Having talked about a week off this week seems a little bit like that. The number of photo contributions and news is less than in recent weeks and I have felt more relaxed. Nonetheless we still have some interesting reports, pictures and history which I hope readers will enjoy.

Gavin Francis has noted some of the Reading vehicles on the Marlow Rail Replacement service as this company seems to operate the Saturday and Sunday services.

This week I have some excellent pictures of the City Sightseeing Christmas Light Bus from James Lambeth and some news on the CSS fleet from Phil Southall.

This picture was provided by James Lambeth taken in Marston Road on November 21st, its first day out!

Jack Cooper has provided some interesting pictures taken in the City showing variety and colour.

For those readers who enjoy photos from the past, Paul Bateson has provided pictures from 1968 of Thames Valley buses in High Wycombe. When you get to that article may I suggest closing your eyes for a moment, thinking back to 1968 and then opening the pictures. They are classic and even before my time in this area.

The TV garage in Wycombe Marsh is still there but is now dedicated to many other uses.
Here we see Bristol LS 711/ECW with blinds set for Lane End. Picture from Paul Bateson taken June 22nd 1968.

New in February 1954 with Thames Valley Traction Company, Reading as 711 and in 1960 converted to B41F. Fleet number changed to 117 in 1969 and withdrawn from service in 1970.

Stagecoach advise that the first two coaches will start carrying customers from Saturday, November 28th.

Also included is a suggested disposal list of the current tube Astromega fleet.

Added to the foregoing we have our first DRONE pictures from Tony Bungay, certainly a FIRST 

Full lockdown in England finishes on December 2nd but the revised tier systems being introduced thereafter place many areas, including our own, in Tier 2. See the report below.


Share prices of the major groups have risen in the past few weeks and hopefully will increase further.

Daniel Harwood

I have been told to self-isolate for two weeks so I haven't been able to take any photos, I have attached some photos from the last lockdown and from 2019.

On February 18th 2020 coach 23 was operating an Airline service.

This Stagecoach trainer is now withdrawn and for sale, 20933 on July 30th 2020.

A Carousel Scania decker working for Thames Travel in Didcot on May 19th 2020.

We are now used to the new StreetDecks busy working the X2 but in December 2018 one could see the older batch (621-623) on this duty.

Many thanks to Daniel and we wish him a speedy recovery from self-isolation.

Fleet news and developments

General Group News

ARRIVA CANNOCK to be sold to D&G!

Nick Ross

Arriva double near Leighton Buzzard station on Saturday November 21st 2020.
with Arriva Luton's 3601 on the F70 to Dunstable and Luton closely following Arriva's Aylesbury's 280 branded Enviro 400 5467which is Milton Keynes bound on the 150.

Tony Bungay

This may be a First for your news page Malcolm. They may be of use depending if nothing else you can fit them. 

The ‘First’ statement referring to the fact that these were taken by a drone. I an unable to tell you which Enviro 400  was in service and the same with the Arriva Training vehicle.

They were taken on November 26th.

I must add there are rules as where a drone can and cannot be used, so tempting as it might be to do some aerial Bus shots in town centres it is not likely to go down well to say the least!

Now I wonder who else may provide DRONE pictures? 

More from Tony

Enviro 400 5463  loads in Exchange Street Aylesbury operating a Service 150 working on the November 25th.

As stated in your news page last week, double deck working on this Service have become much more common, and on this journey at least the passengers have the benefit of a more up market vehicle. 

Gavin Francis

Solo 712 being sold to Chiltern Buses to replace the green Spectra.

Citaro 877 with a route 40 turning out of Marlow Rd, Stokenchurch on November 25th.

More variety with 40 workings as 881 is seen a day later, November 26th, in Stokenchurch. 

David Gray

I have just received this month's PSV Circle news-sheets and notice that some of the ex-City of Oxford Citaros have returned to these shores after a spell in the Republic of Ireland and are now owned by 2 Way, Scunthorpe. They have been re-registered back to GX 53 registrations.


Those involved are:


03-D-121526 (ex GX53WYW, X2OXF)

03-D-121527 (ex GX53WUC, X3OXF)

03-D-121528 (ex GX53WCN, X13OXF)

03-D-121529 (ex GX53WDC, X6OXF)

03-D-121530 (ex GX53WDP, X29OXF)

03-D-121533 (ex GX53WZL, X5OXF)


These were ex-Oxford 832/3/0/6, 829, 835 respectively


GX53WZL has entered service by September 2020.


Many thanks to David for this information by the PSV Circle.


Pev was on an A34 overbridge and caught these two workings with Oxford coaches.

