My observations were limited today, but I did see 20127 leaving Peterborough at lunchtime with the 12.20 to Lowestoft. It returned this evening and ended up at Lynn.
The big surprise today was the appearance of 60863 with the 09.30 Yarmouth - Peterborough & 13.10 Peterborough - Lowestoft, not a very good advert on a Bank Holiday. Y5 16.48 from Lowestoft was 20352 tonight and as this was at Lynn last night, looks like it was a replacement. The 18.10 Peterborough - Lowestoft failed to run west of King's Lynn and the 19.10 with 37566 was heavily loaded as a result.The 15.48 from Lowestoft was 17 late at Walpole with 37574 due to heavy traffic.
Like the return of a bad penny, 60863 was back on the route today. It did Y13 because 37577 expired with engine problems on K1 at Dereham last night. 577 has now joined 37573/6 at Volvo.
Todays B10M count was six : 20103 on K4, 20104 on K18, 20106 initially on Y6 but replaced at some point at Lynn by 20352, 20107 on L12, 20118 filling in to Peterborough and back on Y7 this morning after 20351 presumably came in late. 351 was seen by Bruce sitting in the bus station at Lynn mid morning seemingly on standby. Finally 20127 did K2 and was seen by Rob Brooks heading to Peterborough about 20 late this afternoon.
37579 was at King's Lynn garage on maintenance today and so didn't return to service.
Nine turns were entirely B9 operated today and in addition 37566 managed to do the first leg of K1 before being replaced at Lowestoft by 37577. The latter began the day on K19 but was changed at Lowestoft for 20103. B10Ms (and there were plenty out today) were 20105 : K2, 20106 : K18, 20118 K5 and 20127 Y13. The appearnce of 127 was unexepected and meant 20115 remained at Yarmouth. 20104 was also out on K4 but was taken off this afternoon and replaced by 20351. Possibly in this connection Bruce viewed 20352 followed 1 minute later by 20351 departing Lynn this evening bound for Peterborough. 351 despite carrying a full passenger compliment had 'not in service' on the front and was only 6 late at Walton Highway in contrast to 352 which was 38 late and went down the bypass to Wisbech. 34108 was also substituting today and did K16.
Two new advertising campaigns began today with T. Mobile partnering the Daily Star/Daily Express. 37564/9/74 all appear to have received these ads at Lowestoft last night.
37579 was back at Lynn tonight after body repairs at Full Circle. After a service it should be back in traffic.
News that the B10M s which were transferred to Glasgow at the turn of the year are being sold off to private companies for further use has been met by derision from local enthusiasts. 20119 was the first to go for a new life re-registered down south somewhere and now a Newton-Le -Willows firm has taken delivery of 20114 and 20120. With Hunstanton schools contracts due to restart soon, these would have been ideal to supplement the X1 fleet.
Today the B10M fleet were once again belying their years on the X1. Remarkably the two coaches involved in yesterday's private hire which arrived back after midnight were barely cold before resuming X1 use with 20106 on K17 and 20118 on K5. Three out of the four Lowestoft based turns were old vehicles with 37578 on L8 being the only Gemini. The other turns were L10 with 20104, L11 with Royale 34108 and L12 being worked by the rejuvenated 20105. In addition 20107 was on K2 and 20115 on K4 - quite remarkable.
Profile 20351 was failed today, but 20352/3 did Y13 and K18. One good point about today was punctuality which was exceptional.
Sam reports 20103 in use on the X2 today and Michael B adds that there was the odd B10M out in the Beccles area last week with 20107 on the 13.38 X2 ex Lowestoft on Thursday unusually running 20 late, so may be a last minute substitution, whilst on Friday 20104 was in use on a Bernard Matthews contract. Jamie R says that the most remarkable aspect of his journey on 34108 today was an X rated display of lesbian affection from a couple of punters on the top deck, much to the amazement of fellow passengers. J says ' Obviously attention seekers, they could have at least sat on the back seat instead of at the front !' They were probably just excited about having 34108 Jamie !
