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Tuesday 30th September 2008 ~ Gridlock (again)

Yesterday it was Wisbech and today King's Lynn came to a standstill, with at one stage queues rumoured to be 6 miles in length towards Swaffham and Downham Market. A lorry caught fire on the eastern bypass near the Hardwick roundabout in the morning rush and the area was soon paralysed. There was then a further accident at the A17/A47 intersection at Freebridge (west of the Ouse bridge) and soon King's Lynn was gridlocked. It has been a bad seven days or so, last Fridays delay to K20 was due to an A47 accident at Necton and the reason for 20114 not making up time on L13 last night was due to yet another collision at Wendling.
In view of the chaos at Lynn this morning, it was surprising that disruption wasn't much worse and First must be quite pleased with the teamwork involved. Y8 08.29 Lynn - Peterborough with 20500 was on time, but after that there is no evidence that anything got through to Peterborough until 20507 on L12 10.29 westbound. This was 16 late going over and 9 late returning east. 20503 on J10 was on time on the 10.48 Peterborough - Lowestoft, so it is quite possible that this started at Wisbech and 20111 on the 11.18 (J11) probably did likewise. After this things gradually returned to somewhere near normal. K16 06.07 Lynn - Lowestoft was halted at Great Fransham with a broken wiper arm on 20105 and fitters had to attend, so K19 06.37 Lynn - Norwich with 20117 which then goes empty to Lowestoft came back on K16 09.25 Lowestoft - Peterborough, with 20105 then taking up K19's X2 work.

Ryan says that 20141 is now back on the road at Yarmouth and I half expected it to appear on Y21 17.25 ex Lowestoft tonight, but instead 20126 did it. Ryan also says that 20123 is expected at Yarmouth for MOT shortly, so its return to service was very brief. 20124 is also due for MOT about now and this may explain why it has not appeared since Friday.

Something strange which was not mentioned in yesterday's blog was 20351 appearing on Y8 18.48 Peterborough - Lynn instead of 20507. The profile should have done K17 11.55 ex Lowestoft and 14,18 back, but this was late and not seen. Chrissy saw 65531 leaving Lynn about 16.00 yesterday with X1 Lowestoft on the front which he thought unusual, so may be this was involved, however it looks like the final leg of K17 last night was 20105.
Not that you can rely on what a bus says on its blinds as Peter will tell you, he was following 20509 on K1 06.29 Lynn - Peterborough this morning when coming the other way on K5 06.43 Peterborough - Lowestoft was 20114 - with 41A Lowestoft on the front ! This has happened on occasions before as the coach on L13 22.37 arrival at Lynn is then rostered to do the 23.00 to Hunstanton & back and some drivers being a bit bleary eyed at 05.00 in the morning fail to notice the wrong service number when taking out the first X1 next day. K5 05.24 Lynn - Peterborough can in theory get any B10 off Lynn depot, but more often than not it is the one that has done L13 the previous day.


Monday 29th September 2008 ~ Now You See It - Now You Don't.

K6 07.59 King's Lynn - Peterborough was 20502 this morning, it required a service however and was removed at 10.37 on its way to Lowestoft. It then did a trip on the 43 to North Wootton before returning to the garage. Now you might wonder why they would use 20502 at all if it needed servicing, well 20500 took over but only after the powers that be had removed those nasty M&S adverts which had been attached. I think the same fate has befallen 20352 but I couldn't be certain.
I paid a visit to Bruce today and we spent a while chatting whilst watching the X1s from his new viewing gallery, otherwise known as a loft conversion. 20121 on J11 07.05 from Gorleston was about 5 late going over but its lateness had increased to 24 minutes on its return by which time it was being tailed by L12 11.48 ex Peterborough which was running 2 minutes early with 20117. Yes, 20117 back in service at last - Michael tells me it was out on the X2 on Friday having last been seen in service as far back as July 17th.
About 12.45 there was a serious accident on a pedestrian crossing at Wisbech Horsefair roundabout involving a lorry and a pedestrian which resulted in gridlock and eventually diversions being set up. This played havoc with the X1 and first service affected was L13 12.18 ex Peterborough with 20114, this was 26 late at Walpole and was later seen still on L13 at Hardwick roundabout on its way into Lynn at 20.16 (27 late). Some smart running saw it regain all but 1 minute however as I saw it entering Wisbech at 22.06 en route back to Lynn whilst enjoying a pint of Wherry in my local. Following it into Lynn at 20.21 was 20118 on Y21, the 17.25 Lowestoft - Lynn. There had been some earlier interest in this turn when it was discovered that lilac liveried Park and Ride B7 69008 was in line to work it, but as expected a B10 was found in time.
Delays caused by the Wisbech diversion saw Y14 12.48 ex Peterborough pass us 22 late with 20505 and the next service K15 with 20504 15 late. Going in the other direction at this time were 20105 0n K18 10.25 L-P 2 minutes late, 20353 on K3 10.55 ex Lowestoft running to B7 standard lateness minus 13 and then K5 11.25 L-P just 2 minutes down with 20127.
The X2 turn (K19) began with 20103 today, but Michael saw this being driven by a fitter into Lowestoft depot mid morning and the remainder of the turn was our old friend 20107. Sam reports that K19 apart, the X2 was otherwise 60307/9 and Olympians today.
Another mystery solved today - the reason for 20508 being restricted to schools work (as it was again today) is to keep it employed locally as new panels have been ordered for it which are to be fitted here before it goes to Scotland, it has already received replacement panels which Lynn had in stock, but the others have had to be ordered. No such problems with 20507/9 though as they were two of the B12s which received a repaint last year. 20120 remains at Rowan Road awaiting parts. Its temporary disappearance recently was for a visit to Volvo where some repairs were effected.


