Search This Blog


Tuesday 30th March 2010 ~ 123 Go ?

B10M 20123 has at last moved to Vancouver Avenue garage for MOT preparation. Since the start of the year 20105/6 have been withdrawn and 20109 has only returned to service recently. At one stage only 20500, 20118 & 20121 were available for the three Hunstanton schools turns. This was not an ideal scenario with the Paragon being a rail replacement vehicle. Once 20123 returns to service it is likely to free 20109 for X1 use as required.
20107 was sent back to Lowestoft on K2 today and was just a couple of minutes late when seen both am & pm.
On the Gemini front 37563 has now been absent for over a week, while 37568 returned to King's Lynn this afternoon after bodywork repairs at 'Full Circle'.
Two new advertising campaigns were underway tonight, another for T Mobile and its Flexible Boosters (ooerrr matron !) and others receiving an ad for Sky Movies HD 'The Pacific'.
Whether 20127 worked all day yesterday is now even more in doubt as today the errant 37574 appeared on Y13.

Monday 29th March 2010 ~ Ladies Day

I had to make several trips along the route today as my Mum had appointments and I couldn't help noticing that every X1 I met was either driven by Karen or Natalie ! Must have been ladies day ? With my bit of road still being closed, Bruce kept an eye on things. Another A47 accident near Thorney made 37156 on L12 26 late returning from Peterborough. It was due past Bruce at 13.35 and appeared just after 2pm. Later this evening 37156 (still on L12) was noted arriving at Wisbech over Freedom Bridge at 23.02 (due 22.55) meaning it had travelled from Guyhirn via Wisbech St. Mary. Even more odd was the fact that the driver had forgotten to change the destination and it arrived with Peterborough showing instead of King's Lynn !

Michael reported a change of scenery for Beast 20107 with it working the 12.08 Lowestoft to Norwich X2, however, it couldn't keep away from the X1 for long and later replaced 37565 on Y9, bringing it to King's Lynn this evening.
Buses were on average 5 to 10 minutes late this morning, "Except" says Bruce "20127 of course on K4". Whether 127 worked all day is debatable as between us we all failed to view the afternoon part of the turn. Paragon 20500 was required at Norwich for a private hire job today and all the B7s worked on the route apart from 37160.


Google Street View - Part 2

Those of you interested in spotting X1s on the route might like to look at the following link provided by our man Des.

Please forward any more contributions you may have and special thanks to Peter for all his links to the captured White Elephants.

Sunday 28th March 2010 ~ What's That Noise ??

The B7s now seem to be part of the normal X1 fleet and are being used indiscriminately along with the B9s. Up until recently, they had rarely been used on Sundays but today both 37156 & 37157 were plying the route.
There were some swaps today. 37565 and 37573 both began the day at King's Lynn and ended up at Yarmouth. One must have worked the first eastbound service from Lynn which on arrival at Lowestoft goes empty to Yarmouth, but the other was swapped for 37567 during the day at Yarmouth and it was this which finished the day at Lynn. Highlight of the day by far occurred this evening. I'd popped over to Lynn for a meal, but persuaded my companion to allow me to view the 20.42 arrival from Lowestoft on which I'd been expecting 37567. At the appointed time a loud roaring noise was heard heralding the arrival of 20127 on the said service ! So both 20121 and 20127 which have been X1 performers since its inception have worked on the route this week.

Saturday 27th March 2010 ~ A Burning Question

The B7s are being pressed hard lately, here is 37156 heading back home on L12, the out and back turn today. this then goes empty to Yarmouth for X1 use on Sunday.

.....and here's another, 37158 with small fleet number heading for Peterborough on K16 at lunchtime meaning it too will end up at Lowestoft this evening.

Cheryl sent me a text this morning to say that when she arrived at work at 09.00 the former Belfast Linen premises on Nene Quay here in Wisbech were well alight. This didn't come as a big surprise, as yesterday (Friday) fire appliances had been called there at 11.30 and remained for about an hour, delaying X1s as a consequence. The fire today was a major one and apparently the culmination of a trio which had seen the fire brigade alerted three times this week. Someone was very determined and for a moment I thought it might be a fiendish plot by my boss Martin to stop me viewing X1s from my window (only joking chap). Anyway, this fire was of sufficient magnitude to render the buildings affected unstable and - yes you've guessed it - they've closed the road again while Humphrey & Sons try and make the area safe once more.
37562 was due a service today and duly did K5 after this had been completed. Its regular turn, K17, was bestowed with the luxury of Paragon 20500 today. Meanwhile 20501 was viewed in London on an unspecified working - yes really ! For 'Beast' lovers, K14 was the turn to view and as a result it will end up at its home depot tonight.
37565 began the day on K1 and 37574 on K15, but this all went pear shaped somewhere along the line and tonight 37565 was on K15 and no sign of 37574. It is not known what worked the second part of K1.
Once again four out of the five B7 Geminis were on the X1 today. exception was 37160 on King's Lynn local work.

Look closely and you will see an X1 Gemini in unchartered territory, this one looks to have come into Wisbech from Peterborough and then been diverted via the Old Market to get to Wisbech bus station. It would have been quite entertaining to see it negotiate the very sharp left turn from its normal route onto Wisbech town bridge. Cheryl took this picture as fire crews were damping down.


