Oxford Chiltern Bus Page

Spottings & Jottings

Issue nr 52 - November 25th 2011

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

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

The days pass by and we are now getting to winter proper. foggy days and much colder nights. I wonder if it will snow this year as in the past two?

New buses continue to enter service in quite large numbers including further National Express Levante models, replacement double deck buses in London for the phased withdrawal of the bendi buses and just last week the arrival of the first of the new Scania/E400 Gold buses for the S5 route in Oxfordshire plus some Enviro 200s for Banbury depot for use on the S4 and 500.

Some details are also emerging about a new fleet of coaches for Oxford Bus and one has been seen at the Scarborough works of Plaxtons. However as the company has not released any information I am unable to give further news in this matter.

nic public sculpture ‘Hand of God’ by Lorenzo Quinn installed on Park Lane


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.


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 £2 per head is made.

Next meeting: 13th December – Buses in selected British towns - by John Law

19.30pm - 21.30pm

Meetings are held in the upstairs function room at:

The Folly Bridge Inn

38 Abingdon Road



Some limited parking at the back of the pub, also close to bus stops (frequent X3/X13 or 35 routes stop outside)

or a short walk from Oxford City Centre - For directions click HERE 


All meetings start at 19.30pm although you are welcome to come along beforehand for food in the bar.

Future meetings are planned as follows:

Upcoming Meetings in 2012

· 17th January West Midlands survivors - by Simon Hewings

· 21st Feb Subject TBCby John Burch, deputy operations director of the C.P.T.

· 20th March Bristol Omnibus “the green years” – by Mike Walker

· 17th April Society AGM followed by slides from Ian Thompson’s collection.

· 15th May Working on the buses – by Martin Roberts

· 19th June Clydeside Scottish ‘we tried to run a bus company’ – by George Watson

· 17th July Evening Outing, details TBC

A detailed programme of meetings can be found at the following link and we hope many of you will attend future meetings.



The level of contribution to this page by readers is excellent! Thank you. 

Malcolm Crowe - Editor - OCBP - November 25th 2011.


Observations and pictures

James Allum writes "Sorry for no articles for a while, now I live in London am normally informed of London news and rarely get out to Hemel. However here's some news regarding Hemel buses:

On visiting Hemel garage last Monday I noticed a DAF ex Garston gas bus that looks like its about to be removed for disposal.

Also I noticed either 3176 or 3177 with, I think, a red painted line around so possibly for disposal too. The bus in question has its windscreen missing and also the front registration plate appears to be missing. Can anyone confirm if its 3176 or 3177 ?

Also I have a appeal to all your readers:


Does anyone have any photos of London buses (Enviro 400 or 200) they can email to me for my own personal photo album? If so please email them to:


Bob Morley of Newbury Transport Group writes "I thought you may be interested in the attached picture for the web-page.

On a clear autumn day the 12.35hrs RH service 19 to Carterton
stands alongside the 13.05hrs Bampton to Oxford service 18 in Bampton Square on Thursday, November 17.

By the way OCBP is an excellent web-site."

Gavin Francis has been out an about and reports as follows:

A few of the pictures taken whilst working the 737 to Stansted.

New E300 for Meteor Parking for Hilton Hotel run. Brand new with only 500mls on the clock. Graphics to be applied later.


November 23rd 2011 taken on the way to and at Stansted.

003 & 007. Kings Ferry Levante with interior shot. Not sure if interior and exterior colours compliment each other.
Strange to see a Levante with a back window and no toilet. Seats have low backs and look more like bus seat height.

Another Roadrunner Dart.

Harlow local bus on 510.

Four coaches from The Kings Ferry at Stansted.

Both kinds of bendi-bus at Luton.

52644 still going strong. Remember it at Oxford?

5087 turned up at Luton today on a 61 working. Must be one of the oldest Arriva buses and I have never taken a picture of it before!

Fleet News 

 Arriva logo

Brian Butler (Stoke Mandeville) writes saying "A slight correction to the contribution in your latest edition which states that service 55 is worked by High Wycombe depot. In fact, the only journey operated by High Wycombe is the 15.50 from Amersham Hospital to Stoke Mandeville Hospital, which is indeed regularly worked by the Solo (2430) mentioned. All other journeys on the service are out and back workings from Aylesbury/Stoke Mandeville Hospital and are operated by Aylesbury depot with a variety of vehicles, although Tridents are the most common."

Nigel Peach writes "Quite a number of allocation changes to note after the entry into service of the Volvo B7RLEs at various depots."

