Oxford Chiltern Bus Page

Olympic Special by Gavin Francis

Special Issue - October 21st 2012

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Gavin Francis was one of the many drivers who volunteered to work at the Olympics over the past summer. He, as ever, took many pictures and has recorded his thoughts and observation for readers of the OCBP. I hope you enjoy the fruits of his labours!

I have received a number of pictures from readers and these will appear in a further Olympic Special - nr 2 in due course.

Malcolm Crowe - Editor - OCBP - October 21st 2012

All pictures by Gavin Francis unless stated by others.


Seven years after being awarded The Olympic Games and after 2 years of planning the transport network July saw 1000s of drivers, controllers, managers and engineers as well as approximately 1500 buses and coaches arrive in the East End of London to hopefully operate the smooth running of The Olympic Transport Network.

Stagecoach UK Bus Events Limited were to be in overall control of the transport and would supply the majority of the bus requirement with over 40 other operators and their drivers also needed to make up the full quota.

I applied over a year ago to be a driver and arrived at Royals Business Park Bus Depot on the 5th July. At that time I did not know where I would be working, where I would be living, what vehicles I would be driving and who I would be carrying. A case of into the unknown.

As I was one of the first drivers to arrive there were very few other of the transport team there. Also there were only a handful of buses there. What immediately struck me was the size of the place. It was far bigger than any other garage I had ever seen stretching out into the distance in both directions.

Over the next few days there seemed to be a never ending stream of drivers and buses arriving, at its peak over 500 arriving in one day. Each driver had to be inducted into the depot, be issued with uniform, accommodation arranged and be given an Oyster Card as there would be a lot of travelling around London on the public transport system. Even when that was all done it was off to UDAC (Uniform Distribution and Accreditation Centre) which was conveniently situated next to BDA to collect your accreditation which was essential for entry to the venues.

I was allocated accommodation on The Mile End Road, but after the first week moved to Tottenham Hale. This was some distance from the depots and had to use both the Underground, Overground and DLR networks to travel between home and work.

Gradually over the next few days all the drivers were allocated to sections and route learning began. Most of the groups had a maximum of about 10 drivers so training involved the use of hundreds of buses which soon became a common sight both around The East End and Central London. Only a very small percentage of drivers were London based so route learning took some time but gradually confidence increased and some routes went live about a week before the Games commenced. These were mainly Heathrow based as the majority of athletes and officials arrived in the country here and needed transporting to The Olympic Park. Probably what caused the most concern was the route map book we were given. This consisted of a spiral bound book of A3 size with 175 pages stretching from Eton Dorney in the west to Hadleigh Farm near Southend in the east, Stansted Airport to the north and Gatwick Airport to the south. I think most drivers thought ‘lets hope the sat-nav works’.

10021 Russell Square 12th July

There were over 21000 members of The Media at The Olympics and a hub was set up at Russell Square to carry them to The Olympic Park.
 10021 on a training run takes a break before returning to East London.

Olympics 2012 Radio and Sat-Nav

All the vehicles involved were fitted with a radio, satellite navigation and GPS
which fitted into the position normally occupied by the ticket machine.


10016 pictured outside The Olympic Stadium on a training run prior to the start of The Games.

Paralympics 2012 Bus Stop Kings Cross

Throughout the whole Olympic period a different type of bus stop appeared over Central London.
This one is marked TM which means it is a stop for carrying The Media.

Paralympics 2012 Bus Stop Victoria

Many Central London bus routes were diverted away from their normal stops.
This stop in Victoria tells intending passengers their bus may not be stopping here.

The Depots and Hubs

There were 2 main depots used. The first was located alongside the Stagecoach West Ham Depot, and was also called West Ham but usually went by the name BDA (Bus Depot Athletes) and as its named suggest was where the buses which carried the athletes were kept. For this reason it was a secure depot where every member of staff prior to taking a bus was required to pass through airport style security. All the buses were security checked prior to leaving the depot. This involved a thorough check by security staff and all opening panels had a blue strip of tape place over the openings and if any of these were missing the bus had to be rechecked and new tape applied.

