Issue nr. 234
Wednesday, January 4th 2023
updated January 5th


Apart from wishing you all a happy New Year, I would like to express my thanks for the continued contributions over the past week whilst I was having my Christmas break.

In this first issue of 2023 we have great variety and news of upcoming events plus pictures of a local nature and a places outside our local area.

Various pictures include recent transfers relating to Arriva at Wycombe and a new link section with items of interest you may wish to browse. I also have the latest Arriva Midlands and South allocation list which you find in th e link under the operator heading.

Also you check the dates for upcoming meeting of Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society.

There are some interesting variations on bus photography from Jack Cooper.

Continuing our weekly look back we have COMS 234 and pictures from early days to its last operator. 

Recent News & picture links.

James Freeman

These are links to news stories readers may find of interest. Ed. 

Rail Replacement: Saturday 17th – Friday 23rd December by Gavin Francis 

The Bakerloo and Overground services between Queens Park and Watford were suspended for engineering work between 17th and 23rd December and 3 replacement bus services were provided so I decided to go and take at look at which operators were providing the services and what buses there were using.

Started at Harrow-on-the-Hill and as I walked out of the station I noticed there was no signage showing where the replacement service went from. After trying the bus station and then the stops outside I eventually found the stop some way along the road.

Route 720  (Harrow-on-the-Hill to Watford) was being operated by Sullivan Buses using their E200 single decker buses. The service was not very frequent as there appeared to be long gaps between departures.

Sullivan Buses L-R AE 11, AE 12, AE 29 (Thorpe Park livery) and AE 13 in College Road

Insert Pics 210, 231 and 249

The X140 route is normally operated by E400 electric buses including BCE 47125 but today they were joined by
MMC Hybrid ADH 45284 and unusually by VHR 45208 one of the small fleet of NRM look-a-likes normally used on schools services.

It was then a ride on The Metropolitan Line to Wembley Park and a 297 bus to Wembley High Road. There was a bus stop where both the 718 and 719 stopped.

Route 718 (Queens Park to Harrow and Wealdstone) was operated by Abellio and they used a variety of buses including NRMs, Diesel E400s, Hybrid E400s and MMCs.

Pictured L-R LT 150, 9529, 2007, 2405 and also LT 150 in Hammersmith on 18th June 2015.

When new this was one of a small batch delivered painted silver. Rather amusingly I thought was 2007 which was wrapped to promote railway travel on The Elizabeth Line operating a Rail Replacement Service ! 

Route 719 (Queens Park to Wembley Park)  was operated by Metroline using Diesel E400s.

Insert Pics 280 and 320.

Pictured L-R TE 1086 and TE 1080 in Wembley High Road.

Then it was a Route 83 to Alperton Station and to take a look at the former London Transport Garage.

Pictured on the forecourt of Alperton Station is Metroline VW 1247 and then from The Piccadilly Line platform the former garage now just a flat building site.

Then it was onto a Piccadilly Line train back to Ruislip and home. 

Oxfordshire Bus Enthusiasts Society upcoming meetings

We wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year. 

Our next meetings in Norman Brown Room 2 at Rose Hill Community Centre, Carole's Way, Oxford, OX4 4HF, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. are: 

17 January Paul Statham will talk about any operator of your choice with pictures from his immense collection

21 February Graham Low will talk about the rise and fall of Green Line Coaches 

21 March Alan Whittaker will talk about the amazing variety of public transport in Budapest

18 April Ian Thompson will talk about his interest in Bus Staircases and Top Deck Seating Layouts 

16 May Geoff Bushell will talk on the history and restoration of his two Maltese Buses 

Our talks will be from 7.15 p.m. to 8.15 p.m. and will be followed by a social time in the bar on the ground floor until the Centre closes at 9 p.m. 

Oxford Bus Company route 3 passes the door, and their 3A passes 5 minutes walk away, as does Thames Travel X39/X40.  

We welcome newcomers to our meetings. 

Seasonal photos from Keith Newton via Michael Wadman

Michael Wadman

I thought you might like some seasonal photos from Keith Newton. 

