Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Introducing 343

Trident 343 was noted outside Bus & Coach World at Blackburn this afternoon following refurbishment and repaint. This is understood to be former Bus Vannin 53 (EMN53Y), though 343 has the newer style front end and it is understood this has been fitted at Blackburn. 53 was the first of up to 11 from this source to arrive. Sister bus 50 (EMN50Y) was noted at Heysham Harbour earlier this month and is understood to be the vehicle involved in an incident with a low bridge in Laxey which has prompted its early withdrawal. Further new buses are expected in the Isle of Man before the remainder are to be released.

Volvo Olympian 374 has returned to use as the final example of its batch to be repainted in the new livery. [correction it retains Metro pool livery!]

Friday, 11 November 2011

Adverts - Just the Ticket

304, the first all-over advert Atlantean in 1982 and carried this attractive scheme for Hounds Hill
Blackpool's trams are (in)famous for their varied all-over adverts. The first was applied in 1975 and to date around 200 have been applied. Perhaps less well known is that Blackpool Corporation's first all-over advert was on a bus, with PD3 398 painted for Greenall Whitley in May 1972 and lasted until February 1973. Two further PD3s followed in 1973 (537 for WH Smith and 521 for Empire Pools)- and a fourth (507) received a wrap round advert on the upper deck for a year in May 1974. A total of 49 all-over adverts have featured in the Blackpool fleet, on 41 buses. 16 new to Blackpool and 11 ex Fylde Atlanteans carried the majority of schemes with 3 PD3s, 3 Routemasters, 3 Olympians and solitary Swift, National, Metrorider, Renault and Delta make up the numbers.
The Red Rose Rambler bus pass was valid across Lancashire and each participating operator painted a bus to promote it - most used Atlanteans apart from Preston which chose a single decker
35 schemes were for commercial customers, 14 for transport related schemes - mainly tickets but also including Lancashire County Council's Travelwise scheme and Seagull Coaches. All-over adverts returned to the bus fleet in May 1982 when Atlantean 304 was repainted for Hounds Hill Shopping Centre. It was soon joined in July by 314 which promoted the Red Rose Rambler bus ticket.
The Fylde Coast Rover was a leisure ticket valid on Blackpool and Fylde buses and was promoted by Atlantean 312.
Y-Fronts sponsored 326 which was painted in base white with vinyl "Y"s covering the bulk of the bus with a simple message in the normal advertising space. 314 and 312 are behind it.
 Further new adverts appeared in 1984 326 was outshopped in March 1984 for Y-Fronts, followed by 312 for the Fylde Coast Rover ticket. July saw 314 repainted in a revised scheme for the rebranded Lancashire Bus Pass. The fourth advert outshopped was Swift 577 for Latusport - the only one of the 55 Swifts so treated.
After a base coat repaint in the Paint Shop, buses tended to be sign written by Bryan Hamer at the back of the depot. Here he has two together with 577 being transformed for Latusport while 314 gains a revised livery for Lancashire Bus Pass (the former Red Rose Rambler) with a hint of fleet livery on the upper deck.
1985 dawned with the appearance of six month old Leyland National 2 541 in a scheme for Agri Electrics. August saw 326 return to fleet livery while September saw 358 promote Allied Carpets. The year concluded with 304 receive its second advert - for the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Health Authority. 312 lost its Fylde Coast Rover livery in April 1986 in favour of a scheme for Louis Tussauds Waxworks.

304's Health Authority livery was very vibrant and was the forerunner of sister schemes carried by 331, 472 and 495
312's Tussaud's scheme matched a livery on a Brush tram and it is seen alongside 358 in its Allied Carpet scheme

541 was a surprise choice for an all-over advert as it was only six months old at the time of its repaint. Agri Electrics sponsored this blue and white scheme.
Deregulation dawned with six all-over advert buses; Atlanteans 304 (Health Authority), 312 (Tussauds), 314 (Lancashire Bus Pass), 358 (Allied) and single deckers 541 (Agri Electrics) and 577 (Latusport).

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Volvo Olympians Return

Volvo Olympians 376 and 379 returned to use for the first time yesterday after the fitting of seat belts and were used on School Baths contracts. Solo 253 has now joined sister 252 in the paint shop for a full repaint. Once completed this will mean that 15 carry the new livery (250-253, 255, 284-293). Of the 51 Solos:
  • ten remain in Line 2 green (240-247, 249, 294)
  • six remain in Line 3 blue (258-260, 295-297)
  • five remain in Line 4 Cadbury Blue (267-269, 271/2)
  • four remain in Line 5 red (248, 254, 256/7)
  • eleven remain in the old pool Black/yellow (273-283)
Excel 222 has left the paint shop - the fourth Excel treated and the first to lose pool livery. Eight retain Line 7 livery, five retain pool livery