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Sunday 12th June 2011 ~ A Vintage Day

There is something quite sobering about buses you remember from your childhood being referred to as 'vintage' vehicles ! This was the case today when to mark the Norfolk Green takeover of the Hunstanton route, three vintage buses operated on the route as reliefs to the normal service vehicles.
The weather was pretty dire, but several brave souls took the opportunity to ride behind Julian Patterson's RLE and the two buses from the East Anglian Transport Collection.
Earlier in the day, Yarmouth's 20115 had made the trip over to King's Lynn with seven drivers to collect some of the 'First' buses requiring transfer to other depots. First thing, two Volvo B7TL double deckers and a number of Scanias were taken to Yarmouth and Ipswich, then later in the day 65525-28 were taken to Colchester. This left 30900-903 & Solo 53701 destined for Braintree, plus the other Solos which are due to depart for Kidderminster and Redditch.

20115 deposits a posse of drivers at Rowan Road to collect redundant King's Lynn 'First' buses.

Now what bearing exactly will this have on the X1 ? Well, for the moment, the transfer of vintage Olympian 34333 has been deferred as Volvo B7TL 30886 is being retained for working the schools contract mentioned previously. Whilst it is expected that there will always be a spare Excel Gemini at King's Lynn in the event of a failure (this is because servicing is expected to be carried out on two buses here every day), it does beg the question that should a spare not be available would the schools vehicle be used if outside the hours of its schools diagram ? It would seem unlikely as during the B7TLs tenure at King's Lynn this has never occurred up to now. The more likely option would be to cancel a service instead which is a shame.
The X1 was a completely B9 operated affair today. At some stage, either last night before departure on the 20.35 to Lowestoft, or today on the 12.50 Lynn to Peterborough, 37564 was removed as it was neeed at Lynn for servicing. 37575 was the replacement.
Here are a few pictures from today.....

The Scanias, for so long a trusted X1 standby await their fate.

Two of the Volvo B7Tls, 30889 & 30888 depart Rowan Road for Great Yarmouth

Des Speed with 65531 leaving Saddlebow compound with 65529 - the last Scania to work on an X1 following up.

By early afternoon, the rain had arrived. 37573 is seen near the South Gates on the 13.50 to Peterborough.

In the early 1970s, RLE864, now immaculately restored by Julian Patterson, was a regular sight on the X1 route between Norwich, King's Lynn and Peterborough. Here it is seen at Sandringham visitors centre this afternoon.

OVF229 of 1954 vintage on arrival at Hunstanton bus station this afternoon. Sister vehicle OVF227 worked on the route until the early 1970s.

A very wet King's Lynn bus station with 37573 ready to depart at 16.35 to Lowestoft, also visible is a Sanders vehicle working the X8 and OVF229 behind it, as well as sundry NG vehicles.

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