Wednesday 14 January 2015

A Few Bits And Pieces

In the last couple of days I have been here, there and everywhere making the most of some wheels of my own which sadly will have ended by time you read this post. However, I haven't been wasting my time.

Yesterday saw me visiting my friends at BorderBus. They are so relaxed there it feels more like a health spa than a bus depot! Nothing major to report from there, except I saw the E300 for the first time in ages. Fuel economy has dictated that E200 BB07 is used on the 146 instead of the E300 so it is only used on school runs at present. One thing that did strike me while there, though was just how clean the buses were despite the terrible road conditions at present. Funny that a company that has the two types of bus I dislike the most - E200's and Presidents - should rank so highly in my preferences. I guess it proves that it's not what you have but what you do with it that counts!

A fleet of gleaming Presidents

The E300 looking great for her age
Today (having conveniently left my camera at home and so had to use my phone) I popped into Beeston's yard to see what was going on there. Dave kindly gave me a tour of the premises, including the workshops, where within the first one was what I had come to see -- the ex Anglian Scania Omnicity, still showing her old Anglian fleet no 427. Dave informed me that she is going to be completely re-trimmed and painted before entering service.

Ex Anglian 427 in Beeston's workshop
Beestons new livery is a slightly greener and darker blue than current, with a silver panel below the windscreen like the Scania demonstrators carried. They are in the process of repainting their recent acquisitions from Transdev - here is one I saw at Ipswich later in the day.

Beestons ex Transdev Scania Omnidekka YN54 OAE at Old Cattle Market
And here is another in Beeston's paintshop ready to be painted.

All rubbed down and ready to paint
Dave has promised me a few pics in the coming days which I'll use for a special on Beestons. Looking forward to them, Dave, and it was great to see you again.

So onto Ipswich and at long last I caught up wiith the two Excel fronted B7rle's, 69426/8. As is the tradition of this blog I didn't just stand in the cold taking pics but got on one to sample the much heralded Italian seats.

69426 about to load up for Stowmarket
And the now famous Italian seats!
Verdict? They look great, but from my backside's point of view I didn't find them as soft as the Irish originals. Maybe once a few hundred bums have sat on them they will be a bit more yielding, but the seats on the Ipswich Buses Omnicity I caught back from the top of Norwich Rd were much more comfortable, which maybe proves my point as they have had nearly 8 years more use.

One last pic in more ways than one. It would seem that this is the last week that the First Ipswich Scanias will be in service, and at the end of the week 65570 and Volvo B7rle 69433 will transfer to Colchester, and 65679/88 will be withdrawn from service at Ipswich. So I was pleased to capture 65588 at Old Cattle Market for one last time. It's a bit like having your faithful pet put to sleep to end its suffering. You know it's the right thing to do but you will still miss them.

65588 nest to 32655 at Old Cattle Market


  1. Steve, if you're looking for routes with a high chance of Olympians on them, have a try of Hedingham's 91 (Tollesbury-Witham), 92 (Tollesbury-Colchester) and 95 (Tollesbury-Maldon). I had a lovely R-reg Volvo/Alexander on the 92 today, and whilst waiting in Tollesbury for the 92 back to Colchester, I saw two other R-reg Olympians, on the 91 and 95. Better get them quick though, as my 92 back was unfortunately a T-reg Trident from Oxford, which suggests Hedingham won't be running them in public service for much longer.

    1. I will have to get down there, Laine. Thanks for the info.