Saturday 28 November 2015

Bluebird Memories

Following our Throw Back Thursday feature on the Norfolk Bluebird Fleetline, Syd Eade has been in touch reminiscing about a journey he had on it from Britannia Pier to Norwich, and the heating didn't work either. He says the drivers always seemed surprised to find a passenger on-board as well!

WCO737V, the MAN coach referred to by Syd picking up passengers in the old Bell Avenue
Syd asks if I realised the Daimler would have been on their Norwich - Great Yarmouth stage service? I didn't! Apparently it ran opposite a MAN coach, which gave out tea and coffee on the way!

Another ex London Daimler owned by Norfolk Bluebird was THM712M
He says that Norfolk Bluebird were a great company in the short time they were about, never using destination blinds, just hand written paper stuck in the windows or nothing at all!!!

A Plaxton bodied AEC Reliance RPR750K leaves Ber Street for the Heartsease 
He has sent  a couple of more pics he took of their vehicles including the MAN on the Yarmouth run from Norwich and the others on the 552 Mile Cross to Heartsease City Service.

My thanks to Syd for the information and photos which retain his copyright


Friday 27 November 2015

New Arrival and Departures for First

The first of a batch of Low floor Darts for Lowestoft arrived late last night from First Kernow, 42943 WA56OAS is currently at Yarmouth for inspection prior to moving down to its new home on the Suffolk Coast. The batch of Caetano bodied Darts at Lowestoft are being transferred down to Cornwall to join others of the type recently added to the fleet from the Potteries.

42358 & 43865 were moved to Roundtree Way in Norwich yesterday evening prior to their journey down to the South West.

Gemini 37275 from First Berkshire is also being collected today from Slough and will go straight to Full Circle at Banham for repaint into Excel livery.

Two Geminis from Yarmouth are due to transfer to Lowestoft due to changes to the X2/X22 services, possibly 37573/37574 but yet to be confirmed.

Alexander bodied 30900 is having a new engine fitted at Volvo and once complete it will become a Yarmouth vehicle after a lengthy period on loan here.

Thursday 26 November 2015


The subject of this week's Throw Back Thursday is a Daimler Fleetline double decker in a Norfolk independent fleet

The bus is a Daimler CR6 bearing the registration SMU726N and was new to London Transport in October 1974 as their DM1726 entering service at Potters Bar. After receiving a repaint in early 1979 it transferred into store at Ensignbus in  September 1982 before being acquired by them a month later for use in service

In January the following year, SMU was purchased by JC Travel (Smith) of Norwich where it operated under the Norfolk Bluebird name. The photo above shows the Fleetline laying over at Main Cross Road in Great Yarmouth after operating an outing from the city during August 1983

SMU726N lasted with the Norfolk operator until June 1985 when it was sold to Lonsdale Coaches of Morecambe. It stayed there only three months before spending the rest of its time in the south west of England initially with Garrett of Newton Abbott

After another five owners over the following ten years it ended up with Newell's Travel of  Falmouth where it was finally withdrawn in October 1996

I am very grateful for the Iain's Bus Stop website from where the history of SMU726N was obtained


Wednesday 25 November 2015

Service Alterations Registered ~ 25th November 2015

Time for our regular feature which looks at the latest Notices and Proceedings Report, issued by the East of England Traffic Commissioner earlier this morning. This report reveals only a small number of changes affecting our area

Applications to Vary Existing Services
First Eastern Counties is to amend the timetable of its Green Line services between Wymondham and Wroxham/ Blofield Heath/ Lingwood given service number 14/14A/15/15A from 3rd January 2016
Konectbus is to alter the route, stopping places and timetable of its 503 Postwick Park and Ride service from 11th January 2016

Cancellations of Existing Services
Routespek Coach Hire of Bungay is to cancel its WC561 service between Wrentham and Norwich from 6th January 2016

Cancellations of Existing Services Granted Under Short Notice
Norse Commercial has retrospectively cancelled all its Park & Ride services including the 605 Postwick Park & Ride to Norwich Bus Station from 4th November 2015

