Tuesday 31 December 2019

Bedford SPW999 Update

SPW999 In July 1976 outside Reynolds Coaches depot on
Ormesby Road in Caister. Photo supplied by David Bell
You may remember from earlier this year a post (Plea to Help Restore Bedford SBG) regarding a request for help to renovate a Duple bodied Bedford SBG coach.

SPW999 was new to East Coast Motor Company (Orange Coaches) of Cromer in 1955 and then went to Babbage (Grey & Green) a year later. It has a further local connection in that it went to Reynolds of Caister in April 1962 and in circa 1991 was sold to a private owner near North Walsham.

Unfortunately the bid by the local businessman to acquire it for preservation was unsuccessful. John Wakefield has subsequently pointed me in the direction of a recent Flickr photo of SPW999 taken earlier this month. Apparently it has been privately acquired and moved to West Yorkshire for a long term conversion to a camper van.

My thanks to John for bringing this to my attention


Monday 30 December 2019

Sunday in the city

As the Christmas money was burning a hole in my teenage daughter's pocket it was off to Norwich on Sunday in Dad's Taxi to hit the sales with a couple of her friends, which made me surplus to requirements for a couple of hours so it meant i could have a wander around and do my own thing, this meant a few shops, a brief drink in a local hostelry and a few photos of any sunday workings on my travels.

First up was former Great Yarmouth Volvo B7TL 32214 LT52WTX now adorned in the Lilac livery for any Norwich service of choice, seen here in St. Stephens working the 37 to Hellesdon.

Konectbus operate the 41A service to Bungay on a Sunday and former Bluestar Mercedes Benz HF55JZL was in use, now 431 in the Konect Fleet.

In the Bus Station was National Express Caetano Levante BK15AKG which was working the 727 service to Stansted Airport, this particular coach is operated by Whippet Coaches.

Finally, Lowestoft based Volvo/Gemini 37576 AU58EDC was noted laying over in St Stephens, it later went out back to Lowestoft working the X2 Service.

Hope you all had a great Christmas and have a very Happy and Safe New Year.


Sunday 29 December 2019

Irish Duplicate

Omar Atiallah contacted me yesterday evening with information that Norwich Bus Station received an unusual visitor around lunch time that day.

It appeared on a rare National Express duplicate 10:00 departure from London Victoria and is seen at the bus station at around 13:50. The coach, with Irish registration of 161-D-9260, was a Jonckheere SHV bodied Volvo B11R from the Bernard Kavanagh of Urlingford fleet, situated in County Kilkenney in Ireland. A little off its usual beaten track you might say!

I understand from Colin Oakley that it then returned to London to work the overnight service to Cork

My thanks to Omar for the photo and to Colin for the update


Friday 27 December 2019

Anglianbus In Exile

In June 2018 Robert Appleton contacted us to say that Hedingham & District's Clacton depot had three double deck buses still in Anglianbus livery (see Ex Anglian Deckers in Exile).

Since that post Dennis Trident 712 (T812RFG) was withdrawn and sold to Ensign for subsequent scrapping. However, Hedingham's Clacton depot has received three more buses from Konectbus that are still in Anglianbus livery and Robert has forwarded the following photos.

Scania Omnicity single-decker 458 (YN05 HFH) in Jackson Road, Clacton, on 29 November 2019, working Clacton local service 5A to Flatford Drive.

Scania Omnicity single-decker 460 (YN05 HFF) in Pier Avenue, Clacton, on 26 November 2019, working Clacton Circular service 137.

Scania Omnicity double-decker 851 (AO57 EZL) in the Stanwell Street part of Colchester bus station on 18 December 2019, working service X76 to Clacton.

My thanks to Robert for the information and photos. It's good to see the old buses again and, as Robert says, the Anglianbus livery brightens up these dull days.


Thursday 26 December 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 25th December 2019

One change to local bus services to report from the latest Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner on Christmas Day.

Ambassador Travel is to amend the timetable of its 879 Ditchingham to Gorleston service from 24th February 2020

The full report will be available to view here soon.


