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August Bank Holiday Review

Another omnibus blog entry as I continue to catch up with things.
Thursday was a poor day for sightings all round, but 37157 was seen by Malcolm working the 15.03 X2 off Lowestoft.
Friday saw 37159 stopped with a fuel tank leak and it has been off the road right through until today (Monday). Delays on Friday were heavy at one point. At 18.05 Bruce passed four X1 vehicles following each other up London Road in King's Lynn heading out of town. 37576 was on Y6 and then came 37157 heading for Lowestoft, 37571 not in service and 37569 also heading for Lowestoft !
37579 which had been on Y6 in the morning found itself ob the 15.03 X2 to Norwich instead.37575 was stopped at Lynn for rear end collision repairs. Des reports "Acle Straight closed from approx 11.00 am till 16.00. All X1 services via A1064. I was with 20126 on the 17.10 Norwich - Gorleston short, we departed on time but on the inward journey I had spotted an accident on Trowse bypass (A146). I had seen 37564 leave Norwich on time (16.55). I decided to take the A140 route out of Norwich. I caught and overtook 37564 @ Gorleston Library @ 18.12. He was approx 20 late."
Saturday saw my annual trip to Peterborough beerfest and my journey was aboard 37157 on the 10.48. Our departure from Wisbech was about 3 late and our amenable driver did well in the busy traffic. Shame the same can't be said about the top deck internally - look at the muck in here :

Travel back from the beerfest was in a fast car and a total of only four out of 19 X1 turns accounted for, so onto Sunday......37160 was out on the 10.30 ex Yarmouth, seen near Tilney running 14 late. Remainder of the service worked by 37563/4/5/6/8, 37571/2/3/9.
Bank Holiday Monday saw heavy delays due to the traffic. 37579 on the 13.50 Lynn to Peterborough had at one stage earlier in its journey lost nearly 40 mins, but this had reduced to 20 by Walpole with some smart driving. The service was B9 worked apart from 37160 on K6 which does the afternoon Martham service. The 10.20 Lowestoft - Norwich X2 was viewed with 37158 by Malcolm. 37575 was ready for return to service at Lynn after minor rear collision damage and 37577 is now stopped for MOT prep work.
Sunday's 13.10 from Peterborough to Lowestoft near Walpole with 37565 being amongst the majority of X1 Geminis without any rear advertising now.


Thursday 25th August 2011 ~ The Return of the X1 Blog !

Well just when you thought it was safe, the X1 blog returns. After two weeks without a phone and then a further absence with me on holiday, I thought it was time to resurrect the old thing.
The period I have missed doesn't seem to be one where a great deal has happened. All the usual rumours are rife, but little has changed and loan Profile coach is still seeing almost daily use despite the Gemini fleet being back to full strength.
Here is a brief listing of the main goings on ...
Wed 3rd August : 37158 on the 11.08 X2, 37573 at Volvo. Malcolm reported 37565 15 late on K1, 20352 25 late on Y9 and 37160 17 late into Lowestoft on L11 and it was then 10 late departing westbound.

Thu 4th August : 37567 released off MOT straight onto K14 15.02 Lynn to Lowestoft replacing 37578. 37156 had a full day on the X2 between 06.45 and the 14.38, 37579 to Volvo and 37158 taken off L10 with a wiper fault, 37572 replacing it.

Fri 5th August : 37564 sent to Volvo with a rear axle problem. 37578 was 14 late into Lowestoft on K19, but a swift operation saw it just 3 late departing.

Sat 6th August : Due to an adblu fault with 37578 on K14, 37569 replaced. 37566 had to be taken off K2 at Lowestoft to have a window replaced, I think 37159 was the replacement.

Sun 7th August : 37571 stopped for MOT work. 37159 on K6

Mon 8th August : 20352 unusual on K16

Tue 9th August : 37569 failed at Dereham on Y13, so 37575 was sent out by Lynn having come in on L11 and this did the 21.50 last bus to Peterborough. 37156 was already 22 late on Y6 14.55 ex Lowestoft by Acle. Temporary lights at Bilney church all day caused delays.