New Applications Received
Kessingland Cabs of London Road, Kessingland, Lowestoft has lodged an application for five vehicles at an operating centre in Pinbush Close in Lowestoft

Variation Applications Granted
Feline Executive Travel of The Archway in Stalham, Norfolk has been granted authorisation of three vehicles at its existing centre at The Archway in Stalham and a new authorisation for four vehicles at Catfield Industrial Estate in Norfolk

The complete East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report No 2219 can be viewed HERE


Tuesday 24 November 2015

Midweek First Updates

A few moves and happenings to report, starting with Roy's news that Enviro 200 Darts 45116 & 45117 have returned to Lowestoft from Norwich. 45117 was noted this evening working the 106 service in the town still wearing Norwich fleetnames.
45117 ST58JPT at Gordon Road back in May 2014.
33160 LR02LXV has gone up to Rotherham for refurbishment whilst Volvo B7L's 66325 MV02VAY & 66346 MV02VCZ have made the trip down to Bristol.

The last remaining Streetlite Max for Norwich to be delivered is 63321 SK65PXB which is currently at Belfast awaiting the ferry trip to Heysham. The latest to enter service in the city is 63327 SK65PXH in standard urban livery.
63327 in Castle Meadow today. (Photo Kieran Smith)
First are supplying vehicles for ongoing Rail Replacement work alongside Abelio Greater Anglia at both Yarmouth & Lowestoft, 33423 was at Lowestoft on Monday morning with 37579 noted at Lowestoft station today with Yarmouth Streetlite 47506 noted at Vauxhall Station this evening.

GYT Heritage liveried 32059 was noted working the 1 service between Yarmouth & Martham on Sunday. Sister 32064 was noted working the X1 on Monday morning.


Essex Exile Etc

As reported by Grahame last week, former First Essex 66168 W368EOW has returned to Great Yarmouth to help out with the increase in the Bernard Matthews bus requirements.

W368EOW leaves Market Gates this morning on the 8 for the James Paget Hospital and still retains its Essex branding
Its migration back to Caister Road will release a decker for use on the Bernie's contract and today the Wright Renown was doing just that by working the 8s between Gorleston's James Paget Hospital and Caister's Second Avenue

Meanwhile, Grahame tells me that ADL Enviro200s 45116/7 ST09JPT and ST58JPT have now moved back to Lowestoft


Saturday 21 November 2015

Latest First Developments

A reliable source at First informs me that a second Green Line Volvo B9 double decker is due to arrive at Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot very soon for use on X1 services.
Green Line LK58EDJ seen in Reading on 13th October last year.  Photo by kind permission of Eastleighbusman: 
First Berkshire 37275 LK58EDJ is to join sister 37274 already on the route and it will also be painted in a modified Excel blue livery. This could no doubt cause some confusion as its registration is very similar to that of Gemini 37578 AU58EDJ which is also in Excel blue!

On the subject of Geminis, two further examples are to eventually go to Lowestoft plus 37566 AU58ECE is due back from repairs within the next week or so. These moves reflect the increase in the number of buses required for the new X2/X22 timetable due to commence from 6th December.

My thanks to Eastleighbusman for the photo and to my contact at First


Lynx Surprise

I was contacted by Pete via email earlier this morning who says he was travelling along Dereham Road in Norwich during yesterday morning when he espied a red liveried Optare Tempo in front of him

It was Lynx's 41 seater YJ55BKU which was strange to see in the Norwich area. In response to my request for information about its appearance in Norwich, I was contacted by Driver Graham Smith who tells me it was taking part in the launch of the 'sQuid' element of  the Norfolk County Council's Smart Card

Other operators, including Simonds, Sanders, Konect and West Norfolk Community Transport, also brought their vehicles along to the launch acceptance of the 'Holdall' smart card on their services

My thanks to Pete for his report and photo and to Graham for the additional information


Friday 20 November 2015

Bernie's Trio

Strolling along Southown Road in Great Yarmouth this afternoon, I was conscious of the fact that the time coincided with the Bernard Matthews contract runs

Suitably armed with a camera, just in case the Olympian appeared, I headed northwards and sighted the first decker with 'contract' as its destination in the form of ALX400 32061 W221XBD followed shortly after by sister 32062 W422SRP.

