Spottings & Jottings nr. 86 - 24th
(updated 27th June 2015)
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Welcome to page number 86. The months seem to fly by and it seems as though I finish one issue and start on another!!
A nice surprise was received from Luke Braham in the form of a picture of a Z&S Solo which had the OCBP in its destination display. Rather flattering I thought.
Work continues on the rebuilding of the Westgate shopping centre in Oxford resulting in restricted road access and often delays. Indeed the road surfaces are like a ploughed field and public transport has to negotiate contractors lorries, digging and road layout changes. BUSES ONLY seems not to apply anymore with allsorts using the roads.
Stokenchurch saw a change in local bus services when on June 1st Carousel took over the operation of the 40 service between High Wycombe and Thame. This service was timed to run five minutes in front of the remaining part of the Arriva 40 which from that date only ran between High Wycombe and Stokenchurch, turning round on the Ibstone Road by the new developments.
Carousel have employed two buses drafted in from Thames Travel, fully liveried for Carousel. One at least has already be re-registered using the C-WYC marks previously carried by Optare Tempos. Luke Braham was in Wycombe yesterday to record this change. The buses concerned are 551 and 552. Further news maybe found under the operator heading below.
Early news of the new deliveries for Oxford Bus are of 11 brand new Wrightbus Streetdecks numbered 641-651 of which 641-649 will be in a pink livery for City 5. The last two 650 and 651 will be in generic city red livery. The new buses will feature a Daimler OM934 engine with 5.1 L 4 cylinder, 16 valve, double overhead cam with dual stage turbocharging (intercooled) Power and torque are 231 PS @ 2200 rpm and 900Nm at 1400 rpm. The power units meet the stringent Euro6 standards, which complies with the current city regulations. Interior colours are similar to the current city fleet, with signature red moquette as upholstery. In addition to those features currently offered all the buses will have next stop audio visual announcements.
Certainly a significant addition to our bus services in the City of Oxford.
Our local bus scene becomes more colourful as the days go by. With the introduction of these new buses adding to those already on the 4 and 6 roads, the variety from Stagecoach with Gold and Red buses and coaches, the vivid blue of Arriva, the black of Weavaway and its constituents and many other visiting coach companies we have a veritable rainbow in the city.
When readers take copies of pictures from the OCBP site
Some of the contributors to this site have noticed that their pictures are appearing on e-bay sites selling such things.
Needless to say this is a theft of copyright and one which I deplore!
I would not wish to have to watermark photographs, thereby making them unsalable as such but if this practice continues I shall be left with no alternative. I am sure this would detract from the pleasure so many of you get from the OCBP.
May I please ask readers to do two things?
1/ If you see any photos on sale please let me know and where they are appearing.
2/ If you are someone who has copied and sold photos please desist as this is theft and I will have to take legal action against anyone found doing so.
The site is free to all readers and I pay a price to publish the pages which is not passed on.
Please respect those freedoms and I hope I may not have to mention this matter again.
The level of contribution to this page by readers, as ever, remains excellent! Thank you all.
Malcolm Crowe - Editor - OCBP - 24th June 2015
Observations and pictures
Numerous reports have been received and many interesting pictures.
Paul Hawkins writes " However some green is applied to
acknowledge their green credentials."
Seemingly they are in standard livery because National Express Dundee have batch of E400Hybrids in green livery.
writes "Stagecoach Strathtay placed their latest batch of buses on the tayway service between Dundee and Arbroath with a public launch today the batch of 18 buses with 6 entering service today.
However some green is applied to acknowledge their green credentials."
Gordon Scott also writes re these buses saying
also writes re these buses saying "Stagecoach East Scotland Volvo B5LH Alexander Dennis Enviro 40H MMC,s on route 73 are seen in Dundee area in service."
Gordon regularly visits the ADL works in Falkirk and sent some interesting pictures of new buses on test.
