Spottings & Jottings nr. 86 - 24th June 2015
(updated 27th June 2015)

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

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Welcome to page number 86. The months seem to fly by and it seems as though I finish one issue and start on another!!

A nice surprise was received from Luke Braham in the form of a picture of a Z&S Solo which had the OCBP in its destination display. Rather flattering I thought.

Z&S Transport's 158 W83NDW proclaiming find the company in OCBP seen on June 19th by Luke Braham.

Work continues on the rebuilding of the Westgate shopping centre in Oxford resulting in restricted road access and often delays. Indeed the road surfaces are like a ploughed field and public transport has to negotiate contractors lorries, digging and road layout changes. BUSES ONLY seems not to apply anymore with allsorts using the roads.

Norfolk Street is in the heart of the building works seen by Gavin Francis on June 12th.

Stokenchurch saw a change in local bus services when on June 1st Carousel took over the operation of the 40 service between High Wycombe and Thame. This service was timed to run five minutes in front of the remaining part of the Arriva 40 which from that date only ran between High Wycombe and Stokenchurch, turning round on the Ibstone Road by the new developments.

Arriva 4534 on route 40 Stokenchurch at the new terminus on road to Ibstone seen on June 1st by Gavin Francis.

Carousel have employed two buses drafted in from Thames Travel, fully liveried for Carousel. One at least has already be re-registered using the C-WYC marks previously carried by Optare Tempos. Luke Braham was in Wycombe yesterday to record this change. The buses concerned are 551 and 552. Further news maybe found under the operator heading below.

A nice touch - Carousel Buses 551 now C1WYC on the 40 on June 23rd seen by Luke Braham.

Early news of the new deliveries for Oxford Bus are of 11 brand new Wrightbus Streetdecks numbered 641-651 of which 641-649 will be in a pink livery for City 5. The last two 650 and 651 will be in generic city red livery. The new buses will feature a Daimler OM934 engine with 5.1 L 4 cylinder, 16 valve, double overhead cam with dual stage turbocharging (intercooled) Power and torque are 231 PS @ 2200 rpm and 900Nm at 1400 rpm. The power units meet the stringent Euro6 standards, which complies with the current city regulations. Interior colours are similar to the current city fleet, with signature red moquette as upholstery. In addition to those features currently offered all the buses will have next stop audio visual announcements.

Certainly a significant addition to our bus services in the City of Oxford.

Our local bus scene becomes more colourful as the days go by. With the introduction of these new buses adding to those already on the 4 and 6 roads, the variety from Stagecoach with Gold and Red buses and coaches, the vivid blue of Arriva, the black of Weavaway and its constituents and many other visiting coach companies we have a veritable rainbow in the city.


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 - 24th June 2015



Observations and pictures

Numerous reports have been received and many interesting pictures.

Paul Hawkins writes "Stagecoach Strathtay placed their latest batch of buses on the tayway service between Dundee and Arbroath with a public launch today the batch of 18 buses with 6 entering service today.
Seemingly they are in standard livery because National Express Dundee have batch of E400Hybrids in green livery. However some green is applied to acknowledge their green credentials."

SC Fife 13057 at the Hybrid launch in Dundee for the 73 on May 25th by Paul Hawkins.

SC Fife 13052 showing 73A on May 25th by Paul Hawkins.

Gordon Scott also writes re these buses saying "Stagecoach East Scotland Volvo B5LH Alexander Dennis Enviro 40H MMC,s on route 73 are seen in Dundee area in service."

SC Fife 13048 on the 73A to Ninewells Hospital with the River Tay in the background on June 9th by Gordon Scott.

SC Fife 13044 SJ15PVL non route branded on a 73 working on June 9th by Gordon Scott.

SC Fife 13050 SA15VML on the 73 to Carnoustie on June 9th by Gordon Scott.

Seen earlier on test from the factory, SC Fife 13052 SA15VTU branded for 73 on May 12th by Gordon Scott.