The second depot was located at Royals Business Park but was better known as BDM (Bus Depot Media) and again as its name suggest was used to house the buses which carried the media. It was located directly opposite London City Airport and during quiet times it was always interesting to watch the flow of mainly British Airways planes in and out. Because of the vast number of drivers and management staff involved accommodation was always going to be a problem and to help solve this 2 cruise ships were docked alongside this depot. One was The Galaxy which was used to house G4S staff and the other was The Fred Olsen Line Braemar on which many Stagecoach staff stayed.

It’s difficult to show the vast size of both of these depots. They both housed about 700 buses and operated 24hours a day, 7 days a week. To keep up with the constant flow of buses they both had multiple fuelling and washing lines. At BDM in particular a staff bus ran around the depot as the distances from control to your bus was so great. BDM had a one way system around the perimeter and because of the distance and speed limit of 5mph it could take 10mins from picking up your bus to leaving the depot.

Light maintenance was carried out at both depots but for bigger jobs the former Stagecoach Depot at Upton Park which had been mothballed since it was closed was used. There was also a depot at Silvertown Quays which was just an overflow and storage facility.

Because of the large number of buses involved there was no way layover times could be taken in The Olympic Park. Just outside to the north was Eton Manor Staging Hub where drivers took their rest periods. Also parked there were the official cars, and many private hire coaches which arrived. The buses which were used to carry the athletes were always kept in a secure section.

At Heathrow there were two hubs, one to the north of the airport serving Terminals 1 and 3 and one to the south serving Terminals 4 and 5, although this was not used for The Paralympics.



One of the first buses to arrive was 10042
  seen here at Upton Park Depot.

Olympics 2012 Upton Park Depot

Upton Park Depot was used to carry out heavier maintenance. A variety of buses here including a Solo from the torch relay.

Olympics 2012 Northern Staging Area

Heathrow was the main port of entry for athletes flying into the country. The Northern Staging Area was used to service Terminals 1 and 3.

Olympics 2012 Eton Manor Transport Hub

Layover periods for The Olympic Park were taken at Eton Manor Hub.
The pictures show buses transporting athletes parked in the secure section of the park.

Olympics 2012 BDM Depot

Because of the size of the depots it is difficult to show an overall view from ground level.
These 4 pictures of BDM were taken by my colleague Joanne Cleaver from the top deck of the cruise ship Braemar.

Olympics 2012 BDM Depot-72

During training buses returned to the BDM depot for lunch break. A wide variety of buses in use here.

Olympics 2012 BDM Depot-66

Directly opposite BDM was London City Airport.

Olympics 2012 BDM Depot-65

Engineering at each depot consisted of a temporary building suitable for light repairs.
The buses here are waiting for the fitment of radios and Sat-Nav equipment.

Olympics 2012 BDM Depot-55

It’s the middle of July and BDM is starting to fill up with buses.

Olympics 2012 BDM Depot-44

The Braemar makes an imposing sight alongside BDM.

Olympics 2012 BDM Depot-37

The start of a large number of E400s to arrive at BDM.

Olympics 2012 BDM Depot-29

A common sight in the first few days were buses arriving outside BDM
 and having to wait to pass through security to enter.

Olympics 2012 BDA Depot-14

Ulsterbus supplied a large number of double deck buses and also some coaches. These are pictured at BDA depot.

Olympics 2012 BDA Depot-10

BDA Depot was built in an L-shape. Again buses from a large variety of operators can be seen in this view.

Olympics 2012 BDA Depot-2

This picture shows the entry into BDA with buses passing through one of the 4 fuelling and washing lines prior to being parked.

The Routes

There were literally hundreds of routes.

