Monday 29 February 2016

Anglian Update

T812RFG at Lowestoft Railway Station on 15th February 
During my week away, Anglianbus has issued a new fleet list which reveals transfers in from other Go Ahead subsidiaries

The two deckers joining the fleet are Konectbus Wright Eclipse Gemini 513 LB02YXE (on loan) and East Lancs bodied Trident T812RFG from Hedingham.

Also returning is Optare Solo 907 YT51EBF - previously with Chambers. The last two still retain their Anglian identity having not been repainted when with their previous owner

Previously unmentioned on the blog is the loan of Optare Solo 901 VX51RJZ from Konectbus


Sunday 28 February 2016

Chichester Observations

Today sees our last post from the south as the last part of ENBB on tour and we visited a cold Chichester Bus Station during yesterday afternoon

Our first photo is of Stagecoach South Enviro300 GX13AOE, fleet number 27842, which is one of seven Gold liveried single deckers allocated to Chichester. It is seen here leaving the bus station on the 51 to Selsey West Sands

Immediately behind was Caetano Levante bodied Volvo BR9 FJ60EHB on a National Express 206 service to Gatwick Airport

My third picture features Stagecoach South 37274 SL64HXJ. The Enviro200 has been especially branded for services to the Witterings

Opposite the bus station is Chichester's bus garage and two of its Olympian fleet were seen out on tests around the town centre area. The two observed were 16752 R752DRJ and 16590 S590BCE, with the former pictured outside the garage

Hope you have enjoyed our reports from down south


Friday 26 February 2016

Where Are They Now ~ CE02YRX

Cameron Robinson has made me aware of the new owner of former Swift Taxis CE02YRX

Previously re-registered as SW11FT, and named Swift Eagle, the Volvo B12B is now with Vale Travel of Aylesbury and is pictured here by Mr Dearing at the firm's Gatehouse Lane depot

My thanks to Cameron for the heads up and to Mr Dearing for consent to use photo


Another Day Another City

Yesterday we were back on the south coast having swapped Bristol for Brighton with more photo opportunities being provided

As I have covered bus activities in Brighton a number of times in the past, I have tried to be more selective in the subjects this time. First up is Brighton & Hove Streetdeck 935 BX15ONM heading for Seaford Library

The next subject is Mercedes Benz bendybus 122 BP57UYG on the 25X to Brighton University. The Merc was new to London General in February 2008

A 'Paddle Round The Pier' livery features on Brighton & Hove Scania OmniDekka 664 YN55NFC on its way to Hangleton via Mill View Hospital on the 5A route

To redress the balance, I have included Stagecoach South's special liveried 15586 404DCD The Enviro400 bodied Scania celebrates the 70 years of Victory in Europe and is seen on the 700 Coastliner service


Thursday 25 February 2016

The Future's Orange (Or Is It?)

Just spent a couple of days in the Bristol area and yesterday meant a visit to the city centre and another bus photo opportunity. Plus there was the possibility of determining whether First Bristol yellow route did in fact have a yellow or an orange front as recently discussed on social media

It took a little while to see one of them as there was an abundance of streetlites passing but eventually one of them did turn up in the form of SN65ZCV. I thought it looked more like yellow than orange with an orange route version arriving soon after to allow the comparison to be made

Wright Streetdecks appear to be regulars on route 90 between the city centre and Hengrove and the photo shows 35141 SN65OMJ on that service

Finally, I was also fortunate to see First learner driver X693ADK, a Wright Renown bodied Volvo B10LE


#TBT Beach Coach Station 1987/8 ~ Part Three

Today sees the final part of our trilogy concerning visitors to Beach Coach Station during the years 1987 and 1988 with photos kindly supplied by 'Reg Vardy'

The first helping this week is of a Plaxton Paramount bodied Leyland Tiger from the Wallace Arnold fleet. The coach has Southdown registration 404DCD previously carried by a Southdown Queen Mary and more recently by a Stagecoach South Enviro400. A quick internet search didn't reveal any clue to its previous registration - so I would be interested to hear from anyone with information on its original identity

Wallace Arnold was founded in 1912 and was named after its founders Wallace Cunningham and Arnold Crowe. By 1980 it operated 290 coaches from its headquarters in Leeds and in April 2005, merged with Shearings to become WA Shearings. Two years later the Wallace Arnold name was dropped with the company becoming now known as Shearings Holidays.

