Issue nr. 188
Monday, January 24th 2022
delayed until January 26th.


Your contributions have been excellent over the past week with interesting pictures and information.  

Oxfordshire’s Local Heroes

Stagecoach and Oxford tube launched a competition designed to give back to keyworkers in Oxfordshire who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic to support their local community. Read more at the link below.

Contributor Gavin Francis was the driver rostered to work this special duty which was scheduled to go from Oxford to London on Saturday, January 22nd and as ever has provided details and photographs of the event.

As discussed, please find below details for the day:

Destination screen needs to be set to Route 16.  Oxfordshire local heroes.

Ready for the day at Network Oxford. 50431 looks glistening and very clean with its' special destination display.

Depart Gloucester Green 10:00

Depart Thornhill 10:40

Photo call at Thornhill for publicity and the record.

Route..... Embankment, (If we're in good time) river tour, continue along embankment to Parliament Square. After Royal Hospital Road on Embankment - 14'6" bridge.  Follow through Millbank to Parliament Square, Victoria Street, Lower Grosvenor Gardens, Easton Square, Sloane Square, Sloane Street right onto Knightsbridge, drop at hotel.

If not in good time, Embankment, Royal Hospital Road, Lower Sloane Street etc.

Arrive Knightsbridge (Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park) 12:55 for 13:00 booking.  Need to approach from the West or from Sloane Street.  (Opposite Harvey Nichols).

In London waiting for the group to return to Oxford.

Go to Victoria and park on stand - Let London control know what is happening.

Meet us where you dropped us off at 16:00.  Return to Oxford.

An interesting piece from Gavin, well done to Stagecoach/Oxford tube.

Oxford Bus Company brand a bus competition

Mental health charity Restore has won Oxford Bus Company’s (OBC’s) annual Brand the Bus competition and will have a double-decker bus branded in its colours.

The Oxfordshire-based charity helps people take control of their recovery from mental health challenges, develop skills and “lead meaningful lives” by offering recovery groups, training and employment coaching.

The charity was chosen by a judging panel from the top 10 good causes which had earned the most public votes out of 23 that entered the competition. The judging panel included Grant Hayward, Director of Collaborent, and CEO of Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action Laura Price.

Restore has now been invited to work with OBC to design a bus wrap featuring its own colours, logo and message.

The second place winner, Harwell-based charity Be Free Young Carers, which supports young carers in Oxfordshire, will also receive advertising space on the rear of a bus.

Finally, entrants Maggie’s and Ready Easy Oxford will receive marketing support from OBC, such as on-board digital advertising screens.

“We are thrilled to have been selected as the overall winner of the Brand the Bus competition,” says Lucy Didcock, Community Fundraiser at Restore. “There are so many worthy charities in Oxfordshire and we are proud to have stood among them. A huge thank you to OBC for organising this brilliant competition. We can’t wait to spread our message further and wider.

“We have more people than ever needing our support and branding an Oxford Bus will enable us to reach further into communities, spreading the word about the wonderful work we do at Restore and raising vital funds to reduce our long waiting list. Ultimately, this win will help more adults in Oxfordshire on their journey towards mental health recovery. We can’t thank Oxford Bus Company enough.”

Adds Phil Southall, Oxford Bus Company Managing Director: “As ever it was an incredibly close call to select the overall winners from so many excellent entries. Restore’s submission was very compelling and mental health is such a big issue, more so during the pandemic and so we felt it was an important cause to back to help spread awareness of its support services. We are looking forward to working with the charity on its design for a bus.
We decided to award a bus rear advertising space to Be Free Young Carers in recognition of the fantastic work it does. The competition highlighted how many good causes there are working tirelessly in our community and how important it is to support each other.”

The finalists were: Restore, Read Easy Oxford, HFT, PACT, Kelly Jackson Memorial Fund, Helen & Douglas House, Maggie’s, Yellow Submarine, Borneo Nature Foundation and Be Free Young Carers.

