A quieter week but still much of interest has been happening. This issue has been somewhat delayed again and I won't bore readers with the detail, suffice to say the end result is good.

One point of significance is that Oxford tube 50237 has now been fully branded and but for the red roof and different lighting arrangements looks almost just like the current tube fleet. Gavin Francis has, as ever, provided a number of pictures taken when he was working and enjoyed the pleasure of this coach from London to Oxford and August 6th. He commented that it ran beautifully and the run was very pleasant.

I have at last managed to get a picture of the loaned minibus in use by Carousel J&J contract. This will be replaced by one of the expected new minibuses due for the PMU services in Oxford.

I had the opportunity to visit Reading during this week and a few pictures are included under the Reading Bus heading. Once again another picture of a Newbury & District decker on the 701 has been recorded.

Botley Road has suffered significant delays due to new gas pipes are being installed to link Ferry Hinksey Road to main pipes beneath Botley Road. This resulted in the closure of part of Botley Road as shown in the picture from Jack Cooper below.

I also have two interesting items for next week's issue being a visit to Switzerland by Marcus Lapthorn and some pictures from David Allen of a Gloucestershire Vintage Show near Cirencester on August 2nd.

Following the article on the Arriva AYLESBURY 60 in the last issue:

Two mails arrived following the article by Tony Bungay in issue 67 which I am sure will interest readers.

Martin Isles

Just been reading about the 60/X60 changes bringing back happy memories of my Red Rover days.  Have dug out an old scanned slide image of ex Nottingham 135 (DAU435C) in the yard with blinds set for Buckingham on route 2.  There was a short working beyond Winslow to the Horwoods as route 6 – one journey in the morning and another in the early evening.

Picture taken in the '70s as by the end of the decade the bus had been painted in fleet livery.

The Atlantean was bought to one man the early morning run on route 2 into Aylesbury for schools.  It was usually a packed Nottingham Renown and Mrs Foot was the conductress for many years.  The Atlantean, being the same vintage as the Renowns, was nowhere near reliable.  It got the nickname “Wonderbus” rather than “One man bus” as it was a wonder it ever worked.  So Mrs Foot continued to conduct the bus and she stayed with it after arriving in Aylesbury as it worked on to the 9 from Stoke Mandeville Hospital to Haydon Hill at 0830 and loadings were such that Mrs F helped to keep it on time. 

The Atlantean stayed in Nottingham livery for a while, which is why I put the huge Red Rover fleetname on the front to differentiate it from the green United Counties 365 buses.  It got used on other routes besides the 2, but the Renowns outlived it at Red Rover.

Peter Crabb

I have just read the piece on route 60. I have a 1968 London Transport local timetable for Aylesbury which gives the route number for the Red Rover service as 2.

These answered the question regarding the number for the Red Rover Aylesbury-Buckingham route which was number 2.

Upcoming Showbus 2019 organiser's request

Martin Isles writes "Just had a thought.  We are looking for a few “car park volunteers” at Showbus at the Herts Showground on Sep 29th.  They would be required from 0900 until roughly noon to direct cars in the parking area.  The volunteers would then have the afternoon free to enjoy the display.  Would be obliged if you could mention it on the site and ask those interested to email me at rally@showbus.com

Isle of Wight holiday by Jack Cooper

Between Saturday 20th and Saturday 27th August I was away on the Isle of Wight. I had taken some pictures that would interest the readers. 

Saturday 20th July. I had visited Newport bus Station, one of the main bus hub on the Island, also where a Southern Vectis Travel Shop is located where you can pick up a copy of the timetable book from the timetable recycling point. They are also located at Ryde bus Station and the ferry terminals at Fishbourne, Yarmouth, Ryde, Cowes and East Cowes. There were no timetables available on the buses, so these are the only places where you can find them.

Southern Vectis Enviro 400mmc 1664 leaves the bus stand to go on layover in the parking bays. It had completed route 8 from Ryde to Newport via Seaview, St. Helens, Bembridge, Sandown and Robin Hill

Southern Vectis Enviro 400mmc’s 1660 (left) on layover after completing a route 2 service from Ryde to Newport via Sandown, Shanklin and Godshill and 1664 also on layover having completed a route 8 service from Ryde to Newport via Seaview, St. Helens, Bembridge, Sandown and Robin Hill.

Southern Vectis Scania N230UD Omnicity 1152 about to start route 5 from Newport to East Cowes via Whippingham and Osborne House.

