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

Issue 210
Sunday 7th January 2007
next update week ending 19th  January 2007

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

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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

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

To see the pictures full size just click on the thumbnail

The year of 2007 was only a few days old when the news broke of a serious accident involving a National Express coach operating the overnight service 592 from London Victoria to Aberdeen. The coach was reported to have overturned whilst leaving the M4 Motorway near Heathrow and joining the M25 northbound. The accident happened late on Wednesday 3rd January at 23:45 only a short time after the coach had made its scheduled stop at Heathrow Central Bus Station.

Whilst there has been a significant amount of speculation and claims in the national press and on the TV, it is still too early to say for certain what the cause of accident was and indeed it may be sometime before the true cause is known. It is like all accidents one wishes had never happened as it can have significant implications.

However I do not feel that it is the role of this News Page to dwell on such matters. Suffice to say I wish all those involved sympathy and a speedy recovery to all those who are still in hospital or at home recovering.

Needless to say the local TV stations spent sometime covering departures of The Oxford Tube service at Gloucester Green, especially asking passengers how they felt. It was rewarding to hear those interviewed expressing little concern about travel on the Neoplan Skyliners operating that service. Indeed after checks the Oxford Tube fleet is fully back in action and can be seen going about their business as usual on the M40 route to and from London.

Both companies have made press releases on their respective web sites and  I would refer readers to the links in question.

National Express have confirmed that all 12 coaches have been checked and found to have no faults.

A correction about the age of Oxford colleges from Marcus Lapthorn

Marcus Lapthorn wrote following last week's article on 2007, celebrating one thousand years in Oxford. Marcus writes "Firstly congratulations upon an excellent web page again this week. The introduction in particular was very interesting.

There was a slight error about the oldest Oxford Colleges however. University college is reputed to be the oldest, then Merton, but not Balliol. University College owes its origins to William of Durham, who died in 1249. A legend grew up in the 1380s that University College was really founded even earlier, by King Alfred in 872, and, understandably enough, became widely accepted as the truth. Nowadays, however, William of Durham is accepted as University's true founder, but that still gives UC a claim to be the oldest College in Oxford or Cambridge."

Paper buses

I remember when !!!!! - oh no I can hear you all say. Well just to dwell on those far off days it was not possible to get bus models and as a young boy at the end of the second world war one could only wonder at the occasional model of a Dinky double deck owned by others more lucky. There were also some others models including a tram and an AEC Q from the same manufacturer. So, how to satisfy ones need for a fleet of buses. I found that one could obtain postcards and out of one postcard one can obtain three squares of card about the size of a bell punch bus ticket.

With this method a young boy could, coupled with a good imagination, run quite a fleet of buses. I remember being quite excited to get a pen at Christmas some 60+ years ago which wrote in gold and so my card buses got a fleet number in gold - just like the real thing.

I was thus rather interested to receive a note from Richard Sharman about a site which provides paper buses to be made up. A little late for me now but great for the youngsters of today if they are keen on buses.

The link above shows Stagecoach buses but there are hundreds more including Oxford Bus.

Apologies to those who know all about this site but I was quite impressed by the scope and size of this site.

It was around this time that COMS surprised everyone by introducing specific buses for the Park & Ride services in Oxford. Up until that time the buses used were mainly second hand. The first had come from Midland Red, were Fleetlines and were in what was called a "Starsky & Hutch" livery. These were followed by second had Fleetlines from London of the DMS type.

The new buses were Leyland Olympians with Alexander RL dual door bodies and comprised a batch of five vehicles numbered 225-229 : E225-229CFC.

One place which had always been of interest has been Gloucester Green and this historical interlude concludes with a picture of the site under development at the end of the '80s. The Oxford Tube has arrived and one can glimpse a Bristol VR of South Midland in Orbiter livery but the main vehicles on show are Leyland Tigers on Oxford Citylink services. Also in those days the city road signs relied upon people knowing their North, South, East and West.

New Year's Day and Winchester

As usual I went down to Winchester on New Year's Day and enjoyed a very interesting visit. I arrived a little later than usual but was able to meet several friends and acquaintances. Having corresponded with one, Terry Wong Min, it was good to meet him in person.