Solo changes:  2418 d/l to Luton: 2430 Luton to Wycombe: 3086 Hemel to Luton, however quite soon after 2430 left Wycombe (see below)

Inroads in earnest have started into the Scania ELC buses with 3146, 3161 withdrawn at Wycombe: 3149, 3167, 3168, 3170 withdrawn at Luton: 3152 withdrawn at Aylesbury: 3173 Hemel to Luton: 3180 Stevenage to Wycombe: 3195 withdrawn at Luton: 3197 Aylesbury to Luton: 3198, 3199 withdrawn at Luton: 3203 withdrawn at Wycombe.

Other transfers are 3219 Stevenage to Hemel: 3307 to 3310 Stevenage to Wycombe: 3457, 3458 Stevenage to Wycombe.

Another bus delicensed is Volvo 3849, seemingly withdrawn at Wycombe.

Tridents have moved as follows, 5423 Ware to withdrawn at Luton: 5427, 5428 Ware to Luton: 5429, 5447 Ware to Aylesbury: 5443 Ware to d/l at Luton.

Wycombe based buses as 5147, Olympian 5148 has also lost its branding for Hemel route 5/6 and has been repainted into Inter Urban livery. It also has an all over rear ad for Wycombe Wanderers/Wasps (as has 5147). Gavin Francis writes that this bus has branding on the nearside as well.

Pictures by Gavin Francis.

Scania 3162 is now parked up with the withdrawn buses, so I guess its running days are over. 3163 was parked there but has now gone and so has already withdrawn 3161. So, none of that batch of Scanias are left running. Of the other Scanias, 3202 was parked at the depot - maybe withdrawn? and I've not seen 3201 for a while. The withdrawal of those will leave no Scanias in Wycombe. According to the running board in the bus station, none of the Scanias are still in service at Wycombe and nor are they listed among the vehicles off road.

All three Blue Route 32 branded buses are now withdrawn and are all conveniently parked together at Cressex. Northern Counties Paladin bodied 3203 sits between East Lancs European examples 3146 and 3162. (picture attached taken 6th Nov)


Dart 3824 (N524 MJO) which was reported as delicenced after an arson attack, is back. I saw it working as a staff bus today (14th Nov). This bus had a troubled start to life. I seem to remember when it was new, back in the mid 1990s, it was involved in an accident, and very shortly after repair it was stolen from Wycombe bus station and suffered more damage - I may have got those two events the wrong way round, as the memory fades, but I do remember that it was 3824!

Optare 2430 has been replaced in Wycombe by 2438 (X419 BBD). Both originated from Milton Keynes."

Thanks to Nigel for that information.

Adam Green writes "2461 was damaged by a fire in Watford Last Night (Nov 7) but some days was seen back at Hemel Garage over the pits and not badly damaged."

Gavin Francis has contributed a number of pictures of Arriva buses in our area.

Arriva 3180 Staff Bus Wycombe 081111 G Francis

Arriva 3219 r 52 Wycombe 081111 G Francis

Arriva 3226 r 32 Wycombe 081111 G Francis

Arriva 3458 r 340 Stokenchurch 251111 G Francis

Arriva 3482 r H1 Wycombe 081111 G Francis

Arriva 3532 r 40 Stokenchurch 181111 G Francis

Arriva 3701 r 31 Wycombe 081111 G Francis

Arriva 5150 r 340 Stokenchurch 131111 G Francis

Arriva 5162 Wycombe Bus Stn nsr 081111 G Francis

Your Editor also took a  umber of pictures during the past weeks.

Arriva 2401 r 40 Stokenchurch 011111 M Crowe

Arriva 3852 r 37 Wycombe 011111 M Crowe

Arriva 5141 Wycombe 011111 M Crowe

And a last one from Richard Sharman - Arriva 3484 r 16 Bicester Bure Place 051111
This route is to finish serving Bicester which will only see buses from Arriva on service 18.


Nigel Peach writes "I mentioned a few weeks ago that I thought P232AAP and P236AAP had been withdrawn. However, 232 is still working but I don't think 236 has moved form the back of the yard for a while now."

Some recent pictures by Gavin Francis and Malcolm Crowe.

Carousel BL21 MP56BUS r 2A Stokenchurch 021111 G Francis - We have seen this bus a few times now in Stokenhurch.

Carousel DPL423 r35 Wycombe 081111 G Francis

Carousel EVO12 AE59AWH Wycombe 011111 M Crowe - I am surprised that this vehicle has no Carousel fleet names!!



