R852 PRG's Reviews

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Tuesday 25th August 2015

As I was free today, I decided to have a little adventure on a Get Around day ticket. I had still yet to see one of the fully branded ''indiGo'' Solo SR vehicles for myself, let alone ride one, so that was one of the primary objectives. Also on my list of priorities was to hunt down one of the Volvo Olympians that are still seeing occasional service over the course of the summer. Rather than babble on about my objectives for the day, let's just see what I got up to...

#21 – Chester-le-Street Clifford Terrace to Durham Bus Station – (10:06 --- 10:22) – Go North East 6069 – Volvo B5LH/Wright Gemini 2 – ''Angel''
Last night, I decided I would catch a bus through to Durham in order to make the 10:40 265 service (which would hopefully be an ''indiGo'' vehicle), so I set my alarm for 09:15; to catch the 10:05 ''Angel'' to Durham. After wakening, I got myself dressed and prepared for the day ahead, before leaving the house at 09:50. Rather surprisingly, I made it to the Clifford Terrace bus stop a whole five minutes before my bus was due, I must have walked quicker than usual. The moment I got within arm's reach of it, a ''MAX'' X12 service to Middlesbrough flew past me; a VDL Pulsar was operating that service. I didn't have long to wait before I sighted an ''Angel'' branded Volvo B5LH coming along the road; as it got closer, I identified it as 6069, one of the better examples in my opinion. As I boarded, I asked for a Get Around day ticket and received one from the ETM, before making my way up the stairwell. Two people were sat at the offside front seats while a woman was positioned behind the top of the stairs; I ended up a few rows from the back. The journey passed by without any issues, before I knew it, we were spinning around the North Road roundabout and entering the bus station.

#265 – Durham Bus Station to Hetton-le-Hole Interchange – (10:35 --- 11:02) – Go North East 664 – Optare Solo SR M925/Optare – ''indiGo''
After getting a few photos at the top of the bus station, I walked around to North Road and made my way down to Greggs for my usual bottle of water. Upon re-entering the bus station, I was surprised to see my 265 was already on it's stand, it was only 10:32 and it wasn't due out until 10:40. Joining the end of a short queue, I overheard the driver arguing with two elderly ladies about their bus passes being invalid or something. One woman turned to the two men behind, and said she didn't understand it because the only place she knew her pass wasn't accepted was in Scotland, and she'd used it before in London. After a very confusing faff-on, I finally boarded. The driver didn't seem to have any issues with my Get Around day ticket, can't understand what the problem with their concessionary passes was. I sat at the nearside seats just above the step, and opened the window conveniently next to me. All I could hear was the roaring of a ticking over Arriva Solo parked in the next stand; the noise was so loud that it seemed to draw the attention of some of the roughly ten other passengers. When we finally got moving, the journey was quite nice. The driver radioed to control about the roadworks traffic lights being stuck on red just before Low Pittington, we were only there for about a minute... Nonetheless, when we finally got to Hetton-le-Hole, I prepared to alight. I'll probably give the ''indiGo'' vehicles another go in the near future.

#X1 – Hetton-le-Hole Interchange to Newcastle, Eldon Square Bus Station – (11:08 --- 12:12) – Go North East 6050 – Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini 2 – ''Red Arrows''
I felt the ride on 664 was adequate; it wasn't anything spectacular. The ''new bus smell'' was still vaguely lingering like a strong fart after an air freshener had been sprayed, but aside from that, it was okay. The Solo SR handled the route faultlessly, however the god awful e-leather seating was a slight downside. Having never alighted nor even passed through Hetton-le-Hole before, I was curious to see what the place was like. Rather quiet with a few bus stands, it wasn't bustling with life or activity. After a short wait, a ''Red Arrows'' X1 service arrived; Newcastle-bound, so I jumped on that. Whilst I abused the free WiFi on offer; Craig Smith (owner of the Northern National Restoration Group's 4710) offered me a role in the group as ''Young Enthusiasts Moderator'', which I happily accepted. With a smile like a Cheshire cat for the remainder of the journey (which I have done from Houghton-le-Spring to Newcastle many times), I listened to my music. Passenger numbers were pretty good throughout the entire journey; Dan messaged me to inform me that a couple of Stanley's Olympians were out playing. After receiving their boards from him (3830 on some of the ''Venture'' routes and 3831 on the 130/131 circulars in Stanley), I decided I'd head up there next. Upon arrival in Eldon Square, I did not have to wait long before I sighted a Scania OmniDekka on Percy Street...

#X31 – Newcastle, Eldon Square Bus Station to Stanley Bus Station – (12:19 --- 13:03) – Go North East 6123 – Scania N94US/East Lancs OmniDekka – ''Corporate livery''
I saw 6123 pull into the stand. A queue of passengers for both the X31 and the X12 were mixed up together, I gave up trying to work out who was waiting for what and just went for it... 6123 was one of the OmniDekkas I still need for haulage so this was another that I could happily tick off. My favoured spot at the front seat above the driver was available, so I parked myself there. The bus had came into Eldon Square at about the same time as it should have been leaving, so we departed about five minutes late. With about five passengers in the upper saloon when we left Eldon Square and about a dozen seated downstairs (at a guess), a further ten or so boarded in Gateshead Interchange. Who knew that a service at just past noon could be this busy on a Tuesday? While we boarded passengers there, I saw DDA-compliant B10BLE 4902 was parked in the layover bay next to us. I could see clearly some of the improvements around the wheelchair bay area, it's not too bad although I've yet to ride a DDA-compliant example (an aim for another day). As per usual, I enjoyed the journey after we'd made it out of the Gateshead area, and we were flying through the countryside between Sunniside and Stanley.

#131 – Stanley Bus Station to Stanley Bus Station (via East Stanley) – (13:10 --- 13:27) – Go North East 3831 – Volvo Olympian/Northern Counties Palatine 2 – ''Yellow Bus''
As Dan had told me that 3831 was performing the 130 and 131 circular services in Stanley, I'd worked out some timings from what he provided and decided to catch the 13:13 131 service. After alighting the X31, I had a little gander outside of the bus station to see what was going on in the land of shit. Not much out of the ordinary; I observed several muggings - even assisting in one to help blend in - before heading back into the bus station to catch the 13:13. As soon as I located the stand; I saw my chariot entering the bus station. With a queue of roughly five passengers, I happily boarded and made my way up the stairwell. All of the passengers were OAPs, so they remained downstairs. I took the opportunity to photograph the interior upstairs, before going for everybody's favourite seat on an Olympian... Just above the driver. In my honest opinion; 3831 is the best of the Olympians left. It sounds so smooth and is all in one piece, while the others all have some issue. 3822 has a silly belt scream, 3832 rattles like a shed in a gale... The list goes on. I really enjoyed a much needed ride on an Olympian; I know quite a few people who will be reading this (I'm not naming anybody... Dan and citaro5284) much prefer the modern stuff. I disagree, they feel too plastic and cheap to me. Whereas you then take an Olympian, and you're sorted. It's such a shame they're not DDA-compliant.

