Issue nr 274
Thursday November 2nd, 2023

From the Editor

A few points which must be addressed before the remainder of this issue.

First I have at last repaired what is called the "landing page" for this publication as when web searching the wrong link tis shown. I have now corrected this problem.

Second I must most sincerely apologise to two contributors, since in the last issue, nr 273, I wrongly attributed some pictures to Kevin Fuller when these were from John Marsh - gentlemen I'm sorry !

At last we can reveal the livery covering tube 50452 now featuring th e latest style Poppy wrap.

Brooklands LBM gathering reported by Gavin Francis

A day out with Jack Cooper

Showbus 2024 - full details

Provincial Poppy Buses by Andrew Webb

Swindon update by Mike Lewis

Readers write with lots of interest

Buses in the Landscape

Coach visitors to Oxford by David Beynon

Fleet News and developments  Arriva sale announced

New coaches for Pulhams

London operations

Readers visit outside our area


Late last week 50452 emerged from the closed doors of the depot and I can now show you pictures provided by a number of readers.

Andy Churchill

A lovely touch on the destination blind on 50452.

Gavin Francis

Lewknor on October 28th looking very spruce.

Jack Cooper

In Gloucester Green again on October 28th.


 Jim Wright

Fresh out of wrapping at Horspath Road on October 25th.

pig n bob

Seen in New Road, Oxford on October 28th.

I was so pleased to receive so many pictures in various locations. My thanks to all these gentlemen. ED.

TransportFest 2023 - 22nd October - London Bus Museum

Gavin Francis attended this event and has provided a photographic record of his day.


A day out with Jack Cooper

I had enjoyed a nice day out by bus on Saturday 28th, travelling down to Gatwick from Oxford using local buses. I had thought of this idea a few months ago, with my original plan using the X26 (now SL7) and the 103 didn't go to Windsor! Gatwick was a good location to get to as it means I could make a few different journeys to different places and still get back to Oxford in a reasonable time!  

Here is a list of journeys I had made: 

X2: Abingdon to Oxford - 692

280: Oxford to Aylesbury - 3816

300: Aylesbury to High Wycombe - 5467

103: High Wycombe to Windsor - 941

703: Windsor to Heathrow Terminal 5 - 795

490: Heathrow Terminal 5 to Hatton Cross - 8834

SL7: Hatton Cross to Croydon - WVL485

405: Croydon to Redhill - HT24

100: Redhill to Gatwick South - 6104

The Airline - Gatwick South to Oxford - 27

X2: Oxford to Abingdon - 929

My original plan was to get the 8 from Windsor to Heathrow Terminal 5, however as I arrived it was changing of the guards so the main road by the castle was closed. I had spent about half an hour walking around and getting a few photos of the town, by which time the roads were open however the 8 was still on diversion! A bit annoying as there was very little information at the bus stop for those waiting as to the times of the diversions. Luckily there was a 703 due around the same time so managed to get that instead.  

I had also planned to get the 423 between Terminal 5 and Hatton Cross, however discovered that there were buses that went via the Southern Perimeter Road and Terminal 4, so opted for that journey as I hadn't been that way before. Also managed to see the Concord which resides at the eastern end of the southern runway. 

I hope readers find this interesting especially when the vehicles are record. Ed.

SHOWBUS, the country’s biggest annual display of vintage and modern buses and coaches was held for ‘the last time’ in September 2022 with a final farewell gathering of over 250 vehicles! It had been a hard decision for SHOWBUS organiser Martin Isles to stop organising this fabulous annual event for the bus world, but he was concerned that the physical effort of staging the show would soon become too much for him and he decided that the 50th anniversary in 2022 was the perfect opportunity to go out on a high! 