The last offering is of, believe it or not, a Duple bodied Dennis Javelin! A former demonstrator, E321FPE was new to Dennis SV of Guildford in October 1987. The vehicle is significant in being the third chassis built and the first to eleven metre length. Re-registered as RIL 9160, it was noted operating for Huggins of Wallasey in September, 2000.

It later moved on to RS Travel of Middlewitch in Cheshire and then to the GHA Group of Ruabon when they acquired that business. It was advertised for sale on eBay three years ago and was thought to have gone for scrap in September 2013

My thanks to 'Reg Vardy' for the photos used over the past three weeks and I hope they have been of interest


Tuesday 23 February 2016

Last Swift Flies The Nest ~ Update

Robert Collins informs me that the last coach owned by Swifts Taxis has finally left the fleet bringing an end to the coach operations of the business

Neoplan bodied Dennis Javelin SJI8127 was last seen in Swift's Southtown yard on the 29th of January and has not been seen since. The coach, originally believed to have been sold for export, is now thought to have been acquired by a Cumbrian operator

My thanks to Robert for the information


Monday 22 February 2016

Holmbush Retail Park

I arrived down south on Saturday and the other half needed more retail therapy yesterday so we popped into Holmbush Retail Park at Shoreham situated to the east of Worthing

The 46 at the Holmbush Retail Park with YN57FYM in charge - normally used on Tunbridge Wells - Brighton route
The tentacles of Brighton & Hove buses reach out this far and I was quite surprised at how good the service to this retail park was on a Sunday. It is served by the half hourly 2 Rottingdean to Steyning route and the hourly 46 Coldean to Southwick service

YP09HWG correctly route branded on the 2 into the retail park
Unfortunately during my visit all the services were worked by deckers of the Scania variety which got to be a little boring!


Sunday 21 February 2016

Along the Coast

Saturday was set aside to visit Sheringham and Cromer in order to photograph some of Sanders latest arrivals. At least that was the plan! Having spent the day dodging the showers and looking for the elusive arrivals it was the town of North Walsham that managed to grab most of my attention with a couple of vehicles new to myself. The day also came to a rather ironic end which shall be revealed in due course!
Parked outside the Mattressman warehouse proudly advertising its current owner on the outskirts of the town is Volvo Olympian K102JWJ, it was new to Stagecoach Midlands and latterly with Stagecoach Lincolnshire as 16472, it was first time i had seen it here as i passed en route to Sheringham.
Next up noticed that a couple of coaches were parked up in the yard formerly used by Bluebird Travel on the town's industrial estate, on further inspection the yard is now used by Maretts Chariots and home to both their recent arrivals MB Tourismos BU64MYR & BG65VXU, i met a member of staff who was cleaning the newest arrival and was kindly shown round the very impressive vehicles. They differ slightly with the 64 plate version having 51 seats and an on board toilet with the newer one being a 53 seater. Many thanks for the  tour and chat.
Next it was onto a damp Sheringham to see what i could capture working the local routes. First spot was what i believe is the last remaining Wright bodied Cadet in the fleet HE51BUS, i noted a couple of others being stripped at the North Walsham depot. I had hoped to see the latest Gemini arrival and the two ex Fishwicks single deckers but to no avail! I headed back home via Cromer to look in at Cadagon Road where i was greeted by a meeting of Optare Solos, two from Stagecoach Norfolk and one belonging to Sanders.
Solo line up in Cromer.
So my day was done with some success but not what i had set out for or so i thought! Here comes the ironic twist, as i parked up back home in Ormesby, Sanders 6 service to North Walsham passes through the village and stops outside my house on Cromer Road and guess what pulled up at the stop!
You guessed it!  After a 60 mile round trip it stops on your doorstep!                                 Ex Fishwicks YH63CXE en route to North Walsham.  I shall say no more!


