Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Play-off Semi Final Derby Special ~ Part Two

Part two of this special post was meant to be focusing on the fleet of coaches Galloway used to bring Town supporters across the border. Unfortunately no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't find where they were parked! I was also warned that if I do find them I probably won't be able to photograph them as they keep opposition fans well away from home fans for safety reasons.

So instead, I bring a couple of photographs I took during the day.

First up is Panther Travel's AB53PAN. Previously registered LK53KXB, the Volvo B12B Plaxton Panther is a suitable for the vehicle's namesake! She was awaiting rail replacement duties on hire to National Express to help deal with the extended amount of passengers due to the two thousand odd Ipswich fans.

After a brief encounter with comedian Stephen Fry outside Carrow Road, I noted Peelings JJZ9130 pulling up. The Dennis R chassis coach carries a Plaxton Panther body and was delivering a load of Norwich fans from the Fakenham area, with scheduled picks up from Tittleshall, Litcham, Mileham, Bristley and North Elmham.

It was at this point that I spoke to a steward who informed me that I most likely not be able to photograph the Galloway coaches, even if I did walk about two miles to where they were parked, but sensing my disappointment he pointed me in the direction of the player's entrance and suggested I wait for the Ipswich team coach which would be arriving shortly. 

There were surprisingly few fans waiting, with a handful of Ipswich hopefuls shying away in the corner hoping to catch a glimpse of their team. I also noted a couple of other bus enthusiasts perched on the other side of the road with their cameras at the ready.

Then, with a Police escort, King's Verry VIP coach V1PKF emerged from around the corner. V1PKF is a Scania K380EB6 Irizar PB and is thought to have previously carried the registration GN57VWR. A similar vehicle is used by Norwich City for their games, YT11LPX, but they had already arrived by the time I got to the stadium. 

For those who don't know, Norwich City ran out 3-1 victors in this tie and will now face Middlesbrough at Wembley on the 25th of this month for a place in the Premier League. More than 120 buses and coaches have already been filled by the club, and many more are being privately hired by supporters groups, churches, and other organisations. I will be driving down and parking on the outskirts of London before tubing to the stadium where I will endeavour to photograph Norwich's and Middlesbrough's vehicles arriving in preperation for a Play-off Final Special post next week.

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