Friday March 26th 2010 ~ A Whiter Shade Of Paragon

20500 passed its MOT yesterday and no time was wasted in putting it back to work on the X1. Today it worked K3, 3 late into Wisbech at 08.52 heading for Lowestoft and 4 late departing on the 16.48 to Peterborough. This might sound poor, but for a Friday such minor delays are exceptional. Timekeeping today was good overall taking into account the Friday factor. 37562 was worst offender on K17, it was 4 late going west and 10 late returning this afternoon.
37158 appeared on Y9 this morning having replaced 37575 at King's Lynn as this was required for maintenance. 37569 was also stopped for an exam today and Lowestoft provided 'The Beast' as replacement on L10. L11 was 37567 after its day off on Thursday.


Thursday 25th March 2010 ~ The Special One

Yes it's a takeover by the infidels ! Andy James kindly sent in this picture taken out at King's Lynn bus station at around 13.40 today depicting Volvo loanee 37562 on the 13.45 to Peterborough and behind 37156 on L11 13.32 to Lowestoft.
Yet another day with just one diagram covered by a non- low floor vehicle. The 'Beast' was K14. What will happen after June I wonder ? This is when 107s MOT expires.

Speaking of MOTs, 20500 passed this afternoon and this should make it available again from tomorrow. Timekeeping was very good today, maximum lateness noted was just six minutes while two services ran fractionally ahead of time, these being 37574 on L8 09.48 Wisbech - Peterborough and 37566 on L12 11.49 westbound.
Again no sign of 37563 or 20501 and 37568 is yet to return from accident repairs. 37567 did appear on the X2 late on (thanks Sam) and 37157 & 37156 were sent out from Lowestoft on L10 & L11.


Wednesday 24th March 2010 ~ A Wootton Ride

At one time in the not too distant past, the old K6 turn (08.00 King's Lynn - Peterborough) was booked to do a 43 to North Wootton before it. I don't think this happeed for long, but this afternoon, 37575 on K5 didn't do its allocated turn at 16.15 to Peterborough and instead ended up on the 17.15 Service 43, see picture above from Andy James. Whether 37578 (which had earlier been removed from K15, with 37158 going forward to Peterborough at 12.45) did the 16.15 is unclear, but there weren't any other suitable candidates.
With 37563 being absent again and 37157 spare at Lowestoft, it came as a bit of a surprise to find L10 with 20107. The B7 was used on the X2 though being noted on departures from Lowestoft at 07.08, 10.38 and 13.38.
37564 managed a full turn today and was marginally early departing as the 15.48 Wisbech to Peterborough (K1).
Punctuality was pretty good again today with 37562 on K16 being the heaviest delay at 17 minutes late on the 14.18 Wisbech - Peterborough.


Tuesday 23rd March 2010 ~ A Spot Of Coaching

On the frontline again. 20121 gets a rare outing on the X1. It was standing in for 37564 this morning and is seen returning to King's Lynn where it was taken off.
Even better, a few minutes later this came the other way !

I've been enjoying a couple of days at home preparing for my forthcoming music convention, as the organiser it takes up a fair bit of my time. This morning though, I had a phone call from Bruce who said "You'd better get up here with your camera at 12.30 cuz 121 has just gone to Peterborough". Well the weather was very Spring like and so it was that Bruce and myself walked up to the A47 flyover at the appointed time with this in mind. 121 which had been 6 late going over was by now on time, 37564 seems to have been the culprit for it appearing, so no surprises there. We were just about to return when Bruce reminded me that 'The Beast' was at Lynn last night, so could conceivably be K14. Well wouldn't you know it, he was dead right and the evidence is reproduced above. These were the two exceptions to a low floor service today. At some point today, it was realised that 37569 which was on Y7 and due to finish at Lynn needed to be at Lowestoft for a service, so it did one of those strange swaps with 37572 on Y6. 37564 was back on L10 tonight, repaired - well for now anyway !

Google Maps - Street View

"Hey" says Peter, "Have you looked at Google Street View yet ?" "If you look closely between Wisbech and Guyhirn, you'll spot 20127"!
Really ? How bizarre. Anyway I looked for myself and here you can see one angle of 127. Peter adds " Why don't your other blog readers see if they can come up with any more examples ?".
A look at Vancouver Avenue revealed a B9 Gemini with Pepsi advert, dating the picture to roughly May or June 2009.

Monday 22nd March 2010 ~ When In Doubt, Use The Beast !

I tried to deduce how many B9s would end up at Lowestoft last night. 37578 did not go to Yarmouth and instead 37575 went instead, but this still left five for four turns. It was quite a surprise then to find our old friend 20107 on L10 which it worked all day. The missing B9s were 37564 which had a day off, one assumes to have its ABS fault sorted (thanks D) and 37566 which did come out later on Y7 replacing 37567 which was due maintenance. This was 37566's first work since last Wednesday. Pictured is 37562 on time this afternoon (it may be reliable, but punctuality is not normally a strong point) while working K17.

Everything else behaved it would seem with Royale 34108 earning its keep on the X2 and Paragon 20500 stopped at King's Lynn for MOT prep. There is still no sign of 20501 which was last reported on Rail Replacement in Suffolk. Four of the five B7s were on X1 duty today with 37160 being kept on King's Lynn local duties. 37577 pictured above was on L12 today at Walpole Highway


Sunday 21st March 2010 ~ A Day For The Camera

Some pictures from today. (1 & 2). 37572 and 37573 (above) at Walpole Highway on the 09.48 and 12.48 from Lowestoft respectively, both with adverts for the animated film 'How To Train Your Dragon'. (3) : At last a picture of 37570s rear advert for Intersport at Holt. A bit off route for the X1 I reckon ! 570 was on the 15.10 ex Peterborough. (4). 37574 with the Nanny McPhee advert, seen near Terrington on the 13.48 from Lowestoft and our last photo (5) is of 37569 heading down from the A47 flyover at Walpole. Bruce can just be made out in front of the gate to the right of his Leyland Nationals !

