Some 81 years ago today your Editor called in at his parents home on his way to a life with buses, aircraft and transport in general. It was snowing heavily and I am told that a path had to be dug for the doctor to get to the house. My thanks to many who have wished me well and especially to Gavin Francis who turned out in the cold cold snow to send me the pictures below.

Carousel route 40 this morning in Stokenchurch

887 heads for Thame in the falling snow 81 years and 18 minutes after my arrival, good for a Christmas card this year!!

Then 2 minutes later 859 is seen heading for Wycombe on this chilly day.
With many thanks to my good friend Gavin for these pictures we can all enjoy.

Adam Wareham has also provided us with some snowy pictures from today, January 24th.

360 seen in Mill Street, Kidlington

2 branded 366 turns in Bicester Road, Kidlington with a service 2A.

MMC 10683, covered in sno0w is seen in Mill Street, Kidlington on a very cold day! 

Thanks to Adam and his father Grahame for these wholly appropriate photographs.

Somehow the Covid situation seems to be getting worse and services are being reduced. The weather comes and goes and after a few reasonable days today has been much colder with snow in many parts.

We have a new contributor, Edward Dixon, with some very interesting pictures which I am sure readers will enjoy.

50265 and 50262 stand side by side at Perth depot in citylink livery.

The usual contributors have provided photographs for this weeks issue and Paul Bateson has come up with some interesting pictures concerning coaches of a period long ago, in fact 64 years ago.

The Weymann Fanfare was a popular coach in the late '50s and the trim style was replicated on the Gay Hostess coaches of the period.
This picture was taken on July 6th 1957 as is a Yorkshire Woollen coach on tour.

As ever Jack Cooper and others have been busy with their cameras with an update of various workings.

Park & ride 667 is seen in Abingdon with an X3 working on January 21st.

Malcolm Crowe also contributes pictures from 15 years ago.

During changes in depot locations, Arriva used what had been a car park opposite the old bus station
as seen above on July 17th 2005.

An interesting link is shown below where much of what was carried by SKM is now in this useful link.


Well, in this issue we have photographs and information ranging from 1957 to 2021. I hope some of the younger readers find this interesting?

Once again we are now in full lockdown in England which makes getting out and about much more difficult. I would only caution readers and contributors not to break any rules since there will be people who question if someone should be taking pictures in these difficult times.

Now megabus has suspended all services which with National Express, the Oxford Airline to Gatwick and the Oxford tube means very few coaches are seen in the M40 and I expect many others areas and motorways.

There are so many announcements and stories about the end of lockdown, one is forced to accept the problem will be with for some months to come.

Julian Walker responded to my request for reduced service details and this included under Readers Write below. 

Four London buses from Go-Ahead converted for use as transfer ambulances.  Go-Ahead is providing four of its staff to drive the vehicles.


This takes me back through time when, during the second world war, Green Line T coaches were converted to ambulances, as were vehicles of other operators throughout the U.K.

Fleet news and developments

Nick Ross

Arriva's 3608 heads for Milton Keynes when see working the F77 at Leighton Buzzard on January 13th.

Tony Bungay

Perhaps as a result of low passenger numbers I was able to catch Solo 2498 in Exchange Street Aylesbury rather unusually working Service 500 today, January 23rd. Until the past week seeing these vehicles on Service 500 was rare, as a result of my work I have seen four in the past week and fortunately today as I was going to the supermarket.

With the extremely low passenger numbers one cannot help wondering if six buses an hour to High Wycombe is a worthwhile use of resources.

Indeed the Aylesbury-Wycombe corridor seems to provide interest in the coming weeks. Ed. 

I am reliably informed that the appearance of new arrival 242 working Thames Travel routes is a ticket machine error and the bus is still in High Wycombe. Maybe a reader has a picture to the contrary?

It is also suggested that 241 has been working for Thames Travel and again has anyone seen this? One wonders if some "wag" has been playing around with the ticket machines?????

Gavin Francis

Gavin pictured 880 on it's way to and from Thame on January 22nd.
Eagle eyed readers will note the blind doesn't change when it is returning to High Wycombe. 

Jack Cooper

364, 668 and 901 working the X3 around Abingdon on January 22nd and 18th showing the mixed bag now on this service.

Daryl Major

Coaches 38 and 70 both seen in Swindon working Rail Replacements services on January 17th. 

