APU which was also collected by Alpha during early August

The shortage of driver trainers was overcome by movement of two of Great Yarmouth's Volvo B10BLE's to Sheffield for conversion for such use. 60807 S658RNA returned to Norwich in August duly converted with its new livery - 60808 S659RNA is currently receiving the same treatment

This reduced the numbers of B10BLE's at Caister Road but the three (60813/4 and 66126) became four in August, with the arrival of First Yorkshire 60622 R385WKW, officially on loan to First Ipswich, and was immediately pressed into service. It moved back to the Suffolk town in December in return for the now quieter ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL W743DWX 

32058 W218XBD was the first ALX400 arrival from Leicester
Other transfers were from First Leicester. The arrivals of First London Enviro400s meant the release of seven ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TLs to Great Yarmouth. The first arrived in late February and the last in early June. They were 32058/9/61-5 (W218/9/21XBD and W422-5SRP) with Gemini 32629 KP54KAX arriving from Leicester shortly after

Volvo B7/Presidents 32201/2 (LT52WTF/G) moved to Norwich in late September joining former Great Yarmouth 32200/3 (LT52WTE/J) which transferred to the city earlier in the year

Any excuse to add a pic of 33423 to the blog
Repaints also formed many of the reports on the blog. After its use on X1 services in January celebrity 33423 SN60CAA moved to Great Yarmouth and was sent to Full Circle for a repaint. It returned in early February and straight away attracted the attention of photographers. However, First reported later in the year that it was to be repainted in the blue/gold Excel X1 livery which clearly upset some enthusiasts! Gemini 37578 AU58EDJ has been subsequently subjected to the same treatment.

With Ipswich repaints already under way, Norwich jumped on the bandwagon in September with 33163 LR02LXZ being the first to return in its new livery. There was some confusion though over what size and colour the Norwich fleet name would be in! 

Phew! 2014 has been an exceptionally busy year indeed which is reflected in the 472 posts (so far!) - the highest ever annual total. This activity is no doubt due to the many reports received during this past year and I would like to thank all of you who have contributed

Special mention must be made for the tireless contributions from Grahame Bessey, Syd Eade, Tim Miller and Jamie Skinner

My thanks also go to James Race, Neil Chilvers, Tim Major, Joe Leathers Watson, Danny Beales, Chris Speed, James Long, Lee Howes, Rob Collins, SteveW, Terry Wilkins, Zak Nelson, Mike Sayer, Harry Stanley, Sam Larke for their support too. My apologies if I have left anyone out!

And Finally....
Finally, eastnorfolkbus would like to wish all of its readers, supporters and contributors a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. It looks as though 2015 could be an interesting year too

Sunday 21 December 2014

2014 Review ~ Part One

With Christmas getting ever so closer, it is the time of the year for the blog to reflect on the major activies on the local bus scene over the past twelve months.

The blog itself has seen many milestones passed this year - our 1,000th post in April; the 400th post this year in October and not forgetting the half a million visitors to the site!

In June, I had to deal with many personal problems and it was hoped that my much planned holiday to the west coast of the USA would provide that much needed boost. However, the three weeks away would leave the blog unmanned which I mentioned in passing to Grahame Bessey in one of my emails. Without any prompting or any pressure at all, Grahame volunteered to take over

However, the holiday never materialised due to illness! The positive side of it was that Grahame was now able to create and submit his own posts to the blog. What a tremendous help and asset he has been. Many thanks Grahame for your valued support during the year!

The first part of the 2014 review covers many of the independents serving our area:-

Ambassador Travel 
One of the trio of new coaches to join Ambassador this year
Gapton Hall based Ambassador Travel celebrated the new year with the arrival of three new Caetano Levante bodied Volvo B9Rs (BF63 ZSK/L/N) for National Express work

Operationally it ceased its 606/7/8/9 routes between Gorleston's Morrison Store and Lowestoft Bus Station via Lound in late February, with the last service operated by Solo MX54KYA

It also cancelled its 32A. 705 and 911 services in the previous month but introduced new school routes in September - three serving Gorleston schools with another two routes from Suffolk villages to Easton College near Norwich

Belle Coaches
Belle Coaches link between Haven Holiday Park and Gorleston
Lowestoft's Belle Coaches celebrated nine decades of family ownership in August this year

During the summer months it was running a service on behalf of Haven Holiday Park to Gorleston as the beach at Hopton was inaccessible for its holiday makers