New Volvo B5LH Alexander Dennis Enviro 40H MMC,s
David Beynon writes "This coach
was noted in town this morning (19/6) and will be seen in a future series
of ‘Endeavour’ which was being filmed at the time. "
Leyland Tiger Cub-Burlingham Seagull PUJ781, new in 1958 to Whittles, seen in Broad St-Oxford
filming for new series of Endeavour on June 19th by David Beynon.
The scary thing is that I travelled on this coach from Bridgnorth to Manchester in April 1958 when stationed at RAF Bridgnorth !!!
The coach must have been brand new as it was only delivered in April and was returning to Burlingham for a new nearside windscreen.
I never thought to wonder why the front seat was free and as a result spent a very cold journey home to Manchester.
I also remember that we ran out of fuel on the return on the Sunday night, not the best of experiences. Ed.
David also sent some pictures of buses he took in Bournemouth on a recent
David also sent some pictures of buses he took in Bournemouth on a recent visit.
Geoff Cunliffe writes " "
Geoff Cunliffe writes "Latest Blackpool information is that Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours are considering reabsorbing rebuilt car 761 into their fleet to use in service again, although there are many discussions to be had yet. Photo attached.
Luke Braham writes "I visited Scarborough recently and
took the opportunity to pass by the Plaxton works. I managed some
Luke Braham writes "I visited Scarborough recently and took the opportunity to pass by the Plaxton works. I managed some interesting pictures.
Ken McKenzie writes " "
writes "Maybe some new arrivals in Wycombe, seen one of the M42 today and they are due four this month.
I am advised
the new Streetlites for the 33 in High Wycombe will not start arriving
until August 6th so the ones seen by Ken are not for WYC.
the new Streetlites for the 33 in High Wycombe will not start arriving until August 6th so the ones seen by Ken are not for WYC.
Luke Braham writes "
Luke Braham writes "The Sapphire Enviro400s don't seem to be escaping for the 280 as much as they used to bad when the 58-plate Enviro400s where allocated to the 280 but it still happens from time to time. The most common place to find one in the past few weeks has been on school service 650 which then operates on working of Pink Route 8 when it gets back into Aylesbury. The Sapphire’s have also been seen on other routes such as the 300 and 61."
5461 SN15LPK was seen on school service 650 on the afternoon of 16th June. However, the blind was displaying ‘Not In Service’.
(One wonders if these are fill in turns between duties on the 280? Ed.)
Citaros 3922 BK58URP and 3923 BK58URR have returned to service at Aylesbury after there refurbishment to MAX specification with the appropriate repaint. Both are branded for route 300.
Citaros 3924 BK58 URS and 3930 BD12 DHG are currently away for MAX refurbishment and repaint. 3924 will have route 300 branding and 3930 is expected to have the ‘this is our spare bus’ branding.
A quick update for you on the MAX Citaros. Today I have been told that 3924 will have the ‘this is our spare bus’ branding instead of route 300 branding as previously thought.
Dart 3829 KE53 NFG was expected to transfer to Luton at the beginning of June after the Thame Town Services were lost to Vale Travel. However, it was still in use at Aylesbury on the 3rd June.
At first I didn't think the blind had come out on the photo of 3922 when I saw the photo on my camera but when I put the photos on my laptop it could be seen.
Also to note is that the ‘MAX across the Shires’ branding is lower down on 3922.
Dart 3829 is still at Aylesbury depot but still
due to transfer to Luton.
On the 16th June, Arriva were having a little photo shoot in preparation for Catch the Bus week. Max Citaro 3916 BV58 MLL was being used with Sapphire 280 being displayed on the blind a route that it or its sisters can very rarely be found on due to Oxford’s LEZ.
Arriva launched their MAX buses on the 18th June
mainly on routes 150 and 300 in Market Square in Aylesbury. 3909 BU06 HSO
was in attendance for the launch with a Wii gaming console and a table with
the usual completion and goody bags.
On 23rd June in High Wycombe Arriva didn't have too many odd workings but two workings did stand out to me on the ‘Blue One’. This was of ALX400s 6283 Y483 UGC and 6300 Y524 UGC both operating the 1. However, I saw 6300 while I was still on the bus into Wycombe so didn't get a photo but I did catch a photo of 6283 on the 1.
