Issue nr. 196
Tuesday, March 22nd 2022


A very busy week with much from Contributors which I have tried to include as far as possible but maybe lacking information as is my normal presentation. This is due to time constraints. 

I am pleased by the support I have received this week, especially on the Cheltenham Gold Cup. 

A number of readers have provided pictures of the buses, gathered from many parts of Stagecoach provided racegoers transport

There is inevitably duplication but the pictures are not to be missed. The link above explains the services in operation on each race day.

Dave & Deric Pemberton

These two gentlemen provided much detail on what was in use as well as some copyright pictures.

The Oxford Tube Manager was pointed out to us by one of the Controllers last Tuesday. Apparently at that point he was under the misapprehension that it was going to be an easier week than working on the Oxford Tube!!! We suspect he thinks differently now! 

We have attached pictures from the Races for you to use.

We have to be honest and say that we don’t usually allow our photos to go on line as we have previously suffered from unauthorised use of our photos in the past. So we have made an exception in this case and hope you will forgive that we have watermarked them with our copyright, hopefully without spoiling them.

It was difficult to choose which pics to send as there was a lot of interest to see this year, but we have hopefully chosen a representative selection. No doubt you will get some more from other sources in any case!

A list of the loans to Stagecoach West for the Cheltenham Gold Cup week.

Stagecoach East (6): 10790/2/4/6 (SN66 VZM/P/S/U), 15292/4 (YN17 ONB/D).

Stagecoach East Midlands (5): 11197-201 (YW19 VUT/U/V/X/Y).

Stagecoach London (6): 10319/47, 11020 (SN16 OJZ, OLO, YX68 UKE), 11366 (SK20 AYX), 19729 (LX11 AZR), 19869 (LX12 CZZ).

Stagecoach Manchester (8): 11519/23/6/9/39/47/51/2 (SK20 AVU/Y, AWC/H/X, AXG/N/O).

Stagecoach Midlands (4): 11225/8/31/2 (SN69 ZDF/J/M/O).

Stagecoach North East (6): 11284/6/7/96, 11501/3 (SN69 ZPM/P/R, ZRA/G/K).

Stagecoach Oxford (6): 10069-71 (SK63 AUR/T/V), 11240/45 (SN69 ZDX, ZFC), 15756 (OU61 AVL).

Stagecoach South (8): 10698/764/6/894/941/63 (SN66 VVJ, VYJ/L, YX67 VCG, SN18 KNE, KOH), 15986 (YN64 XSO), 19884 (GX11 AKK).

Stagecoach South East (2): 44013 (BV66 GTU), 59617 (RX16 XHR).

Stagecoach Wales (6): 15613/754/838/965 (OU10 BGE, OU61 AVJ, OU62 CJX, YN14 PKY), 44021/4 (BV66 GUG/K).

Stagecoach Yorkshire (5): 36415 (YN11 FFG), 36722/3/997, 37088 (YN62 BLX, BMY, YN63 LHG, YX14 RXN).

Marchants Coaches, Cheltenham (3): Three double deckers with drivers supplied each evening. 

You will note several vehicles were supplied by Thames Transit. There were also additional vehicles supplied by each of West’s depots and Cheltenham’s heritage Bristol VRT was used on Tuesday 15th March and Friday 18th March (Gold Cup Day).  

The Enviro200's from Yorkshire were used on normal services in Cheltenham to release double deckers for the Races and the minibuses were used on a premium price shuttle from the Racecourse to the Town Centre/Railway Station in the evenings only.


Variety came in all shapes and sizes as Dave and Deric's show.

Rob Hough

Rob was actually working at Cheltenham so these two pictures his days.

Tony Gaze

Selection of photos taken during Gold Cup week, Cheltenham Races - March 15th-18th 2022.

The pictures enhance the information provided by Dave and Deric above.

Yorkshire E200s attached and JOU160P (which I believe only made one round trip?)

Also attached is 36734 one of the E200s recently transferred to West from Ayr

The only vehicles I didn't photograph was 15613 and 15756 which appeared on March 18th. These vehicles were or are Oxford !!

Rob Knight

A photo of this bus which I collected from West Ham on Monday 15th March. It visited Oxford due to a technical issue and got back on the road to Cheltenham 2 hours behind schedule.

E400 19869 seen at Horspath depot on March 14th.