Wed 10th August : Y13 was in trouble again, this time 37577 came to a halt at Norwich with one wheel temperature reading 35'c and the other 135'c ! The nearest tacho fitted suitable vehicle was 20126 at Yarmouth and this ran empty to Lynn to resume Y13. The evening part of Y13 had 37576 which had a swift turn around off K14. 37577 was taken to Volvo after cooling down.  37157 was meanwhile working the 10.08 X2 from Lowestoft.

Thu 11th August : L12 began the day with 37574 but ended up with 37571 fresh off its MOT. Six diagrams were not seen today.

Fri 12th August : Ten of the nineteen turns were viewed, all seemingly without incident.

Sat 13th August : At some point L9 had 37563 changed for 20352. K18 had 37158 changed for 37157 at Lowestoft. In Norwich traffic was diverted with the A11 closed at Daniels Road Roundabout all weekend. X1s in and out via A140.

Sun 14th August : 37157 did Y8 and Y7 was 37159, slightly unusual for a Sunday.

Mon 15th August : L10 had 37569 swapped for 37566 at lunchtime and later 37576 didn't complete Y13 because it hit a deer east of King's Lynn around 21.00. K15 with 37574 was 22 late westbound and 16 late eastbound through Wisbech this afternoon. Des says "Points of interest today - 
In Norwich @ 06.50 road closed signs for A11 closed @ Daniels Rd roundabout closed (A11/Ring Road) as per all weekend, in place, but A11 open.
In Dereham @ 07.30 - Road signs for Market place closed from 09.30 - In reality, cenotaph roundabout partial closed, all traffic, in and out via inbound route under control.
(On afternoon journey, managed to negotiate Dereham, under board control, quicker than by normal traffic lights!!!)
Norwich - 15.55 to Low, bus 37159 (small luggage area) - 1 ridden wheelchair, 1 closed wheelchair, 4 extra large suitcases, 1 medium suitcase & 1 large holdall, do not fit into such a small space!!! Front O/S seat needed to accommodate all this luggage.

Tue 16th August : 37564 at last returned from Volvo to King's Lynn. K4 with 37569 had this swapped for 37578 at 19.30 because of an oil leak. Malcolm saw 37568 being attended to by a Volvo fitter at Lowestoft depot this afternoon and when 37157 arrived at 14.00 on K5, its scheduled departure at 13.55 was cancelled and it eventually left at 14.27 'not in service'.

Wed 17th August : 37576 complete with new light cluster was ready for traffic again this evening. K5 had 37567 swapped for 37564 at 10.30. 567 then had an exam before taking up Y6 early evening from 37578. Malcolm saw 20115 on the 09.10 Norwich - Yarmouth shuttle.

Thu 18th August : 20352 did K3 for the fourth successive day with 37568 & 37574 stopped at Lynn for safety servicing. 37567 was 20 down with the 11.15 Lynn to Peterborough.

Fri 19th August. L8 started with 37159, but it was swapped at Lowestoft for 37572 - had the B7 continued, refuelling would have been required. 37158 was 22 late on K3 16.15 Lynn to Peterborough, 37573 was 26 late on K15 14.05 ex Peterborough. 37568 on K5 was terminated at Norwich at 15.25 with  Adblue pump failure, top speed 30-35 mph.

Sat 20th August. Chaos in the west at lunchtime. L11 was 3 late westbound but 19 late on the 12.05 ex Peterborough. L12 with 37159 was 15 late, then 34 late returning on the 12.35. Y13 was seen on the 13.05 ex Peterborough running 39 late. K14 was 36 late on the 12.15 Lynn to Peterborough and because of this it was terminated at Wisbech with passengers then waiting for 37571 on K15 which itself was 18 late. K16 with 37156 wasn't seen but K17 14.18 Wisbech to Peterborough was 14 late and very well loaded, perhaps indicating that K16 hadn't appeared.

