Issue nr. 174
Monday, October 4th 2021


Well,  the weather is not improving but we still have many interesting items in this issue. 

Gary Seamarks

My shots of the demise of the last chimney at Stewartby on September 26th, notice the huge impact as it hit the lagoon of standing water on the site, it produced a rainbow from another angle.

Ready, going, gone !!
A sad day for the village..

Chris Lodington

I was very interested to read about Showbus in this weeks’ Bus Page, as I also managed to attend. My sister lives in the village of Studham, close to Whipsnade Zoo, so had free lodgings for two nights! I used the service from the Zoo, and coming back travelled on former United Counties Olympian 654 (H654 VVV). I have therefore sent you two photographs of this vehicle, firstly approaching Whipsnade Zoo on the day, and secondly outside Kettering depot on 21 June 1999. What strikes me is that it looks almost exactly the same, apart from the adverts. It is hard to believe that the two pictures were taken 22 years apart. Also what strikes me is how modern it still looks, despite its age. I know you have lots of photos from the day, but thought you might have room for these two.

How nice to see this Olympian, they were very reliable buses to operate. 

Nigel Peach

I attended the Chesham Running Day yesterday. 

A general view with Peter Cartwright's RML2440 and four RFs (a Green Line, London Country older style,
London Country newer style and a red Central Area). Not often one can see five buses in Chesham Broadway!  

RF48 (LYF 399), I remember it from the 1960s - it spent a lot of its life at Wycombe (HE) depot. 

Red RF406 passes green cousin RF644. 

"Modernised" ex Green Line RF180 (MLL 567) in the later London Country livery. 

Two pictures of RT3491. The driver apologised for the red driver's door! 

I rode on RLH48 on the 336 to Rickmansworth,
musing on the fact that it would have been about 55 years ago that I first caught an RLH on the 336 to go bus-spotting at Watford! 

A picture of it at Rickmansworth and back in Chesham in a  cloudburst.

T792 in the rain at Chesham.

Many thanks to Nigel for some great pictures.

                                      by Drone                         

I could not resist publishing these photos from Tony Bungay taken with his Drone.

Tony Bungay

Weather has become some what more autumnal, which with shortening days can make photography a bit more of a challenge. As I eluded to in my last e-mail to you, I took some additional photos on my visit to Oxford, enclosed is a selection of photo’s by Drone. The Arriva Citaro on the 280 by the way is BD12DJE, which is distinguished by it’s unpainted emergency exit door!

A great selection showing the main operators along this road on September 21st 2021.
I am a little envious as it is now past the time when I can get around with a Drone but am sorely tempted.
However I remember a CEO of a company I worked for saying in connection with budget preparation
"Does your life depend upon asking for this or that item each year" !!!!!!

The drone is registered with the CAA and also I did the theory test. Though according to the CAA’s webpage, the theory test was not required for this type of drone, although in practice to register the drone and pay the fee you needed to do the theory test!!! Also the same weight drone without the camera did not need to be registered. The actual body size of the drone is about that of a smart phone, though with the prop arms extended out a bit larger. The Mini Mavic has at present a bit more freedom of action then larger drones, of course dependent on responsible usage.

While on subject of photography and in part a further to your e-mail the other day. My source of information concerning photography on the Bus, come from a feature about Bus photography in the ‘ Buses Magazine’ a number of years ago. It featured a Black and White photo of the inside of a Coventry Transport vehicle with passengers if I remember correctly, adding that such photographs required permission, whether this was down to possible use in a magazine I am uncertain, I suppose it is as much to do with how disruptive or distracting such action may be. On you tube there are on Bus journeys that can be viewed, and the status of Bus Stations could I guess depending who owns them be a grey area. After the unfortunate 7/7 terrorist attacks there were many publicised incidents of silver haired rail enthusiast being approached by security staff. What the situation is on Rail stations these days I don’t know. 