Farewell tour of Stagecoach 34472 from Banbury

On a recent Sunday, January 16th a group of people celebrated the service given by the older Darts in the area with the last trip of 34472 before withdrawal.

Daniel Harwood

I have attached a photo of 34472 on the farewell tour of January 16th 2022/

The photo was taken at Oxford Rail Station.

An interesting link

James Freeman video shots from last year 

My sincere apologies for the 48 hour delay in posting this issue. 

In spite of the Government lifting masks restrictions, I note that TfL are to keep this requirement in force as are many Health Centres.

I wonder if other transport companies will follow TfL ?

Fleet news and developments

Gavin Francis

Citaro 3019 is seen in Oxford's High Street heading for Aylesbury with a 280 on January 17th.

A very dirty 5465 is seen in High Street loading for Aylesbury on January 17th.

Paul Coley

Photos taken around 5pm on Friday afternoon at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. 

Sole remaining Wrights at Aylesbury 4825 is seen in Stoke Mandeville on January 23rd.

Working route 9, ALX400 6403 is seen in Stoke Mandeville on January 23rd. 

Gavin Francis

A rather dirty route 250 service outside The Randolph on January 17th.

Phil Southall - Fleet Report

I asked Phil about the latest timetables which I thought were excellent productions but some colours were wrong.

We can't release the 6 road buses at the moment due to a high level of VORs. Once we can, they will be painted like 662 but with a green front instead of red. I haven't seen the final designs yet though so things might change. 

Yes, 601 is VOR with very serious accident damage after colliding with an overhanging tree. It needs a partial new roof as a result. Not an easy job. 

652 is awaiting an engine and once this arrives it should be back on the road. 

And yes, I've been wanting to trial 6377 for a while and thankfully GNE have released it to us. We have also converted 316 and 317 to diesel, and these will also be trialed on X39/X40 to see if they perform better than the Scanias and ADLs that have difficulty with the intensity of the route. However, there are no truth in the rumours that we are thinking about new buses for X39/X40 at time, it is merely a trial of a more powerful engine to see how it performs and gather feedback.

A number of comments are included under "Readers Write" below. Ed.

You may also have heard that Restore has won the latest 'Brand the Bus' competition, 602 may be done in their colours in the coming months to add to our charity variety, but this is subject to change.

214, 215 and 217 moved to Oxford from mid January, are only loans and will return to Carousel in due course. This might not include 214. Ed.

943 and 944 are ex Metrobus/Go Ahead London vehicles and have received a full refurbishment. 

Significant fleet movements have taken place and often one of the Sprinters having worked the SS1 during the day makes a late evening journey to Thame on Link40.

As reported under Oxford 215 and 217 are on loan to Oxford with 407 & 431 long tem V.O.R. 

Gavin Francis

669 now used with 667 and 668 to work 6 road daily seen in Magdalen Street East on January 21st.

682 now working 15 road and 686 with its branded 8/9 road service on January 17th in Oxford's High Street.

Sprinter 972 is still based at Oxford and normally works 11X road as seen above on January 17th in High Street.

Jack Cooper

Carousel Scania's 215/7 have been on loan to Oxford Bus this week, and have been used on various services.

The two buses in question currently on loan to Oxford with 217 seen on January 17th and the other was on 20th.

Hybrid 300 working 4 road in Frideswide Square on January 20th.

353 working its branded 13 route by Westgate on January 21st.

611 is seen working U1 road in St Aldates on January 21st.

660 is regularly seen working 5 road as seen on January 20th.

678 is seen  at Seacourt with a 400 working on January 19th and then 670 has just passed 6712 both working the 300 on January 21st.

The blue Citaros are to be seen working various routes including the 35 as seen with 847 on January 21st.

Heading in opposite direction 902 is working the X3 eastwards on the same day.

An interesting notice which can be seen on OBC buses. 

James Freeman

217 is seen in Transport Way, Cowley working 20 road on January 18th.