Very little to report today. The service was B9 worked with just one exception. 37563 had to be removed on arrival at Lynn at 11.35 and 37159 was hastily substituted to work the 11.50 to Peterborough. This was just 5 late arriving in Wisbech. 37575 on the 10.10 from Peterborough was swapped at Lowestoft for 37578 and 37562 was in action working the 16.10 from Peterborough.


Saturday 20th March 2010 ~ The Parochial Paragon

Richard seems to like using his B12 Paragons as early morning fillers on a Saturday. A B12 can do an early morning Peterborough and back and then be replaced by a freshly serviced B9. A few weeks ago, we chronicled Michael Bryant's abortive attempts to photograph a B12 on the X1 at Lowestoft on a Saturday. This morning, I phoned him to report 20500 on K5. Poor old Michael was in situ at Lowestoft to record its arrival but was rewarded with.... 37575 ! Headlight fixed, it had replaced 500 at Lynn of course.
'The Beast' was used on K14 today, meaning it will end up at Lowestoft where there is currently a surplus of B9s. Michael took a trip down to the depot and saw the sickly 37564 parked cab forward against the wall alongside 37566.
20500 seems to have been the only swapped vehicle today. Punctuality was very good with everything viewed at Wisbech being within 10 minutes of time. The three worst performers were all in the middle of the day, these being (times west/eastbound) L11 37159 -7/-5, Y13 37157 -5/-3 and K14 20107 -8/-5.
In contrast two services were one minute early, these being L12 11.48 to Peterborough with 37569 and K1 15.48 with 37577. All in all an excellent effort from all concerned and at least it shows that on occasion, the timetable can be maintained.

Friday March 19th 2010 ~ I Spy

My colleague Cheryl was very kind to me today and arranged a position for me to work near the window, giving a birdseye view of the road and of course, the passing buses !
Today was by no means a bad day for punctuality on the whole, certainly when compared to some of Bruce's Friday vigils. He was able to enjoy the first day of his 'holiday' without worrying about the X1 too much, he did have the last laugh though......

At Wisbech, westbound departures were observed for most of the day. 37574 on Y9 (10.18 to Peterborough) and 37573 on L12 (11.48) were dead on time and other services under 10 minutes late. The first exception was 37567 which being a Lowestoft bus was most unusually employed on K15, which was 12 late and this then became the average lateness for the remainder of the afternoon westbound. With 37577 being seen on K14, it looks as if this may have been the original bus on K15, overtaking 37567 on K14 at some point, hence the reversal of diagrams.

That was pretty much the story westbound other than to say that one service took the diversionary route down the A1101 (the driver I daresay forgot the normal route was open) and this just happened to be Y13 with 20107 seen just 2 minutes late by Bruce - but not, therefore, by me !

Eastbound was a different story. 37563 on Y7 lost 7 minutes west of Wisbech and was12 late returning (due 10.20), I missed seeing L8 and Y9 but L10 was in real trouble with 37565 being 6 late going west and 33 late coming back ! Next was 37564 on L11 which was 6 late westbound and 21 late returning. After this average lateness into Wisbech from Peterborough was 15 minutes. Somehow 37577 on K14 avoided this fate and was only 4 late. Best performer - predictably - was 20500 working K19 which was 11 late going west and only 4 late returning.

At King's Lynn the late running saw some changes to diagrams. 37565 on L10 stepped up to become L11 with 37570 off repairs working L10 13.02 to Lowestoft. 37564 on L11 was halted at Lynn and this then replaced 37577 on K14 to enable it to end up at Lowestoft for further inspection.

Tonight 20107 was still on Y13, but a disappointing 18 late at Terrington St. John on the 22.05 to Peterborough when viewed by Bruce. K5 which had started the day with 37159 saw this diverted onto the 14.38 Lowestoft to Beccles and this should then have done a schools turn and eventually the 18.08 Norwich to Lowestoft X2. 37578 replaced it, having ended up spare at Lowestoft but on arrival at Lynn at 20.00 this then did L8 21.35 back to Lowestoft after the incoming Gemini, 37575, had a headlight out.
Michael reports Royale 34108 on the X2 today, it was seen on the 13.38 to Norwich. Peter had a trip out to Peterborough on 37572 (Y6) returning on K15 (37567) and the journey was uneventful by his standards.

Thursday 18th March 2010 ~ B9 Bugs

The huge mileages being amassed by the dedicated Gemini B9s are beginning to take their toll on availability. 37564 - as we've often said - for long the highest mileage example is now being treated with care. The reason for its frequent substitution is unknown, but likely to be an adblu related problem. Today 'The Beast' replaced it at Lowestoft on K18 and later this afternoon, Bruce espied 37570 which was supposed to be on K19, heading towards King's Lynn not far off tiime, but with 'Not In Service' displayed and with interior lights out. This was replaced by B12 20500.
Today saw the return to service of B10M 20109 at King's Lynn, so we await its reappearance on the X1 at some point.
Many thanks to Bruce for 'holding the fort' so admirably over the last few months and in many cases like today, giving me something to report on a day when I have seen precious little. From tomorrow my new office overlooking the route will take the onus off  Bruce and hopefully allow me to view a bit more !


