Monday 23rd January 2006
next update week ending 3rd February 2006
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More vintage pictures of buses and coaches in our area this week. Your responses to the last few weeks has shown how much you enjoy this type of picture. Also I have not forgotten those who like something more up to date. and we have a selection of local pictures taken 5 years ago which show just how much things have changed.
The mail box has been full of further reminiscences on the subject of High Wycombe and again I have included these in the History section.
I've also been doing some research of my own and can now confirm where the 1935 Chiltern Bus Company garage was. This is referred to in the very excellent history of The Thames Valley Traction 1931-1945 by Paul Lacey. Scroll down to the history section to see how the depot looks today.
Local operators are busy with schedule changes, especially on the X90 to London where a new timetable comes into force on Sunday 29th January. The end of the month sees changes to services operated by Arriva in High Wycombe.
I've also been busy with camera looking for odd bus stops and have come up with a beauty in Oxford itself.
The bus stop for a mini bendy bus !!!
Sometime ago I ran a couple of items relating to the siting of bus stops. I notice that the new stop on Cowley Road at James Street at last acknowledges the fact that we now have front loading buses in the city. There are however still many bus stops which are totally unsuited to modern traffic conditions. However the prize for the oddest bus stop in the city must surely go to the one pictured below.
Can someone tell me type of bus this stop is designed for?
This is a really odd shaped bus stop in Girdlestone Road, part of the route 15 in Oxford and one must only wonder who designed this one?
Another interesting stop is the resited eastbound stop in Cowley Road. This stop, at James Street, has been resited and now offers a true front loading layout. However whilst there is new stop pole complete with an OBC flag, there is still a flag in the middle of the stop resulting in buses not using the stop fully. The picture below shows this practice.
This Stagecoach service is stopped by the original flag.
Lewknor taxibus update
This coming Friday sees the ending of the current timetable for the Lewknor taxibus and a new one starts on Monday 30th January.
Stagecoach are in the process of producing a new timetable leaflet which looks very nice. The major change to the service is twofold. One is that the service will now serve Stokenchurch but not Chinnor. Secondly the service is now aimed solely at the commuter.
Bulleid Way Green Line coach station closed for two weeks
I advised last week that Green Line coach station in Bulleid Way would be closed until 29th January.
The programmed works have however failed to start even though services have been transferred out of the station. An informed source advised me of the reasons why.
My source writes "works on site have been delayed by a week. To be honest this is a common outcome for non essential schemes where unexpected difficulties arise once the highway is opened up.
The reason is that where the informal crossing is to be created half way down BW, there are two gulley drain covers. Before the small section of block paving could be lifted the drains were being serviced and cleaned on the Monday. This is usually done twice a year and is generally a straightforward task.
Unfortunately on Monday morning, the work gang discovered that the south side drain was badly contaminated and blocked with toilet drop contents that more than likely was from a coach. This became a H&S issue and required the Cleansing department to be called in. There is also a concern about a large amount of cooking fat down there that does not wash away, a probable practice of the catering trade in the Colonnades.
Anyway, due to the damage to the drains they all had to be fully checked out, which was done on Thursday/Friday. Oh yes this also required Network Rail permission as BW is a deck structure over Victoria Station, that added to the hassle.
If all this is sorted by today, contractors should be out tomorrow. Oh yes, Megabus will now have an extra week in the 'open air' at Eccleston Place, which they seem happy about."
Stephen Le Bras wrote "It does not look like they have done any work on Bullied Way in Victoria. The Megabus are standing in Eccleston Place and depart left into Buckingham Palace Road but everything else seems unmoved. Are the contractors ever going to start work??"
Well Stephen now you have the answer.
I also received a number of photographs of coaches on the new diversion which are shown below. The first two are from Gavin Francis and the last from Armstrong Galley.
Chaos in George Street, Oxford
Last week on Thursday we had a total traffic jam in George Street when nothing moved for over 15 minutes. This was caused by private coaches picking up from the Theatre where school children had been attending some function. The police were noticeable by their absence at what I understand is an annual event. Sadly the coach drivers did not help the situation.
The picture shows the problems caused. Nothing moved for ages.
The delays must have played havoc with local bus and long distance coach schedules as for sometime the entrance/exit at Gloucester Green was totally blocked.
Fire at London bus depot
The link given hereunder will take you a BBC news story regarding a fire under the Westway in London today (Sunday). It seems that a number of London buses were destroyed.
It is reported today Monday that at least 8 buses were destroyed in the fire.
Pictures from Swindon by Tim Hall
Tim Hall sent some nice pictures of new Wrights Solars for Thamesdown. These are pictured immediately upon delivery to Swindon.