Tony Gaze

Got better shots of
6377 on January 18th both X39 and X40 routes. 

Jack Cooper

Flagship Tourismo nr 30 is seen heading for London Gatwick on January 21st. 

Gavin Francis  

Sent you a picture the other day of OBC City Sightseeing Electric open topper 200. I thought you might like reminding of what it looked like originally in London.

Now registered DXZ 7120 as seen leaving Gloucester Green  on January 17th 2022,
this bus was originally as seen in the second picture taken on May 27th 2010.

Gavin took this picture of 56 as was on January 10th 2010, a snowy day.

.... and now the same bus 12 years later seen in Gloucester Green on January 21st.

Jack Cooper

Electric buses 199 and 200 have been out in service this week. 199 has been out Friday / Saturday and 200 was out Monday and Saturday.

199 was PO56JEJ now also converted to Electric and seen in New Road on January 21st.
PO56JEJ was 56 with Tappins for City Sightseeing and is a Volvo B7TL/East Lancs Myllennium Vyking.

Tony Gaze

CSS 200 on January 18th. 

Jack Cooper

944 has entered service at Thames Travel this week. 944 is one of the ex Metrobus Scania OmniCity's which arrived last year. It has mainly worked school services since entering service. 

854 is seen in St Aldates working an X1 to Wantage on January 21st.

Ex Carousel 871 seen working the once SC 34 service on January 18th.

James Freeman

James provided the first picture of 944 now in service with Thames Travel.

Seen working the OX3 Football service at The Kassam on January 22nd.

943 has yet to show itself! 


Jack Cooper

A regular working the X20 is GW16BUS seen in at Westgate on January 18th.

Kevin Fuller

A couple of photos taken outside of Wexham Park Hospital near Slough today, Saturday, January 22nd: 

Redline run a shuttle service from Slough bus station to Wexham Park Hospital. Numbered WP1, the service runs every 15 minutes Monday-Friday, using two vehicles, but on Saturday, frequency is half-hourly, using one vehicle.

Here is Enviro 200, MK63XAR, carrying branding for Aylesbury local service 4, seen departing from the hospital on a run to Slough.

Pictured pausing at the hospital bus stop is another Redline Enviro 200, MX09HHN, in its smart fleet livery,
working a service 83 from Hedgerley village to Langley.

Redline do have a very wide ranging operation for an operator based at Aylesbury. Ed. 

Brian Butler

I've no doubt other contributors will have advised you of this but the Buckinghamshire Council website is advising of some trimming of Red Rose services as from January 24th:-

The alterations are blamed on driver shortages.

Paul Coley

I did try to get the final departure of Red Rose on the 50 (which was ‘temporarily suspended due to driver shortages) on Friday, but it never stopped!

YX58DTY is seen in Stoke Mandeville working a 10 service on January 23rd.

Strangely, Bucks Council have posted a note about this route being suspended (it operated 5 return journeys a day) in the bus shelter outside the hospital, but no mention of Red Rose 10 also being withdrawn for the same reason from the hospital. This was operating every 20 minutes with 2 buses, but it now being cut back to Hawkeslade every 30 minutes, losing a bus. I do wonder why Red Rose bothered with the extension at all, as they were doing nicely on a 15 minute frequency to/from Hawkeslade before the extension last year. I do wonder how a 30 minute frequency is supposed to compete with Arriva’s 10 minute headway on the same route. I wonder if Arriva will now also save a bus or two and reduce the frequency of the 9 to every 15 minutes?  

Robert Homan

Ex Oxford 10686 seen in Swindon Bus Station on January 19th.

Ex Oxford 36769 seen in Swindon Bus Station working route 10 on January 19th.

Gavin Francis

With all the changes in Oxford it seemed appropriate for the company to make its customers aware.

The promotions team in the centre of Oxford on January 17th.

I took a picture of 27704 in Oxford on January 19th to discover it was another one which was at The Olympics as the picture comparison below shows.