Wednesday 17th March 2010 ~ Opening Time

There was a B7 bonanza at King's Lynn this morning after all five vehicles found themselves stabled here overnight. What was extremely unusual though was that all five were the used on the X1. These were 37156 on K18, 37157 on K2, 37158 on K3, 37159 on K5 and 37160 on K16. The odd one out here was 37157 as K2 is rarely, if ever, a B7.
It will come as no surprise to learn then that today was a second consecutive low floor day. This despite 37568 (collision), 37570 (KL repairs) and 37574 (14.08 Lowestoft - Norwich X2) all being absent.
37159 had an extended day, as after finishing K5 it was sent back east on L8 after 37564 or possibly 37565 had to be stopped.
The main route from Wisbech to Peterborough along South Brink was finally reopened this afternoon, however, some drivers were oblivious to the fact and 37567 on Y6 18.18 westbound was seen departing via the A1101 Churchill Road. Later the 20.22 & 22.22 departures to Peterborough were seen on the correct route.

Tuesday 16th March 2010 ~ Quick blog

For the first time for over a month (excepting Sundays) , the X1 was an entirely low floor service today. The full fleet of B9s & Gemini B7s were used apart from 37568 (accident damage) and 37159 on King's Lynn local services. There was even room for 37156 on the 12.08 X2 from Lowestoft, but later it replaced 37565 on Y9, the latter requiring scheduled maintenance. With the continuing absence of 37571, this will now be regarded as permanently replaced by 37562, thus giving a working fleet of 37562 - 570, 37572 - 9 & 37156 - 37160.
Pictured left is B7 37157 departing Wisbech as the 13.56 to Lowestoft (Y13). This has yet another new advert for the film 'Nanny McPhee & The Big Bang'.

More interesting was Sam's report from Norwich bus station : " 20115 dumped here so is still going (maybe?) showing 901 blank on screen. THE BEAST been nicked by Yarmouth and was on 878/X1 shorts".  Ah we wondered what they had been using it on.


Monday 15th March 2010 ~ Ploughs and Furrows

37575 was motoring well when seen passing Walpole Highway this afternoon on K17. Nevertheless it was removed from the turn at 16.30 and 37576 is believed to have replaced it.

Some Geminis were in the wars today. 37568 on L11 was in trouble near Thorney. Marion says Luke was on board when 568 overtook a tractor and plough. As the bus went past, the plough dragged into the centre of the road and scraped all down the side of 568. The service was terminated and 568 went back to King's Lynn empty being viewed about 40 minutes after its scheduled time by Bruce on the A47 bypass. This afternoon 568 was quickly despatched off to Full Circle for the required bodywork repairs.

37574 was off the road for adblu attention this morning, but was fixed to relieve 37572 on K1 at 18.00. 37576 was also a morning absentee with an ABS fault being fixed after its removal from K1 on Saturday. It looks to have been out later replacing 37575 on K17.

37562 was unusually on Y7 today, having spent overnight at Yarmouth. Other changes of note today were BBBB 34108 doing K18 06.51 Wisbech - Lowestoft and being changed there for 37157 for the 10.55 return to Peterborough. Sister vehicle 37156 performed on L10 07.05 Gorleston JPH to Peterborough & 11.35 return to Lowestoft, but was then changed for 37563 which was making its first appearance for a week working the 16.25 Lowestoft - Peterborough & 21.05 back to Lynn.

All five B7s appeared on the X1 today at some point and K16 and K18 seem to be the favoured turns if one or more has to overnight at the coast.
Further delays ensued in Wisbech today when sections of Lynn Road were given temporary traffic lights while huge potholes were filled in. The South Brink route is due to reopen on Friday.

Sunday 14th March 2010 ~ Scraps

Today was a bad day for sightings yet again, but I've managed to piece together what was out from various reports I saw 37572/5 and Bruce saw 37579. Rob H witnessed 37156 on the 11.10 from Peterborough and the other vehicles out were 37562/6/7/9, 37577 and 37160.
Tonight there was a delay late on when 37579 suffered a puncture at East Winch on the 20.48 from Lowestoft - King's Lynn.

Saturday March 13th 2010 ~ Late Night Visit

Another day of limited sightings as I have guests at the moment. We did venture to the Woolpack at Terrington St. John for lunch though. Once again under new management, I can recommend the food if this visit is anything to go by. They do a very good pint of Woodforde's Wherry too and all within sight of an X1 bus stop !
Passing by during lunch were eastbound : L11 37566, L12 37564, Y13 34108, K14 37565 and westbound K16 37157, K17 37578 and K18 37156.
37576 was rostered for K1, but didn't do much of the turn and was in Vancouver Avenue tonight when I passed by at 23.15. 37562 was on K5 for a change giving it an early night and this was tucked up in the garage too. Not accounted for tonight was B7 37160, so I guess this may have taken K1 forward unless it worked east yesterday.

Friday March 12th 2010 ~ In The News Again

Today was rather a poor day for X1 sightings, both myself and Bruce were busy and services seemed to run late. Confirmed in service were 37566-70, 573/5/6/7/9 and 37156/7/8. The three B7s came from the coast in reverse order starting with 37158 on L11. Royale 34108 is believed to have worked K18 and Paragon 20500 got involved somewhere, possibly on K3.
The blog made the 'Wisbech Standard' again today !


Thursday 11th March 2010 ~ Brilliant Bruce !

Why brilliant Bruce ? Well because he's saved me writing a full blog when I've got behind with things ! I'll let the man himself explain......

"Being hardly able to contain myself by the excitement and controversy apparently raging over Konnectbus, I felt it was either a cold shower or observing the X1. The Blogmeister made the choice easy by disappearing for the day to Long Sutton or Norfolk Greenland as it will now be known.