I have included some views with a difference and must also add that I enjoyed my ride on two buses when I went to "the other site".

The view which greeted me as I walked from the car park where I had left my car. This was just after 10:30 and the square was already very busy.

This view could be entitled "old meets new" with 75 years between the two vehicles in my picture.

I show yet another view of the oldest bus at the event, being the Dennis of King Alfred driven ably by James Freeman, long involved in this day.

Stagecoach were well represented by two very different buses.
The first one is a Bristol VR in full stripey livery, surely the last one to be so repainted, operated by Stagecoach South under Andrew Dyer.
The second is a later Olympian in traditional Aldershot & District livery.

Various interesting buses attended the event and some are shown above.
The first is an ex Huddersfield Daimler CWA6 owned by Steve Morris of Quantock and not seen on the rally circuit for many a long year.
What is really scary is that the first brand new bus I can remember was a Manchester Daimler CWA6 in 1946 !!!!
The second is a Bedford OB once used on sea front services and now fully enclosed once again.

The "other site" held some interesting vehicles but for me the one the caught the eye was this Volvo B12B
from Michael Wootten's fleet. However it was the display in the destination screen which really asked a question.

Finally a vehicle which many had doubtless seen in magazines but not in the tin.
What an interesting one this was.

Simon Oliver, with whom I have corresponded over photos from the South West, wrote to me saying "I went to the King Alfred Motor Services running day on the 1st Jan, had a great day out, apart from the 55 minute wait at Middle Wallop between the Silver Start Atlantean breaking down and a Southampton Corporation Guy Arab ( 71 ) coming to pick us all up. Well it picked up 56 of the 66 passengers, the rest had to wait a bit longer for a Wilts and Dorset VR to come along a bit later.

There was a great turn out of buses, many of which I photographed."

I have attached a link to his web site for those interested in what was on show but were unable to make it on the day.

Chris Maxfield visits Milton Keynes to bring us up to date with happenings

Chris Maxfield visited Milton Keynes last Wednesday and in spite of the weather took some excellent pictures which are shown below. The M K Metro company still seems to show little or no evidence of its Arriva ownership and Chris says they have lately received a lot of odd vehicles including some minibuses which maybe are for use as staff transport. Indeed MK still has its own web site which can be located at the following link :

There were some unusual working whilst Chris was in town, sorry city.
The Caetano bodied Dart, 3528 (MK 53) on the 5 was from what I was told when I visited not the usual bus for that route.
The Volvo B10MD double deck 5164 (MK 224) was certainly unusual for the 4. This bus originated with Grey Green
and was for many years a regular performer on the 24 to Pimlico, London.
This bus was part of a batch of 30 new in 1988.

Green Travel - MK

Chris took several pictures of members of the MK Metro fleet which are in Green Travel livery. I was wondering what this will about and searched the net with success. So until someone doubtless writes to me I shall remain in ignorance.

Three of the Varios which are run in Green Travel livery.

Two more embers of the MK Metro fleet which are working local services from the Rail Station interchange.

One of the other operators with services running into Central Milton Keynes is Arriva. Two routes are involved being the X15 from Aylesbury and X66 from Dunstable.

DAF 3446 was working the X15 but sadly suffered a technical problem and had to be removed by another source of power.

Arriva operate the
Dunstable - Milton Keynes X66 using a variety of buses including Olympian 5105 seemingly unable to display an X for the route number.
This route seems quite a pleasant trip for anyone starting to plan spring and summer outings.

Times can be found at the following link : Arriva route X66 timetable - click on this link

The other operator who has a presence in MK is Stagecoach. The operate the Virgin Trains connecting service to Luton Airport with some new coaches recently placed in service. Strangely as they have more coaches than required for the present service, whilst Chris was there he spied a Branded Volvo for the X5 operating a VT 99 departure.

Recent new delivery 53273 waits time for a departure on the VT99 to Luton Airport
whilst the second picture shows 52483 on a subsequent working of the VT99 or 899 as displayed on this coach.

Solo 47127 waits departure time on an 89 working to Northampton.

The branded buses for the X4 are late model Tridents with Alexander ALX400 bodywork as seen in the second picture.
However whilst Chris was at MK an elderly Olympian 14064, dating from 1992 and based at Kettering,
was caught awaiting departure time on the X4  to Peterborough.

