Spottings & Jottings
Issue nr 63 - October 25th 2012
If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will
advise of any mid-week news please let me know
The year seems to fly by and we are already only two months from Christmas. The weather is now forecast to be much colder in the coming days and maybe it is time to get on with some indoor activities.
One of the main reports in this issue is that of the operators taking on the old R H routes following the going into administration of that company.
I hope readers enjoyed Gavin's record of the Olympics and I look forward to any other pictures from readers.
Thames Valley history final part
The latest book on Thames Valley is now available from Paul Lacey at a special price to readers of £20.00 + £3 post and packing. Just quote the OCBP when ordering. More details at the bottom of this page.
Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society
The Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society was formed in June 2010 and aims to provide an informal monthly social meeting in Oxford for those with an interest in buses. Meetings are normally held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month and normally take the form of a picture show with local and guest speakers.
Tuesday 20th November featuring Thomas W.W. Knowles giving a
on how growing up in the Potteries lead to a career with P.M.T.
Meetings are held in the upstairs function room at:
The Folly Bridge Inn
38 Abingdon Road
Some limited parking at the back of the pub, also close to bus stops (frequent X3/X13 or 35 routes stop outside)
or a short walk from Oxford City Centre - For directions click HERE
Members get free access, non members can attend for £2 per person.
A detailed programme of meetings can be found at the following link and we hope many of you will attend future meetings.
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 - October 25th 2012
Observations and pictures
Bernard Lewendon writes saying
writes saying"Your latest Spottings and Jottings - excellent, thank you.
I am sure mot of your readers realise just how much work you have to put in, just for them, and we very much appreciate it and say a big "Thank you".
I have previously mentioned a coach at Arriva, High Wycombe. That was T58 AUA. I have since found that to be owned by M & M Coaches who use some of the Arriva yard as a storage space.
mentioned that Wycombe have received 6300 - 6305. Actually five only, 6300 -
6304. The later ones went to Aylesbury and some are occasionally being used
into Wycombe on the Line 300. "
Alex Horwood sent some nice
pictures for this issue.
sent some nice pictures for this issue.
John Wood, Wendover, Bucks writes "The following were observed operating the former R.H. Transport routes on Friday 5th Oct."
Stagecoach in Oxfordshire
Route 233 was a "gold" E400 all day.
Stagecoach in Swindon
67 - Not known
Oxford Bus Co
700 (PM Peak) - E400 P & R 302, 305, 308.
Gavin Francis wrote with several pictures.
Gavin Francis wrote with several pictures.
I have noted a brand new Citaro on the 280 on a Sunday and these have also appeared on the 300.
Cabin writes "
Cabin writes"16/10 - 6309 Y509UGC returning to Aylesbury on line 300
writes "3232 Had a Engine Fire on Wednesday Evening at 18.30 smoke
was going everywhere ."
We have a Ex London Wrightbus Cadet at 4533-LJ51DFF
3296 & 5145 was on the 500 on Thursday Night one
heading to Watford and one going to Aylesbury .
The three 2006 Iris Agoralines 471-3 (C1-3WYC) have been reregistered OU55PUO/V and RX06WYU. The cherished plates have, as recorded previously been transferred to three Optare Tempos 801-3.
It seems that due to the temporary loan of two of the Tempos
to Thames Travel, two of the Agoralines are back in service.
Dave Oliver reports "The Iris Bus Agoralines are parked in the yard and have been reregistered. They are awaiting disposal. 472 (AL2) has been away at Iveco for some engine work.
The old DPL480 P480MLE looks as if it is heading to Thames Travel and 930 G530VBB is there at this time.
What was MB52 is no longer in the fleet and MB53 is at Evobus at this time.
Hot off the press. MB53 is back in the fleet however both Citaros are still in workshop.
Optare Tempos 804 and 808 will be heading for Thames Travel tomorrow, I would think on loan.
Several coaches have been received from the Tappins fleet.
The company web site reports as follows:
30 September 2012
29-34 ALS Coaches, Merseyside
37 Stephensons, Essex
Vehicle transferred out:
850 To Thames Travel (same fleet number)
1 September 2012
Vehicle transferred in:
900 SN60 BXW Alexander Dennis E400H Alexander Dennis H45/31F new 10/10. Ex Thames Travel (same fleet number).
Vehicles transferred out:
851-854 To Thames Travel (same fleet numbers)
These changes are as a result of the transfer of service X2 (Oxford to Didcot) to Thames Travel.
Check this link for the latest fleet list.