Ray Jackson Art
Ray Jackson wrote to me to advise me of his web site which has paintings of buses. Nice present for a Christmas or Birthday wish list !!
Again my thanks to all my contributors, both old and new. Keep the historical info and older pictures coming but don't forget the modern stuff.
Malcolm Crowe - Monday 23rd January 2006
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
News of the local companies – 23rd January 2006
Service changes in High Wycombe from 30th January
Ed Maun writes "I have just received the January LOTS magazine and discovered that there are some service changes in the High Wycombe area from Monday 30th January.
The 301 and 339 are replaced by a new service 30 running from Flackwell Heath to Lane End via the town centre.
Service 372 is withdrawn, to be replaced by additional journeys on the 362. This means that Arriva no longer serve Penn Street and Winchmore Hill – Carousel Buses continue to serve these places on their service 4."
Peter Cartwright informs me as follows "With effect from 30 January there are a number of alterations including..
Arriva 301 Flackwell Heath - High Wycombe & Arriva 339 Lane End - High Wycombe BOTH WITHDRAWN and replaced by Route 30!
This will be an hourly through service using 2 vehicles. Notices and Proceedings showed it as a half-hourly service but it isn't.
Arriva Route 74 - service enhanced to half-hourly daytime - Beaconsfield shorts now extended to Slough and Waitrose at Beaconsfield not served. Buses depart Wycombe at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour.
Route 317 timetable and route change in central Maidenhead. Buses leave Wycombe at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour. Half hourly to Bourne End, hourly to Maidenhead as present.
Route 328/329 timetable change. Buses depart Wycombe at 15 and 45 minutes past each hour.
Routes 362/372. Route 372 WITHDRAWN. Service via Penn Street and Winchmore Hill withdrawn. Half - hourly service between High Wycombe and Chesham Pond Park. All journeys operate in Amersham via Stanley Hill. Departs Wycombe at 15 and 45 minutes past each hour.
Waiting to see what Bucks CC do about Penn Street and Winchmore Hill which still have an evening and hourly Sunday service by Carousel route 4, these journeys being on contract to Bucks C.C.
These are main changes but do not provide an even pattern of services along A40 London Road. Changes are to facilitate interchange at bus station but I can see complaints that buses are travelling in convoy with long breaks in between.
The Park & Ride service is still attracting increased patronage and the vehicles
are proving popular with passengers."
Current performer on the 317 is this Bouncy Castle" seen near Wycombe Marsh last week.
A very regular performer on the 340 is this ex Motts Olympian 5108. It is seen here last week in Stokenchurch.
Nigel Peach writes "Volvo B6 3133 (M713 OMJ), which my book tells me comes from Luton was working the 329 to Reading yesterday (21st Jan) (without blinds). I saw sister 3135 (also from Luton) at Cressex just before Christmas, but haven't seen it since."
See under Arriva news regarding route 4.
Volvo B10BLE 801 re-entered service today, Monday, on route 5. It has been internally refurbished and externally received a full repaint. As can be seen from the photos attached a revised livery has been applied to the same style as the recently received Citaro fleet for route 2. The interior also follows the new style as first seen on the Citaro fleet.
These two pictures show the work done on the outside. I am told that there are two chrome strips due to be fitted below the front windscreen.
Much work has been done on the inside including new seat coverings, recoloured poles and red bell pushes.
The use of colour coordinated fitments matching the outside dark red are interesting.
Two pictures from Gavin Francis and taken outside the Oxford Train Station today, 23rd January 2006.
I asked last week regarding 601 "What do readers think of this livery?". Reaction was mixed, varying from "well it's different" - " a nice fresh change" to "awful". Well such is life. We can't please all of the people all of the time.
Coach 4 heads off to London on an X90 working taken on Monday 23rd January in The High.
Oxford Bus Company between 2001 - 5 years ago
Those of you who were not around Oxford in 2001 will be surprised to find that Trident 120 was red long before 101 and 102.
It was also branded for the X3 as seen in the pictures above taken in January 2001.
Coach nr 7 - R7OXF - as she was 5 years ago in early 2001. This coach is now R808NUD, fleet nr 71 and presently on hire to Solent Blue Line.
R7OXF now adorns Dart SLF 407.
Coach nr 59 - UJI 1759 (formerly 159 and ex Shearings H959DRJ) which arrived in 1995.
This coach was sold in March 2001 to O’Neachtain Tours, Spiddal, Co.Galway in the Irish Republic. Is it still with them?