Carousel is proving a most interesting operator these days. The new route 40 to Thame has seen immediate support by the passengers en route and the service even operates via the Lewknor express stops on the Thame bound journey. So far this is not repeated on the return journey due to timing constraints.
writes"No doubt you are aware that Arriva Route 40 went over to Carousel yesterday although I understand that Arriva are still running a route 40 to Stokenchurch.
What is interesting re Carousels operation is that
it is operating a different route to and from Aston Rouant /
Stokenchurch.The Thame Wycombe service uses the old A40 via Aston Hill (as
did Arriva ) but the Wycombe Thame service uses the M40,Junction 5 to 6.
I have just used the service today and like everyone else on the bus started shouting at the driver that he had missed the turning,to which he shouted back the he hadn’t.
I had a quick chat with the driver when I got off as to why they are using different routes and he said it was down to the council’s.
This seems a strange operation especially when you consider there are three stops that won’t be served on the journeys to Thame, one by the Dog Rescue Centre, Christmas Common Turn and at the bottom of Aston Hill.
To me it seems a good idea to serve the Oxford Tube stops but in both directions especially for passengers from the Stokenchurch, Chinnor, Thame areas that wish to uses the Tube but have to rely on either parking the car at Lewknor ( which as I have found out can sometimes be difficult ) or rely on someone dropping them off.
Can anyone add anything more as to why this
operating difference is happening, also your thoughts?"
Phil Southall MD responds
MD responds "There isn't enough time to serve Lewknor in both directions unfortunately but this does remain a longer term aspiration.
When asked about new Streetlites for Wycombe Phil responded
When asked about new Streetlites for Wycombe Phil responded "..the Streetlites are not for the 40, they will be going onto our other Link services to upgrade those with 871 and 872 probably becoming the 'regular' buses on the 40 once further cascades take place. Although this hasn't been confirmed yet!
Luke Braham writes
Luke Braham writes "Today, I spent some time in High Wycombe and noted that Carousel Buses 551 was wearing the registration C1 WYC instead of its original registration plate of AJ58 PZS. 551 was seen with its new registration plate while operating route 40.
A Carousel Buses driver also spoke to me mentioning some expected changes to the Carousel fleet in the coming months. Many thanks go out to the driver. These are listed below:
writes"Just thought I'd share this pic which I thought maybe of interest to your readers. It shows a rather unusual destination on a First Berkshire 7 series Citaro I saw working the X74 in High Wycombe this afternoon (12th Feb) The exclamation marks were flashing but the words "ask driver" and the route number remained."
Gavin Francis noted that London United were providing additional capacity on the A1 Luton service which is now doing very well indeed. It appears that National Express now have most stands at Luton with Green Line relegated to the "second division"!
Skills of Nottingham SW10VNS ex Parks of Hamilton Citylink Gold Volvo B13R Plaxton Elite HSK641 at VCS on a NEx service on June 5th by Gavin Francis.
This and four more (SN10JJZ/JKE/JKF/JRU) acquired for the emergency tender for NEx contacts taken off Your Bus.
See in the Editorial above regarding new Streetdecks 341-351.
writes "Have you noticed OBC are using
their red Brookes Buses on local routes. They have the white on black City
on the front. Also 207 is now fitted with advertising boards with an advert
on the nearside and back. When fitted the offside ad will nicely cover their
city bus route map. "
Jack Cooper has recently
written several times with useful sightings saying
has recently written several times with useful sightings saying"I have spotted Olympian 206 on the X3 last week (10/6/15).
City4 news, the 4B now goes to Abingdon but not the way the 4 goes it goes via Wooten then Beverly Close, Abingdon College, John Mason School, Bath Street then Abingdon Town centre. Beverly Close, Abingdon College and John Mason School are on the Wooten Road.
Oxford bus company's 828, 830 are on loan to Thames Travel.
I have seen an old X90 coach ( not the ex airline ones / current but the ones they got rid of in 2012) on the 1115 school bus route from Wooten to Abingdon secondary schools ( Fitsharry's, John Mason and Larkmead).