Due to the current fuel shortage some companies have had to curtail or cut services due to the lack of diesel. Needless to say this is not only blamed on Covid but also Brexit with the shortage of drivers. 

Fleet news and developments

High Wycombe: Bowerdean Road, High Wycombe, Monday, September 27h to Friday, October 15th. Due to works on behalf of Cadent Gas the 'Acorn Close' stops will be closed. Passengers are advised to use 'The Happy Wanderer PH' stops instead.
Also: Due to national driver shortages which are being felt across the country, we are experiencing service disruptions across some parts of our services - we appreciate your patience at this time.

David Beynon

Trainer from Aylesbury, 3942, seen at Oxford Train Station on October 4th.

Gavin Francis

Some effort has been made to remove the Derby 38 branding from 4401 when seen in High Street, Oxford on October 2nd.


Gavin Francis

Irizar YN70YSA seen  in Buckingham Palace Road on September 29th.
Gavin writes "there was no indication if it was on hire to an express operator."

Gavin Francis

Tourismo BV19YHD seen in Victoria, London on September 28th. Note the change in livery style. 

Gavin Francis

Ridleys BV19LLW seen in Elizabeth Street with an 021 to Liverpool on September 28th.

One of Ridleys coaches had been fully branded for Flixbus work. BV69LPJ is seen in Buckingham Palace Road in green on September 29th.

Kevin Fuller

I had an enjoyable day out to Showbus last Sunday. Whilst vehicle entry and stall numbers were lower than expected, it is good to be able to attend rallies again - simple pleasures! Lets hope that by next year, things are back to 'normal', and without fuel panic buying to worry about! 

I see that you already have plenty of rally photos from Showbus, so rather than duplicate those, my contribution this week is from my journey to/from the rally. 

I travelled to Showbus on September 26th from Amersham on Carousel's 1A to Hemel Hempstead, then the 1S shuttle to the showground. 

The Showbus shuttle was provided by Scania Omnidekka 244,
seen here in Hemel Hempstead before taking up service on the first shuttle trip of the day. 

Also in Hemel town centre, Mercedes Citaro 857
waits departure time for its return after working in from High Wycombe with the 1A. 

Later in the day, and also running on the 1A, similar Mercedes Citaro 858,
is photographed at Amersham station, bound for Wycombe

Thanks to  Kevin for another angle to SHOWBUS

The link here is good to see with two older Oxford Bus Trident Park & Ride updates.

Gavin Francis

Hybrid 314 seen working the 400 service by Castle Street on October 2nd.

Most often to be seen working 5 road, 661 is seen in High Street on a rainy October 2nd with a service 3.

Jack Cooper

Jack caught 214 also working the 400 in New Road but on September 30th.

GWR branded 221 is seen at Oxford Parkway working the 500 on September 29th.

351 is seen working the X3 in St Aldates on September 30th.

Somewhat off its branded route 352 is seen with a 3 road to Rose Hill on September 30th.

Seemingly due to a shortage of buses at Oxford depot, 231 was used on September 30th for a 5 road service. 

Maybe for a similar reason Citaro 850 was then used for 5 road on October 1st.

These are most unusual ! 

Jack Cooper

Once again at Oxford Parkway, 667 is seen heading for Oxford with a 500 service on September 29th. 

Jack Cooper

Scania 207 is seen working an X39 service in Reading on October 1st.

Intended for Go South Coast when  hew, hence the Hampshire registration 251 is seen in Reading working an X40 on October 1st.

The new E20D MMC 454 is seen working an X36 service from Didcot Parkway on October 1st.

Milton Park wrap 621 is seen leaving Didcot Parkway with an X2 service for Oxford on October 1st.

Ex Carousel Mercedes 0500 875 is seen in Stert Street with a 45 service on September 28th.

Ex Go Ahead London and Carousel 942 seen at Didcot Parkway with a 99C working on October 1st. 