27704 seen in Magdalen Street East with an S4 working on January 19th and when new with SC Merseyside at the Olympic Park on July 18th 2012.

Unusually and maybe the first "local livery" to operate the 1, 15757 seen above in St Aldates on January 17th.

Newly repainted 15758 seen at Horspath Road on January 22nd.

E200 36984 seen in High Street working the 8 (normally double decked) on January 17th.

Jack Cooper

Gold 10784 is seen in St Aldates with an 8 service on January 18th.

Gold 10785 with an S9 working near Westgate on January 21st.

Hybrid 12007, a fire victim which gained SC livery after repair working route 10 on January 21st.

Another E200 working the 8 service near Westgate on January 21st, it is 36113 ex SC Manchester.

Kevin Fitzpatrick

The perils of a mostly white bus. 

15757 only a couple of Woodstock trips into the day at Oxford Airport on January 20th.

Tony Gaze

15757 taken on January 18th. This bus was working the 1 to Blackbird Leys. 

Memories for East followers

Bill Brown

54317 and 54318 working routes in their new home area of Aberhill seen Kirkcaldy on January 20th 2022 and for 318 in November 2021. 

Gavin Francis

50274 seen at Thornhill with complete livery on January 22nd.

Ex megabus 50250 seen in Buckingham Palace Road on January 22nd.
Note the red paint peeling off to reveal the original black front dome !!!!

Jack Cooper

I had noticed 50274 was in service with Tube branding on Tuesday, and have seen it in service most days this week. I am yet to see 50272 in service. I had thought the plan for the returning YJ14 coaches is that they would receive a repaint into the recent Tube colour scheme?

50274 much improved from our last issue seen Gloucester Green on January 18th.

I have noticed some tube coaches have revised destination layouts with the font used on West blinds.  

Gavin Francis

Ex tube Astromega 50276 seen in Bulleid Way, Victoria with an M11 working on January 19th.

Astromega 50292 with an M20 working seen in Bulleid Way on January 22nd.

Prospect Irizar i6s YT71GHD with an M22 service in Elizabeth Street on January 22nd.
This company is also now working the M34 through Oxford.

Very many services now appear to worked by contractors and the Panoramas seem absent from London duties. I wonder why? 

London operators

Gavin Francis

Took a trip into London to get pictures of new route 733 operated by Tower Transit. This is a Rail Replacement service for a section of the Northern Line which is closed between Moorgate and The Oval. It runs Monday to Friday from now until May. Not easy to get good pictures as sun was far too low and bright but should be a few good ones to chose from amongst them. Most taken in Moorgate but the last few in Finsbury Square. Will try again in a couple of weeks.  


Cambridge's 13812 is seen working in London for Stagecoach on January 22nd.

Called in at Kings Cross on the way back. 

With the reduction in services new routes are now using NRMs including the 259. 

have taken over the 63 from Go-Ahead and are using ADL/BYD electrics like 3412 at Kings Cross.

Another route to benefit from route reductions is the 17 which now has some electrics from the 43 on it.

Route 91 seems to have gone the other way with NRMs being replaced by VWHs. 

Naughtons Coaches of London and Chesham in Albany Street.

Many new electric single deckers in Harrow including those on the 398 seen at Ruislip Station.

The number of electric buses being delivered to London operators is significant.

Alan Whittaker

Here are a couple of photos which you may be able to use for the Bus Page. I managed to get a ride on the StreetDeck that OBC has borrowed from its sister company in the North East.

Here it is yesterday (Thursday) afternoon in Wallingford. It really is a splendid bus and gives a very comfortable ride.

With all the tables on the upper deck, you half expect an attendant with a drinks tray to appear at any moment.

The other picture was taken by my brother Graham while I was staying with him over Christmas and New Year in Dunblane. We were out for a walk one afternoon (December 28th) in the town when this beautiful bus suddenly appeared heading towards Stirling on Perth Road. My brother just managed to get this picture of it as it passed.