Sunday 28th September 2008 ~ This Is Not Just An X1...

This is an M & S X1 : Good job this wasn't at Showbus !

The advert plasterer paid a visit today, but with Vancouver Avenue garage locked up he turned his attentions to the compound at Rowan Road. We now have a posse of buses advertising the fact that "M&S King's Lynn is now bigger and better". 20500 didn't escape as seen here, it has the ads on both sides as do 20120, 20131 and 20352. The drivers side of 20508 and passenger side of 20142 were also adorned. At least it means one of the Profiles can be identified at a distance now. 20503 somehow escaped being treated, perhaps due to the layer of dirt on it, 20500 & 20503 were Saturday nights late arrivals and hadn't been washed as a result.

Back on the X1 there was a fair amount of late running today, up to 15 minutes in some cases. 20103/105/109/127 were all out in service, incidentally these were all on time !

Saturday 27th September 2008 ~ An Obama Moment !

Yes it was an Obama Moment for 20127 today ! The first eastbound service from Lynn at 05.42 (K15) has been a B12 working for as long as anyone can remember, in four years it has only been known to have a B10 on one occasion (20131), but today its fellow Barbie liveried sister 20127 was given the honour of working this turn. In fact Lynn were only able to roster two B12s for todays services, an all time low. 20501/6 look to have remained at Vancouver Avenue all day while 20508 was at Rowan Road. For the record only 20503 (K17) and 20500 (K2) were used.
One reason for the lack of B12s was that all three B7 Profiles were out and did they keep time ? Well no of course, 20352 on K7 11.55 from Lowestoft passed Walpole almost 21 late, while 20353 was 11 down on K3 15.18 ex Peterborough. 20351 on K4 17.48 Peterborough - Lynn was seen arriving on time, which seems reasonable until you realise that normally this turn comes in about 6-7 mins early.
20126 did K5 today but was swapped at Lowestoft and the 11.25 from there to Peterborough was 20505. 20104 and 20107 somehow ended up on each others turns tonight. This morning J10 10.48 ex Pbo was 20107 but tonight it was on J11 18.59 Lynn - Peterborough while 20104 had arrived at Vancouver Avenue (seemingly off J10), there may however been a swap somewhere as 20509 had also just arrived at the garage, though on what is unknown.


Friday September 26th 2008 ~ FST Strikes Again

I had to go down to the BBC archives at Reading today, so Bruce was on standby to monitor the X1. My first sighting was K5 06.43 Peterborough - Lowestoft at Eye Green, already running 5 late with 20121 so this didn't bode well.
Bruce was at his window from 08.15 and like me he is finding the B7 Profiles poor at keeping the schedules. He says " 20352 0n K4 08.48 ex Pbo was 13 late, 20353 on K17 12.59 ex Lynn had lost 11 mins and 20351 on K3 13.59 ex Lynn, well it was over 10 late but my frozen groceries were melting so I had to get them in the freezer and missed it !" 65529 did K6 09.18 ex Peterborough, but it is believed to have been replaced at Lynn by 20105 off K20a. Y14 12.48 from Peterborough was its usual FST, in fact 21 late with a revived 20127 "going like the clappers".
It was mid afternoon when the timetable collapsed, the return of 20121 on K5 was 16 late and by the time it returned from Peterborough on the 15.48 it was 29 minutes in arrears. K4 with 20352 failed to appear and instead 20109 went west at 17.23 which if as expected was K4 was 35 late.
On my way back from Reading , I was very surprised to see 20505 on K20 at exactly the same point where I had encountered 20121 earlier, but this time heading for Peterborough at 20.25 - it is due off Queensgate to return at 20.28, so I calculated this to be about 25 late. Imagine my surprise when a little later it came roaring into Lynn bus station at 21.36, one minute early. So that's medals for Bruce and the driver of 505 today !
Other things today, 20107 screamed over to Lowestoft on K19a, but 20118 replaced it and did the X2 journeys and came back to Lynn. 20131/142/508 remained on schools turns.