Now I think we'll find this is one of the ex Airline then X90 Scania/Irizar coaches now with Weavaway in the Noah Vale fleet as seen below. Ed.
COMS 371 climbs M40 cutting and then being passed by Airline nr 9, 371 on its way to Brooklands on April 19th by Richard Sharman.
Could one have imagined such an event in the '50s when the double decker was plying its trade in Oxford?
Graham writes "
writes "This morning I saw Oxford Bus Scania 208 with non Oxford Bus Co advertisements rear and nearside, within its newly fitted advert frames. I think this is the first time non OBC adverts have been fitted for quite a few years. The repainted Citaros on the 4 and 6 also have frames fitted.
Also, “flywheel” Scanias 203/4 have had their “Brookesbus” fleet names on the front below the windscreen panel replaced by “City” in a dark coloured background. 204 was on the X13. Have people commented to you on the flywheel performance (i.e. saving in fuel) or noise levels on these Scanias and the E400MMCs?
Just to mention once again - have you any information on how the Williams Gyrodrive fitted buses with COMS are performing noise- and fuel economy- wise?
writes "It appears that Redline Buses have been using ex-OBC Plaxton Panther KB07OXF on school services in recent months and I have finally managed to track it down and get a picture of it on school service 653 in Aylesbury on the 1st June." Redline Buses KB07OXF on school service 653 on June 1st seen by Luke Braham.
New buses are mentioned in the latest issue of Buses magazine but I have no confirmation from the company at this stage so prefer not to speculate. I can confirm that five Scania-ADL E300s in Gold livery are due for the S4 based at Banbury and a fairly large batch of E400s for Oxford.
Some of the early E400s are receiving repaints, so far 15436 has been so treated. These buses are due to leave the fleet shortly as they do not comply with the city's stringent emission regulations. 15438 has now returned from Sheffield where it was on loan.
Marcus Lapthorn writes "17/5
- On Sunday when we driving down the M3 to Southampton, near Winchester we
saw one of Stagecoach’s Volvo B10M’s in use on rail replacements duties. It
was great to see one of the long serving high floor buses still in use and
it looked as though it had just come out of the paint shop! It was carrying
South West Trains livery and looked immaculate externally. "
Marcus writes "I was partly misinformed by Stagecoach Swindon but have now read in Buses the true story behind the transfer of 15841 from Gloucester to Swindon:
It has been exchanged for Swindon's 15968 which carries no route branding but has a tachograph. It acts as a spare vehicle at Gloucester for the Belles express service to North Bristol.
Megabus now operate services across the continent and if anyone can pro
As suggested the ex Oxford Tube coaches now operating Megabus services out of Cwmbran have lost their cherished registrations returning to those held when in service with the Tube.
Thames Travel now operate the Abingdon town services 41,42,43,44 and new route 44A (the 41,42,43 were the 40,41,42 but have been changed)
I have seen Thames Travel Trident 109 on the 114
and106 and 504 ( the Science Park livery Enviro 200) also on the 114."
Solo 706 on the T1 in Butterwycke Place, Oxford on May 21st by Malcolm Crowe.
Once upon a time Oxford bus were very specific about types used on each route. Now they even use Solos on the X39 services!
In spite of having three Citaros in Green Line livery at least once a day a uno liveried bus turns up in Victoria.
Portugal with M Lapthorn.
made an interesting trip to Portugal and I can now in clude his pictures
which bring back memories for me as I worked with TAP Air Portugal for 15
years from 1966 to 1980. I really must get my pictures out of Carris in
those days plus AEC Regent Vs in Angola!!
Marcus recently made an interesting trip to Portugal and I can now in clude his pictures which bring back memories for me as I worked with TAP Air Portugal for 15 years from 1966 to 1980. I really must get my pictures out of Carris in those days plus AEC Regent Vs in Angola!!
Carris 217 and 301 Transport Museum taken 24th April by Marcus Lapthorn.
Hippo Trip nr 12 taken 24th April by Marcus Lapthorn.
