Spottings & Jottings nr. 83 - February 22nd 2015

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Current archives from October 2002

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Since our last issue in January, there have been a number of most interesting changes in our area. The four Green Line Acrons have moved to Arriva Southern Counties (pictures most appreciated) and we now have full details of the four Levantes moved from Tellings Golden Miller and most recently used on the National Express 010 services from Cambridge to London. It is rather ironical that Green Line are now operating Volvo Levantes to Luton on the 757 in competition with National Express's own Levantes identical in specification !!!

4103 on February 15th at the terminus in Buckingham Palace road by Gavin Francis.

Oxford bus is introducing route colours with the first being for the 6 road service where three Citaros (839-841) have been painted green and branded for the 6.

839 on one of its first days in service showing of the new livery and branding. 11th February by Gavin Francis.

Oxford Bus tell me that further routes to be colour branded are the 4 and 5 with details to follow. Also I am advised that the next eight Interdeck coaches are due to arrive in March. This will make many more services out of Gloucester Green will be operated by 14 and 15 metre coaches. A real challenge for what is rather a small facility.

A 14 metre X5 stands next to a 15 metre Oxford bus Volvo in Gloucester Green on 17th February by Malcolm Crowe.

Stagecoach recently hosted one of the latest Astromega sleeper coaches. This was so that driver training could take place for those based at Cwmbran and Rugby and gave me my first opportunity to drive one of these 15 metre coaches. The coach was yet to enter service and it was a first for Oxford.

50312 reverse in after a days training - February 4th by Malcolm Crowe.

As related in the last issue National Express awarded the 737 service from Oxford to Stansted to Oxford Bus and in advance of a new fleet for the service five Volvo B9Rs were transferred from other locations to enable COMS to start the service. We now have a number of pictures of these Volvos in service and also pictures of COMS Volvos in white multi- route livery operating the service.

Volvo 46 on thev1140 service to Stansted some 10 minutes late on 18th January taken by Gavin Francis.
The company had as yet not had time to programme the destination screens.

51 showing its Go-Ahead Northern fleet number 7118 leaving Gloucester Green on a Stansted departure on February 14th by Gavin Francis.

Oxford has been beset by road works and remodelling of a number of junctions throughout the city. St Clements has been the subject of this type of work recently and was closed in an east or westbound direction for several weeks. Whilst local services were routed via local narrow roads the coach services were routed via Marston road, Marston Ferry Road and Banbury Road resulting in no service from the city centre stops. Gavin Francis took a number of pictures of services on  diversion at Marston Road and Headington Hill.

Oxford's 52 first approaching the junction and then it turns out of Marston Road on to Headington Hill on 22nd January by Gavin Francis.

Oxford's 61 first approaching the junction and then it turns out of Marston Road on to Headington Hill on 22nd January by Gavin Francis.

Oxford's 97 turning onto Marston Rd on 22nd January by Gavin Francis.

Oxford Tube 50272 turning onto Marston Rd on 22nd January by Gavin Francis.

Oxford tube 50285 turns out of Marston Road on to Headington Hill on 22nd January by Gavin Francis. 

Gavin has provided many pictures for this month and I must say I have been spoilt for choice.


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.  A small charge is made to cover the cost of hiring the function room and this is usually around £1 for members per meeting depending on numbers.  For non-members a charge of £3 per head is made.


Next meeting:

Our next meeting is on Tuesday March 17th 

Our speaker is notable Bristol bus expert Allan Macfarlane giving a talk on the history of Bristol Commercial Vehicles. 

 Meeting commences at 19:15. 

 Meeting free for subscribed members, £3 for non members.

 Allan also hopes to have some of his published books to bring along with him on the night for sale, these include an
in depth look at Bristol VR's in their home city.

Meetings are held in the new venue at:

 The Tree Hotel,

 63 Church Way,

Iffley Village, Oxford OX4 4EY


All meetings start at 19.15 although you are welcome to come along beforehand for food in the bar.
The venue offers a wide range of excellent food

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 - 22nd February 2015


Arriva logo and TGM

A change in the 757 fleet has occurred with the loss of four of the tri-axle Van Hool T917 Acron coaches to Southern Counties. These are 4372/9/84/6 (YN58FJN/y, FJA, FFW)

These have been replaced by four Volvo B9R/Caetano Levante C49FLt coaches from other parts of Arriva. These are 4101-4 (FJ60HYH/K-M)

Luke Braham writes "Citaro 3914 BV58 MLK has now been give MAX route 150 branding but has seen use recently at the Leighton Buzzard outstation on route 70."

3914 in Max livery seen in Aylesbury on 24th January by Luke Braham. 

Citaro 3909 BU06 HSO has returned from refurbishment to MAX specification but has now got to go to VOSA for recertification. I am told that it carries MAX route 150 branding.

Glenn Knight writes "N912 ETM Mercedes Benz 709D was brought in Jan 2015 for preservation. It is ex-The Shires at Garston & Hemel Hempstead as MP262 then onto Arriva as 2132 in High Wycombe, Ware & Luton/Dunstable.