Red Rose OU08EHO on route 275 at The High in Oxford. Note that this is the one journey in the early evening which runs via Stokenchurch.
All the others run via Chinnor and Bledlow Ridge.
171012 R Sharman
R H Buses
Bob Morley writes
"Attached is a picture I took that may be useable in the newsletter. "
RH Optare Solo 406 In Swindon Bus Station on Wednesday, August 22 awaiting to depart on the service to Carterton.
Service 64 previously Stagecoach operated and now again with this company following the collapse of the RH Transport Services.
Pic: Bob Morley
-Newbury Transport Group
A link of interest sent by Ralph Adams.
Marcus Lapthorn contributed the
contributed the following pictures.
As is now known Stagecoach took over a number of R H routes from October 8th and your Editor spent some days working on the 700 route. A variety of pictures show the impact of Stagecoach taking over.
Pictures of the various loan buses just arrived at Horspath on October 7th.
Pictures of the 700 service during the first two weeks.
Water Eaton is the Oxford pick up point for the Megabus service between Portsmouth and Leeds.
The 700 service is now settling into its stride but will be retendered in early 2013.
On the 19th Hybrid 12016 was used on the afternoon part of the extra bus used in the peaks. This followed two days of very heavy and delaying traffic on the route.
Severe traffic congestion resulted from a Static
Protest in Buckingham Palace Road on October 14th.
This was not helped by unannounced roadworks on the junction which caused long delays.
The new Astromegas are now entering service and look impressive.
Stuart Curwen writes "
writes"The Thamesdown Streetlites are now back on the road after their stint at the Olympics before they re-entered service a photo shoot was undertaken at the Steam Museum in Swindon as with all Thamesdown buses they are named after Railway locos These 6 are no exception.
Alex Horwood writes
writes"I have been informed that Thames Travel's MANs do not comply with the new emissions regulations in oxford next year so they are to transfer to perhaps another Go-Ahead company with ex coms Mercedes replacing them.
Gavin Francis advises that this bus was seen during our trip to the Isle of Wight last summer and was once PVL100 with Go Ahead London.
Ex Carousel DAF 481 (R981FNW) is now withdrawn.
Several Weavaway coaches have been transferred to Didcot as follows:
Several Weavaway coaches have been transferred to Didcot as follows:
YN12BDV Mercedes/Plaxton Cheetah C29F YN61AXK Iveco/Plaxton Panther C61F YN61AXS Iveco/Plaxton Panther C61F
YN61AXJ Iveco/Plaxton Panther C61F
YN12BDV Mercedes/Plaxton Cheetah C29F
YN61AXK Iveco/Plaxton Panther C61F
YN61AXS Iveco/Plaxton Panther C61F
Other coaches received are: SF10EBV Mercedes/Plaxton Cheetah C29F YN10ACU Iveco/Plaxton Panther C74F YN10ADV Iveco/Plaxton Panther C74F W40OOW Iveco/Plaxton Panther C61F W70OOW Neoplan Skyliner CH67/20Ct
W60OOW Neoplan Skyliner CH67/20Ct
SF10EBV Mercedes/Plaxton Cheetah C29F
YN10ACU Iveco/Plaxton Panther C74F
YN10ADV Iveco/Plaxton Panther C74F
W40OOW Iveco/Plaxton Panther C61F W70OOW Neoplan Skyliner CH67/20Ct
W70OOW Neoplan Skyliner CH67/20Ct
Wilf Lewis writes "Following the sale of Tappins Coaches by Heyfordian to Weavaway, a batch of Tappins Volvo B10M - Van Hool T9's were transferred to the Heyfordian fleet.
This example, photographed at Bicester, was one of the first to be re-liveried in Heyfordian's current livery.
Vehicle Details;- Bus Lists On The Web
Chassis Type;- Volvo B10M
Chassis No:- YV31MA614XA050436
Body Type:- Van Hool T9
Body No:- VH 33530
Regn No:- B18 TCL
Regn New;- 06 / 1999
Regn When New:- T992 JNW
Delivered New To:- Frazer, Accrington
Z & S
30 - 31 Hemel. This route is now with Red Eagle from 22 October
Roger French to leave Brighton & Hove
Roger French, 58, MD of Go-Ahead-owned Brighton and Hove is to retire next March.
Roger, who moved to Brighton in 1982, said: “After 30 years I have decided it’s now time to relax and enjoy my retirement.
“Of course, I shall miss working with all my fantastic work colleagues in the bus company as well as the many people I’ve worked with over the years, and I will always be grateful to everyone for the help and encouragement they have given me.”
