Monday 30 November 2020

Last Trip

The latest from Rollesby - based Jubilee Coaches is that the remnants of the Plaxton bodied Volvo B10M, recently acquired from Norfolk Coachways, is about to leave on its final journey for scrap.

Since arriving in late September, P122 JNF has been broken up for spares and is seen here awaiting collection this morning. I understand that good ventilation is a requirement for minimising the effects of COVID19 but I think its appearance on the next schools service might be taking things a little too far!!

My thanks to Kevan Portas for the information and photo.


Saturday 28 November 2020

Saturday Sightings

Couple of sightings to report from today whilst doing the Shopping and Exercise duties.

First up whilst visiting Adsa a couple of vehicles laying over whilst on Rail Replacement duties at Yarmouth Station.

First up is former Metroline Volvo B7TL LK04NLZ now with Completely Coach Travel which is becoming a regular on such duties around the area.

Also on duty was Angies Tours Caetano Levante P28PJO.

On the way home i also managed to spot the latest arrival at Caister Road which is another ex Sheffield Volvo B7RLE 69020 SF55UAN which was changing drivers in Beaconsfield Road.

And finally back in my home village another of the Sheffield exiles was working the 1 service to Lowestoft in the shape of 69046 SF55UBG.

Stay Safe everyone, Grahame

Friday 27 November 2020

Coastlink Repaints Complete

Today sees the end of First Eastern Counties Coastlink repaints for now following the completion of Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9 37275 LK58 EDJ in the new colour scheme. It is seen here this morning awaiting the application of transfers as the early morning fog clears. 

It appears that two of the current fleet (37573/8 AU58 ECX/EDJ) still retain the old Excel blue livery and will remain so for the time being.

My thanks to Zak Nelson for the photo


Friday Flashback ~ September 2008

We look back to September 2008 for this week's Friday Flashback with most of the photos taken in the Great Yarmouth area

The first is of Chenery Travel's Setra S250 PPY238 at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station on 8th September. It was new to Brelaton of Hounslow in May 1997 as P500 TCC and Chenery obtained it from Stort Valley of Stansted in August 2002 and reregistered it as PPY238.

Second up is a photo of First Eastern Counties WA05 UNE outside the BHS store (since gone) in Regent Road on the 15th. The Plaxton Profile bodied Volvo B7R, was new to First Devon and Cornwall in August 2005. After a brief stint with First Essex it later moved to First Eastern Counties. Numbered in the First fleet as 20353, it subsequently migrated north of the border being employed by First Scotland East.

Next up is a reminder of when both National Holidays and Shearings operated short breaks to the town. The former's Volvo B10-62 Y718 HWT and the latter's Van Hool Y387 KBN are pictured at Beach Coach Station on the 23rd of the month. HWT was new to Wallace Arnold in June 2001 and KBN to Shearings in March the same year

The location of our penultimate photo is Oldham Bus Station where two days later we see Bluebird Buses Mini Pointer bodied Dart SLF MG53 BLU. It is observed in North Western Road Car Company heritage livery exiting the bus station

Our final offering is a bit of Brighton in Great Yarmouth! Brighton & Hove's Irizar bodied Scania K114 YN03 WPX is heading north on Marine Parade on the last day of the month. It is numbered 511 in the Sussex fleet and was new to Excalibur of Nunhead in May 2003.


Wednesday 25 November 2020

Service Alterations Registered ~ 25th November 2020

There are no entries in today’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner concerning changes to any of our local bus services. The full report is available to view here.


Tuesday 24 November 2020

Trio Moves

Three double deckers have moved to First's Lowestoft's Gasworks Road depot after repairs and repaint.

Enviro400 33814 YX63 LKC is now at the Suffolk site after the fitting of a new rear axle at Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot. Wright Eclipse Gemini 37025 YJ06XKO has made the same trip over the border too

From our previous post, the third bus now based at Lowestoft is newly painted 37274 LK58 EDF. (see photo provided by Grahame) Similar 37275 LK58 EDJ should be receiving a Coastlink repaint by the time you have read this

My thanks to First for the information


Monday 23 November 2020

First B9 in Coastlink Colours

The first of the former First Eastern Counties Excel blue Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9s has broken cover in its new Coastlink livery

LK58 EDF was observed by Omar Atiallah at Norwich Bus Station this evening before it headed off to Lowestoft on the 17:05 X22 service.

My thanks to Omar for the report and photo


Friday 20 November 2020

Friday Flashback ~ August 2008

Friday Flashback this week looks back to a warm August 2008 with some local views plus visits to Norwich and York.

Our first is of a quartet of Norse Commercial Services vehicles at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station on the 5th of August. Three of them are SC Coachworks bodied Dennis Javelins in the form of T704 APX, V667 FPO and Y326 FPO new to them in August 1999, September 1999 and July 2001 respectively. The odd one out is Marcopolo bodied Irisbus PN06 TVP which was new to Holmeswood in May 2006 and acquired by Norse in August 2007

On the same day the Coach Station also saw the visit of double deck coach YIL 7758 from the Cedric Coaches fleet of Wivenhoe near Colchester. The Van Hool bodied Volvo B12T was acquired from Trathens Travel of Plymouth in 2001 but was new in August 1995 as N316 BYA. It met its end in April 2009 being destroyed by fire whilst on rail replacement work.

