MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Up The Junction (London, 1984)

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to 1984 in London . .

RM570

It’s summer 1984, back in the days when “the man on the Clapham omnibus” was more likely to be on the 19 than the 88!  The cut-back of route 19 to Battersea Bridge a few years later always seemed a particularly retrograde step, with the route terminating in the middle of nowhere rather than serving the bustling commercial centre and massive railway interchange of Clapham Junction.

Here we see RM570 at Clapham Junction,  heading northbound (the next stop would be beside the railway station itself).

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Marked In (Dublin, 1981)

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to 1981 in Dublin . ..

568

Off all of the changes of livery on the Dublin bus scene over the years, possibly one of the slowest was the move away from the blue & cream livery for double-deckers, and into allover tan, fleetwide.  The first new buses in tan (orange) arrived in late 1974 (the VanHool AN68 Atlanteans) and by early 1975 repaints of the 602 earlier PDR1 Atlanteans had started.

But the repainting, which coincided with BMS full body overhauls at Inchicore Railway Works, was very slow paced, unlike today, when the entire fleet is repainted on a three-year cycle. By the time that the last D in Dublin was repainted into tan, there were already hundreds of KD-class Bombardiers on the road in the new two-tone green livery, so the tan never wholly ruled the roost. There were blue & cream halfcabs (PD3s) on the road until April 1982, and the last handful of Ds in the old livery lasted a few months beyond that in Dublin (and even longer in provincial cities).

D568 was one of the last to wear the old livery in Dublin, and is seen here in 1981, about a year before it finally got an overhaul and repaint.

At this point, the bus was 7 years old, but the blue & cream was very effective at hiding wear and tear and everyday scuffs (whereas the new tan livery tended to age quickly and look tired after a short period). As one off the final batch of PDR1s, this bus was delivered in the final version of the blue & cream, without the between decks stripe (new buses from D555 onwards did not have it, and many earlier buses lost it on repaint if they were lucky enough to have a blue & cream overhaul/repaint before the dreadful tan became standard).

Throughout this time, D568 spent pretty much all of its time on the 22 route, and it can be seen that 7 years marked in on the same route has faded the destination blinds to the point that they are almost unreadable.

The intermediate blind is correctly set for BAILE PHIB / CARNAN and as this blind served both directions, it was the most faded of the lot, as the ultimate destinations were at least only displayed 505 of the time, while the journeys would also alternate between 22 and 22A frequently, helping preserve the number blind.  If this bus had been visiting any other route on the day of this picture, the blinds would probably have been crisp and white!

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Route 37 OPO Conversion (London, 1986)

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to 1986 in West London . ..

wp-M514-RM2098-M835

It’s early June 1986, and lengthy orbital route 37 is in the middle of conversion from Routemaster to Metrobus, prior to OPO conversion on the 21st of the month. Both old and new order can be seen in this photo, with M514 on the 37 standing next to RM2098, and a further Metrobus on the 281 to the right of both of them (M835). Note the “Pay Conductor” flap on the 37 Metrobus (you can see it in the other, yellow “Pay Driver” position on the 281.

The 37 was a very lengthy and useful service at that time, travelling from Hounslow all the way across inner south London to Peckham in the south east. As with many other services, it has since been cut back and split over the years, and the length of the old route was such that this journey is now only possible by using three buses – the 37 from Peckham to Putney, the 337 from Clapham Junction to Richmond, and the H37 from Richmond to Hounslow.

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Destination: Refreshment (Dublin 1979)

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to 1979 in Dublin.

D826

Heineken had a very eye-catching and cleverly designed advertising campaign running on CIE buses at the end of the 1970s – wrapped around the destination display of double-deckers with the strapline “Destination: Refreshment”

The bus displaying it here is D826, one of the final batch of VanHool MacArdle bodied Leyland Atlantean AN68s delivered to CIE in 1977/78, following a gap in production as the Spa Road plant built double-deckers for South Yorkshire and A1 Motor Services.

These last Dublin-built buses differed from the earlier VanHools in having a revised lower frontal section made of fibreglass, and also originally sported the more modern square VanHool badge. Over the years they gradually lost these features, and ended up identical to the bulk of the VanHool fleet, which had been delivered between 1974 and 1976.

D826 is seen here heading inbound on the south quays (in the days before the traffic flow was reversed) and with a hopelessly mis-set destination display, the top blind being halfway between the outbound route 25 and 37 displays, and the lower displaying “via City Centre” which would be more commonly used on cross city routes – “via Chapelizod” would have been more appropriate for the 25.

 

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Birmingham Double (1981)

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to March 1981, and a pair of shots taken in the centre of Birmingham.

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national-wm

Our two photos today date from mid-March 1981, and are taken in Birmingham, close to the city centre.

The first shows Park Royal bodied Fleetline NOV806G, new to Birmingham in December 1968, and still in the older Blue & cream with kakhi roof, which served as inspiration for the CIE double-deck livery of the 1960s. The destination display is not the most effective in an area where “City” could refer to any one of the three major parts of the conurbation of Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Voventary – especially as the secondary display reads “from City” !!

