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Sunday 31st May 2009 ~ The Wright Seatbelt ?

The seatbelts fitted to the Gemini B9s are tested regularly as one might expect, but there is currently a problem obtaining replacements as Wrights have changed suppliers. As a result 37578 is now out of service awaiting repairs as previously mentioned, but also with some of its belts removed to enable other B9s to keep on the road ! Meanwhile 37571 is in secure accommodation in the Wisbech area awaiting a VOSA inspection.
Today's service was B9 operated although some swapping of turns did take place at Lowestoft. 37579 for example went over on K7 07.35 from Lynn but returned on the 11.48 from Lowestoft instead of the 10.48. Thanks to Terence for this information. 37563/579 appeared with new ads for Nokia today. These have a green background as opposed to the blue one used recently. 37579 was the last Gemini to still carry the Mars Planets ad. Thanks also to Rob Brooks for sightings today, B9s noted were 37563/64/66/69/70/73/76/79.

Saturday 30th May 2009 ~ Question Time

In the shade, 37572 near Faulkner's Tunnel on Y13 13.05 Peterborough - Lowestoft today.
and in the sun...... 37566 seen near Walpole Highway on K18 10.55 from Lowestoft.

I saw the man in charge tonight and we had a long chat which helps to answer some recent queries. Several people have pointed out that in a clip on Look East on Thursday, a B10M was seen arriving at the scene of the accident at Thorney from the east. Turns out this was 20118 which was supposed to have been sent from Lynn to reach the accident location from the west side and extricate the two passengers who didn't need hospital treatment (in fact the two guys interviewed on Look East). Due to an error in communications, 118 arrived from the wrong direction much to the consternation of all concerned, however it did rescue the two passengers and transfer them to a following service. The damage to 37571 is quite extensive and the front looks quite twisted which may not be good news for its longevity.
Other Gemini news involves 37570 which was collected from repair at Volvo last night and after checks was used on K5 today, but not before 20118 had done the first leg to Peterborough and back. 37578 is now off the road, it did L12 yesterday but has been grounded with No. 2 injector failed and it also requires a new water pump.
Profile 20353 remains on No. 1 pit at Vancouver Avenue, a position it has occupied all week due to its disabled ramp having packed up. One of the reasons for its delay in returning to service is that Lynn has suffered a maintenance staff shortage this week. This has been exacerbated by another Dart arriving from Bury St. Edmunds for MOT. Meanwhile at Rowan Road the tally of vehicles needing repair increases. Scania 65528 has been delicensed there for some time, but now 65525 needs major attention also. B10Ms 20106 (suspension + servicing) and 20121 (battery / cutting out) are still at the back of the queue. 20118/123/131 are earmarked for schools use this coming week with 20105/9 as X1 spares. Whilst on the subject of 20105, last Sundays outing on private hire was to Newmarket. Earlier this year 20105/9 both travelled to Nottingham on similar work. 20109 is reported to have suffered in the same way as the other restricted B10Ms, in that the seats have been damaged whilst being used on the Hunstanton schools jobs.

The X1 seemed to run fairly well today. King's Lynn had to produce no less than four B10Ms this morning to stand in for non-available B9s. K1 had 20103, K4 had 20109 to Peterborough and back before 37573 could take over. K5 as reported above had 20118 which was then changed for 37570, while K3 had a coach all day in the shape of 20105. From the other end, 20126 was standing in all day on Y6 which should end up at Lowestoft tonight. 126 had been seen just before lunch about 20 late heading east, but by this evening it had made all that up. 20351 did L9 and 20352 was on K19. The short turn (L12) had 37563 and this may not be coincidence as 563s availability is definitely lower than comparable B9s. 37575 looks to have been spare at Lowestoft today, it didn't come back to Lynn on K15 last night and 37567 off K14 did the last leg.


Friday 29th May 2009 ~ A Temporary Solution

Yarmouth's 20126 has probably never been such a regular X1 performer. She is seen arriving at Wisbech on Y6 on time this morning to work at 08.48 to Peterborough. I think Bernie has spotted me !

Following yesterday's accident which has taken 37571 off the road for some considerable time , or maybe even permanently, today's service was patched up by using B10M coaches normally used on Schools work. This option will not be available next week of course.

In chronological order then, 20109 was K3 for the third day running and was seen leaving Wisbech 14 late at just after 5pm tonight, which is not bad for a Friday. K4, a turn which ends up at Lowestoft began the day with 20131, however after doing a trip to Peterborough this was removed and tonight 37579 was on this turn which finishes at Lowestoft. 20131 was then used to work K17 at 13.45 from Lynn to Peterborough, presumably replacing a B9. K5 had 20105 all day and the first turn from Yarmouth (Y6) was 20126 which also stuck all day taking it back to Lowestoft tonight. One more B10M working today was 20103 on L11. Profile 20353 remains off the road (again) and 20351 was used on K16 with 20352 coming over on Y13. Geminis which were not seen in service today were 37563/74/77 as well as 571 of course.

Timekeeping was pretty good for a Friday and worst delay was caused by an accident at Goosetree on the A141 which led to traffic queueing back to beyond Guyhirn on the A47. 37564 got caught up in this and was seen departing from Wisbech at 09.56 (about 4 late) and returning east at the same spot two hours later at 11.56 (due 11.18). Later in the afternoon Bruce, who had been on a trip to Acle, saw 564 heading empty down the Norwich southern bypass with 'Sorry Not In Service' on the front. Services from the east were less affected and worst performer was K14 with 37567 which was 20 late.

More congestion due to roadworks at Eye Green on the Crowland Road meaning tailbacks onto the A47 resulted in some delay to services this afternoon. Returning services eastbound seen at Wisbech were 37575 on K15 running 10 late, 20351 on K16 17 late, 20131 on K17 26 late and 37572 on K18 just 8 late.
A quick postcript to yesterday's accident and it was announced today that the lady driver who was unfortunately killed was a 47 year old from Bretton. The 71 year old victim hurt was a bus passenger injured whilst trapped between the seats of the upper deck.


Thursday 28th May 2009 ~ A Serious Accident

Emergency services at the crash scene earlier today after the evacuation of passengers from 37571.
As you may have read below and seen on television, the X1 made headlines today. 37571 on L10 was in head on collision with a car which for unknown reasons was being driven on the wrong side of the road. The motorist was killed in the accident and thirteen bus passengers were injured. I saw the service leaving Wisbech and it appeared to be reasonably patronised, however passenger numbers are thought to have been slightly less than normal because of 37563 running late on the preceding service.

The A47 was closed until around 19.00 this evening with diversions being set up and long queues developing. 571 was badly damaged in the impact and ended up in a dyke at a dangerous angle. The bus had to be stabilised before passengers could safely disembark as it was feared that the bus might tip over onto its side. One elderly passenger on the upper deck was still being rescued two hours after the crash. The air ambulance attended and airlfted a lady with a broken pelvis to Addenbrookes Hospital. Several passengers were described as 'walking wounded'. 571 was being driven by one of the senior X1 drivers based at Lynn and fortunately he was not badly injured in the crash. Damage to the bus included the steering wheel being rammed into the camera monitor and the wheelchair ramp equipment being thrown from the vehicle. Fitters from King's Lynn arrived on an unidentified B10M and were in attendance for about five hours. They checked the condition of the B9 before it was removed this evening.