Four coaches were advertised for sale in Route One magazine as being surplus to requirements with two transferring within the county to Galloway of Mendlesham during November

Border Bus
Border Bus new arrival BB14BUS for the 521 service
Established by former Anglian Managing Director Andrew Pursey, Border Bus gained its license for its Beccles operating centre in late January

This was followed, in March, by the registration of three schoolday services to the Sir John Leman School, also in Beccles,

The same month saw the arrival of a new 29 seat single decker, BB14BUS, to operate its newly gained 521 service between Halesworth and Aldeburgh

Expansion continued with three more saloons arriving in July for its commercial 146 route from Norwich to Southwold; a further vehicle arrived in October

Border Bus also secured the contract for three services provided as part of the Latitude Festival in July which were previously operated by Anglian

Bus & Us
CUV321C at Holt in July
This family run business gained a licence for its operations centre at Briston this year

Their Routemaster, CUV321C, appeared at the North Norfolk Railway's Vintage Transport Weekend in July

EuroSun/Angie's Tours
As a result of public inquiry in January, it was decided to revoke the licence of North Quay Services, trading as EuroSun Coaches from the end of February

EuroSun's Duple bodied DAF C253HJX
One of the directors subsequently established Angie's Tours which were based at the same Norwich Industrial Estate premises in Lowestoft. During March, one or two of the coaches were being operated by Angie's Coaches which has permission for twelve vehicles at the site

A visit to the premises in November found seven vehicle present with none of them available for service. Earlier in the year, Duple bodied DAF C253HJX was noted in a breakers/ dismantlers yard at Methwold

Konects open topper R39XRV on the Norfolk Coaster
This Dereham based operation gets a mention here as it began a new open top bus service between Weybourne and Cromer via Sheingham during April. Former Isle of Wight Olympian R739XRV was used on the service

Marretts Chariots
AFSC Limited, trading of Marrett's Chariots of Aylmerton, cancelled three services with effect from mid July 2014. They were the North Walsham - Aylsham, Cromer - Norwich and the Cromer - Wymondham routes

Former Swift Volvo  491JVX is now with Our Bus
Our Bus
Our Bus continued to operate its Great Yarmouth Seafront service during the summer months with its Mercedes Vario SF54OUY

It surrendered two weekly operated services to Swift Taxis but picked up some school contracts from the same Great Yarmouth company plus the acquisition of one of the latter's vehicles. For further details see the Swift Taxis entry

Reynolds Coaches
There were many comings and goings at this Caister on Sea operator during the year

Recent fleet departure Mercedes W600JSB
In came Dennis Javelin AW02ASU to be followed by another four coaches in August in the form of Plaxton Profile bodied Volvo B7s AW53GAU/GAX and Cheetahs EG52HBB and BIG8793

On the minus side, Bova BIG6620 went to Rigby of Lancashire and W600JSB to Beeline of Wiltshire. Four others were made available for sale during June - Volvo's 7289DD, BIG8774 and BIG8769 plus Toyota FJ54MOA with Volvo BIG9842 made available during November

Sanders Coaches
East Lancs PM03EHU joined the Sanders fleet this year
Holt based Sanders Coaches confirmed the acquisition of H S Neave and Son Limited of Catfield in April. All of Neaves' vehicles and staff transferred to Sanders as well as its 32 and 36 bus routes

This operator also experienced many vehicle movements during 2014 with the most interesting being the departure of  the 102 seater Volvo B9TLs OU05KLA/KKB (named 'Goliath' and 'Norfolk Centurion') during May

Joining the fleet were three former Bus Vannin East Lancs Lowlanders from the Isle of Man - PM03EJC/EHR/EHU. Also acquired were six DAF/ Wright Cadets from Rotala's Black Diamond fleet - YJ51EKB/D/E/F/G/M

Another interesting acquisition was Eastons former Scania Omnilink YN08HZX which still retains its light blue livery

Swift Taxis
Recently re-registered MW51WFT
This Great Yarmouth operator continues to see a reduction in the number of services its provides together with the consequential reduction in the number full sized vehicles

From the end of March it cancelled two of its services - the 907 between Halvergate and Thorpe plus the 309 linking Southtown and Martham. On the positive side it gained weekly operated routes 291 (serving Wroxham) and 292 Halvergate to Salhouse route. They were previously provided by Our Bus

Swift's  Autosan BV57MTJ is currently available for sale
More bad news was to follow in August as Swift lost all but one of their school contracts - mostly to Our Bus

As already mentioned some vehicles have left the fleet - Javelin P109WJU to 3D Travel, Cumbria; Volvo N962DWJ to P&M Coaches in Essex and 491JVX to Our Bus in nearby Acle.