Then a number of questions formed in my mind ... would there be a third decker? would it be the Olympian? would it be 32063 to continue the sequence? (on the X1 apparently!) I was soon put out of my misery by what I thought in the distance was the Olympian with its comparatively larger destination screen.

Sure enough the image of the sole active First Eastern Counties Olympian 43111 W431CWX was duly captured on film as it passed Bollard Quay. The Oly continues to regularly work the Bernies with today giving me an opportunity photograph it


Thursday 19 November 2015

Latest Updates from First

Latest news from First sees the return from Rotherham of 33159 LR02LXU in the new Orange line livery with 33162 LR02LXX heading North for its turn to be refurbished.

Two more Volvo B7L's have left Norwich bound for Bristol, 66324 MV02VAX & 66330 MV02VBE are now in the South West.
66324 in Castle Mall back in 2013
Both former First Essex Volvo B10BLE's 66168/66169 are now based at Yarmouth due to increased Bernard Matthews Contract work about to begin. Coach 20501 AO02RBY has been busy on various Rail replacements in Norwich and today in Yarmouth. The Rail work is set to continue into next week with Trains not working from Yarmouth until after the weekend at least.

Due to the Train problems extra X1 duties are being put in place between Yarmouth and Norwich to assist with the replacement Coaches, so expect a few odd sightings with X1 on the screen!

The weekend should also see Enviro 200's 45116/7/8 move back to Lowestoft from Norwich and the possible start of the Jersey Darts beginning their migration to Devon & Cornwall.

Norwich Pink Line branded 33246 was noted working the 8 service at Yarmouth yesterday, she is here for MOT work and was available yesterday prior to her work starting.

Thanks to Danny & Chris for the info.

Rail Replacement

Today is the first day of a four day rail replacement service on the Great Yarmouth - Acle - Norwich branch line - again due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time says the Abellio Greater Anglia Journey Check website

So I thought I would look in to see who and what was operating the rail replacement. Immediately outside the station was Galloway European Coachways Van Hool TX15 YJ13HGXG waiting to take up the next run

Meanwhile, nearby on standby duty was First Eastern Counties 20501 AO02RBY - a Plaxton Paragon bodied Volvo B12M



Continuing our Swift Taxis theme, one of their former vehicles features in this week's Throw Back Thursday in the form of an Ikarus 480 Citibus bodied DAF SB220 T826GSE

When with Swift, the DAF was given the name "Swift Owl" and received fleet number 106. The 43 seater was thought to have been originally registered T20JLS when delivered new to Leask of Lerwick in June 1999. It formed part of Swift's fleet up until around August 2007, when it left for Cooper's Tourmaster in Bedlington.

It later moved to Steel Group Investment of Dewsbury (SGI Buses) and subsequently to Station Coaches of Bately, West Yorkshire. It is still operated by them in its blue and white livery and is pictured on Flickr operating their 126 service in late October


And Now There Are Two

Local operator Swift Taxis appear to be further contracting the coaching side of their fleet over the past few months

Sunsundegui Sideral bodied Volvo B12M S11WFT in use in Norwich during March last year
During mid August the company placed four vehicles up for auction with W&H Peacock Auctioneers & Valuers. The four lots comprised two coaches, a minibus and a taxi. In the former category were Volvo B12M CE02CRX (previously S11WFT) and  BMC 1100 FE BX55OFN; whilst the minibus was Iveco YX51JPY

BMC BX55OFN operating the last 206 service in December 2012
It is believed that the minibus and Volvo were sold at the auction with the BMC lasting a little longer being publicised as being available for sale on the Route One Trader until only recently

The two remaining full size coaches in the Swift Taxi fleet
Their disposal means that Swift now have only two full size coaches in the fleet - Dennis Javelin SJI8127 and Mercedes Benz MW51WFT and both were at Swift's Southtown yard this morning.

