Wednesday February 8th.
As I have frequently mentioned, breakdowns are extremely rare on the X1, so to get two on the same day was very bad fortune. 37569 working K16 was in trouble in Norwich at 08.00 with a burst hose and fitters had to attend. It was Ok to do the return 09.55 ex Lowestoft, but I suspect this started at Norwich. 37569 made a visit into Vancouver Avenue just after departure on the 13.15 King's Lynn to Peterborough just to check that all was now satisfactory. 37575 was the other B9 which was ailing. It managed to reach the Pullover Roundabout beyond the Ouse bridge, but could then proceed at no more than 15mph while on K14 12.15 King's Lynn - Peterborough. The service is believed to have then been cancelled as it was not seen in either direction by Bruce and then 575 went briefly to V.A. before being despatched to Volvo at Norwich for examination. This was quite a lightning visit and it was back at King's Lynn by 20.00 having in the process become embroiled in some A47 chaos. An accident at Honingham saw the road closed from just before 17.00 bringing long tailbacks and diversions via less than satisfactory roads.
37574 was free off servicing to take K14 15.02 King's Lynn to Lowestoft. Just as well, as this then left nothing spare at all, 37576 being at Full Circle and 37159 stopped for MOT work.
At least the X2 appeared to be functioning normally with Malcolm viewing 32651 departing 12 late on the 14.38 to Norwich and he also saw 32654/5 in action.
Des writes, "The A47 was shut following an accident between Honingham and the Easton roundabout from around 16.50 until 20.30. I must have been very lucky to miss the congestion as with 37579 on Y7 14.55 ex Lowestoft. We were at Easton at 16.43 and Hockering at 16.49. When exiting Hockering village westbound, the bus has to find a path across the A47 while traffic is very busy in both directions. This manouevre can take from eight to ten minutes at times, so I thought it was odd that there was nothing coming westbound out of Norwich on this occasion and also that not a single vehicle overtook me between Hockering and Dereham. Some services were caught up in the queues, but soon as Lynn control were aware, following buses took a diversion via the Watton road. Further east the Service 1 journeys from Yarmouth to Lowestoft were covered by local drivers and some Lynn drivers had their meal breaks in Yarmouth. Incidentally taking 37563 on K4 19.35 Lynn to Lowestoft this evening, I found that it has not been altered to carry the amended destination 'X1 Great Yarmouth for 1 Gorleston' and similar".
Thursday February 9th
No less than nine X1 vehicles were involved in changes of diagram today. This was mainly to fit in servicing requirements and included K17 having 37577 taken off at 13.45 and its replacement being 37159 fresh off a morning MOT. Des says "Driving 37574 on L11 16.55 ex Lowestoft, we were on time until queueing traffic at the Norwich Southern Bypass following an RTA on the A147 Martineau Lane, traffic being single filed along the A146 Barrett Road. I pulled off the bypass, but rejoined the A47 when I saw the queue and proceeded into the City by the A140. I arrived 5 minutes late to find 37564 on L10 just finished loading and departing via the uphill exit where a queue of buses were already waiting at the lights. I left via the bottom exit and St. Stephens Street, noting 37564 leaving the bus station as I entered Newmarket Road. I waited at Easton to tell the driver that we would swap buses and passengers bound for Lynn and beyond. he then took 37574 light to Lynn and I took 37564 via the correct route.
Richard thinks that 37156 may be back towards the end of next week if all goes according to plan. It would seem that 36180 will then return to its normal duties in Norwich, although the accident damage to 37576 may possibly see the visitors stay extended.
A further fall of snow this evening left roads in the west hazardous for a time. The second phase of alterations at Peterborough bus station began today with X1 services now departing from Ackland Street Coach Park (next to The Brewery Tap) until 18.00 and from Queensgate Bay 4 therafter. Inward services will be dropping off at Bay 10.
Today's EDP carried an article marking the agreement between First and the newspaper to give money donated for the EDPs on board the X1 to good causes. Rosemary Parry and Richard Tucker from King's Lynn were seen alongside 37577 :
Cutting courtesy of EDP. http://www.edp24.co.uk/home
Friday February 10th
Two maintenance swaps today involved successive lunchtime departures from King's Lynn to Peterborough. K16 in at 13.07 with 37568 for 37571 forward westbound at 13.15 and then K17 half an hour later with 37569 being replaced by 37567. Timekeeping was fair for a Friday. Malcolm saw turns 6,7,17 & 18 all roughly on time. Des was involved in an incident while driving 37158 on L11. he says "I had completed my reverse out of Lowestoft Bay 5 at 16.55, the handbrake was on and I was about to put into forward gear when the Anglian Bus on bay 7 started reversing and reversed into the offside, just behind the front wheel. Particulars were exchanged and I photographed the scene and the damage with my company disposable camera. The damage not being severe, I continued the journey running 10 late throughout".
Saturday February 11th
|Why do they do that ? Probably today because the motorist didn't want to freeze ! 37569 comes across a badly parked car at Terrington St John this afternoon while working K1 15.15 Lynn to Peterborough in temperatures of minus 7 '|
37157 which had been about the best X1 bus for warming its passengers, was ironically off the road first thing with .... a heating problem ! Nevertheless K5 which went to Peterborough with 37568 was swapped at 10.32 for a repaired 37157. Another bus which just worked Lynn - Peterborough and back was 37579 on K1 with 37569 working forward at 0832 to Lowestoft. I was very impressed that services ran almost faultlessly on such a freezing day.
Sunday February 12th
|The wintry scene at Gasworks Road, Lowestoft captured for us by Richard Alger today.|
|37567 makes its get away from Lowestoft on time at 09.48. All washers were (not surprisingly) completely frozen up today. Photo : R. Alger|