Tuesday 14th June 2005
next update week ending 24th June 2005
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My apologies for the delay in posting this week's page but when you read the page and the supplement I hope you agree that wait has been worthwhile.
BIG BUS SHOW - a family fun day in Portsmouth
Billed by Stagecoach saying "Join us to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Southdown Motor Services and 25 years of Stagecoach. The bus depot in Walton Road, Farlington, Portsmouth is holding an open day on Sunday 12th June 2005 from 10am to 4pm.
There will be static displays of buses, rides through the bus wash, rides on old & modern buses, sales stands, fun for the children, a chance to see behind the scenes, refreshments and more.."
Well, Sunday the 12th was a memorable day for me, when I attended the Stagecoach Open Day and Southdown 90th Anniversary celebrations in Portsmouth. I am including a picture report on the days events which I hope everyone will enjoy. For those not interested in this event, even though several vehicles attended from the Oxford Chilterns area then please don't click on the photo link below.
Southdown 1929 Leyland Titan 0813 ably driven by Stagecoach South's Managing Director, Andrew Dyer pictured here with
a full load of happy passengers on the sea front at Southsea with South Parade Pier in the background, 12th June 2005.
Changes to services in Banbury took place on 5th June and I include a few pictures below of the current services. Time prevents a full report this week.
Amos operate the GA01 to Rugby with new low floor buses.
Stagecoach in cooperation with Oxfordshire County Council have recast the local services.
Here 16525 operates the B5 local service last Friday.
Johnsons operate the 270 to Stratford and YD02RHY is seen on a Friday lunchtime departure last week.
Heyfordian operates the 81 to Bicester and have taken this Volvo B6 to operate the service.
It looks very smart with the coach style wheel trim departing from the excellent bus station.
Talking of the excellent bus station,, and I do understand it is not unique, I must compliment the authorities in the way they have used modern technology in the construction of the bus station. Automatic gates control passenger entrance to each bus and a block system of paving at the vehicle entrance keeps pedestrians out. It really does work well.
A 500 route branded Volvo B6, 31361 works a service to Brackley last Friday.
I enjoyed a couple of hours in Banbury as mentioned and although quite small in terms of operation everything seemed to work very well.
Lewknor - Taxi bus progress.
The Interchange which commenced operation at the end of January earlier this year has worked quite well. A reasonable number of passengers seem to use the taxi bus services and it is hoped these number will grow in the coming months.
Sadly there have been a number of instances of vandalism culminating last Friday night/Saturday morning with the damage to the London bound shelter depicted below.
What mindless clown did this I wonder. what a sad world we live in.
Asia Bus Response donated buses leave the UK.
100 Asia Bus Response buses were handed over at Marwell Zoological Park, near Winchester, on Wednesday 8 June, to the charity, Islamic Relief, for immediate shipment to the tsunami-hit areas of Asia.
The handover event was attended by representatives of the governments of Sri Lanka and Indonesia, the mayors of Southampton and Winchester, as well as senior officers of Islamic Relief and bus donating companies. 100 buses in original operating livery assembled from across the UK on Tuesday 7 June.
The buses donated by Go-Ahead group company Oxford bus Company were among those buses handed over.
Several readers sent pictures including Derek Doling who sent the first of the three pictures above, saying "............love reading your site every week. Please keep up the good work. I have visited Oxford on a few occasions but never got anything worth sending you. However, today a bit of Oxford came to me. Attached is a picture of Oxford Marshall Dart 512 at Marwell Zoo, Hampshire after processing at the Solent Blue Line depot in Eastleigh for the Asia bus response. appeal.
The bus is now wearing its Asiabus sticker and about to parked in the compound on the 7th June. Along with approx 90 other buses it was due to be handed over on the 8th with onward movement to Southampton docks soon after."
Malcolm Audsley writes "...as you are almost certainly aware four Oxford Bus Darts [510/2/5/9] were donated to the above appeal. The handover was at Marwell Zoo, Hants Wednesday 8th June and the attached picture shows 512 (M512 VJO) fitted with the vinyl "label" shown in the close up."
Paul McNamara also sent this excellent picture of the four Oxford Darts alongside other donated buses as shown in the third of the pictures above.
An Asia Bus Response dinner in the presence of the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka and Charge d'Affaires for Indonesia was held on the evening of 7 June in recognition of this charitable achievement by the UK-wide bus and coach industry.
Abingdon Road - those works continue.