However! It soon became apparent that the bus world wasn’t ready for SHOWBUS to come to an end, because Martin has since been approached by several organisations who all want SHOWBUS to continue! After many months of discussions, we are thrilled to announce that an agreement has now been reached and the show WILL go on! Buckinghamshire Railway Centre in Quainton will be hosting SHOWBUS from now on, starting with SHOWBUS 2024, which will be held on Sunday 29th September – so put the date in your diaries now; get those buses registered and your visitor tickets pre-booked. Exciting times are ahead! 

You will no doubt be pleased to hear that Martin will be involved initially to ensure SHOWBUS continues to embody all the traditional ingredients that have made it the number one bus event in the UK for so many years. Buckinghamshire Railway Centre (also known as Quainton Railway Society) has its own team who will take on the work of registering vehicles, selling visitor tickets, preparing the site and ensuring the event runs smoothly on the day. The emphasis, as ever, will be on providing a fabulous display of buses and coaches, and we therefore encourage everyone to prepare their vehicles and register them using Buckinghamshire Railway Centre’s vehicle registration form, which can be found now on their website at 

On the day, the usual successful SHOWBUS format will be used, however, being a heritage railway, there will be a whole new dimension of things for visitors and exhibitors to see and do for a great day out! There will be the opportunity for visitors to go for a ride on some of the exhibits around the local countryside; and to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Routemaster, a parade of the iconic London buses will run from Aylesbury to arrive at Buckinghamshire Railway Centre at midday. For those who like to arrive using public transport, there will be a dedicated shuttle bus service operating from Aylesbury and back again, harking back to the days of Woburn Abbey SHOWBUS displays.  

As the new venue is a heritage railway, there will of course be lots of other things to see and do during your visit, including train rides behind a restored steam locomotive; the fabulous railway museum to look around; rides on the miniature railway and the opportunity to watch the model railway at work. There is also a Travelling Post Office with interesting displays and a chance to learn how mail was sorted. The site extends to around 30 acres, so it’s a whole day out! Exhibitors will have free entry (driver plus up to 5 passengers – for any more please contact us).  

Being only 20 minutes from the popular Bicester Village shopping centre, we thought it would be a fun idea to provide a bus excursion there for anyone who would like to go shopping rather than look round buses! Plus, you will be pleased to hear that the SHOWBUS TRADERS’ VILLAGE will make a welcome return.  

To register your vehicle or book a trade stand, either call us on 01296 655720 or email or To buy visitor tickets, please visit:  

Visitor ticket prices:

Adult: £14.50; Senior: £13.50; Child: £10.50; Children under 3 are free
Family ticket: 1 adult & 2 children: £30

Family ticket: 2 adult & 2 children: £44.50

Entry for vehicle exhibitors is free (driver plus up to 5 passengers – for more please contact us).

SHOWBUS 2024 address: Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Station Road, Quainton, nr Aylesbury, Bucks HP22 4BY. and  

Provincial Poppy Buses by Andrew Webb

A lucky break in traffic, cloud covering the sun and a good contingent of passengers boarding for the journey to Oxford meant both offside and nearside shots were possible.

Oxford Tube 50452 is seen at Marble Arch on 31 October.   

Fellow Stagecoach company Ribble have two Poppy buses serving Liverpool. 

Enviro 400 10534 is no stranger to the Poppy having worn another Poppy campaign back in 2017.
It is seen passing Lime Street station on 27 October whilst on service 53.

The blind display also highlights the Poppy Appeal, something that most buses from both Arriva and Stagecoach are currently doing on Merseyside.

15301 is the second Stagecoach Poppy bus in Liverpool, its Enviro 400 body being mounted on a Scania chassis. 

It is seen waiting for the green light to turn into the city's Queen Square bus station on 30 October after working the lengthy X2 from Preston.

Arriva are also supporting the appeal with this Wright Volvo hybrid 4210, seen on the same day arriving at Birkenhead bus station.

Mike Lewis updates us from Swindon

DOEs and E200 from Salisbury reds seen in Swindon recently.

