Friday, 28 September 2007

Millbrook school bus blunder

This week the children of Millbrook have been treated with having on most occations a Leyland Olympian for there school bus becasue of Trident shortage because of broken down 32756. Therefore on Wednesday Leyland Olympian 34812 was roped in to do the run. This meant as she has slightly less capasity she had a full load on her. Probebly for the first time in her life. They were going up Hounster Hill away from Millbrook but without a run up because of heavy traffic at that time of the morning. The driver floored her up the hill but near the top she stalled and ran out of power. This meant at least 40 of the pupils had to get off and walk the rest of the hill in the pouring rain and let the bus kreep up the hill. Not a good start for there day I think you'll agree.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Cremyll plans

Sorry its taken me a while to do this but here we go.

On Saturday the exhibision in St Andrews church unvailed the new plans and drawings on the new buildings and redevelopment in Cremyll. Pictures that will be above but the downloader isn't working. They show the new extension added on which wil contain new deisabled toilets, a new waiting room the demolishing of the old porta cabin whih has been there for 20 years, the refurbishment of the old barn shed thing on the other side of the road, making the current turnstiles into an Ice-Cream parlour replacing the kiosk down there, realtime information system which I think isn't really needed and the other obvious one is there won't be any railings anymore leaving it open plan with not as much security. Pictures will explain all when they come.

Work will commence likely sometime in November and is due to be completed by the Summer. We look forward to this. PTOTPA will keep you informed of the happenings as they unfold.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Another brakedown at A-Line

Sorry its a short post again. I am quite busy at the moment.

Today A-Line travels "Unfaithful" Mercedes 709 broke down again today. This happened somewhere along the route 270 on the return journey from Trago Mills. Ths therefore meant on the 4:30 service we got the coach pictured above. It was a lot nicer than the 709 but what do you expect. Got us home in record time aswell. A lot nicer to be on and a lot faster even on a country route which the 709 is suited to.
Didn't know how to turn the picture round. Sorry.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Spot the difference

Sorry its not a very good post today but I will get back on to some more interesting ones tommorow.

Pictures below are Derrick Cuff having a bit od fun in Cremyll yesterday.

Can you spot the difference?

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Cremyll ferry exhibision

Saturday the 22nd September holds a exhibition Entitled Stonehouse views and Cremyll Quay. This will include pictures of the ferry, achieve footage, historical information, old maps of the area, and genral history.

This is being held by a local historian who will give guided walks of Cremll Quay and Mount Edgcumbe Gardens aswell as the new development plans for the bulidings in Cremyll quay such as replaceing the porta cabin and renewing the tol gates ect.

The event is being held at St Paul's Church in Durnford Street on Saturday between 10:30 and 16:00.

Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

A-Line replacement bus

I would have published this on Friday but as I said I have been away from Friday to Sunday adn didn't have time yesterday.

Anyway A-Line Travel have had to hire in an LDV Convoy Minibus to run the service from Friday to yesterday. This was because the front windscreen of M152 LPL was smashed by a low branch. The bus is back in service now.

34813 brakes down in Millbrook

Yesterday the 7:30 81C service to Cremyll was run by a very fed up looking John Walker running 11 minuites late. Him and 34813 passed me while waiting for Jim at my stop. As most people stil carry a Rame Rider with them whenevr the First bus comes before Jim at the time they are out for Jim they get that instead. Well it had been reported by sevrsl drivers that week that 34813 was having gearbox troubles. But the only enginneer at Torpoint was on holiday leaving John having to use that bus. Well the passengers got on the First bus at Millbrook Quay infront of Jim. Went up the road and then the clutch went. Luckily Jim was running early and he was still waiting at the quey when about 10 passengers came panting and screaming up to Jim. As they got on Jim said to them

"Don't you feel imbarrised! Don't you feel totally imbarrised! Now your not going to be using First instead of me again are you!"

When we were in Cremyll John did turn up with 34813 still limping along as that bus has to change to the Cermyll Anderton school bus after the service. Jim followed John back up the hill towards Torpoint incase of breakdown. They made it as far as the bottom of the lake and then she did compleately give up the ghost. To save time Jim transported the passengers to Millbrook while they got a replacement bus to Millbrook. Don't know where they got a replacement from refering to my last post.

Her bigest journey ever

Spotted by Terry Partridge yesterday you've gueesed it. 34002 (K802 ORL) has been on her travels again. But this time the furthest away from home she has ever been. She was spotted yesterday in Kingsbridge. And opperating route branded bus opperated route 93! At the moment there is a bus shortage in Torpoint meening the Millbrook school bus is being run by a Leyland Olympian instead of a Dennis Trident to the Millbrookers dispare. So why are they still sending 34002 off to opperate Plymouth services and especially route 93. With its route branded Tridents and other ex-London Tridents and then whole of Plymouth depot to choose from why oh why 34002. Anyway the video of her can be seen on Terry Patridge's excellent new blog which I have provided the link to below:

and a picure also by Terry below:

Monday, 17 September 2007

WHOTT bus rally

Before any of you ask no I wasn't at the Duxford showbus I was at the much better WHOTT rally at Westpoint!