Alder Valley Leyland National no 217 (KPA 368P) in West Woodhay on service 117 in 1978

Hants & Dorset no 3543 (GLJ 475N), a Bristol LH6L / ECW, in Lower Woodcott on service 281

Next a couple of shots from outside our area 

Alder Valley Leyland National no 132 (NRD 132M) somewhere on service 268 (Haslemere – Aldershot),
the location has now been identified as Gasden Lane, Witley, near Godalming, Surrey.

Post Bus GAP 156N, a Commer 2000LB, which Keith thinks is somewhere en route to Petersfield,

Finally one from the recent cold snap. As you have probably heard or read, Brighton-based Big Lemon recently opened an outpost in the West of England to take over several routes in the Bristol and Bath areas that were victims of the collapse of HCT Group.

This is BIG 558,a Higer, at the Bathampton (Holcombe Vale) terminus of service 11 on 17
th December.  

Jack Cooper tries some interesting photo alternatives

Long Exposures


These pictures show interesting ways to take photos and provide a different approach. 

664 seen outside Queens College on December 27th by Jack Cooper. 

      Coach visitors to Oxfordshire     

David Beynon

The attached was noted outside the Kassam today where Exeter were playing, the team coach was a 2012 ex Eavesway VDL.

     Fleet News and developments   

The latest fleet list courtesy Simon Mathieson.

Arriva fleet lists/Arriva P12 Excel.xls

Readers may be interested in recent new buses for Arriva.  Note that the new Oxford 516 follows on in the list below.

YX72ODT AD E40D SFDB38ER5NGX31973 AD H??/??F 12/2022 Arriva Midlands 4552
YX72ODU AD E40D SFDB38ER5NGX31974 AD H??/??F 12/2022 Arriva Midlands 4553
YX72ODV AD E40D SFDB38ER5NGX31975 AD H??/??F 12/2022 Arriva Midlands 4554
YX72ODW AD E40D SFDB38ER5NGX31976 AD H??/??F 12/2022 Arriva Midlands 4555
YX72ODY AD E40D AD H??/??F 1/2023 Arriva Midlands 4556
YX72OEA AD E40D AD H??/??F 1/2023 Arriva Midlands 4557
YX72OEB AD E40D AD H??/??F 1/2023 Arriva Midlands 4558
YX72OEC AD E40D AD H??/??F 1/2023 Arriva Midlands 4559
YX72OED AD E40D AD H??/??F /2023 Arriva Midlands 4560
YX72OEE AD E40D AD H??/??F 1/2023 Arriva Midlands 4561
YX72OEF AD E40D AD H??/??F /2023 Arriva Midlands 4562
YX72OEG AD E40D AD H??/??F /2023 Arriva Midlands 4563
YX72OEH AD E40D AD H??/??F /2023 Arriva Midlands 4564
YX72OEJ AD E40D AD H??/??F /2023 Arriva Midlands 4565
YX72OEK AD E40D AD H??/??F /2023 Arriva Midlands 4566
YX72OEL AD E40D AD H??/??F /2023 Arriva Midlands 4567
YX72OEM AD E40D AD H??/??F /2023 Arriva Midlands 4568
YX72OEN AD E40D AD H??/??F /2023 Arriva Midlands 4569
YX72OEO AD E40D AD H??/??F /2023 Arriva Midlands 4570
YX72OEP AD E40D AD H??/??F /2023 Arriva Midlands 4571
YX72OER AD E40D AD H??/??F /2023 Arriva Midlands 4572
YX72OES AD E40D AD H??/??F /2023 Arriva Midlands 4573
YX72OET AD E40D AD H??/??F /2023 Arriva Midlands 4574
YX72OEU AD E40D AD H??/??F /2023 Arriva Midlands 4575
YX72OEV AD E40D AD H??/??F /2023 Arriva Midlands 4576
YX72OEW AD E40D AD H??/??F /2023 Arriva Midlands 4577
YX72OEY AD E40D AD H??/??F /2023 Arriva Midlands 4578
YX72OEZ AD E40D AD H??/??F /2023 Arriva Midlands 4579
YX72OFA AD E20D SFDCTAERANGYA8350 AD B41F 12/2022 Arriva Midlands 3145
YX72OFB AD E20D SFDCTAERANGYA8353 AD B41F 12/2022 Arriva Midlands 3146
YX72OFC AD E20D SFDCTAERANGYA8354 AD B41F 12/2022 Arriva Midlands 3147
YX72OFD AD E20D SFDCTAERANGYA8355 AD B41F 12/2022 Arriva Midlands 3148
YX72OFE AD E20D SFDCTAERANGYA8356 AD B41F 12/2022 Arriva Midlands 3149
YX72OFG AD E20D SFDCTAERANGYA8357 AD B41F 12/2022 Arriva Midlands 3150
YX72OFH AD E20D SFDCTAERANGYA8358 AD B41F 12/2022 Arriva Midlands 3151
YX72OFJ AD E20D SFDCTAERANGYA8359 AD B41F 12/2022 Arriva Midlands 3152
YX72OFK AD E20D AD B??F 1/2023 Arriva
YX72OFL AD E20D AD B??F 1/2023 Arriva
YX72OFM AD E20D AD B??F 1/2023 Arriva
YX72OFN AD E20D AD B??F 1/2023 Arriva
YX72OFO AD E20D AD B??F 1/2023 Arriva

