Edited by John Podgorski BA Hons, MSc, CMILT.
Welcome to the February 2021 edition of Busmopolitan.
We’re pushing a few boundaries this month, by featuring a historical connection between public transport and football, and because it’s February (and Valentines) – an alternative version of ‘Brief Encounter’ – featuring a bus instead of a train.
Early February saw some more significant snow fall. It happened on Sunday the 7th and into Monday 8th, and caused much travel disruption. On the 7th, some bus routes finished early. On the 8th more snow had fallen overnight. The Tendring Hundred peninsular was particularly hit. Hedingham Clacton depot was “snowed in” first thing, and sections of several routes in Clacton could not be served. This was likewise for Panther route 2 in Harwich and Dovercourt, while its 80/A were curtailed to run Colchester-Boxted and 81/A via Dedham suspended. Stephensons was unable to run its 9, 105 and 107 routes in Tendring. Greater Anglia train services were also stopped along the Colchester to Clacton and Walton, plus Manningtree to Harwich lines due to frozen points.
Ipswich Buses stopped all of its Suffolk rural routes and instigated a Sunday schedule on many of its urban ones; Essex CC contracts ran as normal. Stephensons also suspended several of its rural services around the Essex/Suffolk borders. Hedingham was able to run most of its mileage on its mid Essex network, with a few exceptions, due to minor roads being impassable. First and Arriva appeared to cope with relatively minor delays only.
Above: A picturesque Friday Woods, Colchester on 7/2/21. (Margaret Jones).
Above: Hedingham short ADL/Enviro 200 no 292, at a snowbound Kelvedon depot on 8/2/21. (John Podgorski).
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE COLCHESTER.
Above: ADL/Enviro 200 4071 on Staff Shuttle on 24/2/21. (Simon Austin).
Colchester Park & Ride was temporarily suspended from 6/2/21, with the ADL/E200s being used on Staff Shuttles for the moment. Odd sightings: 2,3/2/21: R133 StreetLite 4324 on 8. 4/2/21: 1559, 1562 on Staff Shuttles. 5/2/21: 1562 on 1. 6/2/21: R133 4324 on 8. 8/2/21: 1559 on 8; 1563 on 1; 4224 on 1; R133 4324 on 8. 9/2/21: 1562 on 8. 10/2/21: 1558 on 77; 1559 on 1. 11/2/21: 1558 on 1; 1562 on 1. 15/2/21: 1562 on 77; R133 4323 on 8. 16/2/21: P&R ADL/E200 4075 (SK15 GXV) on Staff Shuttle; 4323 on 8. 17/2/21: 4261 on 1. 18/2/21: 1559 on 8; 1563 on 1; 4071/75 on Staff Shuttle; 4323 on 8. 19/2/21: 1558, 1563 on 1. 20/2/21: 1558 on 1. 22/2/21: 1558/59 on 1; 4075 on Staff Shuttle. 23/2/21: 1558/59 on 1; 1562 on 1; 1563 on 8. 24/2/21: 1558/63 on 1.
Above: Dart SLF/Pointer 3418 at Crouch Street, Colchester on 6th November 2020. One of a batch new to TGM Colchester in autumn 2004, and most are still there. (Will Jesney).
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE HARLOW. Received from Arriva Kent and Surrey were ADL/Enviro 200 MMCs 4088-93/95-99/101/02 (YX17 NYB-D/F/G/K-O/S/T). They are mainly for use on 724 (Harlow-Heathrow, which now needs ULEZ vehicles. They have replaced the Mercedes Citaros, which went the other way.
ARRIVA LONDON NORTH. Short ADL/Enviro 200 (LJ58 AVT) is now at Barking, ex Dartford.
Above: Volvo B5H/Wright Gemini 3 HV204 (LK66 HCJ) at Stratford on 6/2/21, on ex Stagecoach TfL158. (John Podgorski).
Above: Windhoff electrification OHL MPV DR98003 ‘Anthony Wrighton 1944-2011’ at Stratford on 6/2/21. It is leading 98004/08 and 98019. (John Podgorski).
