The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  ~~~~   The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  ~~~~   The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  

Issue 106

Monday 6th December 2004
next update week ending 19th December 2004

Please note that any comments made in this news page are those of the Editors' and in no way constitute 
any official points of view from the bus companies mentioned,  or indeed any other official body. 
As a news page we reserve the right to make valid comments as seen from an editorial point of view.

If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid-week news please let me know

Sorry for the 24 hr delay but honestly I felt like a break yesterday. Lots of news contributions this week, so a big thank you to all of you. I never cease to be surprised at the input and the coincidences which occur each week. Photos of less usual buses and coaches seem to illicit excellent input and this is certainly the case with regard to the ex Brighton & Hove decker included last week.

The photo which attracted comment and a picture sent in by reader Christopher Lowe
of sister bus 720 when working for Bullocks up in Manchester where 721 also worked.

Paul Goodwin writes "This bus now owned by Abbey Coaches was one of a batch of 4 purchased by Brighton Borough Transport in 1985. 2 were standard buses but 2, including "21" were fitted with Coach seats, 4 speed Gear boxes (very fast vehicles) and radio PA systems. I had the pleasure of driving these vehicles when I worked for Brighton Corporation in the mid 80's. I'm not sure whether it was 20 or 21 I was driving on the night of the Great storm in 1987, but it made an interesting run back to the Lewis Road Depot at 2am after doing a Rail Replacement run from Brighton to Worthing. I must admit it was quite a surprise seeing it our area about a month or so ago."

Christopher Lowe as mentioned above also wrote to say "I have just been looking at the Oxford & Chilterns Bus Page. I noticed the picture of Dennis Dominator C721NCD. 

It was new to Brighton Buses as part of a batch of four, delivered as two pairs with differing styles of bodywork (C718/9NCD) as bus seated examples and (C720/1NCD) as coach examples. 

I worked as a driver for Bullocks of Cheadle from September 1994 until April 1998 and while I was there although I can't remember exactly when all four of these vehicles were acquired. Although not the exact vehicle I have enclosed a scan (jpg file) of C720NCD which shows how C721NCD looked while operating with Bullocks, mainly on the Wilmslow Road services. 

After finishing its use with Bullocks, I think it passed to Liverpool Motor Services although I do not know if it went directly there. While there though it returned to Manchester on loan to Stagecoach Manchester while all there Mercedes-Benz Vario's were off the road having brake pedal modifications. After this though I do not know what happened with it?"

Another Reader who I was pleased to hear from was Richard Kane who wrote "I am a local bus enthusiast which has been visiting the your site for 3 years now and e-mailing you with info on Abbey Coaches. The Dennis Dominator was purchased by Prestwood Travel earlier this year but sold to Abbey Coaches with the business.

P.S does anybody know the whereabouts of the ex Prestwood Travel Atlantean/ Fleetline (KJD89P)?"

So as you can see one photo brings a wealth of knowledge and a little bit of history.

There was also a request for information in the mail this week from north of the border. The mail read "As a member of Bus World now owns XTC864 we are trying to obtain the history of the vehicle. It was once owned by Buckmaster of Leighton buzzard. If you have any details we would be glad to receive them. 

In the spirit of Friendship - Seasons Greeting to our colleagues in England from Scotland.

Jimmy Rankin, Secretary, Bus World (inc Glasgow Bus Museum)

Now XTC864 was one of two Leyland experimental buses used in the development of the Leyland Atlantean, both being most interesting buses. The other experimental bus was STF90 mentioned some years ago on this page. If anyone has any information on XTC864 I am sure it would be much appreciated.

Something quite out of our area was a coach on the M40 today from Red Line of Preston, Lancs. It was a DAF regiustered Y241KJM. I felt it looked familiar and concluded it was ex Reading. Any takers?

Now on to this week's News and photos. Thank you to everyone who has contributed.

Malcolm Crowe - Monday 6th December 2004

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002

News of the local companies 6th December 2004

Abbey Coaches

See various correspondence in this week's editorial.

