Thursday 29 October 2015

Morning in Norwich and More

Midweek day off for me so i was Norwich bound early this morning armed with the camera to see what i could see!

After a trip aboard Lowestoft Gemini 37564 on the X1 from Acle i ventured into the city to have a look at what was in action today, my first sighting was Stagecoach Norfolk Trident 17744 LY52ZFC working the X29 service from Fakenham, this is in an allover Green livery still carrying adverts for a July Music Festival!
17744 in Castle Meadow

Another vehicle in my sights today was the colour changing Volvo B7RLE 66976 KX05MGZ which is now adorned with a bright yellow front rather than the more Orange looking version it first appeared with a few weeks ago, after two unsucessful visits it was third time lucky as it pulled into the Yellow line stop at the top of Castle Meadow.
66976 The Yellow version
The Weather was undecided today with the sun now very low, Castle Meadow is not the best for photos so i decided to try a new spot, i wandered along Theatre Street near the BBC Studios and found a sunny spot for various services coming back into the city from the outskirts and managed some nice winter sun shots.
33060 LN51GJU in a Sunny Theatre Street

Vehicle News to report is the return from Rotherham today after refurbishment of 32112 LT02ZDL which should be in Turquoise Line livery whilst 33169 LR02LYJ has made the trip North for refurbishment.  Coach 20501 AO02RBY has had its MOT and is currently working out of Yarmouth depot once more on contract work.
Lowestoft Gemini 37579 at Ormesby Royal Oak this evening
Final sighting of the day was Lowestoft Gemini 37579 AU58EDK working the 16.08 Yarmouth to Martham service, it was recently transferred from Yarmouth it is now minus any Depot lettering and was captured in the evening gloom literally on my doorstep. Rather pleased with the result as it was rather dark.



Continuing with the Eastern Counties theme, today's Throw Back Thursday features an Eastern Coach Works bodied Bristol FS5G inside Wellington Road Bus Station

The decker, built to a H33/27RD configuration, was new in October 1964 and spent a fair part of its life allocated to Norwich Surrey Street. On this occasion it appears to be have just completed working the 624 which ran from Newport via Scratby, California, Ormesby and Caister, The lack of a destination blind would seem to indicate it wasn't a locally based vehicle

Thought to have been taken during 1980, the photo also shows part of another Bristol/ECW vehicle, TCL142R. The LH6L was new three years earlier. LFS90 incidentally met its end following a visit to the scrapman, PVS of Barnsley, in September 1980. So it was probably eking out the last days of its usefulness!


Wednesday 28 October 2015

We Did It!

At the end of March this year I posted that the last Olympian built for use in the UK currently resides in a withdrawn state in the rear yard at First Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot.

Olympian 34110 W437CWX regularly appeared on a Bernard Matthews contract workings
First Eastern Counties 34110 W437CWX had earlier attracted some bids to secure it for preservation but all interested parties subsequently withdrew due to the amount of money and work involved to get it back on the road

34110 in a wet Gorleston High Street in October 2013 working back to Great Yarmouth on the 6 from Bradwell
34110 in a withdrawn state in the depot's
rear yard in September last year
The post, which easily attracted the most number of views on the blog during the five years of its existence, was a desperate attempt to bring the Olympian's plight to the fore. Regular blog contributor Jamie Skinner struggled to save 34110 and obtained a list from First of the necessary repairs required and he also later pulled out for the same reasons

However, the renewed publicity from the blog together with being armed with this information helped generate more interest from would be preservationists. Together we both sent emails back and forth to persons interested in an attempt to save it.

One individual from Essex made contact and was was positive he could save it. Following a period of negotiation, I can now exclusively reveal that it has been saved and will become part of Yeldham Transport Collection under the ownership of Colin Thorne. Colin has already saved three of his own buses (see so he certainly appreciates what's required when it comes to the work involved in getting them back on the road after bus companies are finished with them.