For the athletes they were based around the Athletes Bus Station which was officially known as The Athletes Mall (AM1). This was located alongside the Athletes Village in the North-East corner of the park. Athletes not only had to be carried from there to other venues inside the park such as The Stadium, Aquatic Centre, Copper Box and Velodrome but also to the many venues such as Wimbledon, Wembley, O2 Arena, Eton Dorney, Excel and Greenwich Royal Park which are located all around London. In addition to these venues there were many training facilities located at such places as Brentwood School, Eltham College and Goresbrook Leisure Centre where many athletes went prior to their events.

The main Media accommodation was based around Russell Square. This was virtually closed for the duration of The Games and there was a continuous flow of buses from there to The Olympic Park. This was a 24hr operation as much of the media were working through the night broadcasting back to their countries on the other side of the world. Again the media had its own bus station officially known as Media Mall (MM1) located in the North-West corner of the park.

Each bus carried a small destination board in the front windscreen and a larger one on the side next to the door. A typical bus in AM1 might show on the front AM1-AQC which means it was operating between The Athletes Mall and The Aquatic Centre in The Olympic Park. However not some of the others were quite so obvious. A bus showing MM1-IO2 was travelling between The Media Mall and The Intercontinental Hotel in Park Lane.

To assist buses to run freely through London a series of roads called The Olympic Route Network (ORN) was operated. To be awarded The Olympic Games it is compulsory to have this after the problems experienced in Atlanta in 1996 where athletes had difficulty reaching their venues. The main route was between Russell Square and The Olympic Park. It was by no means the shortest distance between the two points but to assist the buses traffic lights were re-phased, right turns stopped and most of all Games Lanes were introduced.  A combination of all these meant that buses ran freely most of the time except where the occasional accident held up everybody.

The route also ran out to Heathrow Airport as this was the main arrival/departure point for athletes. Uniquely the buses were allowed to use Constitution Hill and pass in front of Buckingham Palace. Over the period of The Olympics the M4 had a weight restriction over the elevated section meaning that any vehicles over 7.5 tonnes were banned. Special dispensation was given to Games Vehicles to allow them to use this section provided they displayed a VAPP (Vehicle Access and Parking Permit) and most importantly there was a 15sec gap between each bus.

Because on many days parts of the ORN were being used for events buses were diverted away on to the Alternative ORN this usually occurring at weekends. The vast majority of drivers were not from London so to assist them, apart from original route training all buses carried a radio, a special set-up satellite navigation system which had the ORN built into it and also a tracking device whereby control always new exactly where the bus was.

A combination of single deckers and double deckers were used but because of height restriction through The Blackwall Tunnel only single deckers could be used for venues south of the river.

10010 Mile End Station.

10010 passes Mile End Station on its way to Central London.

10012 Canning Town Station

10012 passes underneath Canning Town flyover on its way to The Olympic Park to pick up athletes.

10029 Olympic Park

10029 having picked up athletes at The Olympic Mall on the way to The Excel Arena.

27654 Buckingham Palace

One unique feature of the routes was that the Olympic Network Route passed in front of Buckingham Palace.
Here 27654 is on its way to Heathrow.

19475 Olympic Park.

Because of the large number of buses passing through The Athletes Mall it was necessary to employ a large team of marshals to keep everything running smoothly.
Here 19475 leaves the park watched by one of them.

Olympics 2012 Media Bus Station

Unlike the athletes mall which was open air, the media mall was undercover.

Olympics 2012 Olympic Park – 55

The athletes mall also had a small staging area. Buses from different operators wait in the rain.

Olympics 2012 Olympic Park-53

There were always plenty of Games Makers to supervise the loading of buses. Lots of them here but no athletes!

Ulsterbus 2262

There was a large fleet from Ulsterbus driven by Stagecoach drivers. This one waits to go to The Excel Arena.