The picture mentioned below from john Bristow.

John Bristow writes " I note the comments regarding the new Downley route in your last newsletter and thought that you would be interested to see what was running to Downley in late 1960.  I took the shot at High Wycombe railway station."

Alex Evans, now becoming a welcome regular contributor to these pages writes "Olympian 5124 is now in service again - I saw it yesterday returning to Wycombe from Great Missenden on the 345. Olympian 5122 has had new number blinds fitted, as I believe they were ripped before. It is possible that that these could have come from 5129 which is to be scrapped and as your correspondent Andy Churchill noted last week, it is being cannibalised for spares. They are the same font (the older, slightly less visible type) as 5129 used to have - see - an old shot of 5129 from your website, about 6 months ago. 

Work is going on, in Penn, Downley, and parts of Wycombe to put up the new bus stop signs for the 31 'green' route. These new black signs with a green stripe in do not yet have maps or timetables in them. I believe they are going to be similar to those used for the 33 red route in Totteridge. This is one of the stages of Arriva's targets for the new route, as can be seen on the back of 5851 - "Improved roadside travel info"!  

I saw Dart 3814 (G570SGT) today and I think it's number blinds have been replaced too, to the ones similarly used in the Volvo B10Bs. These Wright-bodied Darts are now used very frequently on the new 31 route but the trouble with these buses is that they only have one blind for the number blind (like with the ex-London Olympians) and so when a new route is added, it cannot be displayed until these number blinds are altered. Obviously Arriva have done something about this with 3814, but 3811-3  still have this problem as far as I am aware.

(This week's Bucks Free Press carries a story that the new bus stops are being sited in the middle of footpaths, which is not helping pedestrians Ed.)

Regular Nigel Peach also writes this week saying "...I saw ex London Olympian 5851 on Tuesday 30th, the one with the all over rear ad for new route 31 - it was on the 326! 

The Merc Varios are receiving new style blinds as reported by Alex Evans last week. 2197 and 2198 both have them but 2196 still had the conventional style on Friday 3rd. 2197 incidentally was rostered for Uxbridge route U9 on Tuesday 30th, its old haunt before the arrival of the TransBus Darts. In fact only one of the three TransBus Darts was running on that day. "

I've not seen either of the Carlyle bodied Darts, 3094 and 3098 for some time now. I wonder if they have departed. If so, their stay was extremely brief?

Gavin Francis writes tonight, Monday, to say "Arriva 2197 and 2198 Mercedes Plaxton both now have electronic displays. Now they've started they can't stop fitting them. The displays alternate between the route information and " Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our customers' "

Finally on Saturday I saw BCC Solo 0448 working a 261 through Wheatley to Thame. Ian Pinnell also saw the same bus at Headington.


Rob Williams responds to Bruce Billingham's question last week saying "In response to Bruce Billingham's report, the three ex Reading Titans with Coachman are ex 70, 72, 74 - SBL70Y, RMO72Y, RMO74Y. For information, 76 - RMO76Y has gone into preservation."

Still no sign of the green DAFs for the 336.

Bus Monkey reports :-

Mon 29th
120 on 4A in morning

Tue 30th
112 on 4A in morning
Single door 603 & 616 on 5

So it seems that green Park & Ride Tridents are seeing more service on normal bus routes. I wonder why that is?

Another unusual rostering was last Friday when 802 was seen on 6 road.

Martyn Banham sent this picture of Citaro 827 at speed. It is certainly effective.

Another reporter writes "Trident 120 seen on 4 road on Monday the 29th and Trident 114 seen on 5 road on the 30th. Once again Volvo B12B nr 54 was
again seen on X90s on Sunday 28th in the afternoon.".

Ralph Adams writes "....went along Cowley Road today and noticed that the old hostel is almost demolished as is half the garage roof. What I had not noticed previously was the road at the top (on the old football pitch) is called Reliance Way. There will be at least one more road for the main garage redevelopment. Will that be Regent Road (or Bridgemaster or Renown Road). There is already a Regent Street in East Oxford"

One of my roving reporters sent a few pictures of progress at Cowley Road which are published below.

