A very happy New Year 2021 to all my readers and contributors. Your support is much appreciated.

Not too much has been happening over the past 10 days or so but the rest between issues has been a delightful rest, I have to say  that the weekly effort is quite tiring but the reward is in the final production of each issue.

From this issue onwards publication will be every Sunday evening which gives a chance to include most of what is happening over the weekend. Although so much of England is now in Tier 4, which makes getting out and about quite restricted I hope, with your support, we will have sufficient of interest for each week's issue. We will continue with Times of Old which so many of you appreciate and in the event of restricted current news and pictures, some of you will add to this section each week.

We have more from Michael Wadman and also Paul Bateson with some memories of the '70s.

Our association with SKM continues but Steve will no longer produce his "Fleet Ramblings", some of this reporting being taken over by another enthusiasts web site whose link is shown below. Steve writes that you can still keep up to date with fleet happenings through the Fleet Report web site at the link below.


Certain matters will still appear on Steve's site at: https://www.stevenknightmedia.com/ including how to get copies of his fleet books.

I have much appreciate my association with Steve and wish him well in his "retirement" which is well deserved.

The support from other areas continues and we have news and pictures of the now retiring tube Astromega fleet working from its new home north of the border.

Seen in Bulleid Way, Victoria 50264 is seen with an M20 additional  working ready to go to Edinburgh
at 2115 on December 28th by Mark Wakefield  Note the change of destination screen, now SILVER!
Eddie comments "Rennies disguised as Oxford Tube on arrival in London on a Megabus M20 service from Edinburgh to London. Getting ready to return to Edinburgh shortly."

Under the SC Oxford and megabus headings below you can more pictures and also one now in the City Link livery, 50265 !!

A surprise new arrival at Carousel, we believe for service 581 from Beaconsfield to Uxbridge was the E20, brand new with more details under the Go Ahead section below.

514 seen in The Eden Bus Station on December 31st being shown off prior to entering service next week.
Picture from Gavin Francis.

I am also pleased to have pictures for this issue from Daniel Harwood, Frazer Peddle and Jack Cooper. These can mostly be seen under their respective operators area lower down this page..

Quite an unusual one from Daniel Harwood working local Wantage route 1 on December 22nd.

I rather liked this picture from Frazer Peddle of 10442 seen near The Westgate Centre on New Year's Day.

Walters operate the Barton Park Shuttle service from the JR and Solo SR YJ13HLE is seen on December 18th by Jack Cooper.
This Hybrid bus started life with Manchester Community Transport in 2013. 

Well, now many more parts of our country are in Tier4 lockdown and it is very unclear how long this may last.

I am told that megabus is  reducing services to 13% of pre-Covid levels for the next undeclared days and of course the Oxford tube is currently suspended.


Fleet news and developments

Gavin Francis

Wrights Cadet 2732 working service 48 seen in Bridge Street, High Wycombe on December 31st 2020.
This bus was new to Arriva Midlands Stafford garage 3/03 then Wellington 4/06 back to Stafford 7/08 and then Cannock 3/11.
Quite a history especially as Cannock has been sold recently.

Citaros 3010 and 3032 seen in Bridge Street, High Wycombe on December 31st 2020, working local services.

Tony Bungay

Here area number of photos of Arriva’s Aylesbury Depot on January 3rd 2021, being a Sunday obviously more vehicles are on site.


Tucked away at the back perhaps the most interesting being a former Green Line 724 Mercedes Citaro number unknown,
even using the zoom on the lens through the fence revealed no clue! The vehicle looking to be used for spares I guess?

Many thanks to Tony for the late contribution which is bang up to date. I also think by the pictures that the Green Line Citaro is being used for spares.

An operator changing their operating centres is First Berkshire, however this is a removal rather than relocation.

First Beeline Buses Limited have two licences - one in the 'West of England' traffic area covering their main Slough base and Reading outstation for the RA1 Railair, whilst the other in 'London & the South East of England' at Thorpe Park for the yellow school bus operation. It is this latter one, with 10 discs allocated to it, that has been surrendered.


General news from the Oxford group companies

Phil Southall, Managing Director.

"We have now had 454 and 514 delivered and we have two vehicles from Metrobus on loan and two vehicles from Brighton on loan! Will get the numbers and let you know for your new year update!

So far I've seen B+H 656 and 657 and Metrobus 6513 in the yard! (Metrobus 6513 YP52CTO Omnicity)

514 YX70OLO AD E20D SFD9TAERALGYA8098 AD B??F 12/2020 City of Oxford
454 YX70OLP AD E20D SFD9TAERALGYA8099 AD B??F 12/2020 City of Oxford

514 seen in High Wycombe prior to entering service on December 31st 2020 by Gavin Francis.

