Tuesday 31 August 2021

37562 Gains Heritage Livery

The First repaints continue but the latest is in a Great Yarmouth heritage livery and is seen here fresh out of the Full Circle paint shop.

Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL 37562 FJ08 FYN is the recipient and is now on its way back to Caister Road. It will also shortly receive internal refurbishment

My thanks to First for the information and photos


Three Arrivals

Three arrivals to report at First's Caister Road depot yesterday. The trio are Volvo B7RLE’s 69026, 69029 and 69031 (SF55 UAU/X/Z) and have transferred on loan from Norwich.

I understand that they are to help out on the 8s due to roadworks around the Cliff Park Estate as the trees there are too low for the use of double deckers

Thanks to First for the photo and information.


Monday 30 August 2021

Bank Holiday Bonanza (Not Quite)

Many moons ago August Bank Holiday Monday would have seen the Beach Coach Station full of visiting coaches bringing visitors to the seaside for the day. I drove into town to see what was around at Lunchtime only to be greeted by just the FOUR visiting coaches to the town.

First up is SK Coaches of Southall in Middlesex, OU15ZWT is a Neoplan S2216SHD new to Seaview Coaches, Parkstone.

Next is Caetano Levante XIL7872 Saffords of Little Gransden in Cambridgeshire. Originally FJ61EXG a Volvo B13RT new to Kings Ferry. The same registration appeared in the blog back in April 2012 when it was carried by a Volvo B10M for the same company!

RB travel from Kettering were in town with their Van Hool T916 BT10LCT which was new to Leons of Stafford as their 186.

Final one of the four is Minsterley Motors of Shrewsbury Scania K410EB4 YT19EBU.


Sunday 29 August 2021

Beach Coach Station Sunday

Just the seven coaches and one minibus were enjoying the dull cloudy afternoon at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station today

Alfa Travel coaches are regular short stayers and today Mercedes-Benz Tourismo 102 BN17 JCV graced us with its presence.

Another notable visitor was D&H Harrod's N10 DHH all the way from Downham Market! Previously registered BC10 NBC, the Van Hool bodied Volvo B12B was purchased from New Bharat of Southall in October 2018. Alongside was VDL Futura HD SF15 BXA from the Hussain (Premier Travel) of Walsall fleet.

The Travellers Choice's  Volvo B11RT / Jonckheere JHV SB19 GNU was present with a very colourful rear!

Two Mercedes-Benz vehicles were lined up together. Brit Coaches of Hagley provided the full sized Tourismo BF61 HBD whilst the EVM-bodied Mercedes-Benz Sprinter KM16 KKY came from Birmingham-based Midland Coaches.

Also present (but not pictured) were Plaxton bodied Volvo B8R YX18 LKA from County Coaches of Luton and Crest Coaches of Romford's Mercedes-Benz Tourismo BX14 OML.


Saturday 28 August 2021

Repaired and Returned

Following attention at First Great Yarmouth's Caister Road workshops. two double deckers have have left for their home depots

First Norwich 32101 arrives at Caister Road in late July
After an engine rebuild Volvo B7TL/ Plaxton President 32101 LT02 ZCK has gone back to Norwich whilst ALX400 bodied Volvo 32492 AU53 HKK has returned to Ipswich following some welding work. 

Finally, First Norwich Volvo B9 37574 AU58 ECY is currently away for refurbishment and repaint: after which it will transfer to Great Yarmouth

My thanks to First for the information


Friday 27 August 2021

Friday Flashback ~ November 2010 (Part One)

For this week's Friday Flashback we wind the clock back to early November 2010 to revisit some local sightings.