Colin intends that it will be remain in Barbie livery and wants to use the advert frames to boast about the bus' status. There is also a lot of advertisements inside which he wants to keep as a historical feature so it makes more sense to stick with the 'as withdrawn' theme.

W437CWX at Market Gates in November 2008 only a month after being transferred to First Eastern Counties
My thanks to Colin for the additional information and I wish him every success in preserving W437CWX and I am pleased that Jamie and myself played a small part in getting it achieved. My original report which includes 34110's history can be viewed here 

My thanks to my contacts at First for the information and to Jamie for his help with getting it finally saved


Service Alterations Registered ~ 28th October 2015

Time for our fortnightly look at the latest Notices and Proceedings Report, issued by the East of England Traffic Commissioner earlier this morning. There are quite a number of changes affecting our area of interest

Applications to Vary Existing Services
First Eastern Counties has registered a number of changes to take effect from the 6th December 2015. There will be changes to the route, stopping places and timetable of the X1 Great Yarmouth Market Gates to Norwich Bus Station, X2 Lowestoft Bus Station to Norwich, and the X1 between Great Yarmouth Gates and Lowestoft Bus Station
Additionally First will be amending timetables of the following routes from 6th December 2015:-
  • 99 Lowestoft Bus station and Lowestoft Bus Station via Kessingland
  • 102/122 Lowestoft Gordon Road to Lowestoft Gordon Road via Oulton
  • 105 Lowestoft to Rock Estate
  • 106 Lowestoft to Burnt Hill
Halesworth Area Community Transport is to amend the route of its Halesworth town service from 1st December 2015

Applications to Vary Existing Services Granted Under Short Notice
Anglianbus is to amend the routes and timetables of both the 80 Beccles to Diss and the 81/81A Beccles to Great Yarmouth services from 2nd November 2015 in response to feedback from customers and stakeholders
Sanders Coaches has retrospectively altered the timetable of its 6 North Walsham Post Office and Great Yarmouth Market Gates route from 19th October 2015

Cancellations of Existing Services
First Eastern Counties is to cancel both its 104 Lowestoft Bus Station to Lowestoft Bus Station and 111 Lowestoft Bus Station and Carlton Colville Transport Museum services from 6th December 2015

Decisions Taken at Public Inquiries Public Inquiry
At a rescheduled Public Inquiry on 19th October 2015, Sanders Coaches were issued with a formal warning. However, directors Paul Francis Sanders and Charles Edward Sanders were found to be of good repute. The repute of both of them as Transport Managers was also found to be good.

Variation Applications Granted
Christopher Henry trading as Fox Cars of  Benacre, Beccles has changed its operating centre from High Street, Wrentham to The Street in Benacre, Beccles with authorisation set at two vehicles. 
Suffolk Norse of Ipswich is changing the authorisation of vehicles at three of its centres including that at its Highways Depot, Mobbs Way, Oulton Broad Industrial Estate where it will accommodate ten vehicles
Veturer Coachways of Woodbridge has changed its operating centre from Clopton Commercial Park in Woodbridge to Sheep Drift Farm, Waldringfield Road, Brightwell near Ipswich where the authorisation will be for six vehicles

The complete Notices and Proceedings Report No 2217 can be viewed HERE


Monday 26 October 2015

Another Ex FEC Vehicle on EBay

Ryan, formerly a regular contributor to the blog, has contacted me to tell me that a former First Eastern Counties Plaxton Premier bodied Volvo B10M has been made available for sale on eBay
20128 spent most of its time as a driver trainer based at Norwich's Roundtree Way Depot - seen here in March 2013

20128 P768XHS was new to Kelvin Central of Scotland in May 1997 and transferred to First Eastern Counties around the beginning of the new century for use on local services. The 56 seater subsequently became employed as a driver trainer spending some time on loan at Caister Road in February 2013. During January of the following year it was withdrawn and transferred south to First Essex for use on similar duties