#130 – Stanley Bus Station to Stanley Bus Station (via Quaking Houses) – (13:29 ---13:49) – Go North East 3831 – Volvo Olympian/Northern Counties Palatine 2 – ''Yellow Bus''
After an enjoyable ride around East Stanley on the 131 (not a bad route actually, I'd recommend it to anybody in the area who is looking for a quick 15 minute ride out somewhere), we returned to Stanley Bus Station. We were dropped off in the top stand of the bus station, before the driver reversed 3831 out, and took it down a few stands. I thought ''what the heck'', and decided I'd have another ride on it. This time, on the 130 to Quaking Houses. The driver didn't seem to notice I was coming back for seconds, rather than head upstairs again; I opted to sit at the very back to get the full engine experience. There was a sticky substance on the seat further along from me... I'm guessing Robert has sat there before. I nearly died when we pulled out of our stand and the driver just put his foot down; the noise was closer to an explosion than a very deep rev. As we headed down into South Moor, one passenger alighted. The other three all jumped ship later on when we turned into Quaking Houses. After spinning around at the turning circle (the driver didn't seem to mind me staying on), we picked up a decent load. By the time we'd reached Stanley Bus Station again; the lower saloon was pretty full, with only about five seats to spare. Rather than go for a hatrick, I decided I'd go elsewhere after alighting 3831.

#44 – Stanley Bus Station to Durham Bus Station – (13:58 --- 14:32) – Go North East 5284 – Mercedes 0530N/Mercedes Citaro – ''Midnight Blue''
Having painfully observed 3831 departing with yet another run back to Quaking Houses; I couldn't decide where to go next. It was either going to be a ''Coast & Country'' back to Chester-le-Street or a ''Diamond'' to Durham. I saw one of the freshly repainted Citaros entering the bus station, it was 5291. Had it been 5284, I would have rushed to get a photo for citaro5284 (he needs a new avatar now that he is in a different livery). However, as that was departing for Newcastle, I saw another coming in. Knowing it could only be 5284, as it was heading to Durham, I went for it. Despite looking brilliant on the outside, unfortunately, it was a little tatty on the interior. Would have been nice for the seating to be re-trimmed; however, I located a rather clean/new looking seat at the back, conveniently my favourite spot on a Citaro. I listened to my music throughout the journey and conversed with a few people over Facebook Messenger. It's a shame the ''Diamond'' routes don't have WiFi, being a pretty mainstream route, and with these possible service changes coming up, I'd like to see that provision fitted. 

#X21 – Durham Bus Station to Chester-le-Street Clifford Terrace – (14:38 --- 14:53) – Go North East 6035 – Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President – ''Pronto''
With the perfect opportunity to photograph the freshly repainted 5284, I headed out of the bus station and stood at the exit for it to come around. Following a brief two-minute wait, I saw it come around. Got a rather pleasing photo, which I see citaro5284 has now used as his avatar. Upon re-entering the bus station, I sighted a ''Pronto'' liveried Volvo B7TL in the upper stands. The driver was having a cigarette outside, so I showed him my Get Around and boarded. Opted to sit in the middle of the rear seats, rather than head upstairs (couldn't be bothered to). This particular ''Pronto'' isn't too bad in my opinion, it was a smooth journey and I couldn't name any issues with the vehicle. I do hope Go North East order the Enviro400MMCs to take over on this route, god help us if we've got the Wright Streetdeck... One thing that is worthy of noting about the journey, is the chavvy couple who occupied some OAP seats with their children. They never stopped screaming and crying. I was happy to be off. 

It was a nice little outing, I was overjoyed to manage a couple of rides on 3831. I stand by what I say in regards to it being the best Olympian we have left. If you ever have the choice between some Olympians, I suggest this one. Offers a great ride on the whole. Thanks for reading. Smile

R852 PRG
Lover of Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renowns.

My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLf5tJq...pvNU8vv1SA

My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/142814434@N05/
Saturday 29th August 2015

As today was my last Saturday outing before returning to school this coming Wednesday, I decided I would end the summer holidays with a trip outside of the region. York was my chosen destination, purely because it is an easy journey by train and appeared to have a lot to offer. I invited along citaro5284; as I knew he was a train enthusiast as well, and I also wanted some company. Overall, the day was a big success, and I intend to return to York in the near future. Here is how the day worked out;

1E04 – Durham Railway Station to York Railway Station – (08:38 --- 09:29) – Virgin Trains East Coast Class 82 DVT 82206 and Class 91 91106 – InterCity 225 Mk4 Set
After waking up to an 07:20 alarm, I began to get myself ready. My dad had kindly offered me a lift through to the station, we left the house at bang-on 07:45. With my camera, phone, wallet and train tickets all ready, I arrived at Durham at roughly 08:00. As my dad pulled away and headed back, I walked into the station. It was pretty quiet, with a few people sat in the Costa and a couple on the platform I would be using to get down to York; platform 1. Having passed through the ticket barriers, I saw a First TransPennine Express service coming in for Newcastle. As I snapped a photo of it while it stood on platform 2, a man approached me, asking me if I came here often for photos. We got into a conversation, I introduced myself and he introduced himself as Les. He was heading to Birmingham for the Aston Villa match, which meant a change at York. Explaining that he was an infrequent public transport user, he mentioned he used to hold the same interest when he was my age. As the 08:22 TransPennine service southbound appeared; we departed with a handshake, and Les disappeared onto the Class 185 operating the train. Was a very nice guy. Finally; the 08:38 Virgin Trains East Coast service came into view, so I made my way down to the flag for Coach E, in which citaro5284 and I had booked. Class 82 DVT 82206 was leading the train (as is standard with southbound trains, with 91s leading the trains north), and Class 91 91106 was on the rear. citaro5284 was already sat in our reserved seats; the coach didn't appear to be massively busy. Our seats were E31 and E32; facing the direction of travel. It was a very smooth journey, and I enjoyed it. Following stops at Darlington and Northallerton, we rolled into York on time.