Thursday September 25th 2008 ~ Road Closed

King's Lynn once again began the day a vehicle down with 20500 & 20505 both in for scheduled servicing. This meant K6 07.59 to Peterborough was as Judith put it 'an old bus' , whereas Bruce was more precise 'twas 65529'. 20500 took the turn over later, probably for the 10.42 departure from Lynn eastbound. Yesterday's star 20126 was out on K18 today which ends up at Yarmouth.
The turmoil caused by an A47 accident at North Tuddenham took a while to filter through to us here in the west. K7 11.55 ex Lowestoft due off Wisbech at 15.31 was only a couple of minutes late with 20506, but there was then a gap and K1 due at 16.01 was 29 late with 20103 and things got worse before they got better with K2 the 16.31 seen leaving at 17.11 (40 late) with 20118 and following it three cars behind 20352 on K4 the 17.01, a mere 10 late. Next came 20500 on K6 which was viewed by Bruce 22 late at Walpole Highway. 20506 returned on K7 11 late. For the third day running the schools turns were 20508, 20142 & 20131. Damaged 65540 left for collision repairs today but 20120 remains dumped at Rowan Road.
Ryan reports that 20141 and 20127 (missing since last week) are being repaired at Yarmouth, whereas 20119 remains untouched at present. A little off topic, but more news from Ryan is that Dart 47206 was involved in a fatal accident at the N&N hospital yesterday.
No sign of any movement on 20507/8/9 yet, but hopefully you will read of any developments here first.


Wednesday 24th September 2008 ~ What does the 'L' in Lowestoft stand for ?

Now what's this ? Is it an alien ? No it's 20111 of course.

Well time for another episode in our occasional series of 'You Couldn't Make It Up' (with apologies to Richard Littlejohn).

Sam was out monitoring proceedings on the X2 today and saw 20126 working the 11.08 Lowestoft - Norwich and 12.38 back, says Sam "20126 has a broken mid saloon window passenger side (Don't tell Bruce!)". Well I guess Bruce will know now and on his birthday too !Anyway, what do you do with a B10 with a broken window ? Well if you are Lowestoft you take it off the X2 - commendable I hear you say - and then swap it with 20114 which has just come in on the 14.10 arrival from Peterborough (Y8) sending 20126 with its frosted window off on the X1 and you've guessed it, 20126 ends up at King's Lynn. What a hoot ! The first Lynn hear about the window is 30 mins before its arrival, having been expecting 20141 (shome mishtake shurely ?). I think relations between King's Lynn and Lowestoft are about to reach a new low :+0

Now call me a pessimist if you like, but is it coincidence that I've yet to see a B7 Profile running on time on a westbound service? Today K17 12.59 Lynn - Peterborough was according to Bruce 'Well late' with 20351 while 20352 on K4 was on time arriving at Wisbech at 09.35 heading east, but by tonight had managed to lose 23 minutes on its 17.01 departure time to Peterborough. Peter sent a text to say that 20352 was being closely followed by 20501 on K6 by the time they were nearing their destination. The trusty B10s seem to manage Ok and today K5 11.25 from Lowestoft due off Wisbech at 15.01 departed 2 minutes early with 20124. As previously reported this service is seldom in town by its scheduled departure time, let alone before it. Earlier, the 09.25 (K16) westbound was 22 late with 20107, but other than services mentioned the remainder ran roughly to time.

Early this morning K2 06.59 King's Lynn - Peterborough was worked by Scania 65528, this was because 20507 was on booked maintenance and 20504 had problems with its ABS and drivers seat. The latter were repaired for it to relieve the Scania, presumably in time for 504 to work the 09.42 to Lowestoft. 20508, 20131 & 20142 were once again all engaged on schools work. On a brighter note, Sam reports 20103 sounding in much better health than of late on K19 today.

Last year ten B10 Premieres (20103/07/09/11/19/20/23/24/26/42) were repainted. Fleet numbers were painted on the back corners at window height on both sides on all of these except 20111 which was the first one treated. This received its fleet number under the rear side window in a font so small it is impossible to read at a short distance. After seeing it, I immediately sent off an email to R.H. Bodyworks asking them to use bigger numbers on subsequent repaints which they kindly did (yes I know it was a sad thing to do but it worked :+).

Since then 20103 has had a bash on the drivers side rear and no longer sports a fleet number on this side. Bruce saw an unidentified B10 on L13 today with no fleet numbers - this was 20111, however 20111/120/123 do have the fleet number on the back under the rear window.

Now back to my original question, here are a couple of suggestions not to be taken too seriously. L = Lackadaisical : Lacking spirit, liveliness, or interest; languid ? OR L = Lazy : averse or disinclined to work, activity, or exertion; indolent ?


Tuesday 23rd September 2008 ~ Solitude

A peaceful day on the X1. One of the Profiles was not ready for K17 06.27 Lynn - Lowestoft and this went out with 20506. 20352 was then put on K2 06.59 to Peterborough, later in the day this was swapped for a B10, believed to be 20118 which had come off a service. Only other anomaly was 20126 which did K18 06.57 Lynn - Lowestoft and then went on to the X2, 20111 looks to have replaced it on the 10.25 westbound.
Timekeeping was hit and miss today, the 12.48 ex Peterborough (Y14) was 20500 seen running 1 early at Walpole Highway. Westbound services recovered from delays at lunchtime (20121 being 17 late into Wisbech on K17 13.01 to Peterboro') and the 15.01 (K5) with 20104 and the 16.01 (K1) with 20114 were unusually on time. Similarly 20509 was again dead on time on K7 17.09 Wisbech - Lowestoft, however, Profile 20353 was 16 late at Wisbech on the 17.01 to Peterborough (K4).


