Sunday, 23 June 2013

NBP Special - East Anglian Transport Museum Bus Day - Part 1

Today was the annual East Anglia Transport Museum Bus Event, a chance to ride many beautifully preserved vintage vehicles from the Museum's extensive collection of motor buses, as well as visiting vehicles from other museums, bus operators and privately owned preserved vehicles. This year was somewhat smaller than last year's event, however, it still allowed some excellent opportunities to photograph some of bus industry's heritage between the occasional heavy rain shower.

Possibly the oldest bus at the event was preserved Westcliff-on-Sea AJN 825, an Eastern Coachworks bodied Bristol K5G, dating back to 1939. It spent until early 1955 with Westcliff before operating for five years with Eastern National based at Chelmsford. Finally withdrawn from Eastern National in 1960, it headed into preservation with the British Transport Commission after a respectable 21 years of service in East Anglia. It is now with the 825 preservation group in Harwich, who evidently take care of the beautifully preserved bus!

 Next is preserved Ipswich Buses 115, which is a 1984 Bristol B21 with Alexander N-Type body. The bus is prevered by the Colne Estuary Preserved Buses Group, who's website can be seen here. 115 was one of many buses which provided free rides to Lowestoft and Beccles throughout the day, as well as taking slightly longer journeys to Gunton Cliffs, Kessingland Beach and Sparrow's Nest, where some great photos could be taken!
Local Norwich operator Konectbus made their mark at the even with 152, a semi preserved Leyland National Mark 1, which (surprisingly) still sees light service. Tomorrow morning, it will be used on a 20 from Dereham to Necton. 152 is the oldest bus in the Go-Ahead group which still sees service and one of few remaining step entrance vehicles which can be found operating in Go-Ahead's subsidiaries. This was also the bus which provided the free feeder service from Norwich City Centre to the museum at Lowestoft.

The newest vehicle present was AnglianBus MAN Ecocity/Caetano WX62 HHF, which could be seen sporting new fleet number 102. This particular bus provided free journeys to the AnglianBus Ellough depot, just a few miles away from the museum. 102 is just one of the spectacular fleet of 13 gas powered MAN Ecocitys at AnglianBus, providing passengers on service such as the 601, 146, 588 and occasionally the 122A with a touch of things to come.

My final picture portrays preserved Ipswich Buses 6 - MRT 6P. This 37 year old Leyland Atlantean can be found at the Ipswich Transport Museum, which I must say, is well worth a visit. MRT 6P's sister (MRT 9P) is still in active service in Ipswich, looking somewhat less nostalgic than 6 in a recently painted livery of bright green and purple. 9 was used on route 17 a few weeks ago, which operates through housing estates and Ipswich; probably a rather strange sight for the residents of the route as well as the bus enthusiast community of Ipswich.

Well, that's all i've got room for, but look out for Part 2 of this NBP Special from Zak and Sam, who will bringing you pictures and some exciting news from their visit to AnglianBus as part of the bus day. As normal, loads more pictures can be found on my flickr photostream here.

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