Issue nr. 202
Tuesday, May 10th 2022


This has been an interesting week with pictures from the King Alfred day in Winchester by David Beynon, another contribution from Grahame Wareham relating to COMS 202 and Gary Seamarks visited London with a nice contribution for Buses in the Landscape.

We have the latest fleet list from Arriva with interesting changes at High Wycombe following the return of a Solo and the story of a 59 plate bus new with Centrebus and now with Arriva in Luton.

Phil Southall gives us an update from Go Ahead around Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire and the revision of service 63 now operated by Thames Travel. The last days of Pulhams operating this route are also covered.

Contributions have been strong once again and provide an  interesting issue 202. 

The day recorded by David Beynon




As readers can see there was an immaculate turnout of great buses and coaches. 

There were also other vehciles recorded in passing including Crusader Holidays.

GB14CRU seen passing through Winchester, a beautiful city to visit.

Stagecoach South's 37413 working route 5 passes one of the old King Alfred fleet.

I must record my appreciation to David Beynon for his record of this event. Ed.


A reminder that our next meeting will be on Tuesday, May 17th at 7 p.m. at the Tree Hotel, Church Way, Iffley, OX4 4EY, when Richard Morgan will speak on:

Strachans (Coachbuilders) Ltd - A Dip in the Official Photo Archive

As usual food will be available in the bar before the meeting.

We hope to see you there. 

A report from Jim Wright

Stagecoach route 700 changes as from 9-5,going from Kidlington to Thornhill. A lot of passengers not happy about diversion round the Hospitals, leading to long works for people who are elderly or not well.

Route 853 going to be operated by Witney depot from July 2022, no mention of what buses to be used.

Johnsons of Henley brand new lrizar YX22EXC outside New Theatre Oxford on April 27th.

Parks of Hamilton Plaxton Elite KSK954 at Stow on the Wold Tesco's on May 1st.

Johnson of Henley YJ59GFE Optare, with Johnsons branding removed, prior to the sale to Rotala. Moreton in Marsh Rail Station on May 7th.

Pulham of Bourton AA68BUS Volvo MCV, working route 801, also at Moreton in Marsh Rail Station on May 7th.

It was easier to  make this into a small report due the variations of owners. Ed. 

Coach visitors to Oxford

David Beynon

Horseman Coaches are seen in Oxford working special contract services on May 5th.

Johnsons, much  in the news, had this Scania,  YP18SUY, parked in St Giles on May 6th.

City Circle in Tauck livery visited Redbridge on May 8th with 172 and 173.

Jack Cooper

Back Roads Touring Sprinter GT06BRT in St Giles on May 2nd. 

Fleet news and developments

Paul Swann f Arriva has provided the  latest fleet list for our area.

Arriva fleet lists/ST Enthusiast Fleet 090522.xlsx

Nigel Peach

Some interesting things at Wycombe. Allocation has dropped by 4 buses from 46 to 42, presumably due to service cuts. 

As well as 4748/9 replacing 4819 and 6000, I note that surprisingly, three of the four DAF Cadets have been withdrawn - 2782/3/7, leaving just 2786 in service. Optare Solo 2495 has returned to Wycombe from Aylesbury - another surprise. I saw it on Saturday. I also note that three Citaros have moved back to Aylesbury 3919/20/22. Ex demonstrator 2790 is now described as repaint spare. Aylesbury has now lost all its Solos. 

Pete Cannon

Solo 2495 has transferred to Wycombe and seen above working the 32 on May 9th.

Newly transferred from Leicester 4748 is seen working the 37B at Wycombe Marsh on May 8th.

Daniel Harwood

Citaro 3921 seen working an 800 in Reading on May 5th.

Gavin Francis

Solo 295 in the Eden Bus Station on May 6th shortly after its transfer to Wycombe.

VDL 2786 seen working the 37B on May 5th.

Citaro 3025 works an 800 service in the Eden Bus Station on May 6th.

3731 seen heading for Aylesbury with a 300 service in the Eden Bus Station on May 6th.