What a wonderful selection of pictures and what a paradise for the tram enthusiast. There cannot be many place where things have remained as if suspended in time.
Our thanks to Marcus for these lovely pictures.
Frazer Peddle writes
writes "photos I took at Basingstoke transport festival 9/5/15 and the town centre, plus some snaps I took in Winchester on May 16th.
Slough RallyRT604 and RT4779 seen at Slough on 31st May 2015 by Frazer Peddle.
Southdown 100 by Adam Green
I was in Brighton on Sunday and 15586 was on the 700 Southdown 100 Livery looking Smart.
Southsea rally on June 7th by Marcus Lapthorn
Ensign around Grays on June 18th by Malcolm Crowe
I had to go to West Thurrock last week and when I arrived at Grays found myself confronted by several Ensign buses working local services. In case you are wondering, it was to collect E200 36984 from Cummins Engines at West Thurrock! Nice train journey but very bleak landscape east of the captial.
Paul Lacey, 17 Sparrow Close, Woosehill, Wokingham
Berkshire, RG41 3HT
NEW EXHIBITION AT READING CENTRAL LIBRARY
JUNE TO JULY 2015
100 YEARS OF LOCAL BUS SERVICES IN THE THAMES VALLEY
The Summer of 2015 marks a century since the first daily bus service
commenced in what would duly become the Thames Valley area, with an initial
service from Maidenhead to Reading, and some journeys onto Streatley.
The years of the Great War were not the most conducive to such developments,
but against such shortages of manpower, vehicles and fuel the network did
expand to reach Abingdon, Arborfield, Ascot, Cliveden Hospital, Cookham,
Sunningdale, Swallowfield and Windsor. Women took the role of bus conductors
and the use of gas-power is no new idea, though in those years it was town
gas drawn from lamp-standards adapted for the purpose and fitted with
meters, and kept in a canvas bag mounted on the bus roof!
Once the war was over, a great expansion got underway, fuelled by the return
of many men now with experience of driving heavy vehicles, the very same
types now purchased from the War Department for a peacetime role as buses.
Services then developed to Newbury, Bradfield, Mortimer and Staines in short
The exhibition fully explores the first half-a-century of development over
what became the area served by the Thames Valley Traction Company, a
diamond-shaped area with Swindon, Oxford and Hungerford to the west, High
Wycombe and Aylesbury to the north, Slough, Staines and Sunningdale to the
east, and Aldershot, Basingstoke and Odiham to the south. This fully
illustrated exhibition is relevant to that wide area, and also includes
various items of memorabilia including badges, models, tickets, timetables,
area guides, leaflets and other staff items from Paul Lacey’s collection.
Paul Lacey is the leading researcher and writer on bus and coach transport
history in the Thames Valley area, with 12 published books to date, and also
undertakes regular talks to a wide variety of local groups. To go with the
exhibition there will be a talk on the Pioneer Buses at Reading Central
Library on Thursday 11th June, full details from the Library.
The exhibition will be in place from the second week of June through to the
end of July.
A couple of news items you may wish to include.
Firstly, I have an exhibition in Reading Central Library to coincide with a Century of Buses in the Thames Valley, on the 2nd Floor through to July.
Secondly, if anyone hasn't got my Newbury & District Motor Services Story, 224 A4 pages with 310 photos and full fleet list, I am currently offering it at £10+£3P&P (original price £25).
London in pictures by Gavin Francis
London in pictures by Gavin Francis
The new London Routemaster now has many incarnations in overall
The new London Routemaster now has many incarnations in overall wrap mode.
The highest LT in service seen was 500.
North Wales interlude by Gavin Francis
More from London & some its past buses.
Wembley Cup Final for Division 2 and Wycombe Wanderers - 2015
Reviews of new books
I have received two books for review which I found well produced and most interesting.