This bus was, at the time, one of the older vehicles in the fleet, and had been withdrawn by the end of 1983.

The second photo, taken on the same day, shows the new order, with  then fairly new Leyland National AOL17T on the 101 Centrebus service. This National had a long life, being converted to dual-door and used for shuttle work at the International Convention Centre and eventually passing on to a fringe London operator, where it was still active in 2001.

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Plain AD (Dublin 1994)

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to 1994, and a time when Dublin Bus was taking a lot of single-decks into its fleet.

AD26-Connolly

In 1992/3 Dublin Bus had purchased a batch of 40 DAF SB220 single-deckers with Plaxton Verde bodywork, and in 1994 they followed this with a further 70 DAFs, this time with bodywork by Alexander.

AD26 is seen brand new at Connolly Station, in plain white pending a decision on which livery it should adopt.

The location of this shot no longer exists in this form – the ramp used by buses such as the 90 to access Connolly Station was excavated and the LUAS tramway platforms are now located here, but about 10-15 feet lower.

 

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Route 24 Routemaster (London, 1985)

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to the mid 1980s, when route 24 was still crew operated . .

RML2666on24

RML2294-on24

Route 24 has had something of a high-profile existence in recent decades.  Most recently the first route to be fully converted to the “New Bus for London” LT type, and previously the first really high profile route to be tendered in Central London with Grey Green.  And before that, back in the 1960s, it played host the a trial batch of Leyland Atlanteans, run alongside Routemasters.

These two pictures, taken on a hot Sunday in summer 1985, illustrate the route in the years before it got converted to one-man operation with Titans (in the late 80s).

The first shows a very smart looking RML2666 on Charing Cross Road, whlle the second features a slightly less pristine RML2294 nearby.

In the second photo a RM is running behind on route 29, identified by the yellow stripe and prominent route branding (this was applied for a while in the mid-80s to high profile central routes, though why the 29 should be more deserving than the 24 is something of a mystery).

 

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: New Olympian (Dublin, 1998)

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to 1998 and a brand new Olympian . .

 

ass-RV427new

Dublin Bus built up a large fleet of Leyland and Volvo Olympians during the 1990s, eventually numbering 640 strong.  Disposals began in 2002, and the last was withdrawn from service in December 2012.

Here we see brand new RV427 in 1998, one of 60 Olympians delivered that year, and sporting the then brand new “core” livery of blue, cream and orange.

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: MultiNational (Dun Laoghaire 1996)

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to 1996, and a UK-registered National in Ireland

ass2-sealink

This picture might at first seem to be taken in the UK, given the British registration GAE300M sported by the subject vehicle. It is in fact, taken at Dun Laoghaire Ferryport in the Republic of Ireland, sometime during 1996.

GAE300M seems to have spent part of it life as a city bus in Bristol, before moving to East Kent in the late 80s, where it was used for ferryport transport at Dover.

By 1996 it was in regular use for Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire foot passengers, and is seen here with part of the old terminal building in the baclground.

The bus is decked out in the intermediate corporate branding used by Stena Line in the years after their acqusition of Sealink.

When Stena Line bought out Sealink British Ferries in 1990, the initial rebranding was to Sealink Stena Line, this changed after a few years to Stena Sealink, and finally Stena Line.

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Twilight VanHool (Cork, 1980)

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to 1980, when CIE’s fleet of 238 VanHool MacArdle bodied AN68 Atlanteans were still reasonably new, and in the original as-delivered “tan” livery.

D706

It’s late in the evening of a summer’s day in 1980, and the setting sun is about as far west as it gets, with the front of our southbound bus being just a degree or two away from deep shadow. This light serves of accentuate the boxlike nature of the body, with panel joins clearly visible.

D706 is five years old at this point, one of a batch delivered to Cork in 1975 to clear out the ramaining halfcab Leyland Titan PD2s (a type which continued in service with CIE in Dublin until 76 (the PD2s) and 1982 (PD3s).

At this stage, the majority of VanHools, based in Dublin, had been modified with a bar across the front upper deck windows, but the Cork ones, for the most part, never got this.

The route number display is somewhat interesting, considering that this is a one-piece rather than three-track number blind – the space between the 7 and the A is very noticable.

Cork buses at this time made use of only a single destination blind, with English-only final destination in large lettering.  The lower “via blind” was always blanked out with black paint or masking.

The 7A route, the northern half of which still survives today, went to Skehard on the southside, and was equally frequent to the main 7 service.

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: West Croydon Metrobus (London, 1985)

 

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to1985, and an unusually quiet West Croydon Bus Station.

ass-westcroydon

It’s a Sunday in 1985, and almost new M1167 is all alone in West Croydon Bus Station – quite an unusual situation, even on a Sunday morning!