Last Monday I happened to be taken along the Abingdon Road by OBC 300 service at 5 pm and saw for myself how long the queues are whilst the roadworks continue. My picture below gives some idea of the congestion caused.
Historical reference in our area
A response by Ed Maun to recent items.
Ed Maun wrote to say
Thames Valley/Alder Valley
Superb shot of Alder Valley 629 outside Stokenchurch dormy shed (issue 130). Seeing this picture reminds me that there was a large “Thames Valley” sign over the doors which appears to have been removed and not replaced by “Alder Valley”. There was also a small circular window above the name board which appears to have been removed! 629 (546 BBL) is/was a Bristol FLF6G with an ECW H32/28F body and was new in 1963. It started life as Thames Valley 878 and was one of the final batch of buses to be numbered in the original TV numbering sequence – new arrivals after these were numbered in separate series by type with prefixes “D” for double decks, “S” for single deck buses and “C” for single deck coaches. This batch of double decks were the first deckers to have “T” type indicators from new, although they still had the upper cream band under the top deck windows – over-painted red in the AV picture.
Reference issue 130: Thames Valley 744 (JRX 819) is/was a Bristol KSW6B with ECW L27/28R body new in 1955 and was one of the last batch of KSWs delivered to TV – the next double decks were LD type Lodekkas. It was sold by TV in 1971 and hence did not survive into the AV era. I would suggest the picture was taken in the early 1960s when the via boxes were being over-painted; white instead of black fleet numbers and over-painting the upper cream bands red had also occurred by this time. As regards route 57 in Bracknell: The October 1964 edition of the Thames Valley timetable shows service 57 as operating Bracknell (Broadway Market) – Ascot – Sunningdale Station (Broomhall Lane). It operated every day including Sundays but was largely a peak time service only, although there were more journeys on Sundays, There were numerous variations numbered 57A, 57C and 57D dependant on routings through the Bracknell estates with some services operating to Cannon Corner instead of Sunningdale. Some of these variations operated off-peak. This was a rather complex set of services – all operated by Bracknell depot.
Thames Valley 748 (JRX 823) (Ref issue 130) is definitely preserved and should be around some of the rallies this year I expect.
I did get to the Reading Rail/Bus collectors fair last week end and attach a copy of a photo I acquired, taken at Stokenchurch in (I believe) the early 1960s. I have permission for you to use it (if you wish), provided you acknowledge the copyright – “Photobus” of Box 24, Northleach Post Office, GL54 3ZR.
The photo shows South Midland Bristol MW6G 831 (UJB 197) with ECW C34F body new in 1960 at the Oxford bound stop at the Kings Arms hotel. A Thames Valley double deck is pulling onto the Wycombe bound stop. It is on service 39 and would have come from Watlington. It is an LD type Bristol Lodekka and is probably either 810 or 811 (PRX 928/929) both of which were allocated to Stokenchurch based routes. They were LD6B types with ECW H33/27RD bodies. You will also note the two coaches in the Kings Arms coach stop park – the one to the right looks like a Plaxton bodied Black & White Motorways coach."
Many thanks to Ed and maybe Photobus can satisfy your requirements in the picture line. The picture above is just what I've been looking for.
Red Rover of Aylesbury.
Now I also looked for local pictures and found a number Portsmouth one of which I show below. The seller thought it was probably from the R H G Simpson collection which I duly acknowledge. I have a number of other pictures which will have to be held over until next week.
A lovely AEC Bridgemaster with Park Royal bodywork leaving Aylesbury for Westcott.
Response to recent photos.
Brian Short writes "Just
to say rather belatedly that I find your page an enjoying read so please do not
change it too much.
You asked about the DMS Damascus - this is normally kept at the Steventon Storage facility of Milton Park. It has been away for several weeks but I noticed it back there again last week.
The B&W photo of JRX is not as old as suggested (I think). It is a KSW (rather than K) Bristol with lowbridge ECW body new in 1954 or 1955. When new it surely would have had 2 cream bands so the photo may well date from the 1960s."
Thames Valley comments and a report on Quainton Road
Andy Millwood writes "Firstly to congratulate you on your very interesting articles you do week by week, I now have it logged on my Favourites. I was very interested on the article about the Thames Valley Bristol k.I used to live in Bracknell, so my ears pricked up. The vehicle displayed is a low height body with staggered seating. If i remember right route 57 was possibly a Warfield service, although i I stand to be corrected on that one. Bus 748 is definitely preserved, owned by a P.Privett, who I believe comes from Bracknell. Last year it visited the Gosport 800 rally on August Bank Holiday.