Thursday 18 February 2016

#TBT Beach Coach Station 1987/8 ~ Part Two

The second part of our trilogy relating to visitors to Beach Coach Station in the years 1987 and 1988 with photos kindly supplied by 'Reg Vardy'

Our first photo this week is of  a mark 1 Leyland National OJD871R which made the long trip to Great Yarmouth from the capital. It was a two door bus delivered new to London Transport in 1977 as LS71

It was later converted to single door layout with coach seating in 1986 at the same time as having the forester livery applied and believed to be for use on a designated route - the X99. It is thought to be Forest District Council's only attempt at a commercial service which ran half hourly between Basildon and Harlow. When the X99 finished, the buses went to various places, including Leyton Garage, from which it is operating in the photo.

It left London Transport in 1993 for Stuart Palmer of Dunstable prior to moving on to The Eden later that year. It also saw use with Whiting of Ferrybridge, Nebb of Anfield Plain and Dart of Paisley. OJD last operated for McKindless of Wishaw before being sold for scrap to Dunmore of Larkhall in May 2001

The second offering is of a coach that had travelled even further to Great Yarmouth and that was Strathtay Scottish VSS1X. The Duple Goldliner bodied Leyland Tiger was new to Alexander (Northern) in July 1982 which passed to Strathtay Scottish on its formation

VSS1X was then thought to have gone to Tame Valley in Birmingham before passing to Travel West Midlands. It ended up being re-bodied with an East Lancs bus body with Midland Red North and subsequently re-registered OOV761X before becoming part of the Arriva Midlands fleet

It later saw use as a school bus with Patterson of Seahouses, Alnwick and a photo of OOV in 2006 its new guise can be viewed HERE

My thanks to 'Reg' for the use of the photos for the post which was compiled with the help of the informative Iain's Bus Stop website


Orbituary ~ Grace Esme Reynolds

Grace Reynolds, wife of the late Leonard Reynolds and company secretary to Reynolds Coaches of Caister, passed away on 7th February 2016 at the age of 95. She was fully active in the day to day running of the family business up until a month before her death

Caetano Optimo bodied Toyota Coaster BIG8781
thought to have been named after Grace
Grace was a resident of Caister-on-Sea her entire life and after leaving school became a saleswoman and window dresser in a local store. She spent her war years in reserved occupation as a conductress with Eastern Counties Omnibus Company

In 1942 she married Leonard who was then in the RAF and when the war ended they moved to Ormesby Road in the village. He took up the reins of his late father's transport business and began carrying passengers firstly by horse drawn carriages and then in Ford Model T 14 seater charabancs.

A recent addition to the fleet is Volvo AW53GAU
A garage and petrol filling station was subsequently built on an adjoining site before restarting the coach operation. Leonard died in 1996 and passed the business on to his son Charles with Grace continuing her role as the Company Secretary. Charles continues to operate the concern today which became a limited company in 2007

East Norfolk Bus Blog sends its condolences to Grace's family and friends


Wednesday 17 February 2016

Service Alterations Registered ~ 17th February 2016

Another fortnight passes and another Notices and Proceedings Report is issued by the Traffic Commissioner for the East of England. Unlike the two previous publications there's a lot more to digest with Anglianbus, Borderbus, Konectbus, Sanders and Ourhire all registering changes this time. So take a deep breath and here we go!

Registration of New Services
Our Hire (Our Bus) has registered a new circular route starting and ending at Roys Store in Stalham Road, Wroxham travelling via Barton Turf, Neatishead and Horning. The hail and ride 290 service runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays only from 29th March 2016
Sanders Coaches are to run a new Monday to Friday service between North Walsham and Norwich. Route 15 will be via Smallburgh, Hoveton, Wroxham and Sprowston commencing on 27th March 2016

