Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Lost but found again

The old Maker with Rame LDV Convoy 400 series was sold around two years ago. When first bought she was just sitting in the ar park in Cawsand for quite a while until she passed hands again to the Rame Kids Club who used the bus to transport kids from Millbrook to the after school club at Fourlanesend or in the Summer to Cawsand Watergate Scout hut. But for a year she has not been used and no one knew what had happened to her. Weather she had been sold away or scrapped no one knew. Well on a walk out to Rame Head I took a different longer route than normal. There is a three car car park on the hill towards Penlee Point and laying there was N511 MEU looking in a very sorry state. A lot more rusty than before lot of moss grown in on her and n her been inhabited by many spiders very dirty. And looked like she hadn't moved for a while considering the amount of leaves on her. Well looks like the end is nigh for our good old community bus; if anyone can find her.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Burnt forever

On the news today was a story of a tragic death of a man living in a coach near Exeter. The coach I don't know but there was a ex-Tally Hoe! Bristol LH much like the one now perserved by Terry Partridge pictured above. A tragic loss of life and bus.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

93 Maflower Link

Well yesterday I though I would go and have a journey on the newly re-branded '93 Mayflower Link' from Plymouth to Dartmouth. I got aboard the Dennis Trident pictured above 32803. I also picked up from the driver a new booklet with a route map and timetables in. I've never been on an older Trident like this one but was expecting it to be quite fast just like our Torpoint Tridents but I was shocked at the speeds we were accelerating at and especially going up the hills. I would go as far as saying slower than the old VRs. And they weren't that comfortable either. But oh well. It is a lovely route lasting around two hours thought it took me 2hr 20mins because of a broken down lorry in Streat. And we were sat there idel for about 15 mins. I think the best bit of the route is the stretch of road along Slapton sands. I would have loved to have done the route back when the VRs used tto run it. Just makes me regret it more that I hadn't been a bus enthusiast when they were the norm in Plymouth. I then had an hours wait for the next 93 in Dartmouth so took the opportunity to take a few pictures of the fast number of boats up there and maybe have a ride on the Edgcumbe Belle. Sadly the ex-Millbrook Steamboat was not operating that day but did get the picture of her above. Then it was back on the bus again but sadly on a low floor Dart and an old one. It was actually one I had been on at the start of the Summer in St Ives 46420. Not the nicest ting to be on when the bus is crowded and you are on it for 2 hours.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Losing and Gaining

Found this on didbygrayham's brillient blogspot 'Plymothian Transit'.

Well as I mensioned when I came bac from St Ives we have lost our oldest Olympian 30065. Now transfered down into deep Cornwall. Well not to worry we have been sent an Olympian from down there. As is on my fotopic site a picture of 31542 opperating the 314 as pictured above. Well didbygrayham spotted her today up here but not in service. If you go on this link:
you will notice that the front left of the roof looks badly damages. That could be the reason that the came up here and might be fixed in Plymouth.
The video link below is of 30065 in her last days at Torpoint and the last days of 81B opperating the route via Anderton:
And I yesterday went up to Dartmouth on the bus which I will post about tommorow but coming back 93 was being opperated by 46420 which I was on when down in Penzance. More on this tommorow.

Citybus Dart

Just a quick mension of a short video I have just found on youtube of Plymouth Citybus Dennis Dart R117 OFJ. Link is below:

Re-surfacing on the Torpoint ferries

At the moment re-surfacing is taking place across the fleet of the near new Torpoint ferrys. This comes just a few years after they were introduced in 2003. The material used is proving to not be tough enough for the amount of traffic using it. This was not so on the old ferrys. They were better built. Anyway they are currently
doing parts of the ferrys bit by bit and closing parts off at a time. Not the best thing to be doing really in the bank holiday weekend.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Brake down for A-Line

A-Line's newest bus to the fleet M152 LPL suffered a breakdown on the 7:07 Cawsand to Cremyll yesterday. It happened on the way to Cawsand. Therefore this left people stranded until the next bus as after he did get in running but dodn't bother to come to Cawsand. As I said. He shoul have kept using the Ivecos. They never went wrong.

Monday, 20 August 2007

LFJ 844W/1200/38844 BACK ON THE ROAD!!

