Friday, 17 September 2021

Friday Flashback ~ December 2010 (Part Two)

The penultimate Friday Flashback today comprises photos taken in Great Yarmouth during the early part of December 2010

Our first subject is Anglian Coaches (later Anglianbus) Optare Solo M950 335 MX08 MYV, in plain white livery, observed passing the long gone BHS store on Regent Road on the 581 Beccles service. Britannia Parking of Bournemouth was its first owners in April 2008. It later moved to Thames Travel and Carousel Buses which, together with Anglian and others, became part of the Go-Ahead Group.

Next up is another Anglian Solo and this time an M780 version. 307 AU54EOA was new in September 2004 and is seen here on Howards Street North in the town on the same day. Anglian was an early operator of gas powered buses and 307 had a pod fitted to the roof containing gas cylinders as part of a clean vehicle trial project. It later had the pod removed and was transferred to Vale Travel in Spring 2014 where it was frequently employed on Star Travel's routes 11 and 11a in Milton Keynes.

A third Optare Solo (an M920) YJ51 XSM in the black hole known as Market Gates on the 15th. Whilst the picture quality is passable, it is one of the few occasions when the lighting was OK. At that time the owners were quite often very frugal with the lighting in this area of the shopping centre! The Solo was new in September 2001 with Anglian acquiring it from Horsburgh of Pumpherston, Scotland in December 2010 - the same month the picture was taken.

Our final photo of this post is that of Shearings Holidays Kassbohrer Setra 111 BN09 FXA at Beach Coach Station also taken on the 15th. It passed to Thandi Executive, Smethwick, West Midlands in August 2016 and was reregistered THA 636 the following month. However, it had reverted to BN09 FXA by the time it passed to Grindle in April 2019 and was given its current mark of J300 TRG a month later.

Next week will be the last Friday Flashback as I have now exhausted my collection of old photos not published before on the blog. It will be a special one featuring vehicles operated by local independent Swift Coaches.


Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Lowestoft Blues

Last week saw Great Yarmouth Transport liveried Volvo B7TL 32059 W219XBD spend a few days on loan in Suffolk, working a variety of routes around Lowestoft.

She is pictured above leaving Lowestoft Bus Station bound for Kessingland on the Coastal Clipper 99 service. Whilst at the Bus Station it was briefly joined by the latest GYT liveried vehicle in the shape of Volvo B9TL 37562 FJ08FYN which was working the Coastal Clipper 1/1A service to Martham.

Well done to Aaron who was on hand to capture both of Yarmouth's heritage deckers at the same time in Lowestoft!

Thanks for the photos Aaron.


Service Alterations Registered ~ 15th September 2021

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

A second licence application has been made by Stephens Coach Hire Limited for an operating centre at Unit 2 Jones (G.C.) Way at Great Yarmouth. The Transport Manager is named as Carl Joseph Crysell and authorisation is being sought for one vehicle at the site..

Thompsons Coaches of Framlingham has registered a new service between Silver Lace Green Darsham and Thomas Mills High School in Framingham Numbered 557 it operates on school days on Monday to Fridays only and began on the 6th September 2021.

First Eastern Counties
has amended the timetables of its X11/ 7 Great Yarmouth Market Gates to Belton Bracon Road and the X1/ X11 between Norwich Bus Station and Great Yarmouth Market Gates services from 5th September 2021. From the same date the operator changed the timetable of its X2/ X21/ X22 Lowestoft Bus Station to Norwich routes. Other timetables altering the same day include the 14 / 15/ 15A, and 15B operating between Wymondham and Wroxham/ Blofield Heath/ Lingwood and the 99A/ 99H Kings Head, Southwold to St Mary's Street, Bungay service. Additionally the route and timetable of the Norwich St Stephens Street to Bungay 40 / 40A / X41 / 41A / 41 services are also amended from the 5th September 2021

The full report can be viewed here


Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Decker Update

The former Arriva London open top bus and London Sightseeing Tours LJ51 DKN returned to Ensign in early September before the end of the summer timetable. The Plaxton President bodied DAF DB 250 had been loaned to First to provide additional cover during peak demands for the seasonal open top 1C service.

Also in early September, Coastal Reds Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B7TL 37174 SF07 FDE transferred to First Ipswich on loan whilst two First Ipswich deckers were receiving attention at Caister Road. Both 32479 AU53HJV and 32493 AU53 HKL have since returned to the Suffolk town. Another Ipswich decker, 32654 AU05 MUW, is now at Caister Road for repair

My thanks to First for the information.


Monday, 13 September 2021

Coach Services Latest

My first conversation with Omar Atiallah since his move to Coach Services revealed that the Thetford operator has repainted former Tower Transit Volvo B9 VN37952 BN61 MWZ into its owner's colour of all over white. It arrived from dealer Ensign in June this year.

