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Nice to see TYD 911W still exists. Other ex Safeway of South Petherton vehicles that I know still exist are MYB 33, a Bedford OB, ASV 900 (ex ETP 184) a Dennis Lancet and TYC 250G, an AEC Reliance new to H&C of South Petherton.

Bloody hell, I used to part own MYB33 many years ago! It was in a parlous state then (and I;m talking over 20 years ago now) so unless someone's done anything to it since, I fear the worst.

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And a few more:

A41 XHE was the first Tiger I drove at TVC, it was also the last in service there. On its last day this was printed up to commemorate the end of the Tigers at TVC:

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The Last Tiger by Scott Todd-Howard, on Flickr

And the machine itself:

 

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A41XHE, Leyland Tiger/Alexander TE by Scott Todd-Howard, on Flickr

And back at the depot just after I’d brought it in for the final time:

 

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A41XHE, Leyland Tiger/Alexander TE. by Scott Todd-Howard, on Flickr

 

We did summer day trips to Llandudno from Welshpool & Llanfyllin, registered services so that pass holders could use them. The X1 ran Mondays only though the summer. The coach park at Llandudno was opposite the Alpine depot, who used a fleet of old VRs & Olympians on school runs. The suspension on one side of the Olympian pictured below had deflated during the day, no bother to the driver who hopped in, revved the bollocks off the engine enough to get the handbrake off and simply drove off making an awful racket as the side of his machine scraped down the side of its neighbour....

 

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Lean on me.... by Scott Todd-Howard, on Flickr

 

On the subject of Llandudno-based Olympians, this was a lovely machine to travel on:

 

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C212GTU, Leyland Olympian/ECW by Scott Todd-Howard, on Flickr

 

Now preserved if I'm not mistaken.

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Bloody hell, I used to part own MYB33 many years ago! It was in a parlous state then (and I;m talking over 20 years ago now) so unless someone's done anything to it since, I fear the worst.

I saw MYB 33 at Showbus in either 2008 or 2009 and it looked in good condition then

 

ETA Just checked DVLA, MYB 33 untaxed since 2016, ASV900 on SORN and TYC 250G showing as taxed. Other ex Safeway vehicles that still exist according to DVLA are F751 ENE and K835 HUM on SORN. Theres also 200APB which is back with its original owner Safeguard of Guildford. Sadly Safeway no longer exists, being taken over by South West Coaches in 2008. I believe the Safeway fleetname was kept for a time although don't know if it's still used. 

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Strange that MYB 33 is now untaxed as I can't imagine it would have been scrapped. It was fully restored and belonged to the editor of Bus & Coach Buyer magazine. Here it is at the OB 70th birthday gathering at Bletchley Park in 2009 - it was the last to arrive after overheating on the road run from Luton (hence the lack of bonnet sides).

 

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Safeway MYB 33 by Adam Floyd, on Flickr

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  • 3 weeks later...

By some miracle Empress Coaches have managed to keep that Omni going all these years and I'm sure it's the only one left in passenger-carrying service, although there may be one or two knocking around as mobile (or more likely static) caravans. I'm sure Empress had two of them but the other one went a long time ago.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've said before that every time I go up to our yard something new has appeared. Today it was this.

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Looks to be of Southdown origin looking at the reg.

 

Anyway this was todays ride.

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Nice to know it's not just mine that does this when it's cold.

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And we're off.

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To here.

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Here being the Blue Star/Unilink depot at Barton Park, Eastleigh.

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We had an extensive tour by the manager himself, which started in the board room where we treated to tea and coffee and Scottish confectionery.

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The mugs were very popular but unfortunately we weren't allowed to keep them. The manager spent a fair while bigging up his company, as you would expect him to. Though for a long time now I've considered them the higher quality operator in Southampton. The original Southampton City Transport have been in slow decline ever since First Group took over about twenty years ago.

 

The entire Unilink fleet was renewed in one hit last year. They are run by Blue Star to University of Southampton specifications. I like the new livery and couldn't help noticing that there were different coloured 'shards' on different buses.

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Turns out there's four different colours, yellow, orange, coral red and bluey green in equal numbers. It was worth the trip for this knowledge alone as it had been bugging me. I always seem to see the orange and coral ones on our local route and wondered if they were route specific, but no, they're random.

 

Anyway we walked round to the Blue Star side (it's all the same company, part of Go Ahead, but they seem to keep the two fleets separate at the depot) but to do we have to walk past Hants and Dorset trim who had these outside awaiting work.

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Which coincidentally are also Go Ahead South buses.

 

Blue Star now have a fleet of these on the 18 route.

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Which are numbered consecutively from the end of the Unilink fleet which is a bit odd. I know they're all ADL Enviro 400 thingies but the bodies are quite different.