Note the comments under Carousel regarding 241 and 242.

Now for something on the loaned Brighton & Hove buses.

Ina Balla

Loaned B&H 657 temporarily 1657 is seen working the 98 at Harwell Campus on January 19th.

Daryl Major

1666 seen at Didcot Parkway with a 98 working on January 15th. 

Jim Wright

Thames Travel's 454 at Oxford Train Station working the X2 on January 22nd.


Jack Cooper

In addition to the usual EVoRa on the 15, this week Pulhams had put on a Baby Enviro200mmc, I have seen one tracking on bustimes on the 15/19 since Tuesday so there must be an issue with one of the EVoRa's . I noticed on Wednesday there was only BB70 BUS on the road, with AA68/CC70 BUS off the road! There was a Citaro working the 63. Regardless of the smaller bus, the Enviro200MMC was well turned out and in an immaculate condition, as I have noticed with all Pulhams buses!


Gavin Francis

This E200, MK63XAS, is seen near West Wycombe on January 20th working the 130.
The second picture shows the same bus in Aylesbury working branded route 4 on April 5th 2018.
Usually this route is worked by red and white liveried buses!

I am told from a reliable source that due to "ad blue" problems the Gold S4 Scanias are presently off the road receiving attention from Scania which means that E200s are generally in use on the S4 route.

Ciaran Bird

Snow day in Woodstock and Wootton on January 24th featuring:

15933 YN63BYM

10676 SN16OYY

15832 OU62CHO

15757 OU61AVM with Jim Wright driving

15762 OU61AUT

15966 YN14PKZ

10779 SN66VZA

15837 OU12FGC

Also features how buses and soft verges don't mix! Taken at Wootton Turn.

Many thanks to Ciaran for some very graphic pictures of the weather on January 24th.

Kevin Fitzpatrick

Most of the Gold Scanias at Banbury appear to be out of use at the moment, and two days in a row led to midi E200 36330 being used on the S4. Here it is heading down the hill to Tackley with the imposing church in the background, along with 37405 which I alighted on my way to work to be able to spot it


Neil Bridges

Ex London 36330 is seen in Oxford working the S4 on January 20th.

Ex Banbury 36769 is seen with a 7 working on January 20th.

Theo Freeman

36767, an E200, is seen working the S4 on January 21st.

The same bus again, 37405, now working the 500 on January 21st.

Also due a vehicle shortage Witney's 11245 is loaned to Banbury at present.

Neil Bridges has also sent some interesting pictures from last year when there was a route diversion on the S3 between Chadlington and Spelsbury last July 2020. The service had to come back to the beeches and take the road across the old Chipping Norton airfield to get to Spelsbury pictures taken on the diversion.

Many thanks to Neil for this interesting record from July 2020.

Jim Wright

MMC 10681 at Charlbury temporary terminus
on January 14th.

Gold 15757 at Oxford train Station and then at Chipping Norton West Street.

Barry Pickett's Snowman at Gloucester Green!

Edward Dixon has sent a picture of the ex National Express coach now in north east Scotland carrying the original stripey livery to celebrate the 40th birthday of Stagecoach.

Perth based 53722 which as far as I’m aware is the only vehicle in the group (operating) in heritage livery to mark Stagecoach 40 years. 

Martyn Sacaloff

January 21st line up is a rainbow of colours at Stagecoach Northampton depot.

It is notable that the state of the Stagecoach fleet nationally seems to have lost its high impact brand image! 


Edward Dixon has sent a number of very interesting pictures showing ex Oxford tube coaches being prepared for service north of the border.

50266 ready for Fife Scottish Omnibuses seen in the yard at Perth depot.

Although still in tube livery, 50272 is having bodywork repairs ready for repaint.

I very much appreciate Edward's contributions which will be of much interest to local supporters in Oxfordshire.


London happenings

Andrew D Webb

The only all over advert campaign on London Buses so far this year is for fitness app 'Shreddy', with Go Ahead London's EH21 being the only bus to receive the advert. 

It is seen pausing on Whitehall on 23 January whilst en route to Clapham Common on route 88.

Michael Wadman/Keith Newton

Some more photos from Alder Valley’s Southern Division in the ‘seventies. 