The day had begun in quite an ordinary manner. King's Lynn despatched the two Lowestoft B10Ms back to their home territory as expected with 20104 on K1 and 20103 on K4. Services from the coast appeared with 37565 (Y6), 37566 (Y7), 37576 (L8) and 37563 (Y9). 37571 on the doomed L10 was seen leaving Wisbech slightly early. Bruce saw 37578 on L11 and B7 20351 on Y13. 37576 returned on L8 five minutes late according to Bruce, but then there was a gap due to the incident and the next eastbound service was 37563 on Y9 which passed Walpole Highway at 12.54 (48 minutes late, which all things considered was a commendable effort).

K14 was 37579 but after this, the B9s seemed to be temporarily withdrawn (possibly for safety checks) as K15 was spotted by me leaving Walton Highway just 6 late with 20118. Had this accident occurred outside the school holidays we may well have seen some interesting workings as K16 following was 13 late with 20131 and K17 was 30 late with 20126. K18 was next with B7 20352. K19 was not seen (possibly cancelled) and K1 turned up just 7 late still with 20104. 37577 had been expected on K2, but this had changed vehicles too as early as 09.05 with 20105 also running 7 late. Terence viewed 105 leaving Lowestoft and K3 following it was 20109 for the second day running. Seven successive services seen with coaches cannot be a coincidence. That being said 37570 was out of service at Volvo Norwich today with a recurring ABS fault and 37574 had its MOT completed.

The B9s seemed to have regained their turns tonight and at 20.15 37565 was seen heading for Lowestoft on Y6 having worked all day unaffected by things. The westbound service seen was L10 now with 37575 instead of the ill fated 37571. 37568 was seen leaving Lynn on the 20.50 to Peterborough and 37576 was still on L8 and worked the 21.35 to Lowestoft. Of the B10Ms 20118 was back at Rowan Road, 20105 was in the bus station having been relieved by another vehicle on K2 while 20131 seemed to have joined 20126 in heading east. It is very rare for 20131 to venture east of Lynn these days. 20106/121/123 all remained spare at Rowan Road today with 20353 in bits at Vancouver Avenue. All in all, an eventful if rather sad day and may be not the best time for 20118 to be adorned with a new small rear advert proclaiming 'Enjoy Travelling - First'.

Newsflash ~ X1 Accident

The 07.05 Gorleston - Peterborough X1 (diagram L10) was involved in an accident as it approached the Thorney bypass Eastern roundabout at about 11.10 this morning. The bus, Gemini B9 37571 was seen departing Wisbech slightly early at 10.47 and was lightly loaded owing to a late running preceding service. Although details are yet to be confiirmed, it would appear that a car driven by a 71 year old woman appeared on the wrong side of the single carrageway and collided head on with 37571. The driver in an attempt to minimise the impact, swerved to the left and ended up in a ditch at an angle. 13 people were injured and the lady car driver killed. The A47 is still closed now at 17.30


Wednesday 27th May 2009 ~ Availability

I think a few months ago we actually had a day where the X1 service in its entirety was worked by Gemini B9s and Profile B7s. With 19 turns to cover, 20 buses is always going to be a tight call. Today for example, three B10Ms were out : 20103 came out of Lowestoft on L10 followed just 30 minutes later by L11 with 20104. At the Lynn end 20109 was initially reported at Peterborough by Rob Brooks on K3 and it worked all day on this turn which finishes at Lynn at around 19.00
Profile 20353 spent the day at Vancouver Avenue on a service/repairs and 20352 started the day on K4, however it needed a scheduled service too and at some point of the day was replaced by sister 20351.
There were no real blips in the timekeeping stakes, much as yesterday and ten minutes seemed to be the maximum delay.

Tuesday 26th May 2009 ~ A Joint Effort

Between us, Bruce and myself managed to account for all 19 X1 turns today. Geminis not in evidence were 37568/74. The latter has been appropriated for an MOT at King's Lynn and this is scheduled for Thursday. 568 went into Lowestoft on Saturday with K16. 37569 had a short day today, it is believed to have worked the first leg of K15 to Lowestoft where it was replaced by 37573.
37567 was L10 today but was unable to work the 19.50 King's Lynn - Peterborough, so 37570 which arrived at about this time on L11 was substituted. Profile 20353 spent the day at Lynn on a service, while 20351/2 did the regular B7 turns - K3 & K5. With 20353 unavailable, K18 was worked by 20109 (not a problem with schools on holiday), however this turn ends up at Yarmouth and as their 20126 was working Y13, a clever swap was arranged. 109 completed K18 in Yarmouth at 19.20 and then waited for Y13 to arrive with 126. 109 then took over Y13 at 19.40 as the last turn to Peterborough, keeping everyone happy. Another diagram worked by a B10M today was K2 which had 20104.
Further east B10Ms keep busy with Neville reporting 20126/7 on consecutive X1 turns heading for Yarmouth through Acle between 16.30 & 17.00. 126 presumably being on Y13 (see above).


Bank Holiday Sunday/Monday 24/25 May 2009

37569 heads east through Tilney on Sunday evening. The pink advert is sponsored by Norfolk County Council and is encouraging people to vote in the forthcoming elections !!
The Bank Holiday weather was actually good ! 37571 heads for Peterborough on Sunday.

The sun shone today for 20105's private hire and the A47 became its usual crawl. Bruce reports a continuous queue either crawling or stationary from Wisbech B & Q Roundabout all the way to Thorney Bypass where traffic was queueing in both lanes to gain access to the single carriageway.
Seen amongst the hopeful trippers was 37573 between Thorney Toll and Guyhirn at 11.05, at which time it should have been the other side of Wisbech. The next eastbound service was also heavily delayed. Because of the traffic there were some changes at the Lowestoft end. 37573 on K3 noted above was changed for 37569, the latter had gone over on K8 and was changed for 37565.
As half expected dear old 20104 did the business on Y5 for the second successive Sunday. 37570 had a day off at Vancouver Avenue today and received a replacement destination glass after it had shattered .

Delays weren't as heavy today and the service was (I think) an entirely Gemini operated one. Latest service seen at this end was K6 09.48 from Lowestoft with 37579 having replaced whatever Lynn turned out. It was seen passing through Walpole Highway 15 minutes late with a driver obviously intent on making up time. K1 08.10 from Peterborough had 37565 which I am pleased to report bore the destination 'Lowestoft' so it would seem its recent lay off has seen its destination indicator repaired. On arrival there it was held over to return on K2 while another swap involved 37570 which was firstly seen on K2 but later had dropped two hours and was on Y4 in place of 37573. The Geminis seen in service toady were 37563/5/9/70/1/3/5/8/9.


Saturday 23rd May 2009 ~ Return to Peterborough

37570 near Terrington today on K17. It is having a solid spell at the moment, but not as good as 37566 which has worked every day since 27th April.