I have heard brilliant news today that my beloved Bristol VR LFJ 844W/1200/38844 is back on the road and painted. I got an e-mail just now from the Chairman of the Western National Preservation Group saying that she has now been painted into her old livery of the Cream, blue and red just before the takeover of Western National of Bagerline of as was rumoured. She has reattained her ferry modifications so can still be used on her old routes (hint hint to Paul). He says subject to her passing her MOT which of course she will she will be going to the WHOTT rally on the 16th August along with LFJ 847W/1203/38847 which wasn't been quite as well looked after as 1200. And will also likely be going to Winkleigh which last year was her first preservation day but in nowhere near as good condition as she is now. The chairman says that they pacifically wanted 1200 so they could have one of the first batch of Bristol VRs to Western National being 1056 and one of the last batch being 1200. Really looking forward to seeing her at Westpoint. Hope you are too.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

34002 off again

Torpoint's only Volvo Olympian 34002 was seen on the move again yesterday. She was seen by me on the 76 which is the Callington out depot route. This is her second visit there and her third or forth time away from the depot since she returned after her overhaul. It seems more like she is a area bus more than a Torpoint bus. She is Torpoint's best suited route as she is shorter than the Tridents so can fit round Anderton and more powerful and quicker up the hils than the Tridents and her very comfortable air suspension and her lovely semi-coach seats but I would say they were better that a acctual coach's. Hopefully she will return shortly. Well at least I hope so.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Western Maid breaks

The Normag cruises boat the Western Maid which operates the route to Cawsand suffered engine fail in Cawsand Bay yesterday. She set out as normal heading for Plymouth. The engine is quite loud so you can hear it very clearly when all of a sudden she went silent. We thought that it was just letting something passed or in the words of local women Anette Blackwell "Maybe there are dolphins" but no. She started drifting and was doing this for around half an hour to forty minutes until she was fixed and started again by the crew.

This is the third time in a week this has happened to the ferries. Could this be SABOTAGE?

Tamar Belle breaks

The newest but not newest boat in Tamar Crusings Tamar Belle suffered a small breakdown on Wednesday as a head gasket blew. She was out of action for the rest of that day but was back the next day as good as ever. She will soon be taking over the Northern Belle's dutyies on the Cremyll ferry sometime in September.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Another non-Torpoint bus in Torpoint

Found a ticket on the floor of Mercedes Vario 50301 which was a journey from Torpoint to Tregon Hawke. It was printed on Monday and had the fleet number as Mercedes Vario 52540. So she had been brought over here to run a non-Plymouth bus which is rosstered as a Dennis Trident even though I know for a fact that two of the Leyland Olympains were sitting in the depot that day. All Torpoint ever seems to get is non-Torpoint buses.

Ticket tantrum

Over the pasted couple of weeks I have obvisously been on the buses quite a bit. Mainly the Dennis Tridents as they are nearly always used on the 81C now. But the tickets on the buses have been coming out with the wrong fleet numbers. The one below at the bottom says that it was bought on bus 34817 one of Torpoint's Leyland Olympians when it was acctually bought on Dennis Trident 32757. And earlier in the week I was on 32756 and came out with bus number 34813 on it. What is it all about?

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Happenings on the ferries

Forgot to mension that yesterday was my 100th post. Doesn't seem like it. Its all gone very quickly.

As I said yesterday Plymouth Sound is currently out of action. I have been down to Cremyll today to see what was happening with Plymouth Sound. All Riece told me was she wasn't running. Luckily Luke Farley was on hand to tell me that she is currently sitting in Mashfords boatyard in Cremyll fitting the new part probebly the pipe that was ordered last night. I forgot this but Luke pointed out that they really need her running by this evening as they have some 120 odd passengers booked on the boat for Plymouth's Annual firework champions happening tonight and tommorow and they wouldn't be able to get a replacement boat as nearly every boat on the Tamar is giving opperating the show.

The Cawsand ferry Western Maid has been out of action today because of the bad weather so are having to go all the way round via the Torpoint ferry or via the Cremyll ferry.

And thee was a boat catamaran I spotted in Cremyll today being passed by the 'Spirit of Plymouth' and I have no idea what it was. If anyone knows please leave a comment. Thanks.