Recent arrivals at Wycombe recorded by Gavin Francis.

2953 YJ61 MHV Optare Versa Arriva Journey Mark
2954 YJ61 MHX Optare Versa Arriva Journey Mark
2955 YJ61 MHY Optare Versa Arriva Journey Mark
2956 YJ61 MHZ Optare Versa Arriva Journey Mark
2957 YJ11 OKD Optare Versa Arriva Journey Mark
2958 YJ11 OKC Optare Versa Arriva Journey Mark

 The pictures were taken at Cressex depot on December 30th.

The various Versas shortly after arrival at Cressex depot on December 30th.

Simon Mathieson sent this on January 4th so they are staying replacing our older Citaros. 

Gavin reminds us that this is not the first time we have had this type at Wycombe  as seen in the pictures below taken days past.

2401 at Amersham on September 30th 2007.

Arriva 2402 in Oxford Street, HIGH WYCOMBE on March 6th 2009.

Now Gavin has provided more recent pictures from his visit to the town centre on December 30th.

Citaro 3012 at rest in the Eden Bus Station.

Pulsar Gemini 4749 with a 35 service in Oxford Street, High Wycombe on December 30th.

Nick Ross

Fog and headlights give strange lighting on Arriva SreetLite 2317 at Leighton Buzzard station on December 22nd 2022

Arriva Enviro's 5464 and 5466 at Aylesbury Bus station on December 29th 2022

Tony Bungay

Aylesbury depot with trainer T64 on December 22nd 2022. 

Bob Chalmers

I noted on Boxing Day that there were a couple of unusual workings - particularly on the X40 service. They were all operated by TT buses 206, 210 & 212. Not sure why - maybe for some route learning experience for when TT take over the operation of this route in January ?

OBC were also operating several extra buses on the Bicester Village services including Park & Ride and X1 liveried buses. 

Gavin Francis

Pictures taken by Gain on December 30th.

245 seen in the Eden Bus Station.

PICKMEUP workings with 972 and 979 seen in the Eden Bus Station.

406, seemingly without fleet numbers working the 101  in Oxford Street.

877 with a 103 and 941 seen in Castle Street heading for the bus station. 

Ho-Kit Lam

516 working the 46 in Great Milton on December 29th.

Jack Cooper

RE the 35 branded vehicles, my understanding is that 351-353 will be used on the 35.  

Attached is a small screenshot of the new 35 timetable showing it in the current city13 teal.  

The branding on 351-353 would simply need Northway removed, and 35 instead of 13 and they would be good to go. 

Tourismos in Gloucester Green  on December 27th and 31st.

202 seen in Magdalen Street East on December 28th.

Ex Hybrids 306, 313 and 314 in service at the end of December.

Gemini 2 s 356 and 363 on December 31st.

Wright StreetDeck HEV 374 with a 400 road service in The High on December 27th.

516 seen in St Aldates on December 27th.

608 and 613 seen in Speedwell Street on December 31st.