The Saturdays only turn which simply works Lowestoft to Peterborough and return was a surprise today in the shape of 20127 which had been sent from Yarmouth. Just as well as the spare B9 at Lowestoft was utilised very quickly when 37567 on K14, the first incoming working from Lynn, was swapped for 37565. Later in the day a series of stepping down took place, the like of which we've not had reported for a while. L8 had 37575 which was changed at Lowestoft for the aforementioned 37567, then 37575 took over L9 from 37569 which had been noted by Bruce & myself running 25 minutes late going east at Walpole. The swaps continued with 569 then taking Y10 in place of 37579 which remained at Lowestoft.

Not only was 20127 performing, from the Lynn end K1 produced 20104. As this ends at Yarmouth, could it put in a second Sunday appearance in a row I wonder ?
37578 returned to traffic today on K19. Rowan Road had a fine selection of B10Ms this evening with 20105/6/9/18/21/23/31 all present. 20105 had a service today and had been prepared for working a private hire job tomorrow, apparently organised by one of the King's Lynn fitters.


Timetables and Diagrams

Now I've found time to examine the new schedules I've been able to upload the new diagrams to my website at the following link.

These differ slightly from the original predicted versions of course. The columns are colour coded as follows :
Yellow : King's Lynn internal turns
Turquoise : Turns ending at Lowestoft
Purple : Turns ending at Yarmouth
Green : Turns from Yar/Lft ending at Lynn.

The Saturday timetable has some diagram changes from the weekday version.


Friday 22nd May 2009 ~ A Slow Recovery

Today's blog is gleaned from various sources as I'm not yet back in circulation. 37578 was back at Lynn today after visiting Volvo for work under warranty. 37574 meanwhile remains at Rowan Road awaiting attention to seatbelts. Eleven other B9s were noted in use today as well as the three Profiles, one of which, 20352 was on K4 which ends up at Lowestoft. B10Ms performing were 20104 on Y7 and 20103 on K18. One turn not accounted for was L12 which was either 37563 or 37566.


Thursday 21st May 2009 ~ Have I Got A Blog For You ?

Hague, Harris or Billingham ??

Well, no I haven't actually ! I am up off my sickbed for this one and having not left the house all day, we have a guest presenter (I know I'm ill now because I just typed a guset presenter !). We couldn't afford William Hague or Rolf Harris so its over to Bruce Billingham ........
Thursday Blog or a day in the life of Walpole Highway's Express Service

Well the Blogman is poorly so his Deputy has been on duty today. X1s SHOULD pass each other outside the bungalow at xx.04 and xx.34,
So chronologically:-
08.01 37575 on K1 to Lynn
08.34 37563 on Y6 to PB and 37579 on K2 to Lynn
09.04 37564 on Y7 to PB
09.09 20352 on K3 to Lynn 5 late
09.41 37567 7 late on L8 to PB and 37568 7 late on K4 to Lynn
10.04 20351 on K5 but no Y9 passed through the village - see below
10.34 37565 3 late on L10 to PB
10.46 37563 now 12 late on Y6 to Lynn
11.08 37576 4 late on L11 to PB
11.12 37564 now 8 late on Y7 to Lynn
11.34 37569 on L12 to PB
11.38 37567 now 4 late on L8 to Lynn
12.04 20353 on Y13 to PB
12.08 20103 4 late to Lynn on the missing Y9
12.34 37577 on K14 to PB
Lunch Break
13.34 37566 to PB on K16 and 37569 to Lynn on L12
14.04 37573 to PB on K17 and 20353 to lynn on Y13
14.34 37572 to PB on K18 and 37577 on K14 to lynn
15.04 37571 to PB on K19 and 37570 on K15 to Lynn

Well I thought that was enough - all 19 turns: 15 B9s,( 574/8 missing), 3 B7s and 20103 flying the flag when it wasn't flying down our bypass.
Except K4 sounded odd tonight so a quick observation of the flyover revealed no top deck but B10 rear lights disappearing. A vigil at 19.00 revealed K4 was now 20104, having deposed 37568 sometime during the day.
Sanity tomorrow - I am going to Rowan Road !

Thanks for doing all that Bruce, I guess you've never mowed the front lawn so much ! A couple of comments now and 37565 is back after a week, so almost certainly an MOT I would think. Punctuality was good apart from the missing Y9 to Peterborough in the morning. Last nights Profile sighting on K2 must have been a B10M which just worked to Peterborough and back. 20105 worked K1 from Wisbech to Lynn after rescuing 20121 for 37563 forward. During the morning Sam had seen 563 in service with a smashed destination screen glass. He also noted 20107 on the 8:38 X2 from Norwich. Today Michael saw 20104 on the 10.08 X2 from Lowestoft and as Bruce says this later replaced 568 on K4.

Finally Ryan reports that on Monday night Yarmouth garage was having asbestos removed off the pits. "This meant we lost 8 spaces and thought it was going to be an unusual night. It started ok till 20128 turned up from Norwich as a spare, then 20129 turned up for the night (both these are driver trainers) . We then expected a white mountain would turn up but no -instead 3 more B10s turned up in a row 20126 20127 and 20103 then the next was a mountain 37573. We are then expecting another mountain but no its 20104 ! Trying to park them was a total nightmare as the B10Ms are longer than the B9s. Thank goodness the last one was white mountain 37563. We also have 3 buses here that should be taken away to the bus depot in the sky : 30106 tri axel , 46601 dart and 40288 dart".

Wednesday 20th May 2009 ~ Profile Profusion

"Just how many B7s have we got ?" asked Bruce this afternoon as the third turn in a row passed his house with one of them. Well 20352 came first on K2 ( it had replaced 37566), but next came 20351 on K3 and then 20353 on K4. Earlier 20352 had been standing in on L12 which is thought to have been taken forward by 37578.
The lowlight of the day was definitely the failure of Premiere B10M 20121 which had taken over K1 at some point and which just before 15.45 expired at the Clarkson Avenue junction in Wisbech. I expect it ws a recurrence of the battery charge fault. Anyway, by the time I passed by at 17.05, 20121 had been joined by 20105 which had arrived with a young fitter to sort 121 out. A First employee had enforced a stop/go method to keep the traffic flowing.
The B10M rolecall today was 20103 : K18, 20104 : K16 and 20121 as described above.

Tuesday 19th May 2009 ~ Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

Pouring rain at Peterborough. The young lady on the right is making desperate efforts to shelter from the rain, or I suppose could be avoiding the camera of Rob Brooks ? 37566 is seen on K3 this evening having replaced the usual B7 Profile.