We start with a photo of almost new Optare Versa YJ60 KGU leaving Market Gates Bus Station on 2nd November. It was employed by Anglian Bus on the 581 Beccles route having been taken into stock a couple of months earlier in September

For the next couple of photos we are in Acle on the 12th and we see First's 37156 AU07 DXS leaving the village with an eastbound X1 duty. The Wright Gemini bodied Volvo B7TL was new to First Eastern Counties in March 2007 and later transferred to First Potteries

The second Acle photo is that of Ambassador Travel's YJ57 EHX in the High Street thought to be returning to Great Yarmouth after operating a schools service. It moved to Connexion Buses of North Yorkshire and also saw use with Norfolk Green and Stagecoach East. It was quite often to be found in Norwich on the X29 Fakenham route

The final photo is of First Eastern Counties 37572 AU58 ECW on the 15th heading to Hopton on the A12 (now A47) from Lowestoft to Great Yarmouth on the X1 service. The Gemini is still with 'Counties' having recently received the Coastal Clipper livery


Thursday 26 August 2021

Yesterday At Beach Coach Station

A total of ten coaches were observed at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station late yesterday afternoon with an eleventh arriving just as I was leaving.

Working along the rank of coaches from north to south, the first vehicle photographed was Cambridge Coaches (Sunfun) VDL Y19 CCB which was new to the company as WA68 FFA.

Next in line were four coaches from the Milton Keynes based Bill's Coach Hire. The three Scania/ Irizars were YN13 EGV (new to Silver Fox of Renfrew), YN14 PLX (new to Commandery of Worcester) and YN13 XYX (new to Shaws of Daventry) The fourth representative was Neoplan Tourliner OU14 SVD which was new to City Circle of Hayes.

Norfolk was represented by Dereham Coachways' YJ55 EZW. The Van Hool bodied Volvo B12B was purchased new in October 2005

The seventh vehicle was Hamiltons Coaches Jonckheere bodied Volvo B11R H19 UKA which was new to Parks of Hamilton as LSK824. Some information relating to a flick photo says it was re-registered as SA16 RRL in February 2019 becoming Ulsterbus 5013. In October that year it received the H19 UKA registration when joining the UKA fleet of Desborough which has the fleet name Hamiltons Coaches.

The operator of the next coach was initially a mystery as I couldn't immediately see any legal lettering present. However, after a bit of detective work I found YX68 UCV was with Enterprise of Peterborough. I spent some time in conversation with the driver of this vehicle who wasn't very pleased about the roadworks on his outward journey - 'traffic cones on a very short part of the A47 holding up traffic with no evidence of roadworks underway. Been there for some weeks and they complain about emission issues!

A bright orange Mercedes Benz Tourismo was next in the form of Buckleys Coach Holidays' BV19 YFA

Lastly there was Ausden Clark's BIG 9883, a tri-axle Scania K114EB6 with Berkhof Axial 100 coachwork. Operated by them since new in 2007, it was originally registered YN56 NNM.

The late arrival was Batley-based A Lyles & Sons' GSU 340 which was on hire to Alfa Travel. The Van Hool TX16 was originally registered YJ13 HVA (Thanks Nick!)


Wednesday 25 August 2021

Service Alterations Registered ~ 25th August 2021

Today's Notices and Proceedings Report, published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner, contains some items of local interest.

First Eastern Counties is to amend timetables of the 63, 64 and 65 services between Ipswich Rail Station and Aldeburgh Fort Green and the 64/65 Aldeburgh to Saxmundham route from the 5th September 2021. It will also alter the timetable and route of its 73/74 service between Woodbridge and Felixstowe from the same date.
In Lowestoft the operator is amending the timetable of its 101 Crestview Drive to Hollow Grove service on the same date

The full Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here soon


Saturday 21 August 2021

Friday's National Express

True to form, the National Express Friday to Monday additional 491 working was again provided by a National Express coach yesterday

The vehicle was Scania K410EB6 / Caetano Levante 330 BF21 CZR which is seen passing through Market Gates prior to its 14:45 departure to London Victoria Coach Station


Friday 20 August 2021

Coastal Reds Update

With repaints continuing with newer vehicles in the Yarmouth & Lowestoft fleets the older members that are not due to be repainted are beginning to gain Coastal Red branding instead.