Another operator which has recently gained a foothold in MK is Z&S Travel from Aylesbury.
A second hand Vario is seen on the 17 route at MK Rail Station.

Chris took a significant number of pictures and I will be suing these in the coming week.

Another visit by Chris Maxfield, this time to Bicester

Whilst Chris was en route to MK he stopped off at Bure Place, Bicester and took several interesting pictures.

Grayline have recently acquired a Dart for local services, it is P512 RYM which started life as LDP12 with London General in 1996.
The second bus pictured as a long time fleet member, OY51 OOB which is shown on route 37.
Finally we have a fairly recent addition to the coaching fleet of Grayline, a Mercedes BJ03 JHY which I think came from Evan Evans?

Stagecoach have a strong presence in Bicester and it is unusual to see one of the older M A N s in service
on the 27 group routes. Here 22940 waits time in Bure Place on 3rd January.

Finally Chris Maxfield visited MK Coachway stop

No visit to MK would be complete without a stop off at MK Coachway. This is the coach interchange located very close to junction 14 on the M1.

Latest additions to the National Express fleet are some Volvos and Scanias with Caetano Levante bodywork.
Our first picture shows a recently delivered FJ56 PEO on the 560 service.
Our second picture shows Arriva Midlands operated DAF 3203 on a 440 service.
Picture number three shows a First operated coach X191HFB  on a 455 working.
Finally we have another 56 reg operating the 591 to Aberdeen, this being a Plaxton bodied example, FJ56 YWD.

National Express are not the only user of the MK Coachway facility. Megabus now call at this stop as illustrated by the picture below.

Ken MacKenzie of the PSV Circle updates on some local matters and asks some questions

The OC for Hitchings (Ridgeway), Wantage has moved and the old site is now empty.  I've heard that the new OC is at Uffington but do not know the address or location.  If you do hear anything, I'll be grateful to know it's whereabouts. 

Regarding Carterton Coaches, Witney.  I visited them today and they are downsizing big time to only two vehicles - N203 PUL and A494 JEC will be the only ones left. All the other vehicles have either been sold or still for sale - expect three which are going for scrap - namely RJI 6611, C724 JTL and UTC 872. 

By the way Malcolm, thanks for the plug you gave the other week regarding the PSV Circle.

Rob Sly takes his Bristol VR to Ward Jones of High Wycombe

Rob Sly from the South West wrote saying "Iím pleased to be able to report the first significant progress with my VR for some time, having today extracted it from its long-term storage at Colin Billingtonís near Maidenhead. The battery was flat, but a quick jump start and we were up and running. The Leyland 501 engine is always smoky for a while, but it soon settled down and ran well, covering the very hilly journey to Ward Jonesís garage outside High Wycombe with no trouble, and at a steady 56mph on the flat (admittedly a bit slower uphill !!).

I attach a couple of photos showing its current state Ė I have so far only been able to rub down the bodywork to the height that I could reach in Colinís barn (to just above the central waistband), but following MOT hopefully later this month I shall be driving it back to Tewkesbury to its new place of storage where I hope to find time during 2007 to finish the job by rubbing down the rest of the bodywork, replacing the seat covers, fitting new window rubbers, plus a full repaint inside and out. "

Binders Yard on the 6th January. 

Mentioning Ward Jones I received another mail from Steve Bunce who called in at Criers Hill yesterday and sent some very nice pictures of what is around. Steve says "After many months I have finally revisited Binders Yard, and I attach a selection of photographs taken this Saturday (6th January) morning. I make no apologies for some of the less than perfect pictures, the weather was truly awful! It was a nice surprise to see SLT 59 in the Ward Jones yard and also an old DMS - a lot rarer than a Routemaster these days! Hopefully it wont be quite as long a gap before I get out to the yard again."


It really is so nice that I don't even have to get my feet wet but receive so many emails from you about what is happening. Thank you!

Bicester and a report from Robert Janko on bus stops

Robert Janko writes on matters pertaining to bus stops in Bicester saying "Over the holiday's I've noticed my local bus stop on the Glory Farm Estate in Bicester has had new bus signs. 