Now he doesn't (allegedly) like long lists of numbers, even though he rang at lunchtime to see how things were going (deteriorating). So here is a list of X1 times instead!!! By rights the X1s should cross outside the bungalow at XX.04 and xx.34 each hour but this is reality.:-

08.12 37575 on K5 to PB - already 8 late having only started at Lynn
08.37 20126 on K2 to KL (3 late)
08.38 37579 on Y6 to PB (4 late)
09.16 37576 on Y7 to PB (12 late)
09.36 37570 on L8 to PB (2 late)
09.36 37160 on either K3 (09.04) or K4 (09.34) to KL (But really 32 late)
09.42 37569 on the real K4 to KL (9 late)
09.45 Get breakfast!
10.00 In position with breakfast for Y9 and K5
10.18 Norfolk Green Solo to Lynn absolutely full - not looking good for K5!
10.28 37575 on K5 to KL (24 late)
10.36 37573 on L10 to PB (2 late) - no sign of Y9
10.58 37579 on Y6 to KL (24 late)
11.08 37576 on Y7 to KL (only 4 late)
11.09 37568 on L11 to PB (only 5 late)
11.36 37564 on L12 to PB
11.38 37570 on L8 to KL
12.08 37566 on Y9 to KL!!!!!!!!!!!
12.10 37577 on Y13 to PB
12.37 37573 on L10 to KL
12.40 37565 on K14 to PB
13.08 37568 on L11 to KL
13.10 37578 on K15 to PB
13.37 37158 on K16 to PB
13.38 37564 on L12 to KL
14.08 37577 on Y13 to KL
14.11 37562 on K17 to PB
14.38 37565 on K14 to KL
14.40 37156 on K18 to PB
15.11 37578 on K15 to KL
15.11 37574 on K19 to PB
15.37 37158 on K16 to Kl
15.42 37567 on K1 to PB
16.07 37562 on K17 to KL
16.15 20126 on K2 to PB - 11 late

This makes pretty grim reading - not one bus on time although some were only a couple of minutes late admittedly.
It is rumoured First will not be informing the London Stock Exchange or the Financial Services Authority. Neither will we - although it is based on fact. (And another 9 emails have arrived while I typed this!!!)".

Hmmm, admirable dedication there Bruce and even more so because I can't write a headline along the lines of 'Brucey & The Beast'. I wonder what happened to 107 ? Anyway back to today and some of the delays may well have been caused by roadworks starting today in the Dereham area plus also the King's Lynn South Gates roundabout improvement scheme which today saw traffic incoming from the East reduced to a single lane. I guess the fact that Y9 avoided you on the westbound run indicates that it took the bypass to make up time ?
I can add a little to Bruce's report. 37160 on K3 was seen 16 late tonight at Walton Highway on the 16.35 to Peterborough. Later on, L12 was 10 minutes in arrears with the BBBB, 34108, this having replaced 37564 which is rapidly gaining the unenviable reputation of most explosive B9. In 2009 37564 had been the most reliable Gemini. 37563 is also out of action again, possibly an MOT candidate - may be our Yarmouth boys can confirm ?
At King's Lynn 37572 looks as though its MOT is complete and it may well be back tomorrow. Oh and the news you were all waiting to hear ? Yes 37562 was K17 today.

Wednesday 10th March 2010 ~ I'm Confused Dot Com

We don't like to go too long on the X1 blog without featuring 'The Beast', but what happened to it today ? See report below. It was certainly OK this morning when Rob photographed it for us on L8 09.48 Wisbech to Peterborough.

There is a new rear ad for Confused.Com which makes reference to a bicycle - personally I find it a bit confusing, but the advert chaps seem to have missed the fact that 37573 carries an old version for Confused.Com fitted last Summer !

It was the coastal originating X1s which confused me today. Y6 was 37573 which we've just mentioned, but Y7 was allegedly 37575 yet there was absolutely no sign of it at King's Lynn when I went there at 19.15. Y7 is the first terminator due in at about 18.20, so may be it was unexpectedly borrowed for a town service or Hunstanton duty ? L8 which is normally a solid B9 turn with it being the longest turn at 478 miles was 37157 yesterday and this morning 20107 ! This evening however, L8 was not seen by Bruce (well he was probably watching that football team who call themselves M*nch**t*r Un**ed - sorry as a Villa supporter I find it difficult to type that name) and I also looked out for L8 whilst at my pool match at Walton Highway Club to no avail, even though I did see L12. Y13 and L10. I wonder what happened to 'The Beast' ?
To complete the listing, Y9 was 37157, L10 was 37156, L11 B10M 20126 and Y13 37567. This leaves L12 which had 37565 this morning and 37156 tonight, with L10 having 37156 changed for 37565 ! Answers on a postcard to 'Confused. Com'. In addition 37157 did not complete Y9 and this afternoon Lowestoft supplied 37569 as a replacement. Definitely Confused. Com !

What else happened today ? Well 37160 came in tonight off a 43 and on one occasion earlier this week, a B7 came in on the last service 55 from Terrington ! May be that is why Norfolk Green are recruiting some double deckers ? 20118 was out on the X40 after doing its schools work and Michael reports 34108 back in action on the X2.

Tuesday 9th March 2010 ~ Chasing B9s

37158 with a small fleet number departs from Wisbech Horsefair this teatime on the late running 16.48 to Peterborough. This was its last run with the advert for the film 'Nine' and by this evening the new O2 ad had replaced it. Photo by Rob Brooks.

