For the uninitiated, this involves the World and his wife setting out - all apparently at precisely the same time - from their homes in the Midlands and the North and heading for the Norfolk Coast and as a consequence bringing the A47 to a crawl, or should I say more of a crawl than usual ? Many of these people seem obliged to bring along their home on wheels too of course. I guess I should apologise to all the caravan owners amongst you now. The effect of all this extra traffic on FBBHWs usually brings the X1 timetable to its knees and today was no exception.
Anyone observing arrivals at Peterborough and expecting a stream of X1 branded Geminis would have been surprised at this stage as next up was K3 06.45 from King's Lynn with B7 37158 and following this, K4 with the luxury of Paragon 20501 ! The latter was another turn which changed vehicles and by this evening 37574 had replaced it after a safety service. Well all this couldn't continue of course and commencing with the 09.05 from Peterborough B9s were in charge of departures up until the 13.05.
So let's have a look at how punctuality went out of the window. Westbound departures from Wisbech were unaffected in the morning and seen were Y6 37573 RT, Y7 37576 6 late, L8 37566 RT, Y9 37565 3 late, L10 37568 6 late (naturally), L11 37569 not seen, L12 37570 RT and Y13 37157 4 late.
It was returning from Peterborough that things went pear shaped : Y6 7 late, Y7 8 late, L8 11 late. Y9 20 late, L10 38 late (with 37568 !!), L11 28 late and L12 37 late. The delays were accentuated by a broken down lorry near Guyhirn. Things then became quite amusing (as long as you were an observer and not a passenger). Next eastbound through Wisbech was K14 with 37564 just 13 late, but hang on, what about Y13 ? Well that was next a whopping 47 late, 37157 having been overtaken by 564. K15 passed by with 37578 at 15.14, 24 late and K16 had 37567 (back in action) 21 late instead of 37156 which had been expected. K17 which was expected to be 37562 as usual turned up with 37572 13 late.
Time then to catch up with Rob Brooks who texted from Peterborough at 16.10 to say " 15.35 Peterborough - Lowestoft (K18) is a 'no show'. No sign of the 16.05 yet either and a large crowd gathering". Fortunately K19 did eventually turn up with 37577. Rob, tipped off by me, preferred to wait for the 16.35 with 'The Beast'. This was 6 late at Walpole Highway and 11 late leaving Wisbech due to the Friday afternoon congestion.
Rob says : "37577 1535/1605?? Peterborough - Lowestoft departed Queensgate at 1630. The Beast K1 1635 Peterborough - Lowestoft departed Queensgate at 1648. Thanks for the gen on this! 37158 seen on the approach to Guyhirn Roundabout at 1728 heading for Peterborough 3mins behind was 37574 also heading for Peterborough! 37575 'The Pest' !! coming onto the Horsefair as I left at 1808 on the 1710 from Peterborough for Lowestoft running 12 late".
On the way home from work I passed K3 with 37158 at Walsoken 31 late and then 37574 on K4 at Walton Highway 10 late.