Monday 22nd September 2008 ~ As Timetabled !

An exceptional day for punctuality with the maximum lateness noted being Y14 12.01 Wisbech - Peterborough with 20121 which was 11 late departing. Of particular note was the 15.48 Peterborough - Yarmouth arriving at Wisbech on time at 16.35 with 20111, a feat seldom achieved even on good days.
The only swap occurred on K19 with 20107 going over (and incidentally noted by Sam at Chedgrave this afternoon on contract work) and 20126 coming back. The latter also sounding rough says Sam, however, it must be said that Yarmouth keep their solitary B10 in commendable external condition.
The Profiles seem to have settled down now and have been allocated Lynn diagrams 3,4 and 17.
20508 was once again procured for the Hunstanton schools work along with 20131 and 20142.

Sunday 21st September 2008 ~ Sun Day

The sun shone for the X1 today (better than most of the so called Summer). Out in service were the following :
20500/02/03/05/06/07 and 107/11/21.
There are only nine diagrams on Sunday as opposed to 18 on Saturdays and 21 on weekdays. This is excluding the shuttles at the east end of course. The other Paragons were located as follows : 20501/08/09 King's Lynn and 20504 at Lowestoft.


Saturday 20th September 2008 ~ Wot Profiles ?

All three Profiles were off the road at King's Lynn today. 20352 had issues with wipers and demisters, but the other two seemed to merely be having a rest. 20508 was having a service, while 20142 and 20131 were helping out on the Hunstanton service.
On the X1 things seemed to go pear shaped in the afternoon, no doubt because of Norwich City playing at home to Sheffield United. K7 14.59 Lynn - Peterborough arrived at 15.11 and finally got away 22 late with 20503, then the next service due to depart at 15.29 (K1) was overtaken by the 15.59 (K2) which arrived first with 20121 at 15.55, this then went empty to Peterborough as K1 and 20124 on the 15.29 became K2 leaving 4 late.
Richard says he's unable to hang on to 20507/8/9 any longer and they should depart this week. He says the X1 should be Ok, but the schools turns will become a major headache until reinforcements arrive.

Friday 19th September 2008 - Bruce Reports

Bruce made a few observations today and although services were pretty much on time in the morning, by the afternoon the usual FST (Friday Standard Time) had set in. K1 15.29 westbound from Lynn passed Bruce 36 late with 20506 and later it was seen leaving Wisbech on the return eastbound 16.48 ex Peterborough having failed to regain any time and being closely followed by 20505 on K2. 20109/131/142 were used on Schools and 20508 returned to X1 work.
20120 which disappeared from Lynn about a week ago returned to Rowan Road compound today still blown up, so where it has been hiding is a mystery.

Thursday 18th September 2008 ~ Lowestoft Liability

65527 strikes out across the Fens near Terrington on the 09.18 ex Peterborough

Yesterday you may recall that Sam was describing the slow progress of 20103, well it turned up at Lynn last night as booked, but Lynn were unable to use it today after receiving a phone call from Lowestoft to say it required a service before returning to traffic. Now this might seem a reasonable request, but, as those in the business will know, this is most definitely NOT the done thing. In this case it was especially cheeky as Lynn's 20127 which began K19 on Wed was swapped by Lowestoft for 20103, get the picture ? Anyway the fall out from this was 65527 being provided for K6 07.59 Lynn - Peterborough. The Scania returned as far as Lynn where a peculiar bit of rearranging took place. 20107 on J11 07.05 Gorleston -Pbo was turned round at Lynn to replace 65527 while J11 went forward to Peterborough with 20504 which had just come back empty from Norwich on the first part of K20.

20131/142/508 were all sidelined for the afternoon schools work.


Wednesday 17th September 2008 ~ Hanging On

The three Profiles once again did turns K4, K17 & K3 precisely as yesterday. All the Paragons bar 20508 were out on X1. This had attention at Ford & Slaters to its tacho and later joined 20131 & 20142 on the Hunstanton schools runs.
20127 went over to Lowestoft on K19 (the X2 turn) but Sam reports 20103 doing the rest of it and struggling most of the way on his trip.
Cheryl said 20114 was already 15 late when seen leaving Wisbech on the 08.31 to Peterborough (K6), however, Judith saw 20505 on the 09.31 on time. K5 11.25 Lowestoft - Peterborough was heavily delayed and was seen 26 late at Tilney and then Cheryl saw it leaving Wisbech 28 late. 20500 on K7 following was only about 8 minutes behind it. There was no spare power at Lynn again today and local turn 3 on the Hunstantons was cancelled for the second day running.
Ryan was in touch today and has given us an update on the Yarmouth situation. 20141 has now arrived from Lowestoft for repairs, while 20117 is at last being attended to for MOT etc. The picture regarding 20119 however, looks bleak and rumours persist that it will be withdrawn. Nick Field on East Anglia Buses Yahoo group says that 20115 is due to return to traffic very shortly.
I'm off to the Wensleydale Railway for a couple of days now, so more X1 news on my return.


Tuesday 16th September 2008 ~ Scotland on Paragon Alert

Here's Sam and Jamie V after examining the damage on 65540 following Friday's accident.