No 399 (KUF 236F) – Bristol RESL6G / Marshall, in Newton Valence on service 239.
According to Keith both the route and the bus were transferred from Southdown and he rode on and photographed it soon after.
Unfortunately I’ve got no documentation
on Southdown or Alder Valley routes for that era
but no 399 was transferred at the beginning of 1974 so presumably the route was as well.
Interestingly the Ian Allen Bus Map, produced in the mid ‘sixties, shows the Newton Valence service as Aldershot and District 59 -
 (and it only ran on Saturdays) so at some time it must have been transferred to Southdown
so that it could be transferred back again in 1974. Photo by Keith Newton

No 39 (479 FCG) – ex-Aldershot & District AEC Reliance / Park Royal,
in Guildford Onslow Street bus station working service 95 on a miserably dull day in 1975
that was really a bit beyond the capabilities of the cheap camera that I had at the time. 

No 714 (TRD 714M) – it looks like a Bristol LH but actually this is a Ford R1014 / ECW,
on service 273 in Wonersh in 1975. Photo by Keith Newton 

No 487 (HOR 487L) - Bristol RESL6G / ECW operating service 95A in Guildford Onslow Street bus station in 1975,
 probably on the same miserable day as no 39. 

No 341 (HHO 537E) – ex-Aldershot & District AEC Reliance / MCW, on service 273 in Wonersh. Photo by Keith Newton.

Many thanks to Michael and Keith for further insight into days past.

Paul Bateson remembers a day in 1957 when he caught up with current coaches.



I have been a bus enthusiast for most of my life with the interest starting when I was  seven years old, although a family photograph taken when I was about four years old showing me holding a Dinky Toys double-decker could signal the start of my interest in buses.


It wasn’t until 1957 that I started taking bus photographs and I never thought that one day I would be sharing these old black and white pictures on the world wide web.  I had such a strong interest in buses that it took priority over my schooling, even when I was supposed to be studying for my G.C.Es.  As mother told me later, “If you had studied your school lessons as much as you studied buses you would have been a genius!”


I lived in Hexham, Northumberland between 1951 and 1957. 
I became aware of the tour coaches that regularly visited this market town and parked at the Loosing Hill car park.
The distinction of being my first bus photograph is held by this view

 Taken on June 1st 1957 of Sheffield United Tours 212 (OWA 212), a Windover-bodied AEC Regal IV.


Wallace Arnold Tours, Leeds was a regular visitor to Hexham.
Burlingham-bodied Leyland Tiger Cub PSUC1/2, registered XNW 52, was also in town on June 1st 1957.
Little did I know that five years later I would be working for Wallace Arnold in Leeds!


On tour from Bournemouth was this centre-entrance Plaxton Venturer-bodied Leyland Royal Tiger of Excelsior European Motorways, registered LLJ 500.

It was photographed next to a Commer coach in Hexham on June 3rd 1957.


One of my favourite touring coaches were those operated by Southdown Motor Services Ltd, Brighton.
The car park must have been full as 1809 (LCD 209), a Duple-bodied Leyland Royal Tiger
was parked partially on the pavement on the main road in Hexham on June 4th 1957.


Worthington Tours, Birmingham was the operator of TOA 289, a Commer Avenger with Duple bodywork and pictured in Hexham on June 5th 1957.


Another Wallace Arnold coach, this time WUM 49, a well-presented Burlingham-bodied Leyland Tiger Cub photographed on June 5th 1957.


This Bedford with Plaxton Consort bodywork was operated by Excelsior European Motorways, registered URU 980.
It was parked at Loosing Hill car park, Hexham on June 17th 1957.


 A day trip to the Lake District on July 6th 1957 included a drive over the Kirkstone Pass. 


I was surprised to see Yorkshire Woollen District Transport 764/5 (BHD 704/5), MCW Fanfare-bodied AEC Reliance, parked at the summit of Kirkstone Pass.


I seem to recall that I was amazed to see these coaches at this location as the roads were narrow and twisty  plus it was a steep climb if the coaches had travelled up from Ullswater.


Excelsior European Motorways was the operator of OLJ 99, a Plaxton-bodied Bedford and pictured in Hexham on July 22nd 1957.
The Loosing Hill car park became the site of the new Hexham Bus Station in 2016.