My day started off being up at Loddiswell for 6:00 to get the buses ready and off. Except no one turned up until 6:50. But anyway when they did arrive it was opening up all the garages and moving buses to get others out. But most were already up at Westpoint so not all of them had to be driven up that morning. First I cleaned up the cab of the Western National tow truck. Then Filling buses up with water ad oil and fuel. And then right at the last moment was cleaning down with polish Colin Billington's beautiful Bristol REL Royal Blue coach. It was then off to Westpoint and I got the liberty of going down in the Royal Blue RE. Never been on an RE and I was asponished on how nice they were. And being able to do 70mph along the motorway.

When we reached Westpoint we were directed into posision and I went up to the entrence. from there I took pictures of all the buses arriving as we were one of the first so gave me a good oppotunity to take lots of photos. Then we went round the grounds taking pictures and then had a good chat with Paul. Owner of the newly painted LFJ 844W which was in my view the best bus at the show. Looking apsolutely beautiful in her old livery. LFJ 844W will also be at Winkleigh on 7th October so come along to that aswell. Then it was looking around all the buses. Then a ride on a lovely Bedford VAL. Never been on one of those eigther. Then more looking then a ride of a Leyland Atlantean. Then more looking and talking.

Most pictures are avalible at my new Flickr acount but I didn't realise that you can only put 200 pictures on it. So I couldn't fit them all on. On just type in LFJ 847W or something along those lines. My username is bristolvrboy.

See you at Winkleigh

Sunday, 16 September 2007

NFJ 592M and the South Devon Railway Transport Gala

On Saturday I went along to the Annual transport Gala at the South Devon Rally. They were running extra trains that day though no buses turned up and only a few extra trucks. I expect they were all preparing for the WHOTT rally held today. They had one very unusual double header in the form of British Railways 5526 and 31108 a class 31. Pictured above.

Also pictured above is ex-Torpoint Bristol LH 1592 NFJ 592M. This was put into preservation in 1999 after working for Western National then being sold to Plymouth Citybus and after used as a school bus until the new seat belt regulations were inforced. This meant the bus was put into preservation but the owner didn't have enough money to be able to restore her. She was therefore bought by James Pratt as his first ever bus. He did some minor mechanical work to what was already a very well looked after and a reliable bus even at her age. But he found other buses to restore so he sold her to a policeman. He was going to paint her up and then rally her but no. She was left to rott in a field at the South Devon Railway. 6 years on she now needs upwards of £4000 to do her up again back into perfect working order like she WAS before the changeover. A brillient bus and a very unique bus gone to waste because he couldn't be bothered.

I am back

Sorry I forgot to tell you I was away for the weekend. Plenty of news to blog about now though.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Strange bus at Torpoint?

Today spotted by my Grandmother while walking someone elses dog a green double decker bus was spotted opperating service 81C towards Plymouth. If anyone knows anything about this please leave a comment or send me an e-mail. I will try and find out what it was tommorow.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

The end of an era

The start of week announced the much loved Cornish theam park Dobwalls has closed. Back in 2006 it was closed when they said they were "Refurbishing it" Infact they were acctually ripping up the track and taking down the play areas and cafe and making way for a new arts gallery and holiday homes.

This came as an appsolute shock to me. Some of you may have already known this was happening but I certainly didn't. I would have loved to have come to the last running day hardly publicised to have one last journey on the beautiful railways they "Had" there.

William Jeferson better known as Big Boy or 4008 pulled the last train up the Sherman Hill route at 16:30 35years since the first commercial train was pulled up the line driven by Simon Whittal. What a lucky man he was.

The trains are at the moment being auctioned on an official website just for the trains. They are:

Pioneer: £65,000-£75,000
Mathias Baldwin: £50,000-£60,000
Spirit of America: £50,000-£60,000
Centinnial: £65,000-£75,000
Otto Mears: £120,000-£140,000
Queen of Nebraska: £120,000-£140,0000
Queen of Wyoming: £120,000-£140,000
William Jeffers Big Boy 4008: £340,000-£360,000

All of these are just guide prices and do not include VAT. Who knows what they could go for in the end.

Genaral Palmer has been kept back to be the center the new art gallery and the first train at Dobwalls David Curwen has not been mensioned. I will try to find out about that in a future blog. If you would like to look at the website the address is below:

Saturday, 8 September 2007

And again

Yesterday the Torpoint Volvo Olympian was off on her travels again opperating a 7A to Mount Batten. I apologise for the quality of the picture. I wish all the buses in Plymouth were Leyland Olympians and Volvo Olympians and Varios. I much prefer the older buses and high floor buses to the all singing all dancing low floor buses. They just son't give the comfort or pleasure of the high floor bus. And while they do that they can bring back the VRs aswell.

They should have kept the VRs. I think it would be quite easy to convert a VR or an Olympian to disabled access.

Firstly take out the middle hand rail in the entrance. Secondly fit a ramp that comes out from underneath the bus eighther hand or motor opperated. Thirdly take ou a few seats and put some extra hand bars in. Easy!

