Issue nr. 245
Wednesday, March 22nd


A somewhat shorter issue this week but still with much to  interest readers. Don't forget the clocks go forward on Sunday morning !

Jack Cooper has sent some great pictures and has promised an article on his visit to the Isle of Wight and this week has provided us with pictures from Reading and Cheltenham.

Gavin Francis has provided a nice article regarding his driving an ex London GS with pictures.  Nick Ross sends pictures from The Highlands.

Do send me your reports and pictures as this adds much to each issue. 

A picture for 245 from Nigel Peach

Carousel's 245 at the depot on 28th February last year, not long after entering service. Pictured with 242, both ex Brighton and Hove, you can see the differences in livery - though the sun was not in the right place to get the best picture!

245 entered service in Sept 2021, so I was wrong to say "not long after entering service".

Jack Cooper is travelling

On Day 1 Jack caught up with these two, 1589 is interesting as sisters are still as 251-254 with Thames Travel.

Jack Cooper

I will be on holiday from Monday - Friday, staying in Sandown on the Isle of Wight from Monday until Thursday, travelling by hovercraft to the Isle of Wight from Southsea. I am hoping to get a few pictures from around Portsmouth & Southsea before going over. On Thursday afternoon I shall return to the mainland on the Yarmouth to Lymington ferry route, before staying the night in Bournemouth. I am hoping to be able to provide a report for you, like you had done on the Island a few years ago on the day trip you and Gavin made! 

I had also visited Cheltenham yesterday, where the races were on. I had got a few photos of local buses as well as the race shuttles and visiting coaches. 





Gavin Francis records his drive of GS32


Last Thursday I had the chance to drive a real gem of a little bus.  GS 32 is a classic from the era of London Transport Country area buses. It has been immaculately restored with all the period features. Probably the biggest surprise was to see a saw above the driver's head. I was told this was to cut the running rails on the sides should anybody fall underneath !! With a 4 speed manual gearbox, no power steering, noisy engine etc it was in stark contrast to The Oxford Tube coaches I was used to driving. It was a lot of fun once you got used to it but not sure I would like to drive it in service all day. Hopefully I will be involved in taking it to some rallies later in the year. 

Jack Cooper

Thames Travel's 229 working an X40 service crosses the bridge over the Thames at Caversham on March 16th.

      Coach visitors to Oxfordshire     

David Beynon

Two from Redbridge


and two from St. Giles this week.


.... as ever some nice coach visitors last week from David. Ed.

James Freeman

Here is my flickr album of the coaches at Wheatley services including a few diverts

     Fleet News and developments   

Gavin Francis

Popped into Wycombe to Binders Yard.  

Angel Coaches have a 23 plate coach on March 18th. 


Gavin Francis

Popped into Wycombe this morning, March 18th.

Unusual to see 5459 in Wycombe, also unusual display on 2790.

Layover time in The Eden Bus Station on March 17th with 3923 still in MAX livery.

4401 with a 300 working leaves The Eden Bus Station on March 17th.

From Bridge Street with a 35 working on March 17th.

Gavin Francis

Hybrid 69920 seen in The Eden Bus Station on March 18th.

Kevin Fuller

First have wasted no time in putting its newly acquired buses to work; here are some pictures taken last week in High Wycombe and Uxbridge... 

1) Ex-Southampton Cityred StreetLite 47692 departs from High Wycombe bus station with an X74 service to Slough on 16th March. 

2) E400 34386 passes through Church Street in central Wycombe, also with an X74 journey to Slough on 16th March.
The side panels still show signs of the vehicles previous life in Glasgow, but the nearside has 'Berkshire' fleet-names applied. 

3) Having just reached journey's end from Slough on route 3, StreetLite 47689 pauses for a few minutes in Uxbridge
before turning into the bus station to start its return trip, on 18th March. 

Gavin Francis

214 and 218 in Wycombe on March 17th. 

Jack Cooper

Ex Hybrid 305 is seen with a 5 road service in St Aldates on March 16th.

672 is seen in Abingdon  with an X1 service on March 18th. 


On the 13th, 653 works the 400 seen at Park End Street and the train station.

On the 14th, 687 works the 5 also seen at Park End Street and Oxford station.

On the 15th, 690 works the 5X seen near the Rail Station. 

Jack Cooper

Citaro 867 is seen with an X32 in St Aldates on March 16th.

Ex London 925 and 926 busy with X2 services on March 18th and 16th respectively.

I wish someone would enlighten me as to what is happening with 921, 922 and 928 none of which has been seen in service in recent months?? Ed.

including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley

Jack Cooper and a recent visit to Reading on March 16th.

Now over 10 years old these ADL E400's are still giving reliable service in Reading

Scania K270UB ADL Enviro300SG's giving reliable service on a variety of routes.

An ADL E200 652 seen working the 196.

Scania N280UD ADL Enviro400 City CBG's are the mainstay of the 17.

ADL Enviro400 MMC's also provide daily services in Reading working a variety of routes.

Scania N94UD OmniDekka 801 is one of several Scanias which came to Reading from other operators. 

Wright StreetDeck 904 is one of a few representing this type which provide continuity for routes 13 and 14 to Woodley.