It has recently been repainted in all over white and offered for sale at £9,500. If interested, you have until mid November to make a bid! The relevant eBay page is shown here

My thanks to Ryan for the heads up


Identity Crisis

As we reported last week, former Greenline Gemini 32348 LK53LZL returned to Yarmouth after repaint at Full Circle, Banham. It entered service on Friday and was soon the talk of social media as it was noted carrying incorrect fleet numbers 32438. 
Sunday 8 duties on Ormesby Road in Caister

The actual 32438 is another Gemini belonging to First Leeds YJ04FYH.
32438 YJ04FYH working in its home town of Leeds (Photo Maljoe)

This scenario has occured before at Caister Road, back in  2005, Repaints of Blue Bus liveried Olympians were taking place with vehicles being sent to Rotherham to be painted in corporate Barbie livery, G54XLO (34954) returned to Yarmouth incorrectly carrying the fleet numbers of what was at the time a Scania belonging to First Ipswich!
G54XLO wearing 65544 at Caister Road in February 2005.

Thanks to Mal for use of his photo, im sure the real 32348 will appear soon!

Sunday 25 October 2015

Yarmouth Swifts In Ipswich

Further to the posts on Ipswich Falcons being loaned for Great Yarmouth services, I received a Facebook contact from a former Ipswich driver who said that the latter were always borrowing Great Yarmouth Swifts for use in service

Bob Jenkins says he drove just about all those loaned to Ipswich and provided a photo of a couple of them taken by an enthusiast who he was friendly with during the 1980s when he was a driver. However, unfortunately he couldn't remember his name but I found the same photos on Flickr and contacted the photographer concerned.

Great Yarmouth Swift LEX859H is pictured at Electric House destined for Chantry In November 1985

Crewcastrian was the cameraman and he related further information about the Swifts which were 'used to cover saloon shortages. Their appearance was more than a little ironic, as that saloon shortage was partly caused by Ipswich's drive to get rid of their own AEC Swifts, which had not proved very successful. There was, however, movement in the other direction as Yarmouth actually acquired three Ipswich Swifts for spare parts.'

He continues 'Perhaps the most amusing stage of this saga occurred on 21st November 1985. Ipswich Swift No. 92's certificate of fitness had expired the previous day and it wasn't considered worthwhile renewing this. Therefore 92 was driven up to Yarmouth (where the bus was subsequently cannibalised) and the driver returned with Yarmouth Swift No. 59 to effectively act as a temporary replacement for Ipswich 92. (The Yarmouth bus was three years older than the Ipswich one!)'

PEX174K at Electra House having just worked in on the 4 - it returned to Great Yarmouth in April 1984 
Bob says that the Swifts were on loan for quite a while and were always a little quicker off the mark than the Ipswich Swifts at the time; which reinforces Crewcastrian's comment

My thanks to Bob and Crewcastrian for their contributions and the latter for allowing me to use his photos


Friday 23 October 2015

Falcon at Wellington Road

Following my last post on the blog, 'Reg Vardy' was in contact to say that he had a photo of an Ipswich Dennis Falcon at the old Eastern Counties Bus Station in Wellington Road

His photo above shows Ipswich 110 C110SDX at the front of the Great Yarmouth depot some time during 1994 and what is also unusual was an unidentified Great Yarmouth Swift is lurking in the background!

My thanks to Reg for his photo


More 'Local' Ipswich Falcons

Yesterday's post on the use of Ipswich Falcons on Great Yarmouth Transport services drew a response from frequent contributor Syd Eade on our Facebook site

Ipswich Dennis Falcon 109 C109SDX on hire to Suffolk County Council on an Eastern Counties service

Syd says that 'Eastern Counties played with a couple of Falcons at Great Yarmouth is one just behind James Paget Hospital on a Great Yarmouth to Somerleyton 582 run, normally in the hands of the Mercedes Benz minibuses'.