19324 Eton Manor

Prior to departure from the depot each day each bus had to show the correct information on the front.
The destination – in this case AM1-GLT, Athletes Mall to Goresbrook Leisure Centre – was shown at the top of the front screen;
this information was then repeated on the nearside front window in a larger format.
B8153 was that buses running number which it kept all day and was how each driver identified which bus to take
and finally the blue VAPP pass without which the bus would not be allowed in any venue.
If this pass was lost this would be seen as a serious breach of security.
In addition it had to have a large Games Vehicle poster on the back.

The Buses and Coaches

There were very few parts of The British Isles that the buses and coaches involved did not come from. Stagecoach supplied buses from Exeter in the West, to Hastings in the South-East to Manchester in the North-West to Newcastle in the North-East, Cwmbran in Wales, Perth and Ayr in Scotland and even Ulsterbus sent over more than 100 Wright Eclipse double-deckers and over 50 Translink coaches.

Stagecoach double-deckers were all Enviro 400’s with various brandings and liveries and Enviro 300s were used where single deckers were required. One oddity however was the arrival of 27594 which is an early ADL 300 which stayed all the way through to the end of The Paralympics.

To supplement the Stagecoach buses over 40 more operators were brought in to make up the full requirement along with the staff to drive them. Go-Ahead supplied buses from Wilts & Dorset, Brighton Hove & District, Metrobus and London General along with the former X90 coach fleet from Oxford. Other London based operators were Metroline, Abellio, Arriva and Sullivan Buses. Another large number of buses came from National Express in Birmingham and Coventry.

Local operators to supply coaches were Heyfordian, Marshalls of Leighton Buzzard, Red Rose, Uno of Hatfield, Redline Buses and Thamesdown.

Because of all the operators being contractors rather than sponsors all of their fleet names had to be covered over although route branding was still permitted. All vehicles had a large vinyl across the back showing it was a Games Vehicle so there were no problems when using Games Lanes.

Drivers could only drive buses from their own companies and whilst this did cause a few problems from time to time overall there was enough flexibility to cover this.


Throughout the Games and Paralympics one bus from Stagecoach remained unique.
27594 was an original style ADL 300 from East Midlands.

Go Ahead 7085 (Moss Motors)

The Go-Ahead Group supplied vehicles from all over the south of England.
Pictured at Eton Manor it is from The Isle of Wight.

Brighton & Hove 551.

Another Go-Ahead bus was Brighton 551 again pictured at Eton Manor.

East Yorkshire 759

East Yorkshire 759 pictured in The Athletes Mall operating an internal service to The Aquatic Centre.
These buses mainly operated inside The Park and could often be seen in the background on the TV News coverage.

Heyfordian 4078 NU

Local operator Heyfordian supplied a number of coaches mainly carrying the Media. 4078 NU is pictured at BDM.

Redline MX58KYT and MX60GXJ

Another local operator was Redline Buses of Aylesbury. MX58KYT and MX60GXJ
 are both seen at BDA
starting the trip back to Aylesbury having completed their Olympic duties.

Red Rose MX61BAU

Also from Aylesbury was Red Rose MX61BAU this time at BDM.
It shows The Games Vehicle signage was applied to the rear of all vehicles.

Stephensons YN07LHU

Stephensons of Essex supplied a small number of double deckers.
YN07LHU is pictured leaving the secure area of Eton Manor. 

Thamesdown 413.

Thamesdown from Swindon supplied some brand new Wright boded buses.
This will become 413 when it returns to Swindon and is pictured at BDM.

Sullivan Buses EL04SUL.

Sullivan Buses are based at South Mimms and operated several routes one of which ran from Lee Valley Water Park
to The Comet Hotel Hatfield outside which it is pictured.

Oxford 31 Eton Manor-2 29th July

10 years after they rolled off the production line together former Oxford X90 fleet Nrs 31 and 32 are still side by side.
32 is on the Wembley Arena run and 31 is heading for The Mall.


