Friday 28 April 2023

Mulley's Disposal

Following the disposal of the last BMC Falcons by Mulleys of Ixworth, (Falcons Fly The Nest - 21st April 2023) the operator has continued tidying up its site leading to the collection of Irizar bodied Scania K144IB YR02 ZYV for scrap.

Its history took a bit of research but revealed it was new to Chambers of Moneymore in Northern Ireland in April 2002. It later saw use with APT Coaches of Essex. The Scania joined Mulleys' around May 2021.

Another vehicle seeing the light of day was Mercedes-Benz O814D AY51 EWV, new to the operator in September 2001. It was recently shunted around the site but is not going anywhere yet!

My thanks to Omar Atiallah for the information and photos


Thursday 27 April 2023

President Returns Briefly

Former First Great Yarmouth stalwart 32205 LT52 WTL made a return visit to Caister Road today. The Plaxton President was receiving attention in the workshops due to gearbox issues. Out of use since 23rd March, its gearbox was replaced with 32205 returning to First Norwich late this afternoon.

My thanks to First for the information and to Grahame for the use of his photo.


Wednesday 26 April 2023

Rail Replacement Continues

Engineering work on the Lowestoft to Norwich line continues to affect services with buses replacing trains today. The 12:50 from Lowestoft was operated by Freestones Coaches' Irizar i6 bodied Scania S28 FSC. It was new to City Circle of Newbridge in May 2016 as YN16 WUL

Subsequently seen on rail replacement were Angie's Tours Scania/Levante P28 PJO for Great Yarmouth, Completely Coach Travel's Mercedes-Benz Tourismo BF16 XFM for Norwich, a minibus for Haddiscoe and arriving from Norwich was Belle Coaches Setra LIL 9715.

My thanks to Tim Miller for the information and photos


Service Alterations Registered ~ 26th April 2023

Just the one item of local interest appears in today's Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

It concerns the timetable amendment to First Eastern Counties' 11, 11A, 12, 12A services between Norfolk & Norwich Hospital and Sprowston/ Wroxham from 14th May 2023.

The complete Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here shortly.


Tuesday 25 April 2023

Open Topper On The 2s

This afternoon First Eastern Counties partial open topper CRZ 488 unusually made four trips between Market Gates Bus Station and Barrack Estate on service 2. The Coastal Clipper Cabriolet was spotted on the route at the former by Matthew Parkinson.

My thanks to Matthew for consent to use the photo and to Joe Wilson-Smith for the heads up. Whilst the sun was out periodically it was still a tad cool on the top deck one would expect!

Apparently it was not the only open top on local services this afternoon as Cabriolet 37000 CRZ366 was also employed on the 8 to the James Paget Hospital


Today's Tuesday Tour

Today's Tuesday Tour around the tourist areas of Great Yarmouth visiting the seafront and Beach Coach Station provided some interesting photos. There was also a vehicle on rail replacement standby at the railway station for added interest.

The first coach encountered was Bradshaws Quaity Travel's N200 BRA. The Higer Touring bodied Scania K360IB4 had travelled from Bispham on the Fylde coast in Blackpool Borough and was observed in colours on Marine Parade close to its Carlton Hotel base.

A hundred yards or so further along the road was Caledonian Travel's Mercedes-Benz Tourismo NH18 SGH, a former member of the National Holidays' fleet.

Parked up between school duties next to The Arc Cinema on North Drive was Jubilee Coaches' L333 JCR,. It was an Iveco Iris Bus Eurorider Marcopolo Viaggio

As I was taking the last picture a Minsterley Motors' Scania / Irizar i6 passed by. I followed the coach to nearby Prince's Road where I got a photo of YT15 AWC outside the Waverley Hotel.

Next up was a visit to Beach Coach Station where I found three coaches from regularly visiting fleets. They were Alfa Travel's Tourismo BV20 HNH, KM Travel's Yutong TC12 YD19 HHM and Gee-Vee Travel's Bova Futura GT11 GVT.

At the railway station on rail replacement duties was Felixstowe Travel's MCV eVoRa bodied Volvo B8RLE M20 FXO.


Monday 24 April 2023

Weekend Rail Replacements

Engineering work took place over the past weekend meaning it was a Bus or Coach trip to Norwich for rail users on Saturday & Sunday. A trip to Adsa on Sunday gave us a chance to see what was on offer for travellers at Great Yarmouth Rail Station.