Victoria Coach Station at 0115hrs on 3rd January 2001. Volvo coach nr 51 next to an Airbus (ex Cambridge Coach Services) Olympian on the Stansted service.
Ian writes "Firstly, Nice work on the latest Oxford Bus page, especially enjoying looking back at Oxford Bus and Stagecoach from the years 1999... those were the days!!
I live on the Barton Estate and I remember Oxford Bus Company running the Barton Shuttle which ran down Edgecombe Road from Barton Village Road, and the bus used most of the time was a bus similar to Metrorider 781, I was just wondering if it was Metrorider 781 which was used on this service or if it was another MetroRider or mini bus?"
Metrorider 781 seen at Cowley Road garage whilst being prepared for repaint on 21 June 1999.
Indeed this was the bus used on the Barton shuttle mentioned by Ian above.
Richard writes "Your photo of OBC's Optare Metrorider 781 has a mistake in its caption -- that was T3, not T4. (T4 was the Willowbrook Warrior rebodied former coach, that was in the training fleet at OBC for just long enough for me to drive it a couple of times... it was given to Wycombe Bus as part of the takeover by Arriva while I was in the driving school.)"
The ex Alder Valley coach seated Olympians in the Wycombe Bus fleet.
Again we see WBC 241 which was on the 340 in New Road, Stokenchurch on a very foggy day 23rd December 2000.
Oxford Bus as owners of Wycombe Bus also approached London General in 1999 to loan a Metrobus for trials in High Wycombe.
Frazer Peddle writes re the picture above "Regarding the photo of the London General Metrobus that was on loan to Wycombe bus that is mentioned in last weeks newsletter.
I can remember it being used for the 312 service from Wycombe bus station to Hithercroft Road Downley via Mendip Way & the Pastures which was a week day service which I used to catch after school to home, it was duel door which probably put it off being in Wycombe so long as a lot of the school kids used to sneak through the wrong way, other then that it was different from the rest of the fleet of double deckers at the time!!"
Country Links operated by Stratford Blue
Ross writes following the pictures of an Dart MPD on the X50 "Wouldn't have thought the X50 MPD (400) would be very unusual - it's the usual spare bus for the X20 (/X50). Last year it did appear regularly on the X20 on Sundays in Birmingham. However it could have been doing the short (Stratford only) workings."
R H TRANSPORT
This company has received the first of its new Solos which were purchased for their route 25 operation.
New Solo ....... seen in Gloucester Green and captured by Gavin Francis today, 23rd January.
The older Solos which have been on loan include this one with Compass Royston livery.
In response to the picture featured on last week's page several of you have written to say:
Stephen Le Bras writes "F113OMJ is a Scania L113/Alexander PS and was a demonstrator when new. Additionally it appears that a Scania L113 would be low floor as I believe the L refers to low, and N would be normal or high floor. When the 30 Scania low floor single deckers were delivered to London Transport/Stagecoach in 1994, they were designated N type but if you ever travelled on one, you would find that the seat at the back of the bus was accessed by going up several steps-hardly a low floor but then Scania fitted a low front end to compensate. One day I must go and look at Yorkshire Traction's one or two off high floor single deckers before Stagecoach get round to withdrawing them!"
Adrian writes "Scania F113 OMJ first entered service in August 1989 as a demonstrator with London Buses as part of a trial to find a new full-size single decker for the capital. Given fleet number SA1, it was pitched against the Optare Delta (DA1) and worked from Bromley and Thornton Heath garages on routes B1 (now 314) and 109. The Optare Delta proved more successful and subsequently led to orders for Westlink and East London. In April 1991, SA1 was sold to Black Prince of Morley and was used on services around Leeds until the operator ceased operating in July 2005. The bus then passed to Blytheswood Motors (dealer) in Glasgow before being bought by RH Transport."
- R H Transport's loan vehicle F113OMJ is actually a Scania N113CRB/Alexander PS
- and has, I presume, come from the dealer Blytheswood in Glasgow, where the bus
went after Black Prince of Morley sold out to First last summer - certainly
there have been no reports of it since.
The bus was new as London Buses SA1 as part of the late-80s single-deck evaluation program, ending up with Black Prince where it was a regular in latter times on route 87 (Morley - Leeds City Centre - Halton Moor)."
The Brookes operation continues to grow in success and loading are strong on the two main routes, U1 and U5.
Here we see the first NCME Trident, 18051 loading at Marsh Road on the Cowley Road today 23rd January 2006.
The rebuilt Stagecoach depot at Horspath is now fully operational and here we see a selection of vehicles under a stormy sky last week.