Gordon regularly visits the ADL works in Falkirk and sent some interesting pictures of new buses on test.

New Volvo B5LH Alexander Dennis Enviro 40H MMC,s for Stagecoach and Go Ahead London. Four out on test run today and they should leave for delivery tomorrow listed below.

Stagecoach BF15KHH and 13064 (KGU) seen on May 11th by Gordon Scott.

Go Ahead EHV13 - BL15HCA seen on May 11th by Gordon Scott.

West Midlands 6147 SN15LHU Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 MMC taken at Falkirk factory on test run on June 14th by Gordon Scott.

David Beynon writes "This coach was noted in town this morning (19/6) and will be seen in a future series of ‘Endeavour’ which was being filmed at the time."

Leyland Tiger Cub-Burlingham Seagull PUJ781, new in 1958 to Whittles, seen in Broad St-Oxford
filming for new series of Endeavour on June 19th by David Beynon.
The scary thing is that I travelled on  this coach from Bridgnorth to Manchester in April 1958 when stationed at RAF Bridgnorth !!!
The coach must have been brand new as it was only delivered in April and was returning to Burlingham for a new nearside windscreen.
I never thought to wonder why the front seat was free and as a result spent a very cold journey home to Manchester.
I also remember that we ran out of fuel on the return on the Sunday night, not the best of experiences. Ed.

David also sent some pictures of buses he took in Bournemouth on a recent visit.

Wilts & Dorset 2282 in Bournemouth on May 13th by David Beynon.

Yellow Buses DTA282 Bournemouth on May 13th by David Beynon.

Yellow Buses SC853 Bournemouth on May 13th by David Beynon.

Yellow Buses VGW122 Bournemouth on May 13th by David Beynon.

Geoff Cunliffe writes "Latest Blackpool information is that Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours are considering reabsorbing rebuilt car 761 into their fleet to use in service again, although there are many discussions to be had yet. Photo attached."


Luke Braham writes "I visited Scarborough recently and took the opportunity to pass by the Plaxton works. I managed some interesting pictures.

Plaxton Scarborough - Elite Interdecker seen on 25th May by Luke Braham.

The new Plaxton Cheetah for York Pullman (FJ15 EJD) seen on 25th May by Luke Braham.

and TGM

Ken McKenzie writes "Maybe some new arrivals in Wycombe, seen one of the M42 today and they are due four this month."

I am advised the new Streetlites for the 33 in High Wycombe will not start arriving until August 6th so the ones seen by Ken are not for WYC.

Luke Braham writes "The Sapphire Enviro400s don't seem to be escaping for the 280 as much as they used to bad when the 58-plate Enviro400s where allocated to the 280 but it still happens from time to time. The most common place to find one in the past few weeks has been on school service 650 which then operates on working of Pink Route 8 when it gets back into Aylesbury. The Sapphire’s have also been seen on other routes such as the 300 and 61."

5465 SN15LPU was seen on the 61 on the 11th June and was seen again on the 16th June on Pink Route 8.

5461 SN15LPK was seen on school service 650 on the afternoon of 16th June. However, the blind was displaying ‘Not In Service’.

Older 5460 YY14WFU was seen on Pink Route 8 on the 18th June.

(One wonders if these are fill in turns between duties on the 280? Ed.)

Citaros 3922 BK58URP and 3923 BK58URR have returned to service at Aylesbury after there refurbishment to MAX specification with the appropriate repaint. Both are branded for route 300.


Citaros 3924 BK58 URS and 3930 BD12 DHG are currently away for MAX refurbishment and repaint. 3924 will have route 300 branding and 3930 is expected to have the ‘this is our spare bus’ branding.

A quick update for you on the MAX Citaros. Today I have been told that 3924 will have the ‘this is our spare bus’ branding instead of route 300 branding as previously thought. 