 

Then there's this.

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Winchester to Southampton in style it says on the side.

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Yep, they're not wrong. And the seats are so comfy, I've been on these a few times. As well as having tables, the seats are as comfy as they look. This is better than most trains.

 

Its good to see a company investing in new quality double deckers. He said all new buses will be double deck. The Unilink buses have to be renewed every five years (and they've just won the contract for another ten years) and the last Unilink fleet have just been repainted blue and are now on my local route.

 

From starting as Solent Blue Line in 1987 with second hand VR's they are now definitely southamptons premier operator.

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The Park Royal bodied AN68 is definitely ex Southdown, I remember travelling on them when they were on the Portsmouth to Brighton express service.

 

The bodies on those Alexander ones are the City? Version, basically a Borismaster design for the plebs outside the smoke. Nottingham have a load.

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I think they call it the E400 Metro or something. It also looks like the old 'panoramic' upstairs front window has been shelved for what something resembling a postbox - maybe they had problems with the funny glass shape and it being too big.

 

I don't know what it is about them but the Cummins engines in new 400s and 200s sounds terrible after only a year or so of use, and the start-stop system they use is painful.

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I think some of those are running around London, and have the name "Son of Routemaster" or some such Bollocks...

 

(man I could rant one hell of a rant about the whole BorisBus stuff LOL)

The 'nemesis' are the original Wright new Routemaster buses; they're the ones with no hopper windows, broken AC, faulty hybrid systems, a daft 'nostalgic' rear door configuration that doesn't work and a price tag to match. I don't think they're in production anymore and nowadays the mainstay are those E400s above (just another restyle of the old model) and a conventional Wright design which shares some of the new RM architecture which unfortunately includes its tint windows. Nevertheless unless you don't believe in all this hybrid stuff London's buses are generally now back to normal iterative design as opposed to the stupid Boris bus gimmicks and the unpopular bendy bus experiment.

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I know nothing about these, though I've just been on a couple. I knew Berlin had double deckers because an old one turned up at the RM50 celebrations some years ago.

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They are big tri axle things and they have (unsurprisingly) MAN badges on the front. In true continental style the seats are dissapointing but they ride very well, no bangs and crashes more noticeably virtually no vibration at all even when idling in gear. That's virtually unheard of on any bus over here (in England I mean, I'm still in Berlin as I write this). Overall I'm impressed. They also have upper deck windscreen wipers though they weren't being used on the one I went on in the rain.

 

This is an earlier generation now being used on sightseeing tours with a quality* open top convertion covered with a big tarpaulin.

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Realistically most modern buses with 6-cyl engines will be vibration free as that engine type is inherently perfectly balanced. 4-cyl engines in Darts and our new generation of eco-buses are not.

 

At the end of the day those MEN are just very well designed and screwed together - like the Citaros that we get. AD seem to get their plastic mouldings from the wheely-bin factory.

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This is pretty remarkable:

 

32290123597_ebb212b379_c.jpgYes, it's an OMNI by paul green, on Flickr

 

I see on other places it's possibly for sale.

Good god. I haven't seen one of those in mobile condition for YONKS.

By some miracle Empress Coaches have managed to keep that Omni going all these years and I'm sure it's the only one left in passenger-carrying service, although there may be one or two knocking around as mobile (or more likely static) caravans. I'm sure Empress had two of them but the other one went a long time ago.

I've driven an Omni with a 2.5 LR diesel.

 

Fucking useless.

 

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Just having a 6 cylinder engine isn't enough to make a bus vibration free. It's only the last ten years or so that four cylinder engines have become more common in buses but most vibrate particularly when idling in gear. These things were virtually silent (and no they weren't stop/start. Those hybrid stop/start things in London make it VERY clear when they restart). Like you say, I think they're just well built.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Stole a bus this morning after a breakdown yesterday... first Javelin I've driven since I passed my test in January 2008!d9ba9775d457afb2efdb34d39335c0df.jpg

 

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You have my most sincere sympathies. UVG bodied Javelin, is there anything worse out there??

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You have my most sincere sympathies. UVG bodied Javelin, is there anything worse out there??

No comment, I absolutely adore Javelins. Drove really nicely, C-series too so plenty guts about it.

It's not a looker, is it?

They never were... the WS Vanguard series weren't particularly pretty either but they were at least functional.

 

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Isn't that an SCC Cutlass built after Caetano took over UVG? Hopefully a bit better made than the UVG originals whose windscreens had a habit of falling out. I actually don't think it looks too bad as basic bum shifters go.

Possibly. It absolutely reeked of damp and felt really cramped even for a 70-seater.

 

Anyway, it was a loaner; back in my preferred chariot now.539648379cd1559cbb2f87a883df96e7.jpg

 

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