Tuesday 24 December 2019

Seasons Greetings

Well its almost here with Christmas Day just around the corner. I have decided to dispense with the usual annual review but you can still see our earlier reports by looking through the blog archive at the bottom of  the left hand column.

East Norfolk Bus Blog reached two million page views in October and this month it looks as though we are heading for an all time monthly high figure too. This is not solely down to our hard work but also due to the increasing number of contributions from our readers - some of them being newcomers. I have been looking back at previous lists of contributors and the list continues to grow!

Therefore, I shall not publish a complete list this year for fear of missing out anyone - but thanks to each and everyone of you as your information/photos are much valued.

I would also like to thank all of our readers for supporting the blog over the past nine years and my very special thanks goes to Grahame Bessey for his many tireless contributions and support. A busy man indeed but he still spares time to post his reports!

2020 looks to be an interesting year ahead, especially at the beginning, with new buses appearing on the EXCEL route between Norwich and Peterborough. This will result in a cascade of buses to the East Norfolk/ East Suffolk area with other transfers also planned. The temporary shutdown of the local rail network in February for signalling work may lead to more surprising appearances on rail replacement duties (or will it be the same vehicles as now?)

Last, but not least, ENBB would like to wish all readers, supporters and contributors a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year and, as always, we will endeavour to continue with our high standard of reporting into our tenth year!


Monday 23 December 2019

Dolphin Visit

Liam S visited Dolphin Autos premises in Norwich earlier today and here are a few photos showing what was on view.

The first shows a collection of Bovas with a Volvo intruding! KEN28 was new to Stacey of Carlisle in March 2006 as YJ06GOE. It was acquired from Woods of Bognor Regis ten years later. Plaxton bodied Volvo B12B KX07HDJ was purchased from Freestones Coaches in September this year and is still in blue. LVG569, another Bova, was new to Cowdrey of Gosport in February 1996 as N709CYC.

The second features recent arrival Volvo B10M-62 Y954WFC which has also seen service with Crawley Coaches as CLC983T. It was acquired in October this year with legal lettering showing Norfolk Coachways of Besthorpe.

Our penultimate photo is of two Mercedes Benz vehicles. R84EDW is an O814D acquired from South West Minibuses of Fishponds, Bristol in 2014, whilst VIL9195 is a 1223L purchased from Miles of Plean, Stirling in August 2018.

The final contribution is that of D15SFC, another Mercedes, acquired from Translinc of Lincoln in August 2008

Many thanks to LiamS for the photos and to Jackie at Dolphin for consent to publish


Sunday 22 December 2019

Sunday Norwich Vintage Bus Rides

A 1972 built Eastern Coach Works bodied Bristol RELL6G, former Eastern Counties RL516 EPW516K, joined the fray in offering free Vintage Bus Rides in Norwich today.

Bristol VR VPW85S returns to its duties tomorrow supporting Routemaster CUV151C for the remaining days of the trips before Christmas

My thanks to Dan High for the photos


Sunday Rail Replacement

Today sees the continuation of rail replacement standbys with three being espied at Norwich Station at around lunchtime by Tim Miller

They were Peter Godward Coaches' Van Hool bodied DAF SB4000 with 'cherished' plate T99PGC. It was new to Chambers of Bures in June 2002 as AV02SNN. Next in line was Smith's Coaches' Volvo B12M FP51EUN with Angies Coaches Neoplan P24PJO bringing up the rear.

At around the same time Great Yarmouth Station was playing host to Ambassador Travel's KIG7739, a Sunsundegui bodied Volvo B12B. It was new to the operator as FJ08FYB in March 2008.

My thanks to Tim for the photo


Saturday 21 December 2019

Norwich Vintage Bus Rides

In addition to First Great Yarmouth's Santa Bus, Norwich also has Awayadays Routemaster Hire providing free vintage bus rides around the city for a period in the lead up to Christmas.

The rides also commenced yesterday and regular contributor LiamS has provided photos of the two vehicles involved. First off was Awaydays former London General AEC Routemaster RM2151 CUV151C

The interior of VPW85S prior to departure
The second double decker involved was ECW bodied Bristol VR VPW85S - now owned by the VR190 Preservation Group.