An apology

I must apologise for an error in issue nr 172 when I reported that Johnson's Coaches had been taken over by National Express. This information was incorrect and I apologise to both Johnsons and National Express. All relevant reference has been removed from OCBP.

For further information please see this link from Johnsons.

Here is a link to a statement from Johnsons in regard to the matter

Further details on the proposed merger with Stagecoach will only be known in mid October.

Gavin Francis

East Yorkshire's nr 1 is seen in Bulleid Way on September 30th.

Quite unusual is the appearance of BlaBlaBus BD18TLO of JG Connect working the 540 NEx serice
from Victoria on October 2nd.

Parks of Plymouth with BF68LBN seen in Elizabeth Street on September 28th.

Another 540 service leaving VCS is Selwyns BV19XSF on October 2nd. 

including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley

Jack Cooper

ADL Enviro 400's 208 working route 26 and 222 with the 24 both in Blagrave Road on October 4th.

Scania K270UB/ADL Enviro 300SGs all seen in Blagrave Road on October 4th. These are route branded for a number of local routes
as seen with 401, 406, 411, 413, 417 and 432. Reading operates 35 of these fine buses.

Reading 654 branded for little oranges route 19c in Blagrave Road on October 4th.

Green Park shuttle 709, a Scania N280UD ADL Enviro400 City CBG in Blagrave Road on October 4th.

Thames Valley's 234, working the X4 in Blagrave Road on October 4th.

It appears that 853 Cheltenham-Oxford service remains for the present with Cheltenham using 28686 and 28687 today, October 4th. More news on this route when advised. 

Andy Churchill 

Stagecoach South Portsmouth depot E300 22742 (GX58MVF) Arrived on loan to Oxford on September 30th 2021 for Driver Training use.
Picture by Gavin Francis.

I believe that 10067 is still at Banbury awaiting engine repairs due to a mechanical issue and 10070 is still at Oxford but not repainted as yet , I know that gold Scania 15757 has gone away for a repaint following panels being replaced not sure weather it will return in new ‘local ‘ livery or in the Yellow distance livery further confirmation is still awaited.

Gavin Francis

Gold 10780 is seen working the 9 in High Street on a rain soaked October 2nd.

Jack Cooper

Seen at Oxford Parkway with a 700 service on September 29th is MMC 10678.

Andrew Simmonds

Seen in Milton Keynes with an X5 working on October 2nd. 

Kevin Fuller

Stagecoach Midlands provided the free service between Milton Keynes Station and the Hornby Magazine Great Electric Train Show using Enviro 400 MMC 10726 SN66VWS and 10729 SN66VWV both seen at a damp Milton Keynes Station on October 2nd 2021.

10726 and 10729 at Milton Keynes. 

Interesting news is the re-registration of some ex Oxford tube Astromegas now in Scotland. Details known so far shown below.

50261 NXX 451 Van Hool TDX27 Astromega OW14 LJZ
50262 BHZ 9542 Van Hool TDX27 Astromega OW14 LKA
50263 OW14 LKC Van Hool TDX27 Astromega
50264 GDZ 3363 Van Hool TDX27 Astromega OW14LKD
50265 OW14 LKE Van Hool TDX27 Astromega
50266 ESK 986 Van Hool TDX27 Astromega YJ14 LFA

Martyn Sacaloff

Martyn is on holiday in Scotland and sent the picture below.

50264 seen on October 1st.

Here is a link to pictures taken by Martyn.

For those who enjoy scenic views there are some delightful pictures included.

Gavin Francis

Pewsey Vale WA15BWD seen in Bulleid Way on hire to megabus on September 28th.

Snowdons Neoplan MV12OEF also in Bulleid Way on September 29th.

Gordon Scott

Astromega 50278 in Edinburgh on September 29th glistening like new.

Ciaran Bird

hone photo of the newly acquired Worth's Volvo B13RT YN11AXS. 
Logan's Executive Travel (Corporate Coaching) Volvo B13RT / Plaxton Elite

London operators

Gavin Francis

VVery topical and seen on the Premiere Day of the new 007, September 28th Arriva LT229 from two sides.