I'm not too sure if the Greenwood Estate or if Ambrosden/Arncott has them yet. Anyway, the 'For Oxford' signs were inserted during the week commencing on the 18th of December 2006 including the town centre, whereas the signs from Oxford to Langford/Launton were added the following week. 

The new signs are similar to those at Frideswide Square in Oxford with the white block and the service numbers, they display both Arriva 16/18, and Stagecoach 27A,27B,N27, X27, Arriva have their timetables on the new stops, that was done between Christmas and new year.

Also to mention I am changing my bus pictures website from : to during Jan/Feb this year. 

All the best for the new year and keep up with the hard work of maintaining the site (IT'S GREAT!!!)"

Thank you, its comments from readers like this which make the effort worthwhile.

Amersham & District Running days 2007 - dates for your diary 

Amersham & District Running Days for 2007 are as follows: 

Sun 13 May 2007 - 3rd Slough/Windsor Running Day based on Slough Bus Station 

Sun 24 June 2007 - 2nd Hemel Hempstead Running Day based on Hemel Hempstead Bus Station                        

Sun 30 September 2007 - 19th Amersham Running Day based on Amersham but commemorating the 30th anniversary of the closure of HE Garage (30/09/1977) so there will be a reconstruction of certain routes in the High Wycombe area.

There has been a great deal of information and photographs to include this week and I do wish to sincerely thank all my contributors.

Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 7th January 2007

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

News of the local companies Ė 7th January 2007

That new Dart in pictures

Well you certainly reacted to my challenge for pictures of the new Dart for the U9.

Mark Munday, a driver on that service sent some first day pictures saying "Hi Malcolm. I have just read the latest news letter and read your bit about are 3805.  I have attached photos of 3805 which I was driving on its first runs in service. The pictures were taken at 08:03 on Saturday 30th December. It was the third run of the morning just as the sun was coming up at our turn round point of Shelley Lane in Harefield."


Steve Bunce writes "Following on from the news item about the new red-liveried Darts being introduced by Arriva The Shires, I attach a photo of SN56 AXH taken tonight (Wednesday 3rd January) in Ickenham on the U9 Although of poor quality, I think the photo shows well enough that the body is a dual door combo and looks to be carrying fleet number 3805."

Finally my staff photographer, Gavin Francis visited Uxbridge last week and took some very nice pictures of the new beasty.


So that's nice. Now the next challenge is to get this bus on a local High Wycombe route. Who's up for it?

Glenn Knight writes
"Another photo for you, this time 3229 (K760 JVX) a DAF Optare Delta on 321 Watford at 15.12 from Church Street last week on 4th January."

and also from Glenn Knight M723 OMJ Volvo B6 in service in Harlow.

Neil Gow sent a picture of one ex London Olympian now working in Cannock. 

It would appear that this company has vacated the temporary parking area at the Cressex Park & Ride site and I am told have moved to some other premises in Coronation Road, Cressex. Confirmation and pictures would be appreciated.

Whilst Gavin Francis was in Uxbridge to take pictures of the new Arriva Dart he managed to get a quick shot of the DAF unusually on the A40.


Glenn Knight wrote about this company with some interesting news and pictures saying "I don't know if you heard about the fire at the Centrebus garage at Woodside Ind. Estate.

Mercedes R243 XDA 443 was unfortunately burnt to nothing (as tell by photo) another badly damaged was W922 JNF 522 Dennis Dart. I have attached photo's and it appears that someone did break into the property and arson is suspected."

The photographs are © Copyright Glenn Knight.

The new VDL Plaxton's VIN & Body number below. 

601 FH06 KGK VDL DE12BSSB120 XMGDE12BS0H013115 Plaxton 6425 B40F

602 KE06 NZW VDL DE12BSSB120 XMGDE12BS0H013352 Plaxton 6428 B40F

603 KE06 NZX VDL DE12BSSB120 XMGDE12BS0H013350 Plaxton 6426 B40F

604 KE06 RXL VDL DE12BSSB120 XMGDE12BS0H013351 Plaxton 6427 B40F

605 FJ56 YBV VDL DE12BSSB120 XMGDE12BS0H013357 Plaxton 6433 B40F

607 FJ56 ZWC VDL DE12BSSB120 XMGDE12BS0H013355 Plaxton 6431 B40F

Glenn also sent some nice pictures of new Centrebus vehicles.