4748 and 4749 seen in the Eden Bus Station on May 6th with 31 and 32 services.
I hope they've brought the Leicester fresh air with them!!

5469 and 5467 also working 300 services in the Eden Bus Station on May 6th.

Still in service in the Eden Bus Station on May 6th, 6000 was working a 323 service.

Gary Seamarks

7204 is seen passing along the wall to Buckingham Palace whilst working a 757 on May 1st.

Jack Cooper

Well travelled 5459 is now seen in Oxford's Frideswide Square with 280 service on May 6th.

Michael Penn

More Arriva fleet changes at Luton. 

Arriva The Shires has acquired three Scania K230UB/Wright Solar saloons from Arriva Midlands.  These are to cover an increased PVR on busway routes and are 3513-5 (YR59NNT-V).  They have an interesting history in that they were new to Centrebus at Harlow following the acquisition of Trustline by Centrebus.  After a couple of years they were transferred to Huddersfield Bus, later moving to other Centrebus companies, ending up at Centrebus Holdings at Hinckley.  This company was later acquired by Arriva Midlands and these vehicles were subsequently absorbed into the main Arriva Midlands fleet.  Although intended for the busway they have entered service initially on other routes over the last few days. 

Photos attached are as follows. 

Centrebus 751 (YR59NNV) at Waltham Cross in August 2010 and the same bus in Melton Mowbray on July 24th 2012. 

Arriva The Shires 3515 (YR59NNV) at Luton on May 5th 2022 (its first day in service).

More acquisitions from Arriva Midlands this week are VDL DB250/Wright Pulsar Gemini 4748/9 (FJ06ZST/U) which are now in service at High Wycombe.


Gavin Francis

Another contractor id this recent VDL DWR-2707-J in Elizabeth Street on May 5th. 

Phil Southall, Managing Director reports on current developments

Thames Travel are running the 63 route and ex Carousel 873 to 875 remain allocated to TT. 

873 is in the body shop at the moment being prepared for repaint into TT livery. The other two will follow on.  

217 will be returning to Wycombe at some point. Next week at latest when Brookes vacation starts.  

And we are a long way from any electrics arriving. Orders won’t be placed until the end of the year once OCC signs off associated bus priority to give 10% speed improvement so not likely to be in service until Autumn 2023.

With thanks to Phil, especially for the update regarding the upcoming Electric buses for Oxford. The news regarding 873 is also very interesting.

Jack Cooper

218 has moved back to Carouse, its last day in service at Oxford Bus was the 3rd May on 5 road, before being used on the 102/103/105 back at Carousel on the 4th.  

311 was back in service yesterday. This has been covered from Hybrid to Diesel. 314 has also been converted recently, although not too sure if this was mentioned before!  

354 was the last bus to work the 4C on the May 6th.

This service is to be replaced by the Thames Travel 63 commencing on the May 9th. 


From Sunday, May 8th 2022, the 4C will be withdrawn and replaced by a new 63 service.

Thames Travel will operate new service 63/63S. This will operate Mondays to Fridays and will replace the existing 63 service operated by Pulhams and the 4C service operated by Oxford Bus Company.

All buses on the 63 from Oxford will serve Dean Court with four or five journeys per day continuing on towards Southmoor via Cumnor and Appleton. The School day only 63S bus will not serve Dean Court but will instead serve Matthew Arnold School. There will be seven journeys on the 63 from Dean Court to Oxford City Centre.

All South Oxfordshire Zone tickets will be valid for travel between Longworth and Eaton.

CityZone & SmartZone tickets are valid for travel between Cumnor and Oxford City Centre.

CityZone & South Oxfordshire Zone or SmartZone & South Oxfordshire Zone tickets will be valid on the entire length of the service.

63 Timetable - valid from 8th May 2022 (PDF, 45kb)

Gavin Francis

StreetLite 406 is seen with a link40 service in the Eden Bus Station on May 6th.