"A charabanc or "char-à-banc" is a type of horse-drawn vehicle or early motor coach, usually open-topped, common in Britain during the early part of the 20th century. It was especially popular for sight-seeing or "works outings" to the country or the seaside, organised by businesses once a year. The name derives from the French char à bancs ("carriage with wooden benches"), the vehicle having originated in France in the early 19th century".(Source Wikepedia).
So it was that 20106 and 20118 set out at 07.00 this morning on FEC staff outings to Chessington 'Land of Adventure'. They had not returned by 21.45 so a long day was had by the punters - more news when we receive it.
It was possible to have a B10M on the X1 as well today, when 20107 came out on Y5. This turn finishes at King's Lynn at 22.30 tonight. All the other turns were Gemini operated. 37569/576/577 were at King's Lynn this evening, but 576 is unfit for service.
Punctuality was on reflection pretty good for a Friday, though things went wrong tonight - presumably after an A47 incident and L8 was seen departing Terrington St. John 39 minutes late at 19.44 heading for Peterborough with 37564. It hadn't managed to make up much of this by the time it passed Bruce coming back and was still 30 minutes behind time. 34108 was also affected and this was 17 late at Hardwick, 13 late at Walpole Highway and 7 late when viewed near Eye by Jamie Robinson this evening.
Gemini 37576 began the day on K19 but didn't last long - it is not known where it was replaced, but it seems likely that it was 20352 which took over. B10M coaches in use were 20115 on K4, 20118 on K5, 20103 on L10 and 20107 on L11. 115 was in trouble at lunchtime with an old problem, a loose panel, but this was fixed and it was able to continue. 20118 is not popular with drivers because of its poor acceleration at low speeds - particularly a nuisance at roundabouts and such places as the Hockering turn where gaps in the A47 traffic are sparse. Once up to speed however, it is as good as the others I am told.
L11 which had 20127 in the morning arrived back at Lynn tonight with 20352 which had been worked into Yarmouth on Tuesday. 20123 remained at Rowan Road today along with 20105/21/31 and also getting a rare day off, 20106.
The number of B10Ms used today was down on that of late. 20103 was K2 and 20118 K3. Y6 had 20104 (reported by Rob Brooks this evening, having worked all day).
It was not a bad day for punctuality although for some reason K15 failed to run west of Lynn (it had started the day with 37572) and a gap in the service like this is thankfully rare these days. The following service, K16 with 34108 was well loaded as a result. K17 which had begun with 37578 came back from Lowestoft with 37563. B9s in service today were 37563-6/8/70/2/3/4/5/7/8.
107 was not the only B10M out as 20127 was once again plying the route on Y9 09.30 Yarmouth - Peterborough etc. Another non-Gemini worked turn was Y4 which had Profile 20353.
There was a severe imbalance of power this evening when (including VORs) Lynn was custodian of 20104/5/6/7/9/15/18/21/27/31. This just left 20103 at LFT, 20126 awaiting a replacement engine at Yarmouth and 20123 now presumed back at Norwich, but by all accounts in a bad way with oil leaks etc. Royale 34108 was kept at Lynn today.
37576 had been expected to re-enter service today following MOT, but instead it went to Volvo with an oil problem. Grahame confirms that 37567 is now stopped at Great Yarmouth for its MOT. 37566 and 37569 returned to the route today on L11 and Y6 respectively and as a result 20353 had a day off at Lowestoft. At the King's Lynn end, 20352 was stopped with a faulty drivers seatbelt and 20118 (what else ?) came out to deputise on K5. Rather surprisingly 20115 was tucked away in Rowan Road compound all day parked next to off road B10M 20131. 20105/121 remained here also.