Great Yarmouth based Dennis Dart 42921 EU05AUN pictured wearing the new branding at Caister Road today.

Volvo B7TL's 30959/30961 have also gained a new look front panel and side branding.

Volvo's 37562/37573/37578 are currently away for repaint whilst 37577 has returned to Lowestoft in full Coastal Reds livery.

Many Thanks as always to First for the photos and info.


Friday Flashback ~ October 2010 (Part Three)

For this week's Friday Flashback we again revisit Norwich on the 20th October 2010 to observe activity.

We begin with a photo of Anglian's Scania N230UB OmniLink 413 YN07 LFU on St Stephens Street awaiting time for departure on the 588 to Bungay, It was new as a Scania demonstrator in June 2007 and saw use with Preston Bus. Anglian acquired it from Scania in April the following year.

On the opposite side of the street that day was Sanders Coaches triaxle OU05 AVB The East Lancs bodied Volvo B9TL was new to Weaver of Newbury in April 2005 with Sanders obtaining it from them in August 2010. In 2018 it was sold to Lucketts of Fareham and repainted into Worthing Coaches livery for mainly school duties (see Worthing Coaches Visit - 1st October 2018)

Crossing back over the road again another Anglian bus is observed. In 2002 Plaxton Beaver bodied Mercedes Benz O814D T200 CBC was purchased by Anglian from Coakley Bus of Motherwell in Scotland where it was new in March 1999

Our last photo is of Norse PN03 ULV at the Postwick Park and Ride site on the east side of the city. The Dennis Trident came from London General as their PDL36 in May 2010 along with 12 others that year. Some five years later many moved to dealers Ensign with three of them, including ULV, being sold to Central Buses of Birmingham in January 2016. The three continue to stay together and now form part of the Preston Bus fleet seeing use on Lancashire County Council's school duties


Wednesday 18 August 2021

'Counties' Presence at NNR Vintage Transport Event

Apart from a passing reference to Bristol VR VPW 85S at the North Norfolk Railway's Vintage Transport Day on Sunday, there was no indication of any former Eastern Counties vehicles attending the event.

As you may know VPW 85S was part of the Eastern Counties fleet as VR190 and was ordered by Waveney District Council before takeover by 'Counties'. It is now owned by the VR190 Preservation Group. It didn't see use in service on the day probably due to the fact that it had no lower deck seating following the fitting of a new floor only recently

The other former 'Counties' vehicle present on the day was the Eastern Transport Collection's OVF 229. Operating as LKD229 in the fleet, the Eastern Coach Works bodied Bristol LD5G was also not on active duty on Sunday

My thanks to Daniel Peart for the photo of both of the vehicles which are pictured at Holt


Service Alterations Registered ~ 18th August 2021

For the second consecutive week the Notices and Proceedings Report, published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner earlier today, contains no information regarding further changes to local bus services.

The full Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here soon


Monday 16 August 2021

All Aboard To Aldeburgh

Regular contributor Aaron M visited the East Suffolk village of Aldeburgh today and noted a few vehicles at work there today.

Ipswich Reds Volvo B7TL 32488 AU53HKF is pictured above prior to heading back to Ipswich on the 64 service.

Borderbus Enviro 200 BB14BUS is joined by Ipswich Reds 32653 AU05MUP also at the Bus layover area.

Finally the timetable board shows the details of the Ipswich Reds 64/65 services and the Aldeburgh to Thorpness 250 vintage Bus service operated by Buckland Omnibus Co. The vehicle in the photo is TE7870 which is a 1929 Dennis ES 29-seat single deck bus which has a maximum speed of 30 mph.

Many Thanks to Aaron for the photos from his visit.