Ipswich 109 is from a second batch of seven Dennis Falcons bodied by Northern Counties in 1968 which later also found its way to Leicester and Northampton

A rather empty Eastern Counties Dormobile bodied Mercedes Benz 609D  on the 582
Syd also supplies a photo of Eastern Counties Mercedes J530FCL in use 'on the 582 on the same day as the Falcon, the Purple base was for a 'Target' advert that was yet to be applied! Note the lack of passengers in the pre-concession era, no wonder the service was withdrawn'.

J530 was delivered to Eastern Counties in July 1992 and a photo of it in Great Yarmouth with the Target advertising applied can be seen here

My thinks to Syd for the information and photos

First Update

A Quick update from Caister Road this morning. Volvo B7 32348 LK53LZL has returned from repaint at Full Circle and is now in full urban livery (ex Greenline).
32348 back at Caister Road yesterday (Photo Steve Dockree)

Routemaster 39480 JJD480D was out and about for a fourth day yesterday working the 7 service.

Coach 20515 WV02EUR has now moved on to Norwich for use on Bernard Matthews contract work joining 20501 AO02RBY which made the trip earlier this week.

Thanks to Steve for the photo.                  Grahame.

Thursday 22 October 2015

#TBT Ipswich Interloper

An unusual picture for this week's Throw Back Thursday showing an Ipswich bus working a Great Yarmouth service and apologies for the picture quality

On loan East Lancs bodied Dennis Falcon YDX100Y is seen in Alexandra Road on 25th August 1983 working the 2 between Newtown and Beevor Road complete with Great Yarmouth blinds

Numbered 100 in the Ipswich fleet, it was the first of six delivered to Ipswich in March of that year. There is a photo of the entire batch lined up in Birkfield Drive in the Suffolk town for the official hand-over ceremony, which can be seen here on Flickr

After initial problems it lasted with Ipswich until withdrawal in 1997. It subsequently moved to First Northampton and First Leicester. It also saw use by First Mainline as a driver training vehicle based in Sheffield


Wednesday 21 October 2015

Routemaster Continues In Service

For the third day in a row, First Great Yarmouth were continuing to use Routemaster 39480 JJD480D in public service today

In addition to its use on the 6 to Bradwell and the 7 to Belton, it was also employed on service 8 between the James Paget Hospital and Caister.

After a message from my sister in law that it was on the 8s this afternoon, I mentioned it to regular contributor Jamie Skinner who was hopeful of gaining a ride on it.

Whilst awaiting its arrival, Lowestoft heritage liveried ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL sailed past with the 881 from the East Norfolk Sixth Form College and he, naturally, got a photo of it!

However, he didn't have to wait too long before RML2480 appeared from the opposite direction heading towards Great Yarmouth on the 8

Not one to turn down an offer, he boarded for a short journey to Southtown Road with his mission accomplished!

My thanks to Jamie for the report and photos. Let's hope it continues in service for a few days more so I can get a ride on her too!


Departures from Caister Road

Yesterday saw Caister Road say goodbye to two of its long term withdrawn residents as they were collected by Alpha Recovery and headed up to the North East for scrapping.

Olympian 34186 S686AAE & Scania 65588 V588DVF were removed from the back yard and loaded up.
34186 Hooked up ready to head North
34186 arrived at Caister Road from First Bristol in December 2008 along with sister 34187, both were used on a variety of routes but latterly 34186 was restricted to Contract work before failing with Gearbox problems earlier this year.
65588 being pulled onto the lowloader

65588 had a very brief career at Yarmouth after arriving from Norwich in late February this year. Originally new to Ipswich where it had spent most of its working life she transferred to Norwich before surprisingly appearing at Caister Road and only worked a matter of days before failing and then spent the next 7 months tucked away in the corner out of use.

Other news to report includes another day of public service for RM 39480 yesterday on the 6/7 services in the town, Coach 20501 has now had its MOT and moved up to Norwich to assist with Bernard Matthews contract duties.