514 is YX70OLO and is a short E200MMC (8.9m). This vehicle was purchased as the new bus for the Bicester Village contract so will eventually run from Oxford for OBC. However, for the moment, 662 continues the shuttle service for social distancing reasons. We will be discussing with Bicester Village next week when they would like the switch over. In the meantime, it has gone on loan to Carousel for the 581 as this needs a Euro VI bus to meet the London ULEZ requirements. This will eventually be operated by an ex PMU minibus once social distancing is relaxed.

Well, with the current Tier4 situation it may some months before things can change. Only time will tell.

454 is YX70OLP and is a longer E200MMC (11.8m). this vehicle is in Connector livery and has been purchased for service 97 in Didcot for Thames Travel. However, the start of service 97 has been delayed due to a bus gate within Great Western Park not being ready and so it will enter service on other Didcot Connector services meanwhile. 

Other things that might interest readers are that the fourth vehicle we have on loan is Metrobus 6615. This, along with Metrobus 6513 and Brighton and Hove 656 and 657 are on loan to accelerate our repaint plan with the aim of getting everything in the correct livery by Easter 2021. 242 has returned from repaint in a new Carousel livery and should re-enter service shortly, displacing 941 to Thames Travel. Also, service 46 that starts next week will be operated by Optare Solo 709 until such time as social distancing allows an ex PMU minibus to be used on this too."

Gavin Francis has kindly provided some pictures of the Brighton and Metrobus vehicles as shown below.

Brighton & Hove 656 seen in Brighton on July 19th 2007.

Metrobus 515, now 5515, seen near Orpington on July 10th 2013.

Metrobus 615, now 6615, seen in Lewisham High Street on July 4th 2006.

An interesting collection of vehicles as I am sure readers will agree. 

New fleet allocations should be available shortly.

The changes mentioned above are significant and promise quite a lot to photograph especially the aforementioned "new livery".

Gavin Francis

Scania 216 displays a striking "super rear" whilst loading for a service 1 to Chesham Broadway on December 31st.

StreetLite 406 hides its fleet number when seen with a 101 service on December 31st.

Saturdays and Sundays often see a change from the regular performers on  the link 40 as the pictures below show.

On December 27th, 869 is seen turning into Marlow Road, Wycombe bound whilst 882 is showing an odd destination display
outside the Kings Hotel, Stokenchurch. Gavin said it had shown 40 but then it changed to 1A.
I wonder why ????????????????????????

859 shows Thame Town hall its destination but someone often goes with the wrong destination, I've seen this on several recent occasions.
879 with the odd blue stripe over the destination shows correctly High Wycombe, both on December 28th.

711 was seen in The Eden with a 103 service on December 31st.

Ex London 940 is heading for Bourne End with a 36 working on December 31st.



Service Update (city8/9): From Monday, January 4th 2021 until further notice, city8/9 services travelling towards Headington and Barton/Risinghurst will be unable to serve the Westgate stop E2 due to construction works.


Daniel Harwood

On a dark and damp December 22nd, 371 is seen working a U1 service.

Jack Cooper

Time Tables for Oxford & Thames Travel by Jack Cooper.

Harwell Campus
451 displays different destination as set up by Jack on December 18th.

Wytham JK Field Station
511 with an ST2 working ready for return to the JR on December 18th.

Harwell Campus
StreetDeck 621 is seen on December 18th with a 98 to the Parkway on December 17th.
The driver looks happy, so often one is faced with a grumpy driver and I've been threatened on more than one occasion!!!

What a very nice destination display shown on 906 ready for its next journey December 18th.

Scania 221 also wishing customers Season's Greetings in St Aldates on December 21st.

One must congratulate Thames Travel and the other companies who put a Christmas message on their buses. 

Gavin Francis

Two pictures from Christmas Eve taken in Victoria Coach Station showing a surprising number of coaches on service.

VCS on December 24th from Gavin Franci . 


Gavin Francis

Still showing an incorrectly spelt destination for STOKENCHURCH already noted in these pages!!!!!!!!!!
KX05KFF is working a 27 service in High Wycombe on December 31st 2020. 

Gavin Francis

E200 YX10BFZ with an inbound 130 service in High Wycombe on December 31st 2020.
This is a most pleasing and striking livery in my opinion. 


Gavin Francis

E200 YX10BGV is seen in the excellent Red Rose livery with an inbound 275 service from Oxford in High Wycombe on December 31st 2020. 



Immediate news of changes to services in Bicester, follow the link below for full details.