Following last night's application of the Intersport advert to the back of 37570 - it was noted with its garish addition on K15 today - the men from CBS were about over here tonight trying to trap as many X1 buses as possible to emblazon with new advertising campaigns. As a result most B9s have had the EasyJet ad replaced with one for O2 proclaiming that they have 'upped their game'. Not content with this, a concerted effort was made to remove all the Camera Warehouse rear ads which are now looking very tatty and which have an unfortunate reference to 'This Christmas' on them ! The new sponsor is Kwik Fit.
Out on the road 37562 had a day off from K17 and instead had a scheduled service and then did K5. The phenomenal mileage (and in 562s case reliability) is best illustrated by saying that in the 26 day period up to today it has done precisely 10,000 miles !! There was a surprise this morning when K16 was allocated 20500, but this was replaced at 13.15 at Lynn by the expected coach 20126. May be 126 was used on the schools run to save the associated wear and tear on 500 ? There were more odd goings on with L12 and Y13 and at some point one seems to have overtaken the other. At lunchtime L12 was 37578 and Y13 37564, whereas this evening the turns were reversed.
Both Michael and Sam reported 37156 back from MOT and doing a full stint on the X2. I also received a belated report from young Matthew saying that Lynn B7 37160 was on one of the Beccles schools turns on Friday afternoon and is believed to have then gone empty to Norwich to do the 18.08 X2 back to Lowestoft. Michael has heard rumours (and they are just that !) of Anglian, Ipswich Buses and Konekt being the target of a takeover bid by Go Ahead'. Sounds a bit ambitious to me, but would trouble our friends at 'First' greatly I expect.
Back on the X1 today, Rob Brooks says "37576 K19 1605 Peterborough - Lowestoft, 37573 K1 1635 Peterborough - Lowestoft (inbound at Eye 1630), Beast K2 1705 Peterborough - Lowestoft (inbound Guyhirn 1650), 37158 K3 1646 Wisbech - Peterborough a1705 d1706".
Thanks Rob and proving that the lighter nights are here now, check out his picture of 37158 above.


Monday 8th March 2010 ~ It's All Over Now

All over the back of 37570 that is, as it was being treated to an all over rear ad this evening which at least will make it easily recognisable if it ends up being the only one. Intersport appear to be the sponsors, a pic when we get one I expect.
The use of two B10Ms on consecutive services from Lowestoft hasn't happened for a long time, but today 20107 was on L10 and 20126 on L11. The rest of the day was all low floor however. 37563 did L12 this morning, but was changed this afternoon for 37159 to enable it to get back to Lynn.
Bruce points out that the entire fleet of B10Ms left in traffic will be at Lynn tonight except 115 and 127.

Sunday 7th March 2010 ~ Puncture Juncture

Another Sunday full of white elephants apart from 'The Mancunian' 37562 which was utilised on the 16.10 from Peterborough turn. The only incident of note was when 37576 suffered a puncture at Dereham on the 13.48 from Lowestoft. 37575 which took over was well late of course, but was only a couple of minutes down by the time it returned through Walsoken on the 18.10 from Peterborough.

Saturday March 6th ~ Never Again

I am told by those in authority who know such things that yesterday's appearance of 34157 was a genuine mistake. I suppose these things happen occasionally, especially when one considers that 37157 is a regular performer, so alas no photos of this rare outing it would seem.

20126 was sent east on K14 today and everything else was low floor. I say everything, actually L12 the out and back turn was not seen, but is believed to have been 37573. 37159 came out of Yarmouth a day late today as did 37160 from Lowestoft replacing 34157 and 'The Beast'. 37566 seems to have had a day off the X1 at Yarmouth. A postscript to Wednesday evening's events now and it was a belt that needed replacing on 37563.


Friday 5th March 2010 ~ Prince Palatine

34157 during a loan spell at Lynn in April 2009. What odds would you have got for predicting this and 34921 alongside to both work mainstream X1s in 2010 ?

The Beast passed Bruce and myself having our 08.30 chat this morning on K2. The driver gave a cheery wave as if to say "It's them silly bloggers". I think we will see how many other Excel drivers we can persuade to give us a wave at 08.30 each morning, reports to follow ! The fact that 107 was on K2 means it finishes at Lowestoft, so may be it is due for a rest.

As I mentioned a while ago, it is now pretty easy to predict what buses will come out of Yarmouth in the mornings as they seem to have adopted a pattern. K1, 37573 yesterday, does Y6 which it did today. K4, 37564 yesterday, does Y7 and also did today. L8 does Y9 and again this stuck with 37568 and K18 37159 yesterday - well this is where it goes a bit crazy - should do Y13, but for unknown reasons today this produced something quite unexpected. Northern Counties Palatine bodied Olympian 34157, P657UFB was in charge, making the debut for this class on an X1 at Peterborough ! Now before I lay claim to sighting this myself, I must be truthful and admit that I didn't see it as indeed neither did Bruce who was busily engaged in filling up his freezer after his supermarket sweep. It was Andy James who set the ball rolling with a report from a friend in Norwich just before ten and then Marcus got in touch, I'll let him explain : "Have just travelled on Olympian 34157 (P657UFB) on 13.14 Peterborough to Thorney. Too good a chance to miss! Blondie was driving. She left Peterborough 4 late, having arrived 15 late, but arrived in Thorney on time. Just as good a ride as on BBBB 34108".