Visit to the National Railway Museum
After I snapped some photos in the station, we headed out of the main building, and walked towards the nearest Wetherspoons I had located; The Punchbowl. It was a short five minute walk from the station; it actually looked very small from the outside, but we found it was huge on the inside. Looks can be deceiving. I opted for a Traditional Breakfast while citaro5284 chose a Large Breakfast, on behalf of his wallet (I did offer). We were out of there by 10:30, and our next stop on the itinerary was the National Railway Museum. Now, the last time I visited the National Railway Museum; was for the ''Great Gathering'' event a couple of years ago (for those of you who are curious, look it up). The line then was like queuing for a piss at the football. Once I was in, it was pretty good. Back to today; I was astonished to find that we just walked straight in. Absolutely gobsmacked actually. Upon arrival in the Great Hall, we observed the various locomotives on display, taking photos as I went (some on citaro5284's instruction, there were several things he was after in particular). After doing a loop of the Great Hall, we walked into the Flying Scotsman area, before having a look up to the viewing balcony (observing a First TransPennine Express 185 flying past; screaming like a dog giving birth) and then The Works. Following this, we had a look at the Japanese Bullet Train, which citaro5284 took a particular interest in. Having seen just about everything, we exited the National Railway Museum at about 11:20.  

#44 – York Railway Station to York Piccadilly Bus Stands – (11:41 --- 11:45) – Transdev 1076 – Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renown – ''unibus''
As we walked back up to the station, citaro5284 spotted an AEC Routemaster. I crossed the road for a photo (was stupid of me to cross at a bend, a car came flying round and just missed me) and rejoined citaro5284 moments later. The vehicle appeared to be seeing use on a Wedding Special of some sort, it was quite a smart bus. I've never travelled on a Routemaster before and would like to at the Seaburn Rally on Monday. We got back to the station for about 11:35; citaro5284 sat down outside where the bus stands were, and asked me if I minded going into the nearest shop for a drink for him. A few moments later, I returned with a bottle of Coca Cola for him and some water for myself (refuse to drink anything else on my outings). Just as I sat down, I saw one of the Renowns that see use on the 44 service, linking the University to the City Centre and Acomb; so we decided to start our bus bashing from here. The driver had turned the engines off upon arrival at the bus stop, so we casually strolled over to it. The vehicle in question was Transdev's 1076 (Y176 HRN). I greeted the driver as I boarded, he smiled back at me and said hello; before I asked him for an All York Day Ticket, priced at £4.50; the ticket is valid within the main areas of the city centre and after using one today, I can say it certainly is value for money. Ticket machine was a Wayfayer, similar to what Arriva use. The seating was fantastic for comfort, and 1076 sounded so healthy. Puts some of the Go North East examples to shame... I was sad to get off, but I don't think citaro5284 was (#cynicalcitaro). 

#66 – York Piccadilly Bus Stands to York Railway Station – (12:01 --- 12:06) – First in York 37066 – Volvo B9TL/Wright Eclipse – ''66''
After alighting the Renown at Piccadilly, we decided to catch the next thing back to York Railway Station. My hopes of riding my first East Yorkshire Motor Services bus were dashed when I noticed that their services only used our bus stop to set down passengers. Having photographed the Renown, we waited for what felt like a lifetime for the next bus back. Fortunately, I could see one of the rather eyecatching ''66'' branded Gemini 1-bodied vehicles approaching, so I flagged it to a halt. Once the heavy load of disembarking passengers had dispersed, I boarded, followed by citaro5284. As it was just a short journey, we remained in the lower saloon. It wasn't the most thrilling journey we made today, as we spent a lot of time moving from one line of traffic to the next. A woman was allowed to alight in the midst of the traffic by the driver. When we could see the railway station's identifiable structure, I pressed the bell to alight. Our next move was onto one of the ''York Park & Ride'' routes; we decided to go with the next thing to appear to conserve time. As it turned out, this was one of the articulated Citaros (in other words; a bendy bus).

Designer Outlet Park & Ride
The vehicle was number 11102, operating the 7 to Designer Outlet; I had not made a journey on a bendy vehicle since the ''X66'' branded examples departed for Brighton & Hove (can't even remember when it was, I cared so little for them). My recollection is that they squeaked horrendously on the route, and really seemed to sound worn out. On the whole, I was not fond of them. Despite what I admit I thought was a striking livery, I was expecting to be unimpressed by this one. However, I was wrong. In fact, it was very good, as were the other Articulated Citaros that I sampled today. With no irritating squeaking that I could hear, and comfortable seating, I was in fact very impressed. It handled the route faultlessly; despite not getting up to any decent speeds due to some of the traffic when exiting the main areas of the city, it provided a comfortable ride. When we reached the Park & Ride site, we jumped ship. Fortunately, a single decker Park & Ride vehicle was waiting in front of us, so we headed down to that. The number was 69370, a vehicle with a Wright Eclipse type of body. The driver had turned the engines off while he sat waiting, with only a couple of passengers on board. The air conditioning was absolutely brilliant, I was hit with a wave of cool air as I made my way towards the rear of the bus. The driver was obviously waiting for his time to be due out; using said time to have a cigarette outside of the bus. While other passengers boarded, he jumped back in his cab, and we departed Designer Outlet with a load of about twenty passengers at the most. A lot of whom were asking for ''there and backs'' and ''two adults''. It seems they use a different language to purchase tickets in the York area. Throughout the route, the odd person alighted, and arrival back at the railway station was soon thereafter. citaro5284 pointed out that, from where he was sat, he could see that the bus was in fact a Volvo; rather than a Scania as we had assumed. Now that we had done the Designer Outlet Park & Ride, we decided to go for Askham Bar next.

Askham Bar Park & Ride
We didn't have a long time to wait before I could see the now distinctive ''York Park & Ride'' livery coming towards us; this time in the form of another Articulated Mercedes. We were landed with number 11111 (which I was happy about for some reason), and sat in similar seats to that we had to on our first Bendy. Once again, the air conditioning on this Citaro was spot on; we discussed the new B8RLE demonstrator for the majority of this journey. citaro5284 pointed out, that not many buses actually exceed 45mph (which is the vehicle's supposed top speed) unless on motorways. The ''Tyne Tees Express'' would be an example of a bus going over that speed, on the A19 motorway. After a smooth and enjoyable journey, we arrived at Askham Bar. On the recommendation of Sean, I was tempted to get a photograph of one of the Articulated Citaros while it was at a standstill, but after doing a loop of the small building; found another Bendy was preparing to depart, so we jumped on that back to York. 11103 was the vehicle providing the journey back to the city centre. I instinctively made my way towards the rear of the bus, however citaro5284 bailed out half way along and just sat in the OAP section (where he belongs!). Another really nice journey on this bus; I couldn't believe how much nicer these were to the vehicles we had on the X66. If anybody is considering a trip to York, I'd recommend the Park & Ride Articulated Citaros. They're hard to fault.