Many buses arrived in London still with their local branding in place although this only applied to Stagecoach vehicles. Although any identity to the buses ownership had to be covered over the branding was permitted to stay in place.

Some of the branding was intricate and tried to encourage passengers to go to the beach, the zoo and the airport or to use The Park and Ride to get into town. There was more modest branding just showing the places the route served.

10033. Eton Manor.

Brand new 10033 at Eton Manor. After The Olympics it will move to a service at Warwick University.

19688 Royal Docks.

19688 from Hull is pictured at BDM.

19565 Royal Docks

19565 from Barnsley at BDM.

27555 Northern Staging Area

27555 from Portsmouth is pictured at Heathrow.

27559 West Ham

Also from Portsmouth is 27559 pictured at BDA.

27577 Stratford

27577 is from Canterbury and is seen passing through Stratford on its way to Heathrow.

27601 Canning Town

A long way from home is 27601 from Scotland seen passing under The Canning Town flyover.

27612 Welcome Centre

Also a long way from its home in Glenrothes is 27612 seen outside The Welcome Centre at The Olympic Park.

27619 Northern Staging Area.

27619 pictured here at Heathrow would normally be operating The Park and Ride service at Winchester.

27632 North Greenwich

Also from Scotland is 27632 The Caithness Compass.

27650 Canning Town.

27650 would normally be found working the long South Coast route 700 but here it is at Canning Town.

27677 Hyde Park Corner.

Another bus from South Coast is 27677 pictured at Hyde Park Corner.

27695 Eton Manor.

27695 pictured at Eton Manor is from Cwmbran in South Wales.

27706 27713 and 27716

27706, 27713 AND 27716 are all from Liverpool and show simple route branding.
27706 is at Eton Manor, 27713 at The Welcome Centre and 27716 at Stratford.

27734 and 27742 Northern Staging Area

27734 and 27742 are both pictured at The Northern Staging Area, Heathrow.

27749 Terminal 5

27749 has local route branding from Morecambe. It is pictured at Terminal 5 at Heathrow.

27756 Eton Manor

I believe there was only one gold bus at The Games and this was represented by Aldershot’s 27756 pictured at Eton Manor.

36499 Canning Town

Arrows branded 36499 from Hastings arrived just before the end of The Paralympics and is seen here at Canning Town.

The Paralympics

It’s August 18th and after 5 days rest at home its back to BDA for The Paralympics. Again very few people are there so I take the opportunity to go to UDAC to pick up my accreditation before the queues start. It’s also another change of accommodation this time with a move to Caledonian Road in North London. It is situated between Holloway Prison, Pentonville Prison and Arsenal Football Club. It’s the longest distance I have had to travel to work.

The services for The Paralympics were similar to those used for The Olympics but on a much reduced format.

Most of the double deckers returned home only leaving enough to cover staff transport and carry the media. There was however an influx of single deckers. Many competitors in The Paralympics use a wheelchair and normally a bus only has the ability to carry one wheelchair passenger at a time. This would be totally impracticable so all of seats from the lower section were removed and replaced with wheelchair facilities so that it was possible to carry six, although only five on the newest buses because of the position of the emergency exit being located on the offside centre. This left about 20 seats in the rear section of the bus.

Many of the events were held at The Excel Centre, O2 Arena, Greenwich Royal Park but unlike The Olympics, Wembley, Wimbledon, Lee Valley and Hadleigh Farm were not used. Many of the cycling events were held at Brands Hatch.

For the last night at The Paralympics I am moved again this time to The Ibis at The Excel Centre overlooking The Dock and The O2 Arena. This time is the shortest distance to work – just 3 stops on the DLR.


27605 shows how the lower level of seating was removed and replaced by positions for 6 wheelchairs.
On the newer buses this was reduced to 5 because of the emergency door being located in the centre on the offside.

Paralympics 2012 BDA Depot-14

BDA depot and virtually all the double deckers have gone.
Most of the fleet are out transporting athletes back to Heathrow but there are still a large number waiting to see if they are needed.