It seems a bit unusual that they have not been renumbered, but saying that none of them that are spread around Go South Coast has been, the pictures i sent you compliments the article that Derek Wiggins sent you last week, also there are 12 SEe single decker electric buses stored at the Barnfield Site of Go South Coast in Swindon, as they found cables that were not on maps while sorting out the Peckham site of London General, there MAY be up to 40 stored here.

A  photo of each of the DOEs in Swindon

Salisbury Reds 108 working route 22. 

Chris Huntingford

“Here’s another, and amusing, unintended consequence of transport changes. Sometimes the 5 in Oxford, which ends its route at the railway station, now shows on the internal screens live train departures. The other day, alighting at Queen’s Lane, the passenger in front of me looked at the screen, seemed a bit perplexed, and said to the driver: do you really go all the way to Manchester – what if I need something to eat? Clearly, this wasn’t the first time the question had been asked, as immediately the driver replied: we usually arrange for a tray of sandwiches when we get near Birmingham”  

David Beynon

Re Gavin’s picture from a week or two back I have attached a shot of YN07 ECA taken in Bournemouth in it’s Sea View days. 

Paul Coley

5 minutes in Aylesbury Bus Station, this morning, October 30th. A sea of red, white and yellow, in what used to be a sea of aquamarine….


Simon Ingham about Stagecoach R706YUD that went to Wales!

I've been after a photo of 'the odd one out' for a very long time! I could recall from my childhood Stagecoach in South Wales operating an ALX200 that was slightly different to their native R6***SWO batch. It had a darker, rounder interior around the destination panel at the front, a small route number display box on the nearside (as opposed to the longer one that could display words) and other slight differences. I learned from pages gone by that R706YUD might have been the one! It was a one that formed a few transfers around the 90s/00s. I have recently acquired a fantastic photo collection from GL Phillips. Low (liner) and behold, I found a picture of her! See attached. In use on the X18 to Ebbw Vales from Newport (where the picture was taken), based at Crosskeys depot and with Stagecoach Oxford fleet names here. Dated 13/10/98.

Mike Walker

Here’s what you do with EFE (other brands are available) model buses.  You don’t stick them in a glass cabinet but use them!

This delightful cameo is part of a wider scene depicting the old Faringdon station (closed to passengers in 1951 and goods in 1964) built by Stephen Williams in P4 scale (that’s 4mm/1ft like OO but running on correct 18.83mm track) and now owned by Rex Davidson.

Pity they’ve got the reg no wrong, A199 was JWL969 not ABW969.  Spoils the whole thing!

Here are a couple of pictures showing more of the layout which was at the Uckfield show yesterday. 

Jack Cooper

From the Isle of Wight.

... and in Oxford on October 27th, a very different picture.

      Coach visitors to Oxfordshire     

David Beynon

Ellisons provided the team coach for Blackpool FC at the Kassam on October 21 and Redline provided the supporters coaches, the Excelsior Yutong was noted in the OBC yard on the same day. Peter Carol came with Bristol Rovers and Berrys with Exeter FC, Alba Travel and Rowells with Carlisle Utd.

Redbridge where the Broskamp boot is still in residence following the mishap in May. ..................................... and a few more from around town and Redbridge. Mortons VDL was on rail replacement duties at the station.

Visitor variety over the past few months taken at Redbridge, the City and the Kassam Stadium

Two City Circles in Redbridge, one with cameras and one 1 with mirrors.!

     Fleet News and developments   

Arriva sale announced

Arriva is to be sold to I Squared Capital. Arriva parent company, Deutsche Bahn AG (DB) has signed an agreement with I Squared Capital for the sale of the whole of Arriva Group.

The deal includes all of Arriva’s operating businesses across ten European markets, which will go to I Squared, a global infrastructure investment manager. The transaction is expected to complete in 2024, subject to the customary closing conditions, including the approval of the DB Supervisory Board and the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport of the Federal Republic of Germany. 