Recently repainted Konectbus Enviro 200 YX69NPG (202) was awaiting passengers when we arrived.

Two from the Belle Coaches fleet of Lowestoft were in use including MB Tourismo LD10HOL which had just arrived from Norwich and pictured dropping its passengers off.

Ambassador Travel were also on duty with Caetano Levante EHZ5362 (ex. BF63ZSN).

Finally Angie's Tours had their Scania K410 Y6PJO (ex. YN66WSK) awaiting duties also.

First were also operating services between Lowestoft & Norwich with the ex Bournemouth MMC400 vehicles now in use on Park & Ride services in the city.

Photos courtesy of myself and Roy.


Friday 21 April 2023

Falcons Fly The Nest

Mulleys of Ixworth received a couple of visits from a Shelton Motors towing vehicle earlier this week to remove two long withdrawn BMC Falcon 1100 single deckers.

The operator had three buses of the type with the first being YN54 VLE acquired from Cooper of Killamarsh in Derbyshire during October 2005. Pictured on St Andrews Street North in Bury St Edmunds on 12th January 2013, it was later withdrawn with parts being used to keep the other two in service.

The other two were purchased brand new in November 2005 with both AE55 NYL and AE55 NYM viewed in use also in Bury St Edmunds.

The former is seen on the same day on St Andrews Street whilst the latter is observed in almost the same position on 3rd July 2010. The third photo also shows an unidentified First Eastern Counties Dart behind at a time when the operator still had a presence in the town.

The final photo shows one of the last BMCs being readied in Mulley's yard for its last journey to the scrapyard on Wednesday and my thanks to Omar Atiallah for the photo.


Wednesday 19 April 2023

Sunny City Catch Up

Only my second visit of the year to Norwich saw the sun shine and a great chance to enhance the photo archives once more.

First up is recent arrival from Glasgow, 37532 MXZ3342 (ex SF08SMX) pictured in Tombland working the Pink Line 12 service to the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital.

Another sighting in Tombland was former York Volvo B9TL 37065 YK57EZU, this was on the 28 service Yellow Line.

My first look at Sanders new Volvo/Evora single decks for the X55 North Walsham - Norwich services today and they look very impressive, 528. BV72KKC "Joe Cook" is seen in Castle Meadow heading for the Bus Station.

Konectbus have recently introduced the new 35 service between Hellesdon and Carrow Road Stadium, Hellesdon is home to The Nest, Norfolks Community Football Hub where the service will begin taking in Norwich Airport and Rail Station en route to Carrow Road. Enviro 400 613 SN62AVY is pictured heading into the city.

Final shot is this Full Electric Yutong TCe12 Coach YD72FEM owned by Zeelo Transport, It is running staff shuttles between Marsh Insurance and the City Centre, Technically Marrets are operating thes service as Zeelo is not an operator more of a transport algorithm, complicated shall we say!

Many Thanks to Kieran Smith at Sanders for the updated info.

I also met fellow Enthusiast Martin Ruthe today who was up from his home in Essex for the day with his camera, he has an excellent Flickr site which you can view here


Wells-next-the-Sea Service Under Way

An email and photos from regular correspondent Tony Wilson arrived during yesterday evening:-

'Not everyone's cuppa tea, but the bus replacement for the now defunct Wells Harbour Railway in North Norfolk has returned for another year. Operated by the Holkham Estate, the service runs between Wells Town and Wells Beach and operated by an all-singing, all-dancing all-electric 15-seater Sigma 7 with Mellor bodywork.

Offside and nearside both shown at the town end of the service one about to enter the bus gate, the other in the purpose-built 'bus station'. Unlike the bus on loan last year this one which appears to be owned, has been liveried in red and cream similar to the vintage Leyland Tiger PS1 open-top single-deck (840 XUJ), that is used to supplement the service on high days and holidays.

The bus appears to be dubbed the 'WONDER BUS'. Well it certainly made me wonder.'

Thanks for the information and photos Tony

Service Alterations Registered ~ 19th April 2023

There's just the one item of local interest in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report. 

BorderBus is to amend the route and timetable of its 522 / 522A  Beccles Old Market to Aldeburgh Fort Green service from 2nd May 2023

The complete Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here shortly.


Tuesday 18 April 2023

Another Tuesday Tour

Another Tuesday and a quick tour around the tourist areas of Great Yarmouth taking in the seafront and Beach Coach Station to identify any long stay coaches. Last week's tour resulted in nothing much but this week's run provided some vehicles of interest.