Sun 21st August. Des reports "37566  15.30 Yarmouth to Peterborough (me off at Lynn), depart -2 (15.32), Large crowd to load - Traffic in and out of Norwich (football and shoppers). Depart Nor -7 (16.17). Queued out of Norwich, Arrive Dereham - 25 (17.09) - Arrive Lynn - 23 (18.07) Should depart for Peterborough at 17.50."

Mon 22nd - Thu 25th August - all is quiet !

Many thanks to Bruce Billingham, Malcolm Hicks, Des Speed and many others for keeping me informed.



Well still no home phone or internet - good old BT Openreach ! My AOL address book seems to have been hacked in my absence too which is infuriating. I have changed my AOL password in the hope that this will stop my contacts receiving spam. Plenty to report when the full blog returns including a case of hot wheels and the return of 20126, somewhat briefly. My line is due to be restored today (Monday) ...... and last Friday and last Wednesday and last Monday........................Not holding my breath !



Sorry for the lack of updates since Tuesday. My home telephone line has been down since Friday and I'm therefore writing this at work ! I hope the BT people will reconnect me sometime today (Monday) and then we will have a summary blog for the days I have missed. regards to you all, Gerard.


Tuesday 2nd August 2011 ~ Barbarians & Cowboys

I am once more indebted to Des and Bruce for holding the fort for me today. I did, however, go for a drive out tonight and noticed the ad-man affixing new boards to the Gemini fleet. The two new schemes are predictably for films and were it not for this source of income, I suspect 'CBS Outdoor' - the huge advertising company responsible for these contracts - might have gone bust years ago ! 'Conan The Barbarian' proclaims one and 'Cowboys & Aliens' , the other.

37567 undergoing MOT work and now fitted with a striking new advert.
There were two diagram swaps today, firstly K3 saw 37570 (Volvo bound) give way to 37572 for the 09.32 Lynn to Lowestoft, while K17 had 37573 taken off at 16.27 and 37565 ex Volvo worked forward. All other turns seemed well behaved and 37160 was spare at Lowestoft.
20352 is not being kept on such a tight leash these days and today it 'escaped' again on K18, normally a B7 turn.

Monday 1st August 2011 ~ Banished

So another new month dawns without sight of a B10M Premiere on the X1. The last such working (excluding the Gorleston - Norwich shuttles) was 20126 on 15th June. Yes July passed without any coaches working save the borrowed 20352. This was back on K3 today, though surely its loan must be nearing an end with 37577 now back on the road ?
One thing I forgot to mention was Rob Brooks identifying the mystery Excel coach seen at Shoebridge's in Wisbech, it was not a First Eastern example. I'll confirm its identity with Rob and let you all know, having succeeded in losing his original text !
Bruce was blogger in chief again today, providing a full list of sightings and nearly all punctual. His main query concerned the non-appearance of 37565/6/7. Well this was because 567 is on MOT prep and the other two were involved in the Volvo gearbox modification programme.
Grahame Bessey noted 37577 departing Lowestoft on L12 this morning and points out something I forgot to mention, this being that it is now minus 'First' logos on the front and is therefore easy to spot from a distance. 37159 is also in this condition, but in B7 livery of course. Malcolm noted 37157 on K5 arriving 9 late into Lowestoft this afternoon and a comprehensive list of weekend sightings too, helping me piece things together. Des reports 34109 on the 08.52 Yarmouth - Norwich shuttle & 09.40 return.


Sunday 31st July 2011 ~ Sunday Service ?

The only X1 turn I hadn't accounted for today was L10 and here it is with John driving 37573 near Weasenham Lane, Wisbech at just after 13.25 today. [Rob Brooks]
37570 required a front windscreen repair after working K3 yesterday, but it also seems to have been serviced today (can't remember that happening before on a Sunday !). With all the work done, it was fit for working K6 today. This is the turn that does Lynn - Peterborough - Lowestoft and then works the Martham service.
37156 was viewed on K1 15.10 ex Peterborough this afternoon, which is also unusual. It transpired that it had replaced 37568 at Lynn on the 13.50 westbound after passenger illness.
37567 is off the road until Thursday now for MOT prep work. An accident at Tuddenham caused some delays to afternoon X1s today.

