Issue 60
(OBP-276)

Sunday 4th January 2004

next update week ending 16th January 2004

Please note that any comments made in this news page are those of the Editors' and in no way constitute 
any official points of view from the bus companies mentioned,  or indeed any other official body. 
As a news page we reserve the right to make valid comments as seen from an editorial point of view.

If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid week news please
let me know on
malcolmhc@aol.com

A Happy New Year to all my readers. The last few weeks have been hectic with many people away on holiday, full buses and coaches and with the sales starting city and town centres brimming with people. I have enjoyed a welcome break and look forward to 2004 being a year full of developments on the bus and coach scene in our area.

It was in 1998 that I took over the editing of The Oxford Bus Page from David Root and there are archive pages going back to December 1999. I am aware that many pictures have been the victims of missing links, this being due to part of my hosting facilities changing and at some stage I will try to reinstate those broken links. It will however be a massive task. Over the intervening time so many changes have taken place. The old Thames Transit has now completely disappeared and the branding of The Oxford Bus company has taken on many new hues. Back in 1998 the city of Oxford was the home of Leyland Olympians and a number of Leyland Leopards and Tigers. The Oxford Tube was just over 11 years old and in 2007 will celebrate its twentieth anniversary.  Chiltern Queens was still alive an well and Arriva had yet to arrive on the scene. Oxford Bus has a foothold in High Wycombe and digital photography was in its infancy. One could go on and on but the fact is that now in 2004 the changes manifested are legion and the bus scene grows in interest. I am delighted that these pages have maintained a record for 5 years and hopefully will continue for another 5 years to come.

As is often the case we seem never to anything approaching a white Christmas and when I looked at the photo below taken on New Year's Eve I thought how it could have been taken later on a summer evening such is the blue sky and shadows.

Stokenchurch & Princes Risboro'

Following the report from Ed Maun, Newman Morgan writes with some additional notes.

Newman says "Firstly, thank you very much for another year of what is now the OCBP.

I would like to enhance Ed Maun's comments about Thames Valley vehicles based at the Stokenchurch dormy shed.

I indeed remember the two Bristol KSW's 730 and 731, registered JRX 828 and 829 I believe. These were withdrawn by the early 1960s from Stokenchurch and were replaced by Bristol LD Lodekkas from the 808-814 batch registered PRX926-929 and SMO78-80.  These were 60 seaters, 33 upstairs and 27 downstairs with manually operated rear doors.

The two Stokenchurch vehicles used either 31 and 32 or 31 and 34 as their car running numbers, I can't remember which sequence is correct. One spent most of its day on the 39 to and from Wycombe and Watlington whilst the other worked alternatively 40 Wycombe-Radnage and 41 Wycombe-Ibstone. Although only 2 vehicles remained allocated to Stokenchurch the rosters commenced from and finished at Stokenchurch with daytime refuelling run to Wycombe Marsh Garage. Although any 2 of the 7 LD's mentioned above could be allocated to Stokenchurch, it was customary to find 810 PRX928 and 811 PRX929 as the depot allocation. Should one or other of these vehicles need maintenance it was replaced by one of the other 5 usually during the refuelling changeover at Wycombe Marsh. In fact it was quite rare to see 810 and 811 on anything other than Stokenchurch duties. However on the odd occasion a KSW (730 or 731 or one of the others at Wycombe) would find itself on Stokenchurch rosters deputising for the usual 810 or 811. Saturday workings were a little different and there were two evening journeys to Watlington worked by a late Bristol FLF from the mid-60s at least, which had come off 28 Readings. The last round trip on Saturdays for this roster used to be 9.25pm Wycombe-Watlington and 10.20pm Watlington-Wycombe Marsh, on service through to the Marsh. On Saturdays during these years there were two 10.30pm departures from Wycombe Station, a 40 to Radnage and a 41 to Ibstone.

As regards COMS vehicles garaged at Stokenchurch, I remember AEC Regents as a very young kid but later I remember long wheelbase AEC Reliances which worked the 75 Wycombe-Oxford along with other services including a Fridays and Saturdays 80 Wycombe-Stokenchurch-Thame. The 80 acted as a 75 duplicate to and from Stokenchurch on these days but for the rest of the week, except Sundays, I believe 80 worked Stokenchurch-Thame only. I can picture the vehicles as they had the classical BET-style bodywork of the time, but I don't recall if it was by Weymann, Marshall or Willowbrook?

In fact I can now remember some earlier shorter wheel base Reliances working out of Stokenchurch on the 75 and 80.

Hope these Kodak moments from my (ageing!) memory are of interest...."