Thanks as always to staff at Caister Road.                   Grahame.

Monday 19 October 2015

Routemaster Pressed Into Service

I had to call into Gorleston Library this afternoon to return some books when I received a message from 'fellow partner in crime' Grahame Bessey

He said that he had been informed that one of the First Routemasters was about to be used in service to Belton. Ex London Transport RML 2480, JJD480D, was duly recorded in use on the 7 to Belton complete with conductor. The only indication it was on the route was an A4 piece of paper stuck to the front screen showing 7

It seems likely that First Great Yarmouth were short of buses at that time and hence why 39480 was pressed into service. I wasn't the only one taking photos and its appearance drew a few comments from shoppers

My thanks to both Grahame and First for the heads up


AU53HJV Finally Arrives

With reports of the imminent transfer of First's heritage liveried Volvo AU53HJV from Ipswich to Norwich, I can report that it has been seen in the 'fine city' this lunchtime

Steve W reports seeing it in St Stephen's Street on its way to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital on service 11

My thanks to Steve for the info and photo

Our Bus ~ Histories of Recent Arrivals

You may recall our feature on the new arrivals at Our Bus this autumn with information and pictures being kindly supplied by Joe Leathers Watson

This morning I received the PSV Circle Newsletter for October providing histories of the four newcomers:-

VAG608R, Alexander bodied Volvo B10BLE, was new to Busways in April 1998 as R249KRG. Stagecoach North East later sold it to dealers Ensign in November/ December 2012 who moved it on to Velvet of Eastleigh.. Our Bus acquired it from Stagecarriage of Grangetown in August this year

Volvo B10M L141AHS was one of many vehicles to hold the cherished Parks of Hamilton LSK473 registration. It was taken into stock by the Scottish operator during August 1993. During its life it has also been registered KSK948 and 466YMG. Its previous owner was School Bus Company of Kingston Bagpuize in Oxfordshire

The history of Optare Solo YE52FHE has already been related in Saturday's report which can be viewed HERE

The fourth is Indcar bodied Iveco R208VJF, which was new in July 1998 having been acquired from Hayletts Midicoach of Thrapston near Kettering

The photos used in this post were supplied by Joe Leathers Watson


Sunday 18 October 2015

New Norwich Streetlite Livery Revealed

We can reveal some of the First photographs of the new Green fronted livery for the new Wright bodied Streetlites for First Norwich. The photographs were taken earlier this week at the Wrightbus factory on Ballymena, Northern Ireland.
63317 pictured at Wright's Factory earlier this week
The batch of Streetlites is to be numbered 63317-63327 with the first of the batch 63317 registered SK65PWX. They are the Streetlite Max version, larger than current batch at work in the city and at Yarmouth hence being numbered in the 6 series rather than the 4 as the previous ones are. They are 45 seaters.
Side view showing the Norwich lettering above the door

Rear view

Delivery of the batch should begin next week, with the first vehicles being ferried over from Ireland.

Many Thanks to Chris Speed for allowing the use of the photos and info.

Saturday 17 October 2015

Peterhouse Playbus ~ Amended

Continuing Grahame's farming theme, this week's Great Yarmouth Mercury contains an article on Gorleston's Peterhouse Primary School's farming project. Thought to be the first  in the county, pupils will be encouraged to transform a redundant patch of land into a school farm

G642CHF at Peterhouse Primary School
Photo: Colin White
As part of the project, the school has acquired a double deck bus from Sun Fun of Earith in Huntingdon. It is an East Lancs bodied Volvo B10M-50 dating from 1989. Registered G642CHF, it was new to North Western in November of that year and a photo of it in Manchester in May 1991 can be viewed here

North Western operations were acquired by the Drawline Group in 1988 who later sold them on to British Bus. In turn, British Bus was bought by the Cowie Group in 1996 and, after re-branding, the group became Arriva North West the following year