Oy said Dave from Swindon this morning (Wed). Where's Tuesdays blog ? Are things slipping in the Fens ? Well the answer to that is an old Fenland retort 'Well Yes & No !'. No we are not slacking, but I have a horrible sore throat which unfortunately has coincided with a hectic social schedule of meetings etc. (sounds pompous but true actually). I will try and get back on track as it were.
So what of Tuesday ? Well in addition to 37574 which has now not worked in service since May 5th, 37565 also appears to have been taken off the road - one would like to think that this might mean no more buses going to 'Eterborough, Owestoft or Orleston', though I expect it may be having its MOT. For the record it was last seen on Thursday unless you know different. 37576 had a scheduled service at Lynn today and Profile 20352 began its day on K3 but was replaced at Lowestoft by B9 37566.
John Wilson emailed to report that the first turn from Yarmouth was 37573 and adds 'When I passed VA at around 10.40, 37573 was there as if it was todays maintenance vehicle'.
I'm beginning to wonder if it was actually in service when you saw it John and was having an adblu problem fixed or similar ? Either way it began the day on Y6 and seems to have finished the turn too, although it is always possible that another vehicle filled in to Lowestoft and back.
Latest turn seen today was K2 this afternoon which with 37569 in charge had lost 17 minutes on its schedule. The number of B9 Geminis now sporting the Pepsi Raw dropdown advert has increased to epidemic proportions. Even 37564 (of Renee Zelweger fame) has now received one. Apart from out of service 37565 which has not been viewed, only 37571 & 37579 have escaped the treatment. At the same time 37564/575 have lost their ads for 'The Haunting'.
There were three B10Ms noted today, these being 20103 on Y13, 20104 on Y7 and 20107 on K16.
Early evening services were delayed tonight when an accident at Eye Green on the Crowland Road spilled its congestion back onto the A47.


Monday May 18th 2009 ~ Paralysis

37569 about to depart from Wisbech at 15.00. The previous eastbound service had departed 64 minutes earlier with 20131. (Photo by Rob Brooks)
Rob Brooks captured 20103 on K18 at Wisbech this afternoon as normality resumed.

The chaos caused when one person decides to commit suicide on a busy road was illustrated today. Although officially described as an accident involving a pedestrian, it would appear to have been a deliberate act. The location was the Norwich Southern bypass and partial road closure meant that the X1 service was brought to a standstill. Des says "Today I operated the 08.55 ex Lowestoft (K14, 37572). Normal arrival time in King's Lynn should be 12.07 - Actual arrival time 13.42! - It took two hours eight minutes to get from Acle (09.57) to Norwich (12.05).
At King's Lynn the deadlock took a while to filter through and up until the 10.45 departure to Peterborough (L11 07.15 from Lowestoft) the service had run to time. L11 left with 37570 but then there was a long gap until the next arrival from the coast at about 12.45. In the interim Lynn supplied two B10M coaches to run in the path of L12 at 11.15 (20109) and Y13 at 11.45 (20131). Subsequent westbound services are due at Walpole Highway at 12.33, 13.03, 13.33 and 14.03. Instead a classic Bruce vigil saw just 37569 passing here at 13.09 (65 minutes after 20131) and the next service was 37572 at 14.13. After this the service resumed its regular intervals with 20103 on K18 running slightly late. In other words two services never went through to Peterborough. Diagrams 12 - 17 were restarted eastbound in their correct timings from Lynn commencing with L12 at 14.02 to Lowestoft when 20109 was replaced by a Gemini as was 20131 on the following turn. 37572 was seen entering Wisbech at 15.59 now running as K17 10 minutes late, or if you prefer K14 which started out with Des a mere 100 minutes late !
Before the chaos ensued there had been an early surprise with Y6 05.50 from Yarmouth changing vehicles at Lynn, not sure what came in (20107 possibly), but 20351 replaced it. Another B7 20352 spent overnight on the coast but returned this evening on the second part of L9 which had begun the day with 37566. 20353 did K3, while 37564 unusually did K5.
One other B10M to report is 20104 on K4. Going back to yesterday and Des says of 20104 : " I operated it out of Yarmouth on the 08.30 departure. No choice really, it was allocated and I put it into service. I rarely question the allocated vehicle".
37563 can be added to the list of B9s with the new Pepsi advert. Rob Brooks (who says incidentally he hates the Bob Books advert as it sounds too much like his name !) sent a comprehensive report today and says 20103 arrived Wisbech at 14.49 departing at 14.52 (just 4 minutes late) on K18. He also reports 37569 heading east at 15.00 in the path of K15 (see above).
Jamie Robinson travelled on 20131 from Peterborough and on arrival at Wisbech the driver requested his assistance to reposition his mirrors ! So all in all a pretty bad day, but congrats to 'First' for making the best of a bad job.

Sunday 17th May 2009 ~ Renee beats the odds

20104 at Walpole Highway this lunchtime following a heavy shower. It was something of a surprise to see it out on a Sunday again.
37575 was motoring well this afternoon complete with new ad for Pepsi Raw

The saga of the Renee Zelweger ad for the film 'New In Town' on 37564 continues. Another campaign for Pepsi began this weekend, but 37564 spent Sunday locked inside Vancouver Avenue garage at Lynn after being taken off K19 turn yesterday. As a result 37576/7 at Rowan Road, both received new ads for Pepsi while 564 remained out of reach ! The ad which has been in situ now for 3 months is begining to peel. Norfolk County Council have sponsored a new range of rear ads, 37576 carries one about libraries and 37577 one about rubbish (no comment necessary ?). 37575 looks to have been adorned with another NCC ad. Meanwhile the Cola ad was seen on 37566/73 today also. 37573 was the bus which had lost half its Nokia advert and apparently this was spotted adjacent to the A47 on the roadside at Necton !!

Quite why Yarmouth found it necesary to use 20104 on the X1 today is unknown - perhaps the driver preferred B10Ms. It did the 08.30 ex Yarmouth and worked all day finishing at Lynn this evening. Gemini 37566 failed at Wisbech at 09.30 with an adblu fault, however after some attention it was able to continue.


Saturday 16th May 2009 ~ 107 The Legend

The beast/stalker, 20107 gets underway from Wisbech on the 17.18 to Peterborough this evening.
As reported here recently, Gemini 37567 now has a large font destination display. It is seen here at lunchtime passing through Walpole Highway on K16 09.55 from Lowestoft. The blog of April 25th includes a photo of 567 with the narrower style destination display.

Well first of all 20107 was nicknamed 'The Beast' by Bruce and now Jamie Robinson has christened it 'The Stalker' on account of the fact that it seems to follow him everywhere. This morning he caught Y6 the first X1 from Yarmouth with Wayne driving B7 20352 and en route texted to say that "Stalker 107 is close and personal with the 36 Stagecoach - they look like good frends !". I guess I will never understand the youth of today, but yes 107 was out again, this time on K4 08.35 Peterborough - Lowestoft and it was not the only B10M out today. 20103 did L11 07.25 from Lowestoft and 20104 was on K18 07.00 Wisbech - Lowestoft etc. The B7 Profiles were busy too with 20352 on Y6 as mentioned, however, it looks to have swapped turns during the day as Bruce saw a B7 on K19 this afternoon and it is thought that this was 352 as the other two were accounted for, 351 on K5 and 353 on K3.
This left 13 of the 17 B9s to cover everything else. 37575 on L10 and 37578 on Y9 were noted with new nearside adverts affixed overnight for Pepsi Raw Cola today. 37570 (K1) has also gained the rear Kwikfit advert. Timekeeping was good today with light traffic throughout in contrast to yesterday. Last night late running meant 20104 on K16 which was due to die at Lowestoft was then sent back on K17c and 37575 which came in on K17 went to Lowestoft depot instead. Likewise 37567 on K18 was sent back to Lynn on K19c with 20352 off K19 retiring to Yarmouth garage. Another swap occurred today when 37579 took L12 forward from Lynn at 11.15 relieving whatever had brought it in - possibly 20105.


