Friday 7 November 2014

Response to Essex Post

Due to a very late arrival in Newcastle last night (165 mins) today's post is basically an email I received yesterday from an Essex gentleman who wishes to remain anonymous. So as I think there maybe a few responses to this we'll call him "Terry" just as a point of reference. Many thanks for getting in touch, Terry, and I do indeed want to give Essex a bit more attention. If you haven't seen Adam's interesting comment on the original post I recommend you take a look too. You can view the post and comment by clicking here. Hope to have a longer post up later today so keep checking in.

Hello there!

I've just come across your Essex post and must say it is good to read what an outsider of my area has to say!

Of note from your post, you might not know that 65672 (and the rest of that batch of 12) used to be dedicated to the 100 Chelmsford to Lakeside service many years ago. Back when used to operate every 20 minutes as opposed to every 15 minutes now.

On the history of 65031 (and the other 4 in its batch) it began life plying its trade on the Sandon Park & Ride in Chelmsford (hence the leather seating) before being replaced by Eclipse 2's following the opening of the Chelmer Valley Park & Ride, with the OmniCity's dropping into the general Chelmsford single decker pool. Incidentally I challenge you to find a pool of buses that can cover such a varied area from 1 depot with Chelmsford single deckers reaching; Brentwood, Colchester, Southend-on-Sea, Stansted Airport and Southminster...pretty much most of Essex!

Ensignbus are a master of success, considering they originally had no interest in a local network in Thurrock originally...they managed to pick up emergency tenders (from the Town & Country demise) and slowly managed to run Arriva out of town who now maintain a local depot here for TfL work only!

The Arriva KT Sapphire vehicles have resulted in the previous Wright Pulsars now being transferred to my "home" depot of Southend. Wayyy back in 2008 were stored at Southend making staff here very jealous (driving E reg double deckers) before they moved over the water to Northfleet.

Finally, I am curious as to what you find interesting about Basildon depot because to me it just seems a bit of a mish mash of vehicles :)

Best Regards,


  1. Being pedantic again (!) but also for historical accuracy, Ensignbus actually preceded Town & Country on Thurrock local work. I can't remember the full details (someone needs to write a book!) but Ensign sold their local Thurrock network to T&C in late 1999 / early 2000. They re-commenced local Thurrock work when T&C went belly up a few years later, and, as "Terry" says, expanded with the takeover of Arriva work. As for Terry's comments re Basildon, isn't a "mish mash of vehicles" what makes this hobby interesting?! Regards, Adam

    1. Welcome aboard Adam. Pedanticism is what makes the enthusiast world go round and is always welcome!

    2. Thanks for the welcome Steve! I agree with you about pedanticism! Adam

    3. Hmm, if you have the urge to visit the "mish mash" that is Basildon, then you need to use the the 70 Colchester-Chelmsford link en route rather than the "luxury" (well, First's idea) 71. Somebody does need to, allegedly! And to complete the muddle then possibly the right incarnations of the 15. Though you'll need your sleeping bag. Or you could just visit your local transport museum! Or stick with Norwich.

    4. I have used the 70 in the past, my friend, which is why I use the 71 now. Enough said!

  2. I commute daily on the 70 from Chelmsford to Braintree, most of the time, the service is operated by ex-London Presidents. However, they don't seem to be too reliable, hence the pick and mix which sometimes travel on the route. They're not particularly comfortable either, being designed for London. Unfortunately, Braintree has the dubious honour of being the 'nursing home' for old buses in retirement!

  3. Hi Lee. You will I hope be well aware of my opinion of ex London Presidents! It is also the reason i will normally get the 71 and not the 70!