The free service is operating everyday up to and including Christmas Eve, leaving Castle Meadow at 30 minute intervals between 10:30 and 15:30.

Voluntary donations are being welcomed for the Big C, Norfolk's cancer charity.

My thanks to Liam for the photos


Friday 20 December 2019

Rail Replacement ~ Lowestoft

Earlier today rail replacement services were still in place at Lowestoft Station. Here is Angies Coaches' P31PJO on the 13.48 service to Norwich via Oulton Broad North.

My thanks to Tim Miller for the photo


Santa Bus Begins

A damp and dull morning welcomed Santa and his bus this morning greeted by a young family complete with their Christmas hats.

Santa was driving the bus ably assisted by his helpers. As expected, it was operated by a Wright Street Lite with 47502 SN64CPV doing the honours.

In between greeting his customers he managed a wave to the Eastnorfolkbus camera. Further details about the Santa Bus can be found here


Friday Round Up

A rather damp look at visiting coaches in the Great Yarmouth holiday area earlier this morning dominated by National Holidays' coaches

Unfortunately my first photo of a 69 registered Mercedes Benz Tourismo from the fleet wasn't very successful. Camera shake plus poor lighting conditions meant the delete button was pressed! However, outside the Carlton Hotel was a similar coach from the fleet, NH18KGH, with a very friendly driver.

Further along the seafront was another National Holidays' coach in the form of another Tourismo, NH16SEH, parked on North Drive.

The next port of call was Beach Coach Station where I didn't expect to find anything. However, Jubilee Coaches' Scania/Van Hool W26JCR was the sole occupant.

The final location was the railway station where Freestone Coaches, Irizar bodied Scania YN07LFL was on standby. Just as I was driving away Ambassador Travel's Scania YN16UAF, complete with Grand UK Holidays branding, turned up.


Thursday 19 December 2019

Charity Bus Makes An Appearance

During March 2015, Grahame reported the arrival of a Stagecoach double decker in Great Yarmouth, It was stored/hidden at the rear of Beach Coach Station behind the toilet and admin block.

It was N368LPN an Alexander bodied Olympian formerly with Stagecoach Kent as fleet number 16368. It had been purchased by a local charity for conversion into use a shelter/SOS type vehicle for the charity.

It later moved from its location to more secure premises at Great Yarmouth College with Ryan Durrant providing a photo of it in its new surroundings.

Whilst there work started on providing new inside 240v lighting. A new alternator, belt and batteries were also installed to get it up and running.

The last I saw of it was when it was parked for some time on LG Perfects' site at Harfey's Industrial Estate, still in Stagecoach colours.

Other than a Facebook photo of it in the Hellesdon area of Norwich I heard no more of it. That was until earlier today when Ben Fosker posted a photo of it Great Yarmouth Market Place repainted light blue complete with its 'Hope On The Bus' charity branding

My thanks to Ben for allowing me to use his photo


Great Yarmouth Santa Bus

First Great Yarmouth is to operate a Santa Bus in the town for a few days offering a free seasonal ride around the town in support of the Action for Children charity.

The bus is to be driven by Santa himself and will be assisted by his elves on board, who've been busy decorating the inside, even including its own Christmas Tree. The elves will be singing some well-known Christmas songs during the trip which lasts around twenty minutes.

Whilst there is no charge to ride on the Bus you will be able to give a donation to Action for Children.

You can join the Santa Bus at Stand A at Market Gates Bus Station from the 20th to 24th December which operates at mainly thirty minutes intervals between 09:30 and 15:30 each day.

Wednesday 18 December 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 18th December 2019

One change to local bus services to report from today’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

Ambassador Travel has registered a new service 50 at short notice between Gorleston and Easton College commencing on 6th January 2020. It operates on Easton College term days only.

Changes to local PSV operating licences have also occurred:

BR Shreeve and Sons (operating as Belle Coaches) of Haddenham Road in Lowestoft has decreased the number of vehicles authorised at both its Lowestoft and Leiston operating centres to 30.