Gavin Francis

2951 and 3029 working local service on October 28th.

This destination had not been seen by Gavin then in the bus station on October 28th.

Arriva Volvo Eclipse 3965 with the 0645 Leighton Buzzard - Luton at Leighton Buzzard West St on Saturday October 28th


Gavin Francis

47689 working an X74 in Bridge Street on October 28th.

October 26th proved a difficult day for the company when in the early morning Citaro 869 caught fire near The Royal Grammar School above High Wycombe. Various buses were transferred to Carousel from Oxford for one day while the Citaros were being maintained due to the one which caught fire according to the app o checked up on as noted by Pete Canon.

High Wycombe: Dramatic video shows bus in flames | Bucks Free Press

Hazel Richardson

844 on the 1 to Hemel Hempstead yesterday morning.

301 also worked a Heathrow service but I do not have a picture4 of this and 251 was also used seen in the pictures below.

Gavin Francis

251 on October 28th ready for return to Oxford.

461 and 881 in Bridge Street on October 28th.

The Sprinters are often used for routes such as the 39 with 978 seen on October 28th.

The overflow yard with 977 and 241 on October 28th.
Of interest is the E200 from TK Travel which has been there for several days now.

E200 from TK Travel on October 26th. 


Gavin Francis

New into service at Oxford is coach 28 seen here at Lewknor on October 27th. 

Joel Forey

I have attached new Airline Tourismo 28 (BF23CJE) which is newly in service.

Jack Cooper

Oxford 26 seen in Speedwell Street with 31 turning into that street on October 23rd.

Oxford 314 seen in Speedwell Street with 353 in St Aldates on October 23rd.

354 and 610 in St Aldates on October 23rd.

Colourful variety in St Aldates on October 23rd.

Richard Sharman

Blackbird Ley's 5 branded StreetDeck 652 is seen at Thornhill on the 400


Charles Powell

One of two new Irizar i6s delivered to us at Pulhams this week. UK73PUL and the other GB73PUL which was in the workshop at the time so couldn’t get a decent photo. 


520 and 521 seem to have been off the road for a number of days. I think they are getting Euro 6 conversion before being transferred to Carousel ?

Gavin Francis

... on a visit to Motts yard on October 29th


including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley




MMCs to Vectare Ltd, Nottingham left this week. 

Jack Cooper

Looking very tidy YX65RGV is seen with an X20 in Oxford on October 23rd.

MMCs to Vectare Ltd, Nottingham left this week.

Gavin Francis

A change for the 40 is Y29RRT seen in Stokenchurch on October 28th.

Some buses are used in Oxford but do not appear in the listings.

Scania 15988 has now or is on its way from South to Oxford.

Jack Cooper

Scania 15359 from West is seen in Oxford on October 24th.

One time seat belted God 15966 is seen in St Aldates with a 1 on October 23rd.

Joel Forey

I have attached a couple of photos of Stagecoach Scanias 15973 and 15982, new arrivals at Oxford from Swindon and Gloucester respectively, along with 15990 and 15992 from last weekend.

15993  has spent the whole week on the S5 route picture taken at Magdalen street 2/8/23

Richard Sharman

A further loan is 15982, with a super rear advert for Gloucester Quays, seen on Banbury Road at the Bevington Road stop.

Andrew Webb

Recently transferred from Scotland, 50453 is seen setting out from Victoria on 25 October. 

Gavin Francis

50426 seen arriving at Lewknor from London on October 28th.

50445 seen in Park Lane, London on October 26th heading for High Wycombe and Oxford.
This bus is not recording in - I wonder why?

Jack Cooper

50422 seen in Oxford, the first showing the High Wycombe stop both on October 23rd.

50445 seen complete with 6 cities branding at Gloucester Green on October 28th.

50446 seen at Gloucester Green on October 23rd. 


50454, devoid of any branding, working to London from Oxford on October 21st.