It is a Leyland TD1 from 1928 with Leyland body by Graham Whitaker.
and, to judge from Google, a fairly frequent visitor to rallies and running days in Scotland.

I think the two pictures work well together as a demonstration of how buses have developed in the last 90+ years. 

Ah, a happy memory for your Editor who as a boy of 4 years of age rode an open staircase TD1 of Crosville from Llandudno (West Shore) to Penmaen Head, whose Mother was unimpressed when we had to wait two hours before returning and missed afternoon tea at the guest house, other guests eating our tea in those far off days of rationing !!  (Summer 1944 I believe)

Graham Low

I have just been on the loaned StreetDeck and was very impressed with its quietness, freedom from engine vibration at stops, and acceleration with a full load. It seems a refined bus. Maybe Oxford Bus are considering this model for the X39/40 when there are funds for new buses.

Pictured is a view of it at Westbury Crescent, Oxford on January 22nd. 

A nice puzzle for Readers who may have the answer

Anthony Spencer

I'm trying to identify the location of these 3 stills from a film made in 1960.


If my research is correct the bus in the first one is a Thames Valley Traction Bristol L6B. The two open tops with a different livery in the second one are a puzzle though. It looks to me like even a low deck d/d would be a very tight squeeze through that opening.

Is this actually a bus garage, and if so, where?

It looks too rural, but the built environment has changed immeasurably from 60 years ago.

Answers would be much appreciated and all will be published in the next issue. 

Michael Wadman and the Muswell Hill Running Day

Here are a few shots from the Muswell Hill Running Day on November 7th last year. 

The operation comprised some vehicles running extras on the 43 between Archway and Friern Barnet, and others recreating old routes, some of which  have no current direct equivalents.


I started the day at Finsbury Park on RF401 from London Vintage Bus Hire on route 212 to Muswell Hill. As you can see it was a bright sunny day and this was to become a problem for photography. The 212 was renumbered W7 in 1969 as part of the Reshaping plan. The heritage buses departed from the Morris Place stop  which has no regular service, presumably to avoid congestion in the very cramped Wells Terrace bus station. 

From Muswell Hill I caught RT1790, another London Vintage vehicle, on the 244 to Southgate station. This route was withdrawn in 1982 and is nowadays covered by the 299. Fortunately the sun was almost perfect for this shot at Southgate station.  

From Southgate I caught the Piccadilly Line one stop to Arnos Grove, where RT 1658, also from London Vintage, was waiting on route 251A. This peak-hour only route ran from 1946 to 1958 and in LT days terminated at North Finchley, but the running day service extended through to Muswell Hill. Unfortunately as you can see the sun was a real problem here with horrible reflections off the side of the bus, so my apologies to London Vintage for the poor quality of this shot. 

I alighted from RT1658 at Friern Barnet and made a one-minute connection onto Ensign’s RML2405 heading north to Barnet on the 134A. This was a Sunday only service that ran from 1958 to 1969, and it’s rather convoluted routing, that appears to have been designed to cover as many weekday routes as possible, has no current direct equivalent. RML2405 was doing a short to New Barnet station, where once again I was lucky with the sun.  


From the station I walked round the corner to Station Road to wait for the next 134A, which after a few minutes turned out to be preserved RM1804 running through to the Chesterton Road terminus. Nowadays this section is covered by the 184 which was recently the recipient of new BYD electric buses so I’ve included this shot taken a few days later (when the sun wasn’t  a problem) of London General SEe132 at the same location. 


I returned to Barnet town centre for a lunch break and then back to Muswell Hill on a 134A to wait for a heritage bus on the 43 to Archway. Unfortunately the service had been disrupted by traffic congestion caused by road works near the site of Cranley Gardens station and many of the running day buses were turning short.  I let preserved M1014 go and after a while along came RM2208 from Reading-based heritage bus operator Berkshire’s Big Red Bus, seen in Junction Road after arrival at Archway.

A nice article from Michael with the glimpses into the past and one of the present.