I am currently trying to ascertain the names of the new owners of the disposed coaches


Tuesday 17 November 2015

Familiar Faces Return

Yesterday saw two former Eastern Counties vehicles return after moving to First Essex. Volvo B10BLE's 66168 W368EOW & 66169 W369EOW will be used at Lowestoft and Yarmouth due to the vehicle requirement increase for Bernard Matthews contract work during the Christmas period. More double deck vehicles will be used on the contract so the new arrivals will plug the gaps on normal routes within the area.
66168 at Hemsby Kingsway back in 2010, shortly after repaint, she has since gained the new livery in Essex.
The two originally arrived with FEC back in 2009 along with sisters 66165/66177 & 66179 from First Hants & Dorset, they began life in Norfolk at Norwich before moving down to Yarmouth in early 2010, they then moved on to Essex IN 2011. They will now remain with FEC until DDA changes force their withdrawl.
66169 on the 8's back in April 2010

66169 is currently at Lowestoft with 66168 arriving at Yarmouth today from Norwich.

Thanks to First and Chris Speed for the info.                Grahame.

Monday 16 November 2015

ITM 50th Anniversary Event

Yesterday saw the 50th Anniversary celebrations for the Ipswich Transport Museum with a special event to mark the landmark for the popular venue in the suffolk town.

I was lucky enough to be able to attend with Great Yarmouth Swift WEX685M and Chris Speed. Also making the trip from Yarmouth was Great Yarmouth Transport liveried ALX400 32059 driven by Mr Speed Senior (Des!).
32059 provided a few trips for the Park & Ride service operating for the day.
We left Caister Road around 8.45am and had a good trip up down to Ipswich arriving just before 11.00, 85 & 59 were parked together at the front of the museum for the first part of the day and provided many enthusiasts with good photo opportunities. 85 was used on a few trips around the town along with various other visiting vehicles from around the local area.
New Ipswich Buses Mercedes Citaro BF65HVU also on Park & Ride duties

The event also saw the first time that all three First Eastern Counties Heritage liveried ALX400's had been together, Lowestoft's 30888 and Ipswich 32479 were also in attendance at the event alongside 32059 from Yarmouth and a photo shoot was hastily organised in the late afternoon in the Museum's yard with all three side by side at last.
All three ALX 400 lined up in the fading winter afternoon sun.

This was my first visit to the museum and it was well worth it, lots of exhibits inside the building covering all sorts of Transport not just Buses from Bicycles to Lorries and even a Hearse!. The latest addition was also on show, that being former Eastern Counties Scania L94UB 65589 V589DVF which was lattererly with First Essex at Colchester and was withdrawn only last week before being donated to the Museum.

A very enjoyable day and credit to all at the Museum for a well organised event and some very nice bacon rolls!. Thanks also to Chris for the invite and to Des for the trip home.


Sunday 15 November 2015

Rail Replacement ~ Freestones

There were cancellations to rail services between Norwich and Great Yarmouth via Acle today with rail replacement services in-place. The Journey Check website stated that this was 'Due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time'

I observed a couple of rail replacement runs which were provided by Freestones Coaches Irizar bodied Scania K114 coach HIL8128. Freestones acquired the vehicle from Plan IT Travel of Kent in September 2010 when it was registered YN03WRE


Thursday 12 November 2015

Dart Returns

As Grahame briefly mentioned yesterday, Alexander bodied Denis Dart SLF 42920 EU05AUM has returned to service following repairs and a repaint at Full Circle, Banham

EU05AUM about to enter Market Gates on its way to Barrack Estate at lunchtime today
The former First Essex saloon was noted on service 2 workings between the James Paget Hospital and the Barrack Estate around lunchtime today



This week's Throw Back Thursday spotlight falls on an Ipswich double decker which made many visits to Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station during the summer of 1983

Ipswich 38 RGV38W at Beach Coach Station on an excursion from the county town in May 1983
RGV38W was one of a batch of four Leyland Atlantean AN68C/1R's entering the Ipswich Borough Transport fleet during 1981 arriving in May of that year. They lasted only ten years with the Suffolk operator with all being withdrawn during 1991