McLeans Coaches

Chris Maxfield recently caught up with this rather splendid coach owned by this company.

His picture was taken at their yard on New Year's Eve 2006.

The withdrawal of the twelve Neoplan Skyliners resulted in a number of unusual workings on the diagrams normally served by the Neoplans.

Our first picture shows Volvo HSK653 in plain white working the 1300 service 504 VCS to Penzance on Friday 5th Jan 2006.
The second picture shows HSK648 in full NEx livery operating the 1430 service 501 VCS to Totnes, again last Friday.

The Skyliners are actually still in the process of delivery and a recent example, as yet unsighted in service is pictured below in the Trathens yard last week.

The coach pictured is 290 We said to be the final example. Pictured by Brian George on New Year's Day.

The Skyliner involved in the Heathrow accident was LSK 827, seen above in happier days last December at VCS. Picture by Gavin Francis.

Chris Maxfield's picture of an older Skyliner taken last Wednesday morning at MK Coachway

The main item to report this week is that Volvo B10B 619 suffered an engine compartment fire whilst operating an 8 road service, mid morning on 4th January 2007, near to Headington.

Gavin Francis took this picture of Witney based Dart 32629 operating a service 20 on 2nd January.

With the University holidays coming to an end the sight of a Brookes Bus on any route other than U1 or U5 will not be seen so often.
Here 18198 works a 7B service last Tuesday. Picture by Gavin Francis.

Following a report from Stephen Le Bras and Gavin Francis's picture last week of red Volvo coach 53272 I heard from Matt Taylor, a Stagecoach UC - Nat Ex Lead Driver who writes "In response to Stephen Le Bras comment about 53272, seen in London. 

53272 wasn't a late delivery of the Virgin Trains batch for Stagecoach United Counties, and did arrive at Bedford depot on time. However:- 

The daily requirement for Virgin Trains service is three coaches, there is future plans to increase the peak frequency which would require extra vehicles. Bedford has three vehicles painted up in the full Virgin livery, see top of this page, leaving a further three as spare. One is always handy in case of breakdown in service, or engineering requirements. This leaves two that are not being used parked at Bedford Depot. 

53272 has been loaned to Northampton depot and there was talk it was going to appear on the X6 service running between Northampton and Oxford, it did have some branding for Virgin services, however this was removed before it came to Northampton. 

Stagecoach United Counties, have recently taken on running National Express with a new driver only Milton Keynes outstation, based at the coachway, this is an outstation of Northampton depot. The role of this outstation is to operate the Milton Keynes to London and return of the 560 & 564, and the southbound 465 between Barnsley and London, Stagecoach Yorkshire National Express services. 

When 53272 was photographed in Buckingham Palace Road, it was being used as a route-learner for the new National Express drivers, as no one of the X6 rota at Northampton has been typed trained for the lift, so the vehicle cannot be used on that service as yet. 

It has also seen a few trips to Barnsley, and one trip to Ashford, where it was used to ferry drivers picking up vehicles that were sent away for body and paint work. 

As for the Levante's,  I can confirm those seen on the 560 service are indeed run by Stagecoach Yorkshire out of their Barnsley depot, although Stagecoach fleet numbers are not really prominent on the paintwork.

Matt goes to say "......had the pleasure last night of driving a Levante and they are very nice vehicles to drive. They do take a little getting used to and appear massive, you are certainly very aware of the crab claw (P45) mirrors on either side. The digital tachos are a little confusing, especially when switching between the old Analogue and Digital system. 

The only issue I really have with the coach, is with a modern electrically operated wheelchair lift, with a press button operation, why the cannot to something similar with the chair. Take the seat pads off manually ok, but then press a sequence of buttons that sets it up to take the wheelchair. 

I used to drive a vehicle for a Premiership Rugby team, and the Levante was much more classy, even the team coach didn't have leather seats."

You can see a picture of the Stagecoach Levante on the 560 in the MK article above by Chris Maxfield.

Ian Kirby took a very nice picture of one of the Olympians which first served at Stratford upon Avon.

