Tuesday, 20 September 2016

#VegOnTour: Part Three

a couple of the views from Cornwall's buses
Today started quite early as well. Upon arrival at my campsite in Cornwall I had a little scout around for some bus stops; and noticed that I was served by a couple of services meaning I could get to Newquay or Truro once an hour. This was handy as I wanted to visit both of those places at some point whilst I was there. I chose Newquay to start with and took service 90 from Summercourt into town, where I spent an hour or so observing the few buses which passed through. Getting slightly bored with the lack of activity I boarded a bus to Truro on service 86 and settled down upstairs to enjoy the view for the next hour and a half. Upon arrival in Truro I set about finding the best location to photograph the buses as they came in, in comparison to where the sun was, which turned out to be pretty straight forward; and after nearly murdering a girl by opening the bus station door straight into her face I was ready to spot.

Nothing different really appeared to start with, there was the regular Tridents, Volvo B7RLEs and a couple of Enviro400s for the University service to Falmouth; but then one of First’s ex-South Wales coaches came in. It was only when it pulled up to the stand that I noticed it was actually in service! 23316 530OHU was working the 18 service between Penzance and Truro, and upon arrival at the bus stand the passengers disembarked. Sat in the front row was a grandmother and her grandson; who came off with big grins on their faces. The child was praising the ride and was trying to drag his grandmother back on the coach for another one! This was enough to convince me I should have a go so I settled in the front seat for the ride and decided to go as far as Camborne. I got chatting with the driver, Lisa, who was very friendly, smiley and approachable and was always talking with and to other customers along the way who were in awe at the huge fancy green thing on their usual B7RLE operated route. She must have said “yeah, travelling in style today!” about fifteen times, but never got less enthusiastic about it. She explained to me she was a bit concerned when it turned up on her duty that morning as she hadn’t driven a coach for over five years; but after the first ten minutes or so she was right back into the swing of it and was enjoying the change. Lisa had spotted me taking a photograph of the coach as it came into Truro and so it was arranged for her to stop at a photogenic bus stop for me in Camborne so that I could get a nicer picture without other buses or buildings around. This was the result! Rather nice if I don't say so myself!

23316 used to be registered YN55PXG and was in operation with First's Welsh company, Greyhound.
56002 at Camborne depot
Nearing the bus station now, we stopped to pick up another passenger at the kerbside. Only this time the door wouldn't open. Lisa apologised to the lady waiting patiently outside before getting up out of her seat and going over to push the door open herself. This however didn't work either! After a couple more shoves and a small run up, it opened...only for it to snap shut again just as the lady began to step on! Luckily she managed to jump back out the way and began to giggle at the calamitous door, alongside other passengers who had been watching quietly from behind me. Eventually the door opened but by this point the whole coach were in hysterics at what Lisa had to do to simply let this lady on the coach! Door now working again and passenger safely boarded, we carried on our journey and shortly arrived at Camborne. For those of you who don't know, First Camborne's bus depot is situated at the bus station so Lisa arranged a hi-vis jacket to be lent to me so I could have a wonder around. In it I saw mini-coach 56002 YN53VBU, recently transferred from First Scotland East Ltd, along with some other coaches beside the usual array of buses. I thanked Lisa for her kind and excellent customer service and suggested she take a look at my blog in a couple of weeks to read the report I’m writing now so if you’re reading Lisa, would be nice to know if you are, then thanks again!

Once I'd got back to Newquay I decided to try and spot the new 56 branded buses en-route but unfortunately after spending forty minutes standing at a bus stop in Tregurrian, the bus which came past was another Olympian; the same type which I photographed in the same place several times last year.

Oh well, I’ll try again tomorrow! (Update...I tried again the next day and still failed. There's always next year!)

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