Friday 15th May 2009 ~ Traffic Traumas

It was a classic Friday today, accidents, diversions and consequent late running plus a dose of swaps for maintenance. Since the new timetable started as regular readers will know, the booked safety inspections and services often mean the changing of vehicles mid-diagram.
King's Lynn would previously have used K20 for this or done an early shift service enabling the bus to work the final starting turn, previously the 07.59 Lynn - Peterborough. With the new timetable, the last turn off Lynn in the morning is now K5 07.45 westbound from Lynn and this quite often still gets a freshly serviced vehicle, however, the demise of K20 means that swaps are now an almost daily event.
An accident near Wisbech caused delays mid morning and then the A17 from Lynn into Lincolnshire was closed from 09.30 until about 15.00 due to a fatal accident at Walpole Cross Keys. This lead to a build up of traffic taking the obvious diversionary route via Wisbech. The town was then gridlocked at various points of the day.
First thing though it was quite different and the 07.30 from Peterborough (K2) with 37563 was slightly early at Walpole as was Y6 05.50 from Yarmouth with 37571. Profile 20353 came across on Y9 06.45 from Gorleston having gone over last night on L8. 20351 was employed on K3 today while 20352 had an interesting day which began with a service at Lynn garage. It then took Y13 11.45 Lynn - Peterborough and back replacing a Gemini (this had been 37569 I believe). After this it replaced 37573 on K19, working to Peterborough again at 14.45 having arrived back at 14.24. Other changes involved K1 on which 37570 worked until 17.54 when it came off at Lynn and retired to the garage. K5 was also swapped at Lynn as 37577 required a service. This all begs the question what did K1, K5 and Y13 this afternoon? The answer would appear to be 37569/573 and 20105, but in what order only tomorrow's sightings will reveal.
B10Ms on duty today were 20107 on L11 and 20104 on K16.
Punctuality has been very good this week overall, but today Bruce saw 37578 departing Lynn about 30 late on K14 with 37576 in hot pursuit on K15. 578 travelled via Wisbech bypass to get to Peterborough and thus make up time. It was seen entering Wisbech on the return at 14.29, having made up all but 9 minutes. Congestion saw 20104 arriving at Wisbech eastbound at 16.09 on K16 (due 15.20 !). Neil reported seeing it at Guyhirn at 15.54 passing 20352 on K19. It didn't pass Bruce however and must have been sent on the bypass avoiding Walpole and Terrington to recover time. This left a huge gap in the timetable for anyone wishing to travel from Wisbech and west thereof to the aforementioned villages. At 16.44 Bruce witnessed 37575 on K17 going east at Walpole 39 minutes late, the first eastbound service he'd seen in 71 minutes observation ! Badly affected by the delays too was K18 with 37567 which was 33 late going west. By 17.00 westbound services were back to time thankfully. 37574 remained out of use at Rowan Road today, it needs a seatbelt inspection and service. 37564 was in service on L10 tonight and the 'New In Town' ad remains in situ !


Thursday 14th May 2009 ~ A Bit of History

Many will remember 20140 in Green Line livery as depicted here in 2001. Photo by John Wilson
20118 in Lynn bus station on August 10th 1998. Photo : John Wilson

John W was in touch today and says " I met B10M 20118 several times on Tuesday on local 43 duties - this reminded me of when I first saw the vehicle at Lynn. I believe this may have been the only time a City Saver liveried B10 was given a run on the then X-94 route before receiving the red and cream coach livery.
Although not a photo man, I did take a pic of that, and you may like to have a look. My extensive bus pics( I have about 7!) also includes what became 20140 when in Greenline livery. The dates were 10 Aug 98 for N618 APU and Sept 2001 for R342 GHS".
Nice to have a look back John, your knowledge is as always much appreciated and thanks for sharing with us.
20140 was of course withdrawn a couple of years back with fire damage - it caught fire on an X1 on Nar Ouse Way one evening, less than a mile away from its destination. 20118 is still a regular in this blog of course. It is usually to be found on Hunstanton schools duties now, but still gets an occasional X1 outing. It is due an MOT next week.
Whilst on the subject of B10Ms, 20121 expired with a flat battery at Sedgeford this morning during its school diagram. It is now back at Lynn being repaired.
So to the X1 service itself and there were two unscheduled swaps today. Firstly 37579 was removed from L8 10.35 Peterborough - Lowestoft this morning and replaced by B7 20353 which itself had been stopped with a suspension fault. Secondly 37566 on K2 was taken off at Lynn at 15.40 with a smashed rear destination glass and replaced by repaired 37579. Thanks to Andy for the gen on 566. It was in Vancouver Avenue having new glass fitted tonight. B10Ms on X1 duty today were 20104 on L12 and 20107 on K14. B7 20352 came out of Yarmouth on Y13 today, it was seen departing Wisbech at 13.56 spot on time with the lady driver formerly known as late !

Wednesday 13th May 2009 ~ Balancing act

Just recently there have been several days where the balance of B10Ms and Geminis between Lynn and Lowestoft/Yarmouth has been one sided. Today for example, Lowestoft in contrast to yesterday produced all B9s for the X1 : L8 577, L10 569, L11 565 & L12 568. Such was the availability that 563 was also turned out on the X2, in fact on the former K19 turn. King's Lynn meanwhile had more B10Ms than required and sent out 20103 on K1, 20104 on K14 and 20126 on K16. With 37563 out on the X2, when 37564 arrived at Lowestoft due for maintenance on the new K19 turn, 20107 was sent out on the second half of this and thus ended up at Lynn tonight.
Ryan reports 20352 at Yarmouth today and 37570 returned in its place yesterday and had an exam at Lynn today after beginning the day on K4, it was replaced by 37573 also off a scheduled service. Another Gemini back at Lynn and due back on the road shortly is 37574 which is back from 'Full Circle'. B10M 20121 is currently having a new alternator fitted at Lynn.


Tuesday 12th May 2009 ~ Three out of four aint bad !

In a surprise move, this morning Lowestoft who provide four X1 vehicles to start the day sent out three B10Ms. There was little indication of what was to come when 37566 was seen on L8, but later three consecutive coaches were seen. L10 had 20103, L11 20126 and L12 20104. The reason was the non-availability of 37565/9, but at least one of these was seen on the X2 this afternoon (seen by Sam's sister).
King's Lynn also sent a B10M out with 20107 working K16 which finishes at Lowestoft. Two B7s were out, these being 20351 on K3 and 20353 on K5.
In all four Geminis were absent today, these being 37565/9/70/4. Late tonight Y13 which had been 37564 was seen entering Thorney on the final westbound service about 15 minutes late with 37567.