Punctuality did a typical Friday nosedive today. Bruce says " Y13 the 12.03 westbound at Walpole Highway with 20106 was 23 late and so was the corresponding eastbound service, Y9 12.05 to Lowestoft with 37575. An hour later 20351 on K15 was 19 late, congestion meant 37563 on K16 was 23 late coming in to Wisbech to form the 13.48 to Peterborough and this had lost a further 9 minutes making it 32 down on the return. K17 with 37574 was 25 late, but then 'the beast' 20107 bucked the trend by being only 3 late on K18 - a quality vehicle you see".
Tonight 37572 on L10 was given an early finish and 37575 off Y9 took the service forward to Peterborough from Lynn at 19.50.
Today's B10Ms were 20103 (K4), 20104 (K2), 20106 (Y13), 20107 (K18), 20118 (K5) and 20127 (Y7).
Fortunately once again all three B7s were in service and actually could be found on three consecutive turns : 20351 on K15, 20353 on K16 and 20352 on K17. the latter was 19 late this afternoon heading east on the 15.05 from Peterborough. Earlier 20351 had also been 16 late on K15.
37578 on K2 was removed from this duty at King's Lynn at 08.55 and it is not known what worked the rest of this turn. This afternoon 37570 which had begun the day on K1 was noted running in the times of K2, nothing having been seen on K1. It is possible that 20118 filled the breach, though it was not seen. Earlier L12 had arrived at Lynn at 13.55 with 20115 and this was then replaced by the aforementioned 37578. Following its MOT, 37568 has been back at work for a couple of days now and 37576 should also be back tomorrow. An unusual working today was Lowestoft's 37565 on K3.
37569 did K16 this morning, but this afternoon 20115 was on this duty. This may indicate a fault with 569 as 20115 normally only performs if a B9 has blown up en route.
Timekeeping was pretty much Ok today, but K15 lost time with 20352 and ws 15 down at lunchtime. 20118 began the day on K19, but 37577 was able to relieve it at some point. B10Ms out today were 20103 K2, 20104 K18, 20106 Y13 and 20127 L10 in addition to 118. The new Gemini adverts which I'd up to now been unable to identify are for ESPN, the firm now entrusted with bringing us live Premiership football this season.
20105 was at last being worked on this evening at Vancouver Avenue so may be back soon.
On this basis I've decided to report things 'by vehicle' as it were, so let's see what was going on today.
37566 - presumed to be the unid Gemini on Y13
37568 Yarmouth on MOT
37571 collision damage assigned to Wrights
37573 Norwich Volvo - warranty work
37576 King's Lynn Vancouver Avenue Sched Servicing
37577 Norwich Volvo - King's Lynn for traffic
37579 Full Circle : Collision damage repairs
20105 King's Lynn Rowan Road : pending overheating investigation, last worked on July 17
20109 King's Lynn Vancouver Avenue pending repairs
20121 King's Lynn Rowan Road on test (gears)
20126 Yarmouth - engine change required
20131 King's Lynn Rowan Road MOT expired, last worked on July 17
In addition to the above 20115/123, 34108 and 60863 have all appeared on X1 in recent weeks but none were active today.
Most notable event was the return of 37577 to King's Lynn and it should be fit for traffic tomorrow and so 20118 may be the B10M to take a well earned rest having substituted for the missing B9 recently.
37570 appeared in service with new side adverts today and 37565 has also been modified , more news tomorrow.
Thanks to Rob B and Bruce for reports today.]
News today that another First employee was indeed threatened with dismissal for contributing to this blog. I hope the people concerned feel proud of themselves and just to reiterate that it will have absolutely no effect on this blog which will continue reporting the facts as we see them incorporating as ever information from employees, but now reported anonymously. Anyone from First management who has the courage to contact me via the usual address will rise in my estimation ! Have a good week you all.