Sold to Ensign in Nov 2011 then onto Cotswold Green, Gloucestershire, around 11/11-01/12.

Currently being preserved back in Bedfordshire, will now be attending local Bus Events including Showbus (Woburn Abbey) & Luton Festival of Transport in June."

Mark Turner has provided some pictures taken in Watford recently.

Arriva 3419 on route 10 in Watford on 17th February taken by Mark Turner.

Arriva 3655 on the 321 in Watford on 17th February taken by Mark Turner.

Arriva 6309 on the 500 in Watford on 17th February taken by Mark Turner. 

Carousel Buses

One of Carousel's ex COMS Tridents, 113 re-registered MIG7113, seen waiting to operate the BB14 to Little Marlow on February 6th by Malcolm Crowe. 

Charlton Services

Charlton X37XAW at St Giles on 26th January by Gavin Francis

Heyfordian FJ60EKD at Oxford Station on rail replacement on 25th January by Gavin Francis.

 and Crusader Holidays

Luke Braham writes "At Motts, KSK 965 and KSK 966 have been sold to Red Kite, Leighton Buzzard and are now registered L582 HKU and L575 HKU respectively. Ex-KSK 965 is to be used as spares by Red Kite. 

This year, two ex-Dublin Bus ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TLs are due and will be registered X800 MTT and X900 MTT with Motts but there identities are otherwise unknown. They will carry 82 seats and were new in 2000.  

Also due this year are two brand new Mercedes Benz Tourismos for the Crusader Holidays fleet. They will be Euro 6 and are to be tri-axle with C49Ft seating. These have been chosen as Setra coaches are no longer sold in the UK and after the demonstrator that Motts had on loan over the summer which received good feedback from both customers and drivers. 

Since it was first reported on the OCBP, Setra GT60 MTT (BF60 OFZ) has received its private plate and now carries Motts Travel livery."

Motts Travel GT60MTT seen on 7th February by Luke Braham.


Start Hill's 189 on an A6 working yurns into to Buckingham Palace Rd on 30th January taken by Gavin Francis.
The coach may be in som e difficulty since it seems to have stuck in low boarding mode!!

National Express provides interest in a variety of super rears. A Lucketts 63 plate stands alongside a South Gloucester with cherished registration.
Taken on 18th February by Gavin Francis.

Lucketts have repainted a number of ex National Express Levantes in their own livery.
FJ58AHP is seen on Buckingham Palace Road on 17th January by Gavin Francis.

Oxford Bus working the 737

44 at Stokenchurch on 21st January by Gavin Francis.

48 at Stokenchurch was once 111 with NEx seen on 24th January by Gavin Francis.

51 at Stokenchurch is from Go Ahead Northern 7119 seen again on 24th January by Gavin Francis. 

Quite a lot has been happening in recent weeks in this company.

The 737 service is now in full operation using the five "loaned" Volvo B9R's. When any one of these is unavailable agreement has, I've been told, reached to allow the use of one of the white multi-route 61 plate Volvos as substitute. New coaches are due later in the year, it is suggested by sources at Gloucester Green that whilst these may be Levantes they are rumoured to have Mercedes chassis. Time will tell.

What is confirmed is the arrival of eight new Interdeckers in March. This will then enable all peak hour services on the X90 to be operated by these 63 seaters.

As mentioned in the Editorial route coloured buses are on the cards and the first route, 6 road, is now being operated by green Citaros.

Quite soon after operation commenced on 6 road, 839 appeared on a 300 working almost immediately ahead of 840 on the 6.
The date was 14th February seen by Gavin Francis.

As mentioned above 840 followed 839 and may have contributed some confusion to intending passengers on 14th February.

206 lays over in Magdalen St East on 22nd January seen by Gavin Francis.
Something of a surprise os the black background to the City name!!

Current fleet 81 passes one time 87 on Elizabeth Br on 18th February seen by Gavin Francis.
I think GB07OXF of Hamilton Gray on a Megabus service is the last one remaining in X90 livery?

Current fleet 96 passes one time 87 on Elizabeth Br on 18th February seen by Gavin Francis.
Even closer resemblance is provided by these two coaches.

209 and 210 were recently painted in Thames Travel livery and before moving to Wallingford spent a few days on the 4.
209 is seen emerging from the rail bridge on 26th January by Peverel.

210 is seen in  Castle Street on 29th January by Gavin Francis.

209 is seen from the rear in High Street on 28th January by Gavin Francis.


Sometimes if a Gold Scania is unavailble one of the standard bus types is substituted as on 25th January when 15994 was on the duty seen by Gavin Francis.

Witney's 15534 is seen working an S2 in George St on 22nd January by Gavin Francis.

Certain journey's on the X30 are worked by Gold buses as seen by 15831 on 22nd January by Gavin Francis.


Gordon Scott has sent some more pictures of our ex Tube coaches.

50221 on the X25A in Glasgow on 26th January by Gordon Scott.

50224 on the X25A in Glasgow on 3rd February by Gordon Scott.

50204 in service in Glasgow on 12th February by Gordon Scott.
This was the coach I took to Kilmarnock last year on July 31st.