BLUE TRIANGLE. Internal transfers in are ADL/Enviro 400s E65, E75 from London General, while Volvo B5H/Wright Gemini WHV67 has come from Docklands.
Above: ADL/Enviro 200 SE35 is now with London Central; initially at Bexleyheath. Seen on Morden Wharf staff bus/meal relief duty at Vanbrugh Hill, Greenwich on 6/2/21. (John Podgorski).
Above: Electrostar 357005 ‘Southend 2017 Alternative City of Culture’ at Mile End Park on 20/2/21. (John Podgorski).
COLAS. 1/2/21: 37610 tnt 37612 on 1Q90 Derby-Ferme Park via Cambridge and Liv St. 3/2/21: 37610 tnt 37612 on 1Q97 Ferme Park-Cambridge via Stanford, Liv St, Harwich Town. 10/2/21: 37418 tnt 37116 on 1Q25 Liv St-Peterborough. 18/2/21: 37421 propelling inspection saloon 975025 ‘Caroline’ on 5Z12/552V Temple Mills-Grantham @ 1429. 19/2/21: 37610 + 9708 on 3Q66 Colchester-Liv St, then 3Z66 to Derby.
DAN’S COACH TRAVEL, NEEDHAM MARKET. Has ex UNO, Hatfield DAF DB250LF/Optare Spectra YJ53 VBN.
DBS. 3/2/21: 66206 on FLX-East Midland Gateway. 9/2/21: 66155 unusually ran around at Europa Junction for 6M45 Barham-Mountsorrel, due to Claydon being unavailable due to weather.
DCR. 10/2/21: 60055 on 0Z61 Willesden-Cambridge light loco.
DOCKLANDS BUSES. Volvo B5H/Wright Gemini WHV67 came from Metrobus at Croydon, but quickly moved on to Blue Triangle.
Above: The last Scanias with Go-Ahead London are at Docklands. Omnicity 970 was at Mile End on 20/2/21. (John Podgorski).
DOCKLANDS LIGHT RAILWAY.
Above: Unit 08 trails 05 – Stratford bound, at Langdon Park on 13/2/21. This is on the alignment of the old North London Railway, and the grade at this point is slightly upwards, towards the bridge over the Limehouse Cut canal. (John Podgorski).
Above: Once upon a time, Don’s operated ex West Midlands PTE former Walsall Corporation Daimler Fleetline CRC-36/NC XDH 56G. It was seen in its WMPTE days, (and still in Walsall livery) on 13/2/1972. It is now preserved at Wythall Museum in Worcestershire. (Roger Pope).
Above: 37425 “up” at Chitts Hill on 9/2/21. (John Podgorski).
6/2/21: 66422/32 on 086P Willesden-Stowmarket light loco via Cambridge and Bury, due to GEML engineering blockade. 8/2/21: 37425 on 0Z99 Ipswich-Felixstowe snow clearance, then onto Clacton branch. 37601 on West Anglia snow clearance. 9/2/21: 37425 on 0P01/02 Norwich-Shenfield light loco and return. 11/2/21: 66432 tnt 37425 on 6P03 Gt Bentley-Whitemoor engineers. 18/2/21: 37425 on on Norwich-Willesden light loco past Lea Junction @ 1552. 23/2/21: 37425 Norwich-Willesden Brent light loco with 37424 in opposite direction.
ENIGMA TRAVEL, COLCHESTER. Has ceased operations. It was founded as TJ’s Travel in 1991, by ex Eastern National employees Tim and Jan Waller. The Enigma name came when it changed ownership in the 2000s – being bought by Mr Seadon. The registered office was originally in Wivenhoe, but the depot was always in Colchester – in the Hythe area. Firstly, vehicles were parked off Maudlyn Road (shared with Tony Glew), then from 1997 – due to redevelopment of that site, this moved to Fieldgates on Haven Road. At its peak, the fleet was 6 vehicles, but on average, 2 were operated at any one time. The opening fleet was Ford Transit 11 seater E558 LFA. The closing fleet was Iveco Eurorider/Beaulas FD02 VCO and Mercedes 814D/Plaxton Cheetah T638 JWB. FD02 VCO remains parked in the yard.