Overspill parking is still made at Exel where a selection of buses and coaches await their next turn of duty last Sunday morning.
Yes, it was very misty indeed and cold !!!
Some pictures from my album - 2001
Again when looking through those old pictures I found some Stagecoach ones which I thought may appeal to my readers.
First we have a Volvo B6 838 - P328JND - seen at Horspath railway bridge on its first day in the then new livery - 2001.
This was the first Oxford based bus to carry the new livery and David Whitley, the then Marketing Manager, can be seen at the wheel.
The date was 25th January 2001, just about 5 years ago !!!!
Loliner 916 is seen at Gloucester Green on a 27 working to Bicester. The date was the 2nd December 2000.
That ex Newcastle open topper.
Armstrong Galley sent this excellent picture of the open topper featured recently on this page. This was before it ventured south to Oxford.
Trials were made on Sunday 22nd January to ascertain if a Tube would safely pass under the railway line at Botley Road, Oxford. Our picture shows a successful trial.
Coach 50107 was used to test if a Neoplan would pass safely under the Oxford Station bridge.
As can be seen, it does with several inches to spare. The trial took place at 0730 on Sunday 22nd January 2006.
50123 seen in winter sunshine early on 22nd January 2006. It is approaching the overbridge at junction 5 on the M40, London bound.
Young Gavin Francis is at the wheel - oh happy days !!!
Gavin Francis sent this picture of the new display for the express services to London.
Lots of replies to the picture of coach 12 and why was in a 12 livery?
David Whitley, one time Marketing Manager of Stagecoach South Midlands writes "Very nice to read about the late 90s in Oxford - very nostalgic. In answer to the question about the '12' livery, it was to advertise the new 12 minute daytime service between Oxford and London (increased from every 15 minutes). There was actually one '21' on the side (by mistake), although we decided to run a competition to find it, generating some interest at the time!
I must admit, of all the variations we tried, I had a particularly fondness for my 12 livery - although I admit I hadn't appreciated quite how many variations I tried!"
Graham Mildenhall says "I seem to remember the 12's were something to do with a 12 minute frequency of service, I may be wrong however!"
Phil Rumsby wrote "Another fascinating read, many thanks for all the hard work you put in every week. I'm just glad my picture doesn't appear on a regular basis - in my defence it was 6am in the morning!(Phil took a picture of the new breakfast offering mentioned last week.) Regarding the "12" Oxford Tube livery, I presume this was to mark when Stagecoach, or rather Thames Transit as it was then, started the 12 minute frequency during the day?"
"I am a
right sucker for the nostalgic photos you took in 1997-1999, as I was living &
working in Oxford throughout that time; although I never took an active
interest, I did travel on the Oxford Tube a bit and I was constantly cycling
into town and would have been very familiar with all the vehicles featured.
The Tube with lots of 12s on it: I travelled on this one once, I very clearly remember it. I was sat right at the front on an early-morning run up to London. This was *just* at the point where I was beginning to take an active interest, in the year preceding the delivery of the Jonckheere/MANs (i.e. 1998/9). At Lewknor, a jolly chap got on and smirked at the driver; "Your coach is covered in twelve's!". The driver replied that this was because it was coach number 12, and they were taking advantage to advertise their 12-minute service. Hope that answers the question. Clearly this scheme was applied to just that vehicle and no others. I only travelled on it that once, and not long after that the MANs were delivered."
Alex Hornsby writes from Manchester saying "Excellent weekly update as ever.... in response to Oxford Tube coach 12 (N42 MJO) with the distinctive littered 12 livery, this was done to launch the 12 minute frequency, which was the most frequent service offer at that point in time. I find the photos of this period extremely interesting, as I only begun to have work contact with Stagecoach Oxford from 2002, when I began my time with Stagecoach as a placement student at the then-dubbed Stagecoach South Midlands.... so seeing how things looked before then is quite the eye-opener! Thanks again for an excellent site! "
Andrew Webb writes "To answer your question about the reason for all the "12s" on this vehicle I photographed it at Showbus 98 at Duxford on 27/9/98. My notes and memory from the time recall that it was adorned in order to promote the then new 12 minute frequency on the Tube service"
The coach with all the twelves
Oxford Bus Museum
Where was this picture taken? - an answer to the question
Graham Mildenhall responded "I presume you know the answer really, but I'm certain it was at a Gaydon AEC rally several years ago. How do I know? I was on 756 at the time!"
You like the history side of things.
Your letters tell me how much so many of you like the history corner and the older, even if fairly recent pictures.
This week's contributions come from a number of sources and once again pictures from Derek Doling feature prominently.