Thames Valley run into Reading with 128 from Wokingham

Gavin Francis

Carrying the striking red eagle livery when seen in High Wycombe, WX08LNN is laying over between duties on March 17th.

Gavin Francis on March 17th.

Still awaiting repaint into Redline livery when seen in High Wycombe, YX63LJE working the 130 is still in Nottingham's colours. 


On the 16th,  a former Yellow Buses Enviro 200, YX12AEW, makes an appearance on the X20 seen at St Aldates. 

Gavin Francis

E7RRT makes an appearance working the 275 from Wycombe to Oxford on March 17th.

A regular working the 40 is SF66ARV leaving Wycombe for Thame also on March 17th.

Graham Mildenhall on March 18th.

Rather pleased that Red Rose have taken on the 25! Another Saturday, another different vehicle - and today it's not yellow. This time an E200MMC, was a Redline bus, not sure if still is though. May get a chance to get a near side look later....


The first Saturday of Red Rose on the service, after taking pictures at Bicester Village Station,  I got chatting to the driver who turned out to be one of the bosses/managers. One of the things I said was it’s a shame it’s been the same bus all week, albeit a standard Red Rose liveried one as would be expected. 

It was him driving again today so I said nice to see another different vehicle, was getting fed up with the yellow ones, to which he replied that “he wasn’t sure what to put out today but thought I might like this one” as it seems I have a bit of a reputation for taking pictures! 

He said he was going to bring a Dart but the one he wanted that’s in a special 30th anniversary livery was in the workshop but maybe on the route next Saturday. 

I had a ride up to Aylesbury later on, plenty of strangely coloured ones there – Vale Travel for example operating ex Yellow Buses per attached amongst others. Wasn’t there long and not the best of places for taking photos either. 

See above some West buses in Cheltenham on March 18th 

It appears that the base plates on some ticket machines are not sending a signal hence the fact that some buses are not reporting on examples being 36448 and 50447 both of which we have recorded in these pages but as of tonight at publication are still not working. Ed. 

Andrew Webb

Still carrying Scottish Citylink livery, but minus any branding, Plaxton Panorama 50447 prepares for another Oxford Tube service at Victoria on 18 March. 


Graham Mildenhall on March 18th.

I had a ride up to Aylesbury later on, plenty of strangely coloured ones there,

 Vale Travel for example operating ex Yellow Buses per attached amongst others.
Wasn’t there long and not the best of places for taking photos either.  

     London operations    

Andrew Webb

Another exile from Scotland is this Neoplan Tourliner which spent time with MacDonald Coaches of Cumbernauld.  After spending times with Walters Limousines in Oxfordshire it is now with Llynfi Coaches in Wales. 

It is with this operator that is seen arriving in Parliament Square on 18 March.

Heritage buses raising money for Comic Relief. 

Routes 65 on Friday, 25 on Saturday and the 58 and 134 on Sunday all played host to heritage buses raising money for Comic Relief. 

Route 25 welcomed Ensign's venerable RT8.  It is seen arriving in Stratford trailing Stagecoach's 11355, an example of the modern-day allocation to the route.   Proving that the bus is a match for its successor 80 years younger, the same two buses are seen arriving at Aldgate.  Whilst the modern day 25 continues to City Thameslink, RT8 was curtailed to Aldgate where it took a layover in the bus station.  This provided the opportunity to compare RT8 with a 21st century take on a bespoke London bus in the form of LT345.  Will fund raisers in the 2090s turn out a New Routemaster as a heritage vehicle on route 25?


Kevin Fuller

Whilst in Uxbridge, I noticed that Abellio are using new electric buses in use on route U5 (Uxbridge - Hayes & Harlington Station). They are Wright Streetdeck Electroliners, and some pictures are attached. all taken on a wet 18th March:


1) 3026 has already reset its blind for its next working whilst unloading outside Uxbridge bus station. 

2) 3024 at the end of its journey in Uxbridge. 

3) 3022 turns into Baker Street in Uxbridge to commence its journey from the bus station. 

Grahame Wareham

...........reminds me  that he co.vered 999 in previous issues in some detail ! Ed.

Neil Gow

There is a final COMS Leyland Olympian that I don’t think has been mentioned so far – the former Singapore demonstrator 999 (PWL 999W) which I don’t think ever strayed from Park and Ride duties during its career with COMS. It was a long wheelbase model with a full height Alexander R type body, but was fitted with ECW front panel and windscreen before entering service. The large sliding windows were also replaced by conventional hoppers for service in the UK.

It’s pictured passing Christ Church College in June 1987, fairly soon after it entered service.  

Also possibly worthy of mention was the hiring on summer Saturdays in 1987 of one or two coach seated Olympians from Midland Red South – which coincidentally also had fleet numbers beginning with 9 (from the 961-964 batch).

Midland Red South 961 is pictured running light to Gloucester Green for its next departure to London in August 1987.
Unlike ADD 50Y this had the standard ECW body shell. 

The Highlands by Nick Ross

With enviro400s behind, Enviro 300s at Aviemore garage with 27103, 27102, 27104 and 27916 on a quiet Sunday, March 19th

27101 at Aviemore with the 0922 37 to Cairngorm on March 18th

Enviro 400 19219 at the snowy Cairngorm base station after the long climb from Aviemore on March 16th