Autosan BV57MTJ is currently available for sale and Mercedes Vario AE07NZC has been re-registered MW51WFT

With currently only five full sized coaches on its books, the fleet is a shadow of its former self 

Waylands Minibus Service
Frank Berry and Margaret Berry, trading as Waylands Minibus Services of Kirby Cane in Bungay, had their licence and related services revoked with immediate effect during early December

Whippet Coaches
On loan to Whippet this year has been Volvo B12B LK53KVP
Swavesey based Whippet Coaches has become part of the Australian owned Transit Systems.The 60 vehicle operation, which provides some seasonal express coastal services to the area, was sold to Tower Transit in mid November

Late April saw the return of its coaster services from Cambridge to Great Yarmouth with Volvo B12B/ Jonckheere Mistral SF05XYZ being used on service H on the 23rd of the month  

That's it for Part One then - Part Two, covering Anglianbus and First Eastern Counties, follows soon

Friday 19 December 2014

Belle's Volvos Move On

Belle Coaches Volvo NJI9244 on schools duty at the Sir John Leman School in Beccles during October 2011
Two of Belle Coaches Volvo B10Ms found a new owner during November, albeit within the same county

Both Van Hool bodied NJI9241 and NJI9244 were acquired by Galloway of Mendlesham and have received fleet numbers 339 and 340 respectively, reports the PSV Circle

The former previously carried the registrations of P737UAH and 97-KY-809, whilst the latter was P736UAH and 97-KY-810

New in February 1997, the coaches were deemed surplus to requirements

Thursday 18 December 2014

Norse Six at the Beach

Regular contributor Joe Leathers-Watson was in Great Yarmouth this morning finishing off the last of his Christmas shopping

A line up five of the Norse coaches at Beach Coach Station earlier this afternoon
As he had five minutes to spare he looked in at Beach Coach Station where he was surprised to see six Norse coaches present

There were five Dennis Javelins in the form of  V671FPO, Y334YUT, Y327YUT, Y339YUT and Y335YUT. The other vehicle was Volvo B10M/ Plaxton Panther W172VEL.

He noted that they were all festive looking and I suspect they were being used to ferry schoolchildren to a Great Yarmouth attraction

My appreciation goes to Joe for the report and photo

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Pantomime Season ~ Oh No It Isn't!

Volvo B12BT RDV903  and Dennis Javelin Y002PCU outside the theatre
With Christmas just around the corner the pantomime season has arrived

In Gorleston, Snow White is on at the Pavilion Theatre which has attracted many schoolchildren to the matinee performances

With the appearance of six coaches from Sanders Coaches outside, or close to, the theatre it looked as if there was a good attendance this afternoon

The six comprised three Dennis Javelins (YO02PCT, YO02PCU and YO52FHB), two Volvo B12BTs (OGR647 and RDV903) and a partridge in a pear tree!. Oops too much mulled wine! - it should have read one Plaxton Cheetah bodied Mercedes (YN62AAE)

Unusual to see that many coaches assembled in the Piers Gardens/ Lower Esplanade area of Gorleston

Marine Paraders

Passing along Marine Parade in Great Yarmouth, earlier this afternoon, I saw three coaches parked along the seafront

Two were from the National Holidays fleet whilst the third was from a Norfolk independent operator

The former were in the shape of  Van Hool Alizee bodied Volvo B12M NH06REH (above) and Setra NH11DTH. The first mentioned was previously registered as MX06ALU when with Shearings

The Norfolk coach was YJ55EZE - a Volvo B12B/ Van Hool with Dereham Coachways.

Belle Coach on eBay

Former Belle Coaches Scania B415DHK is now available on eBay
Ryan has contacted me, via Facebook, to tell me that a former Belle Coaches Scania is being advertised for sale on eBay

The Berkhoff bodied Scania K112CRS has the registration B415DHK: a registration I didn't immediately recognised as being a member of the Belle Coaches fleet

After a bit of research, I found that B415DHK was new to Londoners of Dunhead in July 1985 and was re registered as YSU987 in September 1990. Subsequently acquired by Bodmans in May 1993, the coach was then sold to Berkhof as dealers in  April 1999

Regaining its old registration, B415DHK was sold on Shreeve of Lowestoft (Belle Coaches) where she received fleet number 31 and another registration SIL9044. This is not to be confused with the present holder of that registration and fleet number which is a Volvo!