To remind you Derek said "I am a regular reader of your column each week and enjoy it a great deal and have sent you the odd picture in the past.
I have noted with interest the coverage of Thames Valley buses lately. I have in my possession an album of some 126 or so black and white photographs of Thames Valley buses taken from the late 50's to mid 60's. they are obviously taken by a professional photographer as they are stamped on the back -: Copyright W.R.Legg. 3 Harbeson Road SW 12.
I have never heard of this name and have no idea whether he is still with us or not. The album was given to my by an acquaintance who had no interest in buses. I am not sure how he acquired it. I have scanned 3 pics for your perusal. I was wondering if you or any of your readers could shed any light on Mr Legg. I would love to share the pics with a wider audience but am not sure of the copyright situation.
Two pictures by W R Legg via Derek Doling show old Thames Valley buses in their guise as showman's vehicles in the early 60s
The Thames Valley breakdown vehicle at High Wycombe in the early 60s
Some more pictures from Derek appear below with comments by Peter Cartwright.
Peter Cartwright puts place names to pictures by W R Legg
Peter writes "Very interesting issue this week - as usual.
HE Garage closed on 30 September 1977 and was initially leased to Sandfords.
Newman Morgan quotes that the 326 replaced the 26a/38/42 and 326 routes when it was extended to Booker from Mill End Road on 13 April 1980. This was not the case had as both the 38 and 42 had already been withdrawn upon the extension of routes 25 and 25b to Booker. These routes ran from Clayhill/Limmer Lane to Flackwell Heath via Booker Hill Road on a 20minute joint frequency daytime. The 25b variant operated hourly via Kingsmead Road between Wycombe Marsh and Loudwater. Route 25a was, as stated, an hourly daytime service Mon - Sat to Rugwood Road, Flackwell Heath from Wycombe.
At that time the 26a was OPO and terminated at Roundwood Road not Mill End Road or Sherwoods Corner. Route 28 operated via Marlow Hill to Reading from Wycombe via Marlow Henley and Wargrave and route 29 operated via Desborough Avenue to Marlow ONLY. A 29b variant operated via Desborough Ave and Cressex Industrial Estate.
Route 30 is due to reappear again in Wycombe from 30 January 2006.
Originally it was Aylesbury - Princes Risborough - Saunderton - Bradenham - High Wycombe Castle Street with projections to/from Wycombe Marsh P.O.
When routes 20/20a were extended to Aylesbury the 30 was withdrawn until...
A new service was started between the town centre and Plomer Hill Estate - absorbed now by the Green Route 31 (previously 310/311). This route 30 was withdrawn on 12 April 1980."
Peter goes on to comment on the pictures from Derek Doling/W R Legg.
842 is seen here at Maidenhead Bus Station in Bridge Street next to the cinema. This bus station was extremely busy as can be seen but Maidenhead depot would soon be faced with a chronic staff shortage resulting in emergency cuts before more drastic reductions in service a few years later. Route 21 was later withdrawn being replaced by routes 65/65a & 66/66a which were extended as far as Wokingham on arrival at Maidenhead from Slough.
574 is seen at Newland Street at the stop it once shared with LT326 and TV26,26A at this time.
Inward journeys from Castlefield turned left from Desborough Road into Bridge Street before turning right into Oxford Road and Oxford Street before terminating at Hearn's Corner opposite the Rex Cinema. Early morning journeys continued to the station. Others coming off 33 duty turned left into Frogmoor to proceed to the bus park for a change of crew or quick tea break. Others carried straight onto Queens Square turning right into White Hart Street and then Newland Street.
Later service 33 ceased to serve this stop and picked up from within the car park itself. A u-turn would be made when they came from Castlefield direct along Desborough Road.
For much of the day route 33 operated every 7-8 minutes and it was common to see fully laden vehicles in both directions - 4 single-deckers operated this route before it was double decked and reduced in frequency.
799 is also in the bus park r/o Frogmoor.
These buses are parked inside Desborough Road Garage which operated the 38 & 42 routes.
459 is at Maidenhead Bus Station. Thames Valley acquired many second hand vehicles, mainly double deckers in the late fifties/ early sixties. They were often on relief duties and many were allocated to Maidenhead depot to help out on the many services to Slough. Routes 22 & 22a which operated via Burnham & Everitts Corner were diverted to avoid low bridges, one near Taplow and the other near Everitt's Corner, Cippenham. A large number of double decks were acquired when these routes were double decked as was the 62 to Cippenham via Chalvey. Slough routes 22 became 60/60a,65/65a,66/66a,67/67a and 69 when the latter was extended to Courthouse Road to replace the 19 on which 459 is photographed.