First up was 63  -don't know if this has been white for a while or just returning from repaint.

Next is 70 - first time seen in the Airline Livery for me,
I noted it's on some sort of Amazon Contract heading back to the depot. Any idea what the contract is? 

Can anyone advise on the "Amazon" contract and the coaches used thereon?

Jack Cooper

at night on the 20th

This shows the buildings of Oxford to good advantage with 369 working the X13.

663 backed by Christ Church, the bus working the 400.

..... and on November 24th around the City.

220 looking smart and polished with a 15 road service.

Unusually for me, Hybrid 300 is seen working the U1 at Queens Lane.

353 heads down The High with an X13 working.

Variety on the 5 with 367 near Westgate and 602 at the Train Station.
The use of the graphics on Sorry Bus Full is nice.

Haven't had a picture of 661 for a while and here it is on the 5 at the top of New Road.

A nice variety from Jack with his new camera.  

Phil Southall

Phil very kindly updated us on the reasons for the Christmas Lights Bus being numbered 196.

"In terms of numbering, anything in the 100-200 series will be an electric double deck. As being as it is intended (as things stand) to convert these two recently acquired 60 plate vehicles they will be 196 and 197. 2055 will be 198 and 2056 will be 199 when converted and 2903 has become 200 already. The CSS fleet will therefore be 196 to 205 - half diesel and half electric. See, method in the madness!"

Jack Cooper

196 on its first day in High Street on November 20th.

James Lambert

Oxford Bus / CSS Oxford 196 (LX60 DWZ). 196 was being used as the Christmas Light Bus, and is seen paused on the Marston Road on Saturday night (November 21st) attracting a crowd of onlookers! 

Three delightful pictures by James Lambeth. 

Jack Cooper

229 with a 33 heading for Wantage on November 20th.

850 is very often seen working the 11 and 852 is working the X40 both on November 24th.

StreetDeck 905 is seen running down The High to turn round and return for its working to Abingdon and Wallingford. 

Visit the link below for the latest updates.


Chris Maxfield

I'm just looking this weeks page and notice you have a shot of Pulhams Citaro PC18BUS on the 63.  

This isn't as unusual working as such. The bus is the spare for the 99 hospital service and as such can be seen across the network. More often than not it now works the 51 between Moreton and Stratford but its not unusual for it to be seen in the 801 or 63 when needed. 

Many thanks to Chris for tat useful note.

Jack Cooper

A more regular performer on the 63, AA68BUS, is seen in Butterwyke Place on November 24th.  

including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley

Gavin Francis

Marlow Railway Station on November 21st and 22nd

680, with camera rear view mirrors, was the bus on the 21st.

Orange 651 turned out the following day, November 22nd.

Pictures from Gavin Francis. 

Michael Wadman

The blue Volvo B7TL  PN52 XBP pictured in Aylesbury in OCBP 129 was indeed with Redline, who acquired it from Richardson Travel in March 2019.   

Jack Cooper

Variety on the 275 with YX61FZH waiting time in Speedwell Street on November 24th.

Jack Cooper

.... provides pictures at night on November 20th and in the day on November 24th.

MMC 10682 is working the S9 and 12006 working its regular route the 10.

Gold 10781 is seen in The High heading for Wantage with an S9.

12010and 12013 both with 10 workings in the City. One wonders how long these Hybrids will remain as is?

Normally a double deck route, E200 36927 is seen heading up The High with number 9. 


November 23rd 2020


Passengers on the Oxford Tube are set to enjoy the latest in passenger comfort and convenience as the wheels are due to start turning on Stagecoach’s £13 million investment into new coaches on the Oxford Tube.

The first two coaches will start carrying customers from Saturday, November 28th with the entire fleet being replaced by early 2021.

On board features include at seat wireless and USB charging, reading lights, free WiFi, foot rests and 3 point seats belts. In addition, the coaches will have the leanest diesel Euro 6 engines which limit exhaust emissions and 5 of the 34 coaches are fitted with solar panel systems to provide clean solar energy to power all on-board electrical equipment.

Chris Coleman, Managing Director at Stagecoach in Oxfordshire said: “This year has been extremely challenging and so it is great to end it on a high with the introduction of our new Oxford Tube fleet.

“December is typically one of our busiest months as many travel to the Capital for a spot of Christmas shopping, and to enjoy the festivities of the Christmas markets and lights. Although this month won’t be quite the same, we are still really excited to welcome passengers on board and look forward to the New Year when more customers can experience the new and improved Oxford Tube fleet.  Not only does this apply to local residents visiting London but also to visitors from the Capital who, when the time is right, can travel to Oxford in style and enjoy the many attractions and hospitality our own City has to offer."