This corrects the wrongly stated London bus in the last issue see below:

Frazer Peddle

This one turned up at Horspath Road on March 14th. It was on it's way to Cheltenham but it was diverted to our depot due to mechanical issues.

I am advised this was being used for transport between Oxford & Cheltenham and did not have any issues.

For those interested in visiting coaches to Cheltenham our friend James Freeman has provided this link for his record of these vehicles.

Cheltenham Gold Cup Coaches by James Freeman

So, altogether this year, 2022, we have provided a comprehensive record of what was to be seen. I hope readers will enjoy this and my thanks to all contributors.

Change of operator for route in Watford

Mark Turner

Mullanys 318 AE56 OUM in Watford on its last day in service.

The Driver Heading back towards Abbot’s Langley before changing over with other driver when gets back to Watford.

The new Company which has taken over Mullanys 318 & time table the company called Harlequib Travel who are part of Chiltern Automotive.
This bus came via Carousel Buses and Chiltern Buses. 

A visit to Oxford

David Gray

I managed to get an overdue visit to Oxford this week, fortunately in excellent light conditions and was pleased with the results. I don't think any of the photos were particularly news-worthy but I thought I would send a photo of the above as sometimes training buses are difficult to capture.


I noticed a couple of rear end adverts but these may have already been


Thames Travel 212 AF10OXF Join our driving squad (driver recruitment)

Stagecoach 10432 SK 15 HCO 10669 SN 16 OYR: 365 Campers

220 JF 10 OXF Abingdon RDA (Abingdon Riding for Disabled).

Also noted was a Stagecoach Trainer in the City as seen above.

There was an item on BBC South Today showcasing a play about young carers

Here is the relevant link

Of interest is that the play is supported by Oxford Bus Company. The news item advised that the play takes place on a bus (an Oxford MB O530 in City 6 green livery minus route branding was shown in the background, and later shown internally featuring the actors).

The play is visiting local Oxford schools over the next few days.

Graham Kiddle in Stevenage

I noted Oxford Bus Company 40 BV19YGL was on the National Express route 737 yesterday 15th.

Graham has also provided some interesting pictures from operations in Stevenage.

Pictures of Arriva operations are included under the Arriva heading below.

Please see below link containing a few pics of in. Please feel free to look at any of the other pics in the other galleries and let me know if there is any more of interest. I’m am uploading more slowly with new visits at the top and old photos at the bottom.

Riley Pendell

I really enjoy reading the OCBP every week and this is my first time contributing. I hope my pictures and captions can be featured in an upcoming issue.

Today (Saturday, March 12th) I took a walk around Culham No.1 industrial estate. Three bus companies are based here: Whites Coaches, JD Travel and Oxford Taxis Ltd. I managed to capture many vehicles whilst I was there, with a wide range of vehicle types. I am not a very good photographer and my photos were taken on a phone so I do apologise for the bad quality pictures.




YX22LWW Vo B8R YV3T7U522KA198248 Pn C53Ft 3/2022 Pearce Private Hire, Berinsfield

I thought the pictures were good for a newcomer and provide interest for this group of operators. There appears to be a relationship with Pearce and Whites ?? 

Coach visitors to Oxford

Jack Cooper

European Travel Group Enterprise Travel of Darlington Temsa Safari YJ18BCO in St Giles on March 14th.

A window on Windsor

Coach visitors by David Beynon

Variety in Windsor on March 17th

and some local buses by David

Thames Valley and Whites on March 17th. 

Fleet news and developments

Graham Kiddle in Stevenage

Now an old timer 1614 with route 6, 3751 working the 101 and 4278 with the 7 all on March 15th.

Paul Swann

Aylesbury's 5466 now back from repair and ready for service

Tony Bungay

A rare sight these days at least in Aylesbury a MAX livered Citaro 3917 on Service 150

Couldn’t quite identify this Arriva vehicle heading away from the town centre on Service 300.
On checking this bus is 3730.

Arriva 3813 working Service 150 passes failed 6527, that was on a 500 journey.

Jack Cooper

On Sunday's / Evenings the 6/35 is interworked, meaning that you will find 6 road buses on 35s, and 35 road buses on 6s. During this time the terminus for the 6 is George Street instead of Magdalen Street, with the 35 commencing from George Street, as opposed to the Westgate. In the opposite direction, the 35 terminates at Magdalen Street, with the 6 commencing from there as usual.

city35 branded works 6 road on Sunday, March 20th.  