22a became 63 with a 68 variant - 22b became 61 and 61a - 62 remained 62 - 64 went to Britwell - 70 and 70a went to Lent Rise via Britwell. 71 and 72 came later and "A" services operated via Slough Trading Estate.
Derek sent some additional photos taken in the Frogmoor parking area.
This area is now covered by the dual carriageway avoiding Frogmoor.
Ed Maun asks a question about Thames Valley Garages
Ed writes "Following on from all the garage items in Issue 161, I have a couple of questions. Referring to your picture of Wycombe Marsh depot as it currently is – was the single storey building to the left of the main garage building and now occupied by “Period Living Furniture”, ever owned by Thames Valley?" (We await further comments with interest Editor.)
Ed then asks "Does anyone know which building in Lane End was the one time garage – does it still exist and is it still recognisable, or has it been totally disguised or demolished? Better still; does anyone have a picture of this garage? I have my thoughts on the subject, but I have never had them confirmed."
I am delighted to say that the Lane End garage does still exist and comparing my photo with that in the book on Thames Valley history mentioned above there is no doubt.
Thames Valley Garages - Chiltern Bus Company garage as it is today, January 2006 - in Lane End.
Ed goes on to say "I have been sifting through some old newspaper cuttings (I really must get them organised for quick reference) and with reference to Newman Morgan’s notes in Issue 161, I attach a cutting of D42 in disgrace – I guess it came from the Bucks Free Press."
More from Ed Maun on High Wycombe Memories
The recent photograph in the Bucks Free Press of the one time Thames Valley bus garage at Wycombe Marsh and the letter querying the Frogmoor bus station appears to have stirred many memories. There is a further letter in the Friday 13th January issue headed “Lunchtime dashes”. At the risk of becoming boring I offer further comments. David Church writes of his wartime memories and suggests that Thames Valley used one side of Frogmoor and London Transport the other. My wartime memories are a bit hazy, but by the late 1940s buses picked up and set down depending on the direction they were going. This meant that Thames Valley and London Transport services heading out along the High Street picked up at what David Church describes as the Salvation Army side but was in effect further along for most services outside the Palace cinema. These would include TV service 20 to Maidenhead and Windsor, 25 to Flackwell Heath and 28 to Marlow and Reading, LT service 441 to Beaconsfield and Windsor and 455 to Uxbridge. I think the last inbound stop for these services was the Guildhall in the High Street and they did not set down in Frogmoor, although I believe some LT 455’s were extended to West Wycombe village as 455As. The LT buses for these services laid over in Bellfield Road at its Temple End and probably did a circuit via Oxford Street and may have set down outside the Rex cinema on the “main” road. The Uxbridge to West Wycombe service was previously operated by TV between 1922 and 1928 on behalf of the London General Omnibus Co as service 502. David Church remembers LT 363 to Totteridge departing from Frogmoor in the war time. I assume he is correct, but by the later 1940s I am sure it departed from the Town Hall.
Thames Valley services that headed out along the Hughenden Road loaded on the opposite side to the Salvation Army building, outside the TV enquiry office. These included service 27 to Great Missenden (this was always the route for this service until the 1980 MAP reorganisation created the 345 service via Amersham Hill), 31 to Lacey Green and 34 to Speen. These services set down on the opposite side outside the Palace cinema. TV buses for these services laid over in Frogmoor on the piece of ground later to become Frogmoor bus station and hence did a circuit of Frogmoor island at the start and the end of their journeys. I guess during the war time they laid over on the roadway in Frogmoor itself as the piece of ground was not acquired until 1946. This piece of land was adjacent to the then cattle market and both are now covered by the Sainsbury store and car park. It is interesting to speculate what might have been, as in the 1950s this area was earmarked for a much bigger central bus station for all Wycombe services with an entrance in Bellfield Road and an exit in Frogmoor. Buses for services 30 and 33 also laid over in the Frogmoor bus park although service 30 to Aylesbury started from the High Street (Easton Street end) and 33 to Desborough Castle from Newland Street (where the Tesco store is now).