Applications to Vary Existing Services
Borderbus is to alter the route and timetable of both its parts of the 146 service between Southwold - Beccles and Beccles - Norwich from 29th March 2016. The operator is also to amend the route, stopping places and timetable of its SJL1 Kessingland to Sir John Leman School, Beccles from 12th April 2016
Konectbus is to change the timetable of its 503 Norwich Postwick Park and Ride service from 28th March 2016
Our Hire (Our Bus) is to amend the route, stopping places and timetable of the following routes
  • 292 Squires Road, Halvergate to Roys Store, Wroxham from 29th March 2016
  • 293 The Street Acle to Roys Store Wroxham from 1st April 2016
  • 294 Cromer Road, Ormesby St Margaret to All Saints Green, Norwich  from 31st March 2016
  • Acle Area Flexibus - Filby to Upton from 29th March 2016
Additionally the operator is to amend the route, start and finish point, stopping places and timetable of its 730 service between Hopwell Gardens in Beighton and the East Norfolk Sixth Form College in Gorleston from 29th March 2016
Sanders Coaches is to amend the timetables of twelve of its services from 27th March 2016:-
  • 5 Charles Road,Holt  to North Walsham Post Office
  • 6 North Walsham Post Office to Great Yarmouth
  • 6A North Walsham Post Office to Cromer Bus Station
  • 9 Holt Market Place to Oak Street, Fakenham, 
  • 33/33A North Walsham to Cromer Bus Station
  • 34 North Walsham Post Office to Stalham former Station site
  • 36 Happisburgh Post Office to Norwich High School, Norwich
  • 42/43 Reepham Market Place to Norwich Bus Station
  • 44/44S Hempstead Road, Holt and Sheringham Station Approach
  • 210 North Walsham to Norwich Bus Station
  • X44 Reepham to Norwich High School, Norwich
  • X55 North Walsham Post Office to Norwich City Centre

Applications to Vary Existing Services Granted Under Short Notice
Anglianbus is to change the timetable of its 87/88/BH274 services between Durban Close, Halesworth and Newmarket Road, Norwich fron 22nd February 2016

Cancellations of Existing Services
Anglian's 60J service at the James Paget Hospital
terminus earlier this month
Anglianbus is to cancel two of its services from 28th March 2016. They are the 60J between Lowestoft Bus Station and the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston and the linked 68 route between Rackheath and Gorleston's East Norfolk Sixth Form College
Borderbus is to cease operating its SJL9 route between Barnby and the Sir John Leman School in Beccles from 11th April 2016
Our Hire (Our Bus) is cancelling its 290 Roys Store, Wroxham to Tunstead Primary School service from 29th March 2016. A new 290 service is being introduced - see Registration of New Services above

Hope you have got all that! The latest Notices and Proceedings Report also contains changes by other local companies that do not have any effect on our local services - so may I suggest you take a look at the full publication by clicking HERE


Tuesday 16 February 2016

Lowestoft Sightings

Yesterday I felt in need of some bus activity and, with school duties out of the way with half term, I decided to head off to Lowestoft to get photos of the recent arrivals from First Bath

However, the outward journey didn't go as planned - I arrived near to the bus stop just to see the X1 passing me with celebrity SN60CAA in charge. After an expletive, I decided to walk to Gorleston High Street where I would have a choice of routes - and it rained too!

President 32205 LT52WTL on Corton Long Lane
It was later used to provide my journey back home
As expected (dreaded!), the first to arrive was a President in the shape of  32211 LT52WTU on the 1 and I headed upstairs to see the front seats were occupied. Only as far as the James Paget Hospital though, so I changed seats in the hope of getting a photo through the front windows. As most of the route was southbound, and the sun out, there was fat chance of that! There was a westbound stretch along Corton Long Lane where I was fortunate that there was another President heading towards us on the reverse of the same route

Arriving at Lowestoft Bus Station, I noted that Lowestoft Corporation liveried ALX400 30888 W743DWX was about to work the X22 to Norwich. Another bus I wanted a photo of and, although the low sun wasn't helping, this is was what I got!

With the cold and rain shower beginning to take effect, and none of the sextet of new arrivals making an appearance, I decided it was time for a caffeine injection.

Armed with my hot drink, I headed off to Station Square for a different location for photos. No sooner had I arrived then another shower meant a quick dash to the railway station for cover. I immediately decided not to partake of some passive smoking so headed for the bus shelters instead.

Straight away an Anglian decker arrived with no passengers and 'Not in Service' on the destination screen. T812RFG, an East Lancs Loloyne bodied Trident, didn't appear on any service and I wondered what it was doing there.  I later learned from social media that a presence there appears to be a common occurrence. (see SteveW's comment below for the reason!)

With the rain almost stopping, I espied my first newcomer in the queue of traffic heading towards me on Katwijk Way. Luckily 42911 WX05RVV was stopped at the lights allowing for a reasonable photo - perhaps the sun was shining down on me at last!