With regards to the X38, this is solely operated by Didcot, so is ran by Thames Travel, as opposed to Oxford Bus. Since November the X38 has been operating only between Wallingford and Henley and has been interworked with the 33. 

933 runs through Crowmarsh with an X38 on March 17th.

This confirms my thoughts in the last issue. Ed.

Malcolm Crowe

The overflow yard at the depot is now clear of all withdrawn buses as 887 has also now departed.  

Jack Cooper

River Rapids duties on March 17th with 228, 252 and 253.

Chilternrailways 602 wrap working the 5A on March 20th along St Aldates.

Comparison of Wrights bodywork with P&R 680 overtaking Thames Travel 623 both in St Aldates on March  20th.

CitySightseeing Oxford 203 with a good load along St Giles on March 20th. 

Daniel Harwood

623 in a  very spring setting working an X32 service from Harwell Campus on March 19th - what a blue sky!

Station Road, Grove is the location for Citaro 851 with an X1 service on March 21st.

Jack Cooper

Scania 210 in Abingdon heading for Oxford with an X2 on March 15th.

Two services in Crowmarsh on March 17th with 247 with an X38 and 934 with a 136.

Graham Kiddle

Oxford operations for NEx 737 are seen in Stevenage on March 15th.

Jack Cooper

Oxford's 58 is seen heading along St Giles with a 737 to Stansted on March 14th. 


UK22PUL Vo B11R YV3T2U829N1207509 Vo C??F 3/2022

Tony Bungay

Red Rose Enviro 400 heads out for it’s school duty after working Service 50, new to Metroline as TE 895. 

Dave & Deric Pemberton

E200's 36734-738 have transferred from Ayr to West.  

Not confirmed yet but 36736-38 are for Swindon and the other two for Stroud as Plaxton Pointer replacements. You hear different stories. Though 36737 is working in Bristol !! 

Daniel Harwood

Gold 15835 is seen in Grove Road on March 21st.

Jack Cooper

Gold 10783 heads a line of buses leaving Oxford along St Giles, working an S3 on March 14th.
Witney's 11237 working the S1 is in the same area.

Golds 15760 with a 2 and 15836 not in service both on March 20th.

ADL E300 27705 with an S4 Banbury working in Magdalen Street West on March 20th.

Kevin Fitzpatrick

Seen at DAF Oxford, 12001 was there for engineering work on March 15th.

Theo Freeman

ADL E200 36764 has returned from repaint and entered service Thursday, with 36761 the next to be repainted and refurbished.

The addition of black window surrounds looks much better to me and the same goes for the interior.

Solo 47658 has been at Banbury for bodywork. 

Jack Cooper

Variety from East included this Distance liveried MMC, 10873 in Magdalen Street on March 20th.

In new local livery, MMC 11280 runs along St Giles with another X5 working on March 14th.  

London operators

Andrew Webb

RATP London United ran two Routemasters as 'extras' on routes 65 and 281 on 18 March.  Fares were not charged, but passengers were encouraged to dig deep and donate to Comic Relief.  Privately owned RM597 operated several short workings between Kingston and Kew Gardens Station, the latter slightly off the regular route but providing a convenient turning point.  RM597 is seen setting out on another trip to Kingston at Kew Gardens in glorious spring sunshine.


The regular allocation on the route has recently been upgraded with electric BYD / Alexander Dennis, BCE47050 being a typical example pausing near Kew Gardens.  The two buses demonstrate how vehicles have evolved over nearly 70 years - on a 1950s Routemaster passengers boarded at the rear, paid a friendly conductor for a paper ticket in cash and settled down to be whisked to their destination by a diesel engine.  21st Century passengers board at the front, hold a plastic card on a machine until it beeps and then enjoy a near silent journey whilst an 'app' on a phone proves the fare paid.

London United's own RML880 worked the extra journeys on route 281, plying the full route between Hounslow and Tolworth.  The via blind highlights that this vehicle celebrated its 60th birthday last year. 

It is seen passing Hounslow station at the start of another journey to Tolworth,
pursued by LT142, an example of the 21st Century interpretation of the iconic Routemaster, a design that was first unveiled a decade ago. 