G642CHF was accordingly repainted in Arriva colours and subsequently transferred to Arriva Kent Thameside. It was captured on film by Eamonn Kantell who saw it heading for Dartford on an unknown date - believed to be in the early 2000's. After a short spell with Eurotaxis it passed to Sun Fun who painted it in their yellow livery and it was often seen on school duties

Colin White from the Eastern Transport Collection's Terminus Magazine sends me a photo of the bus and is becoming involved with the project. He tells me that the intention is to keep the bus in running order and that it will fit in with the farm project with the exterior of the lower deck painted to include some farm animals. Lower deck seats will begin to be removed in the coming week so that the layout of the bus will be in the form of a classroom setting. My thanks to Colin for his help with this post

Meanwhile, the school is seeking donations of materials and expertise in woodwork and metalwork. Anyone with animal care skills is also invited to help. If you are able  help contact the school via


Down on the Farm

It is the time of year where Mill Farm in my home village of Ormesby St Maragret increases its workforce meaning the arrival of a couple of visitors being regularly noted in the yard.
GOX78V & R173VPU in the yard at Ormesby

I noted two vehicles whilst passing, firstly former Dublin Olympian GOX78V which was new as 99-D-605 and former Stagecoach Strathtay Volvo 16073,  R173VPU, new to Stagecoach East London as VA73.
R173VPU pictured this afternoon on my phone!
Both vehicles are operated by G's Holdings of Soham who run a fleet of vehicles for this type of contract work. Former Chambers of Bures Olympian P484MBY was noted here last year also.


730 Watch

Today I had the 'immense pleasure' of shopping at Gapton Hall Retail Park and also enduring the queue to get out of the place! However, one of my reasons for 'reluctantly accepting' was that I would be able to observe which of the Our Bus vehicles were being used on the Saturday and Wednesday only bus service to the retail park.

Today the bus in use was former East Lothian Council Transport Services' Optare Solo YE52FHC. The 31 seater was new to the Council in November 2002 gaining fleet number 39079 and it remains in its original owner's colours


Thursday 15 October 2015

#TBT Wellington Road VRs

The subject of this week's Throw Back Thursday is a bygone scene at the old Eastern Counties Wellington Road Bus Station in Great Yarmouth and apologies for the picture quality

The photo shows two Eastern Coach Works bodied Bristol VRTSL6Gs awaiting their next duty. On the left is XNG203S which was new to the company in March 1978. As VR203 it spent some time allocated to the town before being withdrawn in 1999 and sent to Ben Jordan, dealer, for scap

PCL251W, was purchased by Eastern Counties September 1980 and during its time with the company received many advertising liveries including this one for then local independent radio station Radio Broadland (now Heart). It has also received liveries for local attraction The Living Jungle, the Eastern Evening News and the Lathams Shoppers Bus. It was withdrawn in May 1998 prior to acquisition by dealer Stephensons of Rochford, presumed for scrapping


Wednesday 14 October 2015

Latest from Caister Road

Further to Sunday's post and the arrival of the two Greenline liveried Geminis, we can bring the latest update regarding the use of both vehicles. They were taken to Full Circle at Banham yesterday for repaint, 32348 (LK53LZL) will gain the standard urban livery whilst 37274 (LK58EDF) will wear the Blue Excel livery.
20501 on X1 duties at Lowestoft in May 2010.

Coach 20501 AO02RBY which arrived back last week from Chelmsford will undergo MOT before being used on Bernard Matthews contract work which should see it move up to Norwich for use there.

Finally Dart 42920 EU05AUM has also gone to Full Circle for body repairs and will also be repainted into the new livery.

Many Thanks to Danny Beales for the info.                         Grahame.