Returning to Gordon Road and the bus station, I observed that Suffolk Norse were employing regulars ADL Enviro300 SN56AYL on the 107 to Gunton and Iveco MX53VHL on its 115 route to Kirkley

Another of the the ex First Bath Darts, 42908 WX05RVR, on Lowestoft town service 101
I only managed to get another two of the ex First Bath Darts in the bag so it means another trip over the border in the near future - hopefully when the weather is a little milder

As far as I could see the only one active of the seven
vehicles on site was Angies Tours operated King Long
I thought I would also look in at the former Eurosun premises at Norwich Road Industrial Estate. Seven vehicles were on site in various states of (dis)repair with King Long WJI5242 appearing to be the only one in a roadworthy condition now operating for Angies Tours.

For the record the other six were
TIB8574 Scania K113CRB/Jonckheere
A11HOA Mercedes Benz 814D/Marshall
WJI6895 MAN/Marcopolo Explorer
BLZ7773 Scania K113CRB/Jonckheere
FIL6002 Dennis Javelin/ Plaxton Premiere
K2HWT MAN/Jonckheere

TIB was being used as a Christmas tree for spares and looked unlikely to ever turn a wheel in anger again. K2HWT was formerly with ex Great Yarmouth operator Caroline Seagull

All too soon it was time for the journey home which meant another trip back on a President - this time it was 32205 LT52WTL which had passed me on my inward journey earlier that day

I was not the only blogger in town that day as Lou was up from Eastbourne and Cameron had travelled in from Gorleston


Monday 15 February 2016

Where Are They Now? ~ EY05FYP

A former regular on my local route has turned up in the South West of England. Former Jersey Dart EY05FYP has recently been photographed at Redruth Railway Station by Kameron Allan

42358 EY05FYP arrived at First Great Yarmouth in early June 2013 and made its d├ębut in service on the 14th of that month. The Dart was new to Connex Jersey in 2006 where it was registered as J79350. It stayed in Great Yarmouth until transferring to Lowestoft in May 2014 and subsequently to First Kernow late last year

My thanks to Kameron for his permission to use the photo


Friday 12 February 2016

Ex Swift Decker For Sale

A recent glance at the Route One Trader website revealed some information concerning vehicles linked to local independent operator Swift Taxis

Richards Coaches of Guist are advertising the availability of their ex Swift Jonckheere Monaco bodied Volvo B12BT. Registered SE51DZV, the 71 seater was acquired by Richards in September 2013

Another coach on the list is Swift's Neoplan bodied Dennis Javelin SJI8127 which was confirmed by one of the employees as being available for disposal in early January. It was last seen in Swift's Southtown yard on the 29th of that month and has not been seen since. So I am assuming that it has finally gone bringing another era to an end


Thursday 11 February 2016

Smith's Latest Acqusition

Peelings JJZ8022 in Great Yarmouth in July last year
Colin Oakley reports on the East-Anglia-Buses Yahoo Group that Smith's Coaches has acquired Volvo B12M JJZ8022 from Jonathan Joplin of Tittleshall, which trades as Peelings Coaches

The Blofield operator has re-registered the coach as L8SLT - a plate it previously used on a Dennis Javelin. It is not known whether the Javelin itself has been re- registered or has moved on

My research reveals that JJZ8022 was new to Parks of Hamilton as LSK827 in March 2002, being one of four vehicles to carry that mark. It has also carried SG02OYW and A14GOO plates. Its subsequent registration was PA02SEA when Peelings acquired it from Seaward of Harlesden in Greater London during February 2012 - becoming JJZ8022 a month later


#TBT Beach Coach Station 1987/8

Courtesy of 'Reg Vardy', today is the first contribution in a three week's series of  nostalgia focussing on coaches visiting Beach Coach Station during 1987/8. Apologies to those who subscribe to Reg on Facebook as they will have already seen them

I also used to visit the ex railway station during the 1980s - Saturday lunchtimes between 12 and 2 were a must for the local bus enthusiast. It gave the opportunity to see coaches and buses from far and wide. Operators like Trent, Midland General, East Midland, Barton are names that immediately spring to mind

The first photo from Reg's collection is of C630PAU a Plaxton Paramount bodied DAF. New to Barton in May 1986, it subsequently found use with Croydon Coaches of Purley

