Monday 9 February 2015

Ipswich Loans History Part 1

As promised in the Round Up yesterday here is the first installment of a look back at the various buses that have been on loan in Ipswich, mainly to Ipswich Buses, over the last 30 odd years. Bryan Dickson has a staggering pictorial record of all the comings and goings over the years and so never one to look a goldmine in the shaft I've asked hm to have a good rummage. So here we go.

We start in 1986 with this Eastern Counties Ford Transit Minibus that was on loan to cover a soon to be withdrawn service 36 to Wherstead Village. We had 4 of these as ferry buses on Boro'line and I remember them well. Not with great nostalgia I must admit!

Eastern Counties Ford Transit/Dormobile MB968 C968 YAH on loan to cover a soon to be withdrawn service 36 to Wherstead Village in 1986.       pic (c) BD
Next up is an MCW Metrorider from 1988. I was driving these in Maidstone in 1988 and all they lacked was a bit of poke - compared to other smaller vehcles we had at the time they weren't bad. Note the future Wetherspoons in the background is still a carpet shop! Is that a Dodge behind it? Crucifixes out!

MCW Metrorider Demonstrator E632 TOG at Tower Ramparts in July 1988     pic (c) BD
Now a body that brings back great memories for me. At Maidstone we had a load of Duple Dominant Bedfords that were quite interesting to drive. In September 1988 Ipswich Buses had this Duple Dominant bodied Dennis Lance on what looks like Northumbria livery, although I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm mistaken!"

Dennis Lance D631 BPL on a 30 to Debenham in September 1988      pic (c) BD
Another Metrorider now, from May 1992, but this time an Optare version. Kentish Bus had a lot of these, but I never got to drive any of them. I do know they weren't that popular though. Note the direction of travel along Old Cattle Market.

Optare Metrorider Demonstrator J366 BNW on a Park and Ride service in Old Cattle Market in May 1992       pic (c) BD
On to the first of a couple of deckers now, and first up is this Reading Buses Optare Spectra from February 1994. Obviously this must have made a good impression as Ipswich Buses bought one the next year (Delight) and 3 more 6 years later.

Reading Buses Optare Spectra K170 FYG on an 11 to Heath Rd Hospital in Feb 1994     pic (c) BD
Last up for this part is a Nottingham Transport Alexander bodied Scania N113 from April 1994. I don't know what it was with Nottingham City Transport but their buses always had very solid front bumpers - their Atlanteans had iron girders - and this Scania looks justr as intmidating. I like the slanted windscreen too, which was like that to reduce glare and reflection from interior lights.

Nottingham City Transport 353 Scania N113 Alexander L353 MRR at Tower Ramparts April 1994.     pic (c) BD
I hope this has brought back a few memories for some of you, and look out for part two in the near future.

UPDATE: Further to the round up yesterday Malcolm Robson has got in touch to tell me that although they have been up to look at Lothian |darts no decision has yet been made as to purchase any. Also Yarmouth Dart 42921 is still in Norwich with Norwch B7l 66301 still in Yarmouth. My apologies for the inaccuracies. My sources face a firing squad at dawn!!


  1. Finally got a google account. Just hope I remember I have it. Fascinating post as always, think Great Yarmouth Transport had the Metroriders (or something similar as well in the 90s when I first moved here. I seem to recall that the Ford transits were in use in Great Yarmouth around the same period. Look forward to part 2.

    1. Thanks, John and welcome to your Google account!! I hope you'll be a regular commentor on her as you always have nice things to say!!

  2. Yes remember the duple dominant bodied lance. It did one or two debenham school runs while here. I was still at school at the time so remember seeing it but didnt ride on it.Soames ran my route with a mix of ford,daf and volvo coaches ( all plaxton). IB ran a metro rider on the sat 5.15 from Ipswich to fram for a year or two b4 they decided to paint some lances and and an excel in suffolkbus blue and ran them on here. And yes there was a 5.15 on a sat but was withdrawn a few years back while far east travel were operating.

    1. I'll be on the 1715 Weds and Fri if you're around, mate.

    2. OK fella.will let you know one way or another.

  3. Very interesting post Steve - looking forward to more from Bryan's archives.

    Thanks for your enjoyable company today