Well I'll stone the crows ! Anyway this was all too good to last and this evening the stranger had been replaced by B10M 20126, itself a bit of a rarity these days. What is quite odd is that when King's Lynn had 34155 & 34157 on loan about 18 months ago, they went nowhere near the X1 during their tenure. I wonder if 34157 has a tacho fitted, or whether it was a late substitution for 37159 ? It was also expected that 37160 would work back from Lowestoft today, but 37578 came out instead and worked L8. So with 37156 on MOT, yesterday's tally of four B7s on the X1 was halved today.
A word about B9 mileages now and lowest is still 37566 on just over 142,000 on its hub meter, while 37575 is storming ahead on 157,500. That's quite a difference over 18 months I expect you will agree.
The Wisbech roadworks situation improved slightly today when temporary lights on Lynn Road due to a sewer collapse were removed. The South Brink is still closed however and the original completion date for flood barrier work of March 3rd has now been revised to 'Mid March'. Services heading to Peterborough take the A1101 to Newcommon Bridge and then head down Weasenham Lane to join Cromwell Road.
P.S. Couldn't resist the Prince Palatine reference. Older readers will know this as an A3 Pacific no. 60052 which was the favourite on the 'Master Cutler'. Historically PP was the number one British racehorse in 1912/3. It won the St. Ledger and in 1913 was sold for 45 grand which was like millions then. It was related to Mill Reef and Brigadier Gerard, but not as rare as 34157 on the X1 lol.

Thursday 4th March 2010 ~ It's Behind You !

I had a sort of surreal moment at work today. A pensioner couple came in to see me on a work related matter and it turned out that they had been involved in a shunt in their car. I sympathised, but imagine my surprise when the man said "We stopped at a roundabout going in to Peterborough and the chap behind us didn't. It was one of those big white Excel buses !!". Turns out their closer than usual encounter was with 37578 on 3rd February whilst on Y9. Speaking of 578, it was out today on the 14.08 X2 from Lowestoft and 37157 was preferred on L10.
37570 passed its MOT today, but 37572 was still sidelined due to the seat fault and this is now earmarked for MOT next week. B7 37156 is also having an MOT at the moment, but at Yarmouth, thanks to one of our trusty correspondents for the gen.
37565 replaced 34108 today, having had a day off yesterday, but 20107 was on Y7 as expected. 37158 was seen 16 late on K3 tonight, but 37563 which had a charging fault last night was back out on the road quickly and Rob Brooks was first to report it today on K2 seen at peterborough at 07.30 this morning.


Wednesday March 3rd 2010 > Stranded ?

The X1 blog is never one to shy away from featuring the BBBB. Here 34108 is captured by Rob Brooks departing from Wisbech on the 16.18 to Peterborough (K2). The St. Trinians ad remains, but the admen were very pleased to at last remove the other side banner for 'Alvin & The Chipmunks' this week which had evaded them since New Year !
Rob Brooks fotted 37567 on Weasenham Lane this afternoon around 14.30 working K14. This is just about the exact spot where 37563 was to expire some 8 hours later.

Observations of today's services came from various sources, so thanks very much if you were one of them. 34108 caught a few people out this morning. Cheryl was the first person to spot it on K2 and then it passed me whilst I was having a chat to Bruce outside his observatory. What a noble vehicle this is and Rob Brooks has obliged with a picture for us.
The following service K3 had 37160 yet again, so no surprise there, but K4 kept up the interest with 'The Beast' doing the honours. Gemini 37574 was next on K5, but later this failed to work the 17.15 peaktime Lynn to Peterborough, reason unknown and went to the garage instead, K5 was cancelled at this point. The dip in B9 availability then saw 37158 on Y9, confirming it replacing 37572 yesterday, 37159 on L12 and 37157 on K16. This is the highest number of B7s on the X1 for sometime, in fact only 37156 was absent.
Rob B came up with some gap filling sightings tonight, but he missed the fun late on. 37563 on the final westbound service, Y13 22.22 Wisbech to Peterborough, failed in Weasenham Lane just after departure and was still there at 22.55 with just hazard warning lights flashing. By this time 37159 on L12 eastbound had parked in front of it cab to cab as it were and the drivers were discussing the situation. 563 still had several passengers on board hoping to eventually get to Peterborough, but they were in the dark in more ways than one as all the interior lights were switched off. One assumes that 563 had run out of fuel, or will it end up being more serious ?
It has not been a good week for 563. On Saturday the driver in charge noticed that half of his vehicles Cadburys Creme Egg advert had decided to detach itself from its hoarding. Somehow he managed to remove the whole thing to prevent it from doing any damage and as a result 563 actually ran in traffic on Sunday without an ad on this side revealing the original paintwork featuring destinations along the route. This was remedied, if that is the right word, on Monday by the fitting of the Phillip Morris ad.
More B9 woe involves 37578 which did not appear from Lowestoft today after its recent problems and 37572 remained at Vancouver Avenue with its faulty driver's seat.


Tuesday 2nd March 2010 - Out On Parol

Well you simply never know on the X1 do you ? The regular vehicles seemed to go into collapse mode today though.
Undoubted highlight and so remarkable that I nearly drove up the kerb when I met it, was the use of P731NVG alias 20121 on Y13. Now it was only a trip from Lynn to Peterborough and back, as 34108 had been temporarily removed with fire alarm ringing, but surprising nevertheless. To put it into context, the last time 121 worked an X1 was on September 21st last year ! That's unless you know different, in which case you are higher than me on the sad-ometer. 121 had a reputation last year for conking out with a battery charging fault, hence the preference for using 20118 when necessary. 34108 was given the OK to work forward at 14.32 to Lowestoft and 121 resumed its normal work on Hunstanton Schools contract No. 2.