The operating licence held by William Hamilton of Redwald Road in Rendlesham near Woodbridge in Suffolk has been revoked without a public inquiry. Services running under the licence have also been revoked with immediate effect.

The full report will be available to view here soon.


Rail Replacement ~ Norwich Wednesday

Rail replacement standby coaches were again in place at Norwich Station this morning when SteveW passed by

His initial photo shows at least four in attendance with Freestones Coaches' Irizar bodied Scania K114IB YN07LFY at the head of the line up.

Next in line was YN08OCE; another Scania, this time a an Irizar bodied K340EB4 version operated by Peter Godward Coaches of Basildon.

The final photo shows the third Scania in the line in the shape of Freestones Coaches Lahden bodied Scania K470EB YT68GXM

My thanks to Steve for the photos


Tuesday 17 December 2019

More Enterprising Rail Replacement

Rail Replacement standbys were present near Norwich Station earlier this morning. This is Ensignbus BCI Enterprise 405 LX19EAW pictured on Lower Clarence Road this morning. Hiding immediately behind is Ensigns Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TL LX15GVE

My thanks to Liam.S for the photo.


Monday 16 December 2019

Norwich Off Route Workings

Dan High has sent in a couple of photos of buses working off their normal routes yesterday according to their branding

The first picture shows one of Konectbus brand new ADL Enviro200s working the 5B to Eaton. YX69KPF appears to be working a 'new' Eaton Park and Ride route - something I wasn't aware of !!

Dan's final photo, under the cover of (almost) darkness, shows a Charcoal Line bus operating a Blue Line service. Former First Great Yarmouth Volvo B9TL 36181 BF12KXU is on the 26 to Norwich Railway Station.

My thanks to Dan for the photos


Sunday 15 December 2019


A couple of instances where two coaches were seen together around lunch time today. The first was at Great Yarmouth Railway Station and the second occasion was at an unusual location on Brewery Plain adjoining the town centre.

Whilst the trains appeared to be running ok, the duo at the station were Smith's Coaches' 333SXU and Ambassador Travel's KIG8426. The former was previously registered Y152EAY and new to Tudor of Stamford in August 2001. The latter was new to Ambassador as FD54DHY in February 2005.

At Brewery Plain was New Bharat's Volvo B11RT BC16NBC accompanied by Felixstowe Travel's Sunsundegui SC5 bodied Volvo B5R M40FXO. Despite the latter's registration it was new to the Suffolk operator in September 2017.


Saturday 14 December 2019

Lynx Loanee

As you will have seen from Wednesday's post, ('Lynx BoBee Bus Loan') Lynx currently has an Enviro 400MMC demonstrator on loan and Thursday was its first day in service.

It is mainly used on Hunstanton services and David Bell was on hand to get a few photos on the first day. One shot shows it leaving Hunstanton bus station whilst the others are taken in Kings Lynn bus station after arrival and then being driven off service by Lynx co-owner Julian Patterson.

My thanks to David for the three photos


Friday 13 December 2019

Friday Round Up

The return of Friday Round Up where we usually look around the holiday area of Great Yarmouth to see what coaches are about on their short breaks.

This morning there were two Shearing Coaches on Marine Parade close to the Carlton Hotel. The photo shows both of them, one a regular and one not so. At the front was white Mercedes Benz Tourismo in the form of BV19YLS (completely devoid of any fleet names) whilst behind was BU18YSL

Nearby on Marine Parade was Ambassador Travel's Scania YN16UAF in Grand UK Holidays livery. It is apparently later heading off to Thursford for the Christmas spectacular if the windscreen notice is to be believed

On North Drive, close to Britannia Pier, was National Holidays' Mercedes Benz Tourismo NH16PEH. Beach Coach Station was completely empty


More Rail Replacement

With signalling problems continuing to disrupt rail services, bus and coaches are on standby at major railway stations this morning

This was the scene at Norwich with two Ensignbus Volvo B9TL/ Wright Eclipses hanging around. They were identified by Liam S as 123 LX15GOP and 131 LX15GVE. Thanks for the photo Liam

Meanwhile also this morning at Great Yarmouth station was Belle Coaches Kassbohrer Setra 39 OJI4754 on standby.