The day didn't start off well, with me missing the 0705 80 to Cremyll, but was no matter, the 81 via Torpoint would be along by 0720, only putting me back by half an hour in Plymouth. The Trident that came to greet me on the preceding service to the one I planned was, thankfully, one of the newer East Lancs bodied 55' plate Tridents, WJ55 CRX, and not one of the dreadful Ex-London monstrosities. And so content with this, I boarded in a relitively decent mood, despite not receiving the Olympian which I was hoping for. Things started to go wrong worryingly early on though, with the windscreen wipers coming on with no intervention from the driver at all! It was if they had a mind of their own. This was followed by a worryingly small turn of speed on the A38, and on reaching Lee Mill, only 20ish minutes into the journey, the alarms started going off, and the bus was pulled over in the village. We stepped outside to find water leaking severely from the front of the bus, a problem which has been re-occurring with 32761 a worrying amount of times. It seems to have started when she first starting getting used on Torpoint service, in which she ground out several times and with it damaged the water pipes, and henceforth they never seem to have been repaired properly.
An hour passed by with the fitter unable to stop the leak, and therefore we were transferred onto the following service, operated annoyingly by Ex-London, LR02 LYS. Because we then effectively were getting two bus loads on one bus, the service got so packed that the driver actually had to start refusing passengers, it had completely reached capacity! And so I was very glad to leave the service in Paignton, to transfer to the X81 to Dartmouth!
A very pleasant journey ensued aboard what I'd come looking for, Leyland Olympian K619 LAE! Despite being the 'worst' of the 4 still in service from Plymouth, she performed immeasurably better than the two previous Tridents, and we made good time along the lovely stretch of road right through to Dartmouth.
Because so much time had been lost with the breakdown, I decided on getting on the first 93 that came along rather than hanging around, and this unfortunately ended by being provided by another Ex-London Trident, this time from the even more dire T-LLC batch. Before we'd even got going, T803 didn't want to play ball, with her not starting on the button! Luckily, the depot supervisor at Dartmouth was soon on hand to open up the engine compartment to start her manually. But things still were clearly not right with T803, the was banging and clattering into gear when the throttle was re-applied from neutral as the Voith gearboxes do, and this preceded to get worse and worse during the leg from Dartmouth to Kingsbridge. At points it simply wouldn't re-engage, with the bus just revving uncontrollably before eventually pulling itself back into gear. Sure enough, just minutes after leaving Kingsbridge bus station the inevitable happened, and T803 LLC ground to a halt outside Kingsbridge Hospital.