Dart 3829 KE53 NFG was expected to transfer to Luton at the beginning of June after the Thame Town Services were lost to Vale Travel. However, it was still in use at Aylesbury on the 3rd June.

At first I didn't think the blind had come out on the photo of 3922 when I saw the photo on my camera but when I put the photos on my laptop it could be seen. 

Also to note is that the ‘MAX across the Shires’ branding is lower down on 3922.

Dart 3829 is still at Aylesbury depot but still due to transfer to Luton.  

On the 16th June, Arriva were having a little photo shoot in preparation for Catch the Bus week. Max Citaro 3916 BV58 MLL was being used with Sapphire 280 being displayed on the blind a route that it or its sisters can very rarely be found on due to Oxford’s LEZ. 

300 branded MAX Citaro 3923 BK58URR replaced 3916 BV58 MLL on the X60 on the 16th June for the Catch the Bus photo shoot. 

Arriva launched their MAX buses on the 18th June mainly on routes 150 and 300 in Market Square in Aylesbury. 3909 BU06 HSO was in attendance for the launch with a Wii gaming console and a table with the usual completion and goody bags. 

On 23rd June in High Wycombe Arriva didn't have too many odd workings but two workings did stand out to me on the ‘Blue One’. This was of ALX400s 6283 Y483 UGC and 6300 Y524 UGC both operating the 1. However, I saw 6300 while I was still on the bus into Wycombe so didn't get a photo but I did catch a photo of 6283 on the 1.

Strange use when the company has spent many pounds on branding saloons for this route !!!! Ed.

Photo corner

Arriva 5467 on the 280 in Thame on June 1st by Frazer Peddle.

The Bus of the Future in Stokenchurch - 3890 LF02OPVA, a Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B7L on route 40 by the Kings Arms
taken on June 17th by Gavin Francis.

Arriva 3702 on the 74 in Beaconsfield seen on June 1st by Malcolm Crowe.

Arriva 4533 from Hemel and previously at Wycombe was at Arriva Wellingborough for rectification work on June 16th seen by Malcolm Crowe.

Carousel is proving a most interesting operator these days. The new route 40 to Thame has seen immediate support by the passengers en route and the service even operates via the Lewknor express stops on the Thame bound journey. So far this is not repeated on the return journey due to timing constraints.

Carousel 552 on the 40 on its first day in Thame seen by Frazer Peddle on June 1st.

Carousel 551 on the 40 on its first day in Stokenchurch - June 1st by Gavin Francis.
This bus has since been re-registered C1WYC!

Carousel 552 on the 40 on its first day in Stokenchurch - June 1st by Gavin Francis.

Carousel 874 AE61EWP on the 740 in Beaconsfield on June 1st by Malcolm Crowe.

Peter Edgar writes "No doubt you are aware that Arriva Route 40 went over to Carousel yesterday although I understand that Arriva are still running a route 40 to Stokenchurch.


What is interesting re Carousels operation is that it is operating a different route to and from Aston Rouant / Stokenchurch.The Thame Wycombe service uses the old A40 via Aston Hill (as did Arriva ) but the Wycombe Thame service uses the M40,Junction 5 to 6.

I have just used the service today and like everyone else on the bus started shouting at the driver that he had missed the turning,to which he shouted back the he hadn’t.


I had a quick chat with the driver when I got off as to why they are using different routes and he said it was down to the council’s.


This seems a strange operation especially when you consider there are three stops that won’t be served on the journeys to Thame, one by the Dog Rescue Centre, Christmas Common Turn and at the bottom of Aston Hill.


To me it seems a good idea to serve the Oxford Tube stops but in both directions especially for passengers from the Stokenchurch, Chinnor, Thame areas that wish to uses the Tube but have to rely on either parking the car at Lewknor ( which as I have found out can sometimes be difficult ) or rely on someone dropping them off.


Can anyone add anything more as to why this operating difference is happening, also your thoughts?" 

