Sunday 19th June 2005
next update week ending 1st July 2005
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This last week has seen some of the hottest temperatures recorded in London and area for many a long year now, 32°C on Saturday and this afternoon as I write the page it remains hot and muggy and not the weather to concentrate on my usual page. I am sure you will all appreciate that this week the page will be somewhat curtailed.
Coach fire on the M40
Last Wednesday I received a phone call from my daughter, who lives next door to us, saying that the garden was covered in black smoke and there were lots of bits of "something" falling in the garden. I was understandably concerned and came back home from another daughter who lives near Lane End. I had missed the main fire and when I arrived on the M40 over bridge at junction 5 the fire was almost out. My own picture shows this situation but Peter Davey, a neighbour, had been on the scene earlier and was able to get some dramatic pictures which were taken before the fire and emergency services arrived. I must say Peter was very sharp indeed and some of his pictures also appeared in Friday's Bucks Free Press.
My picture shows matters after the arrival of the fire brigade who were by now dampening down the fire.
The coach was owned by Turners of Bristol who have a large and quite interesting fleet. The coach involved appears to be a Volvo B10M-62 with Plaxton Premier C57F bodywork, registered P16CJT. It was damaged, to my eyes, quite beyond any repair. Quite what it was doing on the M40 rather the M4 is not clear.
Needless to say the incident caused major traffic delays on the westbound M40 and the A40 was used by many vehicles able to avoid the subsequent delays.
Another accident on the M40 causes Sunday chaos.
Well, Sunday 19th June saw my family and I going to Wycombe for shopping. We used the M40 and hit a traffic delay almost as soon as we got onto the motorway. It turned out to be a Discovery which had flipped four times and ended up in the nearside lane about 2 miles from Stokenchurch, London bound. What a mess and the poor people didn't look too great. The accident was attended by four ambulances, the air ambulance and fire engines plus police. It took around 3 hours to clear the motorway and in the interim traffic was diverting off the M40 through Stokenchurch and West Wycombe. At one stage there was a queue from Studley Green to West Wycombe.
My wife was most helpful in recoding some of the interesting diversions with my camera. They are not as clear as I would have liked but they are at least a record.
Tube 50105 seemed to have a problem and was doubtless hopeful that another was not far behind to pick up the passengers.
It is seen on West Wycombe Road and the Golden Ball is on the skyline.
The Megabus was being worked by a Trident in London red and 17781 is seen heading towards West Wycombe.
Another one was indeed not too far behind and 50047 is seen heading down Dashwood Hill on the A40
One of the Oxford espress Volvos is seen working an X70 service to Heathrow and having just turned off the A40
at Stokenchurch will join the long queues to get to High Wycombe. Indeed this was the second
green coach on the X70 as we had already passed on in the centre of West Wycombe.
Another Tube is seen following the Oxford coach above but this one may go through Lane End to regain the M40.
Our local "bobby" was controlling access to the M40 at Stokenchurch and the motorway would not reopen for another
half hour when this picture was taken, The Tappins coaches would also join a7 mile crawl into Wycombe.
A report and pictures from Binders Yard
Steve Bunce visited Binders Yard this week and sent a selection of interesting vehicles there. Steve says "... I live in Ruislip. My parents live in Penn, so when I visit them I call in at Binders Yard on Cryers Hill for a look around. All 3 of these vehicles were at Ward Jones' yard in Binders Yard yesterday, although the photos have been taken over the course of this week. He seems to be doing a good trade in Routemaster repairs at the moment, I have counted 3 with him this week alone. re: RM1400 (KGJ339A), RML2508 (JJD508D) and RM1063 (63CLT). I do try and get to Binders Yard about once a week, once a fortnight on the outside, and have a number of photos of interesting vehicles which have passed through the yard. Also in the same compound as the 3 photographed this week, was Leyland National KPA369P, looking a bit battle scarred, MXX472, another RF, but in very nice condition, VDV789, a Bristol MW, XPG180T, an ex-London Country Atlantean now being used by FilmFlow of London as a film location vehicle. Bristol FS5G OVL473 paid a visit and ever present CFN104, the preserved Leyland PS1/1, owned by Ward Jones himself! I see Magpie is now operating F789DWT, an Optare Starider coach
Three vehicles photographed by Steve Bunce.