Saturday 30th July 2011 ~ Completing the Jigsaw

On days like today where I don't get to see the service much, many of you combine to give a full picture of events. Going back to yesterday, Marcus says that some of the delays were caused by an A47 accident between Guyhirn and Wisbech during the morning.
Des reports that the overheating problem with 37156 seems to have been cured - today its temperature gauge was reading a normal 78, rather than the 90 which has been commonplace of late. 37156 was working Y10 today and was seen this evening heading for Peterborough 15 late at Tilney.
This delay seems to have been the exception rather than the rule today though. One other late bus was Y7 with 37576 which was 19 late from Lynn on the 11.32 to Lowestoft, but had made up 7 minutes of this by Yarmouth.
37577 with outdated advert for 'Rio' exiting Vancouver Avenue depot today after an unscheduled stop on the 11.15 King's Lynn to Peterborough (L12). [ Des Speed ]

With 37577 returned and 20352 still on the route, there was a surplus of buses today (yes honestly !). 37564 and 37159 were both kept at Lynn for oil and axle checks, while 37571 was spare at Lowestoft - no reports so far of it being in use though.
After its escapades around Lowestoft, 20352 returned to the X1 today, being used on L9 which finishes at King's Lynn. The quick turnover of Geminis at Volvo for the gearbox mods saw 37566 absent for attention today, it is also having its 'drive green' settings sorted.

Friday 29th July 2011 ~ Brother Beyond

Bruce writes : "As Gerard has been unfortunately indisposed, I have been let loose with the Blog again.
Thanks to all the X1 drivers who wave as they pass by - it brightens up my day no end as I toil on the ranch with only X1 breaks. Today, July 29th was a Friday - which is bad for punctuality anyway- and a school holiday Friday, which is doubly bad for the X1 punctuality.
The day started well with 37563 on K1, 37574 on K2, 37159 on K3, 37576 on K4, 37573 on Y6 (appearing to be empty - very unusual) and 37575 on Y7 all being on time. Managed to miss L8, Y9 and K5, but L10 and 37579 was near enough on time. 37573(Y6) was 17 late returning from Peterborough but 37575 (Y7) was only 4 late behind it.
The rot set in from the coast with L11 & 37160 10 late, L12 & 37568 6 late, Y13 & 37570 12 late and K14 & 37569 7 late.
In the other direction I waited patiently for L8's return but was rewarded with 37565 on Y9 - or so I thought - only 2 late and absolutely packed with passengers upstairs and down. Well it was Y9 until the real Y9, 37158, sped by 17 late in hot pursuit of 37565, now identified as L8 32 late.
I missed K15 as it was on time but then farce erupted as L10 & 37160 passed by 28 late followed closely by 37568 1 minute early and in sight of 37160!
From the coast K16 & 37157 was 12 late, K17 & 37578 was 5 late and K18 & 37156 was 7 late. K15 returned from Peterborough 22 late but the others I missed as timings were erratic.
K2 on its return from the coast was noted 19 late but now with 37577 (out on its first run since repair) instead of 37574. Having missed K19 and K5, a vigil ensued and I was rewarded with 37572 coming back from Peterborough 10 late. 37567 rolled by at 18.04, not as I first assumed Y6 but the missing K5 30 late. L8 appeared later on with 37571 having replaced 37565".
Thanks for that Bruce, I was backwards and forwards to the hospital today but I can confirm that 37577 replaced 37574 at 15.45. At 19.58, K5 with 37567 was viewed at the Southgates 'not in service', even though by this time it was almost back on schedule. I was on my way home as sadly my brother had passed away shortly before and seeing the display on 37567 seemed somewhat poignant.  I am also indebted to Des and Malcolm for their help with the blog today.


Blog News

I'm hoping to resume the blog entries tomorrow, but in the meantime have a look closely at this picture of 70000 'Britannia' at Yarmouth last month, Richard Adderson who took the picture says "I don't know Gerard, the X1 gets everywhere !!"