Our next location is St Stephen's Street in Norwich on the 18th of the month. Leyland Olympian 34902 H102 KVX was new to Thamesway in October 1990 and transferred to Eastern National in January 1996 and Eastern Counties two months later. It was withdrawn and placed into store in June 2009 and ended up being scrapped at Erith Commercials soon after

Back at Beach Coach Station on the 28th we see Whippet's Setra BD02 HDJ which was new to Anderson of Bermondsey in April 2002.

Our final photo is of York Pullman's Eastern Coach Works bodied Leyland Olympian MTU 119Y in York on a city tour on the last day of the month. It was new to Crossville as their DOG119 in February 1983 and was last used by York Pullman in late 2011. It was still owned by them in 2014 when observed VOR at their depot in Rufforth and later being robbed of parts.


Wednesday 18 November 2020

Service Alterations Registered ~ 18th November 2020

Just the one entry in today’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner concerning local service alterations.

National Express has amended the timetable of its 490/491 service between Lowestoft Bus Station and London Victoria Coach Station from 9th November 2020.

The full report will be available to view here soon.


Saturday 14 November 2020

It’s Back!

After some time on loan to First Ipswich, Dennis Dart SLF 42921 EU05 AUN returned to First’s Caister Road this afternoon. This probably signals the completion of the painting of the Enviro200s into Ipswich Reds livery at the Suffolk town.

Its loan replacement at Great Yarmouth in early October was Volvo B7RLE 66987 KX05 MHV which has now seen its move to the seaside made permanent.

My thanks to First for the information and photo


Friday 13 November 2020

New Look for an Old Favourite

The latest repaint to emerge in Coastlink colours is the only Enviro 400 that did not wear Excel livery with FEC, that being none other that Great Yarmouth based 33423 SN60CAA.

Having arrived in July 2013 from Jersey via Ensignbus it was outshopped in an allover White Livery, pictured below working the X1 at Norwich Bus Station in August 2013.

It was repainted early in 2014 and given the new Olympia livery, the only one of its type to do so with FEC, all the others in the Blue based Excel colours.

Today we can reveal her new look courtesy of Zak Nelson, pictured below freshly adorned with the Coastlink colours as per all the Enviro 400 Fleet with FEC.

Will now be a bit more difficult to spot when its out and about!

Many Thanks to First and Zak for the Photo.

Stay safe, Grahame

Friday Flashback ~ July 2008 (Part Two)

This week's Friday Flashback looks back to the second half of July 2008 and includes visits to Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds.

However, we start on home ground with an opportunist photo of Swift Taxis BMC Falcon BX55 OFN on Sandown Road on the 16th. Purchased new in February 2006, it gained the distinction of operating the last 206 service between Great Yarmouth and Blofield in December 2012

A change of scenery sees us at Ipswich's Old Cattle Market Bus Station on the 18th with a photo of Far East Travel's L169 ADX parked up in the 'independents' corner'! Arriving 'via Chelmondiston' the Optare Sigma bodied Dennis Lance was new to Ipswich Buses in June 1994.

Also present that day was Carters' Marshall bodied Dart N117 WBR which was new to Sunderland & District in January 1996. The Go North East website later posted it had left their fleet in the late summer of 2007 and the Dart was still showing its previous owner's livery and fleet number 8117 when photographed.

We now move on to Bury St Edmunds' Bus Station where the next day we see Burtons of Haverhill's Alexander RH bodied Volvo B10M-50 Citybus G619 OTV. It was new to Trent of Derby in December 1989 and is seen laying over between duties

Later that day seen in almost the same position was H C Chambers & Son Mercedes Benz O814D/ Alexander ALX100. R112 NTA. Devon General purchased it new in July 1998 which then became part of Stagecoach Devon fleet. Chambers acquired the Vario from Ensign in early 2008.


Another Ex South Yorkshire Volvo On The 8s

First's 69030 SF55 UAY at Market Gates - Photo: Aaron Martin

Thursday 12 November 2020

Where Are They Now? ~ T128 OAH

The photo shows Volvo B10BLE G19 REL with York operator Reliance Motor Services, It is pictured during Lockdown 2 in York. Contributor Paul Copley tells me that on any other day this bridge would be busy with people and traffic.

G19 REL was previously registered T128 OAH, a much travelled bus, which locals will recall as being a member of the Ambassador Travel fleet of Great Yarmouth where it was new in March 1999. Paul says it 'has seen service with Blackburn Transport, Lancashire United and York Pullman. Reliance acquired it this summer and had it repainted and given this new reg. It see's all day service and seems to be a regular on the 30 York to Thirsk service, Mon to Fri, not bad for a 20 odd year bus.'