Monday May 11th 2009 ~ 107 In Fine Damn Action !

37577 was photographed by Rob Brooks at Lynn on Saturday afternoon having an unofficial break on K4. To the left is former X1 regular 20123.
Lynn bus station this evening with 37576 in the centre after arriving on Y9 at 19.14 from Lowestoft. 20352 is to the right about to replace 20353 in the background for the 19.50 to Peterborough.

Had a rather odd text from Jamie R tonight saying ' 107 in fine damn action if I may say so !' - he'd spotted it in Peterborough this evening and apparently it may have done L12 all day. If so it had evaded Bruce and myself. I did however see it arriving at Wisbech a minute early at 22.54 tonight after my crib match.

Another B10M out today was 20126 which ended up at Lowestoft tonight off K16. Most remarkable thing today though was the appearance of all three B7 Profiles in traffic for the first time since goodness knows when (28th March actually). 20351 had an exam at Vancouver Avenue but was then called upon to work K5 to Peterborough at 17.15 after 37572 had arrived with a smashed destination screen glass. Many thanks to Andy for the info and pictures which I've not yet managed to transfer from my phone to the PC - well I'm old you see. 20352 was already out on K3 and 20353 which presents a rather forlorn sight with its plain front end was used on L10. Tonight though there was a rather unusual swap when 20353 was taken off this turn and 20352 which had arrived 45 minutes earlier on K3 was summoned from the depot to take over and work the 19.50 to Peterborough. All B9s were accounted for today except 37570 (presumed still off the road at Yarmouth) and 37574 at Full Circle.

Sunday May 10th 2009 ~ Sunday Jaunt

Seen through a haze of squashed flies on my windscreen is 37569 pulling away from Scarning this afternoon.
This rather flattering image of Look East presenter Carol Bundock is currently at large.

37579 at Rowan Road this afternoon with its rather lacklustre (some might say tasteful) advert for Bob Books. It was later procure to relieve 37566 and ended the day at Lowestoft.

It would appear that 37570 is blown up at Yarmouth with an air brake fault. Ryan sent an email to advise. This means 37571 is a likely candidate for L12 yesterday.

Today I had an afternoon jaunt to Norwich passing a few Geminis on the way. 37578 was approaching Walpole Highway as I left on the 14.08 to Peterborough (K7), 37563 was then seen at Middleton heading west at 14.30 on K8. Next came 37569 which was seen exiting from the Toftwood diversion back onto the A47 near Scarning. This was working K1 12.48 from Lowestoft. On the way back I saw 37575 near Hockering on K2 18.10 from Peterborough, then 37573 heading west just about to pull out at Scarning on the 18.48 from Lowestoft K6. Still with half a Nokia ad, 573 had replaced 37565 which had started the turn but which was swiped at Lowestoft. A quick diversion into Swaffham saw 37576 patiently waiting time as K3 21.06 to Lowestoft. At King's Lynn 37566 was encountered at the South Gates roundabout on Y4 20.10 from Peterborough, but this was also swapped and 37579 which had spent the day with 37572 idle at Rowan Road took over. Present in Vancouver Avenue depot at this time were 37567, 20126 and 20351/2. Final sighting of the day was the 21.10 from Peterborough (Y5) which had 37564. The only turn not seen was Y9 which was 37577.


Saturday 9th May 2009 ~ Did I Really See That ?

Things you don't notice when taking a photo No. 1 : 37573 arriving at Wisbech this afternoon with only half a Nokia advert !
Things you don't notice when taking a photo No. 2 : Jamie R sitting on the bottom deck of 37573 this afternoon and he's not waving ! Perhaps too embarrassed or may be just surprised. K16 leaving Wisbech complete with Easyjet ad.

Things you don't notice when taking a photo No. 3 : Is that Wayne driving and waving at me ? This is 37575 on K17 passing Walpole this afternoon.

This is JJD480D after arrival at Rowan Road yesterday. Photo from Des.

This little lot had a day off from X1s today, but 20123 looks like it has been on the 42 town service to Fairstead at some point.

Thanks must again be expressed to Rob Brooks who managed to view eleven out of the nineteen X1 turns today. Here is his days work :

Y9 20126 1018 Wisbech - Pbro ontime
L11 37565 passed the South Gates leaving Lynn at 1048 to Eterborough
K14 20104 1215 Lynn - Peterborough departed bang on time
K4 37577 1645 Lynn - Peterborough ontime. Came off the parking stands
K18 37566 arrived Lynn at 1652 on the 1702 to Yarmouth dep OT
K5 37576 arrived Lynn 1705 on the 1715 to Peterborough dep OT
K19 37579 arrived Lynn 1721 on the 1732 to Lowestoft dep 1 late
Y6 37568 arrived Lynn 1733 on the 1745 to Peterborough ontime (with rear add for Kwik Fit, ironically......)
K1 37564 heading into Lynn at the South Gates 1748 on the 18.02 to Yarmouth
K2 37572 heading down Walpole Highway at 1810 to Lowestoft
K3 20351 arrived Wisbech 1825 on the 1830 to Kings Lynn

Thanks very much for that Rob, I can add one or two sightings. Y7 was 37567 which is the first arrival of the evening at Lynn garage, being the 18.07 terminator from Lowestoft. Y8 was the big surprise (or not as Grahame had tipped it to work), 20353 on its first day out since its failure on March 28th. L10 was 37569.
A quirk of the new Saturday timetable is that for the first time, we have a turn which only does one trip Lowestoft to Peterborough and return. This is L12 and nobody reported it today, it looks to have been either 37570 or 571. Y13 in common with the other Saturday evening arrivals at Lowestoft now has a quick turn round. It comes in from P'bo at 17.40 and is out again at 17.48. Today this was 37563. The other three turns today were : K15 37577, K16 37573 and K17 37575.
37568 seems to be the only B9 recipient so far of the KwikFit ad Rob refers to. The small ads featuring graduates from the UEA are : 37563 (Charlie Higson), 37566 (Sarah Vero) and 37573/4/9 (Carol Bundock).

Friday 8th May 2009 ~ Bruce In Charge

The Lynn guys decorate the Routemaster at Vancouver Avenue today. Photo Des Speed
Well as I am away let's hand over firstly to Bruce - times at Walpole Highway unless stated:
Standing in for Gerard

K1 37568 4 late at 15.38
K2 37565 6 late at 16.10
K4 37569 at 09.34 to Lynn
K5 37573 at 10.04 "
Y6 37571 at 10.34 "
Y7 37564 at 11.04 "
Y8 37567 at 11.34
Y9 37578 24 late to Peterborough and at Vancouver Ave roundabout at 12.56
Y10 37576 14 late to Peterborough and 4 mins behind Y9 on its return
L11 37566 approx 30 late to Peterborough - if it wasn't L12.
L12 A B9 only a couple of minutes late to Lynn at 13.36 - or was it 37566 on L11 30+ late that I saw?. L12 then passing by between 13.36 and 14.00 with me missing it due to lunch break?
Y13 20104 27 late to Lynn at 14.31
K14 A B9 4 late to Lynn at 14.48
K15 37572 8 late at 15.12
K16 20126 15 late at 15.49
K17 37577 5 L to PB
K18 37563 6 L to PB
K19 37579 8 L to PB

The big trouble was a believed multiple accident on west bound carriageway of A47 and subsequent badly damaged parapet of the Ouse Bridge . Plenty of police cars and highway agency vehicles and long, long tailbacks towards Norwich by 11.15.