The second is of an East Midlands MCW Metro HiLiner arriving at the coach station's Sandown Road entrance. D51OWJ, previously a demonstrator, was one of two new to East Midlands during October 1986. It was later acquired by Northern Bus during 1989

My thanks to 'Reg' for the privilege of using his photos - more next week


Wednesday 10 February 2016

Where Are They Now? YN53GFY & YS03ZKU

News of two former silver liveried Anglianbus operated Scania OmniCity single deckers appear in the February issue of Buses Magazine

YN53GFY at the Anglianbus Ellough site in July 2010
In the Fleet News Section, the twosome are now with Watersons of Hemsworth in West Yorkshire and the report relates that YN53GFY has now joined YS03ZKU in fleet livery

YS03ZKU on the same day which coincided with an EATM event
A photo of YN53GFY in its new colours can be viewed here whilst a picture of YS03ZKU in its new livery can seen here


Tuesday 9 February 2016

New EATM Website

The East Anglia Transport Museum has recently launched its new website which can be found at a new  internet address -

The EATM's 2012 London Event
The Museum will again be holding some special events this year including

  • 26th and 27th March - Start of Season Easter Gala
  • 14th and 15th May - Mid May 40's Weekend
  • 19th June - Dad's Day Out
  • 9th and 10th July - London Event
  • 24th and 25th September - Trolleybus Weekend
  • 29th October Halloween

Further information about the events, including park and ride services, can be found on the new website

Incidentally, rumours that a former Bournemouth trolleybus is going to Carlton Colville, following reports of a sighting on the A11 at Barton Mills, are untrue. Weymann bodied KLJ 346, which was latterly located at Winkleigh in Devon, has been acquired by a local individual who was moving it to a site in Norwich. No request has been received by the EATM to move it there

My thanks to Tim Major for alerting me to the new site and also the information regarding the ex Bournemouth trolleybus


Monday 8 February 2016

Sunday Early Start ~ Updated

During Grahame's run along North Quay in the Swift on Saturday, he saw a blue double decker for sale at a car sales site almost opposite the Aldi's store. I therefore vowed to get a photo of it earlier this morning

Easier said then done as it was surrounded by cars but the photo above is the best one I could manage. The bus was an East Lancs bodied Volvo Citybus which was last with Norwich School.

Registered H653GPF, it was new to London & Country in 1990 and later transferred within the Arriva group. The Norwich School subsequently acquired it from dealers Ensign in May 2009 having been sent there by Arriva Derby in November in the previous year

Returning home via Marine Parade, I observed Shearings Holidays Setra 108 BK09RNE and National Holidays Mercedes Benz Tourismo NH15ECH parked


Andrew Smith contacted me earlier today to say that H653 GPF was auctioned at East Anglian Motor Auctions at Wymondham on 21st January last, along with a couple of Norse coaches. It failed to sell and was taken to Norse premises at Norwich.

Prior to then, Norwich School had acquired two ex Norwich Park & Ride Tridents from Norse with PN03UMD and PN03ULT to replace H653 and sister H684GPF. The later to be replaced when PN03ULT is repainted during half term or at Easter

Finally H653GPF has also appeared on eBay and at present an offer of £2,000 stands with a closing date of 14th February

Many thanks to Andrew for the information


Saturday 6 February 2016

First Swift outing of the year

Yarmouth's most social media friendly bus took to the roads once again for its first outing of the year to blow a few cobwebs away after a while without any movement. I met Chris Speed this morning and after a quick boost with the battery pack we set of for a trip around some local haunts.
A windy seafront was the first trip of the day.

After a trip along a very blustery seafront and a quick jaunt through Market Gates we headed over to Gorleston and tried out the new road joining the A12 with Bradwell and Belton. A possible future bus route perhaps??. We headed into Belton for a quick photo stop on Bracon Road before heading back along Southtown Road and home to the Depot.
85 at the stop on Bracon Road, Belton.
The morning also included a bit of flooring work and a certain Anorak getting to learn some more Bus driving skills!

Dont forget you can keep up to date with 85's diary on Facebook or Twitter @WEX685M.

As always thanks to Chris for the invite.    Grahame.