Service 30 was the only TV service that started in High Wycombe and headed west via the West Wycombe Road that did not lay over and depart from the Rail Station yard – I guess because there was no room for it! Services from the station yard were 32 to Bledlow Ridge, 35 to Downley, 36 to Lane End and Cadmore End, 37 to Lane End and Henley, 38 to Booker Limmer lane, 39 to Stokenchurch and Watlington, 40 to Radnage and 41 to Ibstone. The 42 to West Wycombe was a cross town service starting from Loudwater. There were two more services departing from the rail station being City of Oxford service 75 to Oxford and the 80 to Thame, both via Stokenchurch. They shared the bay nearest the Amersham Hill railings with TV 39, 40 and 41. If memory serves me correctly, the next bay was used by services 36 and 37, then 38, next came 35 with 32 on the end bay. The only other TV High Wycombe area service was the 26 which was another cross town service.
London Transport services that headed up Amersham Hill laid over at their bus garage at the bottom of Marlow Hill and departed from outside the Town Hall in Queen Victoria Road. The Green Line 711 departed from the forecourt of the bus garage and being limited stop didn’t stop again in Queen Victoria Road.
A correction to last week's page.
I have now had a chance to download and read Bus Page issue 161 which refers to the BFP items.
May I be allowed one small correction to your caption to the Wycombe Marsh bus garage photograph – it was closed by Thames Valley in 1970; Alder Valley wasn’t created until 1st January 1972. I was very interested in Derek Dolan’s pictures and look forward to seeing more. I was intrigued by the picture of Bristol L6B/Windover coach EJB 212 then owned by Taylor’s. It appears to still be in Thames Valley livery. I would suggest it is at Victoria Coach station in London and has probably been hired in as a relief vehicle – there is a sticker in the front window but is a bit illegible! Photographs of the EJB registered batch of Windover coaches are quite rare. Does anyone have a picture in TV livery – my collection is devoid of one! I can’t recall seeing a picture taken inside the Desborough Road depot before – many thanks for including this one. I remember around 1950 as a young lad being allowed to wander around the depot by the garage foreman – not particularly interesting as it was only a running shed; all the maintenance was done at Wycombe Marsh. Wycombe’s allocation of coaches was garaged at Desborough Road and which always included one Bedford OB/Duple at that time for use to Hayling Island which had access restrictions. 513 looks as though it has just come back from the paint shop!
Frogmoor Bus Station
Ed says "You may have noticed that the letter I sent to the Midweek newspaper about the Frogmoor bus station has today been published in the Bucks Free Press although no further pictures have been printed."
Gavin Francis adds to the enormous amount of information and pictures I am now receiving saying "I have attached another old picture. Back in 1973 Thames Valley were short of buses and rather than borrow some from other old Tilling companies they got some RT's from London Country. I have attached a picture taken in the Thorn Walk yard with the RT surrounded by Dennis Lolines, Bristols etc. Pity it is not a much wider shot."
More RT pictures taken in High Wycombe by Gavin Francis. Oh why did we have to wait so long for digital?
Peter Edgar writes with a picture of Frogmoor Bus station.
Peter says "Here is another picture of the old bus station in Frogmore, H Wycombe. The picture is a scan from a model bus supplement published in The Diecast Collector."
I think the Bristol LS, in Dual Purpose livery is an ex South Midland, I can just recall seeing some in Wycombe when I moved there in 1967."
If you like AECs you'll like this one. Photo by John Bristow.
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at
Running Days advised by Peter Cartwright, Running Day Organiser Amersham & District Motorbus Society
At last I'm able to officially notify everyone of the Running Days for 2006.
Sunday 14 May 2006 is the date for the second Slough/Windsor Running Day based on Slough Bus Station. Since last year a huge new Tesco store has been built adjacent and is now fully operational. Due to traffic delays experienced last year in Windsor an extra 5 minutes each way is being added to running times between Slough and Windsor.
There is no St George's Day parade to hold us up this year and the Queen's official birthday is 2 weeks plus later when her 80th birthday is marked. I know of no Royal Wedding planned for Windsor this year and, hopefully, timekeeping will be better on the Windsor routes.
An enhancement to the Burnham Beeches service is envisaged with the opposite way round the loop. There is also the chance to have double deck workings but terminating on the eastern fringe of the Beeches.
Another new route for this year will be a service through Windsor Great Park. Crown Estates are happy with this and I have a meeting arranged with them on Tuesday 10 January. White Bus Services currently operate a restricted service here but not on Sundays & on only certain days of the week. Operation is likely to be by non-LT single-deck vehicles. A large number of vehicles is required including at least 16 double-deckers.
Some 40 years earlier on 15 May 1966 RMLs were allocated to Windsor Garage to work several routes in the area. RMC coaches had already been there for some time.
WR Garage operated many other types of vehicle including RT,RF,RC,RCL,RB,RS,GS,SMA,SNB,STL, T and of course some of these only operated in the London Country period. Additionally in the summer months Central area red vehicles were commonplace as green vehicles were reassigned to Green Line relief duties so any red-liveried vehicle would be welcome. At least 30 vehicles (including 5 non-LT/LCBS vehicles will be needed to maintain the schedules.