Service Alterations Registered ~ 14th October 2015

Today's fortnightly Notices and Proceedings Report, issued by the East of England Traffic Commissioner, contains a limited number of items of interest affecting our immediate area

Applications to Vary Existing Services Granted Under Short Notice
Aldborough Village Bus Committee are to vary the route and timetable of its Sharrington to Holt AD8 circular service from 16th October 2015

Cancellations of Existing Services
Coastal Red, trading as Lynx, has applied to withdraw its service 36 between Wells Next the Sea and Sheringham from 20th November 2015

Licences Surrendered
Blofield Taxis of Blofield have surrendered their licence with immediate effect

The complete Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed HERE


Monday 12 October 2015

Anglianbus Service Changes

Anglianbus are to introduce several service changes coming into effect from Monday 2nd November 2015. Several of the routes have been operating at a financial loss and it is no longer viable for the company to continue to do so.

The changes affect timetables and routes of many services including 7/61, 60, 60H, 60S, 80/81, 82/82A, 87, 88/X88 and 88A. 

A full report of the changes including the new timetables can viewed on the Anglianbus website HERE


Tight Fit!

Freestones Coaches' driver Tom Baker emailed me yesterday with a photo he took of M16UEA at 4:30 early yesterday morning after filling up with fuel. The VanHool T916 Astron takes up a lot of space at the garage - as can be seen! Tom then left to work the 5:30 Megabus run to the capital

He tells me, that after the recent arrival of two Irizar bodied Scanias (YN07LFY and YN07LFL), one of the current Volvos is to stand down from Megabus duties. Plaxton Panther bodied KX07HDJ is expected to have its toilet removed and more seats added

My thanks to Tom for the information and photo


Sunday 11 October 2015

Greenline arrives at Caister Road

Latest arrivals for Eastern Counties fleet arrived at Caister Road this afternoon after being collected from First's Slough Depot. The two arrivals are 32348 LK53LZL Volvo B7TL Wright Gemini and 37274 LK58EDF Volvo B9TL Wright Gemini. Both are in Greenline livery where they were used at some time on the 702 service between London & Windsor, 32348 had been working local services prior to its withdrawl.
Both new arrivals over the pits at Caister Road

Both will initially be used on Bernard Matthews contract work before moving to other services within the company.
32274 LK58EDF 

Thanks to Management at First for permission to publish.                                                  Grahame.

Saturday 10 October 2015

Brighton Visitor

An early afternoon visit to Beach Coach Station revealed a visitor from Brighton amongst the trio present. It was Brighton & Hove Irizar Century bodied Scania 503 YR58RUH and was making its third visit to the town this year - that I am aware of.

Also there was Reading & Wokingham Coaches' Plaxton Panther bodied Volvo B12B YX10FFS and M. Pearson's Volvo B10M/Van Hool N178LHU


Friday 9 October 2015

Paragon's Return

Roger Bellwood reports the arrival of a First Essex Plaxton Paragon bodied Volvo B12M at Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot on a low loader. After an MOT it is planned to use 20501 AO02RBY on Bernard Matthews contract work on the lead up to Christmas

My thanks to Roger for the photo and information


Anglian Fleet Latest ~ Updated

SteveW informs me that the last Wright StreetLite in Anglianbus colours has now been repainted in all over white. Numbered 353 in the fleet, MX60GXA was photographed at the Ellough site yesterday. All of the quartet should soon to return to their original owner

Another saloon due to return off hire soon is Alexander Dennis Enviro200 YW14FHS. It was expected to leave today (Friday) but is being retained for the moment due to vehicle shortages

My thanks to SteveW and his contact at Anglianbus for the information and photo


Thursday 8 October 2015

#TBT Open Top VDV752

The subject of today's Throw Back Thursday is former Eastern Counties open topper VDV752 and my photo shows the bus outside the Eastern Counties Travel Office in Cromer during the early 1980s

The decker is an Eastern Coach Works bodied Bristol LDL6G delivered new to Western National in November 1957 - complete with roof! It was converted in May 1972 and received the name Admiral Boscawen. Whilst with Western National it spent two months on loan to East Yorkshire during the summer of 1978