I attended the Quainton Bus Rally. There was a good mix of London Transport RT`s and RM`s, A GS, RF, an ex Green Line RMC 1476 and a free bus service providing rides round the village. Unfortunately only 3 out of 5 vehicles operated ,two broke down, but we had an RF (ex LT), A GS and a splendid Wigan Corporation Leyland Titan. an ex-Lincolnshire Bristol LD Broke down ,also Stagecoach Lodekka 19953 was going to be used, but never did. I took some photos but you may have to wait a couple of weeks for them, if I can work out how to e-mail them.
On the subject of open top Fleetlines in Oxford.
that DMS Fleetline. It took me all of two seconds to type in the registration
on Google and get the following. To my surprise the bus was kept for a short
while at my nearest local London bus garage Bexleyheath which I pass every day!
DMS 840 TGX840M 4/74 new to Aldenham: 2/2DM3/1: Leyland O.680 5/74 BX into store (Bexleyheath).. 5/74 AL ..into service (Merton) 75-7 AL 5/78 NB transfer (Norbiton) 5/78 AL return 79-80 AL 4/81 AL withdrawn.. 4/81 XV .. into store.. 4/81 AL ....reinstated 6/82 AL withdrawn again.. 6/82 CA ..into store (Clapham).. 6/82 ....change store (AEC Southall) 8/82 change store (Ensignbus) 1/83 sold to Ensign Bus (Purfleet) converted to OPEN-TOP: O45/27D 7/84 bought by London Pride Sightseeing 11/85 merged into Ensignbus sightseeing fleet 1/86 Ensignbus sightseeing fleet 6/86 bought by South Midland, #OT4 1987 used on Sights of Oxford Tour, #904 Thames Transit #904 7/89 bought by Ensignbus painted overall ad for Maxell Tapes 340 1990 Ensignbus sightseeing fleet 9/95 exported to USA, New York Apple Tours"
Thanks to Graham for that comprehensive report.
Now on to this week's News and photos. Thank you to everyone who has contributed this week. Please note that next week's page will be published on Monday evening and not Sunday as usual.
Malcolm Crowe - Tuesday 14th June 2005
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News of the local companies – 14th June 2005
Abbey Coaches - Prestwood Travel, High Wycombe
Clarke until last week a manager with Abbey Coaches writes with some information
relating to the demise of the company. He says "I gather there is much
speculation and intrigue surrounding the demise of Abbey Coaches. There were
some difficulties in continuing with operations on or after the first week in
June and thanks are also due to Steve Burns and John Robinson of Carousel Buses
Ltd who managed to muster vehicles and drivers to cover the vast majority of the
commercial network of services we operated from Cryers Hill to The Misbourne
School in Great Missenden, and to Martin Ash of Magpie Travel who ensured the
students of the Berkshire College of Agriculture had a coach too."
P.S. For the interest of your readers the Cryers Hill fleet was at follows on the close of business on 3rd June 2005:
YJB 69T - Leyland Titan
B218WUL - MCW Metrobus
C436BUV - MCW Metrobus
CUB540Y - MCW Metrobus
C721NCD - Dennis Dominator / East Lancs
LFR638W - Leyland National 2 / East Lancs Greenway
PDZ6275 - Leyland National / East Lancs Greenway
RDZ4279 - Leyland National / East Lancs Greenway
JIL2158 - Leyland National / East Lancs Greenway
KYO609X - MCW Metrobus
M296FAE - Dennis Javelin / Plaxton Premier 350
KPA372P - Leyland National
VOD603S - Leyland National
B67 WUL - MCW Metrobus (owned by myself)
A really nice shot of Aylesbury based 3374 on route 64 taken by Steve Warwick.
An ex Oxford Bus Olympian and then Wycombe Bus, 5832 unusually works a Bedgrove service this week.
Photo by Steve Warwick
Mike Penn sent some information from his area
of Luton and district saying "Arriva
The Shires has two strange coaches at Luton at the moment - one is 4353
(M53AWW), a Van Hool bodied Scania in Arriva livery that is normally based at
Watford. It is in use on the 755 London commuter service. The other is one of
the coaches aquired from Sovereign in January which is in Green Line livery with
Sovereign fleet names and route 797 branding. I haven't seen it myself yet so I
don't know which one it is.