ENSIGNBUS. BCI Excellence 145 (LX17 DZF) has been withdrawn due to fire damage. Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini 101 has been re-registered from PIJ 601 back to LG52 DDA.Sold are Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini 101 (PIJ 601) – to Warwickshire Travel; Volvo B7TL/ALX400 110 (LJ54 BDV) – to P Lee Services, St Ives, Cambs; ADL/Enviro 200 716 (YX60 EOR) – to Faresaver, Chippenham.
Above: In early February, a burst water main closed St Johns Street in Colchester. As a result, bus routes had to be diverted along Southway. Here is ADL/Enviro 300 no 67742 at the Butt Road/Headgate junction on 8/2/21. (John Podgorski).
From First Worcester is Trident/ALX400 33402 (VX54 MTY) – allocated to Hadleigh (HH). Chelmsford Park & Ride was temporarily suspended from 6/2/21, with the ADL/E200 MMCs being used on normal services for the moment. Transfers are of ADL/E200 MMC 67162 (YY66 OZX) – BN-CF; ADL/E30H 67902 – CF-BN. Hadleigh’s Dart SLF/Pointer 42487 (SN03 WME) is SORNED due to Covid service reductions. Colchester based Volvo B7TL/ALX400s 32068/087 (KP51 VZS, WBZ), 32477/78 (AU53 HJN/O); Volvo B7TL/Geminis 32547 (SN54 OSK), 32669/73 (SN55 HDZ, HFA) were similarly stood down, but back in use by mid to late February. Resold by Ensign to Shelton Motors, Ely were Trident/Presidents LN51 GNF, LT52 XAA. Odd sightings: 1/2/21: B7TL/Gemini 32629 on 64A; 37006 on 67; 37034 on 64A; 37062 on 102; R6237134 on 64; R6237138 on 68; 37140 on 104; Dart SLF/Pointer 42934 on 71A; Airlink 67163 on 100; X10 67164 on 8; P&R ADL/E200 MMC 67189 on 70; 67191 on 31B; 67192 on 71A. 2/2/21: 37007 on 64; 37034 on 64A; R62 37134/36 on 64A; R62 37138 on 61; X10 67162 on 100; Airlink 67163 on 8A; X10 67164 on 8; P&R 67189 on 71 + 31C; 67190 on 71; 67192 on 42A; 67196 on 31B. 4/2/21: 37004 on 64A; 37007 on 175; R62 37133 on 65; R62 37138 on 61. 5/2/21: 37010 on 67; 37016 on 175; R133 37138 on 67. 6/2/21: R62 37133 on 1A. 7/2/21: X10 67164 on 25. 8/2/21: R62 37138 on 65. 10/2/21: P&R 67189/92 on 42. 11/2/21: R62 37133 on 65; R62 37139 on 70. 12/2/21: 37004 on 175; 37007 on 64; P&R 67192 (SN66 WKO) on 71A. 13/2/21: 37034 on 66; Dart SLF/Pointer 42932 (SN05 EAF) on 71. 15/2/21: 37006 on 67; 37027 on 64; 37054 on 64; 66801 on CR Staff Shuttle. 16/2/21: 37004 on 67; 37034 on 64A; 42923 on 71; 67189 on 71; 67737 on CR Staff Shuttle. 17/2/21: 32068 on 174; 41521 on CR Staff Shuttle; 67192 on 71. 18/2/21: 37016 on 64A; 37017 on CR Staff Shuttle; 67193 on 71. 19/2/21: 32068 on 64; 37136/39 on 61. 20/2/21: 37017 on 64; R62 37138 on 66B; 66803 on CR Staff Shuttle. 21/2/21: 32629 on 64. 22/2/21: 37004/005 on 64; 37016 on 67; 37034 on CR Staff Shuttle; 37140 on 64A; 63333 on CR Staff Shuttle; 67191 (SN66 WKM) on 71. 23/2/21: 32478 on 174/175; 37004 on 67. 24/2/21: 37007 on 67. 25/2/21: 32547 on 67; 37005 on 64. 26/2/21: R62 37133 on 175/174.