Phil Southall  MD responds "There isn't enough time to serve Lewknor in both directions unfortunately but this does remain a longer term aspiration.

When asked about new Streetlites for Wycombe Phil responded ".. the Streetlites are not for the 40, they will be going onto our other Link services to upgrade those with 871 and 872 probably becoming the 'regular' buses on the 40 once further cascades take place. Although this hasn't been confirmed yet!"

Luke Braham writes "Today, I spent some time in High Wycombe and noted that Carousel Buses 551 was wearing the registration C1 WYC instead of its original registration plate of AJ58 PZS. 551 was seen with its new registration plate while operating route 40. 

A Carousel Buses driver also spoke to me mentioning some expected changes to the Carousel fleet in the coming months. Many thanks go out to the driver. These are listed below:

Charlton WR02RVX at the depot on April 18th by Richard Sharman

Charlton YK53HMY a Mercedes O814D - Plaxton Beaver B33F once with Coastal & Country of Whitby now seen at the depot on April 18th by Richard Sharman.


Max Benjamin writes "Just thought I'd share this pic which I thought maybe of interest to your readers. It shows a rather unusual destination on a First Berkshire 7 series Citaro I saw working the X74 in High Wycombe this afternoon (12th Feb) The exclamation marks were flashing but the words "ask driver" and the route number remained."


Seen in Wycombe on June 7th by Max Benjamin.

First 20201 seen in St Giles Oxford on rail replacement service by Gavin Gavin Francis on June 21st.
This has been seen by Richard Sharman in Beaconsfield and Gloucester.


First 34073 former Southampton VO at Bracknell on April 19th by Richard Sharman.


First Cymru E200 44505 now with First Berkshire on April 19th by Richard Sharman.


First Rail Air 20806-9 resting at Reading Buses Depot on April 19th by Richard Sharman.


First Railair Reading 20810 and 20810 in new livery with a comparison of rear ends on April 19th by Richard Sharman.

Gavin Francis noted that London United were providing additional capacity on the A1 Luton service which is now doing very well indeed. It appears that National Express now have most stands at Luton with Green Line relegated to the "second division"!

United VB2 ex 310 HF53OBG RATP-Yellow Bus-National Express working the A1 to Luton from VCS.
Seen on May 14th by Gavin Francis.

Skills SV07ADU Volvo B12B tri-axle Plaxton Panther C65FLt ex SC 54017 works National Express 461
from London on June 13th seen by Gavin Francis.

Skills Ex Megabus Volvo B12B Panther 54016 on NEx 440 in VCS on June 16th by Gavin Francis.

NEx Abbots of Leeming S1AOL on the 561 at layover on May 29th by Malcolm Crowe.
Anyone know what the previous registration was?

Skills of Nottingham SW10VNS ex Parks of Hamilton Citylink Gold Volvo B13R Plaxton Elite HSK641 at VCS on a NEx service on June 5th by Gavin Francis.
This and four more (SN10JJZ/JKE/JKF/JRU) acquired for the emergency tender for NEx contacts taken off Your Bus.


See in the Editorial above regarding new Streetdecks 341-351.

Gavin Francis writes "Have you noticed OBC are using their red Brookes Buses on local routes. They have the white on black City on the front. Also 207 is now fitted with advertising boards with an advert on the nearside and back. When fitted the offside ad will nicely cover their city bus route map."

Jack Cooper has recently written several times with useful sightings saying "I have spotted Olympian 206 on the X3 last week (10/6/15).

City4 news, the 4B now goes to Abingdon but not the way the 4 goes it goes via Wooten then Beverly Close, Abingdon College, John Mason School, Bath Street then Abingdon Town centre. Beverly Close, Abingdon College and John Mason School are on the Wooten Road.


846 on 4 road is the latest repaint seen in Castle St on June 12th by Gavin Francis.


220 unusually on 4A as this bus is branded for the JR services seen on May 7th by Gavin Francis.