The half hourly service seemed to disappear this afternoon. Bruce was in his field working and saw nothing going west between 14.30 & 15.40 when an unidentified B9 passed by. It had all begun quite well with delays of less than ten minutes average during the morning. K14 08.55 from Lowestoft was seen by Bruce 21 late with 37570 and this was followed by K15 with 37572 which was 10 late. K16 was only 8 late with 37576 and K17 similarly behind time with 20118. K18 and K19 were not seen at all but it is quite plausible that the B9 seen at 15.40 was K19 about 40 late rather than K1 ten late. It seems likely that at least one service took the A47 bypass to regain time.
Rob Brooks was out and about and sends this report :
20353 K5 1032 Lynn - Lowestoft dep 1100 dep Norwich 1304 not in service !
20103 Y6 1102 Lynn - Lowestoft arr 1104 dep 1114 Nor dep 1303, now ahead of 20353 !!
20109 L12 1115 Lynn - Peterborough arr 1105
37569 passing Middleton at 1132 on Y13 for Peterborough later arr Norwich 1634 going to Lowestoft
37570 passing Narborough on K14 1135 for Peterborough
37572 approaching Necton 1158 on K15 for Peterborough
20352 passed near Hockering on K16 turning for Peterborough
Travelling on 20103 to Norwich, we ran straight down the A47 after Dereham to Norwich as we had caught up 20353.
60863 departed Norwich at 1252 to Peterborough on K18 27 late
37574 departed Norwich 1304 on K19 to Peterborough & seen on the outskirts of Lynn near Hardwick roundabout 1811 to Lowestoft (now running in the timings of K1)
37575 arrived Norwich on Y7 1315 to Lowestoft and later did 1625 Norwich - Lynn arr Norwich 1626 dep 1632
40114 (some sort of M reg Dart) showing X1 Yarmouth arrived Norwich 1635
My Gemini speed checking device has 37575 at 55 down the A47, and it clocked 20103 at 60 for the most part of our express trip avoiding the villages of Easton and Hockering.
37576 arr Dereham 1712 to Gorleston JPH on K16
20118 leaving Little Fransham at 1736 to Lowestoft as K17
As today was quite complicated I'm breaking the rules and providing a list !
K4 20109 am 20104 pm. Note 1
L8 37567 to 18.43, 37575 fwd
Y9 37565 ~ Note 2
L10 20107 ~ Note 2
L12 20104 ?, 20109/20352 Note 3
K16 20352 / 37576
Note 1 : 20109 began the day on K4 but 20104 took over this turn at 16.45
Note 2 : 37565 did Y9a and 20107 was L10a, 37563 returned on one of these turns but the other is a mystery !
Note 3 ; L12 was a mess today, it looks like Lowestoft sent out 20104, but 20109 took over as the 11.15 Lynn - Peterborough and on return to King's Lynn was itself replaced by 20352
** Some confusion as to how the day ended but 60863 did the last part of K19 with 37574 remaining at Lowestoft.
Time for Bed said Zebedee.......................
Grahame has reported on EABG that 37568 is at Yarmouth for MOT, though it was in traffic yesterday so should be off the road for a few days now. 37571 has not as previously rumoured moved to Northern Ireland, though it was due to move today under cover. 37573/7 remain at Volvo and 37579 at Full Circle.
B7 20351 should be back on the road tomorrow, slightly later than planned. This morning some slight accident damage to 20352 had to be repaired so 20121 was risked on K5. It has been more reliable lately and did Ok today until early this evening when it expired near Thorney. 20352 is believed to have attended with a fitter. It was not back at King's Lynn by 21.00 (due 19.57). 20353 did K15 for the third successive day.
The reappearance of 34108 was not the only imposter out today. After a day off 60863 was out again on L12, instead of 37563 which had been expected. The reason for the removal of 20127 from K18 yesterday afternoon was not due to a mechanical fault, but because of a broken skylight. This was repaired today , but Lynn then had to carry out a safety service on 127 before it could be used (Yarmouth had advised it was due). Because of this 20109 was utilised on K4 until 16.37 with 127 working forward at 16.45. There were other B10Ms deputising today and not mentioned thus far were 20106 on K3, 20107 on Y6, 20118 on K17 and 20103 on K18.