Timetable changes to services in Bicester from Monday, January 4th 2021

Kevin Fitzpatrick

"This working caught me by surprise just after getting off the S4 from work in Oxford, Witney's S1/S2 branded 11234 in the next bay ready to work the 15:30 - 500 to Brackley on Tuesday, December 29th. I believe it was at Banbury having work done but they needed a bus for service, think it's still in use here today. "

Frazer Peddle

New Year's Day  in Oxford

10442 with an 8 service and 10681 working the 1 pose in town between journeys.

E200 36769 is back in Oxford for service changes due on January 4th. It was seen at the depot on January 1st.

Frazer had 36771 as his stead on New Year's Day with a service 16.

Also seen on New Year's Day, also unusually parked on the ramp are Hybrid 12006 and ex Banbury 36769.

Jack Cooper

MMC 11245 from Witney with an S7 returning to Carterton on December 18th. 

Gary Seamarks

Once with Stagecoach (East Kent) 27522 (GX06 DZD) was this Alexander Dennis Enviro300 new in July 2006.

Now with East 27522-GX06DZD seen working route 2 near Bedford on December 12th 2020.

Ray Ramsey

The four Swindon Gold deckers are heading back on 301220 but the drivers taking them are then being chauffeured to Dover to pick up the four Canterbury PNR deckers Northampton borrowed previously.

All due to the temporary contracts and duplicates necessary to transport workers to and from the huge Northampton factories!

Photo courtesy of Martin Sacaloff Northampton Depot based refuel and vehicle fumigation technician.

Andrew Tyldesley

Newcastle upon Tyne
12 months ago I doubt we would have expected this new “livery” from Stagecoach, nor the application of a new livery to 15 year old buses.
New in October 2005, “Busways” MAN 18.220/Alexander ALX300 22348 - NK55AKG passes along St James Boulevard at lunchtime on December 29th.

Thanks to Andrew and I must say that the bus looks good in this livery and hardly 15+ years old!! 

See under Midlands for the return of Gold buses loaned to Midlands. 

Things are quiet now but I have secured a number of interesting pictures of the fleet present and now past.

Daniel Harwood

50432 seen in St Aldates on December 23rd.

Here 50436 is heading onto stand at Gloucester Green alongside two more Panoramas on December 19th.

Gavin Francis

Whilst the tube is now suspended Gavin worked the last day of service, December 24th and caught this picture of the latest at the depot.

50440 is seen in the late afternoon sun on Christmas Eve looking resplendent.

Anthony Shaw (Chucky)

Fresh out of repaint into citylink livery 50265 is seen at Kilmarnock ready for service on New Year's Eve.

Eddie Taylor

Seen in Bulleid Way, Victoria 50264 is seen with an M20 additional  working ready to go to Edinburgh
at 2115 on December 28th by Eddie Taylor  Note the change of destination screen, now SILVER!
Eddie comments "Rennies disguised as Oxford Tube on arrival in London on a Megabus M20 service from Edinburgh to London. Getting ready to return to Edinburgh shortly."

Bill Brown from Scotland also noted this coach with its southbound working.

Paul Blackman

Paul writes "Former Oxford Tube 50266 YJ14LFA in the company of E400 19551 SP59APK and citylink 54127 BHZ9545 @ Perth Depot."

50266 after arrival at  Perth depot on December 30th.

Paul also notes "I think the next time I see sky of them they will be in megabus or City link livery as nine are going to be based in Perth. Also I gather from the fitter I spoke to they are expected to hit the road in February next".

Frazer Peddle

The old, the oldest and the new at Horspath Road on New Year's Day

A really great picture from Frazer, 50275, 50233 and 50433.

I am delighted to be able to bring tube enthusiasts these pictures which reveal the service and its fleet by the end of 2020.

Mark Wakefield

Panorama 50410 has acquired the revised megabus livery seen in VCS on December 29th.

Interdeck 54292 is seen at Heathrow Central with a working to Cardiff via Bristol on December 29th.

by Gavin Francis.


With Covid restrictions Gavin felt that readers would appreciate how New Year's Eve service on the Oxford tube were in better days gone by. These pictures were taken in Bulleid Way and Buckingham Palace Road in the dates mentioned. I remember we used to take sandwiches and a tea urn to make drinks for all the drivers involved. It as quite a party and when the revellers were ready to go home coach after coach used to leave full for Oxford. Oh happy days, hard but enjoyable work. A coach every ten to fifteen minutes between 0030 and 0400.

Stepping back in years to 2012, Astromega TD927, 50225 waiting time in Bulleid Way on January 1st.