The first vehicle was Shearings.Com branded VDL Futura BC19 BBC from the Bluebird Coaches of Weymouth fleet.

Outside the New Beach Hotel were three coaches ready for loading and one of them, A Lyles & Sons Mercedes-Benz Tourismo L7 YLS, departed as I was arriving.

The others were from Alfa Travel in the form of Tourismos 106 BN17 JDF and regular A137 BF23 CFA.

At Beach Coach Station there were three coaches onsite. Another Alfa Tourismo, 104 BN17 JCY, was parked alongside Coach Tours and Travel of Wolverhampton's similar 123 TKM

The threesome was made up by the presence of Acklams Holidays Scania K410EB4 Irizar i6s YN71 ZYE.


Monday 17 April 2023

Back In Service

Recently acquired by Mulleys of Ixworth is this Scania OmniCity pictured in Bury St Edmunds today. CN57 BNV was new to Cardiff Bus as their 721 in September 2007 and has been off the road since its acquisition by the Suffolk operator last year.

It then went for a repaint and returned to Mulleys in late November when subsequently it received some attention. It looks almost brand new and is shown leaving St Andrews Street North in the town

My thanks to Omar Atiallah for the photo and information.


Friday 14 April 2023

Returns After Repaint

Entering service today following a repaint is First Norwich Purple Line Volvo B9TL / Wright Eclipse Gemini 37066 YK57 EZV. It is seen in use this morning on the 38 route on St Stephen's Street in the city.

Many thanks to Reece Collison for the report and photo.


Flashback Friday ~ February 2004

Flashback Friday returns for just this week with a look back to Grahame's visit to the Brooke Marine premises in Lowestoft on 28th February 2004.

Our posts regarding Leyland National LJI 8027 (Identity Of LJI 8027 Solved - 15th March 2023) and (Leyland National LJI 8027 Update - 3rd April 2023) prompted Grahame to remember that he had a picture of it somewhere in his vast archive of photos. It is seen above in a much better state in 2004.

It appears that the Brooke Marine site was also a bolthole for other buses with two of them being former Lincolnshire Road Car vehicles in the form of Reeve Burgess G883 WML and Leyland National EDT 213V.

The fourth vehicle at the site was former Sanders Coaches Plaxton bodied DAF MB200 GOE 264V

A grey and white double decker features in some of the photos which Grahame unfortunately didn't identify at the time. Thanks for the pics Grahame.

My searching of the internet failed to reveal any update of the remaining threesome and we would welcome any information you may have by emailing us at or leave a comment. (Subsequent information is shown in the Comments section below)


Wednesday 12 April 2023

Old Meets New

This afternoon two open top Cabriolets were parked together inside First Great Yarmouth's Caister Road Depot.

Dennis Trident / Plaxton President 32905 W905 VLN was parked alongside its replacement Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini 37533 CRZ166. The latter was previously registered SF08 SNJ.

My thanks to Will Drake for the photo


Service Alterations Registered ~ 12th April 2023

Just the one item of local interest features in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report.

The Inspired Learning Group has had its application granted for a new operating centre at St Felix School in Halesworth Road in Reydon, Southwold. The Group, which operates 20 schools and nurseries in the UK, is authorised to use the premises for seven vehicles subject to certain conditions being met.

The complete Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here shortly.


Tuesday 11 April 2023

Roundtree Way Visitor

Noted parked at First Norwich's Roundtree Way depot earlier today by Will Drake was 66825 MX05 CEY, a Volvo B7RLE/ Wright Urban Eclipse

New to First Manchester in June 2005, the saloon is on loan from First Essex and is expected to be used as a driver training vehicle.

My thanks to Will for the photo.


Monday 10 April 2023

Easter Monday At The Beach

Peter Oakes sent photos of the five coaches at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station earlier today.

On the left is Simonds KDX 108, a Van Hool bodied Volvo B10M-62. Its previous registrations were AR02 HCY and WT02 WCT

Next in line are Caledonian Coach's BV22 WPM, which featured in last Tuesday's post, and Pewsey Vale Coaches' Scania K360/ Irizar i6 YR16 BKZ.

The remainder were Alfa Travel's Mercedes-Benz Tourismos BU16 HBE & BV20 HNK, regular visitors to the resort.