Rowan had 20123/31 on show, 34157 still poorly and 34921 parked.
Vancouver Avenue has Scanias on pits 1 and 3, 30901 and 20352 parked.
Returning to Rowan 34921 had been replaced by a Routemaster and Des!
Finally while waiting for K3 which I anticipate would be 20351 (or maybe not), 37577 on K17 passed by at 16.39 instead of 16.04, 35 late but was only 5 late at 14.09

Thanks Bruce, a gold star there !! Now to Rob Brooks :

I took it upon myself to try and see as many X1s as possible today in your absence, as seen below, I didn't do a good job, sadly -All times are Wisbech-

Circa 1410, head on accident at the Thomas Clarkson Memorial involving 2 cars, it seemed a vehicle travelling from the Tescos way went the wrong side of the lights, and hit a car travelling the opposite direction. The road westbound was closed, but eastbound remained open. I'm expecting Peterborough bound X1s to be diverted., but all was cleared up after 1500ish. 37572 1318 Peterborough arrived 1322 left 1325 and 1456 Lowestoft arrived 1502 departed 1504.
37566 1326 Lowestoft arrived 1323. 20104 1426 Lowestoft (assumed) 2 early. Can't be sure if this is actualy the working, due to above mentioned circumstances. 37563 1448 Peterborough arrived 1458 departed 1500. 37579 1518 Peterborough left 1531

Well that doesn't leave much left to be said. Tonight L12 was definitely 37566 as Jamie R travelled on it. All this and the excitement of a Routemaster at Lynn too !!


Thursday 7th May 2009 ~ A Panel Game

Far be it from me to cast aspersions as to the prowess of some 'First' drivers - after all several read and contribute to this blog, but the rate at which Geminis are returning for bodywork repairs is greater than one might expect. I will put this down to careless motorists ! Today 37575 returned to traffic commendably quickly after its recent prang, but now 37574 has made its way to 'Full Circle' for what is descibed as accident damage repairs. I imagine this means just having a few panels beaten back into shape, but I could be mistaken. Funny how firstly 576 went, then 575 and now 574 - I detect a pattern here !
37575 was put on to K17 from Lynn this morning, but ended up on K16. I think this was because K16 with 37567 was running very late and went through to Lowestoft, while K17 with 575 was stopped short at Yarmouth and then worked back west as K16. K17 itself instead of returning as one might expect with 37567, was sent out with 20103 as the 10.25 from Lowestoft. 37568 on Y7, which is the 14.40 arrival at Lowestoft was then in turn replaced by 37567 on the 14.55. This turn is the first one to terminate at Lynn at 18.07.
Other events on a fairly ordinary day and indeed with the exception of the 37567 incident related above, an excellent one for punctuality were the return of 37577 which did L10 07.05 from Gorleston etc. Y13 08.15 from Lowestoft utilising 20126 and 20104 working K1 diagram which finishes at Yarmouth. This meant 20107 had a rest from X1s for a change. After yesterday's experiment, the Profiles returned to their regular turns with 20351 on K5 and 20352 on K3.
The small adverts for graduates of the UEA on the back of some B9s are affixed to 37563/66/73/74/79. Passenger side adverts for Cadbury's Twisted now adorn 37565/576/7.
37564 retains its 'New In Town' ad and 37577 that for 'The Young Victoria' and are the last two B9s with these ads.
Finally I'm off to the BBC again tomorrow, so any sightings will be appreciated if you are out and about. Thanks to Bruce, Rob B, Terence, Peter, Sam, Michael and Wayne for info this week and apologies to anyone I've missed. Good luck to Des tomorrow when he takes a Routemaster from Yarmouth to King's Lynn for a Private Hire. I'm sure he'd appreciate a few pictures if you spot him en route. He is due off Yarmouth at 10.30.

Wednesday 6th May 2009 ~ Profile Matters

Ryan says some work has taken place on 20353 at Yarmouth garage but that it has now been shunted to the rear of the premises again. The two still in service were again on Lynn internal diagrams today, but instead of doing K3 & K5, they were tried on K15 (due to finish at 22.44) for 20352 and 20351 on K17 (due 23.44). The Volvo/Wright B10 60863 was sent out on K14 which ends up at Lowestoft. B10Ms out were 20104 on Y13, 20109 on K3 and 20127 on K1. In addition, beast 107 started the day on K4 but this was taken off at Lowestoft and diverted on to the X2 (seen by Sam). 37566 replaced it on the 13.25 from Lowestoft.
37577 once again didn't appear from Lowestoft, so one senses it must have a fault. 37576 was serviced today.
Sam also reports that 20103 has had its MOT now and was also out on the X2s today.


Tuesday 5th May 2009 ~ 60863 Flies Again

60863 comes into Wisbech at 13.20 with L12 12.35 Peterborough - Lowestoft today

Lowestoft were on the floor for buses this morning it would seem. Needing to provide five for X1 duties to Peterborough, they managed to come up with 37565/72/76, 20107 (L11) and 60863 (L12). The latter is a Volvo B10 with Wright body, almost identical in appearance to the local Scanias. It was last used on the mainstream X1 last July when it had an extended stay on the route during a shortage of coaches and until their recent demise had been a regular on the Gorleston - Norwich shuttles. Nevertheless it came as a surprise when Bruce sent me a text to say it was en route. The reason for using it was that 107 was the only B10M at Lowestoft, there being a consequent glut of the type at King's Lynn. The other 'missing' bus was 37577 which was not seen today. Punctuality was good today and B10Ms in use were 20104 (K18) - I omitted to mention this did K1 on Saturday last - 20107 (L11), 20109 (K19) and 20127 (Y13).

37563 was back in use this afternoon, so may be it was off the road for a service over the weekend. It doesn't like Bank Holidays as it had a rest like this over Easter too. This afternoon it took over K5 from 20351 and the latter then laid over until relieving 37566 on Y7 thus bringing the B7 back to Lynn. Another recent absentee, 37575, was back at Lynn this evening after accident repairs at Full Circle, however, it is now booked to go to Volvo for some reason, so doesn't look like re-entering service yet.
37565 has also gained the 'Twister' advert referred to on Sunday. 37573 is at King's Lynn due an MOT this week.
Going back to 60863, it rather surprisingly came back on L12 this evening forming the 20.50 Lynn - Peterborough & return. 37571 began the day on K1 but was taken off at Lynn at some stage and replaced by 37578 off repairs.


Monday 4th May 2009 ~ Cold and Wet - It must be a Bank Holiday !