News of two former Wycombe based vehicles - 3818 (H368 XGC) is still in service with Arriva East Herts & Essex at Harlow while 3244 (M844 DDS) is now at Hatfield on the former Sovereign operation. It appears to have had a full repaint recently.
The removal of Dennis Tridents from Arriva Southend is complete with 5442/3/5-7/51(W442/3/5-7/51 XKX) now at Ware for the 310/311 routes. In their place Southend has 5825/8 (now 5881/2), 5829 (E225/8/9 CFC) and 5089/90/2 (F639/40/2 LMJ) - the latter three coming from Luton. Luton now has 5171 (CWR 524Y) and 5831 (G231 VWL). There doesn't seem to be a third replacement. 5171 disappeared for some while shortly after entering service; I gather this was to have its floor replaced.
Lutonian's new arrival, Mercedes K254 JNV, now has Centrebus fleet names.
It appears that the Lutonian and inMotion (used by LQT) brand names are being phased out. Meanwhile Lutonian Dart J374 GKH has now appeared with LQT legal lettering.
One of the Universitybus Darts has appeared with route branding for the 636 (Hatfield to Luton & Dunstable Hospital) on its new livery. The timetable for this service describes the terminus as "Luton, Oakley Road, opposite Electrolux Factory". It should, more accurately, be described as "opposite the housing estate built on what used to be the Electrolux car park". The Electrolux presence in Luton has been scaled down dramatically in the last few years."
Following last week's introduction into service of four second hand Darts my email box was full with information concerning these buses. I quote the mails in full.
Martyn Banham, now home for the summer in Southend writes " I was most surprised to see ex-Southend Dart at Carousel... I last saw it parked up in the depot here. I would like to say although its official fleet number may have been E3373, it never displayed this on the vehicle, only 3373. The E was used mainly to ensure the Tridents when they were displaced did not have clashing fleet numbers. On that note, E229 CFC has retained its fleet number, and has not been renumbered to match the other two, which seems quite odd.
If you do find the definite identity of the 4th Carousel Dart I'd appreciate if you let me know!!
Great page this week - a shame because I also got photos of that Ayats Bravo in the same place!"
Chris Duncombe writes "Some information for you regarding the new Carousel Darts.
L109HVV was previously
with Redroute Buses of Northfleet, and spent most of the year 2004 on Rail
replacement services between Strood and Higham, worked jointly with Ensign Bus
(who used Volvo B6's and some of these NC Paladin bodied darts, ex Metroline
London Northern where they were used on the C2), Kings Ferry of Gillingham
(perhaps better known for their yellow coaches) and ASD Coaches of Strood.
J310WHJ was recently sold by Arriva Southern Counties to Ensign (along with the other four darts mentioned), so I would assume that it is 310 that has arrived - although I don't think 307 has yet been reported sold which went to Ensign earlier!
L153WAG was indeed based at CN (Arriva Beddington Farm, Croydon), and was one of the last step entrance darts there, being replaced by an MPD from Enfield. Unfortunately, one of the three caught fire, so the last step entrance dart survived a little longer!
Chris then added "...since my last e-mail yesterday, it has been posted on one of the London based newsgroups that it is J310WHJ that has been acquired by Carousel. In return, they were asking about the other three, so I have directed them towards the OCBP!"
K323CVX Dennis Dart - Plaxton Pointer B35F ex Arriva Southern Counties E3373 and last recorded as working in Southend.
L153WAG Dennis Dart - Plaxton Pointer B34F ex Arriva London DRL153 and carrying depot code CN. It is suggested it came from Croydon ??
I had intended posting a full and correct list of the route changes for 3rd July but time is against me this week and so it will be held over until next week.
Coach 51 was caught up in an afternoon long diversion last Saturday when the London road in Headington
was closed for most of the afternoon following an accident.
All bus services were diverted along Windmill Road, Old Road and Lime Walk.
Many buses and coaches are now bearing a CCTV warning by the entrance doors as seen here on coach 58.
Not an easy working to get in service, 42372 is showing 5C on its destination.
This is an evening only working.
18052 went to Portsmouth on Sunday and Chris Maxfield provided this photo.
18052 at Portsmouth last Sunday
Two coaches were mentioned last week and Kevin Stevens has now sent pictures.
I include pictures below of the latest addition to the fleet, Mercedes Sprinter nr 305.
The destination screen has proved the MOST difficult to photograph screen I and others have yet experienced.
Well sorry everyone but I must close the page now and all other items will be included in the page for this next Sunday.
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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.
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