37578 was in trouble again today. It did the first bit of K4 but was replaced at Lowestoft by 37563. Steve saw it at Gordon Road depot about 14.00 with two fitters in attendance. The driver who'd brought it in left in the depot van. Sounds like a recurring problem whatever it is.
It wasn't the only B9 taken off duty today as 37572 on K18 retired to Vancouver Avenue at 17.00 with an unserviceable driver's seat. B7 37158 took over for the 17.02 departure eastbound. Meanwhile, another B7 was further afield with King's Lynn based 37159 being seen by Michael in Beccles on the 14.08 X2 from Lowestoft. Sam saw 20126 in use on the 878 contract and the short X1 shuttles today.
Late running was in evidence tonight. On my way home from work I passed 37160 on (what I thought was K4) 16 late heading westbound at Walton Road on the outskirts of Wisbech, but I then passed 37563 leaving Walton Highway meaning that 37160 was actually on its regular turn, K3 but running 46 late ! 37563 on K4 was 22 late.
The advertisement men were trying to track down missing Geminis today in order to complete a new campaign which has seen most appear with driver's side dropdown ads for either 'Miss Sixty' or 'I Love You Phillip Morris'. Can I stress that the latter is not a statement from me, just another film with a silly title !


Monday 1st March 2010 ~ MOTs begin

B7 37159 is easily recognisable as it doesn't carry 'First' branding on the front. It worked K16 today to cover for 37570 and is seen near Walpole Highway.
After a wash out Sunday, the sun shone today. 37568 was seen on L12 heading for Lowestoft but had lost nearly ten minutes on its outward time. It carries a Sky HD advert.
37570 was taken out of traffic on Saturday evening to become the first King's Lynn B9 to be prepared for its second MOT. This was probably not before time. A windscreen wiper fell off it at Lowestoft on Saturday night and it also has bodywork damage around the exhaust and rear skirting. With it being absent, 37159 was used in its place on K16. B7 37160 was also out on K3 and this one seems the favourite Lynn example for X1 use at the moment.
B9 37578 seems to have a few problems currently, it was taken off K19 on Saturday and today it worked K4 in the morning, but came back to Lynn on Y7, with 'The Beast' taking over K4. Royale 34108 was used on K18 and with advance warning from Michael, Bruce was able to point his camera at it.
37562 was sent out from Lowestoft on L8, but King's Lynn had other ideas and removed it this evening and sent 37566 forward which should enable 562 to resume its regular duty on K17 tomorrow. Last weeks failure of 562 in Norwich was down to nothing more serious than a faulty door buzzer incidentally.

Sunday February 28th 2010 ~ Hit and Miss

Although all ten diagrams were B9 operated today, timing as Bruce put it was 'hit and miss'. Worst delay was to 37574 working the 10.48 from Lowestoft which was 21 late at Wisbech westbound and 15 late returning. 37562 found itself on a strange turn after yesterday's swaps. It did the 07.30 Yarmouth - Peterborough which finishes the day as the 20.10 Peterborough - Lowestoft.
Further light can be added to yesterday's notes thanks to Michael B. 20118 only worked Lynn to Peterborough and back on K4 and 20126 was also taken off K1 at Yarmouth at either 11.00 or 12.42. By the time K1 reached Norwich on the way back to Peterborough it had become 37567, the bus that had been removed from service to enable 126 to come out on Friday pm.


Saturday February 27th 2010 ~ Cracks In The Armour ?

The weather today was quite grim. The Beast kicks up some spray as it passes Boskoop Farm this afternoon on K16 09.55 from Lowestoft.
Just when you thought a low floor service was here to stay, the B9s had their worst day for sometime today. No less than five step entrance vehicles were in use as substitutes. That statistic holds if you count dear old 34108 as such. I don't think it can be classified as low floor anyway.

The tally was K1 : 20126, K4 : 20118 for at least part of the day and probably changed at Lynn at 19.30 for 37562. Y13 : 34108, K16 : 20107 and K17 20500 which replaced 37578 at some point. 37160 was used on K3 and 37562 was unavailable first thing as an Adblu problem was being attended to. Only B9s not seen today were 37567 & 37569, though it is possible that 567 replaced 20126 somewhere in the day.

Friday 26th February 2010 ~ An Evening Premiere

I was away at Reading today, but did see 37563 on K2 first thing through the driving rain. Bruce sent in a report in my absence :
The Blogmeister has disappeared down to Reading to consult with the BBC - assumedly over arranging live Blog reports at the end of the main Ten o clock News. These would be of far more importance than 99% of the standard news items.
So I did manage a few observations, even though I was fairly busy on the home front.
K5 was 37578, Y6 The BEAST (on time), Y7 37577, L8 37574, Y9 37579, L10 37564, L11 37573, L12 37567, Y13 37160, K14 37568, K16 37569 (with no destination lit).
I was informed the BBBB 34108 was heading my way last night and should have been at Lynn today but maybe Andy can shed some light on that.

I did manage a visit to Rowan and the lineup now reads 34876, 20131,20104,20105,20106(Less front panel)20109 (taxed) 20123(taxed but with its door wide open to let the torrential rain in!) I assumed 20118/21 were out on schools.

Thanks for that Bruce. I did return this evening and was able to view a few things at Lynn and gather further observations from our correspondents. Firstly the turns you haven't mentioned. These were : K1 37565, K3 37575 (seen by Cheryl), K4 37576, K15 37572, K17 37562, K18 34108 & K19 37570. There were two evening happenings involving B10M Premieres too. 20107 was still on Y6 but became trapped on the A47 west of Guyhirn following an accident, it eventually rolled in to King's Lynn at 22.05 (due 20.28) and retired. The 20.35 to Lowestoft went forward with 37573 which had just come in on L11. The big surprise though was L12 17.48 Lowestoft - Peterborough which arrived with 20126 fresh from repairs. this had replaced 37567, presumably at Yarmouth. 567 seems to be getting into a habit of being withdrawn from service on Friday nights -last time 34921 worked in its place of course.