B9s with the 'Orange' ad are 37566/568/576, while the G Force ad now adorns 37565/7/9/73/4/9. The Easy Jet series of ads are still in situ on all the B9s except the absent 37577.
A couple of the absent B9 Geminis returned to traffic today, these were 37566 on Y9 (37578 had been expected) and 37572 which was L11. Lowestoft also produced 20103 on L12 meaning that of the four arrivals there last night, only two - 37570/4 reappeared with 37564 and 60863 being the replaced vehicles. Later though 564 did work, replacing 37568 on K16.
There was a series of swaps involving B10Ms this afternoon. 20107 on K2 was taken off at King's Lynn - late running possibly ? - and replaced by 20121, the first time 121 has worked on the route since it disgraced itself on May 20th. On arrival back at Lynn, 121 was replaced by 37565 which had just come in on the first terminating turn (Y7) and this duly worked the 18.35 eastbound. 20107 itself then worked forward to Peterborough on K4 on which 20104 was the replaced vehicle. 104 then in turn replaced 20127 on K18 which had been running around 15 minutes late for unknown reasons. Otherwise punctuality was very good today.
37579 is confirmed as being at Full Circle for bodywork repairs and 37573/7 are still at Volvo.
20351 was undergoing servicing this evening and its return to service is imminent. Thanks once again to Bruce for a comprehensive list of sightings today.
37568 Y9 0945 Lynn - Peterborough arr 0948 dep 1006
37576 K4 1000 Lynn - Lowestoft arr 0954 dep 1002
37569 L10 1015 Lynn - Peterborough arr 1007 dep 1015
20118 K5 1032 Lynn - Lowestoft arr 1027 dep 1033
37575 L11 1045 Lynn - Peterborough arr 1037
Un/id gemini Y6 1102 Lynn - Lowestoft dep 1110
20127 L12 1115 Lynn - Peterborough dep 1117
20121 again on Hunstantons, 20104 arrived empty at Lynn at 1100, possible swap later..?
Thanks for the obs Rob, I can enlarge further on a few things : 37568 which left King's Lynn westbound 21 late was later viewed at Walpole Highway by BB running precisely 30 late going east and with 37569 on L10 just 15 seconds behind it !
The unidentified B9 on Y6 was 37564. Earlier Y7 had arrived with 20104 but this handed over to 20109 which departed late as the delayed 08.45 to Peterborough. It was seen by Bruce 19 running 19 late. 104 seems to have been revived to continue the turn as the 11.33 to Lowestoft.
One other B10M which I've not mentioned was 20106 which was once again on its old favourite diagram, K3. So that's 20104/6/7/9/18/27 in attendance today, the missing coach here is 20103 which was kept at Lowestoft today and replaced by 37569. 20351 looks to be almost ready to return to service now and its sisters 20352/3 were today employed on K17 and K15 respectively. Volvo 60863 was used on K16 and was running 9 late when it passed Walpole westbound (due 13.33). This should mean it will end up at Lowestoft tonight.
Various B9s have been fitted with advertising for the Orange mobile phone network, 37568/76 are two of these, more details to follow. 568 also has a rear ad for Flick & Son, the Suffolk Estate Agents. Noted this evening was 37576 carrying the Lowestoft College rear ad, strange in that this was removed from 37570 about a month ago. 37563 has carried this ad since June.
K5 20118 on time at 08.01 and 10.04
L9 a quiet B10M
Y10 37564 19 late at 12.53
L12/Y13 Well I stood at the window at 13.34 and eventually 20127 passed at 14.21 on either L12 (47 late) or Y13(17 late) with a healthy load followed by 37569 at 14.35, only 1 late and previously having been 10 late at 12.44
K15 37570 26 late at 13.30
K16 37565 5 late at 13.39 and on time coming back
K17 37575 4 late at 14.08
K18 20103 15 late at 14.49 and only 2 late at 16.36
I didn't see any more as I was losing the will to live but believe K1/2/19 may not have been B9s either when they passed early morning.