Southern Vectis Scania N230UD Omnicity 1111 on layover at Newport bus Station, being used in the Isle of Wight Pride even happening in Newport Some readers may remember that this bus was originally a closed top bus. It had suffered a fire and was brought back to life by engineers as an open top bus for the Needles Breezer and Downs Breezer services.

Southern Vectis Enviro 400mmc 1669 on stand before starting a route 9 service to Ryde via Wootton and Binstead with an Enviro 400 behind which was also working a route 9 service to Ryde. One of these buses would have gone via Medina and the other via Staplers, both then running via Wootton and Binstead to Ryde. 

Monday 22nd July. I had visited the beach at Shanklin. Southern Vectis ’Vectis Blue’ Enviro 400 1522 on a Shanklin Shuttle service to Shanklin bus Station via Shanklin Rail Station, Shanklin Esplanade and Shanklin Old Village. These buses are used on School services around the Island.

Thursday 25th July.

The hottest day on record for those back in Oxford, but a much cooler day on the Isle of Wight, with a lovely breeze blowing throughout the day, especially noticeable at Ryde Pier Head Station.

One bus familiar with readers, former Southern Vectis 5625, K125 BUD, aka former Oxford bus Company 651. This bus was used on the Shanklin Shuttle which now uses closed top vehicles, mainly double deck. This bus is now at the Isle of Wight bus museum in Ryde.



Southern Vectis, ‘Vectis blue’ buses and coaches parked up in the Southern Vectis yard located at the bottom of the bus museum car park.


At Ryde Seafront the vantage point of the bridge over the Railway line gives you a view of buses, trains and hovercraft. Here we see train and bus together. Ex London 1938 stock trains still operate on the Island Line owned by South Western Railway (SWR). The line runs from Ryde Pier Head to Shanklin, with the bus being an open top bus being on a Downs Breezer. 

The Isle of Wight is home to the world’s only passenger Hovercraft service. The service is run by Hovertravel by a fleet of 2 Hovercraft bought in 2016, called the Island Flyer and Solent Flyer. The crossing takes only 10 minutes between Ryde and Southsea. Pictured above is the Island Flyer about to leave Ryde for Southsea. It is fascinating watching these Hovercraft leave their terminals, and it takes approximately 2 minutes from doors closing to hitting the water. 

Later on in the day I got the train to Shanklin, where 1519, another Vectis Blue Enviro 400 working the Shanklin Shuttle service.

Friday 25th July. After going out for dinner in Ryde I had returned to my favorite spot, with trains, buses and hovercraft.

Southern Vectis Enviro 400mmc 1667 broken down in the entrance to Ryde bus Station. The location of the break down meant that no buses could enter the bus station and had to use the taxi rank or tourist coach stop to terminate and pick up passengers.

This really mu8st have been an inconvenient point to have a break down!


In my opinion Southern Vectis is a great operator, with their buses being well presented and in great condition inside and out. Very few buses had dents and scratches on them, and inside the seats were in great condition, and the vehicles don’t rattle at all, which is good considering they run on country roads, which are not often in great condition. You can tell that the fleet is well maintained, although sometimes buses do break down.

Many thanks to Jack for this interesting, comprehensive and well illustrated report which I am sure readers will have enjoyed.

North of the Border with Gordon Scott

Taken at Alexander Dennis Falkirk factory 010819

New Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire Morecambe depot based 11202 - SK19EVT Alexander Dennis E40D  400 MMC seen leaving Falkirk on its delivery run.

  11202 SK19EVT  AD E40D SFD938HR4KGX31004  AD K401/1  H??/??F  8/2019  Stagecoach (North West) 
  11203 SK19EVU  AD E40D   AD   H??/??F  /2019  Stagecoach (North West) 
  11204 SK19EVV  AD E40D   AD   H??/??F  /2019  Stagecoach (North West) 
  11205 SK19EVW  AD E40D   AD   H??/??F  /2019  Stagecoach (North West) 
  11206 SK19EVX  AD E40D   AD   H??/??F  /2019  Stagecoach (North West) 
  11207 SK19EVY  AD E40D   AD   H??/??F  /2019  Stagecoach (North West) 
  11208 SK19EWA  AD E40D   AD   H??/??F  /2019  Stagecoach (North West) 
  11209 SK19EWB  AD E40D   AD   H??/??F  /2019  Stagecoach (North West) 
  11210 SK19EWC  AD E40D   AD   H??/??F  /2019  Stagecoach (North West) 
  11211 SK19EWD  AD E40D   AD   H??/??F  /2019  Stagecoach (North West) 
  11212 SK19EWE  AD E40D   AD   H??/??F  /2019  Stagecoach (North West) 
  11213 SK19EWF  AD E40D   AD   H??/??F  /2019  Stagecoach (North West) 
  11214 SK19EWG  AD E40D   AD   H??/??F  /2019  Stagecoach (North West) 
  11215 SK19EWH  AD E40D   AD   H??/??F  /2019  Stagecoach (North West) 

The delivery of the new buses for Witney is now close with the first expected in early September. There are are presently 17 for Northampton - SC Midlands and then the 21 for SC Oxford Witney.