Go-Ahead CEO David Brown says: “We will miss Roger, his extensive experience and unique approach immensely. Roger has been amazing in the innovative way he has grown the business. He has been instrumental in giving the city the excellent bus network it has today.. He deservedly received an OBE for services to public transport seven years ago.”
Go-Ahead will start the search for a replacement for Roger “shortly.”
Blackpool by Geoff Cunliffe
Following yet more constant passenger criticism about the frequency, overloading and general experience of travelling on the new trams, it has been leaked that the Bombardier staff seconded to Starr Gate are appalled at the way the service is being run! Oh dear.
27th. September, 2012:-
Has someone been listening? It was announced in tonight’s Blackpool evening paper that as the new trams have been carrying exceptional loads this month (plus a load of people who get free rides because the conductors cannot reach them!), modified Balloons will be running over the October half-term week. The Balloons are the ones with extended plug-type doors which work with the new-style loading platforms and thus conform to the DDA. Single deck Brush car 631 and Balloon 717 have been seen out on driver training. This could bring seven additional cars to the tracks although 711 and 720 are not expected to be used due to work outstanding on them. Photo of 6312 by courtesy of the Buses Train Traction Engines and Tram Blog at http://busestractionengines.blogspot.co.uk/ reproduced with permission.
The modified Balloons last saw service on 28th. July when a car accident blocked the Bombardier trams in their new Starr Gate depot. The Balloons were used to provide an emergency service until the car was removed and the tracks were opened again to the depot.
29th. September, 2012:-
A new Flexity was attacked by vandals whilst in service between Lindel Road and Heathfield Road in Fleetwood just after 6pm when a large lump of asphalt was lobbed in through a window, shattering it in to scores of pieces. Luckily nobody was injured in the attack which took place in an area of Fleetwood with a long history of vandalism.
1st. October, 2012:-
Surprise as Bolton 66 car operated an evening enthusiast tour from Rigby Road to Fleetwood. The tour had been organised by the trams owners and has seen a now rare appearance of the tram in Fleetwood. The tram was quite full as it went departed Rigby Road with enthusiasts all cherishing the thought of getting to the northern terminus. 66 isn't the only heritage tram to operate to Fleetwood this year; the following trams have made it: 40, 631, 717 and 723 plus various modified Balloons.
Also today Balloon 717 went as far south as Starr Gate on a driver training run. It is hoped that next season, there will be more sightings of heritage cars at the southern extremity of the system.
3rd. October, 2012:-
It has been announced in tonight’s evening paper that Centenary class car 646, which has been an overall advertisement for Paul Gaunt’s furniture shop in Squires Gate Lane for many years, has been attacked by vandals. Initially, after the “old” system closed down, 646 was stored in the depot, but as space became a premium, it was moved to the car park of his retail premises. There has been an attempt to torch it, and now eleven windows have been smashed. Of course they can be replaced - at a cost - but that’s not the point.
Also in tonight’s paper, there is a disturbing report that tram drivers are experiencing about three incidents a day which have the potential to be life threatening, especially in the area between North and South Piers. Several photographs back up the story showing joggers, cyclists and disability scooters totally ignoring approaching trams.
Mind you driving through Oxford must be a bit like this with the cyclists who seem to be a law unto themselves, especially when they are where they shouldn’t be like Queen Street.
Today saw the introduction of the autumn tram timetable and it contains some peculiarities in that Friday & Saturday evenings see up to eighteen short workings from Starr Gate to Little Bispham. They all seem to be operated by the new Flexities. Now why Little Bispham? True it saves reversing the cars as you can just run them round the turning loop. But they reverse them at Starr Gate, and Bispham has been rebuilt (twice) to accommodate the reversing of short workings, previously a common event. There must be some reason but it isn’t terribly obvious.
4th. October, 2012:-
Whilst Coronation car 304 should have been moved to Beamish by now, the arrival of a circus in the temporary storage yard which is currently accommodating the fleet of the Lancastrian Transport Trust has meant that the car cannot be accessed and moved for the moment. It was eventually moved on 11th. October.
6th. October, 2012:-
Straying, unusually, in to bus world, today saw the withdrawal of the last local Leyland Olympian except for the City Sightseeing open toppers. The week started with four of the six 1989 East Lancs bodied Olympians in use but only 373 lasted the week as the others suffered faults which were not worth repairing. Last was 373 which worked the 9 route to Cleveleys. Information from the Fylde Bus Blog, reproduced with permission.
