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Wednesday 20th November 2013 ~ Tweets and Twits

The use of 33423 on rail replacement work on Friday evening is a late addition to report. It is thought to have helped out following the derailment of the Middleton - Goole sand train in King's Lynn Yard on Friday afternoon. This brought traffic to a standstill for two hours and all trains to London were cancelled.
 After the roadworks of last week, Saturday & Sunday came as a pleasant surprise with almost all services running nicely to timetable. The only buses not to feature in service on these days were 33803 which was spare ready for its safety service on Monday and 33805 which spent Saturday in Scarborough and which was not used on Sunday. 33823 returned to service on Saturday cured of its adblue fault. 

Monday saw the start of a Twitter account devoted to service X1 :

You can access the new page at :

The day began with a resumption of the roadworks in Lynn Road, Wisbech. What appears to be happening in recent days (weekends excepted) is that the road is closed every other day from around 09.00 - 16.00 with temporary lights in force on the days when the road remains open. X1 services have been diverted via Walsoken with delays being minor except during the late afternoon. On Monday other incidents on the A47 accumulated to make morning services between 10 & 15 minutes late heading for Peterborough. Y9-XL15 with 33823 ran very late though and was seen leaving Wisbech 26 minutes late on the 10.18 to Peterborough. Delays further east were less, but K16-XL03 arrived in Lowestoft with 33811 13 late prior to working the 10.00 westbound. 

On Tuesday, Peter and myself went on an X1 pilgrimage to Norwich taking the 08.05 ex Peterborough (K3-XL09) with 33809. Running a few minutes late, we soon became so comfortable in the leather seats that this seemed a minor detail. Having taken an interest in the route since we were both pupils at King's Lynn Grammar School in the early 1970s, not surprisingly we were not shy at coming up with some suggestions as to how things could be improved. One thing we couldn't moan about though was the bus itself which seemed capable of a good turn of speed on the odd occasions that the A47 traffic allowed. Why though are there no bus stop signs at Middleton ? I daresay the Council are the people to ask. Two passengers boarded here as well as a handful at Narborough. At Swaffham there was a good crowd waiting for our bus and we did well to get away just 4 minutes late at 10.11. 
Leaving the A47 for the Toftwood 'experience' we once again bemoaned the fact that this locality being served seems to add more time than the number of passengers joining warrants, although I'm sure the people in the know at 'First' would dispute this. Approaching Dereham we came up with another of our bright ideas. Why not move the Matsell Way stop nearer to Morrisons and the Mid Norfolk Railway ? I'm sure there must be a good reason why this has not occurred. The traffic in Dereham was heavy and the clearances in the Market Place are very tight for the Enviros to negotiate requiring some intelligent driving skills. Our trip off the A47 into Hockering was, in the event, not required, but fortunately we didn't have to wait very long to regain a path on the busy main road. 
Before long we had arrived at Norwich bus station, our (and most of the other passengers) destination. We waited until most passengers had left the bus before getting off ourselves, but having been sitting in the front window seat suddenly became aware that we were being watched. Eight pairs of senior citizens eyes no less were glaring at us fiercely - were they being polite allowing us to disembark first ? No - they were just intent on having a fight for the front seats, such is their popularity! 
On a personal note, I was delighted at seeing Paragon coach 20514 still in use on an X1 short and later on we also saw 20515 also in use.
33822 was working K16 10.00 Lowestoft - Peterborough seen here departing Norwich with Calvin at the controls.
After taking a few photographs we retired to the excellent Trafford Arms nearby where we met our old friend Richard Adderson. He had come along with a recently acquired collection of photographs taken in Eastern Counties days from the 1960s/70s and these were examined in great detail. Now I happen to be a bit of a pedant when it comes to spelling, not that this means you won't find any spelling errors in the blog I hasten to add. Whilst in the bus station though I had noticed an Anglian bus with (to me anyway) a glaring spelling error - here it is ....

Emissions with two Ms ?? Surely not ? - but our second example of an additional letter being manufactured occurred on the Trafford Arms lunch menu - the fish and chips are highly recommended, but WHERE does the fish come from ?

Oh well, it tasted jolly good as did the Adnams Bitter and Winters Mild. As usual, whiling away our time looking at old buses meant it was soon 15.40 and time for us to make tracks for Norwich bus station in torrential rain and the 16.00 departure, Y6-XL12 which was 33805 with a friendly Lowestoft driver. The queue for the bus was a long one and considering its new construction, the bus station's shelters here give scant protection on a day like today. Inside, the warmth and comfort of the new bus was very welcome, though it is such a shame that some passengers show little consideration for their surroundings as shown here 

Do they really do that at home ? Well yes they probably do don't they ?

The traffic heading away from Norwich on this Tuesday evening was exceptionally heavy and by the time Dereham was reached, we were running about 25 minutes late. Further delay ensued when we joined a queue trying to rejoin the A47 after Toftwood and this added a good 6 minutes to the journey time. We also had an unscheduled stop just after leaving Swaffham when (it looked like) the driver had to reprimand some youngsters for smuggling fish and chips onto the bus. The offenders got off at Narborough, which I'm guessing was not their intended destination. The return journey was devoid of the recorded announcements for some reason, but at least this spared us from the continuous commentary for the stops at every blade of grass in Toftwood - it also meant we could value a little snooze en route. 
Arriving back at Lynn, I thought something was afoot when King's Lynn controller Wayne Sheppard took us forward from the South Gates and sure enough, 33803 was standing in the bus station with a Yarmouth driver waiting for us to swap vehicles, 33805 being taken back to Vancouver Avenue. Aware of the substantial delay, the new driver set about making up time with commendable speed. The bus which was still cold having only recently been started soon warmed up and we were whisked back to Walpole and Wisbech quite swiftly. The driver even apologised for the delay when I alighted, so full marks there. Certainly an enjoyable day out and one which we plan to repeat soon.
Meanwhile, Des had an afternoon to remember on Tuesday with 33820 on L10-XL16. He says " On time till a five x Tractor Convoy spread along the A47, caught up with between East Winch and Bilney, I still ended up behind it coming out of Narborough and just managed to get in front of it at Swaffham McDonalds roundabout. Despite numerous opportunities, they never pulled in at any lay-by at all.
Arrived Norwich 14.46, departed after loading -9 (14.59), no time made up. Receive VIX message 'A12 Closed follow 1 route'. Arrived Lowestoft -20 (16.32), bus departed eastbound -4 (16.36)".
So to Wednesday and lighter traffic levels meant that the diversion via Walsoken which was in operation once again, added very little to any delays experienced. Something clearly delayed K18-XL05 though, this passed me leaving Wisbech at 15.05, just 6 minutes late with 33823 but later it was seen returning east following K19-XL06 with 33821. The latter came through Walpole Highway 3 late at 17.21 with 33823 following less than a minute later now running 33 late ! The programme of rectification work is now nearly complete. 33813 was at Scarborough today with 33824 going back north late this evening. L10-XL16 began the day at Lowestoft with 33814 but it was swapped at King's Lynn for 33807 which in turn after a trip to Peterborough gave way to 33806.


suffolkraider said...

Lol top marks on spotting errors Gerard mind you I would question the "lowstooft" cod unless inshore as not much well nothing landed there now I believe. Ahhh I remember the slight fishy tang to the air there lol (I worked on whapload rd). As an aside 37575 spotted on Bernie duty the other afternoon seems none are sacred lol

Anonymous said...

So much disrespect nowadays. Shame too as this small minority give a bad impression to the rest of the youth age.