Above: ADL/Enviro 300 67741 (SN62 AKJ), at Great Totham south on 9/2/21. (Will Jesney).
FLAGFINDERS. Dart SLF/Pointer X963 VAP appeared at Kelvedon depot during February.
FREIGHTLINER. The use of Class 86s has continued. 86613/32 were on FLX-Garstons at the start of February. 1/2/21: 90003/049 on 4L90 Trafford-FLX. 90006/044 on 4L91 Wembley-FLX, then 4M87 FLX-Trafford. 2/2/21: 86613/632 on 4M45 FLX-Garston. 90003/049 on 4L97 Trafford-FLX. 90008/009 on 4L89 Coatbridge-FLX. 90044/006 on 4L91 Trafford-FLX. 5/2/21: 90008/009 on 4L89 Coatbridge-FLX. 90012/003 on 4L97 Trafford-FLX. 90044/006 on 446P Trafford-FLX. 8/2/21: 90007/041 om 4L91 Wembley-FLX. 9/2/21: 90042/047 on 4L91Trafford-FLX. 90048/016 on 4L89 Coatbridge-FLX. 10/2/21: 66522 on 4E24 FLX-Leeds. 90008/046 on 4M87. 90042/047 on 4L97. 90045/013 on 4M45 FLX-Garston. 90046/008 on 4L91. 11/2/21: 66549 on 4L91 Trafford-FLX. 90012/003 + 65549 dit on 4M87 FLX-Trafford. 90013/045 on 4M45. 90041/007 on 4L89 Coatbridge-FLX. 90042/047 on 4L97. 15/2/21: 90003 on Ipswich-Norwich crew trainer. 16/2/21: 66526 on 4E56 FLX-Doncaster. 66585 on 4E64 FLX-Tees. 900012 on Ipswich-Norwich crew trainer. 18/2/21: 90008/007 on 4M45. 90010/049 on 4M87 FLX-Trafford. 90013/045 on 4L89. 90044/046 on 4L97. 90047 on 4Z84 Crewe-Ipswich. 19/2/21: 66506 and 66552 in Colchester down goods loop @ 1642. 66555 on 4L912. 90007/008 on 4M45. 90043/004 on 4L89. 90044/046 on 4L97. 90047/012 on 4M87. 25/2/21: 66513 on 4L91. 90005 on 0Z90 Ipswich-Norwich and return crew trainer. 90013/045 on 4M45. 90044/012 on 4L97. 90016/006 on 4L89. 26/2/21: 66502 on 4L97. 90009/014 on 4L89. 90013/045 on 4M45. 90049/003 on 4L91. 27/2/21: 90044 on 0Z90 Ipswich-Norwich and return crew trainer.
GARDNER, CHELMSFORD. Withdrawn is Scania/Irizar GRZ 1301 T49 CNN.
GBRf. 1/2/21: 66727 on 6L37 Hoo Jct-Whitemoor. 66737 on Peterborough-FLX. 66755 on Peterborough-Clacton route learning. 66784 on FLX-Doncaster. 2/2/21: 66704 on Peterborough-Clacton route learner. 66727 on 6L37. 3/2/21: 66748 on Harwich-N Walsham tanks. 66765 on Peterborough-Clacton route learner. 4/2/21: 66727 on Peterborough-Clacton route learner. 9/2/21: 66701 on 6L37. 66704 on 0Z38 Peterborough-Clacton route learner.16/2/21: 66767 on 4M02. 16/2/21: 66707 on 4E42 FLX-Doncaster. 66769 on Harwich-N Walsham tanks. 17/2/21: 66789 on 4E20. 20/2/21: 66753 in Colchester down good loop with 6T62 Whitemoor-Clacton engineers @ 1310.66790/738 on 6T63/60 Whitemoor-Clacton engineers. 21/2/21:66708 on 6T64, 66729 on 6T62 and 66782 on 6T63 Whitemoor-Clacton engineers. 24/2/21: 66743 on 6T74 Whitemoor-Clacton engineers. 66779 on 6T75 whitemoor-Clacton engineers. 66790 on 6T75 Whitemoor-Clacton engineers.