Gavin Francis also visited Binders Yard this morning and sent this picture which should evoke many memories for older readers. The Routemaster is also mentioned by Steve Bunce above.
Westway to the coast.
Local coach firm, Westway, operates excursions to the coast which are very popular with the older folk in the area surrounding High Wycombe. Last Thursday my wife and her friend went to Bournemouth and I was on had to record the coaches used on this service.
This Dennis Javelin with Salvador Caetano bodywork provided transport for my wife and friend.
They said it was very comfortable which is good for a coach new in June of 1989. It cam from Greys of Ely in 1998.
The other coach used was this Plaxton, P347LKL which is a recent addition to the Westway fleet.
It is nice to see the old traditional type of coach excursion still in operation. It was also nice to see that they needed two coaches, both of which were almost full.
Asia Bus Response donated buses leave the UK.
Another picture of this matter which appeared on the web site is shown below. I like that one.
Historical reference in our area
A reply to Ed Maun from Andy Millwood.
Andy wrote to say "Thanks to Ed Maun for writing in about the Thames Valley Bus, yes, I was wrong, service 57 was to Sunningdale. The memory plays tricks sometimes, but afterwards I kept thinking it might be Sunningdale, also another error I made, 748 is owned by Peter Pribak, not Privett and he comes from Wokingham (next door town). I would tend to agree the photo of 744 was probably in the 60`s or 70`s,it was quite usual for buses to have blanked out Via displays. most of them had blanked out ones at the back. I wonder how many people remember the Lodekkas (ld),a lot of them did especially the second-hand ones from United Welsh, Notts &Derby, Mansfield District, Lincolnshire and Bristol Omnibus, Such memories.!!!
An Oxford Bus Company coach excursion to Manchester
Paul Goodwin writes "Mid 90,s Fox FM ran an excursion from Oxford area to the Granada studios in Manchester. It was operated jointly by the Wycombe Coach Company and the Oxford Coach company. Oxford used their two liveried vehicles 122/3 and Wycombe was supposed to use 1756 and 1763 (my steed for the day). Unfortunately 1756 had a tacho fault so 1725 (ex oxford leopard 25)was used.
A good day was had by all except that after dropping off in Oxford 1725 ran out of fuel on Stokenchurch Hill (Leopards never did have a good range unless fitted with dual tanks). Photos were taken in the Granada Studios Coach park. Possibly the only occasion that 4 of the 5 "Coach Company" livered were together.......... unless someone knows better?"
Another old Oxford Citylink coach sighted
Noam Bleicher writes to say "I saw Plaxton (Paramount?) A112 MUD this morning, operated by Confidence of Leicester. It was on the old A46 heading towards Enderby from Narborough. As -UD is an Oxford registration, I imagine this bus is ex-Citylink or Tube. "
On the subject of open top Fleetlines in Oxford.
Gavin Francis writes "Oxford open-top DMS 840 has come up on your page a couple of times lately.
I have looked back over my records and this is a shot of it in London service taken on Derby Day 1980. I used to go to Epsom each year on this day as there was always a major influx of vehicles to cover special services and lots of hire buses on the downs."
Now on to this week's News and photos. Thank you to everyone who has contributed this week. Please note that next week's page will be published on Monday evening and not Sunday as usual.
Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 19th June 2005
Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
News of the local companies – 19th June 2005
Abbey Coaches - Prestwood Travel, High Wycombe
Abbey Coaches - the sun rises on a day without the company just remnants of the fleet remain at Cressex early on 160605
Whilst waiting for my wife's coach, mentioned above, this Scania 3146 passed by on a 326 service.
Sorry not quite local Arriva but I really do like these new open tops.
They run a T6 service from the Hilton to Marble Arch and other points as the Purple Connector and
according to the destination screen local fares are available.
Colin Richardson writes
Tuesday 31 May 2005, bus services 2 & 4 return to their normal routes. As far
there have not been big problems. It is worth someone taking photographs of
buses using the stop for the newsletter.