Both VDV752 and sister open topper VDV753 then moved to Eastern Counties Omnibus Company in May 1979 where they became OT1 and OT2 respectively in the fleet. Eight years later VDV752 was acquired by Mr Roberts of Croydon for preservation and from September 1987 to around June 1988 it was loaned to Squirrell of Hitcham; during which time it was in the care of the Eastern Transport Collection. However, by May 1998 Mr Roberts had moved the bus to Kentish Town

Both Bristols were acquired by Rexquote in 1999 and passed to Quantock Motors in 2004 when Stephen Morris sold Rexquote. VDV753 was later sold to Bristol Vintage Bus Group following the cessation of Quantock Motors' bus services whilst VDV752 is thought to be still in the care of the company


Tuesday 6 October 2015

Swift Disposal

Joe Leathers Watson has made me aware that locally based Swift Taxis has made another of their coaches available for disposal

The latest is its BMC Falcon 1100 FE schoolbus BX55OFN, new to the company in February 2006. It subsequently received fleet number 110 and named Swift Condor. It has just had its engine rebuilt although its MOT expired at the end of last month.

The coach fleet has slowly reduced over the past few years with the decline beginning with the auction of nine coaches and a minibus in August 2011

My thanks to Joe for the heads up


Latest First Moves

A few moves to note from yesterday.

33157 LR02LXS has gone up to Rotherham for refurbishment with 33166 LR02LYD returning to Norwich.

Volvo B7L's 66301 KV02VVC & 66326 MV02VBA have both moved down to Bristol.

Thanks to First for info.       Grahame.

Monday 5 October 2015

YN03WRP Returns

On 2nd April last year I reported that the Ensign dealership had disposed of former Anglianbus Scania OmniCity YN03WRP to Landmark Hire of Arlesey in Bedfordshire. Essex based Ensign now reports that the Scania returned in September after 18 months with Landmark
Freshly painted in Anglian livery, YN03WRP pictured at Car & Commercial, Beccles in September 2012
Photo courtesy of  Tim Miller

London red liveried WRP was transferred from Metrobus to the Suffolk based operator in September 2012 and received its Anglian colours later that month; as captured above by Tim Miller. With the introduction of the new Anglianbus network a year later, WRP was declared surplus to requirements and subsequently moved on to Ensign (dealer)

It will be interesting to see what happens to the Scania next


Sunday 4 October 2015

Another visit to Kings Lynn

A seond trip up to Kings Lynn for me this year to catch up with the latest happenings in West Norfolk. The Norfolk Green name has been replaced with Stagecoach Norfolk now, meaning the corporate image of Stagecoach is slowly beginning to show itself in the town. A number of corporate liveried vehicles are on loan here to cover repainting of native vehicles into the new beachball livery plus a batch of brand new Optare Solo SR's have been purchased.
The new corporate look of Kings Lynn Bus Station.

17744 LY52ZFC carrying a rather out of date advert from July this year
Two ALX400's have recently arrived from Stagecoach East, 18348 AE55DKV & 18349 AE55DKX have appeared to bolster the fleet as the batch of Optare Spectra vehicles here appear to be being phased out, none were in use yesterday and all were parked up at the Depot when i visited.
48021 YJ15AAZ Optare Solo SR  "Ben Colson MBE"

Kings Lynn has always been one of my favourite places for photography but the new bus station layout has put paid to many opportunities due to the new bus stop layout and a new exit at one end meaning on days like yesterday the sun cuts out may areas to photograph, a nice cloudy day is on order for the next trip! 
Lynxbus 3  YJ55BKG
Lynxbus and Konectbus also run services in Kings Lynn and i noticed Lynx 35 service was departing to Hunstanton with good loads on most trips out of the Bus Station. First also continue to operate the X1 service between Norwich and Peterborough.
First Enviros in the new bays at Kings Lynn Bus Station.
An enjoyable few hours in the town catching up with latest arrivals and a look at the new bus station, i did manage most of the photos i was after, even managed a few at Dereham on the way home!