Tuesday 20 January 2015

A Little Lowestoft Loitering

Imagine the scene - it's the coldest day for two years, sub zero temperatures and you find yours truly standing at a freezing bus station in the most Easterly town in the UK. You don't have to be mad to have this hobby but dear God it certainly helps.

To be fair I had just under an hour in Lowestoft which was more than enough thank you but I was waiting for something to return, that had you told me 5 years ago I'd be hanging around with ice blocks for feet just to get a pic I'd have had you sectioned!

I arrived at Lowestoft and it seemed that the Geminis had gone on strike. No less than 4 of them were in the bus station, 3 from Lowestoft and one from Yarmouth.

From left to right 37564/5/74/70 all in need of Paulo's Bus Wash!
37570 subsequently came off the 99 and went spare. 37564/5 both went on the X2 and 37574 went to Yarmouth on the X1. In fact 37564 replaced my next subject. On loan Yorkshire Renown 62143 came in on the X2 and promptly got switched to the 99.

62143 arrives back at Lowestoft on the X2
 I had no intention of taking a pic of the next bus. The memory on my hard drive this bus takes up is just too much, but maybe this best demonstrates just how good the new cleaning regime at Ipswich is now. I understand that the Fresh Start system is due to start at Norwich in around a month's time, and I suggest it gets rolled out at Yarmouth too, as the front rollers on the bus wash clearly don't reach quite far enough, leaving a decent Charlie Chaplin moustache remeniscent of |Movember month!

All it needs is the driver twirling a walking stick out of the window!
And now for two endangered species, if the Renown doesn't count. First of all one of the Tridents I understand Anglian are still hell bent on withdrawing when the refurbished Scanias arriive soon. Even the drivers are saying that they should be retained as spares as spare vehicles are like rocking horse manure there right now. At this time of year when breakdowns are more frequent you would think they would want as many spare vehicles as possiible, especially deckers. We will see if common sense prevails.

Anglian 722 enters Lowestoft Bus Station
The final endangered species used to be ubiquitous in Eastern Counties but now only two are left, both in Lowestoft. There was no sign of SLF Plaxton Pointer Dart 43481 yesterday but 43466 was plying its trade on the 111 to Carlton Colville and it was this I hung around for before carchng the X1 to Yarmouth. I'll miss them in the same way I miss a long running scar that suddenly clears up!

43466 arrives on the 111 yesterday
 And so onto Yarmouth, where my plan came together and I got a ride on an Olympian, though not as long as I thought it would be. I was expecting one to turn up on the 6 or 7 so was pleasantly surprised when 34108 came in on the 8 to James Paget Hospital. Excellent I thought - I'd get a decent photo opportunity while it had ts layover at JPH. So the usual superbly quiet, comfortable and non rattly ride ensued, and before I knew it we were at the hospital. I got off, camera in hand only for it to disappear Out Of Service back in the direction of Yarmouth. Not happy I made my way back to Yarmouth and got stuck into some KFC - for the vantage point only you understand, and saw 34114 go out to Belton on the 7. So with half hour to spare I wandered down to the coach park to see what was on the BM contract and you'll never guess what was on it!

34108 on BM contract yesterday
Yes the very bus that had abandoned me at James Paget. Are Yarmouth that short of working buses again that service buses have to be cut to fulfil Contract work? Anyway it was a strange day for the 8's yesterday. I had already seen Lamppost 47502 on the 8's, and 34108 was replaced by another Lamppost.

47502 on the 8's yesterday, one of 2 on the normally decker operated route
So considering the 8 is normally operated by deckers, or at the least full length deckers it was quite surprising to see one of the Rotherham Renowns on the 2. Sometimes one is used on the Barrack Estate side but the route to JPH is particularly tight and it will have been quite a challenge for the driver to negotiate the back streets of Gorleston. Better him than me! The pic is lousy but you can just make it out on the destination screen.

Good luck mate!
And that was it. I retired to the gas buses for the afternoon which have superb heating to go with everything else I love about them! Stay warm everyone.


  1. The 15:00 approximately from Gorelston to Caister (Number 8) has been a StreetLite for the last few weeks (generally Mondays, Thursdays & Fridays, but today on the 8 was an Eclipse). It's always really packed!
    And also the 13:00 from Caister to JPH on Thursdays always seemed to be either a Olympian or a renown up until about a week ago.
    So they can be out quite often, depending on time of day

  2. Great read as always some really good photos on there my favourites had to be of 33423 and the 4 Geminis. A single on the X2 is a really rare working that is run normally by doubles and my Nan told me that the X1 and X2 were ran entirely by doubles love the photos.