Former ex Trent Barton Alexander (Belfast) bodied Volvo B10M-60 M51PRA has been sold for preservation being one of only five in existence. New in January 1995, Coach Services acquired it from Green Triangle of Atherton, Greater Manchester in October 2008.

Optare Solo M920 MX04 VMA has left the fleet moving down the road to Salec Travel Limited also based in Thetford. It was new to Coach Services in July 2004.

My thanks to Omar for the information and photos.


Friday, 10 September 2021

City Of Colour

Last weekend myself and my partner ventured to the city of Nottingham for a concert, the first for quite a while because of the pandemic of course! Friday night was concert night followed by a wander around the city centre on Saturday morning. The other half was far more interested in shopping so she and her friends ventured off leaving me with unfortunately just my phone to grab a few shots of the very colourful bus operations of Nottingham City Transport and Trent Barton.

The main body of vehicles within the Nottingham fleet are Scania E400 Envirocity Deckers and are all colour coded for various routes around the city.

Other vehicles in the fleet include ADL Enviro 200/400's, Optare Solo SR's and newer ADL Enviro 200 MMC's.

Another trip will be made i am sure, with the correct camera next time! A very colourful and vibrant city with plenty to view for any enthusiast.

Final photo is of Trent Barton ADL Enviro 200MMC YY18TPO pictured awaiting departure to Derby on the Indigo Line.


Friday Flashback ~ December 2010

As we near the end of our regular Friday Flashback feature, this week we look back to the early part of December 2010 with Great Yarmouth being the location for the photos.

For our first three contributions we look in at Beach Coach Station during the early part of the month. On the 2nd National Holidays' Transbus Paragon bodied Volvo B12M YJ03 VOF was present. New to Wallace Arnold in 2003 it later transferred to the National Holidays fleet and subsequently joined Edward Thomas & Son Coaches of Epsom

Shearings Holidays Kassbohrer Setra S416GT-HD 215 BF10 VCG paid a visit to the Coach Station on the 8th of the month

That same day Simonds Volvo B12B Jonckheere Mistral FJ06 BSO was also on site. It was new to Loch & Glens of Aberfoyle in March 2006 with Simonds acquiring it three years later.

The final photo is of First Eastern Counties 20107 N607 APU at Market Gates Bus Station with its destination showing X1 Peterborough


Thursday, 9 September 2021

Heritage Liveried Bus on X2 Service

The A146 corridor between Lowestoft and Norwich has again provided some interest locally. LiamS had been monitoring the Bus Times website and saw that First's Great Yarmouth Heritage liveried Volvo B7TL 32059 W219 XBD had been rostered for the Coastlink X2 service.

32059 newly arrived at Norwich Bus Station this morning

First Lowestoft didn't disappoint as Liam captured it in use at Norwich Bus Station this morning and then travelled on it to Beccles on the return run.

32059 at Beccles Tesco Store heading for Lowestoft

My thanks to Liam for the report and photos


Jubilee Sale

Jubilee Coaches has sold Caetano Enigma bodied MAN 14.280 FJ53 VDK to D's Minibuses and Coaches based in the Coventry area. Jubilee purchased it from former Wreningham operator Spratts September 2019

New to Pilling of Sowerby Bridge in West Yorkshire in February 2004, it spent some time in Suffolk with Felix Taxis (Golynia and Warnack) of Long Melford

My thanks to Kevan Portas for the information


Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Service Alterations Registered ~ 8th September 2021

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

The fourth licence application made by Veritas (Ipswich) Limited has been granted. It includes an operating centre for eleven vehicles at the Veritas Depot on Rotterdam Road in Lowestoft.

Melton Constable based Bus and Us Limited has surrendered its operating licence from the 27th August 2021. It had operating centres in Briston and Foulsham.

BorderBus has retrospectively amended the timetables of its 146 Southwold to Kessingland and 146 Kessingland to Norwich services from 31st August 2021.

The full report can be viewed here soon


Monday, 6 September 2021

For the Bookshelf

Starting in June last year Joe Wilson began the unenviable task of creating and publishing a photographic fleet list of every First bus nationally with a five digit fleet number

He has just completed the task and, as some of the photos are provided by East Norfolk Bus, I have no hesitation in promoting the 429 paged publication!

As Amazon says 'First started allocating 5 digit fleet codes in 2002 and rolled it out nationwide, since then literally tens of thousands of buses have had a code - for the first time, this book compiles all of them together, unlike contemporary fleet lists this book includes buses that have been withdrawn, sold or transferred to other operators'

It is available for purchase from the Amazon website


Saturday Dive

Saturday was one very special, but nervy day for one the engineers at Beccles based Border Bus. Colin Stammers' wife Kathy was diagnosed with breast cancer in March. She has subsequently had four cycles of chemotherapy which left her feeling sick, weak and in pain but she still has an operation and radio therapy to go through.