So it's Scotland according to Richard, the destination for the departing Paragons that is and he ought to know being the top man over here. 20507/8/9 were due to have gone when the Profiles returned, but such is the shortage of power at Lynn that they are being held back to cover.

Today Sam and Jamie V came over and we met up at King's Lynn for an audit of the situation. The three Profiles were all out and K17 & K3 must now surely be booked turns for these. 20353 was on K4 08.48 ex Peterborough and was 20 late into Lynn, Jamie V who travelled on it said it was full from Peterborough. No power was available for the morning part of K20, so the 06.47 Lynn - Norwich was cancelled. Coaches out of traffic were 20127 (door problem), 20509 (scheduled service) and 20508 (tacho failure, to be sorted out tomorrow morning). 20509 was serviced in time to work the afternoon part of K20. There were problems on the Hunstanton route too, with one turn left uncovered, no doubt exacerbated by 65540's absence. 20131, 20142 and 20508 did the afternoon schools turns.

Bruce was keeping an eye on things too and says "20506 was 24 late going to Pboro on the 10.29 ex Lynn (L12), 20105 was 13 late on the 12.29 ex Lynn (K16) and then I am afraid to say:- 20352 was 13 late on the 12.59 (K17) and 20351 was 5 late on the 13.59 (K3)".
20127 has gained some new adverts for 'Norfolk Jobs' and was Ok for service again tonight.

X1 update

Friday was a terrible day for punctuality and there seemed to be swaps everywhere. Typical of the chaos was K1 07.48 Peterborough - Lowestoft which had 20105 almost on time, but by the afternoon the return working was 11 late from Wisbech and then 32 minutes down coming back on the 16.48 from Peterborough. K2 12.55 ex Lowestoft was 27 late from Wisbech with 20505 but this managed to pick up some lost time and was only 17 late returning. K4 07.29 Lynn - Peterboro was 65532 but this came off at some stage and 20506 was in charge by the evening. Y14 08.25 Lowestoft - Peterborough came through Wisbech 19 late with 20131 which had come on at Lynn.
65540 had its first experience of the X1 - actual service not known - but it came to grief at Eau Brink whilst making a pick up. The driver of a Ford Mondeo overtaking a lorry lost control and bounced off the back of 65540 causing considerable damage.
I went to Peterborough on the 18.31 from Wisbech (Y9), we left 10 late but thanks to some good driving made up most of this. 20107 must surely win the prize for the noisiest B10. I really enjoyed its thrashing along the A47 and when starting away it is guaranteed to make people stare to see what is making such a racket !

Saturday looks to have been less stressful, but 20131 was out on a Paragon turn (K7) and was seen by Bruce at 15.18 heading west at Walpole Highway.

Sunday saw a number of B10s out, Cheryl saw 20118 as did Bruce who also noted 20107 & 20127. Says Bruce "All coaches from coast seemed to be approx 10 late all day. 20507 on 0919 to Pbo had a VERY healthy load for an early morning service". By the evening the three Profiles had returned from Inverness.
Monday. I returned from Scotland and had 20114 on K20 20.18 Peterborough - Lowestoft, a much quieter ride than on 20107 of course, better suspension too, but a rather sedate driver. 20114 had started the day on L12 07.15 ex Lowestoft but was removed at Lynn at some stage to provide seatbelted cover for the afternoon schools bit of K20.


Thursday 11th September ~ Just when I thought I'd seen it all !

All ten B12 Paragons were in action on the X1 today again, the last full week in which this will be possible it would seem. They all behaved well except 20503 which was failed at King's Lynn bus station for K1 06.29 to Peterborough with a water leak. 20107 was called to take over, but this left things in a desparate situation. K4 was already allocated (and got) 65532, while the Norwich turn which comes back light (K20) was 65528. As a consequence the last turn - K6 07.59 to Peterborough was given schools vehicle 20131. Next event was 65528 in trouble at Narborough with its doors refusing to open (passengers would probably have preferred to wait for a coach on the following service), the problem was alleviated though and it was able to proceed.
20131 was removed from K6 at Lynn at 10.07 and a revived 20503 left at 10.12 to Lowestoft.