Sprinter 977 is seen with a 27 to Pheasant Drive from the Eden Bus Station on May 6th.

Malcolm Crowe

The Carousel depot yard on May 7th.

431 seen in the depot at High Wycombe on May 7th having been out of service for a few days.

The overflow yard ay Wycombe which on Saturday, May 7th  was home to several vehciles not required for service. 

Chris Huntingford

... writes about a new route for the company.

Chris Huntingford says “This really is an innovative route 46 extension, opening a remarkable new set of journey opportunities. Best of all, maybe, the timetable is simple. Daily, and a strictly hourly-repeating pattern.”

Daniel Harwood

Scania 223 is also seen in Reading with an X38 service to Oxford on May 5th.

Gavin Francis

354 is seen with a 3 road service in Oxford on May 2nd.

Hybrid 300 is seen working a  35 road service by Carfax Tower on May 2nd.

LATE NEWS ........................

Gavin caught up with 368 near the JR this afternoon in a wrap for RESTORE.

Jack Cooper

219 is seen in Frideswide Square working a 5 road service on May 6th.

221 looking battle scarred also working a 5 road service in Westgate on May 3rd.
This is a nice clear picture of the branding on this bus.

Hybrid 303 is the one remaining Hybrid still in service with 4 road branding, on May 6th.

Always nice to see a decker working the 11X, so here is 312 in St Aldates on May 7th.

Although both the same type, livery and route U1 there is however a subtle difference.

Service 5 is well served by OBC and SC with route 1 and here is 657 heading the line on May 3rd.

Another named bus is 678 "Andy Carter" with a 400 service seen in Frideswide Square on May 6th.

The remaining Citaros with OBC carry two liveries devoid of route branding but 844 is working the 4 on May 6th.

Jack  Cooper

I must compliment Thames Travel with their clean wheels, you see they do make a bus look much better. Well done !!

One does not see these ex GAL buses in Oxford and here is 933 with an X1 on May 7th.

Recently arrived 943 is seen in St Aldates with an X2 on May 3rd.
944 maybe unwell at present as it has not been seen  in service for several days now.

Gavin Francis

NEx are still using a lot of other coaches for services which do not reflect an image so carefully developed over many years..

All seen in and around VCS on May 2nd highlight this situation.

Three more examples of this current situation also on May 2nd.

Gary Seamarks

Here is Edwards Levante III BV22VTK with a 540 service to Manchester on May 1st.

Jack Cooper 

Ex Thames Valley and long time Nostalgia resident, FJB739C provides Wedding Transport in Oxford on May 7th.
New in September 1965 as Thames Valley D72.

Daniel Harwood

I took a trip on Pulhams route 63 before Thames Travel are due to take it over, I have attached some photos of the bus.  

Picture 2 is that of the last day the route was worked by Pulhams taken in Southmoor on May 6th. 

Gavin Francis

A smart Sprinter MB18BUS in Oxford on May 2nd.

Jack Cooper

This service wa to be replaced by the Thames Travel 63 commencing on the 9th May.  

Pulhams AA68BUS was the last bus to work the 63, also on the May 6th.

I do wonder what services this bus will be used on now Pulhams have withdrawn the 63 service as it was the main bus on there 63 ? 

including Courtney, Newbury & District & Thames Valley

Daniel Harwood

Such a variety of liveries are highlighted by these picture from Daniel taken on May 5th.

A bright orange covers 133 in Reading.

716 in the bright sun working route 17.

This black and cream livery is really nice as shown by jetblack 793 working the 1 to Newbury.

More orange adorns 903 working route 14. 

Gavin Francis

Working the 130 is YX10FEF in the Eden Bus Station on May 6th.

Daniel Harwood

Redline's YX65RGV with route X20 in Oxford's Westgate on May 3rd.

Dave & Deric

Here are the details of the Period 13 changes for Stagecoach West: 

Transfers                27703             Gloucester                 to         Banbury
                                28745              Banbury                     to        Gloucester

To Reserve                34619            Gloucester                 to         Reserve

For Disposal             34843             Swindon                    to         Disposal

A couple of repaints to record. 15975 and 36735 both to Local livery.