The photograph of an RF of London Transport, taken and passed you by my longstanding friend, John Bristow of Swansea. This shot bought back memories of the bus stop for service 359. I travelled on the very last journey from Aylesbury Bus Station and alighted at Wendover, the service finished in 1975."
Nigel Peach writes "Arriva have brought in 2 ex London Olympians to Wycombe, 5844 (D211 FYM) and 5849 (C31 CHM) (according to my Arriva 2004 book, these are from Ware). I am told they are for the schools contracts they've picked up following the demise of Abbey. They are both dual doors. They have both been working on ordinary stage carriage work this week. I've seen 5844 on the 301 in Flackwell Heath and 5849 was on the 326 today (Wed 8th), usually the haunt of the Scanias."
Steve Warwick writes "Not much really to report about Arriva except that the 'flagship' Oxford 280 Olympians spending more time in the workshop than on the road hence all sorts of buses appearing on the 280. Scania 3166 working the 280 on Thursday and Friday last week along with older Leyland Olympians."
Gavin Francis passed by the depot today and got the picture below of one of the recently arrived Darts in full Carousel livery.
Stuart Turner writes to say "....saw The 4th Carousel on Route 4 going down into Chesham Wed 15 PM. It is Red Arriva J301WHJ."
The route changes for 3rd July may now be found in full detail on the company web site. http://www.oxfordbus.co.uk/
Suffice to say my earlier report was not wholly accurate for which I apologise to the company.
Volvo 606 had immediately preceded 607, seen above on Park & Ride 300 service.
Ian Pinnell writes "One other thing from my visit to Devon the weekend before last. I photographed the ex Airlinks Olympian/Alexander Royale which had been on loan to First Beeline at Torquay Pavilion at 09.56 on Tuesday 31st May (it had just arrived from Plymouth). A photo was posted to the Domeus South West bus photographs group by Graeme Selway of the same vehicle at London Victoria at 18.59 on 30th May before it left for Bracknell. It obviously came back home overnight and went straight into service!"
Helen writes to say "...just to let you know if you are interested MUD 27W is now operating from Bedford as a luxury limousine bus Painted black with Goldfinger Experience livery."
Their web site can be found through this link - www.goldfingerexperience.com
Helen says "We absolutely love this bus, it drives like a dream"
"Just read the
latest page and they just keep improving.
One of your correspondents reported the Dennis Dart at Grayline in Bicester, this vehicle as been owned by them for about a year now and is used on service 21 Greenwood Estate it originated with Isle of Man transport before being sold to Metrobus where it was fleet no.723 and that is still evident in the vehicle.(K623PGO)
They also have another Dart used on service B10 in Banbury running to Hanwell Fields this was ex Metroline and arrived via an operator from Merseyside it's reg no. is H536 KGX and it was purchased around October last year.
I shall speak to Peter Leyman and ask him to e.mail the photos he as of them so you can use them for the page. I’m hoping to organise a photo morning at Grayline normally takes place on a Sunday morning and I will advise you of the date for your readers, but I do advise that some vehicles might not be present due to tour work. Also to close a chapter for you I got to the bottom of Charlton’s 35 seater, it came from Dodd’s of Troon and was registered D 5 DOT with them on arrival at Charlton it was registered H 403 ERP and re-registered CSU 432 and I'll get Peter to send you that photo as well. "
and then "....spoke to Paul Gray today while he was booking me up for work for the summer season and have arranged for a photo morning at Grayline’s depot on Sunday 19th June starting at 10am he did advise me that 3 coaches would not be present due to tours but all the service buses would be there and the rest of the coach fleet (the 3 missing are the 2 Iveco Euroriders and the Neoplan Transliner). "
Dave, Merseyside Dennis Dart Website,
writes "....just been
looking at your excellent site, noting the very smart pic of the above vehicle.
Noticed though that it is a Volvo B6/Plaxton Pointer, rather than a Dennis Dart!