There are a large number of new Caetano Levantes plus some Van Hool coaches as our report shows.

Kings Ferry fleet

Also new here are VIP 8 (YT11 LPX) and VIP10 (YT61 GRF) Scania K400EB / Irizar i5. It is expected that a further 30 new vehicles will be required by the end of 2012.

Kings Ferry: Further new Volvo B9R / Caetano Levantes with C53FLT layout are 5.2 FJ11 RAX and 5.3 FJ11 RBF, both in standard company livery.

Gavin Francis pictured FJ11RAU both inside and outside at Stansted.

NEx a study of Caetano back ends Stansted 071111 G Francis

NEx Kings Ferry FJ11RAX r A6 Stansted 071111 G Francis

NEx Kings Ferry FJ10EZP r 007 VCS 031111 G Francis - This has one return working per day on this service.

NEx Kings Ferry FJ60KUO Stansted Airport 041111 G Francis 

Galloway's of Mendlesham have taken delivery of four Volvo B9R / Caetano Levante C48FLT for operation on new route 250,. They are:


NEx Galloways FJ61EVN at VCS 111111 G Francis


FJ61 EVW is with Lucketts.

NEx Lucketts YT11LPV r 030 BPR LON 111111 G Francis - one presumes that the company had problems with the rostered Levante.

Wilts & Dorset also have a new one - FJ61 EVX with fleet number 7051. This seems to be in the main Go-Ahead coach series?

It was working the London-Salisbury service on November 23rd 2011.

New Levante (FJ61EWN) for Chalfont Line. I believe they have two of them." writes Gavin Francis.

Chalfont, who work the 509 have taken delivery of two new Van Hool tri-axles for this service as seen in the pictures below.

NEx Chalfont WA61AKU r 509 VCS 151111 G Francis

NEx Chalfont WA61AKP nsr r 509 VCS 151111 G Francis

NEx Chalfont WA61AKP nsr r 509 VCS 231111 M Crowe. The coach is being washed in Sammy's.

NEx Bournemouth Transport 333 - FJ61 EWD r 035 VCS 231111 M Crowe 

Jay Houlden records that on 03/11/11, a first to see Park & Ride liveried E400H 307, operating Route U1.

OX 215 r 3 Bonn Sq OXF 061111 G Francis 

Red Line

Red Line Y184RCR r 333 Wycombe 081111 G Francis

Red Rose

Red Rose N744XDV ex HKG n SC r 104 Wycombe 081111 G Francis

Red Rose YX08HBZ r 275 Stokenchurch 181111 G Francis

I understand that from January 2012 the 275 service, (County supported), will operate via Bledlow Ridge and Chinnor and no longer serve Stokenchurch. The 104, 105 and 106 services will be withdrawn.

I think the loss of a local bus service to Oxford will hit the senior citizens rather hard. I wonder what thought had been given to that?

Ex Stagecoach buses find a new home by T Maxwell

"Spotted these last week heading north on the A9 towards Inverness where they are joining the fleet of D&E Coaches. They are going to be used on school contracts. The livery is a new one for D&E as their coaching fleet is all-over white with D&E Coaches decals. The single deckers are definitely ex Stagecoach 20853 and 20855 but I'm not sure where they operated. I think somewhere amongst your archives you have a photo of 20853 at Luton Airport.
I'm not sure about the deckers though - I'm pretty sure they are ex Stagecoach but haven't been able to find any news about them.
I caught up with them in Aviemore where I took these photos."

D & E Coaches, Inverness P853GND at Aviemore 151111 T Maxwell

D & E Coaches, Inverness P855GND at Aviemore 151111 T Maxwell

The double decks below are ex Dublin Bus via Ensign Dealer and not as Stagecoach as at first thought.

D & E Coaches, Inverness R340LHK at Aviemore 151111 T Maxwell

D & E Coaches, Inverness R342LHK at Aviemore 151111 T Maxwell


Jay Houlden records that on 03/11/11, Stagecoach E400H 12003 paid a visit to Route 16A.

SCO 15752 and 15753 Horspath 221111 M Crowe 

Delivery of 11 Scania N230UD/ADL Enviro 400 double decks is now in progress. These are to Gold specification and will enable the S5 route between Oxford and Bicester to be upgraded to full Gold standards including Wi-Fi. They have detail differences to earlier batches and these include recessed panels containing a hammer to break windows in an emergency, one large single seat at the front nearside lower deck instead of a pair, lighter wall coverings, high visibility side lights, yellow backed rear view mirrors and a better seat "cushion" to some of the rearmost seats.