Mike Penn's interesting web site for pictures
You might be interested to know that I have now uploaded 268 photos taken in Beds, Bucks and Herts in the year 2000 to my website - http://166emj.piwigo.com/index?/category/50-beds_bucks_and_herts_photographs_2000
One of the major events of the year was the purchase by Arriva the Shires of the City of Oxford operation in High Wycombe on December 13th. Two days later, as can be seen from the photographs, vehicles had received Arriva The Shires fleet names and legal lettering but retained their Oxford fleet numbers.
The other major event was the enforced sale of the Lutonian operation by Arriva the Shires.
Both Arriva The Shires and Arriva East Herts & Essex continued to repaint vehicles into Arriva livery though there were still many in previous liveries.
Elsewhere in the region M K Metro continued their policy of purchasing various interesting secondhand vehicles. Some of these came from Border Buses – the company in Lancashire that M K Metro had bought.
Buffalo Travel continued to run but Seamarks were taken over by Dunn-Line early in the year.
independents are also represented.
Todays buses - Oxfordshire
This review covers the September 2010 video by Robin Clare Transport. The issue costs £10 and is well worth this small cost for over one hour of buses and coaches in our area.
The most surprising thing are the changes one can see in only just over
18 months and as such viewers will enjoy a pleasant hour or so bringing back
The most surprising thing are the changes one can see in only just over 18 months and as such viewers will enjoy a pleasant hour or so bringing back memories.
Click on the link above to order your copy now. Oh and do quote the
OCBP when doing so.
Click on the link above to order your copy now. Oh and do quote the OCBP when doing so.
Thames Valley - final part available
Thames Valley - final part available
RETAIL PRICE £25
ORDER NOW FOR £20+ £3 p&p
This final installment of the 4-volume 800-page history of the Thames Valley Traction Co. Ltd. brings the story to its conclusion on the last day of 1971.
All route developments and changes to the fleet are fully detailed, along with special appendices for the service vehicle fleet, garages and out-stations, a route map, garage allocations and working arrangements.
Profusely illustrated with 548 monochrome half-tone illustrations and a full-colour section of 45 photos, this provides a very comprehensive history of this interesting decade, including the numerous secondhand vehicles acquired during those years. Demand will be high, so
order now from: Paul Lacey, 17 Sparrow Close
Woosehill, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG41 3HT
If you are local and wish to
collect please call me on 0118 979 4097
Newbury & District History
Newbury & District History available
Paul Lacey has now released his long awaited history of Newbury &
Paul Lacey has now released his long awaited history of Newbury & District.
The book covers the whole history of this fascinating company which
although based in Newbury was seen in Oxford, Harwell and many surrounding
The book covers the whole history of this fascinating company which although based in Newbury was seen in Oxford, Harwell and many surrounding areas.
Its coaches were often hired by South Midland who ran between Oxford &
London and there was quite a lot of interchange between the fleets, when
both owned by Red & White.
Its coaches were often hired by South Midland who ran between Oxford & London and there was quite a lot of interchange between the fleets, when both owned by Red & White.
The company ran from 1932 until 1951 but its memory lingers on within
Newbury and recent changes there reflect this.
The company ran from 1932 until 1951 but its memory lingers on within Newbury and recent changes there reflect this.
The book is exceptionally well researched and contains many photographs
plus memories and fleet lists of the company and its constituents.
The book is exceptionally well researched and contains many photographs plus memories and fleet lists of the company and its constituents.
Apart from the archaic Leylands, the company ran some AEC Regals after the war.
These were rebodied with ECOC/ECW bodies purchased from North Western Road Car, Stockport via dealers.
They had been new in 1936 on Bristol Jo5G chassis which were rebodied with Brush bodies in 1946 to a similar design.
Your Editor must have travelled on one of these buses, when in NWRCC service, as a small boy.
They would have doubtless run on service to Highclere, now well known as the house is featured in Downton Abbey.
The cover price is £25.00 but you can get the publication at a special
price of £12.50 + £3.00 post and packing for OCBP readers.
The cover price is £25.00 but you can get the publication at a special price of £12.50 + £3.00 post and packing for OCBP readers.
Just mention OCBP when ordering from:
Just mention OCBP when ordering from:
17 Sparrow Close
Berkshire RG41 3HT.