My thanks to Peter for the photo and information


Seafront Reds

The traditional Bank holiday Monday weather struck today meaning First's Open top services were somewhat limited. Heavy rain put paid to the usual fleet being out and about so instead of a sea of Blue it was a Red day along the golden mile.

36282 LX59DAO is pictured at Seashore terminus this evening ironically bathed in evening sunshine.

37022 YJ06XKL was also in use today along with just the one open topper 37057 CRZ599 which i am guessing did not see many upstairs passengers!


Thursday 6 April 2023

Latest Arrival At Dolphin

The latest arrival at Norwich-based Dolphin Travel is this Plaxton Cheetah bodied Mercedes Vario O816D from Tendring Travel. KV09 GJK was new to Country Lion of Northampton as TAA 774 in March 2009.

My thanks to Dan High for the photo


Norwich Visit

Last night I received an email from regular contributor Tony Wilson who spends some time in our local area recording local bus activity during the summer months. His claim to fame is that he has one of his photos featured in Buses 2023 calendar!

He writes: 'Our first visit to Norfolk this year and we sampled one of the new Volvo B8R/MCV saloons on the X55 from North Walsham to Norwich. A splendid ride down this morning and one of the many buses to pass before the lens was former First West of England Streetdeck 35163 (SK65 PWF), now in the Norwich fleet, illustrated here in the city centre on the Orange Line 21/22. Looked rather nice.

However, looking more out of place were Weymouth Park-&-Ride saloons on the Green Line. But did nudge the little grey cells, reminding me of holidays back in the 50s and 60s as my paternal grandfather lived there.'

Thanks for the email and the photo Tony.


Wednesday 5 April 2023

Service Alterations Registered ~ 5th April 2023

There are some entries of local interest in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report.

Coastal Accessible Transport of Leiston, trading as Katch, is introducing a new service between Snape and Framlingham commencing from 10th April 2023. Operating via Parham, Wickham Market and Tunstall, it is a pre-bookable Many to One service Monday - Friday between 07.30 to 18.30, Saturday 10.00 to 18.30 and Sunday 10.00 to 18.00.

Sanders Coaches has begun to provide a new 42 service from Foulsham to Norwich Bus Station via Reepham, Cawston, Haveringland and Felthorpe from 2nd April 2023. It runs Monday to Saturday excluding Bank Holidays. Another new service is the Thursdays only 98A from Great Snoring to Fakenham via Kettlestone and Fakenham's Morrisons Store also starting on 2nd April 2023.

Sanders is also amending the route and timetable of its 6 / X6 service between North Walsham and Great Yarmouth's Market Gates from 2nd April 2023. The operator has also altered the timetable of its 6A North Walsham Post Office to Cromer Bus Station service from the same date.

The complete Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here soon. 


Tuesday 4 April 2023

Substituted Saloon

Since early October last year the operation of some First Norwich Green Line services have been carried out from First Great Yarmouth's depot which usually means the overnighting of some vehicles.

Last night was no different but one of the overnighters developed a starter motor fault this morning so didn't get out on time for Green Line duties. First Great Yarmouth Coastal Red StreetLite 47512 SN64 CRZ substituted in its absence

The errant Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse-Urban 66824 MX05 CEV was later fixed and was being employed on shuttle bus workings between Caister Road depot and Market Gates.

My thanks to Will Drake for the information and photo.


Tuesday Tour

It seems that regularly on a Tuesday now I do a quick tour around the tourist areas of Great Yarmouth taking in the seafront and Beach Coach Station to identify any long stay coaches.

This morning the first coach encountered was Acklams' Irizar i6 W300 ACK parked opposite the Wellington Pier. It looks to be a new coach as I can't find any reference to it on the internet.

Another new coach was Buckleys Mercedes-Benz Tourismo BF23 CDY outside the New Beach Hotel. New to the operator last month, it was making its first trip to the resort. Another unidentified Tourismo from the Alfa Travel fleet was parked immediately behind.

A second Alfa Travel Mercedes-Benz Tourismo was parked on North Drive in the shape of BU16 HBD

Returning to the car I witnessed Caledonia Travel's BV22 WPM (yet another Tourismo!) emerging from Prince's Road and turning into Marine Parade.

As if to emphasise that summer is on its way, I observed First Great Yarmouth's Cabriolet CRZ 488 on the open top service passing the road train near Britannia Pier. Beach Coach Station was devoid of any coaches.