662 with an X3 working in St Aldates on December 31st.

667 and 669 in Magdalen Street with 6 road services.

672 and 674 show off their X1 branding.

8/9 branded 686 and 691 seen on a rainy day in Oxford. 

Lewis Hawkins

Oxford Bus Company CityX3 666 and CityX1 672 in St Aldates on December 29th. 

Jack Cooper

Citaro 861 outside Didcot station on December 22nd.

Mercedes 873 at the same location with a 95 working on December 22nd.


Boxing Day (Monday) saw 3 Thames Travel buses 206,210 and 212 operate the X40. Here they are seen at Westgate.


New Year’s Day, The X40 uses 212, 210 and 206 on loan. Here it is seen at Westgate 


Jack Cooper

variety from Bristol on December 22nd ..........................


Gavin Francis

YX09AFJ in The Eden Bus Station whilst working services on December 30th. 

Gavin Francis

MX60GXK lays over in The Eden Bus Station whilst working the 130 on December 30th.

Colin Pidgeron

Stagecoach West
15341 paddling through the water in Church Place Swindon after the torrential rain on October 21st

Jack Cooper

Swindon based 10991 in Gloucester Green with an S6 on December 31st.

Graham Low

The 14/14A become even more complex routes!

Jack Cooper

December 28th saw 10670, 10678, 11239 and 27701 in Magdalen Street East on a variety of services.
Note the change of layout with some destination  displays.

Many of the Oxford Hybrids are no longer in service but here is 12012 in Butterwyke Place on December 31st.

Lewis Hawkins

E400 10069 working the 14A in George Street on December 29th. 

Jack Cooper

Astromega 50267 in service on December 27th.

Panorama 50440 at rest in Gloucester Green on December 31st.

Panorama 50446 loading at Queens Lane on December 27th. 

     London operations    

Gavin Francis

Recent wraps taken on December 28th are as follows:- 

LT 854  ITV X. Great Central Street, Marylebone Station

LT 291  JD Sports (As above)

VH 45235  Lets Do London, Marylebone Registry Office

LT 284  Kurt Geiger (As ITV X)

LT 969  Battersea Power Station, Euston Station

LT 705  Marvel Iron Man, Euston Station

LT 809  Kings Cross 

Grahame Wareham

234 was the penultimate member of the 1990 batch of Alexander RL bodied Leyland Olympian's delivered to Oxford Bus Company in March 1990.


234 was repainted into Oxford Mail colourbus livery upon the withdrawal of 493 in October 1993.

234 was converted to single door as H46/30F in October 1995 and 230-235 were transferred to Arriva The Shires, and renumbered 5830-5835 with the sale of Wycombe Bus on December 13th 2000.

5834 G234VWL 7/01 repainted in turquoise/cream allocated to Wycombe; In April 2005 it was transferred to Aylesbury and finally in December 2008 sold to Ensign Bus; and immediately sold to Alpine, Llandudno. Withdrawn for spares recovery by February 2015.

Gavin Francis

5834 in a variety of locations including Luton Airport fro/m 2004 to 2008.

Malcolm Crowe

234 in Wycombe Bus livery dated 1998 and 1999.

Now in 2000 onwards 5834 is seen at work with Arriva.

Another photo of 5829,

Seen in Wycombe on March 24th 2002, 

Neil Gow

City of Oxford 234 (G234 VWL) taken at High Wycombe in March 2001 after it transferred to Arriva The Shires as their 5834.

More than three months after the transfer, its former COMS fleet number is still more prominent than the Arriva one.

233 while it was a single door bus at High Wycombe in August 1996.

More to be found under Readers Write below. 

Matt Cooper

Here we are at the end of 2022 and wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2023. I have thoroughly enjoyed catching up with the events reported on the OCBP, as always! We had a pre-Christmas family trip to Oxford on Saturday 17th December and was most impressed by the P&R service and vehicles used on the 300 from Pear Tree although I was hoping a green-liveried Leyland Olympian or Dennis Trident may have been waiting on the stand! I hadn't visited Oxford for some years and it was as busy and bustling as ever, including a rather nice Christmas Market on Broad Street.    