The upper deck interior showing the high quality of finish on these Gold buses.

Details of the new buses are:

15752    OU61 AVF

15753    0U61 AVG

15754    0U61 AVJ

15755    OU61 AVK

15756    OU61 AVL

15757    OU61 AVM

15758    OU61 AVN

15759    OU61 AVO

15760    OU61 AVP

15761    OU61 AVR

15762    OU61 AVT

Pictures of these new buses, as yet unbranded, can be seen below. A picture of 15762 is at this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gcbp/6371245507/in/photostream/

SCO 36450 and 36452 Horspath 221111 M Crowe

Two of a batch of ADL/Enviro 200s for Banbury have arrived at Oxford being as follows:

36450    OU61 AUX

36452    OU61 AVB

They have detail differences to earlier batches of this type with an offside centre emergency door, the recessed hammer location all of which can be seen in the pictures below.

Views forward and to the rear on 36452.

Other pictures of SC Oxford.

SCO 22054 osr Recruitalicious super rear 071111 G Francis

SCO 34437 r S4 Oxford 151111 G Francis


SCE 52644 r 99 Luton Airport 231111 G Francis - this coach was once tried for suitability at Oxford.

Seen by Richard Sharman in Bicester, a bus somewhat off its regular route.


One time Oxford Olympian transferred to SC Midlands from SC Manchester is Volvo Olympian 16511 (R511 UWL), whilst similar bus 16515 has been prepared for disposal from the Midlands fleet. 


A local sources reports that the demonstrator which was on loan for six weeks has been returned to M A N. See the picture below.

MAN Ecoity demo WX61FXO at SC Liverpool 281011 L Burton 


The first of the Gold Scanias for Swindon are around and one can be seen at the following link. It is of 15763.


My contact at Dawsons advises that ex  Tube Skyliner 50123 OX04 BZS, has found it's way back to Dawson Rentals at Hellaby, via Milton Keynes, ( ex Regal ) and is now being prepared for McEwens, Mansfield.

It's currently at Coopers, Killamarsh, for inspection.

This is the one that was re-trimmed, for Yellow Star, Haverhill, just prior to them going under, then it went to Classic, Anfield Plain.

Dawson Rentals ex Tube 50123 OX04BZS nsf at Grayline Bicester 160411 R Sharman

Dawson Rentals ex Tube 50123 OX04BZS at Grayline Bicester 160411 R Sharman. The coach on the right is also an ex Tube!

The interior shot is OX04 BZS, which was re-trimmed for Yellow Star, Haverhill.

It still awaits collection by McEwens, Mansfield, along with a Plaxton Cheetah, but there appears to be money probs !


They other Skyliner had just been dug out, whilst sorting the yard out again.

Saw OX04 BZT, the other day, ( Thursday), near Stanstead, M11 S bound, looked very well.

Our friend Peverel has sent a number of pictures of ex Tube coaches which are I think rather interesting.

Now with Omega, 50105, 50109 & 50115 all seen at Oxpens.

50112 now with B M Coaches, and as with its sister, painted black.

Ex 50047 with R H and working the 700 service in June 2010. 


Newly arrived Volvo B9Rs with Plaxton Panther 2 bodywork, so far unbranded, are allocated to Rugby.

53636 KX61 GDU Volvo B9R C49Ft RY New for Megabus
53637 KX61 GDV Volvo B9R C49Ft RY New for Megabus
53638 KX61 GDY Volvo B9R C49Ft RY New for Megabus
53639 KX61 GDZ Volvo B9R C49Ft RY New for Megabus
53641 KX61 GEK Volvo B9R C49Ft RY New for Megabus
53642 KX61 GEU Volvo B9R C49Ft RY New for Megabus
53643 KX61 GEY Volvo B9R C49Ft RY New for Megabus
53644 KX61 GFA Volvo B9R C49Ft RY New for Megabus
53645 KX61 GFE Volvo B9R C49Ft RY New for Megabus

At least one entered service in October with 53636 appearing in London VCS on October 18th 2011.

SC Megabus 53637 VCS 081111 M Crowe. 53636 and 53638 are also in service now. 

Edinburgh Coachlines Volvo in London.

Much discussion has been ensuing following my picture of an Edinburgh Coachlines Volvo in London. (last issue). This was an 11 plate vehicle and I asked the question being pleased to receive a number of answers.