Paralympics 2012 Excel Centre-13

View from The Ibis Hotel over the old docks. I cannot believe how many of the old cranes have been left in place.

Paralympics 2012 Olympic Village-3

Its going home day and 27716 loads up with members of the Chinese team in The Olympic Village.

Paralympics Hungarian Team.

Members of the Hungarian Paralympic Team on the bus in The Olympic Village ready to return to Heathrow.

27575 Heathrow Terminal 5

27575 outside Terminal 3 at Heathrow having dropped off Hungarian athletes ready to fly home.


Some new buses arrived for The Paralympics. These included 36485 at Eton Manor.
Because of the centre emergency exit it only has 5 wheelchair positions.

Other Games Vehicles

Many other types of vehicles were used at The Olympics.

Teams arrived at Heathrow with vast quantities of equipment to use in their sports. It would have never been possible to carry it all on the coaches. UPS had the contract for the logistics and had a large fleet of trucks and drivers to bring it to the various venues. When leaving Heathrow the coach was given a number and a similar given to the truck which in theory followed it to The Olympic Village. Hopefully then the two vehicles with matching numbers were reunited!

The International Olympic Committee has many VIPs and they were transported in a fleet of BMWs. These had been suitably branded for the event. I believe there were about 4500 of them and not unsurprising at the end of the event rumour had it that there were some missing! Probably in containers being shipped around the world.

Many companies particularly sponsors of The Olympics used The Games to advertise their products often involving wrap advertising buses and coaches. Samsung and Visa in particular had many buses running around London particularly in The East End advertising their products.

Brazil hosts the next Games in 2016 and again they used the chance to promote their country.

Olympics 2012 Eton Manor (BMW Cars)-5 28th July

BMW supplied a large fleet of cars to carry VIPs. Many of them are pictured here at Eton Manor.
They were driven by the familiar sight of The Games Makers.

Olympics 2012 Northern Staging UPS trucks.

Along with the large quantity of coaches at Heathrow was a big fleet of UPS trucks seen here at The Northern Staging Area.

Brazil Olympic Coach

Seen here at Hyde Park Corner coach BX12CVZ advertises Brazil hosting the 2016 Games.
Behind it is one of The Harry Potter buses used between Victoria and Leavesden Studios.

DW 291

Also advertising Brazil as a holiday destination is DW 291 seen here at Kings Cross.

First 36150 and Go-Ahead WVL 277

Two of the main sponsors of The Olympics were Samsung and Visa who both had large numbers of wrap ad buses in service in London.
First VN36150 is seen at Aldgate and Go-Ahead WVL 277 on The Old Kent Road.

Paralympics 2012 West Ham Depot 11th September

As well as a large fleet of 5 series BMWs there were also many of these 4 door Minis used mainly be LOCOG staff. This one is pictured at BDA.

First 36182 and 36191

First ran several Park and Ride routes to The Olympic Park. 36182 arrives at Stratford and 36191 at Canning Town.

Olympics 2012 Olympic Park 32/33 and 34

Inside The Olympic Park a fleet of small buses carried members of The Workforce around the 3 mile perimeter.


One of the now excepted features of the modern Olympic Games is security. If you have any form of involvement then you will have been subjected to many tests before you are accepted to be a member of the games team.

Both of the depots had 24hr security by G4S and in addition buses kept at BDA were housed in a secure pound because they were to carry the athletes. To enter this you had to pass through airport style security which in the first few days led to some conflict. Having just had your breakfast you were then given 2 bottles of cold drinks and a packed lunch to last you the day. Then you had to walk into the next building and pass through security which promptly took the drink from you as it was more than the 100ml liquid allowance. More drink was available at the venues but it was warm having been outside all the time. Attempts were made to resolve this situation including being asked to drink from the bottle in view of security after which it was then OK to bring it through. Eventually an agreement was made that drivers could take 2 bottles through. Also T keys, small screw-drivers and spanners which drivers carry were also removed. Again an agreement allowing ‘tools of the trade’ to be carried through was agreed.