New Volvo B8L Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 XLB on their first day in service on the Airport 100 Link.

Taken August 6th which was a rather wet day - Lothian Buses Edinburgh Airport route 100 service.

Edinburgh Airport 1138 - SB19GNF.

Maybury Edinburgh 1135 - SB19GMX.

Corstorphine Edinburgh 1134 - SB19GMV.

Taken in Kirkcaldy on August 6th, Stagecoach East Scotland Fife Aberhill depot based 15069 - LX09AEP Scania N230UB Omni City ex Stagecoach London and converted to single door.


Lothian 1000 MA - LX11CVM Volvo B9TL
Wright Gemini ex Go Ahead London General WVL 387 seen in Princess Street on route 4.

The same bus when in service with London General on March 3rd 2018 by Paul Bateson.

Fleet news and developments

The latest Arriva Midlands and The Shires fleet list with allocations can be accessed at this link.

Arriva Enthusiast Fleet August 2nd 2019.xlsx

Also, with thanks to Paul Swann of Arriva, I can advise the following news items for the area.

Aylesbury vehicles on the 280 are now being fitted with Eminox to make Euro 6 compliant  

Also the following on Loan: 


Vehicle Type

Car/Van etc


Arrival Date

Departure Date


Fleet No

Pelican UK Ltd

Yutong  E10 Electric







Arriva Bus & Coach

VDL SB180 Evolution








Streetlite DF







The Legal address carried by the Shires vehicles has changed to:




Additionally Hinckley vehicles will carry the following legals from the end of this week:




The Shires change was mentioned in issue 67.

Nigel Peach

Thanks as always Malcolm. The only differences at Wycombe since 3 months ago are that 2746 has gone to MK (must be recent - maybe because route 34 has ceased?) and 3617 which it says has also gone to MK. But this is not the case!! I followed it along London Road this afternoon, resplendent in its new livery ..... but not sounding that healthy!  

I've not seen 3646 for some months - I guess it must be VOR. It's the last survivor of that batch of MCV Evolutions - the rest are all driver trainers. 

Ironically Nigel saw 3646 on the 32 only a day or so later!

The lack of changes in the last year or so reflect the fact that Arriva have not bought any new buses for a long time! Indeed I calculate that 10 of Wycombe's allocation are over 16 years old! 

David Hillas

You may remember a few weeks ago I sent you an E-Mail note enclosing a photo of a broken down bus in Prestwood. Well believe or not, another bus has broken down this morning on route 41 between High Wycombe and Great Missenden! This time it is Arriva Midlands 2479 (YJ07 VRD) in Spurlands End Road and I enclose photos of this bus.


With all these breakdowns occurring on route 41, I do wonder whether the time has come for another bus operator such as Carousel to take over the running of route 41. It is very upsetting for any passenger having to wait over an hour for a bus because one breaks down. Arriva needs to do better than that! The alternative is to go back pre-1980 when Thames Valley then Alder Valley ran route 27/A between GM and HW via Prestwood and Cryers Hill. You may wish to mention this again in your Oxford and Chilterns Bus website page. 

Nigel Peach

A picture of Carousel's 709 resting in Beaconsfield with the 580 service on 3rd August.

As you know, this bus flits between Carousel, Thames Travel and Oxford. I notice that its legal ownership panel says it belongs to Carousel.  

Theo Freeman

New OBC airline coach (No. 30) on the Park End Street stop today. It was there for about 15 minutes while the driver had a break.

Graham Mildenhall

Oxford August 2nd and I found a 6 road Citaro (841) on the 13 to JR Hospital. Shame the blind didn’t come out properly!

Daryl Major

A nice selection of pictures from Daryl taken on July 29th in the city.

Tourismo 31 loading for LHR at Queens Lane.

Quite often 33 seems to work the X90 along with 39 and 40. Here it is leaving Gloucester Green.