Metroline waited until Saturday 18 March to join in the Comic Relief fun, fielding RML903 to run several short journeys between Muswell Hill and Angel Islington on route 43.  This route is another that has a regular allocation of ADL/BYD electric double deckers.  

RML903 is seen at Angel after arriving on the final rounder of the day, leading a brace of the regular allocation.


Route 281 has also recently gained electric double decker, BCE47140 is a typical example at Hounslow station.

Latest Wraps

Founded in 2011 by Alexandre Mattiussi, AMI Paris is promoting their West End near Bond Street with this advert on London United's BCE47003. 

It is seen approaching Oxford Circus whilst on route 94. 

Tommy Hilfiger has wrapped five New Routemasters in this advert for their store in Regent Street. 

LT955 is seen setting out on route 137 at Marble Arch.

Many thanks to Andrew for a very interesting contribution.  

Michael Wadman

... who has provided more historic pictures from Cheltenham and the West in 1996.

Leyland Nationals in the west.

Alexander PS 408 in Cheltenham with a 94 service.

Cirencester with Mercedes 706 heading for Cheltenham

 New to Wallace Arnold in 1990, G534LWU numbered 534 by SC West parked at Elizabeth Bridge, London on May 26th 1996. 

Gavin Francis

HOPE COLLEGE COACH at BAHAMA BAY, Florida on March 18th.

PREMIERE TRANSPORTATION at BAHAMA BAY on March 17th. A variation on a theme by Van Hool. 

Following the letter in last week's issue regarding COMS and Leyland National we have a significant number of responses with pictures and records.

Grahame Wareham

Just thought I would drop you a line to clarify Barry Holman's query reference Oxford Leyland Nationals. 

When Oxford Bus purchased Berks & Bucks High Wycombe operation in 1990 it inherited some very elderly Leyland National Mk 1's some of which were 17 years old! The plan was to try and modernise Wycombe Bus's fleet so a handful of VR's and National's were disposed of in 1992 as being surplus to requirements. I remember the Leyland National's, 1310 & 1325 initially going on loan to M&D and then I was asked to raise paperwork for their sale in March 92. They became M&D's 3503 and 3504. 

Wycombe Bus never loaned Lynxes to M&D but Oxford Bus did loan a pair of Willowbrook Warrior bodied Leyland Leopards (614 RFC14T and 631 VUD31X) to them from 3/6/95 to 6/6/95 and M&D numbered them 3012 & 3013. By then these vehicles were surplus at Oxford and were disposed of soon after. 

Technically OBC never ran any Leyland National's in Oxford but I actually brought one in to Oxford on a 390 service from London after I had broken down on the M4 near Maidenhead on 39/7/77 when Bristol RE 79 decided it had enough. I remember it well as Alder Valley Maidenhead depot brought out to me brand new (still had brown paper down the gangway) 270 TPE147S and after I had got my passengers transferred I couldn't start the National..............had never driven one before! It was rather embarrassing as the fitters had left with the ailing 79 and I had to call them back from the motorway mobile phone in those days! Also there was a mate of mine travelling on the coach so there was a certain amount of banter taking place! The police weren't amused either!

OBC also loaned another National from Alder Valley (101 LMO223L) from Reading depot from 25/6/82-30/6/82 as a training aid for the forthcoming Tigers 101-110 which had right hand gear did the Olympians although fully automatic. I actually used this vehicle on service myself on the evening of 28/6/82 on a 570 duty which linked Redbridge P&R with the JR hospital...........and for its 13 years it performed like a new bus...........the passengers liked the blue interior lighting I remember!

OBC did eventually whittle the elderly Nationals down by replacing some of the remainder with minibuses at Wycombe and then in 1996 some National 2's from Brighton and London (ex. Red Arrows). As Oxford was still responsible for carrying out annual MOT's for Wycombe Bus then it was quite usual to see Leyland Nationals at Cowley Road Garage being prepared for test for the ten years that WBC existed.

Mike Penn

Regarding your query about City of Oxford running Leyland Nationals, this is certainly true. Regarding your query about City of Oxford running Leyland Nationals, this is certainly true. 

It came about when City of Oxford acquired the Berks Bucks Bus Company operations based at High Wycombe on November  23It came about when City of Oxford acquired the Berks Bucks Bus Company operations based at High Wycombe on November  23rd  1990, together with 51 vehicles, 17 of them Leyland Nationals as listed below.