Before leaving BDA each bus had a security inspection whereby all opening panels had to be sealed with a LOGOC blue tape and this was inspected on entry into venues. The driver had to make sure they had their accreditation with them and that all compulsory signs were on the bus.

The terms clean bus and dirty bus became familiar. Whilst the bus was in a secure area it was clean but as soon as it went to an outside venue it became dirty and on returning the athletes were dropped off in a dirty area and had to pass through security again to become clean.

Each time you arrived at a venue the bus was security checked. Sometimes this was G4S and other times The Army. They used mirrors to check underneath the bus and long poles to look at the roof. Again all passengers accreditation was checked.

If you were going to The Welcome Centre at The Olympic Village in addition there was a team of Brown Spaniels who checked all around the outside of the bus and also the interior. The steering wheel and cab controls were also swabbed and analysed.

Security could vary from venue to venue but in general it was quickly and efficiently carried out with the minimum of delays.


When returning with athletes to The Olympic Park they were dropped off on F finger
as they would have been
dirty and then pass through the security tents at the far end
to become
clean prior to entry into The Olympic Village.


At BDA all buses were kept in a secure fenced area. Drivers had to pass through security to gain access.
This picture shows a large number of Wright bodied buses from Belfast which have just arrived.


Entrance to BDA depot. All buses are checked on both entry and exit. In addition all staff are searched including their bags.


A concrete barrier separated buses carrying The Media from The Athletes buses at Eton Manor.
This picture is taken from an athletes bus and shows media buses on layover.


This was a typical security area on arrival at a venue in this case Wembley Arena.
A temporary building has been erected and here The Army are waiting to carry out security checks.
After passing through and dropping athletes you had to come out again into the
dirty area
which meant being searched again on re-entry to collect them.


On buses carrying athletes all opening panels both inside and out had to be sealed with blue tape.
27693 has lots of blue tape as it waits at Terminal 4 at Heathrow.

Final Thoughts

The chance to be part of The Greatest Show on Earth was too good to pass over, and when the opportunity to apply came along I never had any hesitation. It was the biggest event of its kind ever to be staged in this country and most of us will never see the likes again.

At times it was frustrating, boring and meant working all hours of the day and night 6 days a week. However all of that was well compensated for by playing an important part in the smooth running of The Games.

It was a chance to meet other members of staff from all over the country but sadly even after 10 weeks I had no idea what any of The Geordies, Scouscers or Glaswegians was saying but I expect they thought the same of me.

Most of my time was spent working in Panthers Davison at BDA run by Dave Conway from Cleethorpes and what an enjoyable experience it was. Nobody had any experience of this sort of thing but somehow people pulled together and I think I can say Athletes, LOCOG and officials were all pleased with the results.

So the time eventually came to pack our bags for the last time, shake a lot of hands and it was a case of ‘See you in Rio’

Paralympics 2012 Gavin

It’s almost the last day of The Paralympics and I am about to set off to Heathrow Terminals 4 and 5 via The Welcome Centre.

My charge for the run is 27706 from Liverpool. In the background there are now just a few buses parked at Eton Manor.

Olympics 2012 Yolane Kukla.

I suppose all the drivers were hoping they would carry either a celebrity or Gold Medal winner but the chances were slim.

I was lucky in that I picked up at Heathrow Yolane Kukla who was a member of Australia’s Gold Medal winning relay swimming team.
Those medals really are big and heavy!

Paralympics 2012 Panthers sign.

It’s the last day and a new sign has appeared in Panthers office window.
Made up in the style of a destination board it shows we are at the end.

27791 West Ham Depot

27791 stands in BDA Depot. The sign in the windscreen says it is not to be used anymore
as it has been decommissioned and is waiting to be returned to its home depot.