North Norfolk Railway's Vintage Transport Day

With the help of 'Reg Vardy' and LiamS I am pleased to bring you some photos from the NNR's Vintage Transport Day event held yesterday.

Three Eastern Coach Work's bodied Bristol VRs attended including ex Lincolnshire Road Car Company's Mark 2 JVL 619H and Southern Vectis Mark 3 NDL 652R. The third was the VR190 Preservation Group's former Eastern Counties VPW 85S

Continuing the Bristol/ECW theme was United Counties' RELH TBD 278G. New in June 1969 it has recently been restored in the operator's coach livery. Alongside is another ECW bodied vehicle, MXX 317, which was new to London Transport in November 1953. Great Yarmouth Corporation hired six of these Guy Vixens from London Transport in 1958 for one man operation trials.

Kings Lynn independent Peelings Coaches sent along three vehicles including recently acquired Ford R1114/ Duple Dominant IV CVH 733Y. Also in the photo is Happisburgh Touring Society Preservation Group's Volvo B10M/Van Hool YXI 6827. Affectionately known as Gloria, it was also previously part of the Peelings fleet

Also there was Eagles double decker M10 ENH, a VDL SB250LF Wright Pulsar Gemini. Eagles obtained it from Compass of Worthing and re-registered it from YJ05 PXD under which it ran earlier with Konectbus. In the same photos is Dan's Coach Travel's ex-Shearing Volvo B10M / Van Hool W283 JBN

Recently acquired for preservation is former Southern Vectis/Damory Coaches Dennis Dart MPD. It was collected for preservation from Go Ahead East Anglia's Clacton-on-Sea Depot in March this year under the Hedingham Omnibuses brand. It was numbered as 286 within the Go East Anglia numbering scheme.

My thanks to Reg and Liam for the photos


Sunday 15 August 2021

Sunday Snaps

A Sunday afternoon trip to the parents is the norm for the weekend so I took the camera along to see what was out and about.

First up was one of the most recent repaints into Coastal Reds livery 37564 AU58ECC, seen here in Ormesby heading for Lowestoft on the Coastal Clipper 1 service.

Next stop was Caister On Sea where I had passed a couple of Buses and managed to get in front of them and park up near the Post Office to grab a couple of sunny shots.

36188 BN12JYL recently transferred from Lowestoft back to Yarmouth and is seen here on the 8 service to the James Paget Hospital.

Open Topper 37000 CRZ366 was not far behind and noted with a good load of customers enjoying the sunny conditions en route towards the seafront.

Caister Road is currently home to 3 Norwich Blue Line Geminis being used for Contract work, 36176 & 36177 were sharing shuttle duties today and both were having a rest on the forecourt. The last of the trio here is 36178. They are due to return to Norwich in September.

Finally a quick look in at Beach Coach Station which had half a dozen visitors today, one of note was a classic 1995 Volvo B10M Jonckheere Deauville with Stephensons of Grantham, Lincolnshire. It was new to Clarkes of London and carries its original registration and looking in excellent condition, complete with its own Seagull for company!


Another Ipswich Decker Visits

Another Ipswich based double decker made an appearance at First Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot yesterday. Branded for Stowmarket Swift duties, Transbus bodied Volvo B7TL 32493 AU53 HKL is here for an unspecified repair.

My thanks to First for the report and photo


Saturday 14 August 2021

EATM Unusual Visitor

Andy Swan sent me a tweet from the East Anglia Transport Museum saying that an unusual visitor had brought a party from Essex to visit the attraction today. It was Lodge's Coaches' MJB 481, a Bedford SBG (now with a diesel-engine) with Duple Vega bodywork.

New to Chiltonia of Chilton Foliot near Hungerford in May 1956, it moved the following year to West Wight Motor Company on the Isle Of Wight

Lodge's, which has restored and preserved a number of old Bedfords, acquired the coach from Abbeyways of Halifax in 1989

My thanks to Andy for the photos of a very fine vehicle.