Apart from 27703/28745 above, there appear to be no changes to the Stagecoach Oxford fleet.

Jack Cooper

MMC 10687, once an Oxford based bus, is seen working an S6 in Frideswide Square on May 6th.

Gavin Francis

MMC 10440 seen in High Street with a service 1 on May 2nd.

One of the repainted Hybrids 12008 is seen with a service 10 on May 2nd.

Reliveried Gold Scania 15757 is seen in Oxford with a 2A working on May 4th.

MMC 11233 working the H2 to JRH on May 10th.

Jack Cooper

I have noticed that Stagecoach are uploading a new destination style on some buses. Not sure what the fleet numbers are but I've noticed them on the 1 and 8 a couple of times. 

A weekend working with route 10, 10070 is seen on May 7th.

Luxury for Blackbird Leys customers, Gold MMC 10782 is seen in Frideswide Square on May 6th.

More Gold comfort for the 1 with 15761 somewhat away from its branded service in Frideswide Square on May 6th. 

Gavin Francis

A surprise arrival in Oxford is 50268 having returned on May 7th. This coach was used as an NHS Vaccination Centre during the pandemic.

50428 is seen in George Street looking immaculate on May 2nd.

Gary Seamarks

50427 is seen in Victoria at the end of its run from Oxford on May 1st.

Jack Cooper 

Panorama 503439 passing Christ Church in St Aldates on May 7th. 

Gavin Francis

It is nice to see Captain Tom remembered by megabus as 54280 leaving Gloucester Green on May 6th.

54608 is seen in Chain Alley, Oxford also with an M34 on May 2nd.

Linburg was providing capacity for Flixbus but has now changed to megabus as seen by L28URG on May 5th.

Quinns is another megabus contractor as seen by BF16XPH on May 2nd.

Snowdons have yet another ex SC vehicle, OVK902 seen in Elizabeth Street on May 5th.
Volvo B12B Plaxton Panther new to Parks of Hamilton as LSK873 and previous with New Adventure Travel of Cardiff

Finally Watts are also a contractor as seen by VDL WJ17EZK on May 4th.

Gary Seamarks

hodgsons with a megabus M12 to Middlesbrough on May 1st,  new to Park's of Hamilton as KSK 978.

London operators

Andrew Webb

Go Ahead London are currently trialling this Wright Electroliner on route 119 linking Bromley North with Purley Way Colonnades, a retail park opposite the former Croydon Airport. 

LY71GHZ is seen on May 7th in Park Street Croydon. 

The first fleet order for use in London has been made by Abellio who intend to use them on route 111 between Kingston and Heathrow airport.

Gavin Francis

Certainly no doubt about what is planned for the coming weeks. Seen on May 2nd.

Another CSS London bus is 15048 seen on May 4th.

I know that Roedean is a girls school on the South coast but I wonder what this vehicle was doing in VCS on May 2nd.

Gary Seamarks

I visited London recently, of note the following were seen of the Stagecoach part open top Scanias 15026/7/9/30/48 and 15035, of the E400's 19131/2/4/5/6 were seen. Plenty of open top about, but few carrying what could be called decent loads. TfL seems a lot quieter than my last proper visit of 2018, but still managed almost 400 shots.

London Buses in the Laandscape

Plenty of variety to see.


As Gary's pictures show there is much to see in London these days.

Grahame Wareham

Herewith some gen for issue 202 with fleet numbers 202. 

The first image is of Guy Arab II 6LW/Weymann L27/28R, originally numbered A202 but renumbered L120 in 1952.

This image shows A120 JWL925 in Gloucester Green laying over between duties, probably a spare bus as by this time their use was more sporadic.

The gearbox on these Guy's did not suffer fools easily and played all sorts of tunes when the oil was cold! L120 was withdrawn in May 1957 after12 years service and sold to a London dealer A.M.C.C. the same month, possibly scrapped or exported. 