Poppleton Bar Park & Ride
Once again, we were back at the railway station. As we were doing well for time, we decided we'd go for another ride on the Park & Ride services. Another service that seemed very mainstream was the 59 to Poppleton Bar. Our luck was in, because one was due imminently when we got to the bus stand. Operating this run was Optare Versa 49905. I made my way towards the back of the bus, and on the way noticed that it was e-leather seating, almost identical to that on a Go North East vehicle. However, when I sat down, I was pleasantly surprised to find it was extremely comfortable. citaro5284 said it was all down to the padding in the seats themselves, explaining that these buses had more of a ''cushion''. The engine noise was rather peculiar, it wasn't very quick off the mark however when it was going again, it was pretty good. We came to the conclusion that it was in fact an electric bus when we saw some of the refuelling facilities at Poppleton Bar Park & Ride site. While 49905 immediately started picking up passengers again, 49909 behind it was refuelling. 49902 came in soon after, it was quite a sight to see all three of them together. 49905 left before long, and Optare Versa 49909 was quickly put into service. Departing Poppleton Bar with a reasonable load of about fifteen passengers; we had another smooth ride back to York. The driver had to blare the horn at some youths who were riding down the main road on their bikes... Hooligans.

1S19 – York Railway Station to Durham Railway Station – (15:36 --- 16:22) – Virgin Trains East Coast Class 91 91102 and Class 82 DVT 822xx – InterCity 225 Mk4 Set
After deciding to call it a day with our All York tickets, we headed back into the station at about 14:30. As we were in need of some food, citaro5284 led us into the West Cornwall Pasty Co. (or something like that). It wasn't particularly nice, I paid £3.95 for mine(!!). A trip to Costa was then made; I've never had such friendly staff before in any Costa. They asked us how we were, if we were having a good day, and what we were doing in York. Certainly a nice atmosphere there. After thanking the people in the small Costa, we perched ourselves on some seats near the end of Platform 9. Watching all of the activity in the station, the time flew by, and before we knew it, our Virgin Trains East Coast service that would take us north again was pulling in. Leading the train was 91102 ''City of York'' (coincidence?), a locomotive that still retains the contemporary vinyl that was placed upon Virgin takeover. We located our seats without any issues whatsoever, and had an enjoyable ride back. Our reservations were D59 and D60. The service wasn't very busy; we flicked through some train timetables and citaro5284 explained to me how the repainting process of the sets was taking so long. It actually makes sense now. After the announcement for Durham came, I bade farewell to citaro5284 (who carried on to Newcastle) and once the train had stopped, I pressed the release button to open the door. I forgot to note the number of the DVT on the rear of the train as I departed... D'oh.

My father picked me up outside of the station, and I was home for about 16:40. It was a fantastic outing, I really enjoyed it. I'd recommend a trip to York to anybody who is looking to step outside of the north east; it's relatively cheap by train and the All York day ticket is fantastic value for money. Thanks to citaro5284 for tagging along and keeping me company. Thanks for reading. 

R852 PRG
Lover of Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renowns.

My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLf5tJq...pvNU8vv1SA

My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/142814434@N05/
I won't quote it all but it sounds like you had a good day out exploring a new area. I think some people on this forum need to wake up and realise there is more beyond Newcastle! You also get to have a look at other operations and different vehicle types that we don't always find in the North East.

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Couldn't agree more Scott. I'm down Liverpool in November, and I can't wait. First time I've been over that way.
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(29 Aug 2015, 10:16 pm)tyresmoke Wrote: I won't quote it all but it sounds like you had a good day out exploring a new area. I think some people on this forum need to wake up and realise there is more beyond Newcastle! You also get to have a look at other operations and different vehicle types that we don't always find in the North East.

I'm looking forward to Edinburgh on Saturday 26th September, and I'm also looking at the likes of Leeds and Carlisle in 2016. Smile
Lover of Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renowns.

My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLf5tJq...pvNU8vv1SA

My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/142814434@N05/
(29 Aug 2015, 10:28 pm)aureolin Wrote: Couldn't agree more Scott. I'm down Liverpool in November, and I can't wait. First time I've been over that way.

I think that might be the first time anybody has ever said that. Tongue
Lover of Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renowns.

My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLf5tJq...pvNU8vv1SA

My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/142814434@N05/
Honestly Liverpool is a gorgeous city. I thoroughly enjoyed it there when I visited, for my first time outside of Lime Street too. Smile
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(29 Aug 2015, 11:13 pm)R852 PRG Wrote: I think that might be the first time anybody has ever said that. Tongue

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Monday 31st August 2015 – NEBPT Seaburn Bus Rally

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Seaburn Bus Rally, organised by the NEBPT, today. Despite a few hiccups, the day was an overall success. A while ago, Craig Smith (owner of Leyland National 4710), offered to take me to the event at Seaburn in 4710 (FTN 710W), so I could see what it was like at a real speed, and what it could do when it was really let loose. I happily obliged; I was to be picked up opposite GD Autos, on Ropery Lane in Chester-le-Street, before we would then take the motorway to Newcastle, meet the other preservationists at the old Worswick Street Bus Station for some photographs; then on to Seaburn in convoy. Unfortunately, things didn't quite go to plan...

FTN 710W – Ropery Lane, Chester-le-Street to The Angel of the North to Chester-le-Street Depot to Seaburn Bus Rally – (07:56 --- 10:15) – Preserved former Northern General FTN 710W – Leyland National Mk2
Waking up to a 07:00 alarm, to allow time for me to dress myself and walk to the bus stop for the arranged 08:00 pick-up; I arrived at the bus stop opposite GD Autos, on Ropery Lane, for 07:40. Managing to pass the time by sitting and listening to music through my headphones; I received a message from Ian at about 07:45, saying they were at Annfield Plain. At around 07:55; I saw the distinctive front of a Northern Leyland National at the top of Ropery Lane. It came thundering down; I boarded and was greeted by the others on the bus. Craig was driving, while Ian and Craig's dad Alan were with the two children, Ian's daughter Ruth and Craig's youngest daughter Hayley. The four of them were sat in the OAP section of the vehicle; I perched myself behind the cab on the sideways-facing bench seat. As we passed Chester-le-Street depot, Craig blared the magnificent horns of 4710, saying it would ''wake them up''. Everything was going extremely well; at speed, the bus was faultless, and it sounded absolutely superb. As we reached the Picktree Lane roundabout, Craig felt something funny, and decided to turn up towards Chester-le-Street depot to see if there was an issue, as he had never felt this happen before. Lone behold; there was a massive leak at the front of the vehicle, with cherry-coloured oil flooding everywhere...