Above: 66753 at Colchester on 20/2/21. (John Podgorski).
Above: Clacton signal box on 12/2/21. (John Podgorski).
From 20/2/21, the Clacton-Colchester line was closed for two months,to enable a major resignalling of the Clacton area. 321344/48/56/58, 321438/42 have gone to Sims Metals, Newport, Gwent for scrap. Just one Class 317/6 now remains active – 317652. 2/2/21: 317651/54 on 5E46 Ilford-Ely for storage behind ROG 37884. 5/2/21: 321350/351 Clacton-Newport Gwent for scrap, behind ROG 37884. 6/2/21: 745106 on Ingatestone-Norwichs. 8/2/21; 720558/551 on 5Q26 Ilford Shenfield ECS. 9/2/21: 755418 on 1P47 Norwich-Colchester – due to heavy snow; 745 onwards to London. 13/2/21: Inter-City 745003/005 on Stansted Express. 19/3/21: 321356/438 on 5Q76 Clacton-Newport for scrap behind ROG 37884. 23/2/21: 321344/358 on 563X Parkeston-Newport scrap move behind ROG 37884.24/2/21: 317509/649 526Y Ilford-Ely ECS behind ROG 57305. 26/2/231: 321348/442 on 5Q76 Parkeston-Newport for scrap behind ROG 37884. 27/2/21: 745005 on Stansted Express. 745102 on Liv St-Ipswichs.
Above: One of the now diminishing Class 317s. 317884 at Stratford on 20/2/21; on the Meridian Water shuttle.
Above: Ex London Overground 317710 at Liverpool Street on 27/2/21. It is on the rear of the 1442 departure to Hertford East, with 317507 leading. (John Podgorski).
Ex Carousel Buses is green liveried ADL/Enviro 200 502 (OU57 FGV) – pictured above on collection on 25/2/21 – it is to join the Hedingham fleet as fleet no 283 after repaint. Sister OU57 FGX has also arrived – to become no 284. All Scanias are now in the new fleet livery. The last to be done was Omnilink 457 (AU61 AVK). Demolition of the old Tollesbury depot (closed July 2016), commenced at the end of February. Omnidekka movements: 2/2/21: 811 – KN-CN on tow. 3/2/21; 811 – CN-KN. 9/2/21: 800 – KN-Chambers; 808 – Chambers-KN. 17/2/21: 800 – Chambers-KN; 808 – KN-Chambers. Odd sightings: 3/2/21: 588 on TLA am; 811 on TLA pm. 10/2/21: 812 on D2. 11/2/21: Dart SLF/MPD 286 on X76; 808 on TLA am, Stanway School pm. 12/2/21: 588 on TLA; Solo 910 on X76. 22/2/21: Dart SLF/Pointer 253 on 50B etc.
Above: Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President 574 at Scott Drive, Home Farm, Colchester on 16/2/21. The Busmopolitan editor is driving. (James Cole).
IPSWICH BUSES. Has ADL/Enviro 200 83 (KX58 GUW), ex Completely Coaches, Norwich. The Wright StreetDeck saloon demonstrator XUI 8501, is on loan from Translink Ulsterbus. Mercedes Citaros 153-155 have gone on hire to Ensignbus (with Ipswich Buses drivers) for LUL Central Line rail replacement. They are being berthed at Ensign’s Purfleet depot. ADL/E200 106 (YX66 WCK) has been repainted. Odd sightings: 11/2/21:ADL/E200 88 on 92. 19/2/21: Versa 148 on 4 + 11. 24/2/21: ADL/E200s 101, 108 on 4 + 11.