K20 turn which does the Lynn - Norwich commuter service and then returns light to Lynn can get away with a Scania like it did today, but not so the afternoon part because it does a schools turn before returning light to Norwich to do the 17.17 thence to Peterborough and of course school buses have to have SEATBELTS !! Because of this in times of shortage, a coach is removed from an X1 to do the afternoon part of K20 while a Scania rattles off to Lowestoft without seatbelts of course, on the X1. Have YOU ever seen a school bus full of pupils wearing seatbelts ? Don't get me going on that one........... anyway today thinking ahead, Lynn decided to take 20123 off J11 at 12.07 and 65531 duly toddled off to Lowestoft on the 12.12, however, they had not bargained for another failure and quite a bizarre one at that. I passed 20118 at Walsoken on Y14 12.48 Peterborough - Lowestoft running 17 late and minus its front valance which contains its registration plate, yes just a black hole (possibly caused by those scientists messing about with protons yesterday !). 20118 was removed at Lynn and replaced by 20123. Lynn fitters then hastily refixed the front valance back on to 20118 (presumably it had been lurking in some dark recess of the bus) so that it could be sent out to do the second part of K20 instead of 20123. This all left me wondering whether it actually fell off and if so, was there a big bang ?
20107 as I mentioned earlier did K1 07.48 P'bo - Lowestoft, I then could swear I saw it doing K2 16.31 Wisbech - Peterborough, mind you I was several yards away but it looked like 20107. Tonight though 20107 turned up again on Y14 17.55 ex Lowestoft instead of 20123. This begs the questions was it taken off K2 at Dereham and turned round here to come back west, or is it simply the fact that I need my eyes tested and it was 20124 I saw on the 16.31 ? I guess we will never know (or care they cried). 20106 mysteriously surfaced at Lynn tonight, so i'm going to stick my neck out and guess that 106 did K1 12.25 ex Lowestoft and was replaced at Lynn by 20105 which was missing tonight. Agatha Christie would be proud of all this I suspect. Apart from the above, it was just a normal day ! No blog for a while now as I'm off to Edinburgh until Monday evening, but do keep in touch as ever with your reports and sightings.


Wednesday 10th September 2008 ~ We Apologise But The End Of the World Is Running Late

The three B7 Profiles left the area today, 20352 did K20 06.47 King's Lynn - Norwich but did not return and 20505 off an exam did the afternoon leg. 20353 remained at Yarmouth overnight and it looks like 20351 travelled over empty. The news we've been dreading was confirmed tonight - when the three Profiles return from Scotland, 20507/8/9 are leaving for service elsewhere. May be it is coincidence, but 20508/9 are two of the three most reliable B12s (20502 is the other). Bruce had a good session observing operations today but was not impressed with punctuality. K6 09.18 ex Peterborough was seen by Judith entering Wisbech at 10.18 with 20127, about 14 late, Y9 11.18 ex Peterborough was similarly late (20500) as was J11 12.18 ( unknown vehicle). K5 11.25 from Lowestoft was well late and 20142 made up some time as it was only about 5 late returning from Peterborough. Finally 20109 on K1 12.25 from Lowestoft was 24 late passing Walpole and was later removed at Lynn on the return 16.48 from Peterborough with a steering wobble. 20118 from the schools fleet worked forward.
Because of the absence of the Profiles, K4 07.29 Lynn - Peterborough etc had the delights of Scania 65532.

20141 IS being repaired at Lowestoft and plans are underway to do the same for 20120 which is still languishing at Lynn depot.


Tuesday September 9th 2008 ~ Rain rain go away !

The weather played a big part in today's events, with rain falling here for much of the day. Things began badly with dear old 20127 in trouble on Y8 with its windscreen wipers not working. Bruce saw it passing his house about 08.50 and Judith then saw it arriving at Wisbech at 09.06 (due off here at 09.01). The driver obviously attempted a repair here and it ended up leaving immediately behind 20114 on the 09.31 (Y9), however, it only reached Guyhirn before the driver failed it completely - all the passengers had gone on Y9, so it returned to Lynn for repairs. This meant Lynn had to supply a vehicle to take up turn Y8 at 11.12 to Lowestoft and this they did by using 20105 which had been restricted to schools work since Thursday last.
The day then passed relatively without incident until late afternoon when 20123 on K18 14.48 Peterborough - Gorleston was failed at Lynn with its demisters playing up, surprisingly 20353 was called upon to work forward, even though this turn overnights at Yarmouth. It is possible that the Profile will return tonight instead of 20501 on K7 21.58 ex Lowestoft. The other two Profiles repeated their Monday turns on K17 & K3, but all three are due to go to Norwich tomorrow before leaving for the far North.
Angela sent a text to report 20121 departing Peterborough Rail station 10 late on the 17.18 (K2) to Lowestoft screeching badly. The driver failed it at Lynn allegedly because its demisters had packed up, however, when checked later they were working perfectly. May be he was worried because of the noises which 121 tends to make or may be he had read this blog ! Anyway 20500 which had come in on J10, the 18.24 arrival from Lowestoft was used instead of 20121 at 18.42.
Despite all this it was another good day for timekeeping. At lunchtime in Wisbech bus station Blondie was seen with 20505 leaving dead on time with L13 13.09 to Lowestoft while the late lady driver was only 7 late leaving on K16 13.01 to Peterborough (20502).


Monday 8th September 2008 ~ A Pattern Emerges

20124 & 20126 at Lynn garage this evening after arrival on K19 & Y21, 126 is in a non-standard paint scheme.

Although the situation remains somewhat fluid, a pattern seems to be emerging. Diagrams K3 & K17 were once again Profiles today (20351 & 20352) - see previous blogs for service details - whereas previously they had been B12 turns, this then leaves two of the latter spare and one of these does K16 which works 06.07 Lynn - Lowestoft, 09.25 L-P and 13.48 return finishing at Lowestoft, formerly a B10 turn whilst the other does one of the turns which finishes at Yarmouth/Lowestoft indiscriminately chosen from turns K1, K2, K6 and K18.