Andy Burbidge wrote "This is one of 4 vehicles owned by Edinburgh Coachlines for the Megabus duties they have recently taken over from Stagecoach Strathtay."

Paul Hawkins wrote "The coach is one of six(I think) owned by Edinburgh Coach Lines and normally used on the M92 Edinburgh to Dundee service but now also work a M20/M90 Duplicate from Inverness to Edinburgh on Fridays and Sundays." (In fact they have four Ed.)

Ralph Adams wrote "The above coach belongs to Edinburgh Coachlines, one of four that have been purchased for the M20/ M90 Edinburgh - Inverness service which they are required to provide three coaches. There is therefore a spare for maintenance and obviously duplicate services. Vehicles are:



Volvo B9R 12 metre

Plaxton Panther




Volvo B9R 12 metre

Plaxton Panther




Volvo B9R 12 metre

Plaxton Panther




Volvo B9R 12 metre

Plaxton Panther


They are not apparently to Stagecoach specification but acquired from dealer stock."

Tony wrote "Megabus BX11GVV is owned by Edinburgh Coach Lines and is one of a small batch (can't remember exact figures) which were obtained for the M92 service Edinburgh to Dundee. It is most definitely a "Stray of the Day" if it has reached London VCS." 

Edinburgh Coachlines BX11 GVY taken at Lathalmond (the Scottish Vintage Vehicle Museum open day) on 21 Aug 2011.

Later Tony added "Have now had it confirmed Edinburgh Coachlines are doing M20 dupes during winter timetables when asked to by Megabus."

Graeme of Dundee Bus forum adds "I can only guess that Stagecoach must have asked ECL to dup the M20 to London due to not having enough vehicles to cover it themselves but I'm not aware of them getting any more work, given the 913/978 are off for the Winter they would now have spare drivers to do the run."

Hamilton's of Uxbridge have two new tri-axle Neoplans which are to be seen on Megabus services.

Hamilton ML61CXF new Neoplan on Megabus M11 111111 M Crowe

SCW 52654 on Megabus duties in London 081111 M Crowe

NAT Megabus H6KFJ ex Veolia FJ08KMK r M7 Victoria 121111 G Francis

Weaveaway (Newbury) 

Two new Bovas arrived here at the beginning of the month and are registered WA61AJX and WA61AKX. See the picture in the last issue.

The order for four such vehicles has been reduced to just the two mentioned here.


I am lead to understand that the Tiger Line services will finish on December 23rd 2011. This matter is also reported in the LOTS magazine.

It is rather sad to see this initiative cease but many companies are having to cut their cloth! So I suppose this offers some explanation.

Nothing formal has been received from the company.

So get out with your cameras to take some last shots of Tiger Lines' distinctive vehicles. 


Blackpool November 6th by Geoff Cunliffe 

Today was such a nice one, I couldn’t resist going up to Blackpool Promenade to see their trams bringing to an end 126 years of traditional tramway operation in the town.

The service was maintained by (amongst others) Centenary cars 642, 643 and 648. Balloon 715 and Twin-car sets 672/682 & 675/685 had been hired by the Fylde Tramway Society for its usual end of season tour, although this year’s tour had the special significance of being an end of system one.

No cars ever ran beyond Little Bispham this year (except Engineering Car 754). It was like saying Goodbye to old friends and tomorrow, some go for scrap. I wished them a tearful farewell. 


Bombardier No.2 has arrived, according to the local paper last night. There is no mention as to whether it is green and cream and has proper tram-type flit over seats so half the passengers don’t have to travel backwards – but I suspect it is no on both counts!

As we know, the figure of 26 for the heritage fleet is very misleading given that it includes training, maintenance and visiting heritage trams as well as the ‘proper’ passenger fleet.


Bath & the West Country by Andrew Webb 

The Georgian city of Bath has recently been treated to a new bus station as part of a wider redevelopment of the city's 1960s Southgate Shopping Centre. Historically Bath was a stronghold for Badgerline, the company that was one of the founding parents of First. First still operate a large proportion of services in the city and surrounding areas. Unusual vehicles within the fleet are three Enviro 200 Darts in a special livery for a contract linking the city centre with Wessex Water's offices at Odd Down on the edge of the city. This service operates in the peaks and at lunch time. No route numbers are displayed, rather the running number is shown, as illustrated by 44902 on duty WX3. out of sight at the rear is a fold down bike rack.

Competition in Bath comes from Rotala's Wessex Connect, who operate the U18 linking the universities. Other city services are operated under the "Royal Bath" brand, this ex Blackburn Dart being an example. A handful of relatively rare Optare Solo SRs also operate in service.

