Thursday, 23 March 2017

#TBT ~ WEX929S

This week's Throw Back Thursday features an Eastern Counties Bristol LH6L leaving Great Yarmouth's Market Gates Bus Station prior to the construction of the Troll Cart public house

The Eastern Coach Works B43F bodied single decker had just arrived on the 605 service from Lowestoft at lunch time on the 26th April 1985. WEX929S was new to 'Counties' in April 1978 as their LH929

It remained in the ECOC fleet for ten years prior to its disposal to Trimdon Motor Services and subsequently Busways Travel of Newcastle


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Service Alterations Registered ~ 22nd March 2017

Today's Notices and Proceedings Report, by the East of England Traffic Commissioner, shows the introduction of a new service, an alteration of another and a cancellation.

First Eastern Counties is to introduce a new Sycamore Drive, Rendlesham to Farlingaye High School service from 18th April 2017. Numbered 917, it will operate on Monday to Fridays on school days only.

Under short notice, Great Yarmouth based Ambassador Travel is to amend the timetable of its 879 Gorleston to Ditchingham service from 18th April 2017

Venturer Coachways is to cancel its 937 Woodbridge schools service to Felixstowe under short notice from the 31st March 2017.

My thanks to JohnWF for his help in enabling me to prepare this post


Monday, 20 March 2017

Ambassador Arrivals

With the age limit on four of Ambassador Travel's National Express coaches having been reached, regular contributor Robert Collins reports the arrival of four temporary replacements at Ambassador's Gapton Hall site over the weekend.

The newcomers are Caetano Levante bodied Volvo B9R coaches FJ11MKF/V and FJ11MJU/X, with some of them (if not all) having visited the county before on Brighton to Norwich services. Three of them were new to National Express in July 2011 whilst MJX followed a month later. It is believed the quartet will be on loan for twelve months.

It is the understood that the coaches they will replace (Levante bodied Scanias FJ09DXA/B/C/E) are not being retained as it's thought that a buyer has already been found for them.

My thanks to Robert for the information and photos. Apologies for the initial incorrect registrations


Yesterday at Caister Road

Driver Roger Bellward had one of his rare Sundays at work and captured some visitors to First Great Yarmouth's Caister Road.

Lowestoft's Gemini 37570 (AU58ECT) was hanging around for its regular MOT and there were a couple of Norwich vehicles in the depot expected to receive similar treatment

Another Gemini paying a visit was First Norwich Blue Line 36170 BD11CFP
My thanks to Roger for his permission to use his photos which have also been posted to The First Easter Counties Bus Blog Facebook Group

Another Norwich visitor was Yellow Line 66976 KX05MGZ, an ex First Leicester Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B7RLE

Friday, 17 March 2017

Victoria Coach Station ~ 85th Anniversary

A local resident of our area was very privileged in being invited to attend the recent 85th anniversary celebrations of London's Victoria Coach Station. Martyn Jarvis of Lowestoft could only attend on Friday last due to other commitments over the weekend so here is is his take on the day.

Wilts & Dorset EMW284 is a Bristol LB / Beadle C32R of 1947 vintage
'The event took up lanes 1-4 of the coach station being protected by Heras fencing on red/white blockers. There were photo opportunities to be had viewing the entrance for those want shots of modern coaches entering the coach station. Inside the parking area, coaches were parked in close fashion as they would be in a ‘real’ situation. Not so good for photography but recreating an ambience of coach travel of the 1950’s & 1960’s. On the Friday there was a good representative collection of Bristols, Leylands, AEC, Bedford SB and BMMO C5. Entry was not permitted except by invitation but a wonderfully supported event.

A 1932 English Electric bodied AEC Regal - FV4548 is currently available for sale.
A history of the vehicle can be seen at
Organised by the ‘Thames Valley & Great Western Omnibus Trust’ who had a stall inside the main concourse. They were selling various memorabilia including a commemorative booklet for a very reasonable £6. This was well illustrated showing the coach station history throughout its existence from 1932 to 2017. How many facilities in the UK can equal this record? Interestingly there is a photo of the underground coach park (which I didn’t know existed) but with numerous concrete support columns did not suit 36ft coaches of the latter 1960’s. Of local interest a photo of HAH892D loading for the East Anglian Express service to Yarmouth via Chelmsford & Bury St Edmunds.

A Duple bodied Bristol LL6B - LTA958 is preserved in the colours of Southern National

Other stalls present included one crewed by TfL/VCS staff who were giving away a souvenir programme showing the various coaches expected to be present over the three days. Colour photos and a brief description of each vehicle including present owner are included. For a small donation to the ‘Transport Benevolent Fund’ it was good value. Bachmann also had their roadshow stand and were selling some 2nd grade model buses at giveaway prices. Their display stand showed both 2017 model programme buses in 1:76 scale and some 1:148 ‘N’ gauge buses.
A Red & White 1968 Bristol RELH6L with an Eastern Coach Works C47F body
One thing caught my eye and that was the manufacturers sticker in the back window of OAX9F – namely for BCV and ECW. Very topical with this being the 30th anniversary of the ECW plant closure, very sad.

All in all a great day recreating the atmosphere of that golden age of coach travel in a very historic setting.'

Many thanks to Martyn for his contribution and his photos - it looks to have been a very enjoyable day.


Thursday, 16 March 2017

#TBT Throw Back Thursday ~ WEB409T

Yes, before you know it, its Thursday again! Today's look into the past features a photo of a Premier Travel coach awaiting departure at 'Counties' Wellington Road depot with the 13:40 to Oxford on 26th April 1985

The subject is WEB409T, an AEC Reliance with Plaxton Supreme IV Express C49F bodywork which was new to the operator in February 1979. It was exhibited at Showbus 80 and became the only Reliance and oldest vehicle to join the fleet of Cambridge Coach Services from Premier Travel.

After a short stay with Cambridge Coach Services it moved on to Davids of Pontcymer, South Wales, in 1994. Note the Ambassador Travel coach to the right.


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

StreetLite Loan

You may remember yesterday I stated that one of Norwich's StreetLites was on loan to Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot.

Today 47511 SN64CRX spent most of the day on the 6 route between Bradwell and Market Gates Bus Station and I photographed it leaving the latter terminus earlier this afternoon.