1301  NRD 133M

1310  NRD 147M

1315  NRD 158M

1321  TBL 165M

1325  TBL 169M

1327  TBL 171M

1328  TBL 172M

1335  GPC 734N

1344  KPA 357P

1346  KPA 359P

1351  KPA 377P

1353  KPA 384P

1354  KPA 390P

1356  NPJ 481R

1360  TPE 158S

1378  TPE 170S

1384  VPF 296S

These were repainted in the standard City of Oxford livery with Wycombe Bus Company fleet names.  It is also true that NRD 147M and TBL 169M were sold to Maidstone & District. 

This happened in March 1992, after a period of loan.  A further Leyland National was acquired in August 1993.  This was 1377 (THX 177S) which came from London Buses.

More Leyland Nationals were acquired in 1996, this time the Mark 2 variant.  Two, which were 385/6 (JWV 127/8W), came from Brighton & Hove in April while 387-9 (GUW 445/53/82W) came from London General in November and 390-2 (GUW 451/8/95W) came from Centrewest in December.

The City of Oxford operation in High Wycombe came to an end on December 14th, 2000 when it was sold to Arriva The Shires.  No Leyland Nationals remained in the fleet at this time.

I am attaching some photos.  These are:

1321 (TBL 165M) photographed in May 1991.

1344 (KPA 357P) photographed in August 1992.

1351 (KPA 377P) also photographed in August 1992 and still in Berks Bucks livery.

1377 (THX 177S) photographed in August 1994.

1360 (TPE 158S) photographed in July 1995 in the later City of Oxford livery.

385 (JWV 127W) photographed in May 1996.

388 (GUW 453W) photographed in July 1997.

Ed Maun

Ref Bus page 195 and COMS Leyland Nationals.     COMS never bought any new Leyland Nationals.      However, when COMS (parent Co. Grandforce) purchased the High Wycombe depot of The Bee Line on 23 November 1990 the deal included several ex Alder Valley Nationals.     TBL 169M was one of these and I suspect NRD 147M was as well.    These would have continued to operate from High Wycombe in Wycombe Bus livery. When sold out of service they would have been sold by COMS although never have been operated in Oxford!

I much appreciate these responses which record an interesting period in the history of Oxford Bus/COMS.

Grahame Wareham visit to North Wales

Finally further to my visit to Llandudno in December, when I had to attend my uncles funeral, I was up there again last Monday 14th attending my aunt's at the same church. I took the opportunity to take a couple of shots of Arriva Wales smart Enviro 400's which you may like to include in your 'Other Areas' section.

They are:

 Arriva Wales 4403 J300ABW in Gloddaeth Street, Llandudno on a 12 service to Rhyl. Previous reg: CX58FZP.

4542 CX14DXE in the same place and route.

Interestingly ABW is an old Oxfordshire registration mark but I think it means Arriva Buses Wales in this case. Arriva have four of these with J-ABW reg No's.

Gary Seamarks in Nottingham

Attached a few images from Nottingham on Tuesday, March 15th. 

Much changed since the 80's when the place was a Leyland stronghold, even the Broadmarsh Bus Station has gone, and the Park and Ride is a Tram.  

Of note the MMC E400's are Scania Chassis and mostly LPG powered. Also was how quiet the City Centre was, only coming to life between about 12.30 and 2pm.

The variety of livery makes the City and interesting place to visit. Also one for Footy followers !!

Older members of the fleet.

Two other operators in the City.

Trent Barton also operate services in the area again with a variety of liveries.

red arrow branding adorn Trent Barton's elite YX65ZHL. Below is an interesting video with details of the service between Nottingham and Derby.


Geoff Cunliffe

On the evening of Wednesday, March 16th and for the first time since the closing of the Layton tram route in 1936, trams ran up Talbot Road again to test the new lines. There is excellent coverage of the event which was, amongst other things, to test clearances on the bends and the scissors crossover by North Station, on Alan Robson’s web page on  Blackpool trams at: 

Flexity's 012 and 017 were used together with Engineering Car 754 which ran up Talbot Road later on. The photograph of 754 is an earlier one of Alan Robson’s dating from 2014. We seem to be a long way from there being a date for service cars to use the new section.

Many thanks to Geoff for these interesting notes.