The next 202 that COMS used this fleet number on was another of the ex. James Bros/South Wales Transport lowbridge Atlanteans PDR1/1 UBX45 of 1960 vintage with a Weymann L39/34F body.


This example was only to last a couple of years at Oxford as it caught fire whilst returning to Oxford from Aylesbury on a 82 working in June 1972.
It was subsequently sent for scrap to Barraclough, Carlton, Barnsley in September 1972.

The next 202 was VJO202X a dual doored ECW bodied Leyland Olympian ONLXB/1R, (I remember it arriving on the Saturday of the 1982 Holton Steam Rally at Wheatley and after it had received a quick PDI, I borrowed it for the weekend for display at the rally site, along with 201).

The images of this 202 shows the many livery variations it carried during its eighteen year career with Oxford.

One image of interest shows it parked in Barnsley bus station not long after receiving a repaint and front upper deck window alterations.
(The original ones with hopper vents used to fall out)! 202 that time had been up to Yorkshire to take part in the South Yorkshire Transport Rally.

202 was amongst a handful of Olympians that were retained for an extra year after withdrawal for use on Q-Buster duties, complete with its fine Morrell's Ales Unibus advertising, during the summer of 1999 and Spring 2000 helping out with the influx of foreign language students along the Banbury Road corridor.

At the end of April 2000 202 was collected by Hedingham Omnibuses, along with 206, where it was to loose its centre exit and become L310 in their fleet for the next eleven years finally moving to L.C. Transport (Leyton) in September 2011 for two years of school contract work for Palmers College in Grays, Essex. It does not appear to be recorded what happened to it after 2013 but I would imagine (from experience) that the corrosion from the salty Essex marshes had taken its toll by then ending a commendable 31 year career.

A most interesting recollection from Grahame. Ed.

Neil Gow

My contribution to the selection of photos of vehicles numbered 201 is this one I know you’ve seen before in print before, now digitised for your readers.

This is Leyland Olympian 201 seen loading in Queen Street on its first day in service with COMS, June 2nd 1982.

Michael Wadman

Here we have an unlikely shot apparently of a Portsmouth Citybus Leyland Atlantean in Faringdon Market Place.

HRV 509N was actually operated at the time by Telford Travel of Highworth,
who ran service 66 to Swindon from May 1993 until July 1994. This photo by Keith Newton.

Also a couple of shots that I took on 27th September 2004 of the Faringdon Community Bus, which operated section 22 local services within the town and to the nearby village of Great Coxwell.

CN51BNF was a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with UVG body.

Now further pictures from Cheltenham and Gloucester.

511 and 512 seen in Cheltenham on June 30th 2001 and  September 27th 2000, both Dennis Dart SLF - Plaxton Pointer SPD B41F

14609, new to Newcastle Busways, seen in Gloucester on April 10th 2004.

17722, a Transbus Trident/Transbus ALX400 in Gloucester on April 10th 2004.

Dart 34405 seen in Cheltenham on May 8th 2004.

As ever thanks to Michael for very interesting shots. Ed. 

James Allum

Some pics I took in Newcastle and Durham on May 7th.

First picture is of a Go North East Route 56 colourful Gemini heading out of Newcastle towards Sunderland 

Second picture is of a poorly Arriva Durham Solo 2869 receiving drivers attention. After a bit of work it started 

Third and final picture is of Arriva Durham Eclipse 1533 prior to working the final route 57A to Hartlepool via Bowburn. The Arriva blue livery looks good in the dull rain!

My thanks to James for these interesting pictures. Ed.

Martyn Sacaloff at Quorn Woodhouse Great Central Railway

I am sure readers will enjoy these pictures from Martyn Sacaloff of this event.

Nick Ross

One from the Great Central Railways enjoyable Quorn bus rally on May 7th 2022.

An immaculate Leyland Olympian 654 once of United Counties Kettering depot now preserved by the Northampton Heritage Trust.
654 is at Loughborough Midland on a Quorn shuttle.