As 1966 is the 40th anniversary of route 724 it is hoped to have a feeder to/from the Northern areas and to run the route from Slough through Windsor, Old Windsor, Runnymede to Staines. Via Runnymede, by the river Thames was the original routeing when it was extended from Staines to Windsor Castle. It did not serve Windsor Garage nor will it in 2006. The coach link to Staines will therefore be 724 this year in place of 718.
Anyone offering to operate a 725 from at least Kingston will be welcomed. Please let me know.
At the moment there is not an area for display vehicles but every effort will be made to find one. Can I please ask anyone who came last year and was allocated blinds and who will/cannot come this year, to contact me urgently so I can collect them for re-issue to others. These are expensive and will be needed on the day.
Sunday 25 June 2006
This date in mid-Summer is for the first Hemel Hempstead Running Day to be based on the Bus Station. Arriva the Shires and Essex have given permission for us to use the bus station that day but like Slough this is an operational bus station and we will not interfere with their operations which are anyway much reduced on Sundays.
This is the normal date for North Weald which will not take place this year and the NLTS have no plans for a replacement event that day.
Discussions have also taken place with Dacorum Borough Council, Herts County Council and the police who have all been most helpful. I have also spoken to the Market Superintendent and am able to book and pay for stall space on the day. For those who don't know Hemel, the covered market is situated behind the bus station - an excellent location.
The market will have a hot food stall that day and another stallholder sells confectionery, soft drinks, ice cream etc. Ample toilet facilities are at the bus station.
Peter Gomm and I visited Hemel on Fri 6 January and, with advice from the police, have identified an area nearby for display vehicles in Dacorum Way and vehicles on long breaks can park in Queensway (formerly Bury Road) between Leighton Buzzard Road and Marlow's, the railway station on one unused bay on Sundays and the bus station itself can be used for shorter breaks without disturbing its smooth operation. Health & Safety issues have to be borne in mind. A requirement of at least 10 double decks and 11 single decks are needed. This excludes any duplication which will be needed.
A number of rural and inter-urban routes have been chosen for operation - 302, 307 ,312.316. 317.317a,318,319 ,320,330, 337 ,347,706,708, 724. The 724 is for a feeder service to/from Watford from the North and then a 708 to/from Hemel. At the moment I have nothing from the South - any suggestions/offers? (THOSE IN BOLD HAVE TO BE SINGLE-DECK OPERATED).
Certain places such as Berkhamsted Station provide good interchanges with rtes 317/a and 312 connecting there and also in central Watford with the 302 and 347 connecting.
The biggest interchange of all, of course, is the bus station.
Again in Hemel a wide range of vehicles have been operated e.g. GS,RF, T, RB,RT,RMC, RML,SNB,SNC plus several others. Like Windsor, Central Area used to loan their vehicles for weekend and bank holiday duplication.
If anyone has blinds for any or part of these areas please let me know urgently.
Please respond as quickly as you can as I want to finalise timetables/duties etc asap.
I am paying a visit to Hemel this morning to see what it's like between 11.00 and 12.00
Sunday 1 October 2006 - the 18th Running Day at Amersham.
As route 724 is 40 years old this year, apart from the feeders, I want to schedule a service between Watford and High Wycombe via Amersham - the original route south of Watford. This will be 29 years to the day since MA Garage took over duties from HE - High Wycombe Garage which closed the previous day, 30 September 1977.
This year should see the brand new bus station at High Wycombe open by this date and this would be the ideal place to terminate. More on this Running Day in due course.
It is hoped to celebrate 40 years since RMLs took over route 363 Totteridge - Holtspur in February 1966. Weather permitting it is hoped to have RML/RMLs running over the route on Sunday 19 February. Likewise a month later to run over the full length of Route 347 Hemel - Uxbridge which received RMLs on 20 March 1966. Anyone else interested in joining us?
Please feel free to contact me by phone 01494 437750 or by e-mail - Peter_Cartwright@wycombe.gov.uk - or post at 54 Guinions Road, HIGH WYCOMBE, HP13 7NX.
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Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
These are three most interesting sites which I do recommend
Mike Penn's photo page with much from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire as well as Buckinghamshire
Chris Lowe's Photo page - mainly North West UK
The Oxford Bus Museum
Bus Services in Buckinghamshire
Bus services in Oxfordshire
Where are the Chilterns?
Visit this informative site through the link below.
Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002