An almost identical photo of  No 38 in August 1983 - note that the former railway buildings are still intact
The East Lancs bodied decker later went to Hyndburn Transport and, when Stagecoach acquired the operations of Hyndburn, it passed to Ribble. There is a photo of it in Stagecoach colours which can viewed by clicking HERE. Delivered to Ipswich with two doors, the Stagecoach photo shows it as only having one entrance/exit


Wednesday 11 November 2015

Latest First Movements

Quick update on the latest vehicle changes within FEC are as follows,

Volvo B7L's 66335 MV02VCA & 66345 MV02VCY have left Norwich and moved down to Bristol.
66335 pictured at Caister Road whilst on loan during the summer.
33161 LR02LXW has headed north to Rotherham for refurbishment and repaint into the new Orange line livery. Coach 20514 WV02EUP has finally returned to Ipswich after internal refurbishment at Rotherham.

Yarmouth Dart 42920 EU05AUM has returned to service after repairs and repaint at Full Circle, Banham. Lowestoft Gemini 37566 AU58ECE is at Full Circle for repairs along with Enviro 33819 YX63LKJ.

New Streetlite 63320 SK65PXA has arrived at Roundtree Way with 63327 SK65PXH now at Heysham Docks.


Service Alterations Registered ~ 11th November 2015

Time for our regular fortnightly look at the latest Notices and Proceedings Report, issued by the East of England Traffic Commissioner earlier this morning. This report contains only a small number of changes affecting our area

Registration of New Services
First Eastern Counties has registered an hourly 103 service between Lowestoft Bus Station and Lowestoft Bus station via Carlton Coleville. It will commence on 6th December 2015 and will run Monday to Saturday

Applications to Vary Existing Services Granted Under Short Notice
First Eastern Counties has amended the timetable, route and stopping places of its 881 route between Carlton Coleville and Gorleston's East Norfolk Sixth Form College from 1st November 2015
The timetable of its 925 school service between Bramfield Road, Halesworth and Bungay High School will change from 6th December 2015

Coastal Accessible Transport Services of Leiston has amended the route of its Halesworth service from 3rd November 2015

The complete East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report No 2218 can be viewed HERE


Tuesday 10 November 2015

Blackpool Buses

As my daughter had sent me some photos of buses operating in Blackpool,I thought I would do a quick post on what she saw

Understandably photos of Blackpool Transport dominate and the first above shows new arrival Mercedes Benz O.295 Citaro 550 BJ15BEY. Delivered to the resort's undertaking on 10th April 2015, number 550 is seen above heading for Victoria Hospital

Another interesting vehicle in the Blackpool fleet was 350 E17BTS, an East Lancs Lolyne bodied Dennis Trident. It was originally with Bus Vannin (Isle of Man Transport) as GMN324F and joined the Blackpool fleet in April 2012

Volvo Olympians still operate in service in Blackpool and here is Alexander RL bodied R260NBV - numbered 16660 in the Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire fleet. It was new to Ribble in November 1997

Finally a picture of one of the independent operator's vehicles and this is Catch22Bus Dennis Dart SLF V658HEC. The saloon was new to Blackburn Transport in January 2000 and pictured on its way to the Town Centre. Catch22Bus is the new name for the previous Oakwood Travel and Classic Bus operations

If the above has whetted your appetite for Blackpool buses, be sure to visit the excellent Fylde Bus Blog


Monday 9 November 2015

Latest Excel Fleet Addition

The second of the recent arrivals from First Berkshire has reappeared at Caister Road after repaint, 37274 LK58EDF has been added to the Excel fleet joining other Geminis 37573 & 37578. It is a timely addition as the frequency for the X1 between Yarmouth and Norwich goes to 15 minutes soon as part of a timetable revamp.
37274 at Caister Road this morning ready for its first outing.
Apologies for the photo not being my usual standard, it was a tad hurried!

Other bits to report from Caister Road include the imminent return of Dart 42920 EU05AUM from repair and repaint at Full Circle. Newly painted 32112 from Norwich is curently here for MOT. And finally as noted elsewhere 32348 has regained its true identity after appearing incorrectly as 32438 on return from repaint.


