Sunday 20 January 2019

Sunday Sightings from July 2002

Its always nice to sit and go through your photo collection and be reminded of the trips and days out you had when you had a bit more time on your hands! In July 2002 i was living in Caister and would often pop out in the car to visit the local operators depots on a Sunday morning to see what was around as the internet info was not quite as advanced as it is now so the only way to see any fleet updates was to physically go and see what was around.

Catfield was home to Neaves, a family run business that started as a coach company but had branched out into Buses over the years and 2002 the fleet was a good size with a mixture of Buses and Coaches for School Contracts and local services. The Bus Fleet was largely made up of East Lancs Greenway converted Leyland Nationals. JIL2197 was new in 1973 as BCD808L to London Country before conversion in 1994, it passed to Arriva Southern Counties and was re registered there, it later moved to Arriva Fox County before being purchased by Neaves in 2002.

THX139S was another Leyland National in the fleet, It was new to London Transport in 1978 as LS139 and was originally dual doored. It was purchased from Konectbus, it did run for a while in Konectbus colours before being painted allover Red.

Another Operator based in Catfield was Craske although they were classed as being at Sutton.Sadly another local operator that is no more. They had a fleet of around half a dozen coaches and NIL6567 is pictured above at their depot. It was repainted into allover white in 2003.

Along the A149 to Stalham where Eastern Counties had an outstation at the time for their 54 service, it was normally home to between 3 and 5 vehicles. 2002 saw the arrival of new Plaxton Paragon Coaches for the Excel X94 service which displaced the existing fleet of Coaches to City work in Norwich. 32 (P732NVG) Is pictured above having the day off at Stalham alongside Scania 566 (S566TPW) still with its Excel Branding applied. The outstation was closed after a Fire destroyed vehicles on the site.

Finally a quick visit to Caister Road was always a must, this Sunday saw Dart 421 K741JAH laying over whilst on duty for the summer 3 service. It was a recent repaint into the short lived Barbie 2 livery. Note the Vauxhall Astra GTE parked near the office which belonged to Controller Brian Fields at the time, a classic!


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