Sunday 19 October 2014

Weekly News Round Up 19/10/14

It's that time when I normally wake up in a cold sweat with the realisation that it's round up day again. However not today as thanks to the help and generosity of many people this will be an easy one to do.


Ipswich first, and apologies if I slip up here as the comings and goings are happening thick and fast and it's hard to keep up at times. However to the best of my knowledge and relying on information from elsewhere returned are ex P&R B7rle's 69422/6 and B7tl 32493. Gone the other way is B7tl 32489. Expected soon are more 669 series B7rle's from Essex with the beloved - oh hang on that's the wrong word - with the disliked beyond measure 656 series Scanias going the other way.

Now a gripe. There have been many pics in blogland of freshly repainted buses in Ipswich with bright shiny silver wheels. Sadly these wheels are getting less silver and dirtier by the day. Is it too much to ask that the wheels are kept clean? It's little features like that which makes vehicles stand out and shows a real pride in the fleet.

There was much excitement in Norwich this week when the first of their buses to be repainted arrived back from Rotherham. Plaxton President 33163 has been liveried for the Orange route and should be out in - what? - the Purple route and should be out in service this week. I am grateful to Sam Larke from Norwich Buses Blog who has sent me a pic seen nowhere else, not even on his own blog. I have a feeling that particular blog will be the place to watch (after this one of course) for news on the 100+ repaints coming up in Norwich over the next year or so.  In fact it is the number one blog for Norwich!You can access San's Flickr page by clicking here.

First Norwich 33163 LR02 LXZ in new Purple Route livery rather bizarrely showing X1 Norwich.  (c) Sam Larke
Now some rather sad but I guess inevitible news. After donating her gearbox to her sister the future for Yarmouth Olympian 34187 was always bleak, and so it proved a couple of days ago when she was towed away to be scrapped. However it shouldn't be too long before 34110 is back on the road so not all bad news! In other Yarmouth news the X1 Blog has reported that after its extensive damage in Gorleston last week, Gemini 37573 will be repainted into X1 livery as part of its repair process, so 37579 will not be repainted after all. I will get that clarified later in the week.

34187 seen with 34109 on a BM Contract on 12th May this year
Finally from First this week the good people between Caister and James Paget had a rare treat on Monday when E400 33423 dipped its toes on the route. My thanks goes to Grahame Bessey of East Norfolk Bus Blog for the use of this rather splendid photo. You can access Grahame's Flickr page by clicking here,

God that's a good picture. 33423 on the 8's in Caister.  (c) Grahame Bessey
Norfolk Green

If you have been reading the blog this week you will have seen my failed attempts to spot one of Norfolk Green's freshly painted ALX400 's that have just entered service. Undeterred by that, the aforementioned Grahame Bessey ventured to Kings Lynn yesterday, and he obviously found the pile of brown stuff I didn't as his luck overflowed and saw two of them out on the 505 which runs between Kings Lynn and Spalding. My luck then changed as he said I could use one of his pics - many more on his Flickr page.  Many thanks again, Grahame, and it's a real pleasure to have pics from two other bloggers on the round up this week. That's the way it should be - we are in this together.

Norfolk Green 17786 ALX400 Trident LX03 BYZ at Kings Lynn     pic (c) Grahame Bessey

I am grateful to David Green for supplying me with some more Galloway updates. However, if you don't mind I'll save them for next week as due to other committments as revealed below I won't be out spotting much this week and will need items for next week's round up.


On Tuesday this humble publication is one year old. To celebrate this milestone I have been fortunate enough to line up interviews with top men. Top. . . . . . . . Men!! (if you haven't seen Indiana Jones or Family Guy that will be lost on you!)

During the course of this week I will be interviewing Philip Eden of Anglian, Chris Speed of First, and Andrew Pursey of Borderbus. That is of course if the forecast high winds don't bring down half of Suffolk and East Norfolk! Suffice it to say this is going to be a week the likes of which I could only have dreamed of this time last year and is not to be missed.

While you are waiting for those interviews I have introduced a new feature to the blog - by the top of the post, on the right hand side you will find links to three random posts, which change each time you have a different page up. If you have a few spare mins just have a browse through some old posts, or posts that were up before you started reading the blog - the longer darker evenings will just fly by!!


  1. What another good post Steve a bit sad but apart from that it is really good post from my number 1 follower which is you.

  2. Thanks Lou - always good to hear from you :)

  3. Steve,re-cleaning wheels etc at Ipswich,i have on many occasions mentioned dirty buses,but,there is a problem in Foundation street,when the buses start coming in at around 18.30ish they que up in Foundation street and if too many get back at once they start to park in Star lane and this causes a problem,hence you see the buses being driven thru the wash ,rather than the wash go thru it's motion,and i reckon that's why certain things get over looked,sad i know,especially when the backs get missed for days or even weeks on end.

    1. It is something I'm going to mention to all the managers I'm meeting this week. One particular niggle I have had recently is the upper deck windscreen, on deckers obviously. On some companies they look as though they haven't been touched all Summer and it just looks shoddy. Now I know a lot of bus washes do the sides and that's it, but even a squirt with a jet wash would get rid of most of the dirt - wheels too! Is there a reason why a jet wash couldn't be installed near the fuel pumps so while they are filling up the wheels and top windscreen get a blast? Attention to detail can pay great dividends in the long run -and if someone tries out a bus for the first time in ages and it's turned out well, those initial impressions go a long way to that customer returning for a second trip.

  4. Re "dirty wheels." Always been a gripe of mine (when you get to my age gripes increase, remember "Grumpy Old Men?"). I've noticed it more since living here as the vast majority of transit (service) buses and trucks (lorries) sport alloy wheels as will be seen when I get round to posting some pics Steve.

    I must admit, it's taken me a long time to get used to First's "refreshed" livery, but I honestly think (from the photos at least) the Norwich pink branding looks really good. Always assuming of course that they stay on the correct route (oops, that's another of this guy's gripes)!

    1. Do you have Specsavers in NC - that one's Purple - the Pinks won't be done till later but there's a pic of a pink one in Plymouth on my Multicoloured Paint Post - see popular posts on the right of the page. But yes, I might have a crusade on cleanliness and presentation, and wheels are so easy to do with a jet wash.

      Looking forward to the pics from the Land of the Free!

  5. Of course it is Steve. Specsavers no, Lenscrafters, yes - much the same. What I like about the branded PURPLE is the rear (until it gets spoiled with adverts and winter grime).