Ian suggested that we tried seeing if a pit was available at Chester-le-Street depot. We parked in the bus stop adjacent to the building, while Craig and Ian headed into the office to look at the possibility. Meanwhile, I crossed over the road to get a few photos of 4710 stood in front of the depot. Thankfully, our luck was in; the right staff were in the engineering department and the right staff were in the offices, and we were allowed to use one of the pits to repair the problem. Ian led the girls into the National Express office, while Alan and I joined them. A guy called Simon was working in the office, and made us feel very welcome. Ian passed me a high visibility jacket, so I could get a bit closer up to the pits to check on the progress. Over the course of about an hour, I kept checking and checking on the progress of 4710. It seemed one of the hydraulic pipes at the front of the vehicle had been damaged somehow, and consequently spilled the liquid contained there all over. This resulted in the steering wheel feeling a bit dodgy. While Craig fiddled on under the bus in one of the pits, dressed in his engineering overalls, we discussed a variety of things in the office. As I had the time, I took a few photos of the goings on inside the depot. At about 09:40, Craig shouted that everything was sorted, and 4710 would be able to continue the journey to Seaburn. Just goes to show how having somebody with the know-how can come in extremely handy when you need help. Once we were all back on 4710; we departed the depot. Taking the most direct route to Seaburn, we arrived at 10:15, and parked up. Following a quick switch around in which 4708 (FTN 708W) was then parked next to it, we had a private meeting on 4710 about some updates within the group and something coming up in the near future, before I was released from my duties and went to find Adrian, Dan, and Geoff.

Incident with Bazza
I wasn't initially going to bring this up in the review, however, after others have mentioned it in the dedicated Seaburn Rally thread, I've decided to. Not long after we'd been standing talking, and I'd handed Geoff some bus guides I figured he would interested in, I noticed Bazza was in attendance. He was slowly making his way along the lines of buses, minding his own business and taking photos as he went. While the four of us continued talking in our group; we heard some raised voices over by MCW Metrobus 3501 (UTN 501Y) and Leyland Olympian 3656 (C656 LJR). It appeared that Albino John Todd was harassing Bazza, by shouting aggressively. He was in a group with two others who I recognised, and somebody else who I failed to identify. The first thing I heard was Bazza yell; ''YOU SEE THAT MAN OVER THERE, THAT'S MY DAD''. Following something of a confrontation and some more words, Albino John Todd walked away with the rest of the pussy patrol. Shortly after, he walked back across. I winced at the idea of another confrontation/possible fight. Once again, it was Bazza's voice who I heard the clearest; saying ''ANDREW, LEAVE ME ALONE'', before running around the back of the double deckers. The albino chased him, and I recall hearing some more shouting and even a scream, before Albino John Todd emerged saying ''I didn't even hit him'' or something along those lines. Taking into account the various Facebook statuses I have read regarding the issue in recent days; I felt somewhat sorry for Bazza. It was morally wrong of people who I gather were once his friends to turn on him like that, and in such a public place as a rally. I didn't see either party for the rest of the day, so I'm guessing they left/were removed.

Shuttle – Whitburn Circular Service – (11:23 --- 11:50) – Preserved former National Welsh YFY 4M – Leyland National Mk1
After getting a few photos of the vehicles in attendance (was quite a good turn out), we decided we would have a ride on one of the shuttle services. The vehicle that appeared to be operating the 11:30 shuttle service was preserved Leyland National Mk1 YFY 4M, restored into it's National Welsh livery and brandishing various poppies and British flags. The four of us jumped on, and sat towards the back. A handful of passengers were already on board; we were all above the engine and got to feel the full capability of it. For a bus of 41 years of age, it was in great condition. With it's original Leyland 510 engine, it flew along the route without any issues and took down anything in it's stride. I have to say, the owner, Steve Foster, was a very happy chap who greeted everybody as they boarded his bus. Overall, I really enjoyed the ride on YFY 4M, and as we all departed, Steve told us all that he was going back out again at 13:00. We stuck around to see what was next to go out on the shuttle services, and after having a little wander, we returned to catch the 12:30 shuttle at about 12:10. By this point, Adrian and one of his friends had gone elsewhere. Jimmi showed up at around this point and joined us. The 500 Group's Bristol VR was the next to go out on shuttles so we went with that, and hit the back seats upstairs.

Shuttle – Whitburn Circular Service – (12:27 --- 12:45) – Preserved former Stagecoach R101 KRG – Dennis Dart SLF/Alexander ALX200
After waiting for ages, the Bristol VR failed and we all jumped ship. A Stagecoach-liveried vehicle appeared to be coming along the road, so we decided to go with that. It was the famous 33101; the first low-floor vehicle that Stagecoach purchased, for their Sunderland fleet. It's reason for preservation was it's significance to many in the community. I nipped across the road to photograph the failed Bristol VR while Geoff, Dan and Jimmi hopped on board 33101. I looked around for a while trying to locate them, thinking they had ditched me, before realising they were already on the goddamn bus. Ended up sitting next to Jimmi at the front of the bus. Dan got talking to Peter and John Barclay. He also felt it was appropriate to raise his voice and say ''I bet this does not compare to the late great R852 PRG''... No comment. As I'd never travelled on 33101 prior to today, I was quite happy to have the opportunity. I'm not entirely clued up on that area of preservation movement, but I believe 33101 will be repainted into it's original livery it wore when new. We opted to alight on the seafront to enable a chip shop manoeuvre, before walking back up to the rally site. 