The M is resting between turns on the high frequency 130 group of routes, which at that time linked Croydon with the vast sprawling estates of New Addington with each suffix taking in a slightly different part of the area. The coming of the trams in recent year relegated the 130 to a much lower key role, it is now a single route, operated by midibuses, and does not reach Croydon.  The London practice of using tiny lettering for the suffix makes it hard to see that what is being displayed here is route 130B, and must have been difficult for those with poor eyesight!

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Tired Airport Coach (Dublin, 1980)

 

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to around 1980, when CIE was still the sole operator linking Dublin with its airport, and really didn’t have to try too hard in terms of vehicle quality . .

PL25

At the dawn of the 1980s, CIE’s bus fleet still consisted of Leylands of many varieties, and little else.

Atlanteans and halfcab Titans (PD3s) for city services, and Leopards in various forms for city and rural bus services, with VanHool bodied examples for coach tours . . and a handful of rather down-at-heel Plaxtons too, some of which could be found on the airport service, where they represented a step up from the bus bodied C-class Leopards which had been used through most of the 70s.

PL25 is looking a bit tired in this photo at Busarus.

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Barking Sunday (London, 1984)

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to June 1984, and the eastern side of London, back in the days when Routemaster operated services still operated far out into the suburbs.

RM580

It’s Sunday 3rd June 1984, and West Ham’s RM580 is heading in from Becontree Heath, on the Sunday version of the route (which on weekdays ran as far as Waterloo, but on Sundays stopped at Old Street).  The picture is taken close to Barking.

Route 5 had an interesting history, having been converted to One Person Operation with DMS class buses in April 1971, running as an OPO route for a decade, before converting back to crew operation and Routemasters in April 1981.  Crew operation lasted until November 1985, when Titans took over. The route still survives today, but like many others, has been drastically cut back, and now comes no further in than Canning Town.

RM580 survived the conversion of the 5, and moved westwards, eventually ending its days on the 28, and being withdrawn when that route was converted to minibus operation in 1989, and recorded as scrapped the following year.

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC (UK, 1990s) – Luton VRT [29July2013]

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we travel back to the mid 1990s, and a classic British bus of NBC era,  ending its life in the bright colours of a deregulated operator.

luton5035

The Bristol VRT really was the classic double-deck bus of the National Bus Company throughout the 1970s and 80s, and many lived on for the first decade or so of post-NBC private and deregulated operation.

Seen here in Luton, no. 5035 (ONH925V) in the Luton & Dunstable fleet would have started life with NBC United Counties, part of which was split off into Luton & District at privatisation. The name and the livery shown here is long gone, the operation having been swallowed up by Arriva and now forming part of Arriva The Shires.  The VRT, which was still working normal service despite the school branding on the front, lasted until at least the end of the 1990s.

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: (UK, 1997) This Is Not A Yellow Bus !

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week’s classic takes us to Bournemouth in 1997, for a bus that is not all it seems . .

409

Bournemouth, on the south coast of England. Renowned for its sandy beaches, its safe holiday atmosphere, and its large elderly population. Home, in the late 1990s, when this photo was taken, of the municipal fleet of yellow painted buses, operating under the fleet name of . . Yellow Buses.

The buses on either side of our subject are indeed Yellow Buses, in all senses of the word. The fleetname can even be seen on the bus in the background, on the right side of the picture. But the bus in the centre, the brightest, yellowest bus of all, is not a “Yellow Bus”

The fleetname could be generic to any large city, but only the small sticker on the front window gives us a clue that this is actually a London bus, a “red bus” if you will.

This was the era when London Regional Transport allowed the different operators of tendered bus services free reign in terms of livery, and with Grey Green buses on the 24, maroon and cream Routemasters of Kentish Bus on the 19, the the yellow buses of Capital Citybus dominating the east, it looked like the traditional red London bus could become a thing of the past.

Capital Citybus grew out of the the network of London routes won on tender by Ensignbus – they started small with the 145, then they got the 62, then a huge swathe of routes when Hornchurch Garage closed in 1988, and more to follow. Sold off to a Chinese investor, Capital Citybus eventually ended up much later coming into the First Group fold, and until recently formed much of the eastern edge of that group’s London operations.

So it’s a London bus, not a Yellow Bus, but what it it doing in Bournemouth?

A closer look shows it is blinded for the 752 Coastliner Excursion service – express day trips from London to the seaside towns were big business in the years after World War II, and the practice continued right through to the 90s.  So Capital Citybus number 409 is working an excursion, and, therefore, it must be a Sunday.

The bus itself is also interesting, being a representative of a small and almost forgotten type – the Dennis Arrow, the last high-floor double-deck produced by the Guildford manufacturer, and introduced (in 1995) so close to the coming of lowfloor accessible deckers that it never really had time to take off in the marketplace. Less than a hundred Arrows were built between 1996 and 1998, the vast majority went to Capital Citybus, a handful to London & Country, and ones or twos to other operators. This example has Northern Counties bodywork, but many were delivered with bodywork by East Lancs.