Megabus Sleeper 50304 on the G9 in Glasgow on 12th February by Gordon Scott.

Megabus 54201 on the M9 in Glasgow on 12th February by Gordon Scott.

Megabus Hamilton Gray HIG19 - HIG5345 - on Elizabeth Bridge on 9th February seen by Gavin Francis.

Megabus Hamilton Gray HIG5339 near VCS on 11th February by Gavin Francis.

Megabus 50228 on service M11 loads at VCS on 16th February seen by Gavin Francis.

Megabus 54202 carrying this years livery for Young Scot Awards seen at VCS on 9th February by Gavin Francis.

#Megamoments Megabus 54053 in Bulleid Way on 19th February seen by Gavin Francis.

Freestones have several coaches in full Megabus livery but this one is just in the blue seen by Gavin Francis on 20th February.

As mentioned earlier in this issue two Scania deckers, 209 and 210, have been transferred from the main Oxford fleet. Prior to transfer they were in Brookes livery and even after repaint were used in Oxford for a few days. Now they are in livery and in use by Thames Travel.

210 seen in Reading on the X39 service on 20th February by Martin Dowling.


As happens on a number of weekends coach operators provide road services when the railway lines are closed.

One time National Express Neoplan now with Weavaway R9BRD on 25th January by Gavin Francis.

Weavaway WA64CVY at Oxford Station on 25th January seen by Gavin Francis.


From readers

Just to say that over last couple of months I’ve added around 1000 new photos to my Smugmug site (link below).

From Geoff Cunliffe 

Some time ago, you asked me if any of the full-fronted, centre-entrance post-war Leyland PD2/5 Titans were preserved. Apparently two survive, although neither could be described as “preserved”. The Fylde Bus Page has recently given information about them which I reproduce here:- 

The Blackpool PD2/5s

Two of the iconic postwar streamliners survive, both owing their current existence to post service use as tramway 'Permanent Way' buses. LTT owns 246, which spent over a decade as a site hut at the premises of Lister of Bolton - a well known dealer. In 1989 it was rescued and temporarily stored at Blackpool Transport depot by a local enthusiast, but LTT took it on the following year moving it to Burscough then St. Helens. 25 years on and the bus remains stored, back in Blackpool awaiting extensive restoration.


More complete is sister 300. Purchased by John Hinchliffe of Huddersfield, it was cosmetically restored and rallied during the 1980s. Since then structural work has commenced, but stalled while other projects took precedent. After many years stored under a railway arch in Huddersfield, 300 was moved to a new storage site still in West Yorkshire in July 2004.


-      Fylde Bus Blog,

-      1st. February, 2015. 

Either of them look like an interesting preservation project!

A nice coach by Marcus Lapthorn

Scotland by Gordon Scott

Arriva SN15LLG new MAX at Alexanders 130215 G Scott

Arriva SN15LLT new MAX at Alexanders 130215 G Scott

Bruce FJ57KJF new service M8 Glasgow 030215 G Scott

Bruce VXI696 new as FJ58AKK on new route M8 020215 G Scott

First 33902 r 747 Glasgow 120215 G Scott

SC 900 Citylink 54137 r 900 Glasgow 120215 G Scott

For Stagecoach Manchester as  10429 on test at Alexanders 130215 G Scott


London in pictures by Gavin Francis

Abellio 9519 r 414 W London 090215 G Francis.

Arriva LT347 r 137 090215 G Francis

LG LDP195 r 170 BPR VIC 110215 G Francis

LG PVL137 learner duties 160115 G Francis

LG WHY19 r 360 090215 G Francis

Metroline TEH915 r 16 - first Hybrid - 160215 G Francis

Tower Transit DN33778 r 23 Candy Crush overall r 23 160115 G Francis

Tower Transit DNH39115 r 23 Phillipines overall r 23 300115 G Francis

Candy Crush taxi overall 160115 G Francis


Reviews of new books

I have received two books for review which I found well produced and most interesting.


The PSV Circle has a revised edition of Berkshire and Oxfordshire current fleets. There are some excellent colour pictures and almost every operator, large and small in the area is included. A most useful reference book.

You can purchase the book from : Sales Team, PSV Circle, Unit GK Leroy House, 436 Essex Road, London N1 3QP. The cost is £9 inc post and packing.

The second book reviewed is a pocket sized booklet costing £5.95 which can be obtained from Presbus Publishing.


This is well produced book and in a way is retro repeating the successful format of Ian Allan spotters books in the 1950s. Very good price for a very nice book, giving all the information you could ask for on operations and buses in Stagecoach Midlands including six new Van Hool Altanos, yet to be delivered.

Please quote the OCBP when ordering. 

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 -

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.

Many other independents are also represented. 

Mike Penn

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 memories.

Click on the link above to order your copy now. Oh and do quote the OCBP when doing so.


Thames Valley - final part available




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 and arrange a suitable time, but no casual callers please!


Newbury & District History available

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 areas.

A Guy Arab on the Oxford service and seen at Gloucester Green.

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.

One of the constituent companies was Denham's.

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:

Paul Lacey,
17 Sparrow Close
Berkshire RG41 3HT.