Shuttle – Whitburn Circular Service – (13:20 --- 14:00) – Preserved former Alder Valley Bristol VR LFS 296S – Bristol VR Open Top
After walking around the rally site in a loop, we met with Adrian and his friend again; and walked out to catch the next shuttle. Geoff and Adrian both commented in excitement when they saw the open top Bristol VR coming. I wasn't overly fussed; I would have much preferred to remain downstairs, however Adrian and Geoff insisted we headed upstairs. With a near full load, I could tell straight away that this was struggling. It probably topped about 30mph at best, and on a long open road. At a junction, we got a bit stuck... Then, as we passed what appeared to be a drugs bust; one passenger – who will remain nameless – felt it was appropriate to get up and yell ''CHECK THE WHEELS''. Overall, I think this ride was pretty pathetic. The bus struggled up any sort of incline, but I suppose the heavy loading didn't help. Upon arrival back at Seaburn; Adrian and his friend, along with Geoff, ended up going for the now fixed 500 Group Bristol VR (god knows how a bus can break down so much in one day, I heard that was it's fourth), while Jimmi and I stayed with Dan until his E2 arrived. Kevin the Tramp also boarded that service, and sat in front of Dan...

Shuttle – Whitburn Circular Service – (14:12 --- 14:36) – Preserved former South Shields Busways Tyne & Wear PTE SCN 268S – Leyland Atlantean
With Dan gone, and Adrian, Geoff, and Adrian's friend on the 500 Group's Bristol VR; Jimmi and I were left to wander. We'd only made it about five buses down the line, taking photos as we went, before Jimmi noticed one of the iconic Leyland Atlanteans was going out on a shuttle. Joining the small queue to board; we ended up sat near the back upstairs. Left Seaburn with an average load, you could still fit in excess of another ten people upstairs. The first thing I noticed was how comfortable the seating was, I sank into it and found it far superior to the likes of an e-leather seat...! Also of note, is that the interior was absolutely immaculate. One real bonus to this journey, is that I recall Adrian was really hoping to have a ride on one of the Atlanteans... I decided it was best to just rub it in that I was on one and he was on a bus seemingly more unreliable than a Trident! Definitely one of my favourite rides of the day, it was so comfortable and this machine had so much power. Plenty of kickdowns and thrash throughout the entire journey, with no incidents at all.  

FTN 710W – Seaburn Bus Rally to Ropery Lane, Chester-le-Street – (15:32 --- 16:03) – Preserved former Northern General FTN 710W – Leyland National Mk2
As soon as Jimmi and I stepped off the Atlantean, we were met with the terrible weather; which had took a turn for the worst. It was pointless trying to get photos while it started throwing buckets down, so we sheltered in 4710 for a while. We sat towards the back of the lower part of the bus, and I got chatting to Alan and Brian Carter, another enthusiast. It soon became apparent to us all that other buses were starting to depart, with the chances of weather improving being unlikely. After we had one final line-up and the chance for some photos; FTN 708W, FTN 710, C656 LJR, YFY 4M and LAG 188V, we departed the rally site in 4710. Craig had offered to drop me back off where I was picked up, as it was on the way back anyway and the faff on with connecting buses at Sunderland and Bank Holiday busyness in the awful weather would be painful. As we got going; Ian pointed out to me a little badge above one of the seats, just up from the step, entitled ''Ian's Seat'', in memorial of the late Ian Hignett, who used to sit in that seat. Ian and his daughter Ruth sat in their ''thrash seat'', which was directly opposite, so I wound up sitting in ''Ian's Seat''. It was a smooth journey back across to the A1(M), where we had a short journey until the roundabout for Chester-le-Street, then along the A167 for a short while. I was dropped off outside of GD Autos; I thanked everybody for a great day out before alighting. As I heard 4710 departing, the horns were blared, and I began walking home. 

It was a pretty good rally all-in-all, I have to say I really enjoyed it. Despite the initial hiccup, we managed to get it sorted and thankfully made it to Seaburn. I must thank everybody at the Northern National Restoration Group, who have welcomed me into a small position with the group and allowed me to travel to the event with them. I've noticed the ''like'' feature has disappeared; because of this, I don't know if people have enjoyed the review or not. Feel free to comment below with anything. I don't think I'll be out and about on my travels next Saturday, however I'm doing something bus-related on the Sunday. 

R852 PRG
Lover of Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renowns.

My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLf5tJq...pvNU8vv1SA

My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/142814434@N05/
Sounds like a good day, what was the occasion? Was something happening in Seaburn today?
Sounds like a grand day out, despite the rain.

I vaguely recall 708 and 710 being at Howlands together? We've yet to take any rides, but I might "persuade" the husband that it's worthwhile if big'un's still enthusiastic for next year's rallies.
Great review Marcus

Would still love a ride on 4710 but I missed it at Howlands thanks to the lengthy trip round Durham instead. Was not amused about that!
(31 Aug 2015, 9:25 pm)MurdnunoC Wrote: Sounds like a good day, what was the occasion? Was something happening in Seaburn today?

Oh you. Tongue

(31 Aug 2015, 9:50 pm)BusLoverMum Wrote: Sounds like a grand day out, despite the rain.

I vaguely recall 708 and 710 being at Howlands together? We've yet to take any rides, but I might "persuade" the husband that it's worthwhile if big'un's still enthusiastic for next year's rallies.

Yes, on the whole I did enjoy the outing and think it was probably on par with Howlands back in June. 4710 has only ever been out on a shuttle the once, and that was at Howlands. Not sure about 4708. 

(31 Aug 2015, 9:54 pm)Jimmi Wrote: Great review Marcus

Would still love a ride on 4710 but I missed it at Howlands thanks to the lengthy trip round Durham instead. Was not amused about that!

Thanks, Jimmi. Did you not stay on board when we moved out of our parking spot to the line-up, or did you walk? I can't remember.
Lover of Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renowns.

My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLf5tJq...pvNU8vv1SA

My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/142814434@N05/
(31 Aug 2015, 10:52 pm)R852 PRG Wrote: Thanks, Jimmi. Did you not stay on board when we moved out of our parking spot to the line-up, or did you walk? I can't remember.

Walked, as I was getting some of the photos of stuff leaving then went down to get photos of the line-up which sadly hasn't made it onto Flickr as the camera kept steaming up because of the rain.
Great review, Marcus! Smile

I look forward to seeing your photos from yesterday.
(01 Sep 2015, 8:16 am)GX03 SVC Wrote: Great review, Marcus! Smile

I look forward to seeing your photos from yesterday.

Thanks, Tommy. Photos from Seaburn; https://www.flickr.com/photos/127739730@...5713848834
Lover of Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renowns.