Oxfordshire County Council leader Councillor Ian Hudspeth said: “This level of investment in public transport in Oxfordshire is to be welcomed. The new vehicles are an attractive mode of transport to reach the Capital and will draw visitors to Oxford too."

Chris Coleman, Managing Director at Stagecoach in Oxfordshire

Rob Hough, Oxford Tube Manager
Gavin Francis, Oxford Tube coach driver
pose in front of one of the new coaches on November 23rd.

Jack Cooper

A nice night shot of 50271 on its way to London framed by Christmas lights and Christ Church.

Van Hool

News on the disposal of the current fleet at Oxford.

50233/35/37/50 will leave the fleet by end of 2021

 50261-68 to West Scotland to replace Volvo Tri-Axles Elites to North Scotland which will replace B7s

 50269-84 to East Scotland to replace Volvo Panthers to North Scotland

From this one may expect the older coaches to remain during the delivery of new Panorama coaches. 
Strange that coaches coinciding with those already with West Scotland 50285-6 are going to East Scotland !

Latest news at the link below.


Gavin Francis

Went back to Marlow on the morning of November 26th, as Walters are running both PVL 406 in addition to ex-Arriva VLA 129 which they bought in October from Ensigns. You will see it still has a lot of London markings and showing route 368 in the back blind !

In Marlow on Rail Replacement, November 26th.

The same bus when with Arriva in July 2010.

As ever we have contributions from readers which take us back to years past. I hope these evoke those memories for readers?

Michael Wadman

History Corner 

Cliff’s Mini-buses of High Wycombe – Mercedes Sprinter / Pentagon
R650RKX arriving at Bourne End on Marlow local service 357 – August 23rd 2000. 

A-B Team Bus & Coach of Marsworth ran a local service in Tring.
D849 CRY, an Optare City Pacer new to Leicester Citybus, at the railway station on an evening peak journey – August 10th 1994. 

Star Travel of Aylesbury still operate buses, of course, but here is one of their earlier services.
Former Cambus Ford Transit / Dormobile C329 OFL at Wendover station on the Sunday service of route 54 – July 7th 1996.

How many readers remember the days in the '80s and '90s when the world seemed flooded with these minibuses, often Sherpas ?

Paul Bateson via Gavin Francis

Great to see the old pictures of Thames Valley buses in Frogmoor Bus Station. As the writer implies this is now where basically MacDonald's and the through road now are.  

Attached are some pictures taken by Paul B. taken in the same place on September 22nd 1968.

Pictures of the Bristol LWL6B waiting their turn in the then bus station at Frogmoor.
These were the last half cabs from Bristol and were delivered in the first half of 1952.

Bristol LS, the early underfloor Bristol seen in Frogmoor. Notice the renumbering of two with S prefix. This was presumably SERVICE.
S311 had previously been a coach.

Well we still have a 40 which in those days often went through to Watlington. A Bristol FLF6G delivered in January 1961.
841 was later renumbered 608 into National Bus Company days.

Many thanks to Paul and Gavin for this trip back some 50 years.

Tony Bungay

Nothing remarkable about this photo which I found in a sort out. A Green Line Coach stop displaying a healthy number of Services, the vinyl’s are perhaps a bit less tidy than the original metal plates.

The photo itself is not recent either, being taken on the Thames Embankment in August 2003,
and this is the point even then most of the Services shown had ceased to run a number of years earlier.

The 788 for example going by 1989 and the 799 shows Eastern Counties as the other operator, which indeed it was until Cambus was formed and took over in September 1984. 

Tony, the picture is much appreciated and reminds me of a Wycombe Bus signed stop on the A40 as recent a 2 years ago!! 


Paul Bateson

What does one do during a pandemic lockdown?  It is an ideal opportunity to work on the bus hobby and that is what I have been doing for the last few months.   Whilst reorganising some pictures from my UK visit in April 2009, I came across a picture that I took of ex-Ipswich Buses 20 (RDX 20R), a  Roe-bodied Leyland Atlantean, that was parked in a lay by and seemed to be used by Paws Animal Sanctuary.  It was photographed on April 14th 2009.  What I failed to do was write down the location!  I am wondering if any reader of the briefing is familiar with this bus and its location.  All I can say is that it was in Eastern England on a major highway!

I am sure that someone will have the answer to Paul's question.

This particular bus also interested me because I had been driving ex-Ipswich 31 (SDX31R) on the shuttle service at The Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario.  The picture of 31 was taken on May 11th 2007, the final year of this service.  The bus was later sold to become an open-top sightseeing bus in Toronto.

Readers comments will be appreciated.