Oxford bus company's 828, 830 are on loan to Thames Travel.

Also it appears that 832 is on loan, seen on the X32 in St Aldates on June 19th by Malcolm Crowe.


I have seen an old X90 coach ( not the ex airline ones / current but the ones they got rid of in 2012) on the 1115 school bus route from Wooten to Abingdon secondary schools ( Fitsharry's, John Mason and Larkmead).

Now I think we'll find this is one of the ex Airline then X90 Scania/Irizar coaches now with Weavaway in the Noah Vale fleet as seen below. Ed.


Weavaway NoahVale W40OOW in Oxford on December 18th 2014 by Gavin Francis.


COMS 371 climbs M40 cutting and then being passed by Airline nr 9, 371 on its way to Brooklands on April 19th by Richard Sharman.
Could one have imagined such an event in the '50s when the double decker was plying its trade in Oxford?


Graham writes "This morning I saw Oxford Bus Scania 208 with non Oxford Bus Co advertisements rear and nearside, within its newly fitted advert frames. I think this is the first time non OBC adverts have been fitted for quite a few years. The repainted Citaros on the 4 and 6 also have frames fitted. 

Also, “flywheel” Scanias 203/4 have had their “Brookesbus” fleet names on the front below the windscreen panel replaced by “City” in a dark coloured background. 204 was on the X13. Have people commented to you on the flywheel performance (i.e. saving in fuel) or noise levels on these Scanias and the E400MMCs?

Just to mention once again - have you any information on how the Williams Gyrodrive fitted buses with COMS are performing noise- and fuel economy- wise?


Luke Braham writes "It appears that Redline Buses have been using ex-OBC Plaxton Panther KB07OXF on school services in recent months and I have finally managed to track it down and get a picture of it on school service 653 in Aylesbury on the 1st June." 

Redline Buses KB07OXF on school service 653 on June 1st seen by Luke Braham.

Once an Arriva route, Redline now runs the 110 to Worminghall using V112LGC seen in Thame on June 1st by Frazer Peddle.


A summer's morning at Horspath

5am on June 13th sees part of the Stagecoach Oxford fleet ready for a days work - Malcolm Crowe.

Southampton preserved 353 visits SC Oxford with its owner Andrew Dyer 120515 G Francis

New buses are mentioned in the latest issue of Buses magazine but I have no confirmation from the company at this stage so prefer not to speculate. I can confirm that five Scania-ADL E300s in Gold livery are due for the S4 based at Banbury and a fairly large batch of E400s for Oxford.

Some of the early E400s are receiving repaints, so far 15436 has been so treated. These buses are due to leave the fleet shortly as they do not comply with the city's stringent emission regulations. 15438 has now returned from Sheffield where it was on loan.

Marcus Lapthorn writes "17/5 - On Sunday when we driving down the M3 to Southampton, near Winchester we saw one of Stagecoach’s Volvo B10M’s in use on rail replacements duties. It was great to see one of the long serving high floor buses still in use and it looked as though it had just come out of the paint shop! It was carrying South West Trains livery and looked immaculate externally."

Southsea rally saw SC South's 622 on June 7th .


SC East 54308 YX64WCM X5 unusually without picture on rear seen at Gloucester Green on May 22nd by Gavin Francis.


Marcus writes "I was partly misinformed by Stagecoach Swindon but have now read in Buses the true story behind the transfer of 15841 from Gloucester to Swindon:

It has been exchanged for Swindon's 15968 which carries no route branding but has a tachograph. It acts as a spare vehicle at Gloucester for the Belles express service to North Bristol.

15975 in Gloucester Green on June 7th by Gavin Francis.

Megabus 50233 passes Tube 50261 on Buckingham Palace Road on June 19th by Malcolm Crowe.

A gathering of four consecutive coaches out a batch of 26 may be a chance meeting - see 50263 with sisters 1,2 and 4 altogether
at Horspath depot on June 13th by Malcolm Crowe.

