Sunday 6 September 2020

New Life For Great Yarmouth Bristol VR

The Eastern Counties Bus Prerservation Group have announced their latest addition and its another piece of Great Yarmouth Heritage to add to their fleet......
After months of planning, we are very proud to announce the acquisition of First Eastern Counties 329 from Mick and Judy Peters. The famous Bristol VR ECW body numbered 23456 has been residing in North Norfolk since December 2003, after being exchanged with Ben Jordan (breaker) for Mick's Bedford Plaxton Supreme, TNX 901T.
Of course 29 was new to Great Yarmouth Corporation in February 1979, some 20 years before our first group vehicle 574!
29 will be known as “Blue Peter” - firstly to mark the legacy of Mick and Judy Peters' sheer efforts to keep this vehicle so well kept at their home in North Norfolk, and also because our eventual plans will be to restore 29 back to Great Yarmouth Transport blue with cream relief stripes livery with the “BLUE BUSES” strap lines that were worn in the 1980s/90s, which is very much at the heart of our chairman Jamie's first memories of holidaying in Great Yarmouth.
Some fun facts:
29 worked solely from Caister Road, Great Yarmouth, from February 1979 - firstly for Great Yarmouth Corporation, which then changed in the mid-1980s (can anyone confirm?) to Great Yarmouth Transport “BLUE BUSES”.
In September 1996, First Eastern Counties took over operations of Great Yarmouth Transport with 29 becoming First Blue Bus branded and renumbered 329.
Not long after, in 1997, Flying Banana was purchased - incorporating the last competitor the easterly town had!

329 continued to work from the coastal town until finally being withdrawn in March 2002, some 23 years after it entered traffic at Great Yarmouth.
29 then went to Ben Jordan’s, Coltishall (breaker) and the story should have ended there... but there was a twist! In December 2003, it went to spend its retirement in North Norfolk - and the rest, as they say, is history. 329 became the family “summer house”, but is now getting its 3rd lease of life.
This has only been successful with the help of Mark Judd at MR Judd Commercials and our friends at the Eastern Bus Enthusiasts. But our biggest thanks has to go to Mick and Judy for allowing us the chance to take on this project, which will be worked on alongside our other ongoing projects.
As winter fast approaches, we have even bigger and more exciting things happening behind the scenes as we prepare for 90 years of Eastern Counties next year.

I think we shall be looking forward to seeing 29 back in its Blue colours and once again sitting on the forecourt at Caister Road just like the photo above!
Thanks to Jamie for the info and to myself for keeping it a secret aswell!

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