I am not sure when the Scania left the Suffolk fleet and what happened to the coach since then. If any reader knows I would be pleased to hear from them

The seller, thought to be from Newport in South Wales, is not accepting bids but is offering the coach for sale at just under £2,000. The eBay webpage can be viewed HERE

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Where Are They Now ~ R334RCJ

As good as new - former Swift Taxis R334RCJ now with Wilkins Coaches
Regular contributor Joe Leathers-Watson updates us on what has happened to R334RCJ since leaving Great Yarmouth company Swift Taxis:-

R334RCJ was acquired by Swift Taxis in December 2009 following the acquisition of South Burlingham based Amza bus company.

With Swift the Dennis Javelin received fleet number 135 and the name Swift Gooseander.

In August 2011 Swift held an auction of over 10 of its buses and coaches including R334RCJ, when she was subsequently sold to Tees Valley Coaches.

There she received a much needed refresh and had a re-body and repaint which meant she finally lost her mountains logos which had been retained on the sides since with her original owners Whittle when new in 1997.

Unfortunately in December 2012 Tees Valley went into administration and R334RCJ can now be found in Wales with Wilkins Coaches.

In the picture she is seen at her new home at the Wilkins depot in Wymmer in Wales. Picture courtesy of Plaxtonpointer2 on Flickr.

Many thanks for the guest post Joe

Monday 15 December 2014

Where Are They Now ~ W600JSB

Ex Reynolds W600JSB has returned to Wiltshire in the ownership of Beeline
Back in June this year I reported that Reynolds Coaches of Caister was advertising five of its vehicles for sale on its website

I am pleased to report that one of the five has now found a new owner

W600JSB, a Plaxton Beaver bodied Mercedes Benz Vario O814D, is now with Beeline R & R Coaches Limited of Warminster, Wiltshire

New to Coakley Bus of Motherwell in March 2000 as W60CBC, the 31 seater was re registered in November 2006.

Reynolds obtained it from Whitegate Travel of Anderton in Cheshire in January 2012. Before that it was with Pickford of Chippenham in Wiltshire.

The am grateful to Bus-Ginger for his permission to use the photo of W600JSB with its new owner

Sunday 14 December 2014

Invaders From Suffolk!

Two invaders from Suffolk outside the Hippodrome Circus earlier today
Each year Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus puts on its Christmas Spectacular Circus and Water Show attracting visitors from far and wide - well Suffolk anyway!

Our regular reporter Tim Miller was on call as driver for Beccles and Bungay Community Transport earlier today and he delivered customers to the event in Volkswagen minibus MX55GDE

The minibus wasn't the only visitor from Suffolk transporting passengers, as on the opposite side of St George's Road was full size coach BU06CUD from the Angus Coaches fleet from Needham Market

The Setra was previously with Westbus Coach Services of Hounslow in West London and still retains their livery with Angus Coaches fleet-names applied

The Hippodrome Christmas Spectacular runs until the 11th January 2015 and further details can be accessed HERE

My thanks to Tim Miller for the report and photo

Saturday 13 December 2014

Chilly Norwich

A quick trip to Norwich this morning to catch up on recent arrivals and repaints, unfortunately the winter sun put paid to decent photographs but I did manage a few!
First up is newly repainted 33237 LT52WVF seen in Castle Meadow working the 37 service to Mulbarton.
Recent arrival from Lowestoft, 45118 ST09JPT has quickly gained Norwich names and also Purple line branding.
Last up is Streetlite 47507 SN64CRJ working Purple line service 38, others were noted on various routes across the city network.  Repaint situation at present sees 33003 LK51UZS returning from Rotherham yesterday with 32203 going the other way whilst 32100 is currently at Simon Morris in Ipswich.