Photographs by PAUL A. BATESON

Many thanks to Paul for a reminder of coach types I remember so well from my late teens. At the time, to me, the Burlingham and MCW Fanfare coaches looked the best and after driving Bedford's and Ford's also the nicest to drive.


Malcolm Crowe goes back 15 years plus

Scania L113CRL, East Lancashire European, B49F 3158 with Lakes overall wrap on March 23rd 2005.

Wrights 3820 working the 317 picking up in the High Street, Wycombe on March 23rd 2005.
These buses came via Wycombe Bus Company (Go-Ahead)

Oh happy days, several of these Volvo/Wrights arrived in 2005 branded for the Green 31.
3861 is seen in the old Wycombe Bus Station on March 20th 2005.

F506OYW new as a London Playbus in August 1988, this Leyland Olympian ONTL11/1RH, Northern Counties H47/30F which came via Motts of Stoke Mandeville,
acquired by Luton & District and subsequently to High Wycombe with Arriva as their 5108 seen here on March 23rd 2005.

I drove for a couple of duties on Carousel which included at 336 duty with this Metrobus. March 23rd 2005.

Now Thames Travel 871, here is CB51BUS in its heydays in July 2005 fully branded with its two sisters for the A40 Heathrow service.

The yard on March 20th 2005 with the growing branded route buses in the fleet.

Oxford airline Volvo B10M Jonckheeres 51 and 54 in 2005 after renumbering.

The improved Park & Ride livery and branding seen here carried by 106 on October 10th 2002.

Here was a surprise on March 15th 2005, 411 came from London to provide extra capacity required at the time.
Much had been spent in terms of digital destination display, full livery and upgrading's.

Around the same time, 413 was an Alexander Dennis demonstrator seen here working the 16A in Iffley Road on March 1st 2005.

Another Alexander loan was this highbridge ALX400 numbered 929 in George Street on October 25th 2002.

St Aldates was host to numerous various buses and coaches which provide much interest on March 2nd 2005.

Around this time buses arrived from other company operators and here ex Manchester 22203 is seen working the 1 on April 26th 2005.

In those now far away days, the tube carried high passenger loads as seen above as 50122 loads in Gloucester Green
on April 30th 2005.

I also include two other pictures taken locally.

Reading's Leyland Titan nr 76 is seen "where" on March 30th 2005 ??

For those who loved these low bridge AEC/Weymann's seen across the London & Home Counties area, sometimes red, sometimes green.
RLH23 looks fit and healthy with Timebus.

I hope readers have enjoyed this step back in time and there will be more to come. 

Julian Walker

You asked about bus changes in the latest lockdown, here is a quick report of what is happening here in Devon.  

Despite the new National Lockdown being announced on the evening of January 4th, services have continued pretty much as normal to date. This seems to reflect the Government's wish for services to continue to allow social distancing when people are making essential journeys - which will of course include travel for vaccinations going forward.  

School and college duplicate journeys for social distancing reasons operated for a couple of days - whereas in some parts of the country it had become clear that most students would not return on Monday, January 4th, Devon was still in Tier 3 at that point and the County Council had already commissioned a full compliment of extra buses and coaches. However by Thursday, January 7th Devon County Council had put a notice on its website that these journeys had been suspended, with a phone number so that any students still needing to travel could contact them.  

Stagecoach operated normal services for the rest of the week, and went on to school holiday timetables from Monday, January 11th, although adjustments were made to a handful of journeys to cater for students who still needed to travel and a couple of school routes in North Devon continued to operate. However this week Stagecoach announced that new Government guidance was asking them to reduce services further. From Monday 24th the Honiton Road Park & Ride service in Exeter will be suspended and a reduced service will operate on the University route, whilst in Torbay routes 12, 31 and 35A/35C will have reduced frequencies from Sunday,   January 31st.

Plymouth CityBus withdrew most of its dedicated school routes with immediate effect, although other routes remained on their schoolday timetables to start with. However from Monday, January 18th CityBus operated "School Vacation" timetables which also meant a slightly reduced service on route 34, 43 and 50/51 as these run less frequently during school holidays. Plymouth CityBus has been struggling with staff shortages in recent weeks as a number of drivers have been off sick or needing to self-isolate and a number of journeys have been cancelled. 