Freestones' Repaint

You may have noted my report on 12th October regarding the arrival at Freestones Coaches of two Irizar bodied Scanias (YN07LFY and YN07LFL) from Silverline Coaches

Driver Tom Baker tells me that when he arrived to take up his London duty yesterday afternoon, he saw that the latter has been repainted into blue livery (similar to the Megabus blue) with Freestones Coaches emblazoned on the side

My thanks to Tom for the information and photo


Sunday 8 November 2015

Saturday Sojurn

Early Saturday afternoon saw some time available for a few observations in Norwich's Castle Meadow and apparently many local enthusiasts were also later out in force in the area

I particularly targeted the new StreetLites as the subjects of some photos, but my first picture is of First Berkshire Plaxton bodied Trident 33153 LR02LXM on loan to Norwich. I was particularly intrigued by the prefix of TN next to fleet number!

Eventually I did get some photos of the StreetLites and quite smart they looked too in their Green Line livery. The above is 63318 SK65PWY which I tried to catch later in the afternoon. I say attempt as the driver declared it a failure before I could get on it - the reason being a loose offside panel. The driver reported it to be flapping away on the journey back to Castle Meadow and the offending panel can be seen just behind the front wheel. However, I wasn't denied a trip on one of the newcomers as the following bus, destined for Dussindale, was also one of the new arrivals

Not much else of interest really apart from noting that one of the former Jersey Darts (43861 EG52FGJ) was in use complete with its First Lowestoft branding

Stagecoach Norfolk was noted using three of its saloons on its X29 Fakenham to Norwich route including Coasthopper branded Optare Solo 47905 YJ09EZU. Others recorded were Optare Tempo 25128 YJ57YCD and Optare Versa 25270 YJ10EYC


Friday 6 November 2015

First's 34110 Arrives At Yeldham

You will have seen from earlier posts, one of First's Volvo Olympians safely made it into preservation on Tuesday

34110 safe at Yeldham Transport Collection on Tuesday afternoon
I have subsequently been contacted by owner Colin Thorne who has moved it to the Yeldham Transport Collection in Essex. He has provided some pictures of its arrival there later in the day and, despite hoping to get there before the Olympian did, the recovery vehicle got there first!

Damage incurred to the nearside corner of the front dome
As you probably noted from the photos, the nearside corner of front dome was looking the worse for wear with the front window missing. As Colin already possessed a new front dome it was decided not to re-affix a new window for its trip south

With the bus in a raised position on tow, it led to this area being clouted many times by overhanging trees on the journey. This meant an issue he hadn't previously thought of - a collection of foliage on the way! Colin said he hadn't 'considered that she was sitting higher
An unexpected collection of foliage!
than normal and was thus more prone to hitting tree's. Having no window fitted left her too exposed to cope'

On its arrival a group of  bus engineers gave the vehicle a once over and it looks as though more parts will be needed before it can run again.

Colin mentioned the issue of  the Yeldham Transport Collection being kicked off their site due to the landlord selling to developers. The Collection has yet to identify any suitable new home and could be told to vacate with just four weeks notice.

A last look at 34110 leaving Caister Road depot on Tuesday
He concludes 'Whatever happens, 34110 is definitely safe and will be back on the road one day ....... just don't expect too much too soon!! I've learned in this "hobby" that Rome most definitely wasn't built in a day!'

That's very reassuring Colin and hope it won't be too long before we see it back on the road. My thanks to him for assisting with reports and for supplying these photos which retain his copyright


Thursday 5 November 2015

Routemaster Out Again

Another case of right place, right time following my trip to Gorleston High Street this afternoon. As I was using the crossing in the High Street I thought I saw a red bus approaching in the distance

RML2480 JJD480D out on the 7 to Belton this afternoon
I quickly dug out the trusty camera and, as the light was a bit low, there was a delayed camera reaction but I did get the above photo. With Routemaster JJD480D in service again it would appear that Caister Road is low on vehicles once more!