At one time, Leyland boasted that 98% of British municipalities operated Leylands. How things have changed.
7th. October, 2012:-
Car 719, formerly in overall advertisement livery for the Pleasure Beach, has received what seems to be called the standard A-livery like 700, i.e. white with burgundy ends and vinyls. It has been spotted in the new Starr Gate depot where, it appears, it is being fitted with the wide, plug-type doors enabling it to operate in normal service. 700 has previously been fitted with these new style doors.
13th. October, 2012:-
Tonight’s evening paper, on its nostalgia page, carries an evocative photograph of the old Bispham tram depot, which provided many of the cars for the North Station route. Brush car 292 is shown running in in June 1960. The entrance to the site now gives access to a Sainsbury’s Supermarket.
Trips & Events
Transports de les Illes Balears (Buses on
Lewis Nagle writes
writes"I have now attached seven photos. Most of the photos were taken at the Santa Ponça Plaça, near where I stayed, but one was taken at the dark underground area that is the Estació Intermodal – Plaça d’Espanya, the big bus/train station at the heart of the capital city Palma.
Details as follows (may not appear in the same order as I uploaded them).
1. Volvo B7R(LE?) / Sunsundegui Astral LE 10.75m (blue). The bus is used for routes that use the motorway (per Autovià) but are only every 3 hours or so (like the 111 it is shown on). It is blue because I think it has come from another company but I may not be right. These are my favourite buses from the TIB fleet.
2. Iveco Wing. I do not know how old these buses are, just that they are used for almost underused routes like the 103 (which really isn’t necessary anyway). Sometimes used for Market Routes.
3. Volvo B7R(LE?) / Sunsundegui Astral LE 12.5m. This bus is used for more local routes in the area but used a lot like the 104 it is shown on. Bought to drive alongside Hispano Habits from 2002-2005. Shown in the nice typical TIB livery.
4. Volvo B12M / Sunsundegui Astral Articulated 18.75m. The bus was brand new to TIB a few years ago to help with the increasingly overcrowding trunk route 102. The bus is ABSOLUTELY HUGE!! The photo shows the amount of people that want to use it which is almost like London-size!
5. Volvo B12M / Sunsundegui Astral Articulated 18.75m (rear). Same bus as before, but showing two doors in the rear cabin for wheelchair access right at the back, a feature added only in the last 6-12 months.
6. Volvo B7R(LE?) / Hispano Habit 12m. The bus was bought about 2002-2005 and serves the local routes. They have now bought newer Sunsundeguis of the same length to increase frequency, but these are the only buses that resemble any of the ones in Britain as the rest are more like dual-door coaches!
7. Volvo B7R(LE?) / Sunsundegui Astral 12.5m (shown at Plaça d’Espanya). See info for No. 3. Oddly seen on L102.
Oxford Bus Museum open day
Oxford Bus Museum open day
GJZ 9571 stated life in closed top form with Edinburgh /Lothian before coming to Oxford as an open top bus. Later it served with Devonian Motor Services (McAllister) in Paignton then Xelabus on their Southsea seafront service. Jonathan bought it a few weeks ago
GJZ drives beautifully with a 680 engine and nice pneumocyclic gearbox."
writes "A lovely (if chilly) day at the Oxford Bus Museum Rally. What made it for me was being asked by Jonathan Harwood to drive his recently acquired Atlantean GJZ 9571 on the Shuttle for the day.
All pictures from Steve Doel.
Beat the Street
who operate an extensive fleet of single, superhigh and double decker purpose-built sleeper coaches exclusive to the entertainment industry.
Interiors for all the buses are individually designed by us, and built using rose and maple wood throughout. They encompass top line US-style luxury design features and offer the quality and comfort expected by touring artists from around the world.
The entire fleet is finished to the highest standard on the exterior, as they feel the presentation of their fleet is as important as the interior to support the profile of a touring artist.
Their aim is to make any band or crew member feel as comfortable as possible whilst touring. To achieve this they use the highest quality materials for the interior and upholstery, fit state of the art entertainment systems and use top quality bed linen.
All the different types of vehicles we have available are displayed on the following pages; including layout plans and photographs of both the interiors and exterior.
Take a look guys, you'll enjoy this site.
Links & Publications
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
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 now available
Thames Valley - final part now 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 now 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
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 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.
Just mention OCBP when ordering from:
Just mention OCBP when ordering from:
17 Sparrow Close
Berkshire RG41 3HT.