I was interested to see some of the one-time Stagecoach South (Portsmouth) Enviro 300s being converted for use as driver trainers for Cheltenham & Gloucester. 27555 once carried an interesting overall advert for an 'exclusive' promotion for the passengers of Portsmouth. Interestingly named 'Mega Monkey' this loyalty scheme involved a number of local businesses and attractions where discounts could be obtained upon production of your 'Mega Monkey' card or key-fob. The press launch took place at a very cold Southsea seafront on 12 January 2012 and included 'Mega Monkey' himself who also posed en-route back to the depot beside the bus stop ad! The bunch of bananas were purchased by him from the local market and the stall holder didn't bat an eyelid! The scheme wasn't a success and 27555 returned to standard Stagecoach colours, remaining unbranded as the first trio of the batch were. Others of the batch carried branding for popular route 23(Leigh Park, Havant, Cosham, City, Southsea (South Parade Pier)) which was named 'Surf' at the time. Not to be confused with the washing powder!  


Other interesting 'characters' which appeared at press launches during my time with South included a local stop smoking campaign using Portsmouth City football club mascot and a life-size cigarette!  

I have to say how much I have enjoyed Grahame Wareham's weekly history of OBC vehicles matching the number of the OCBP edition, a great feature now of 30+ editions!  I attach some photos of the G-VWL batch of Leyland Olympians. I have fond memories of these buses having travelled to school in Aylesbury on them 1993-95. My aunt and uncle then lived on Church Way in Haddenham and you would see (or hear!) these buses twice from their house, the need to turn at Church End and return the same way back to the main road being the cause. Bristol VR's and the ECW-bodied Leyland Olympians also featured as did all manner of interesting vehicles from Mott's Yellow Buses fleet. I was delighted when the G-VWL's moved to Wycombe where we lived at the time. They went on to serve the town and subsequently Arriva The Shires for many years. The pic of 234 is from my collection taken at Cowley Road surrounded by numerous stable-mates of Leyland pedigree. 235 taken by me at Penn pond on one time LCBS 363 service. The other is of 233-5 plus a coach-seated Olympian now in the Arriva era at the rather gloomy Newlands Bus Station (apologies for the quality)  


Keep up the good work, it must be a labour of love, I remember compiling information for the Midland Counties PSV Society newsletter between 1996 and 2004 but that was a bi-monthly magazine! 

Ryan Butler

I would like to expand upon Raymond Gingell's comments in last week's briefing (#233) in regards to connectivity, and Peter Cartwright's comments about boosting patronage. In regards to Raymond's comments about there no longer being a direct Beaconsfield to Amersham link, I would like to expand on this and say that connections between different parts of the county are poor, especially in the south and on a Sunday. Many parts of the county remain either untouched by a bus service, or are served by a poor service, with this drastically decreasing on a Sunday with mainly only airport links remaining. Some of your readers may remember a Rural Bus Grant that was introduced in the late 1990s to help fund evening and Sunday services on routes such as the 353 and the 74. If the council would offer funding to introduce evening and Sunday services on routes such as the 104 or, as Peter referred to in his comment, the 150 and more frequent services on routes such as the 333 in High Wycombe or the 583 in the Uxbridge and Iver areas, surely this would introduce higher patronage as more people would find these services more attractive than just a once a day or a one or two journey per week service. 

Tony Bungay

Run up to Christmas saw various school trips to the theatre, many operators provided transport. Seen in Exchange Street Aylesbury vehicles belonging to Tates and Motts can be seen, as well as Z and S coaches Enviro 400MMC await the returning school parties. 


Jack Cooper

A varied selection of photos over the Christmas period around Bristol, Weston Super Mare, Salisbury and Bournemouth. 






Salisbury Reds - Buses across Salisbury


James Allum

Durham and sadly a crash report from my area which sadly happened on the morning of the 23rd December which involved 1494 NK61 CZH a Wright Pulsar based at Middlesborough depot. Whilst it remains to be seen whether the bus re enters service again at least there were only walking wounded. The bus was working the route X12 from Durham heading to Middlesbrough when it happened.

Now some recent pictures from Middlesborough.