LONDON CENTRAL. Odd sightings: 19/2/21: ADL/E200 SE152 on 108.
Above: Mercedes Citaro MEC6 in Blackheath Village on 6/2/21, on a full length 108 working. Some are Lewisham to North Greenwich shorts. (John Podgorski).
Above: Ex London General North originally First Capital ADL/Enviro 200 SEN17 at Westcombe Park Road, Blackheath on 6/2/21. One of several transferred for the gain of the circuitous TfL386 from Stagecoach. (John Podgorski).
LONDON GENERAL NORTH. From 6/2/21, TfL184 (Barnet-Turnpike Lane) was taken over from Arriva London North. New for this were BYD ADL/200evs SEe123-143 (LF70 YVA-E, YWG, YWH/J-P/R-X). Initially, some non electric saloons were also used on the 184, including ADL/Enviro 200 MMC SED1 (YX17 NKZ). TfL444 (Chingford Station-Turnpike Lane) is also seeing these new SEes.
Above: Mural on Stratford bound platform at Hackney Wick, 13/2/21. (John Podgorski).
Above: Upton Park station on 3/2/16. The picture is dated by the West Ham United FC direction sign. The Boleyn ground moved to the London Stadium at Olympic Park at Stratford in August 2016. (Leah Harrison).
Above: The same location on 30/1/21. (John Podgorski).
Below: The Boleyn stadium on Green Street. Taken on the same date as above. The old London Transport Upton Park (U) bus garage on Priory Road/Redclyffe Road (closed 2011) was a close neighbour. Boleyn and the bus garage both suffered the same fate – redevelopment for housing, retail and leisure. Alight here from TfL bus routes 58, 104, 330, 376. (Leah Harrison).
Above: The same location on 30/1/21. (John Podgorski).
MTR ELIZABETH LINE. 345042 OC-IL by 27/2/21. 345064 OC-IL by 13/2/21.
NETWORK RAIL. 23/2/21: 313121 at on Ferme Park-Ilford move.
NIBS, WICKFORD. Ex Omniserv ADL/Enviro 200s 438/39 (YY15 FZC/D) have been allocated here, by parent company Stephensons.
OSBORNES OF TOLLESBURY.
Above: Osbornes operated Leyland Atlantean/Massey JKE 341E in the early 1980s. It is depicted in its original guise as no 41 with Maidstone Corporation on 5/1/1972. Sisters 36 and 38 later worked for Theobalds of Long Melford. In addition, Colchester Corporation had 2 batches of these vehicles. Only Colchester and Maidstone Corporations bought this combination new. Osbornes sold to Hedingham in 1997. (Roger Pope).
PANTHER TRAVEL. Is the main contractor for the Greater Anglia Clacton to Thorpe Le Soken rail replacement, which is operating from 22/2/21 until late April 2021. This is to do with the resignalling project at Clacton. Acquired via Ensign are ex Arriva London ADL/Enviro 200s LJ09 KPR/T/U, KRD.
ROG. 16/2/21: 37601 on 0M00 Norwich-Orient Way light loco.
Above: 37884 comes off the loop from the GEML Main Line onto the Clacton branch at Colchester on 5/2/21. It is en route to Clacton to collect GA 321350/51 for scrap for Sims Metals at Newport, Gwent. Also see Greater Anglia. (James Cole).
Above: 57312 “up” past Chitts Hill on 9/2/21. It had apparently gone to Clacton to collect scrap Class 321s, but the weather had stated otherwise. Was returning to Wembley. (John Podgorski).
Above: 37884 draws scrap GA Class 321s off the Clacton branch and onto the GE Main Line at Colchester on 23/2/21. En route from Clacton to Sims Metals at Newport, Gwent. (James Cole).