LT594 wrapped for SAGE working the 149 at London Bridge on October 1st.

14124 not in service at Lewisham on October 1st.

Gavin went to Lewisham on October 1st to catch some route changing operators and has returned with some interesting GAL pictures including Citaro MEC buses still working the 108. Many of their sisters have moved to Carousel.

46, 50, 5,  32and 37 seen at Lewisham.

WVLs 131 and 319 working the 180 at Lewisham.

Here is WVL286 one of maybe only a few to have two sets of fleet numbers on the front.

On September 26th HCT Group operating the TfL Rail Replacement between Ealing Broadway and Slough using Enviro200MMCs usually found on routes D6 and W13. 1283 is seen at Hayes & Harlington heading to Slough, while 1293 is seen at Boston Manor on the penultimate service to Ealing.

Derek Taylor

Unusual HCT replacement for just one return trip from Aylesbury Parkway. 1286 on September 26th. 

Michael Wadman

I bumped into Little Jim at the Omnibus Society meeting on Tuesday, first time we’d met since last year’s Cranks’ Dinner at the end of March, just before the COVID hit, and it’s prompted me to dig up some photos of his operation. 

From 1989 to early 1991, Jim ran the delightfully-named Really Nice Bus Company of Berkhamsted, which operated a number of services in Hertfordshire from April 1989 until March 1990 when he sold the business to London Country North West. Alas, I never managed to get any photos of this company’s vehicles in service, but fortunately Jim took two of his buses to the 1989 North Weald Rally, so I do at least have shots of D578 EWS, a former Badgerline Freight Rover / Dormobile; and F516 OKV, a Talbot Pullman demonstrator that he had on loan for four months.


I think that sometimes we take for granted the resources that are available to us in the computer and internet age. Timetables, N&P, LSP Bulletins, BusView, newsgroups, all at our fingertips. It wasn't quite the same back in 1993. No on-line resources (and very few of us had computers anyway), and the news in trade and enthusiast magazines was often weeks or months old. N&P was only available in hardcopy, and cost a small fortune. So it was still possible to be totally surprised by something that one knew nothing about. As I was on 9th November 1993 by this conundrum: former Yorkshire Rider Freight Rover / Dormobile D761 JUB belonging, according to its legal lettering, to the Croydon Bus & Coach Company, at an address in Orpington, running a bus service in St Albans. In fact it turned out that this was the return of Little Jim, who had started route 456 to Jersey Farm Estate a couple of weeks earlier.

An interesting vehicle regularly used by Little Jim on his bus services in the mid-‘nineties was F737 KGJ (formerly DY 6050), a former Kowloon Motor Bus MCW Metrorider, from Transport Business Services of Orpington. On 1st April 1995 in was in St Albans on service 456. 

Following the revocation of the Croydon Bus & Coach Company’s O licence, from 1995 Little Jim’s bus services were registered by Mr Taylor of Berkhamsted, who traded as Inside Track and Berko Bus. A regular vehicle was “Lady Penelope” (D381 JUM), a former London Country North West Volkswagen LT55 / Optare City Pacer, which I never caught in service, so here it is at the Operating Centre in Berkhamsted station car park on 12th April 1998.


Another vehicle used by Little Jim was “Katie Elizabeth” (C317 URF), a former Midland Red North Ford Transit / Dormobile, seen on service 443 (I think) in Redbourn on 21st November 1996.


On 18th June 1997, Little Jim was using Tommy Turburville’s G992 JKY on service 443 in Hemel Hempstead. This was a Ford Transit with Coachcraft body, new to Paul Spence Mini Coach Hire of Bradford. I presume the bizarre  object attached to the roof is some sort of radio antenna. 

Little Jim got his own O licence in 1999. G71 PKR was a former Maidstone & District Mercedes 709D / Reeve Burgess on hire from Next Bus, Chippenham. In Alyngton, Northchurch, on service 312, 27th March 2006.