Details, as new, are as follows:
L409GPY Vo B6-50 05246 Pn 9310.2VWN1953 B40F 2/1994 OK Motor Services
And now two pictures of the same bus, the first by Gavin Francis in Oxford, when it was working the 14 and a week or so later by me in Stokenchurch when it was working a schools service. It is an Olympian.
Does anyone have an up to date fleet list for Heyfordian please?
Steve Warwick writes "I paid a visit to Motts Travel's new yard at Stocklake in Aylesbury yesterday and got permission to take a few photos. It is indeed impressive and looks very smart."
Steve took some photos which are included below.
I am advised by the London Bus Group that "Former Go Ahead London Central/General vehicles NV58 (started life at London Central) then being cascaded to London General Sutton for a brief period on the 213's then back to London Central to help out on 63's (due to Thameslink blockade) doing short runs between Kings Cross and Farringdon. NV172 was at Putney doing the 74's but cascaded to the training fleet at AL (Merton), it joins NV169 another trainer. They all are with Millaneys Coaches of Watford."
I must get some pictures as I especially like the NV169-174 type having driven NV185 so often. Anyone else got any pictures of these buses?
Other Stagecoach companies seem to be further behind with their repaints
as seen by 16697 caught by Gavin Francis on an X6 working at Oxford Train Station.
Surprise visitor to Gloucester Green last week was 52265 working on the 66 to Swindon.
Stagecoach in Swindon
3033 writes "Just a quick observation on the 16.15 Swindon - Oxford last evening, Friday 17th was Stagecoach Volvo/Plaxton coach 52265 (M165CCD). Vehicle had correct electronic route number and destination, but was in overall white livery with just a Stagecoach transfer and fleet number on the front."
Dave Rogers writes to say "Stagecoach in Swindon have 22057 and 34466 on loan from Oxford, they were both operating the Trans Wilts Express, service 49, Swindon-Devizes-Trowbridge yesterday.
Swindon are also using a plain white Volvo B10M/Plaxton, loaned from Gloucester, on the 66.
These vehicles are here because of a vehicle shortage currently, and were expected to stay for one week."
Dave has also sent me a picture of an ex South Midland Bus he owns.
18052 went to Portsmouth on Sunday and Chris Maxfield provided this photo.
18051 at Carfax on the 3 last week, picture by Gavin Francis.
Brookes Buses can work other routes in the summer vac, here we see 18195 on the 29 picking up at the Randolph stop.
Andrew Moore writes "I was interested in the archive material found in the latest edition of your News Page. I have been a resident in the Oxford area for about 7 years, so any information and pictures pre 1998 ish is definitely of interest to me, especially the Bristol VRs and the coaches to/from London, so please do keep up the good work.
A new vehicle operated by Thames Travel was also mentioned, this being the MB Sprinter 610. (OU05 LWP or 305). I managed to take a short ride on this vehicle yesterday (07.06.05) on Route 17 between Jericho and Summertown.
My first impression of this vehicle was very favourable. The entrance doors open outward, this reveals an easy step entrance together with necessary wheel chair access and floor space. The ticket machine slot (for Explorers, Plus passes and the like) is situated immediately to your left. The ticket box/slot itself is mounted horizontally. The interior is light and airy (or airy??), the push bell buttons are situated not on the vertical handrails, but on the side panels between the windows. I noticed that some passengers were hunting around for the bell pushes, but I suppose being situated where they are, it prevents standing passengers leaning against the polls and inadvertently ringing the bell. (Like they do on 5 and 13 routes!!!).
The acceleration and ride was very smooth and this nippy little vehicle negotiated the narrow roads around Jericho area with no problem at all. Being such a small bus, one could not help hearing other passenger's comments, the general feedback was good, most saying that they thought that it gave a smoother ride and that they proffered it to the usual buses on the route, these of course being the Mini Darts.
So , only after a few days in service, it looks as if Thames Travel's new baby has found a few admirers already"
The destination screen which has proved MOST difficult to photograph still alludes success, anyone else been more successful?
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These are three most interesting sites which I do recommend
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The Oxford Bus Museum
Bus Services in Buckinghamshire
Bus services in Oxfordshire
Where are the Chilterns?
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