Megabus now operate services across the continent and if anyone can pro

As suggested the ex Oxford Tube coaches now operating Megabus services out of Cwmbran have lost their cherished registrations returning to those held when in service with the Tube.

Megabus 50204 operating to Bristol only from VCS on June 13th caught by Gavin Francis.
This coach has still be repainted in Megabus livery.

Megabus 50221 re registered OU59AUT on the Pembroke Dock service on June 15th by Gavin Francis.

Megabus 50222 outside VCS, first on May 27th with cherished registration and then June 13th with original registration
both seen by Gavin Francis.

Megabus 50223 as WLT978 in Bulleid Way on May 30th by Malcolm Crowe.
This has now regained OU59AUW.

Parks HSK646 working a Megabus M12 to Edinburgh - so nearly in NEx livery on June 12th by Gavin Francis.

Really looking very smart, Hamilton Grey GB07OXF on Megabus near VCS on May 4th by Gavin Francis.



Jack Cooper has recently written several times with useful sightings saying "Oxford bus company's 828, 830 are on loan to Thames Travel.

828 on loan from OX on the X1 in St Aldates on May 31st by Malcolm Crowe.


Thames Travel now operate the Abingdon town services 41,42,43,44 and new route 44A (the 41,42,43 were the 40,41,42 but have been changed)


I have seen Thames Travel Trident 109 on the 114 and 106 and 504 ( the Science Park livery Enviro 200) also on the 114."


Solo 706 on the T1 in Butterwycke Place, Oxford on May 21st by Malcolm Crowe.
Once upon a time Oxford bus were very specific about types used on each route. Now they even use Solos on the X39 services!


Citaro 854 on the 1 to Grove in Oxford on May 22nd by Malcolm Crowe.


Small E200 508 on newly acquired 94 in Oxford on June 12th by Gavin Francis. 

In spite of having three Citaros in Green Line livery at least once a day a uno liveried bus turns up in Victoria.

Vale Travel

Vale Travel P820GMU ex Stagecoach on a school working in Lewknor on June 9th by Gavin Francis. 




Portugal with M Lapthorn.

Marcus recently made an interesting trip to Portugal and I can now in clude his pictures which bring back memories for me as I worked with TAP Air Portugal for 15 years from 1966 to 1980. I really must get my pictures out of Carris in those days plus AEC Regent Vs in Angola!!


Carris 76 HL-32-16 Transport Museum taken 24th April by Marcus Lapthorn.

Carris 217 and 301 Transport Museum taken 24th April by Marcus Lapthorn.

Carris 1585 r 728 taken 24th April by Marcus Lapthorn.

Carris 4628 r 736 taken 24th April by Marcus Lapthorn.

Carris Tram 548 Lisbon taken 24th April by Marcus Lapthorn.
This scene has not changed since my first visit to Lisbon in 1966. Ed.

Carris Tram 555 Lisbon taken 24th April by Marcus Lapthorn.

Tram and Bus in The Praca de Commercio, Lisbon taken 24th April by Marcus Lapthorn.

Carris Tram Tour 722 Lisbon taken 24th April by Marcus Lapthorn.

Carris Trams and Bus in Lisbon's Praca de Commercio taken 24th April by Marcus Lapthorn.

City sightseeing in Lisbon taken 24th April by Marcus Lapthorn.

scoTT services 75-78-UB taken 24th April by Marcus Lapthorn.

Hippo Trip nr 12 taken 24th April by Marcus Lapthorn.


Arriva 106 Porto taken 22nd April by Marcus Lapthorn.

Arriva 172 Porto taken 22nd April by Marcus Lapthorn.

Arriva 175 Porto taken 22nd April by Marcus Lapthorn.

Arriva 547 Porto taken 22nd April by Marcus Lapthorn.

Carristur 1497 Batalha Porto  taken 19th April by Marcus Lapthorn.