Richard Sharman

Following its holiday near Chepstow, at Bulwark Bus and Coach Engineering, 50274 travelled back to Oxford on 16 October and re-entered service on the 17th of October.   

     London operations    

Andrew Webb

As Christmas approaches the competition for the festive pound starts to hot up. 

Many letters to Santa will wish for a games console, so Go Ahead's LT861 has been wrapped to advertise ~
the new XBox XS.  It is seen at Oxford Circus on 25 October.

With the usual stand unavailable due to roadworks, route 8 was terminating at Red Lion Square on the same day. 

It is here that Stagecoach's LT260 was seen with this advert for mobile phone network EE.

Metroline and RATP have now added to this year's fleet of Poppy buses in London.

Metroline have wrapped VWH2430, seen here dropping off at journey's end in Victoria on 25 October. 

BCE47008 is RATP's contribution to the appeal, seen on the same day at Oxford Circus. 

Of the major London operators, only Arriva have yet to put a Poppy bus on the road.

Two Cooper's from Oxford visit the Isle of Wight

Jack Cooper

I had spent the weekend 13th - 15th October on the Isle of Wight for Wightrider. My first time going over for Wightrider and had enjoyed it, spending the weekend with some good friends of mine. The buses were focused on the east of the island, with there being 11 routes to choose from. 

We had travelled down on Friday 13th, by train from Didcot Parkway to Portsmouth Harbour, before crossing the Solent on the Hovercraft from Southsea to Ryde. From there we had travelled into Newport on the 9, before heading to the hotel in Sandown on the 3.  

Whilst travelling on the 9 in Ryde, I had seen an ex Oxford Tube Van Hool OU09 AUY. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get a photo of it from the bus, I believe that it is used on school work on the island. I am unsure what company owns the coach. 

On Saturday 14th we had travelled on the heritage buses. Travelling first from Sandown to Ryde on the 8, before heading to Ryde Esplanade Ice Rink where buses to the Isle of Wight Bus Museum were going from.  


Here is a list of the journeys we had made: 

20 - Ryde Esplanade to Isle of Wight Bus Museum

     -> Yellow Buses Dennis Dart SLF East Lancs Spryte (P474 BLJ) 

21 - Isle of Wight Bus Museum to East Cowes 

     -> Ulsterbus Leyland Tiger Alexander Belfast (DXI 3370) 

21 - East Cowes to Isle of Wight Bus Museum

     -> Bluestar Volvo B7TL Enviro 400 (SN56 AWX) 

17 - Isle of Wight Bus Museum to Brading Roman Villa 

     -> Southern Vectis Dennis Dart Duple (G526 VYE) 

17 - Brading Roman Villa to Isle of Wight Bus Museum

     -> Southern Vectis Dennis Dart Duple (G526 VYE) 

20 - Isle of Wight Bus Museum to Ryde Esplanade

     -> Arriva London Alexander Dennis Dart MPD (SN06 BRF) 

20 - Ryde Esplanade to Isle of Wight Bus Museum

     -> Wits & Dorset Optare Solo (Y687 XJT) 

10 - Isle of Wight Bus Museum to Quarr Abbey

     -> Wits & Dorset Optare Solo (Y687 XJT) 

10 - Quarr Abbey to Isle of Wight Bus Museum 

     -> Wits & Dorset Optare Solo (Y687 XJT) 

20 - Isle of Wight Bus Museum to Ryde Esplanade 

     -> Southern Vectis Bristol K5G / ECW (CDL 899) 

I had managed to get photos of most of the buses I had travelled on, although on a couple I had forgotten / didn't have a chance to get one. Unfortunately some of the photos were just quickly snapped on my phone.  

My personal favourite bus was the Volvo B7 Enviro 400, one that I was after and was lucky enough to get on the 21 from East Cowes. By sheer luck we walked to the bus stop at East Cowes after spending a few hours in Cowes, and there it was coming down the hill towards us, result!  