With all this going on, it may seem strange to announce First's return to the Devon bus network - but apparently Buses of Somerset has just registered a new route, "Dartmoor Explorer", which will operate between Plymouth and Exeter via Tavistock, Princetown and Moretonhampstead. This recreates the former "Transmoor" 82 service which operated until 2015 when Devon County Council withdrew funding. The registration gives a start date of February 12th, however as registrations can currently be varied at short notice due to covid-19 this is unlikely. I will keep you posted on this new development.  

Finally, I had a bit of a surprise - I was out on my Boxing Day walk, when I encountered Torbay Buses apparently operating a normal service on local route 64! As Boxing Day 2020 fell on a Saturday it wasn't a public holiday, so maybe Torbay Buses took the view that the normal service would operate.

The only other bus service operating in Torquay that day was a limited service on Stagecoach route 12 between 09.00 and 18.00.

The Park & ride livery is very nice.

Many thanks to Julian for this interesting piece.

Gavin Francis

Paul says the first wrap RM was 1737 and I am not sure if it was deliberate or just coincidence this is now preserved by LT. I saw it in the Covent Garden Museum on November 27th 2007.

Grahame Wareham

I attach a couple of pictures I took of the Silexine Paints Routemaster RM1737 in London many years ago for the article by Paul Bateson if you wish to use them.

Taken in April 1970.

I have had a busy time scanning my old slides which I have put up on my Flickr site


Finally one for Oxford enthusiasts back on a snowy day in March 1970.

This maybe appropriate on Sunday, January 24th when snow is forecast! Ed. 

Adam Baker provides some memories of Oxford

I sent some photos to your page during the last main lockdown 1.0 from Guildford in Surrey – I have now more photos to share with your page from this Lockdown 3.0 and a few heritage photos from 2007 which I hope will appeal to your readers. As with before I have attached Notes to the Photos.  I hope they will help to provide some content for these times. 

Having sent a few photos during the first main lockdown of this COVID-19 scenario, I thought I would send a few more now we are in Lockdown 3.0 – however, in two different eras as follows:

Looking back into the archives I found these photos which I thought might spark some memories from some of your readers – in between times  I visited Bedford & Cambridge, but these were what I captured in Oxford on the day …..

Seen at Oxford Rail Station on this day is an Oxford Bus Company Wright Renown bodied Volvo B10BLE, 811 (T811CBW)
– it is seen about to depart on local Route 5 to Blackbird Leys.

Also seen at Oxford Rail Station is this Stagecoach in Oxfordshire Transbus Dart, 34466 (KV53NHA)
– it is seen waiting to depart on local Route 14 to JR Hospital.

After a day travelling the X5s between Oxford and Cambridge (and return),
again seen at Oxford Rail Station, this is the coach I returned on from the Milton Keynes to Oxford stretch
– it is a Plaxton Premiere Expressliner, based in Bedford, 52450 (R550JDF).

Adam Baker


Today I used the nominated exercise period to venture to Epsom & Redhill in Surrey (I am based not too far away in Guildford), the following are the photos I was able to get from the operations during my visit …..

Seen arriving from Kingston on TfL Route 406 in Epsom High Street is this London United Wright StreetDeck LJ16EVX (VH45117)
– for several years this was operated by Quality Line, a fellow RATP Partner operator
– however, it was transferred out and later this year in 2021 the Quality Line (formerly Epsom Buses) depot is to close permanently.

Heading towards Morden along Epsom High Street on TfL Route 293 is this Quality Line Enviro 200 MMC SK68LXW (DXE30289)
– this route has switched between several operators over the years based on the TfL Tender Results.

On Sundays Metrobus only operates the base routes 460 and 480 into Epsom, this was a rare sighting of Route 480
– seen on layover in Epsom High Street awaiting departure on Route 480 to Preston is a Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9 BJ63UJN (690).

Seen arriving in Waterloo Road (Epsom) on Route 418 from Kingston is this RATP London United Enviro 400 SL14LND (ADE40306)

Onwards to Redhill Bus Station now and seen on layover awaiting departure on local Route 430 to Merstham
 is this Metrobus Wright StreetLite SK19FBY (6121) – together with Route 435, these give Merstham a regular service throughout the week.

A brand new E400MMC from Arriva London SK70BVJ (HV21) operates Route 405 from Croydon in Redhill. 

Many thanks to Adam for this interesting discourse.