Stagecoach Devon Leyland Olympian/ECW 14943 (A543 HAC) Exeter 30th December 2006 by Ian kirby.
Highlight of Ian Kirby's Saturday's trip - a run on 14943 from Tiverton back to Exeter.

Gavin Francis took this picture of Manchester based 13641 now branded for Magic Bus services in that city.
It is seen working a Megabus service to London last Tuesday.

Ken MacKenzie, Oxfordshire Other Operators Sub Editor for the PSV Circle reports that "two new MCV Darts are due soon but until they arrive a loan vehicle from North West Bus Rentals, Penwortham in Lancashire will be there from tomorrow (04/01/06) - Dart with MCV body. PL06 TGE is the vehicle which is due to arrive, it is on loan to Countryliner, Guildford at present." 

Z & S Travel, Aylesbury

Alan Drake writes "Hi  Just found your brilliant site. I'm mostly into trucks but I also enjoy looking at and taking photos of a few buses/coaches.

I remembered I took these 2 in Amboise (Loire valley France) 22/06/06 and realised they came from your patch. I took it because its the ex Eddie Stobart coach and I hadn't seen it for some time."

Many thanks Alan, in fact it is a most interesting coach and the picture is much appreciated.

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



Surman's and Pilot Coaches

Following the articles on Surman's and Pilot Coaches plus other local operators now long gone I was really pleased to receive some further information from Ed Maun, Peter Greaves and Mike Penn.

Ed Maun writes "Many thanks for the further info on the Houseís, Surmanís and Pilot photos provided by Mike Penn. I have been pondering the first owner of the Leyland Comet, NBH 928 which was new in January 1951. 

As I have mentioned before Pilot had one of the first Leyland Royal Tiger coaches in the Wycombe area. I believe this was registered PBH 18 which would be later in 1951 than the Comet and fits in with my memories. BH was a Buckinghamshire registration mark issued from the County Council offices in Aylesbury. The Royal Tiger was definitely a Pilot vehicle and by deduction the Comet must have been a Pilot vehicle as it was delivered earlier Ė or was the Comet actually new to Jeffways? I believe the merger came after these two coaches were delivered! The questions are then, was Pilotís Royal Tiger registered PBH 18 (and who bodied it) and who was the Comet originally delivered to?  Can I invite Mike Penn to do some more research?"

Peter Greaves then wrote saying "Strangely enough I bought a photo of PBH 18 (taken at Wembley) from Brian Botley at Winchester on New Years Day! 

Details are : 

PBH 18    Ld PSU1/9    511332  Thurgood C39C new c5/51.

It passed to dealer Les Gleave and was rebuilt to 30ft, rebodied Plaxton C51F in 12/62 and reregistered  2048 LG - first owner as 2048 LG being Harrison, Morecambe."

Photo shown - no copyright details on the back, but could be ATPH.

Peter Greaves added "Here is what I have: it is in my Oldham coach ops database due to the short time it spent in Mossley."
























ex PBH 18 to 30ft L Gleave












ex PBH 18 to 30ft L Gleave



Seville, A









ex PBH 18 to 30ft L Gleave












ex PBH 18 to 30ft L Gleave

Mike Penn writes "I am afraid that I can't help you with a photograph of PBH 18 but I have unearthed some details of its interesting history. It was a Leyland Royal Tiger PSU1/9 new in 12/51 to Pilot Coaches with a Thurgood C39C body.  Along with a number of other Royal Tigers its chassis was lengthened to 36' in 1962 by Les Gleave and rebodied with a Plaxton Panorama C51F body. It was re-registered to 2048 LG and entered service in this form with Harrison of Morecambe.  Its final operator appears to be Berresford of Cheddleton."

Nice pictures of COMS AEC buses

House of Watlington

Ed Maun writes "There appears to be some dispute over Houseís livery.    I would have said the deep chocolate was actually maroon.    I seem to remember orange and maroon in the 1940s and 50s, but I believe mudguards were later painted black.    I really canít remember when Houseís ceased trading.    I remember the business being advertised for sale in the Commercial Motor but there were no takers so they just closed down!    However,  I donít believe they were still trading in the Ď90s Ė but I may be wrong.

I hope someone can add to the comments made by Ed on this operator?