In nearly the same spot, fairly new Caetano III nr 58 leaves for Stansted.

What a superb backdrop the tower of Magdalen College makes as 369 heads to turn round ready for its next jurney on the X3.

Phil Southall

2902 has now been scrapped.

I thought you might be interested in getting a shot of 2904 before it goes. We have loaned it to Creation Theatre for their production of The Tempest until August 15th. You will find it on the car park of The Kings Centre on Osney Mead in a ‘graffiti’ livery. When the show finishes it will go for scrap.

A shot at twilight! by Phil Southall

David Gray

I attach a photo taken at Eastleigh today of the two of the vehicles inside the Hants and Dorset Trim workshop.

Go Ahead 1610 HF 65 AYO is alongside what I believe is Oxford Bus Company 204 DF09OXF undergoing conversion to open top for sightseeing duties. 

I understand that withdrawn Oxford Bus Company 307 was used to assist in repairs to 1610 which was damaged by a falling tree. 307 was later sent for scrap (judging from the photos I have seen there wasn't much of it left)

Daryl Major

Daryl tok the very nice picture below of two of the current fleet of City Sightseeing buses loading at Queen's Lane.

Ironically both buses are ex Oxford Bus local deckers although 2058 is ex OBC 110 Park & Ride.

Daryl Major

A lucky catch taken of Carousel's 406 in "chiltern hundreds" livery on loan to Thames Travel for the new ST1 service. 

Richard Sharman

An additional E200 MMC at COMS is 597, SK68LZN.  

Newbury's  787is seen in Buckingham Palace Road on August 2nd by Gavin Francis.

Your Editor had occasion to visit Reading on Monday August 5th and the chance was taken to get some pictures by the Railway Station in Central Reading.

Reading's 809 Claret works the 21 to Lower Early.

There is certainly variety in Reading and the blue decker in the distance is from Thames Travel on the X40!
204 is working the 26 to Calcot.

greenwave 401 is seen working a 50a service to the Madejski Stadium with 410 following on a 60 to Mereoak P&R.

With a number 3 to Aborfield, 428 is seen in leopard livery being one of the large number of gas powered buses in Reading.

Ex Stagecoach, Reading's 536 is seen on a 10 service to Spencer's Wood, looking very smart in Readings dual grey livery.

From a different angle, MMC 705 is seen on the 33 to Turnham's Farm.

With an orange route 13 to Woodley 904 certainly brightens up the evening in central Reading.

Another grey Scania, 1108 is working the 500 to Winnersh Triangle.

A few weeks ago I published a picture of the three new National Express Caetanos, just delivered.
On August 5th I was luck to see 1412 with the rear branding now applied.

A picture provided by Dennis Goodwin from August 3rd of freshly repainted Newbury E200, 657. The livery does look very nice.

Theo Freeman

August 3rd

37401 has finally began to be stripped of paint and re-paneled for it to re-painted in pre-1969 Midland Red livery.
I am also advised that it will have adverts for Banbury depot open day and celebrations.
All buses at Banbury will have the 100 years logo displayed next to the doors and it should be going to Cassingdon on Tuesday for repaint.

Stagecoach West loaned three Scanias to help with the event at Blenheim Palace. Gavin Francis took pictures of the three before their debut on the special services.

15732, `5733 and 15734 all seen at Horspath depot on August 4th.

An unusual performer on the 900 service was caught by Gavin Francis on August 1st at Thornhill. It is Hybrid 12007.

MMC 10440 arrives in Oxford from Harwell with the infrequent 34 service on August 2nd by Graham Mildenhall.

More pictures of 50237 by Gavin Francis taken on August 6th in London and Oxford.

50237 seen on August 6th by Gavin Francis. Apart from the lights and red front roof it is almost identical to the later 14 plate fleet. 

Richard Sharman

South Gloucestershire's LHD Elite i SG31 is seen making a rare sight in Oxford on a Private Hire to Bicester Village a few weekends ago. 

Smaller operators and London developments

Richard Sharman

Former China Light and Power. Cedar Coaches, Talisman and Herberts Travel J605 CEV,
 is now resident in Oxfordshire with P. Whitehead, Bampton.

Theo Freeman


Not much to report this week apart from a newish 9.5 meter Enviro 200MMC on the 3A operated by Johnsons coaches.
The vehicle has no fleet number but has the registration YW68 OVY and I have only started to notice such bus on this route in the last 2 weeks or so.