Once again 20105/118/131 all remained at King's Lynn and did schools contracts this afternoon. Timekeeping was good today, only two turns seemed to run late, these being J11 11.18 ex Peterborough which was 13 late at Wisbech and L13 16.55 ex Lowestoft which was late by the same margin. At 15.05, 20142 on K5 15.01 Wisbech - Peterborough and 20352 on K17 14.18 ex P'bo were both queueing at Wisbech town bridge traffic lights dead on time - an almost unheard of occurrence for these two services. Something of a surprise was Yarmouth's 20126 standing in for a regular coach on Y21 17.25 Lowestoft - Lynn, 20114 had been expected. Michael reports B10 useage on the X2 as a rare occurrence since the arrival of the three dedicated buses last week, the latter have all been out every day (except Sunday) and only K19 turn worked off King's Lynn remains a daily duty for a B10.
One swap at Lowestoft today, 20504 on K4, the 13.10 arrival, was changed for 20121 on the 13.25 to Peterborough.

Replacement low floor deckers are expected at Lynn from next week for use on the Hunstanton service I am told.


Sunday September 7th 2008 ~ A Day of Rest

Here are the three Profiles resting at Rowan Road today, alongside 20131.

A thankfully quiet day on X1, 20109 was back and another B10 out was 20107. With only one turn unaccounted for, all the remaining ones were Paragons. 20500/05/06 were spare at Lynn.


Saturday 6th September 2008 ~ 123 at a Bus Stop Near You

Yes after a 40 day absence - July 29th was its last X1 working, 20123 returned to service today. It was seen tonight on Y9 19.18 Peterborough - Lowestoft. Ryan says 20119 is still in a bad way at Yarmouth and he believes 20117 & 20121 are transfers to Yarmouth from Lowestoft. 117 hasn't worked since it appeared on the X2 on 17th July. 20109 has also been working off Yarmouth for a few days.
There were no less than six spare coaches at Lynn today. The three Profiles were all receiving repairs to their ramps and it is now thought that all three will go to Inverness this week with drivers from Norwich. In addition 20105/118/131 were all spare and it would seem that this trio may have been sidelined especially for the schools turns. On the punctuality front 20114 was 22 late into Wisbech on K16 13.01 Wisbech - Peterborough and it was still 20 late on its return, 20500 on K17 following was 10 down but had cut this to three minutes when it arrived at Wisbech for the 15.09 to Lowestoft.


Friday 5th September 2008 ~ Profile Palaver

These things happen don't they ? Late last night 20351 ran out of fuel at Lynn bus station after arriving on K3 at about half midnight. An emergency supply of 40 litres of fuel was taken up to it and it then managed to get as far as the South Gates before it expired completely with fuel starvation. It was eventually rescued and taken to the nearby garage at Vancouver Avenue where it arrived in the early hours. Today it had its fuel tank drained and cleaned and by this evening it was in the bus station having apparently arrived on an X1. This obviously throws into doubt the plans to use the Profiles on the longer X1 turns. 20352 completed K17 yesterday and was out on the same turn today, but 20353 which was on K3 was taken off at teatime, presumably to avoid a similar scenario to that suffered by 20351 last night. 20353 then did a further trip to Peterborough and back on Y8 17.29 departure.
Next week one of the Profiles is going up to Inverness in connection with the First Monster Challenge, so I hope they have arranged appropriate fuel stops en route.
Otherwise today was exceptional for a Friday with almost everything near time. K16 13.01 Wisbech - Peterborough was 14 late, but this was the worst offender. 20104 was in charge and this had replaced 20106 at Lowestoft. The 17.09 Wisbech - Lowestoft (16.18 ex P'bo) K7 left on time which is unusual on any day with 20502. K4 13.25 Lowestoft - P'bo had 20504 but 20131 replaced it at teatime in order that 504 could in turn replace 20353 on K3. 20105 & 20118 were on Lynn schools work today and 20120 remains forlorn in Vancouver Avenue minus front panel.


Thursday 4th September 2008 ~ B10s Relegated

Today all three ex First D&C coaches were out on mainstream X1 work. They are currently restricted to turns which begin and end at Lynn. None have had their destination screens programmed yet and this must be a source of confusion to passengers. For example 20351 and 20352 were at James Paget Hospital within 5 minutes of each other at around 10.20 this morning, both going in opposite directions and with no display. 20351 did K3 which runs empty to Wisbech to form the 06.54 Wisbech - Lowestoft, then 10.55 L-P, 15.18 P-L & 20.58 Lowestoft - Lynn. This is normally a solid B12 turn, as is K17 which today had 20352 working the 06.27 Lynn - Lowestoft, 09.55 L-P, 14.18 P-L and 19.58 Lowestoft - Lynn. 20353 which incidentally has smaller fleet numbers on the front did K20 06.47 Lynn - Norwich, return light then the afternoon trip empty back to Norwich to form the 17.17 Norwich -P'bo, which it worked as far as Lynn. 20124 off J10 is believed to have worked forward.
The bi-product of this influx of new power is that 20105/118/131 were all relegated to Lynn schools work today. 20118 did not do K20 last night, this was 20121 spotted by Cheryl but not positively identified at the time as "it has numbers round the corner" as she put it.
Paul says 20127 is also now a Lynn car as well as 20131 so the two Barbies remain together.
20504 on K15 08.55 ex Low was swapped for 20502 off an exam at Lynn at lunchtime. 504 was due to have its air con repaired.
20106 returned to the area today being used on Y14 08.25 ex Lowestoft, as previously reported it has lost its Excel branding on the side and the back end has also been tidied up and the Excel network ad removed.
Tonight 20509 was exactly 30 late at Walpole on the 13.25 ex Lowestoft, the second day in succession that this service has been heavily delayed. The following 13.55 with 20103 was 20 late, meanwhile a broken down lorry on Guyhirn bank caused 20500 on K7 to lose 21 minutes on the 16.18 from Peterborough, it having been on time going over.