He adds 'T126 OAH and T129 OAH are still in use with Harrogate and District as 57 seat school buses'

My thanks to Paul Copley for the photo and information


Wednesday 11 November 2020

Dart Scrapped

Accident victim Dennis Dart SLF 42920 EU05 AUM was towed away from First's Great Yarmouth depot yesterday for scrapping.

EU05 AUM in service in November 2015 approaching Market Gates
The saloon sustained front offside damage in an accident in early August and had resided in the rear yard for a few weeks whilst a decision was made on its future.

EU05 AUM in the rear year at Caister Road in September last
My thanks to First for the information


Service Alterations Registered ~ 11th November 2020

There are no entries in today’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner regarding changes to any local bus services. The full report will be available to view here soon.


Tuesday 10 November 2020

More On SV56 BWT

Our previous post regarding the use of former Stagecoach Scotland Volvo B12B SV56 BWF on rail replacement at Norwich last weekend promoted a response from John Hutchinson

John says 'Re your picture of former Megabus 54012 (SV56 BWF), I travelled on that from Inverness to Glasgow in April 2008. I have attached a couple of pics from the occasion. The first shows loading at Inverness and an en route stop at, I think, Perth, with obliging driver posing.'

My thanks to John for sharing his photos with us

Tim Johnson on Facebook tells me its now owned by Donald's Tours of Dereham


Sunday 8 November 2020

Rail Replacement ~ SV56 BWF

With level crossing and structural work underway on the railway line between Norwich and Thetford buses have been replacing trains this weekend.

Apart from the usual suspects, this Plaxton bodied triaxle Volvo made an appearance at Norwich Station yesterday. The Volvo B12B was new to Stagecoach Scotland as its 54012 for Megabus work and SV56 BWF has since seen use by various operators since 2013.

After some detective work it was found to be on hire to Angies Coaches (Overy) of Lowestoft for rail replacement work

My thanks to LiamS for the photo and report


Saturday 7 November 2020

Lockdown Lookback Norwich 2005

Hard to believe its 15 years ago now but i thought i would share some images of the vehicles operating in the city back in August of 2005.

First up we have Norfolk County Council Irisbus Agoraline OY53RDX working the Airport Park & Ride service.

Brand New Agoralines were purchased for the Postwick service which was inherited from First.

Common sights around the city working for Sanders were the DAF/Optare singles decks, S156JUA seen in Castle Meadow on the 5 service.

Eastern Counties had First London Trident 32850 T850LLC on loan for use on the 25 service, it is pictured above having failed opposite the Rail Station and was being recovered when i got the photograph.

Former Thamesway Leyland Olympian 34901 H101KVX was an older member of the First fleet treated to the Barbie 2 livery as it was known, seen here in Castle Meadow on the 14 service.

Finally we see Anglianbus Mercedes Benz Vario AU04BZV entering Castle Meadow on the 23A service this being one of many of the type at the height of Anglian's operations back in 2005.

Stay Safe Everyone, look out for some Lockdown vintage soon!


Friday 6 November 2020

Friday Flashback ~ July 2008 (Part One)

With the clocks going back and the cooler nights returning, Friday Flashback looks back to the summer of 2008. With many pictures in the library for July the second part will appear next week

We begin on the 1st with the appearance of Awayadays partial open topper MCW Metrobus KYV 670X awaiting passengers at Market Gates for its next trip along the town's seafront.

Also in use during that summer season was First's three Routemasters in different liveries and this was 39623 NML 623E, the Flying Banana version, on its way to Hemsby Beach on the 8th

At Beach Coach Station that day was Crusader Holidays Kassbohrer Setra S315GT-HD EU05 AVT. New to them in March 2005, it later saw service with Hammonds of Nottingham and Scarlet Band Motor Services of Ferry Hill, County Durham where it was reregistered BU51 GHT

Returning to Market Gates on the 16th, we observe Belle Coaches (Shreeve & Sons) similar UF03 HOF. It was new to Hellyers of Fareham in Hampshire in June 2003. It passed to Shreeve in December 2006 and was given its later mark of OJI 4758 in December 2010.

Our final photo is of another Hedingham visitor to Beach Coach Station on the same day and this time it was W649 FUM. The Plaxton Premiere bodied Volvo B10M-62 was new to Wallace Arnold in March 2000 and is now privately preserved

Part Two appears next week


Thursday 5 November 2020

Ex South Yorks Volvos

A further two former South Yorkshire Volvo BR7LEs have just joined the First Great Yarmouth fleet. They are 69022 SF55 UAP and 69030 SF55 UAY with the former being observed this afternoon on a Coastal Clipper run to Lowestoft

This now brings the local total to six of the original thirteen recently transferred to First Eastern Counties. My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the information and the photos which were taken earlier this evening in the depot. 

69017 SF55 UAK approaching Market Gates yesterday
Meanwhile, regular contributor Mark Doggett was in the area yesterday and provides these photos of the earlier arrivals

69017 on Laurel Drive in Bradwell returning to Great Yarmouth on the 6
My thanks to Mark for the photos and their captions

69033 also seen on Laurel Drive in Bradwell on service 6