My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLf5tJq...pvNU8vv1SA

My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/142814434@N05/
Re. review of 29th August:

I do normally sit at the back downstairs but i can assure you that i have not been getting up to anything naughty with glue  Tongue

I was quite happy with my double Olympian outing on the 27th. Would have preferred one to have been a 44 as opposed to a 43 (for scenery variety) but certainly enjoyed it nevertheless, especially as i hardly travel on buses outside of school!
Saturday 5th September 2015

Had a nice outing today on a Get Around day ticket. As I'm doing something bus-related tomorrow (expect a review), I was contemplating staying in today. Last night, I decided I would go out in the end, and after drawing from the hat, decided I would catch a ''Whey Aye Five 0'' 50 service to start.

#50 – Chester-le-Street Corals to Washington The Galleries Bus Station – (08:50 --- 09:03) – Go North East 5409 – Wright Streetlite DF/Wright Streetlite Micro-Hybrid – ''Corporate''
After an 08:00 alarm, I left my house at about 08:25; after a twenty minute walk into Chester-le-Street town centre, I messaged citaro5284 on Facebook Messenger to see if he could tell me what I was going to be landed with. I'd seen a ''Whey Aye Five 0'' branded OmniCity standing stationary with a Durham-bound service as I descended Front Street, and was kind of hoping I'd get one; as I rarely use the 50 service and haven't covered many miles in 5255-5260 as a result. In fact, the last time I really cared about the ''Whey Aye Five 0'', was when citaro5284 asked me to get a photograph of 5256's missing branding as evidence of some missing vinyls. Was quite disappointed when I sighted a red Streetlite turning onto Front Street; knowing it could only be Chester-le-Street's 5409, I reluctantly got my Key Card ready. The female driver appeared to have some difficulty in negotiating the U-turn at the bottom of Chester-le-Street, but did it eventually. I believe she is called Audrey; she has a thick Scottish accent and blonde hair. She seemed quite pleasant. We departed on-time, I decided I would take this service as far as the Galleries (would have made the effort to carry on to South Shields had it been an OmniCity, but there is only so much Streetlite you can handle before you feel like throwing yourself out of the emergency door). While I sat just above the step towards the rear; a Chester-le-Street driver was sat at the very back with his children. He referred to the depot as ''Alcatraz''... About ten passengers boarded in Lambton, and we arrived at the Galleries before I knew it. Standard Streetlite journey; uninspiring and depressing. On a positive note, I got to milk some unexpected free WiFi.

#4 – Washington The Galleries Bus Station to Heworth Metro Interchange – (09:12 --- 09:30) – Go North East 5358 – Mercedes 0530N/Mercedes Citaro – ''Connections4''
After jumping off the 50; I looked around to see if there was anything of interest. The bus station was obviously quite quiet for 09:00 on a Saturday morning, after watching a Solar head up to the layover bays while working the ''Simplicity'' services; I made my way up into the shopping centre for my standard bottle of water. The McColls newsagents just to the right as I walked in was the easiest option, so picked up a bottle of Volvic water for £1.00 and returned to the bus station. As I'd left the bus station, only about two or three people were queuing for the X1 and 4, by now, it had reached the bottom of the escalators. Fortunately, within a minute or two, I saw a ''Connections4'' branded Citaro coming along and into view. The long queue split, with about half a dozen making their way outside for the 4. I decided I'd go with this, then connect onto a 27 at Heworth. 5358 was the vehicle operating this run, I seem to recall riding this example before so it wasn't a winner. My preferred seat was occupied (grrr) so found myself sat at the quadrant, next to the emergency exit. Legroom was spacious and the seat was comfortable. The man who was occupying my favourite seat suddenly jumped off at the Galleries, meaning it was available; but I chose not to move as I was comfy where I was. After we set off, it didn't take long for us to reach Concord and soon after, Heworth Metro was announced on the Next Stop Announcement. Although I was on the verge of getting a photo of 5358, I saw a Newcastle-bound ''Crusader'' 27 was due at 09:32, so waited...

#27 – Heworth Metro Interchange to Newcastle, Market Street East – (09:33 --- 09:51) – Go North East 5328 – Mercedes 0530N/Mercedes Citaro – ''Crusader''
I didn't have long to wait after checking the timetable, before I saw a silver Citaro entering the Interchange. Was quite happy when I noticed it was one of the recently branded examples; 5328. A couple of others were waiting for this service; I was expecting it to be full to the brim to be honest, but found it was pretty quiet with only about fifteen passengers on board. Luckily for me; my favoured seat, the one next to the air conditioner/heater thing where I can rest my right arm on the luggage rack(?) above it. While I messaged Sean throughout the journey, as he was heading across on the 685 but contemplating bailing at Throckley and then onto something else to Newcastle, I said I'd meet him for a quick catch-up and then go separate ways. I was considering heading onto some of the ''Diamond'' routes, following up to the proposed service changes, and Sean was looking to go north on some Arriva routes. I didn't pay much attention up until Gateshead, where I took note of anything good in the Interchange. Have to say I'm surprised at just how many of the ''Crusader'' Mercedes are now fully branded in the new livery. Upon arrival on Market Street, I headed up to Costa in Eldon Square... It wasn't very busy, so I sat in and enjoyed my usual small Hot Chocolate before heading to Market Street again to meet Sean. I got a good photo of 5314, another ''Crusader'' liveried Citaro, before Sean soon arrived on a Stagecoach Enviro400. We casually walked back up to Eldon Square/Haymarket from there.

#31 – Newcastle, Eldon Square Bus Station to Handy Drive, Riverside Bus Depot – (11:26 --- 11:42) – Go North East 4921 – Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renown – ''Corporate''
We sat in Haymarket for a while, in hopes of Sean's favourite Pulsar; 1480, appearing. After a while, it did not, so he nipped into Gregg's for something before we headed out to the little island for some photos. One of Sean's friends, Dennis, was driving a Pulsar on the 306 to Tynemouth, so he spoke to him for a while before departure. Over some time, Steven Hodgson and Gary Devlin both joined us on the island. Sean had forgotten his camera (LOL) so had to watch me getting some photos. Eventually, Sean left my company and soon after, I headed back into Eldon Square. He informed me he was on 6049, on the X1, and asked me to come up and give him a wave. I then noticed a red Renown was on Percy Street, so watched it as it descended into the bus station. It was operating the ''Toon Link'' 31 to Winlaton and decided I'd go with it. Walking towards the rear, I saw some of the DDA modifications; this was my first DDA-compliant B10BLE. The graffiti moquette seating made a nice change from the ''Go'' colours that I am accustomed to. Some great kickdowns were heard on the Redheugh Bridge, and again on Handy Drive. Decided to bail at Riverside, and get some photos there. 