Wednesday 3rd September 2008 ~ Must Try Harder !

Now allocated to Lynn, here's 20131 in a very floral Lynn bus station on Monday. Note the flowers are in matching livery - never let it be said that we lack taste !

Well today saw the first use in service of the ex First D & C coaches. 20351 was used on the early bath turn (K4) 07.29 Lynn - Peterborough etc. I saw it twice, firstly just 2 mins late on the 08.49 ex Peterborough and then later no less than 43 minutes late entering Wisbech on the 13.25 ex Lowestoft which is due off here at 17.01. It was followed 4 minutes later by 20503 on K6 13.55 ex Lowestoft. So a rather embarrassing debut for the new beast. 20352 meanwhile was tried out on K20, the Lynn - Norwich & return empty turn, however, 20118 off a 'B' service did the afternoon part of this diagram and was incidentally seen by John W on Hunstanton schools as booked. John also saw 20131 which - joy of joys lol - is now a Lynn vehicle and presumably a replacement for 20141 which has a blown engine at Lowestoft (see previous blogs) . May be 20131's leaky roof will now get repaired at last. A correction here to yesterday's blog - apparently 20131 took over turn K17 at Lowestoft and 20508 went light to Lynn, well I confess I couldn't have predicted that one.
Meanwhile the other Barbie, 20127 is now allocated to Yarmouth, but has nevertheless been an ever present on X1 so far this week. The three incoming Volvo B10B/Wrights transferred from Norwich to Lowestoft were all out on the X2 today and 20107 on K19 was the only coach seen by both Sam and Michael. 20103 on K18 10.25 ex Lowestoft was ill and it looks like 20142 off an exam replaced it at Lynn. Grahame reports 20106 back at Yarmouth (from Bath apparently) now and it was in use on the Gorleston/Norwich shuttles today along with 20126. 20353 looked to have had repairs completed at King's Lynn tonight, but 20120 still looks a sorry state.
Finally another Lynn Olympian ventured out to Wisbech today, this time 34901 was en route to an MOT at Welbourns, so we still await one deputising on the X1 - and time is running out......


Tuesday September 2nd 2008 ~ The Cavalry Arrive !

Two of the new steeds at Lynn garage this evening.

The two remaining ex First Devon coaches (20351/2) arrived here earlier than expected this afternoon. The reason for the urgency is that Norfolk schools returned today and extra contracts for Smithdon High School at Hunstanton mean a greater demand on vehicles. It is hoped that the two coaches pictured will be in service tomorrow to ease the shortage. 20120 was also being repaired this evening and 20353 was alongside it also being attended to.

On the X1 there were a couple of maintenance swaps with 20505 on the 09.18 ex Peterborough (K6) being replaced by 20502 at Lynn and later 20508 on the K17 09.55 ex Lowestoft was replaced by 20131 from Lynn, seen passing Terrington St. John 18 late. At Lowestoft, 20105 on the 10.10 arrival (K18) was replaced by 20127 for the 10.25 return. This meant the two remaining Barbie liveried B10s were seen by Bruce within 25 mins of each other. Mention was made recently of the 07.45 ex Lowestoft (L13) changing vehicles at Norwich on occasion and this happened again today with 20124 off K19 from Lynn returning westbound. 20103 worked K19 into Lynn tonight.

A mystery left over from yesterday is what did last evening's 20.42 Lynn - Lowestoft as 20504 which left Peterborough on it at 19.18 was back at Lynn this morning.


Monday September 1st 2008 ~ Good Times

Here's 20507 on today's 10.18 ex Peterborough with the 'late' lady driver going well
Yes virtually everything ran to time today. Main exception was K2 08.18 Peterborough - Lowestoft with 20114 which was 15 late from Wisbech and 23 late from Lynn due to it picking up passengers intended for the following service (K4), the latter arriving as 114 departed ! By this evening 114 had made up some time and was only 12 late on the 17.18 ex Peterborough. By contrast Y9 14.55 Lowestoft - Peterborough was marginally early at Walpole Highway (due 18.17) with 20504. 504 had begun the day on Y8 but was stepped up at Lowestoft with 20505 taking over Y8 and 20507 off Y9 taking a rest. Only other delayed service was 20501 working the 10.55 ex Lowestoft (K3) which was 15 late from Lynn.

20353 was having batteries charged at Lynn depot but now has a problem with its rear lights, while 20120 remains off the road. Rumours of the B12 Paragons being transferred to work around Heathrow have resurfaced.