Monday, 13 August 2007

Plymouth Sound going down

Tamar Cruising flagship vessel Plymouth Sound today was involved in what could have been a fatal accident. She was opperating the Dockyard and Warship cruise when there was a shout to the crew that there was water leaking into the boat at the stern next to the two scania engines. The crew most likely Max got around 100 passengers on the top deck within a minuite. The helmsman Adrian was still driving along as normal and had to be told by the crew that water was coming in. Few passengers were rescued by the coastguard as luckily this happened near Cremyll so Tamar Belle was sent out to get them and bring them into Cremyll and back to the Mayflower steps. It is thought that the cooling pipe which sucks in the water to col the engine was only pumping in and not out leading to the filing up. I will bring you news as I get it but it might be a quick fix it might not. Luckily she did not sink. This could lead to the Vessel 'Silver Crest' being hired in again to cover for Plymouth Sound or Tamar Belle. As Slver Crest was hired in one afternoon about a month ago as Northern Belle had a probeblem with her engine. Plymouth Sound survived but will it happen again. An investigation is taking place tonight.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Seabus in her new home

Photo used with kind permission of Luke Farley. Copyright Luke Farley.
The Seabus built recently at Voyager boat builders in Cornwall famous for building local cruising vessel Plymouth Sound has now been operating the route run by Strathclyde Passenger Transport from Gourock to Kilcreggan for five months now. Seabus replaced the 71 year old ferry Kenilworth 10 years younger than Northern Belle. Just a interesting part of Kenilworth's history was a radio message sent to Kenilworth at 9:40am 23rd October 2006. The message was as follows:

"Unidentified vessel approaching on my Starboard side please identify yourself. If you fail to do so we will open fire on you with live ammunition."

This came from a US navy warship taking part in training exercise 'Neptune Warrior'.

I e-mailed a William Murry a regular traveler and enthusiast where Seabus is now used asking him about how Seabus was getting on and what he thought of her. He says that she is proving to be very popular as the route transports many people who live on the north side of the river but work on the south. One of the major pluses of her is that she has a very spacious enclosed cabin which is heated and has double glazing with central heating so is welcoming when it gets cold especially as it is Scotland. But most do not like the fact that there is no open deck space and you have to be inside which is a disappointment after Kenilworth as she had lots of deck space. Probably more than Northern Belle. But he says that we must move with the times and that Seabus is a very capable boat fit for her purpose and is now an established cruiser in the area.

Luckily Kenilworth was not put onto the Scrapheap and has been saved. She now operated special school services which transport them for educational cruises in the upper part of the river. William says "Nice to think that we'll still see her around in her retirement".

If you would like to see footage of Seabus and Kenilworth in action please take a look at William's excellent films of both of them on youtube the links are below:

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Opentop X80!

The route run by First X80 now competing with Stagecoach's X45 has been quite evenly matched, Well First has steped up a gear or down a gear on the hills by introdusing open top Leyland Olympians such as 34750 (follow link for picture) has been spotted running X80 as she used to back in the good old days . They are running between Totnes and Torquey as that is the most scenic part of the route. Stagecoach already opperate an open top service along Torquey so likely won't do the same. But it was reported that the service was running with little or no passeners. I wouldn't mind having a ride on an open top Olympian. Though I hope they bring one of the VRs up to run the service that would be heaven.

Monday, 6 August 2007

A day Loddiswell

Today as I am a member of the WHOTT I went up to one of there stores at Loddiswell to help out with Roger. We were working on accident damage VR VDV 137S (pictured). First we cleaned the whole bus including vacuuming using baby wipes on the seats and the roofs and moping. Then we painted a couple of the wheel rims to make them look a bit more presentable. Then Roger fitted the new aluminium where she had been dented on the wall entering the farm at which she is kept. And re-fibreglassed the front side panel at the front. And I had a look round all the buses. What I didn't know was they own two of the retired First Bristol VRs the one First still owns though they only store it there and 847. Couldn't name them all but I would say there were around 30 of them. The more interesting ones were an old Bristol Loddekka (pictured) which was completely stripped out. She hadn't run for 22 years but a couple of months ago they put a bit of diesel in her and charged the battery and she started first time with no smoke and no clacking. And there was a Bristol K waiting to be restored.

Nearly forgot to mension they also store the first First Dennis Dart. And the first dart ever put into preservation.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Long delays on the 81C

Today is the day of Mount Edgecumbe car rally and there have been a lot of people attending as there is also a very large jumble sale. The main car park was apsolutely full up and the field opposite was too expensive for most peoples liking so they parked right across the road. And in some places further up parked on each side making it litirally impossible for the buses to get through. So there have been major delays of 1/2 an hour even with the 15 minuite turn around time. Nobody seems to have had the sense to come on the bus or get the Cremyll ferry right next to it.

The picture I added is of the day that Rame gig club held their regatta and people flocked to the village holding up the buses.