At the end of Part One you left me at Bluewater having just alighted from a rather enjoyable Greenline liveried RT. I also had a phone with not much battery left, and many photos still to take so drastic action was needed. When I passed through Bluewater on MD60 I noticed Arriva Kent had got some new E400MMC's on the Medway - Bluewater 700 service advertising USB charging. Just what the doctor ordered so I decided to take a ride to Chatham and back to get the phone charged up before resuming the Running Day. There are some who really hate the new Arriva Sapphire livery, but from the front I don't think it looks that bad.
|Arriva Kent 6517 entering Bluewater Bus Station|
|Utterly hideous, and unblock those windows too!|
So let's leave the amateurish present in Kent, and return to the glorious past, where relief services were commonplace. I had a date with a DMS, but before that arrived I was treated to a couple of others in the fading light, allowing interior lights to take effect, and yes, MD60 by lucky chance was one of them!
Then the DMS arrived. I drove open and closed top DMS in London in the late 80's and thoroughly enjoyed them. I also wanted to finally meet the driver of this one, a certain Martijn Gilbert, CEO of the highly impressive Reading Buses. We have got to know each other on Twitter but this was our first face to face meeting. I am a fan of Reading Buses - and not just because Martijn shares my hatred of rattles. The are very forward thinking, and Martijn is the sort of boss who thinks nothing of turning up unannounced and mucking in with the night crew to clean and wash the buses. I like managers who see everyone as a crucial cog in the smooth operation of the business, regardless of their role.
So I decided I'd stick on the DMS until the end of the day, hitching a lift back to Purfleet. So I settled down on this good looking bus and prepared for the ride...
|The DMS loading up at Bluewater|
|I know there's one in there somewhere!!!|
|Dartford Tunnel from rear window of an RT|
|RT3251 at Lakeside|
I decided to wander around the shed as I had unfinished business with MD60. I had been asked by a Twitter follower for some interior shots, which obviously I couldn't do with passengers on. Unfortunately when I found her she was parked up in a dark corner and interior shots were impossible. Just then, though, a chap doing the shunting, putting the buses to bed pulled up in the RT I had just got off, and I asked if there was any chance of turning the interior lights on the MD. I hadn't finished the question before he finished it for me, gave a big grin, and said of course in a way that made me feel as though he was only there to serve my needs. Over we went, lights, camera, action and interior shots gained.
|The interior of the MD|
|Time for bed as RT 3251 is reversed into her spot|
I promised a compilation video of what I took at various locations and here it is.
PS Just as I was about to leave the DMS arrived back on the back of the tow truck. Turned out to be a minor alternator problem, but we won't let that minor detail stop us from still blaming Martijn!
|Ummmm someone broke the bus!!!|