Another Next Bus hire, S507 KJU was a Mercedes O810D with unusual Leicester Carriage Builders body, new  to Kent County Council. In Hemel Hempstead on 12th December 2008. This was about the time that Jim changed his service numbers from 300 series to 500 series; the destination display is still programmed to show the old route 302, but the new route 502 is displayed in the windscreen.


Jim still operates services 502 and 532 between Hemel, Berkhamsted, and Northchurch, but sadly they are currently suspended because of the fuel crisis.

Another nice piece from Michael which is much appreciated.

Stagecoach early days by Michael Wadman

Swindon & District 610 and Metrorider 672 seen at Swindon on June 27th 1993.

Paul Bateson

..... has provided more pictures dating back some 37 years taken in Oxford.

COMS 117 seen at Heathrow on October 6th 1984.

COMS 116 and 8 in Gloucester Green on October 13th 1984.

South Midland, an offshoot of COMS, with Bristol VRs 459, 489, 317 and 451 seen in Gloucester on October 13th 1984

then shortly after splitting from COMS with 409, 302, 460 and

Witney depot on October 14th 1984.

Oxford National Bus ran these Leyland Tigers for the London service as seen by 110 at Gloucester Green on March 17th 1985.

Now a selection of other operators around the same time with some very interesting memories from nearly 40 years ago.

Shamrock & Rambler Metroliner 3138 in 1984 and seen at Heathrow Central on October 6th 1984 when almost new,
Having been delivered two months previously in August 1984.

British Airways had a large fleet of Leyland National airside buses with doors for both sides.
Here a recent National 2, BU394, seen at Heathrow on October 13th 1984.

Cheltenham& Gloucester 2078 is seen with an X35 working to Stroud on October 13th 1984.

London Country had these 1983  Leyland coach as seen by TP25 working a 798 service at Royston on October 25th 1984.


Variety at Biggleswade on October 25th 1984 all in National Bus livery. The dual purpose white roof scheme was a nice tough.

Again in Gloucester Green, United Counties Leyland National 526 working a 131 to Bedford on March 17th 1985.

Bristol VR / NCME ex Reading XRD26J seen at Gloucester Green on October 13th 1984.

Ex West Midland PTE 3968 came to Motts as seen above on October 13th 1984.

Very  many thanks to Paul with some very memory provoking pictures. 

Michael Wadman writes ......

Here’s a minor mystery for readers 

J412 PRW was a Mercedes 811 D / Wright, new to Midland Red South in 1991. 

The records say that it was transferred to Swindon & District in October 1998 as fleet number 812; to Cheltenham & Gloucester at Cirencester depot in March 2001; delicensed in September 2001 and placed in reserve; and dispatched to Bluebird Buses in Aberdeen in February 2002. 

Which is fine except that I photographed it on 4th July 2001 in Frideswide Square operating service 63 (from Faringdon) which had been a Swindon & District route since October 2000. And it was still carrying Swindon & District legals (for obvious reasons I was unable to check the disc).  

So I was wondering if any readers could throw any light on this.

We look forward to your responses. 

Martin Jarvis

A recent holiday in Whitby (and some recent photos on the OCBP) reminded me to send you a photo of the bus in the landscape, something you occasionally feature. This photo was taken on Wednesday, September 1st at 12:49pm. It is Transdev 2019 SK70BWU an AD E400MMC working the renowned Coastliner 840 service from Leeds to Whitby across the North Yorkshire moors. According to the timetable this bus left Leeds at 09:15am and was due in Goathland at 12:18pm thus running over 30 minutes late. However given the length of journey it has had to reach Goathland it is perhaps not surprising that delays occur. The bus is crossing the single lane stone bridge over the NMR railway heading towards Goathland (aka Aidensfield for those of a certain age) – the station is behind my left hand side. The bus has travelled across the distant hill along the main road from Pickering to Whitby turning off to divert into the village and coming down the steep hill road in the background. Given your experience of driving these large buses you will appreciate the task these drivers face on the steep narrow roads. Not much fun in icy / snowy weather. 