Two shots of the rear of the old site, famous for many pictures along the wall.

Geoff Cunliffe took this shot of 835 during his visit last week. It is seen at Carfax on 15 road.

On Friday I saw Volvo 820 on the X3 and noticed the Volvo 605 has new route number blinds very similar to the ones fitted to the ex Oxford ones at Arriva Wycombe. Later in the evening I saw 648 on the 13B, something quite unheard of a few years ago when evening allocations were very strictly controlled. Now it seems anything goes.

Jeffs of Helmdon

Chris Maxfield took this picture of ex Oxford X90 Jonckheere 42, which was M628FNS but now reregistered 112AXN.
The location is the Witney depot of Jeffs on the Super Gas Industrial Estate, Curbridge.

McCleans Coaches

Another Maxfield picture this time of a Volvo/Caetano Enigma FJ53VDF

This time a Dart from the same camera, R297MLO, used on school work.

Rob Williams wrote saying "The small grey box that Ian Pinnell notes has appeared inside 22918 is for the forthcoming Banbury Road real time system. All of the 7 branded M A N s, plus most of the unbranded ones are to be fitted in the next few months. In addition a selection of B10Ms, Olympians and Varios are to be fitted for the Bicester services, along with the Brookes Tridents. 

Whilst of the subject of equipment fitting, the 1 branded M A N s are currently being fitted out with CCTV systems (as well as having a complete repaint).

Bus Monkey reports :-

Tue 30th
34466 on 1

Wed 1st
34466 on 10

22932 on X4

Ian Pinnell adds his sightings saying "7: 22052, 22054 and the Mini Adventure/Brookes branded bus, 22053, worked the 7 on Saturday where many people must have been confused whether it was a 7 or Brookes bus. I know I was!"

Rob Williams provided this shot of the first loan Trident for Brookes from the Manchester fleet.
18177, MX04XFV was said to be a London order bus but I believe comes from Hyde Road, Manchester.
A second one has also arrived 18178.

A Maxfield picture of 40654 on the X8 which I think is being taken over by another operator.

Volvo Coach 52382 was caught on camera by Gavin Francis working an X5. This former Expressliner was based at Perth


52157 pictured this time by Gavin Francis at Gloucester Green waiting time on an 66.

That report of a Alexander PS 407, on the M4 has been confirmed by several readers as a relief Megabus working from Bristol.

Swanbrook of Cheltenham

Having not seen T35CNN for sometime now I had to do a double take on Friday last
when it reappeared last Friday in this "striking" colour scheme.

Thames Travel

Thames Travel 351 works the 18 last week when caught in the lens of Chris Maxfield.

Worth's of Enstone

I had asked if someone could get some pictures of Worth's prior to them relinquishing the 70. Chris Maxfield obliged last week with these shots  Chris wrote "IUI6722, was operating the service to Oxford. BU53ZWZ, was the incoming service from Witney. Y4WMS having arrived dead from depot to take up service to Witney and S6WMS arrived to take up service 71 to Banbury.

The second picture has the coach, the Citaro plus MPD Y4WMS having just arrived from depot to take up the next journey on 69 back to Witney whilst the driver of the Citaro takes his break. The Citaro then returned to take up the 1330 trip to Witney.

There will be further pictures from Chris next week.

If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid week news & when each News Page is posted
please let me know on

If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at

A few more pictures, the first from  me and the second from Marcus Lapthorn.

This little Ford appeared in George St last Friday on route 8A   ???

The attached photo' is out of our area of course but Marcus thought that we might like to see it. Portsmouth North End depot in 1966. 
Now for some of us this what a bus should look like !!!!

I welcome your photos for inclusion on this page. Please send them to me at

These are two most interesting sites which I do recommend

Bus Zone Logo (2421 bytes)

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002