This week's Throw Back Thursday concentrates on a Great Yarmouth Transport Leyland Atlantean. However, one immediately thinks of the double deckers of that ilk but this is one of the three single deck versions new in March 1968

The then municipally owned Great Yarmouth Transport purchased the batch of three unusual Leyland Atlanteans, with bodywork by Marshall of Cambridge. They were unusual in that their double deck chassis was purposely built as a single decker

The centenary train complete with headboard with a grimy
looking class 31/4 in charge
The batch were numbered 40 through to and including 42, with matching registrations GEX740F, GEX741F and GEX742F. They were withdrawn at some point during the 1980s following newer replacements

The above photo shows No 40 at the rear of the town's railway station on 1st June 1983 and the route number 100 signifies the centenary of the Great Yarmouth - Acle - Lingwood line. The accompanying photo shows the evening special being prepared for departure complete with SLOA Pullman stock

GEX740F at its new home in October 2011 - Photo: Tim Major
At the time of the first photo, it was owned by the Great Yarmouth Atlantean Preservation Group. It was subsequently sold and stored in North Yorkshire for a while. Later No.40 spent some time in Hertfordshire prior to it being acquired by a private owner and is now based locally.

Unfortunately its condition has deteriorated somewhat since the October 2011 photo - this is due to it receiving the attention of vandals and it is hoped that the damage can be satisfactorily repaired 


Tuesday 3 November 2015

Olympian Exodus

Earlier this morning saw an exodus of Volvo Olympians from First's Great Yarmouth depot at Caister Road - well three actually!

Olympians 34113 W433CWX and 34109 W436CWX ready for their final journey.  Photo Jamie Skinner
As I was on my way there this morning anyway (more of that later) I received a message from Grahame that Alpha Recovery was on the scene to extricate two of the Volvo Olympians from the depot to begin their last journey to the scrapyard

Olympian 34109 loaded up and ready to go
When I arrived the two deckers had already been prepared for their move and I was fortunate in being able to get some of the last photos of them at Caister Road before they left

34110 W437CWX awaits its lift
However, the main reason for my visit was to see the safe removal of the soon to be preserved 34110 W437CWX, which was still in the corner of the yard when I arrived. As you will have seen from the earlier post it is destined for the Yeldham Transport Collection in Essex under the ownership of Colin Thorne

An American style recovery truck arrives to assist with the move
Tight fit!
At almost precisely ten o'clock the VG Nash & Son towing truck arrived to take the Olympian to its new home. It wasn't what I expected though and I later found that it was a '1987 American 8x4 tag axle Freightliner recovery vehicle with Zack-lift under reach equipment'!

Having connected everything up, the main concern was whether it would get underneath the rear entrance to the depot. After lowering it a few notches, the driver of the tow truck successfully negotiated the bus through the gap quite easily

Then it was brought through the depot and onto the front forecourt before considering how to proceed further to gain access to Caister Road and Lawn Avenue

On one side was ex Leicester Gemini 32629 whilst on its left was one of the Wright StreetLites.

34110 begins its journey to its new Essex home
Its progress on leaving the depot was also hampered by the parking of Volvo B12M 20501 opposite the depot entrance

Towing vehicle and 34110 crosses all four lanes on Caister Road
However, a plan was hatched which would  mean it would cross all four lanes of Caister Road (and a footpath!) before proceeding on the wrong side of the road to enable it to gain the correct side after passing one set traffic lights

34110 proceeds wrong lane past the traffic lights on Caister Road
After saying our farewell to Colin, he then had to dash off to beat it to Great Yeldham to arrange for its arrival at the museum later in the day

34110 heads off along Lawn Avenue for the A47 on its long journey to Great Yeldham
My thanks to Danny Beales and his staff at First for their assistance in allowing me to gain access to the depot to get the photos. My appreciation also goes to Jamie Skinner and Colin Thorne

The departures now leaves just three withdrawn Olympians in the rear yard in the form of 34108/12/14 (W435/2/4CWX) with 34111 W431CWX still remaining in active service