In the evening we had travelled back to Sandown on the 8 again.  

On Sunday 15th we had decided to do a quick tour of the Island, with me working out a route to incorporate the spectacular Island Breezer service. 

Here is a list of journeys we had made: 

2 - Sandown to Newport via Godshill  

7 - Newport to Yarmouth via Calbourne  

Needles Breezer - Yarmouth to The Needles 

Needles Breezer - The Needles to Yarmouth 

7 - Yarmouth to Newport via Shalfeet 

9 - Newport to Ryde via Staplers 

The aim was to see as much of the Island in a short space of time, spending an hour at the Needles which I think is a must visit place on the Island. It also meant that we would use the Needles Breezer, which I think is the best open top bus route out there!  

This was all done in time to make it back to Ryde for about 14:30 for a Hovercraft back to Southsea at 15:15, although making an earlier 15:00 crossing. After arriving into Southsea it was a nice walk to Portsmouth Harbour Station, for a train back to Didcot Parkway.  

For those that have never been to the Isle of Wight Bus Museum Wightrider weekend, I would defiantly recommend it! There were a great selection of buses travelling to different parts of the Island, mainly focused to the east. A great way to see different parts of the Island, or to get as many bus journeys in within a day / weekend. And once you have finished on the Wightrider buses....well there's the Southern Vectis service routes, some of which are absolutely spectacular to ride!

Matt Cooper

I hope that you are well. I'm just reading the latest OCBP on the balcony of the apartment in Ventnor which we have called home for a week! Certainly some interesting weather but still made it into the sea, as is obligatory!  

I was also visiting the previous weekend (14th and 15th October) for the IOW Bus Museum's Wight Rider event. This event was once the extremely popular (perhaps a tad too popular) Beer and Buses event, the last under that format held in 2019. A good selection of routes radiating from the museum and a varied selection of buses and coaches operating them.  

Northumbria's Optare Delta-bodied DAF being one such example from further afield residing in the north east. This bus ran superbly well and the smart lines of the bodywork still look good today. Seen at Newport operating a service to Ryde. I remember as a young gricer seeing the products Optare were offering and thinking they were quite something.

LT GS-class once based at Garston. A popular choice on the route to Quarr Abbey.

The museum's own series 1 Bristol VR is about to work the last journey of the day on Saturday from East Cowes back to Ryde.  

The next picture was taken on 26th October around Ventnor. Sometimes one needs a challenge so I decided to walk up St. Boniface Down! Near vertical in places (or so it felt!) a great view was to be had from the top. A radio mast sits at the top with this being the highest point on the island. A tunnel runs through it which once carried trains from Ryde and Shanklin but now just water pipes. I wondered how many tourists visiting pre-1966 trudged up and down the steep hill from the town to the station, suitcase in hand!  

Operating route 3 and having just passed Holy Trinity Church Southern Vectis 1526 (HW62 CMU) snakes it's way out of Ventnor. I admit to 'cheating' in order to obtain this information as I checked the bus tracker on the company's website! What a revolution for spotting! In years past a very good set of binoculars would have been needed!  

The second angle sees the same bus making the ascent to Bonchurch along Leeson Road and on to Shanklin, destination Ryde. A ship in the background makes it's way towards France. Back to the bus, this Enviro 400 began life in the Vectis Blue division (refer to Jack Cooper's article on OCBP 68).  

Lastly, and also heading for Ryde on route 3 is Scania Omnicity 1149 (HW09 BCO) loading in Ventnor outside Boots.

These smart vehicles have spent 14 years serving the island and still look very smart. Newer MMC 400s also operate this service and make light work of the hills. 

Thank you for the excellent weekly page, surely one of the best, if not the best bus and coach archives on the Web!

Gavin Francis has provided two pictures of 1149 taken when he and your Editor visited the island.
I remember the journey well on the backseat upstairs,  not for  the faint hearted ! Ed.