Colin says 'I wanted to do something to raise money for cancer research but it needed to be something that would test me so I am going to do a parachute jump which, to those who know me, will be a shock because I am scared of heights, I would never have done this under normal circumstances but cancer makes the husband/wife of the person who has it feel helpless and this is something I can do'

Breast cancer hit the national headlines at the weekend following the passing of Girls Allowed star Sarah Harding on Sunday aged only 39. Colin overcame his fears and successfully completed his jump and now wants to raise as much money as possible and continues 'cancer is a terrible illness and the sooner we get a cure for it the better. Nobody should have to go through what we have'.

Colin’s Giving Page can be found at and further donations would be most welcome for a very worthy cause.

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Stranger in The Camp

Last night I received a couple of messages to say that a First liveried double decker was observed in the BorderBus yard at Beccles. Its identity as ex First Kernow ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL 30955 YJ51 RCU was confirmed by Andrew Pursey earlier today

Its short term loan is the result of a substantial growth in the number of students attending the local Sir John Leman School from the beginning of the September 2021 term. This now requires the upgrade of two routes from saloons to double deck use.

The operator has loaned 30955 from Ensign whilst the latter converts a Scania double decker to single door use which should hopefully arrive during the middle of this month

My thanks to my spies out there and also to Andrew Pursey for the information and photo 


Friday, 3 September 2021

Friday Flashback ~ November 2010

This week we look back to the later part of a wet November in 2010 with Great Yarmouth Beach Coach Station as the location for the photos.

The first three were taken on the 24th of the month beginning with Belle Coaches Kassbohrer Setra 24 LIL 9717. The coach was acquired from Greeves of Netherton in January 2005 as BV51 KNY with Belle selling it on to Payne of Offord Cluny in April 2017

Another member of the Suffolk fleet present that day was Plaxton Paramount bodied Volvo B10M-60 LIL 9453 which was new to O'Conner of London as F884 SMU in 1989. It was later noted with another Suffolk operator GM Travel of Barham still in Belle Coaches blue.

The third photo is of Suffolk County Council's (now Suffolk Norse) Alexander Dennis Enviro300 SN06 BOU. It was new to the operator in April 2006

Our final contribution is Shearings Holidays MX04 AFU which is also pictured in the rain the Coach Station but on the 30th of the month. The Plaxton Panther bodied Volvo B12M later transferred to the National Holidays fleet and was last noted with Jarvis Coaches of Aberdare


Thursday, 2 September 2021

President Strays

From time to time a BorderBus Plaxton President escapes from its normal school duties and is observed in service

This lunchtime was a case in point with a 'Sir John Leman High School and Sixth Form Centre' branded decker appearing on the 12.40 Great Yarmouth to Bungay 580 service

The stray was identified as 202 X643 LLX which was new to Metroline as their VP143 in January 2001

My thanks go to AndrewW for the information and the photos


Completely Coach Launched

Norwich based Completely Coach Travel officially launched the latest addition to the fleet on social media yesterday.

It featured a video of Irizar i6 Integral YS14 LHV reversing out of the operator's premises. 

The 53 seater has a servery, air conditioning, mood lighting and toilet facility.

The coach was new to Woods Coaches of Wigston in Leicester in August 2014.


Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Five Arrive (No, make that Six!)

A mid afternoon visit to Beach Coach Station today saw five coaches in attendance and, as I was about to drive off, another arrived!

Two Mercedes-Benz Tourismos were from Alfa Travel in the shape of 111 BV19 YFF and 118 BV20 HNB

Next in line was Barnsley based B R Guest Holidays' Setra S416GT-HD N10 BRG which was new to Welsh Coaches of Upton, Pontefract in 2007 as W6 HOL

The fourth coach was Acklams Coaches YN15 YTE, an Irizar i6 which was previously with Ellison's Coaches of Leeds

From the Tamworth fleet of Solus Coaches was YS18 SGZ an Irizar bodied Scania new to them in May 2018

And that was it, or so I thought! I returned to the car and checked through the photos to see if they were OK and, whilst answering a message on social media, I looked up to see groups of people passing the car. Clearly another coach had arrived.

I returned to the coach station in time to see the last passengers alighting from Lucketts' Mercedes-Benz Tourismo BV19 YKC complete with fleet number 539453. So make that six then!


Service Alterations Registered ~ 1st September 2021

There no items of local interest in today's Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner. However, the full report can be viewed here soon