A false dawn as the sun attempts to shine. 37568 heads east on the 10.10 from Peterborough.
The rain begins to fall as 37570 passes Walpole on the 09.30 Yarmouth - Peterborough

A gloomy day with showery rain here in the west. Passenger numbers on the X1 looked quite healthy though. Michael Bryant popped over to Lowestoft this morning to get some pictures and saw 37565 & 37577 at Gasworks Road depot. For reasons best known to themselves, a number of swaps took place at Lowestoft today. Late running didn't seem to be the cause, so why is unclear. The 11.30 arrival from Lynn was 37569, but this then had a rest and the 11.48 return was 37571. The 12.30 arrival was 37578 and 37569 then took the 12.48. Later 37568 which was the 14.30 arrival was changed for 37566 for the 14.48, this having arrived at 13.30.

Light traffic due to the dismal weather meant services were within 5 minutes of time.


Sunday 3rd May 2009 ~ Getting Into GEAR

37564 departs Wisbech about 10 late on the 18.22 to Peterborough this evening. Rob Brooks keeping a low profile and hiding from the camera ! Oh and yes it still has its 'New In Town' ad in situ on the other side.
Today was the 'Great East Anglia Run' (GEAR) which brought King's Lynn to a stand for much of the morning. London Road was closed and diversions were in process. This coupled with more paralysis at the Hardwick roundabout as hordes descended on Hunstanton because of the good weather meant the X1 was heavily delayed.

Bruce spotted 20104 'tanking' down the A47 Lynn bypass from Hardwick to Saddlebow and forewarned I saw it near Terrington flailing along to some fine tune with Blondie at the helm. It passed Walpole Highway en route to Peterborough at 11.32 (due 11.08) so had actually done quite well. It is fairly unusual to get a B10M out on a Sunday of course. During the afternoon things were even worse with Bruce seeing the 10.48 from Lowestoft going through 38 minutes late, while the 11.48 was 28 late. At least one swap took place at Lowestoft with 37570 on the 10.10 from Peterborough being changed for 37564 which did the 14.48 return. Met up with Rob Brooks who was catching the latter from Wisbech. Rob says that while Peterborough are displaying new timetables, those at Wisbech are the old times. Even Walpole Highway has the new times on display, so why Wisbech hasn't is a mystery known only to First.
37576 was sidelined at Rowan Road today with a windscreen needing attention. It has had its Bobbooks ad replaced by one for 'Twisted - Goo On The Loose', a bar version of the Cadbury Creme Egg - all rather silly really.

Saturday 2nd May 2009 ~ Brewers Troop

20127 at Wisbech this evening having arrived on time as the 18.15 Peterborough - Lowestoft after having left 6 late.
So today myself, some work colleagues and friends decided to visit Charters beer festival at Peterborough - and what better way to travel there than by the X1 ! On the way to Wisbech in the car we passed 20107 on the first diagram from Yarmouth (Y6) so after that we knew we were in for a Gemini. Sure enough 37564 turned up around 10 late and then spent a few more minutes over time as it filled up with eager shoppers and football fans, during which time - unusually - the driver switched the bus off. Incidentally 564 must be the beer bus as this was the one I had on 2nd January when I went to York for beers. We sat upstairs near the back and my initial misgivings as the sun shone through the windows to give a greenhouse effect were dispelled as soon as we began moving and a pleasant breeze made the journey quite acceptable. The seats ? Well again Peterborough was quite far enough, but overall the journey was good and I couldn't find too much to moan about. My fellow passengers were impressed with the views afforded from the upper deck.

A few hours and pints later we arrived at Queensgate to catch the 18.15 to Lowestoft. This was nearly 10 late arriving with B10M 20127. Such was the demand to travel on this venerable vehicle that every seat was taken upon departure. The seats were very comfortable of course, though the depleted legroom on 127 was noted by my brother-in-law. These ex Scottish examples having extra capacity and thus closer spaced seats. I did manage a pic of 127 (see above) on arrival at Wisbech. There was also a special moment on the journey back when we passed 20107 east of Thorney. Thanks to Rob Brooks for providing details of some of the B9 worked services today.

Friday 1st May 2009 ~ Don't Mention The G word

The g word in question being Guyhirn. Having already lost count of the number of accidents this week in that locality, today provided another example. Services were affected late morning and the repercussions continued until ealy afternoon. At one stage services were taking the Wisbech St. Mary route to avoid the area. Worst delay from this went to K14 13.35 from Peterborough which was 30 seconds short of half an hour late into Wisbech with 37574. Later on K1 also lost time badly, 37570 was 21 late departing Wisbech on the 11.55 from Lowestoft and after having negotiated the Peterborough Friday traffic was seen passing Walpole at 18.07 (31 late) on its way back to Yarmouth.
Swaps today were 37573 on the 06.45 from Gorleston (Y9) which came off at Lynn for MOT prep, its replacement being 20127. Another B10M involved in a swap was 20104 which did K2, but was replaced for the 18.35 Lynn - Lowestoft by 37568 which had just arrived on Y7.
20103 is now off the road for MOT at Yarmouth and 37575 remains at Full Circle for accident repairs. 37563 did not show today and so could be an MOT target.
The B7s once again did K5 (351) and K3 (352), so these look to be the regular ones. One interesting contrast is that in the last timetable, turns K3 and K17 both had late finishes with B7s, whereas the current K3 and K5 both finish relatively early at 18.58 & 19.58 respectively.
One other B10M hitherto unmentioned was 20107 (what else ?) which completed the week on K4 and kept time fairly well.
Michael reports a dearth of B10Ms on the X2 - well that's because they are all on the X1 of course. Tonight though he saw Olympian 34925 get a run out on the 17.08 Lowestoft - Norwich, something of a rarity these days.


Thursday 30th April 2009 ~ The Beast (107 !)

You can't keep a good bus down as we've said before and this week 20107 (nicknamed 'The Beast' by Bruce) seems to be the Lowestoft standby which is being called into service on a daily basis. Yesterday it relieved 20104 (not 37573 as stated) on K16 and today it turned up on K1 this afternoon running an unflattering 14 late. Looks like 37563 was the first bit of K1 but don't quote me on that !
A modicum of commonsense prevailed today and the two Profiles at this end were sent out on 'home' turns, 20351 on K3 and 20352 on K5. It will be interesting to see if this becomes a regular occurrence. Two other B10Ms worked hard today, these being 20104 on L12 and 20127 on Y13. Both did the full turns and ended up (confirmed thanks to Rob B) on the 22.10 & 23.10 Peterborough - Lynn respectively. The appearance of 127 was quite surprising as RD reported 20353 back at Yarmouth last night after release from Duffields. Another A47 accident near Guyhirn (yes really another !!!) led to some delays mid morning. Worst affected was 37567 on Y8 which was 24 late into Wisbech to do the 11.26 to Lowestoft.
The new timetable seems to be encourging evening swaps at Lynn, last night for example the 20.35 and 21.35 departures to Lowestoft saw 37569 and 20351 swapped for 37566/72.