Further competition comes from Faresaver who operate city and country services. Once renown for operating Mercedes minibuses (and hiring them to other operators via the associated Next Bus company), larger buses are now operated. A recent arrival is this former Geoff Amos MCV Evolution.

Other operators also serve Bath on individual routes. Buglers operate this former Diamond bus Dart on a contract within the city. CT Coaches use Mercedes minibuses on country routes. Finally Somerbus operate into the city with this MCV bodied Mercedes, a so far unique bus in the UK


Street in Somerset is famous for being the home of Clarks shoes. When production shifted to the Far East the factory site became a "shopping village" similar to that found in Bicester.

Street's High Street is adjacent to the shopping village and enjoys an interesting range of operators. First operates frequent trunk routes to Bristol and Taunton. Other less frequent routes are operated by a range of operators who favour the Optare Solo.

Illustrated here are Bakers Dolphin who run a route to Shipham. Frome Minibuses operate a route linking Street with Shepton Mallet. Nippybus operate to Wincanton, whilst Webberbus use one Solo on a two hourly service to Bridgwater.


Shepton Mallet, famous for the nation's oldest operating goal, Babycham and more recently the setting for BBC1's Turn Back Time the High Street series is also the destination for South West Coaches Line 1 service from Yeovil.


A few pictures to illustrate some of the more interesting developments in Bristol.

Bristol Park and Ride service linking the city centre with the car park on the A4 has recently passed from First to Hackney Community Transport's CT Plus operation. After initial demands from the city council that brand new articulated vehicles be used a rethink saw the service provide a home for former Go Ahead London Mercedes displaced from Red Arrow routes. Former MAL29 illustrates the dedicated livery for the route, whilst MAL2 is in a generic yellow livery as a spare vehicle in preparation for CT Plus taking over another route in 2012.


Munden operate a seasonal tour under the City Sightseeing brand. Alongside two Olympians former Metroline Trident TA75 is also operated, its duties being clearly highlighted in the timetable to encourage wheelchair passengers to sample the tour.

First have recently revamped the frequent service from the Airport with high specification Wright Volvos.

Former London Country LR11 is now with Play on Sports at Canary Wharf, an indoor sports facility. Not sure what the bus is used for, but it was parked outside on a recent visit.

All pictures by Andrew D Webb

Buses in the Landscape

Andrew D Webb writes "Often forgotten is Somerset's coal mining heritage. The small town of Radstock has a mining museum with preserved winding wheel mounted outside. A ghostly image of a Wessex Connect Dart is seen passing with a late evening service from Bath, shortly before Halloween 2011."


Mark Branson writes "I've enjoyed reading your website over the past few years, which despite me living way out of its area of coverage is an enjoyable and highly interesting read. I now feel I ought to contribute something to the Page. This photo is of a very tiny and unidentified Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 2 of First Manchester (Pioneer). It is making its way across the stretch of open countryside between Ashton-Under-Lyne and Mossley in the east of Greater Manchester on route 350. Taken from Hartshead Pike, a hill on the foot of the Pennines. Thanks, and hope it makes it to the next Page..."


John Marsh sends some pictures of Lincs & Cambs in the Landscape.

Delaine 147(SF54JUO) at Helpston, November 2nd 2011 by John Marsh.

Dons of Dunmow DH08DON at Burghley House 021111 J Marsh

Fowlers Jonckheere Volvo (XNO784) at Deeping St Nicholas on the Crowland service on May 4th 2011.

Kevin Jackson's Setra (WT56KJT) & an Oad Reizen Bova outside Burghley House on August 13th 2011.

Mark Bland's CAZ6604 in Stamford on august 5th 2011.

Alex Brown of Canterbury writes "Hopefully the attached picture will be of interest for your 'Buses in the Landscape' section. It is a Stagecoach East Kent Dart SLF/Pointer 2, 34660 - GX54FVV, at Albion Gardens in Ramsgate on 21st November 2011."

Thanks to everyone who has contributed, indeed a bumper selection for this issue. I really do appreciate your efforts. 


Omega YN55PXO Oxpens Park 031111 G Francis. This coach started life on National Express in Birmingham.

Sleafordian KTL982 Bulleid Way London 231111 M Crowe

Links & Publications

Newbury & District History now 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 £20.00 for OCBP readers.

Just mention OCBP when ordering from:

Paul Lacey,
17 Sparrow Close
Berkshire RG41 3HT.