If you have any pictures or historical memories and wish to submit them for this page please send them to the me at

Coming events, models and useful links

New casting from Britbus

A new casting with a local flavour has been released by Britbus as a picture from Mark Lyons shows. It is a nice model but as Mark says, a little pricey at £33.

Oxford Bus 125 commemorative book

In last week's issue I mentioned that Oxford Bus were publishing a book to commemorate the 125 years of public transport in Oxford. Thanks to Phil Ashworth I have had a review copy and hereunder give my thoughts on this book.

The book is well presented and includes a number of historical pictures of interest including some I had not seen before. The modern pictures have received a nice treatment reflecting the modern fleet against a background of typical Oxford architecture. The Botley Road rail bridge gets a mention and a picture of an AEC pre war decker which has done battle with said bridge and come off worse from its encounter is included.

The book, whilst rather small to reflect the 125 years in detail is nevertheless a must for all who love Oxford, historians and enthusiasts alike.

Copies of the book can be bought from the Oxford Bus Company, Cowley House, Watlington Rd, Oxford OX4 6GA. The cost is £5.95 including postage. Cheques should be made payable to "Oxford Bus Company", it is also available in person from the Oxford Bus Museum during normal opening hours. 

DVD s by Robin Clare

The full details of DVDs available from Robin Clare may be found at his web site :-

Latest Citaro models revealed

Dave Rogers sent the following press release.


Mercedes-Benz Citaro - ukbus 5004 Arriva Manchester  -  ukbus 5007 Oxford Bus


Creative Master Northcord Limited is proud to release two brand new liveries on its well known Mercedes-Benz Citaro casting. Both models have received significant, yet different, modifications to the tooling in order to represent, as close to 100% accuracy as possible, the real buses on the roads. 

ukbus 5004 represents fleet number Arriva North Westís 2851 (CX55 EAA). This Mercedes Citaro is one of three such vehicles with dedicated route branding for service 700 and with the destination set to Manchester. The model features a redesigned interior layout that includes the reduced seating capacity and luggage racks. 

Starting on 29th October 2005, Arriva North Westís service 700 runs from Manchesterís Piccadilly Railway Station to Liverpoolís John Lennon Airport. For the service, 3 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses were purchased and numbered 2851-3. They were painted in the same style and colours as the Scania OmniCity buses that already operated between John Lennon and Liverpool city centre. 

ukbus 5007 represents fleet number 830 (X13 OXF) of Oxford Bus Company. 830 entered service in December 2003, to upgrade the X3 & X13 Oxford Ė Abingdon services. The bus was painted in a new and distinctive livery designed by Best Impressions. 

ukbus 5007 features the smooth, curved windscreen with the destination display set behind the windscreen glass rather than the protruding destination found on the Park & Ride Citaros in the fleet. This feature is one of the standard specifications on other Citaros that the Go-Ahead Group has purchased. 

Mercedes-Benz Citaro ukbus 5004 and 5007 models are each a one-piece casting whose clean lines accentuate the square-mounted, double-glazed windows and the livery application on which all logos and lettering are clearly legible. Another main feature on both models is the extensive portrayal of handrails. The headlight / indicator units at the front and indicator / tail light units at the rear are made of individual components to look more realistic.


The brand new single-door Mercedes-Benz Citaro bus models will be distributed by John Ayrey Die-Casts Limited (UK), Porte Publishing Company (Japan) and Concorde Hobby Shop (HK) respectively. The ukbus 5004 and 5007 models are limited to 1700 pieces worldwide respectively. 


Would readers who respond to the above please quote my site when doing so.

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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

Bus Zone Logo (2421 bytes)

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

Ray Jackson Art

A web site which has paintings of buses.
Nice present for a Christmas or Birthday wish list !!


Stagecoach Handbook for 2006
from British Bus Publishing

Arriva Handbook for 2006-2007
from British Bus Publishing

The latest handbooks are now on sale, the ever
popular Stagecoach edition now in its 13th year.


Bus Services in Buckinghamshire

Bus services in Oxfordshire

Where are the Chilterns?

Visit this informative site through the link below.

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Map showing the Chilterns Hills beginning in Oxfordshire in the Thames Valley and stretching north-east through Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire to Hitchin in Hertfordshire. The highest points are over 250m. There are various water courses running from the Chilterns to the South East.

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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