Coach selection Porto taken19th April by Marcus Lapthorn.

ES 187 Porto taken 20th April by Marcus Lapthorn.

Giromundo coaches taken 22nd April by Marcus Lapthorn.

STCP 1209 Porto route 500 taken 22nd April by Marcus Lapthorn.

STCP 2129 route 905 Porto taken 20th April by Marcus Lapthorn.

STCP 2954 route 500 Porto taken 20th April by Marcus Lapthorn.

Tram 131 to Batalha Porto taken 19th April by Marcus Lapthorn.

Tram 205 to Carmo Porto taken 19th April by Marcus Lapthorn.

Tram to Batalha taken 19th April by Marcus Lapthorn.


scoTT 591 in Sintra taken 25th April by Marcus Lapthorn.

scoTT 714 in Sintra taken 25th April by Marcus Lapthorn.

Sintra City Sightseeing 77-NM-09 taken 22nd April by Marcus Lapthorn.

Sintra tram 2 taken 22nd April by Marcus Lapthorn.

What a wonderful selection of pictures and what a paradise for the tram enthusiast. There cannot be many place where things have remained as if suspended in time.

Our thanks to Marcus for these lovely pictures.

Frazer Peddle writes "photos I took at Basingstoke transport festival 9/5/15 and the town centre, plus some snaps I took in Winchester on May 16th."

Basingstoke festival of motoring BEP882 and a GS on 9th May by Frazer Peddle.

Basingstoke festival of motoring London line up on 9th May by Frazer Peddle.

Winchester Bus Station lives on by Frazer Peddle.

SC South 36840 on route 2 in Winchester Bus Stn on June 10th by Frazer Peddle.

Slough Rally

RT604 and RT4779 seen at Slough on 31st May 2015 by Frazer Peddle.

Southdown 100 by Adam Green

I was in Brighton on Sunday and 15586 was on the 700 Southdown 100 Livery looking Smart.

SC South 15586 404DCD in Southdown livery on May 31st by Adam Green.

Southsea rally on June 7th by Marcus Lapthorn

Badgerline PWS492S by Marcus Lapthorn

BH&D Coaster 921 BX15DMT by Marcus Lapthorn

Blue Motors EYA923 by Marcus Lapthorn

COMS 105 NUD105L by Marcus Lapthorn

Island Breezers FDL618V by Marcus Lapthorn

PORTSMOUTH's 170 CTP200 by Marcus Lapthorn

Ribble 1036 PCK618 by Marcus Lapthorn

Victoria Coaches R223HCD by Marcus Lapthorn 

Ensign around Grays on June 18th by Malcolm Crowe

I had to go to West Thurrock last week and when I arrived at Grays found myself confronted by several Ensign buses working local services. In case you are wondering, it was to collect E200 36984 from Cummins Engines at West Thurrock! Nice train journey but very bleak landscape east of the captial.

Ensign 111 Grays Stn on June 18th by Malcolm Crowe.

Ensign 125 Grays Stn on June 18th by Malcolm Crowe.

Ensign 126 near West Thurrock on route 73 on June 18th by Malcolm Crowe.

Ensign 127 Grays Stn on June 18th by Malcolm Crowe.

Ensign 500 on route 22 at  Grays Stn on June 18th by Malcolm Crowe.

Ensign 780 Grays Stn on June 18th by Malcolm Crowe. 


Just to say that over last couple of months I’ve added around 250 more photos to my Smugmug site, both bus and trains (link below).

Paul Lacey, 17 Sparrow Close, Woosehill, Wokingham
Berkshire, RG41 3HT






Dear Readers

The Summer of 2015 marks a century since the first daily bus service commenced in what would duly become the Thames Valley area, with an initial service from Maidenhead to Reading, and some journeys onto Streatley. 