By 2015 the Astromega TX27 fleet had become predominant and above is 50263 in Buckingham Palace Road after midnight on January 1st 2015
and 50276, one of eleven coaches ready for the post midnight rush on the same night. 50280 is at the back of the line.

2017 sees 50278 loading for Oxford as the New Year's Eve celebrations have ended by January 1st.

Many thanks to Gavin for these reminders, what a time we had in those days. 

Michael Wadman with Alder Valley

So continuing the Thames Valley theme, here are a few shots of former Thames Valley vehicles in Alder Valley’s Southern Division, plus one Northern Division shot that’s a bit of a mystery. These were all, with one exception, taken by my friend Keith Newton.  

HBL 83 – Alder Valley no 201, was ex-Thames Valley no 681, renumbered 103 in late 1969. Bristol LS6G / ECW on service 46 in Farnham, circa 1973. 

HBL 87 – Alder Valley no 204, was ex-Thames Valley no 685, renumbered 107 in 1970. Bristol LS6G / ECW in Hindhead, circa 1973. 

MAX 123 – Alder Valley no 218, ex-Thames Valley no 351. Bristol LS6G / ECW, new to Red & White.
This picture by Keith Newton.

Converted in 1973 for use as a crew rest room at Farnham Road bus station in Guildford, until 1975, then used as a training room at Maidenhead.
This picture by Michael Wadman.

Two shots, one by me in 1974, one by Keith at about the same time on what looks like a frosty morning. The thing poking up from the offside front of the bus was the electricity supply, which was plugged into an adjacent lamppost. 

ORX 632 – Alder Valley 245, was ex-Thames Valley no 801, renumbered 160 in late 1969. Bristol MW6G / ECW, new to South Midland.

Converted in 1974 to a mobile recruiting office, in which guise it was allocated several fleet numbers, not all of which were actually carried, but at the time of this shot at Farnham Road bus station in Guildford in 1979 it was no 1051. Because of redevelopment of Guildford town centre and changes to the road layout, Farnham Road bus station is now Portsmouth Road car park, but the pub on the corner is still there although no longer called The Greyhound. 

AMO 234J and 484 KOT – This one’s a bit of a surprise, at least to me. Maidenhead bus station, probably circa 1974.

This was of course in the Northern Division, and AMO 234J was Alder Valley no 416, ex-Thames Valley no 228, Bristol RELL6G / ECW, on service 17. Next to it is 484 KOT, Alder Valley no 811, ex-Aldershot & District no 484, Dennis Loline III / Weymann, which I wouldn’t have expected to find in the Northern Division. The route number 20A sounds to me like it ought to be in Aldershot or Guildford: was there a through service at the time from the Southern Division to Maidenhead? Or was it actually allocated to a Northern Division depot?

Very many thanks to Michael and Keith for some most interesting and reminders of days gone !

Memories with Paul Bateson


 The beginning of the 1970s started with a visit to Southend. 
On loan to Southend Corporation Transport from Bournemouth Corporation was 90 (NLJ 268), a Burlingham-bodied Leyland Royal Tiger. 
It was pictured at Leigh, Elm Hotel on January 2nd 1971.

In use as an O.M.O. bus by SCT was Bournemouth 89 (NLJ 267) and pictured on January 2nd 1971 in Little Wakering, Coronation Close.

A dark day so not the best of quality but RM 341 (WLT 341) was pictured in the Butterwick Bus Station, Hammersmith on January 8th 1971.

Was it really 50 years ago that the DMS class entered service with London Transport?

Pictured in Tooting shortly after entering service on route 220 was DMS 5 (EGP 5J) on January 8th 1971.

Route 220 was formerly a lengthy trolleybus route and also photographed in Tooting on January 8th 1971 was DMS 21 (EGP 21J).

All photographs by Paul Bateson.

Many thanks to Paul for some most interesting pictures from 50 years ago.

More than 20 years ago by Malcolm Crowe

Almost new, M A N ALX300 938 of Stagecoach Oxford (as 22938 this bus later moved to Barnsley).
The livery was a nice route branding carried over from Thames Transit and is seen on December 15th 1999 in Queen Street.
The BUS POINTS was a big thing in those days with people collecting their tickets for points.

In the days of the Monaco M A N s there was a through service to Stratford-upon-Avon from London each morning.
This was called the Shakespearian and worked as an X50 beyond Gloucester Green. It proved very popular with tourists.
A through return service worked back in the late afternoon. Our picture shows the service on March 20th 2000. 

I know we are not a truck page but this picture was interesting to me due to the vinyls.

Seen in Cornmarket by PEVEREL on December 14th. 

A Happy New Year to all my readers.