Rowan Road held 20105 (overheating) 20131 (MOT) 37579 (damaged) 30901(shy) and 34933 (old)
Exhausted of Walpole Highway
Interestingly 20115 turned out to be the quiet B10M on L9 and this afternoon was replaced from Lowestoft by 37567. K1 was 60863 so this should be back at its Yarmouth base this evening. It was viewed heading to Peterborough in Norwich this afternoon by Michael Bryant. Y7 was 20104, L11 had 20107 and I can confirm 20127 as Y13, in fact this evening it was a minute early at Walpole. What happened to L12 is unknown, but looking at other services it is doubtful that it ran early. The two vehicles in the frame for L12 were 20352 and 37563. Profile 20353 was Y6 today. K2 was 37576 seen by Rob Brooks this evening and Neil also sent a text to confirm 20109 ending its day on K3. All turns not mentioned thus far were B9s. 37567 arrived at Lynn garage tonight with 'Welcome Aboard Bus Users UK' scrolling across the destination screen ! Bruce mentions local Olympian 34933 at Rowan Road and it may have worked its last. Its partner 34921 was seen coming in from Hunstanton tonight and is due to be transferred to Norwich on Monday. It remains to be seen whether this brings down the curtain on the older Olympian fleet at Lynn.
Well for the purposes of the blog, I have risen to the occasion once again but to say I am dispirited by what I recorded (timewise) would be an understatement.
Much as though the Blogmeister does not like numerical lists, I am a mathematician not an author so a list of numbers it is.
K1 Rumoured by Cheryl to be 20127, it arrived at 15.46, 12 mins late with ..........20127
K2 37563 at 16.12, 8 late
K3 20109 on time at 09.04
K4 20104 at 17.16, 12 late
K5 20118 on time at 08.01 but 13 late at 10.17
Y6 37574 on time at 08.34 and 10.34
Y7 37567 on time at 09.04 but 6 late at 11.10
L8 37564 on time at 09.34 and 11.34
Y9 37575 on time at 10.04 but 8 late at 12.12
L10 20103 on time at 10.34 but 10 late at 12.44
L11 37565 6 late at 11.10 and 5 late at 13.09
L12 34108 8 late at 11.42 and 13 late at 13.47
Y13 60863 10 late at 12.14
K14 37568 8 late at 12.42 and 18 late at 14.52
K15 37578 29 late at 13.33 and 33 late at 15.37
K16 20352 5 late at 13.39 and 12 late at 15.46
K17 37576 6 late at 14.10 and 18 late at 16.22
K18 20353 6 late at 14.40 and 6 late at 16.40
K19 37570 16 late at 15.20
A few observations on the observations then ! 60863 was sent out instead of 37569 and Michael Bryant then saw 569 on the X2 doing 13.38 Lowestoft - Norwich & 15.08 back. It was then used on the second part of L12 replacing 34108 which was required for a Private Hire I am told. 37574 on Y6 was replaced at Lynn this evening by 37567 off Y7.
60863's appearance was not without incident - it ran out of fuel at Peterborough late tonight on the 23.05 to King's Lynn and the service was cancelled. I presume any passengers were provided with taxis. Once again huge thanks to Bruce for keeping such a comprehensive record whilst keeping his grandchildren entertained as well.
Afternoon puntuality was pretty poor with 37576 18 late on K19 and 37574 25 late on K1.
B10Ms out were 20103 (see above), 20104 L10, 20106 (as above), 20109 K3, 20118/127 also as shown above. Locally 20121 was at last in service this afternoon on King's Lynn town service 42.