Well Travelled Enviro

With all the recent excitement over the arrival of First's new Streetlites at Yarmouth & Norwich taking centre stage in the blogging community i thought i would move away from the current news and take a look at a certain vehicle in particular that has had a very busy time of it since being introduced and the fact it has a few links to our area.
Pictured at Norwich Bus Station in August 2010 with Konectbus as their 900
SN59AWV is an Alexander Enviro 400 which began life as a company demonstrator back in 2009, it was built in 2008 but was not registered until September 2009. It began a life of touring the British Isles being evaluated by various operators and first stop was JP Travel in Manchester where it gained fleet number 651. It then ventured back up to Scotland and spent time with Mcgills in Glasgow as their 901.
Next stop was Oxford and Brookesbus where it gained the number 900 in May 2010, it then appeared in Norfolk with Konectbus in the summer of 2010 and i was fortunate enough to photograph her in Norwich working the Thickthorn Park & Ride service. After a spell in Norfolk it was back to Oxford this time with Stagecoach as their 80016
Pictured at Lakeside in Essex with Ensignbus in May 2013  (Photo courtesy of Gobbiner)
A move back to Essex in 2013 saw SN59AWV gain the striking livery of Ensignbus and she was to stay in Essex when purchased by Firstgroup later in 2013 alongside two others of the type, VT59JPT which is now 33424 with First Essex and of course our very own 33423 SN60CAA which is Yarmouth's most popular vehicle at present!. SN59AWV became 33425 with First Essex and is currently based at Basildon Depot.
First Essex 33425 seen leaving their Hadleigh Depot (Photo courtesy of Steven Quay)

Friday 12 December 2014

First Transfer Update

43863 in Gorleston High Street on its way to Bradwell in September last year
Another Caetano Slimbus bodied Dart has moved from First Great Yarmouth to Lowestoft

43863 EG52FFK travelled over the border last night and is the third of Great Yarmouth's former Jersey vehicles now in service in the Suffolk town.

43862 EG52FGK transferred late last month and 42358 EY05FYP in late May

Going the other way was Dart 42921 EU05AUN which has returned to Caister Road on loan from Lowestoft!

Thursday 11 December 2014

First 34156 - Eleven Months On

Exactly eleven months to the day I reported that First had donated Olympian 34156 P656UFB to Norfolk Fire Service and was being stored in a compound at Gorleston Fire Station

Regular contributor Jamie Skinner sought approval to access the interior of the decker which is still located just off High Road.

From the front it appears little has changed apart from the removal of the registration plate and he wondered what the inside held in store

Upon entry he was surprised the interior looked the same as when it was last in service - as the attached photo shows

Also observed was a 9656 plate - this was the fleet number given when P656UFB first entered
service with First Bristol during June 1997

The Northern Counties manufacturers plate was also photographed which declared Coachworks by Northern Counties Wigan Lancashire

Upstairs the seating was more or less intact there too - apart from a couple of pairs of seats at the front of the bus

The first impression was that the bus was still in reasonable condition despite being withdrawn and laying around for almost a year! In reality the seats upstairs had been cut out with an angle grinder with several poles removed, one smashed flat and cut off.

Additionally the side destination display enclosure had moss growing inside it and was rotten plus the upstairs front window appears to have let in a lot of water with the surround also rotten.

Many thanks go to Jamie for his photos and our appreciation to Norfolk Fire Service for allowing him access to the vehicle

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Local Round Up

A quick tour was made around the usual haunts in Great Yarmouth in the hope they might yield some good photo opportunities
Shearings Holidays' Setras BF10VCJ and BF10VCO have Grand Tourer livered Volvo MX05AFV for company
As I had seen coaches parked up there earlier in the week, I started on Marine Parade where there were five examples within close proximity of the Wellington Pier

Of interest were three Shearings and one National Holiday vehicles. The former comprised two Setras 216 BF10VCJ and 221 BF10VCO plus Volvo 705 MX05AFV
The sun is welcome but it can play havoc with photography as my photo of  National Holidays NH13FWH shows
The lone National Holidays' coach was Setra NH13FWH. Its friendly driver was preparing for a trip to Thursford whilst his passengers were enjoying a Christmas lunch at the Carlton Hotel
Norse Commercial Plaxton Panther bodied Volvo B12M YN60BZH basks in the sun at Beach Coach Station
The next stop was Beach Coach Station where three coaches were present with the most interesting being Norse Commercial Volvo B12M YN60BZH. The others were from the Neals and Whippet fleets
The last of today's Bernard Mathews quintet, Volvo Olympian 34114 W434CWX, with Sheldon Rees at the wheel
I then crossed the road to await the Bernard Matthews cavalcade, in the hope of a repeat photo of five deckers. Five did in fact appear but I was unable to capture all of them in one photo as they were too far apart! For the record the quintet, in order of appearance, were 32061, 34186, 34108, 34111 and 34114

Finally another First ALX400, 30888 W743DWX, followed me along Beccles Road also on its way to Bernard Matthews