Friday, 7 September 2007

Fire at Bluebird Coaches

On Wednesday evening a fire broke out at the coach depot of Bluebird Coaches in Weymouth. To save me explaing please go to the link below for the video on it from the BBC. It is the left hand collom forth one down. A tragic loss for such a successful company. They are probebly ensured though.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Off to be fixed

While at Plymouth depot today taking a picture of LFJ 844W which I got cought doing again and it was the same man as before. But this time he was nice enought to Escort me to her incase of an accident which was very nice of him I was looking at the boards for buses coming in to be fixed or MOTed and so on tommorow. Well 2 Torpoint buses are coming in tommorow. 34002 and 50306. This could mean a bus shortage at Torpoint tommorow so do look out for any different buses at Torpoint.

He's Back!

The old Torpoint driver Derrick Cuff famous for publishing the website has returned to his old work place at Torpoint. Derrick Cuff was a driver at Torpoint for many years until trasnfering to another First depot. But today I boarded his 1:27 81C driving Mercedes Vario 50306. Just to let you know and pacifically you Luke. (He knows who he is: hopefully)

LFJ 844W then and now

As you know I am following LFJ 844W's progress in preservation very carefully and today for the first time went to have a look at her in her new livery. The picture at the top is used courtacy of Terry Partridge of LFJ 844W back in her glory days in Torpoint. My picture hasn't got the colours quite right but prity much the same as she really is. They have acctually done very well with the position of the colours just where they should be. But the blue isn't quite deep enoght in shade the red the same but the cream is too dark. Could just be the photo but I think that photo by Terry is prity good. The only other things are the top deck windows whic are now non-opening ones and there is a plate or cover over the front of the old picture. That might have been just when the change over of companyies was I am not sure but apart from that brillient. Very good job. Looking forward to the WHOTT rally her first outing. And if Terry is reading Paul the owner of her is reading this Derrick Cuff wants her to do 81B aswell on a commemerative journey.

Double Deck 34

Plymouth Citybus 34 is as you know the route of which the Dennis Enviro 200s run on exculsively to 34. But you do still get the odd Dart now and again. But today going to Derriford 179 (G612 OTV) a Volvo Citybus turned up usually used on school services. Its rare to get a Dart let alone a Citybus. I was very pleased. You never get double deck services with Plymouth Citybus anymore and found the journey a lot more pleasent than the journeys on the low floor buses. Its rare to get those buses on any route and probebly from tommorow even less likely because its back to school for most children tommorow. And if you didn't notice 179 was in the Black thunderbus livery from Plymouth Sound radio station but not anymore. But you can still make out the outline of the words.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007


Sorry its a bit out of the area but it was too good to miss out.
Today it has been announced that finnally the new section of high speed railway between Folkstone and London has been completed.
The trains have since 1994 have been able to hurtal through France at 186mph but have had to go a lot slower because of other commuter trains this side of the sea. It was put by the old French Priminister in 1993 that:
"Next year, we will set off at high speed across the northern plains, then push into the Channel Tunnel, and afterwards we will be able to dream at a very slow speed in Britain to admire the landscapes"
But not now but still 13 years on. Now it possible to get from London to Paris in just over 2 hours. Thats only an hour longer than it takes me to get from Cawsand to Plymouth.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Another day at Loddiswell

Today I went up to Loddiswell again. Home of most of the WHOTT's preserved bus fleet. The jobs on the Agenda today were first to fit the new fleet number and 'One Man operated bus' signs to Bristol VR 1157. But that was left to Colin. I got the job of polishing up Bristol FLF Lodekka 2019 (824 KRL) to make her ship shape for the WHOTT Westpoint rally which I will come onto in a later blog. This took about three hours to do only the outside though but that includes polishing and watering it down. Then it was to take all the notices off all the buses owned by the WHOTT ready to put the new ones on for the Westpoint Rally. And then to replace some of the seats on First Devon and Cornwall AFJ 749T. For this I got the honour of getting to start her up and reverse her out of the garage. The thrill I got from having 13litres of Gardener Engine at my foot was phenomenal. Then came to replace the seats which took about an hour and a half. Then that was it. I am back there next Saturday with all hands on deck to finish preparing the buses. Can't come the day before the rally but the day of the rally they want me there by 6:30. Might have to ask my Dad for a lift at that time of the morning there being no bus at that time. More to come next week.

Cormerant Catstrophe come Cawsand

Yesterday as now rostered because of the School Holidays two Dennis Tridents were running the 81C. Now since they have been meating in Cawsand because of the new timetable it has been casuing major disruption in the village. This timetable has meant buses having to reverse considerable distaces up or down the road to let each other past. This is not helped by the amount of Holiday Makers down here through the Summer where they park on one side of the road meaning just a single track lane through most of the roads. And the parts they don't park in it's too narrow to get two Dennis Tridents past. And this has been happening for the poor Torpoint Drivers since the new timetable started way back in April. The pictures above are all of the same incident.

They meet at the Fort Cormerent reverses back a long way along the road and they still only just get past.