STAGECOACH EAST LONDON. BYD/ADL400ev 14110 (LF70 YUE) entered traffic on TfL174 on 26/2/21.
Above: The site of Upton Park garage, looking from Redclyffe Road to Priory Road; 30/1/21. (John Podgorski).
Above: Upton Park garage on its final day of operation; 16th September 2011. The Redclyffe Road exit. It was intended to retain it for the 2012 London Olympics and then sell the site. (John Podgorski).
Above: Ex Stagecoach East London Leyland Titan T876, with former bus owners co operative A1 Service, Ardrossan, Scotland, after Stagecoach took it over. Pictured at Irvine on 2/2/1995. In London it latterly worked at Barking, but originally with Selkent at Catford. It was one of the small batch of LT Titans fitted with Leyland TL11 as opposed to Gardner 6LXB engines. (Murdoch Currie).
Above: Ex Yourbus, Heanor ADL/Enviro 200 no 470 in Halstead on 27/2/21. (Simon Austin).
TOWER TRANSIT. Resold via Ensign are Volvo B9TL/Wright Geminis BJ11 DUH, DVN/O/T – to Faresaver, Chippenham.
Above: Tower Transit ADL/Enviro 200 DM44267, at Grove Road, Mile End on 20/2/21. (John Podgorski).
TRUSTYBUS, ROYTON. Via Ensign is ex Arriva London ADL/Enviro 200 LJ09 KPG. Re registrations are of Optare Solos WX05 RUO/C to SGZ 2223/21 respectively. Optare Versas YJ12 PKX/Y, PLF have passed to Deal, Elstree. Sold for scrap were Scania L94UB/Wright Solars NK53 UNW/Y, YN04 GMG, GNU.
VECTARE, CHELMSFORD. A new fleet livery of two tone blue has appeared. Recipients are Volvo B7RLE/Wrights 302/03 (BK13 NZR/S).New routes registered from 1/2/21 were 21, 22 (Chipping Ongar-Epping Hospital), SW1A (Lt Chesterford-Joyce Franklin School), SW2A (Gt Chesterford-Saffron Walden County High School).
A BRIEF ENCOUNTER.
Above; Canary Wharf skyline, 23/8/20. (Leah Harrison).
Above: Ensignbus Volvo Olympian/Alexander Royale 126, September 2010. (John Podgorski).
It’s a pleasant early spring evening just after dusk. I’m heading west in my blue and silver Volvo Olympian/Alexander Royale double deck bus. It’s actually quite high spec, with coach seats, silver wheel trims and a good top speed. It also has a radio. I cruise over the A13 Canning Town viaduct listening to ‘Smooth Operator’ by Sade, as an illuminated and glittering Canary Wharf looms on the skyline to my left. I then continue onto East India Dock Road, before turning right onto Chrisp Street and past the neon clock tower. I then pause at a zebra crossing to let a pedestrian cross. That person is a blonde lady. who looks me in the eye and gives me a lovely smile. I nod and give a little wave in acknowledgement. As I power away, I glimpse to my right and see the lady walk away into the night. “She’s quite nice” I thought, and then to the “music” of the Volvo D10A-245 diesel engine and ZF Ecomat gearbox, I continue on my way, to Morris Road, over the Limehouse Cut canal and into Violet Road then along Campbell Road, and right onto Bow Road, heading for Stratford. Fast forward 5 and a half years, and I encounter her again, socially and by complete chance…. and, there’s a good ending x.
Above: Chrisp Street, 13/2/21. (John Podgorski).
Top and above: Sible the snowman is a temporary recruit to Hedingham Buses Sible Hedingham depot during the ‘big freeze’. Before the thaw set in , Sible ‘flew away’ (like the character in the children’s story ‘The Snowman’), with his scarf left on the driver’s seat of one of the buses. Pictured with colleague Steve Garner. (both: Jack Lomas).
With thanks to: Angliagen, Bustimes, J Cole, M Currie, L Harrison, W Jesney, M Jones, A Law, J Lomas, London’s Transport, R Pope.