Indeed they are an continue to provide an interesting history of operations in Stokenchurch.

Well, now on to the reports for our area. Your contributions continue and I am pleased to receive them each week. My thanks to everyone who sent information.

Malcolm Crowe, 4th January 2004.

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News of the local companies 4th January 2004


Formally a Lucky Bus Dart, 3104 is now based at Aylesbury.
It is seen here on a 261 working in Chinnor on the 30th December 2003.

News of goings on from Arriva are somewhat lacking this week.

Carousel Buses, High Wycombe.


MB51 CB51BUS seen here on 2nd January 2004 at Heathrow Central Bus Station
showing the Limited Stop display used between Heathrow and Uxbridge.

  

   

I was fortunate to have coach nr 60 for a duty to London on the X90 and can only say how impressed I am by these fine coaches. The automatic locker door is a welcome help to the driver and makes for easier loading of heavy cases which seem to abound on routes to and from Oxford.


Coach nr 60 is seen at VCS awaiting its return trip to Oxford.

A number of interesting workings took place on boxing Day and New Year's Day when route 15 saw SLF Darts in place of Volvos or Citaros. This was caused by the fact that on those days the 6 and 15 were inter worked.


The hired Darts from Metrobus having returned "home" means that all 14 workings are now
in the hands of the remaining 5xx series Oxford Darts.

Following the delivery of the Citaros and the return of the Metrobus Darts additional buses were withdrawn. Volvo B10Bs 644, 645, 646, 647 and 649 have now been placed in storage pending disposal.

It has been noticed that low floor Volvo B10BLEs are in use on 4 road on Sundays.


Relief Citaros for the X3/X13 road are to be found in the shape of 837 and 838.
When not required for X3/X13 road they can normally be found on 15 road.

All the Volvo B10Bs formally with X3 branding have now been placed in the general duties fleet and as such 611-620 can be seen on other roads including 2, 4 and 35 roads.


With a steady hand or somewhere to rest the camera a nice evening shot is possible.
Here we see National Express operations (Stansted) Ltd's LV53KVX awaiting departure from VCS on the A6


It seems a long time ago now that the 757 was rerouted through the centre of Oxford.
Here W336CDN is seen proceeding up The High over the Christmas break.
Crew changes are now normally made at Sandhills inbound.

 


The three Devon Olympians can now be found on a variety of routes.
They seem to lack proper blinds and when working the 31/32 require a paper sticker to
indicate their destination.

  
22053 has received its branding for the BMW contract. It has however been seen on the 3 and 7 routes.

Rob Williams writes that Cambridge 22057 (KV53FAA) arrived at Horspath Road a few days ago. Judging by the fact that it didn't have a ticket machine, it may well be for service in Oxford. The only other option is that it was on its way elsewhere. If it does stay though, I hope it retains its rather striking "Citi" livery!

Other sources now indicate that this bus is for service in Oxford and will enter service this coming week. It will doubtless lose its "Citi" branding.


22057 as pictured by Rob Williams on arrival at Horspath from Cambridge.


Volvo B6 31330 is still at work in Oxford and is seen here at the end of last year on route 3

 
As mentioned in a previous news page several Tubes have received new super rear ads.
Two examples are seen here.


The X5 is alive and well although on its inward journey to Oxford it drops off in George Street
before proceeding for its layover at Oxford Rail Station.

 


A brookesbus Trident heading down St Aldates.

Chris Maxfield advises that Olympian 16141 operated the 1600 departure to London, today Sunday 4th January.

Tappins, Didcot

Graeme Wilson writes "I have some news regarding Tappins. Leyland Atlantean STK129T was still hard at work on Sunday, it was on the City Tour, and apparently there are still others in service as well. Not sure how long they'll last though, 129 only had City Sightseeing decals over Guide Friday livery."

Woottens, Chesham

Michael Wootten writes "please can you help me, has anyone got any photo's of a coach which I have been told it was once owned by Armchair from new, I assume the fleet number was 5/77 the registration number is SNM69R."

Michael goes on to say "....interesting to read Richard's notes in the last issue. Does anybody know if Iveco Eurorider\Beulas T285GCU in Grayline livery?  I ask because this is one of the ex-Redwing examples we had on loan at Woottens earlier in the year. 

High Wycombe seems to be the place to find Heyfordian Olympians at the moment.  I noticed a large number parked at their High Wycombe depot last Sunday.  Those interested in ex-COMS Leyland Olympians can always take a look at http://www.woottens.co.uk/oxfordolympianlist.htm, which has recently been updated.

PHOTO CORNER
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This is a most interesting site which I do recommend

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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