Saturday 4 October 2014

It's A Blog's Life (And Photo First)

When I started this little venture nearly a year ago I admit I was pretty naive as to some of the problems I would face. Firstly I didn't realise just how saturated with bus blogs this area is compared to other parts of the country for example. Secondly I didn't know just how time consuming it would become, and thirdly I had absolutely no idea just how mentally draining it would become, and the biggest drain on the old grey matter is what to post and what not to post. You would be amazed what news comes my way every week, and it is my responsibility to filter the genuine from the likely, from the unlikely, from the utter bovine waste product. For example in the last couple of days I have heard the following - not mentioning ANY names, companies, or locations:

  • A company going to fold in next three months
  • A fleet of Gemini 3 Volvos for this area next year
  • A little compnay having backing from a big umbrella company to take over a bigger company in this area
  • A company having random spot checks on their fleet this week
  • A company expanding a route, and another about to challenge on an established route 
  • Vehicles I have been told by many that are coming to a company now might not even exist.
Now you will notice I have posted nothing relating to any of those stories this week, and I won't eleborate on any of them now or in the future unless they become fact. Such is the role of sole editor. Sometimes I get it wrong, make a misjudgement and post something I shouldn't, or  vice versa, and make it seem like I'm behind the times. For example I think it's this weekend, might be next but First are getting new ticket machines. I have known that for yonks, but was asked not to say anything. A few days later another blog posted pictures of the dratted things having told it was ok by another member of First! Such is life.

And so today I have had another such decision to make. It maybe the right one, it may not, but I'm going to be as neutral as I can and put both sides, then sit back and wait to see what transpires.

I had already planned to go to Kings Lynn for the first time in ages with the hope of photographing Norfolk Green's "new" refurbished Tridents. The two that have been delivered aren't about yet, though and the weather didn't exactly make a long walk to their depot an attractive proposition. But then on Thursday I read in Gerard's X1 Blog that Gemini 37578 was due back at KL after repainting at Full Circle so vinyls could be applied. A Brucie Bonus indeed, so after heading over there using both the 8 and X1 to compare E400's again (more in separate post on X1 E400 anniversary) I just beat the rain to First's KL depot and came face to face with 38578. No obvious vinyls yet, but all the time in the world to take as many pics as I could. Unfortunately the light reflecting off the front of the bus marrs the pics a little but I thought the Geminis would suit that blue from the start and I think you'll agree she does look rather good.

37578 in Kings Lynn Depot
Looking nearly as good as Sam Larke's mock up of a few weeks ago
Unfortunately couldn't really get to the offside
While I was taking the pics I got talking to some of the guys at the depot and this is when I thought I first of all had a huge news story, but as you will see had to make a very difficult decision if to publish or not. The guys at Kings Lynn - and there were three of them all in different capacities within the depot told me, and are convinced that both 37578 and 37579 are to REMAIN at Kings Lynn and provide cover for the E400's - indeed even on a Saturday there were no spare buses there apart from 33517, which was over the pits, and had to be pressed into service a couple of hours later. One of the guys even joked there would be fights as to who got to drive the Geminis as they are infinitely more popular than the E400's. Now that was the first I had heard of that, and I knew that news would not be favourably received East of Norwich, especially with one particular blogger in the Gorleston area!

Now one thing I have learned over the last year is if I publish something as radical as that there are people who immediately set Twitter and email alight approaching management for clarification rather than just seeing what happens. So to avoid that I broke a golden rule of mine and sent Chris Speed, First Eastern Counbties Business Manager a message asking him to clarify what I had heard. Chris, to his credit replied very quickly and said that the Geminis would only be going to KL for the vinyls to be applied and that was it, intimating their return to Yarmouth or Lowestoft.

So now I had a problem. Conflicting stories and versions of events. What do I publish? One side, both sides or nothing. I decided this was a bit hot to not publish, but to be fair I have posted both versions of what is going to happen. One of them will turn out to be right, one won't.  It will be very interesting to see what does eventually happen to the newly liveried Geminis. One thing KL did confirm is that the end of 33423's career as a stunning showbus both inside and out is well and truly nigh. Not only is she being repainted into X1 livery, but the tints are coming off the windows and the mustard and brown seats coming out. Such a shame. UPDATE: See Weekly Nerws Round Up above. Anyway if anyone is upset by my posting what I have tonight, just give me the benefit of the doubt, and remember that it is a very hard balancing act at times knowing what to publish and what to keep secret. I'll leave you with one more pic of 37578 and there will be an X1 special up in the next couple of days.

37578 waiting for her vinyls and her fate!


  1. Simple answer publish the correct information when you have it and not hearsay, makes a better read and you more creditable as a source of news via the blog, just a thought

  2. Here's a thought - how about you actually have the guts to say who you are, stop changing your writing style to pathetically try to fool everyone (it was "u" not "you" last time), and say something constructive rather than just coming across as a bitter, twisted rather sad individulal. Then your comments might have some credibility, rather than the rantings of a special kind of idiot!

  3. Only another year until the next repaint?

  4. You mean when the route is joined up again? Who knows buddy - management are saying that the route is making more since it split so are they really going to join it up again?

  5. Hmm, OK, serious cap on for a second:

    With regards to the stories issue (don't worry, I won't dwell on this); maybe it's just me, but by process of elimination there seems to be an obvious candidate for the subject/s of 2-6. Whether that's a good thing or not though I really don't know. As you've discovered though, at First at least there does seem to be a bit of left-hand-right-hand going on so, with that in mind, while it would be very easy to get carried away with news and gossip and such like, I for one think you've got the right attitude. With that, and the fact that I suspect most people on here (including me) realise that you're posting what you post in good faith, I think you may have less reason to worry than you might think (if that makes sense).

    Anyway, the Geminis; the blue really suits them, at first glance you wouldn't think that was a six year old vehicle. As for where they'll be based, well, (disclaimer) IMO (disclaimer) it seems clear that 37578/9 are intended to be cover for King's Lynn's E400s to some degree. Whether they'll be based at KL for this purpose though is another matter, especially with Yarmouth continuing to be short of deckers itself, but that's a thread I shan't pull today :)

  6. What some people need to understand is that all newspapers print speculation. Just go to teletext and look at the football gossip page and see just how much of that actually happens. I hear a lot of things that I dismiss - most of them to do with Borderbus it must be said - and I know AP will smile wryly if he reads this. I have to use my judgement and sometimes I get it wrong. What I try not to do, though, is to post anything that could be commercially sensitive or damaging to a company.

    The other thing that needs to be understood is that I can post something told to me by the highest authority. Unfortunately even the highest powers have the right to change their mind on things, and often do. I'm pretty sure that has happened in recent days, and if that happens it makes me the fall guy. That's an occupational hazzard and one I'll happily shoulder. It just frustrates me when the ignorant accuse me of posting inaccuracies when I go out of my way - especially with First - to verify what I have been told. Indeed the only people I do talk to at First are either at Senior Driver or management level. All other info comes from other bloggers who have spoken to other management!