#X66 – Handy Drive, Riverside Bus Depot to Gateshead Transport Interchange – (11:58 --- 12:07) – Go North East 5332 – Mercedes 0530N/Mercedes Citaro – ''Corporate''
After finally crossing the road; I noticed a line-up of three ''Toon Link'' Renowns and a few red B10BLEs. On inspecting my photos; it was 4841, 5148, an unidentified mauled Cadet, 5163, 4845 and 5149. Further along, where the main parking area is, I saw ''TEN'' branded 6072 and ''Toon Link'' 5234 sitting doing nothing, and an assortment of Vykings. Down by the Driver Training area, were the three resident Riverside Olympians, a handful of repatriated Cadets, and a Driving School coach with the NHS Shuttle MPD. I made my way back along to the Gateshead-bound bus stop, where two Riverside drivers were awaiting an X66. As opposed to a branded Streetlite; I was treated with the sight of dedicated spare vehicle 5332. It had a loading of about fifteen passengers already on board; I ended up sitting facing the rear of the vehicle. Didn't have much to say about this journey, as I spent the majority of it deleting any duplicate photos to save some time later on this evening when they were on the desktop. As we approached Gateshead Interchange, I sighted a Lolyne behind us; working the X71 service to Consett. I was hoping to catch it, so made my way towards the front of the bus to maximise my chances.

#X71 – Gateshead Transport Interchange to Consett Bus Station – (12:09 --- 12:53) – Go North East 3873 – Dennis Trident/East Lancs Lolyne – ''Corporate''
As the East Lancs Lolynes are being picked off thick and fast, one of my aims for today was to have a ride of one and hopefully a photograph. Walking across the Interchange and keeping my eyes peeled on the bus, which I identified as 3873. This is one of the regular Tridents I'm landed with; I had it on the X70 up to Consett with Adrian once and then on the X43 with Adam about a month later. It's not a bad bus internally, having been refurbished about a year ago, but it struggles on some banks and goes into snail mode. Nevertheless, it was one of my aims for today, so I was happy. One other man was upstairs, just behind the front seats, so I got my preferred spot above the driver. What ruined it somewhat was two men who sat opposite me, going on like a pair of girls and kissing every few minutes. I'm not overly keen on public affection. Despite flying along some stretches of open road to the point that the speed was worrying, it really did struggle on the banks out of the Bensham area and up to Streetgate and Sunniside. I'm going to admit it, I'll really miss the Lolynes when they're all gone, I'm going to start hunting them down in the coming weeks for final rides and the usual. I have lots of fond memories of them on the scholars home when I was in Year 8, I used to sit at the back, facing the rear, on the nearside. Some funny times. Didn't appreciate them at the time but now it's saddening when I see one has been withdrawn, there aren't many left. Can't imagine we'll see any of them in 2016. This supposed upcoming wave of more Scania OmniDekkas will finish them off I predict.

#78 – Consett Bus Station to Stanley Civic Hall – (13:00 --- 13:28) – Go North East 5396 – Wright Streetlite DF/Wright Streetlite Micro-Hybrid – ''Coast & Country''
I exited and snapped some photographs of the buses in the layover; 3863 being easy pickings and then a few Tridents parked in pairs together. A Sunderland-bound ''Coast & Country'' Streetlite entered the bus station, so I made my way back in and joined the end of the queue. While I would have preferred to get the seat next to the emergency exit, I settled for the seat behind, just above the step. WiFi seemed to work brilliantly, however I was highly irritated by some children. One of them was no harm at all, but the other, who looked slightly older and around the age of ten; kept faggoting around. Around Leadgate, he spilt a bottle of Coca-Cola all over. At least the mother – who sat far away from him (no surprise) – had the decency to go up and ask the driver if she had anything to clean it up with. For the remainder of the journey; he was shouting up the bus ''have I been a good boy''; ''mam, mam, mam'' and ''eh, eh, eh''... I was annoyed out of my mind. Rather than stay on until the bus station; I decided to alight at the Civic Hall, the bus stop just before the bus station where a few people alight to get closer to the Front Street (and avoid the inbreeds that lurk in the bus station). 

#8 – Stanley Bus Station to Chester-le-Street South Burns – (13:42 --- 14:11) – Go North East 5403 – Wright Streetlite DF/Wright Streetlite Micro-Hybrid – ''Coast & Country''
An average day in Stanley; an elder was being sacrificed to the gods outside of the Civic Centre and the residents of Stanley were throwing their benefits money at the sacrificed. After walking down to Greggs for my lunch (a Ham & Cheese Baguette for £2.50 – enjoyable) and stowing it in my bag for when I got home; I headed back into the bus station. The next 8 back to Chester-le-Street was due at 13:45; and the time was 13:35, so I had a while to wait. Sat down in the seats around the stand, and observed the goings on in the bus station. Before long; I could see a ''Coast & Country'' Streetlite coming around the roundabout. After I boarded and sat at the row before the back seats, we sat there doing nothing until 13:48 (3 minutes after our scheduled departure – nothing was holding us back from departing on-time). The driver was an absolute maniac on the road; he mounted several curbs and drove at extreme speeds. At the very back; a man of foreign decent was talking on the phone. The person on the other end of the phone, presumably his wife, was asked ''how many men have you f***ed so far today?'' and after receiving a response; ''I find it hard to take anything you say seriously when I know what's been in that mouth of yours''. No comment.

My ride back up to the Clifford Terrace bus stop was 6066; one of the average ''Angel'' B5s with little character in them. It was operating the 14:15 service to Durham, I sat downstairs and waited for the bus stop, only a few minutes away and just beyond the Front Street. After a quick visit to my grandma's, I was home for 16:00. Tomorrow I'm off to a running day, so might have the review up tomorrow night if I can be bothered. Otherwise, on Monday night most likely. Thanks for reading this one anyway. Smile

R852 PRG
Lover of Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renowns.

My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLf5tJq...pvNU8vv1SA

My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/142814434@N05/
(29 Aug 2015, 10:35 pm)R852 PRG Wrote: I'm looking forward to Edinburgh on Saturday 26th September, and I'm also looking at the likes of Leeds and Carlisle in 2016. Smile

I went to Carlisle for the DRS open day and it was quite enjoyable, walked the length of a Class 68 in the engine room
You haven't been on 3874 going up a bank if you think 3873 went into snail mode! That time when it was VOR for a while at Percy Main must have killed it