The years of the Great War were not the most conducive to such developments, but against such shortages of manpower, vehicles and fuel the network did expand to reach Abingdon, Arborfield, Ascot, Cliveden Hospital, Cookham, Sunningdale, Swallowfield and Windsor. Women took the role of bus conductors and the use of gas-power is no new idea, though in those years it was town gas drawn from lamp-standards adapted for the purpose and fitted with meters, and kept in a canvas bag mounted on the bus roof! 

Once the war was over, a great expansion got underway, fuelled by the return of many men now with experience of driving heavy vehicles, the very same types now purchased from the War Department for a peacetime role as buses. Services then developed to Newbury, Bradfield, Mortimer and Staines in short time. 

The exhibition fully explores the first half-a-century of development over what became the area served by the Thames Valley Traction Company, a diamond-shaped area with Swindon, Oxford and Hungerford to the west, High Wycombe and Aylesbury to the north, Slough, Staines and Sunningdale to the east, and Aldershot, Basingstoke and Odiham to the south. This fully illustrated exhibition is relevant to that wide area, and also includes various items of memorabilia including badges, models, tickets, timetables, area guides, leaflets and other staff items from Paul Lacey’s collection. 

Paul Lacey is the leading researcher and writer on bus and coach transport history in the Thames Valley area, with 12 published books to date, and also undertakes regular talks to a wide variety of local groups. To go with the exhibition there will be a talk on the Pioneer Buses at Reading Central Library on Thursday 11th June, full details from the Library. 

The exhibition will be in place from the second week of June through to the end of July. 

A couple of news items you may wish to include.

Firstly, I have an exhibition in Reading Central Library to coincide with a Century of Buses in the Thames Valley, on the 2nd Floor through to July.

Secondly, if anyone hasn't got my Newbury & District Motor Services Story, 224 A4 pages with 310 photos and full fleet list, I am currently offering it at £10+£3P&P (original price £25).

Yours Sincerely 

Paul Lacey


London in pictures by Gavin Francis

The new London Routemaster now has many incarnations in overall wrap mode.

LT overalls at KINGS CROSS on route 10 090615 G Francis.

LT98 overall on route 390 at Kings X 090615 G Francis.

LT108 r 24 in Popcorn overall 150615 G Francis

LT343 r 137 TAGHeuer overall 130615 G Francis

Metroline LT100 overall ad KINGS X 210515 G Francis

The highest LT in service seen was 500.

LT500 latest LT on route 73 VICTORIA 130615 G Francis

Chelsea Flower Show RM9 r 811 BPR VIC 200515 G Francis

North Wales interlude by Gavin Francis

North Wales City Sightseeing Tour Llandudno & Conwy Leyland Olympian D244FYM 170515 G Francis

North Wales rally LJ 9501 preserved 1934 Albion Valiant-Harrington of Charlie's Cars 57 170515 G Francis
The body is post war around late '40s.

North Wales rally HL 7538 1936 Leyland Cub KPZ2-1 Roe of Pritchard Anglesey ex West Riding 170515 G Francis

North Wales WND 477 1958 Leyland Tiger Cub-Duple of Alpine Tours Great Orme Llandudno 170515 G Francis

More from London & some its past buses.

By now, quite an old timer !!
The Original Tour bus EMB779 MXT179 a 1983 MCW Super Metrobus double-decker in BPR 130615 G Francis.

Three RMLs taken by Paul Bateson in Montreal.

Wembley Cup Final for Division 2 and Wycombe Wanderers - 2015

WEMBLEY with Wycombe Wanderers and three ex Megabus tri-axles now with Corben 230515 G Francis


BM Coaches have traded in four -tri-axles for new coaches. Seen at Wellingborough in June by Malcolm Crowe.

Crosville have a brand new Yutong YC15WCX seen in London on May 21st by Malcolm Crowe.

Bristol Airport Citaro Shuttle BV14UAC on April 26th by Marcus Lapthorn.

Mint Coaches SN15CBX new Unvi in St Giles on April 18th by Richard Sharman.


Reviews of new books

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


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.