I attach two pictures, the second showing the very friendly driver acknowledging my picture taking. The bus isn’t the usual fare of Wright Eclipse Volvo’s, but one from a large batch of 19, of which 5 were allocated to the Leeds – York City Zap service, this being the generic livery oddball. 

Happenings at Purfleet in September from Ross Newman :


From Stagecoach South East : Trident LV52HFP.

From Stagecoach South West : Solo YJ15AAK.

From Metroline : Volvo B9TL’s LK59CXM / FCU / CWY / CKE / CKD.

From Abellio London : E400s LJ09CAE / CAX / CBF / CBU / CBY / CCD / CSN / CCO / CAA / CAO / CAU / CAV / CBO / CBX / CCA / CCE / CCF / CCN / CCU.

From Go Ahead London : E400s SN06BNB / LX07BYH   Volvo B7TL LX05EZB   Volvo B9TL LX60DWN    Streetcar T6FCC   E200s LX07BXR / BXW / BYA / SN57DWK / DWV / DXA.


Volvo B9TL LX60DWN : Bear Buses, Feltham, Middx.

E400s SN11BSX / BTU  : Redbridge Council.

Volvo B7RLE SN55BJU :  Juliane Hillman Uckfield

Volvo B7RLE’s SN55BJJ / K - A. M. Jacques Ltd Bedworth Warwickshire.

Volvo B9TL’s SK07CCA / CBV / CBU / CBO / CAX : Imperial Coaches, Slough.

Volvo B9TL’s SN08BXX / BXZ / BYA / BYD / BYF / BYG : Skills Coaches, Nottingham.

Volvo B9TL’s SN08BXU / BXS : Grant Palmer, Dunstable.

DAF DB250’s LJ51DKK / DKN : York Pullman.

Volvo B7TL KP51WBT : Mike Coaches, Basildon, Essex.

Volvo B7TL LT52WWG : Sharpes Coaches, Nottingham.

Volvo B9TL’s LK59CXD / CXE : Axe Valley, Seaton, Devon.

Volvo B7TL’s KP51WCX / VZW :  Hawkes Tours, Derby.

E200 LJ09KPV  : Sindher Driving School, Slough.

E400s SN11BRV / BRZ / BSV / BSO / BSU  : Belle Vue, Manchester.

Scania YN56FCC : Candy Coaches, Morden, Surrey.

Scania YN08DHF : Ipswich Buses

Scania YN08DHK : Connexions Buses, Harrogate.

Volvo B7TL WR03YZU  :WB Chambers, Maidstone.

Volvo B7TL WR03YZT : Shoreline, Scarborough.

Volvo B7RLE’s SK07CFZ / CFV   Volvo B9TL SN08BYO : Heyfordian, Bicester.

E200s LK08DWO / YX58DWC : Canavan Travel, Glasgow.

Dart KP02PVO : Galleon Travel, Roydon, Essex.

E400 LK08NVL : Redline Buses, Aylesbury.

The following to Shelton Motors for scrap :

Streetcar T6FCC / Dart KP02PUF / LN51DWJ  Trident V198MEV / Volvo B7TL W541WGH.


14 new  StreetDecks are entering service as follows :



Wright Streetdeck





Wright Streetdeck





Wright Streetdeck





Wright Streetdeck





Wright Streetdeck





Wright Streetdeck





Wright Streetdeck





Wright Streetdeck





Wright Streetdeck





Wright Streetdeck





Wright Streetdeck





Wright Streetdeck





Wright Streetdeck





Wright Streetdeck



As a consequence of this all Volvo B9TL / Olympus will be withdrawn and sold with the exception of 120.

112 has been sold to Redline, Aylesbury.

111 : Starline Coaches Mereworth Kent