A few weeks ago, regular contributor Joe Wilson suggested a new series of articles known as Vehicle Focus. Last week, Joe volunteered his time to write a weekly column of the type - so a big thank you to Joe for his idea, and a thank you for volunteering to write these reports. The first in the stream focuses on 20515 WV02EUR, over to Joe:

When 20515 appeared in the Eastern Counties fleet, she wore this
white livery with First logos.
The Volvo coach was new in 2002 to First Bristol and saw work on route in question 403, from London to Bath, not to be confused with today’s TfL route with the same number form Warlingham to West Croydon. When new, the coach wore the National Express livery, which at the name was rather blocky and not like the clean livery we see today. Following use down south, the coach moved on to First Midlands.

After many years with First in the midlands, this and her big sister, 20515 were transferred to the Eastern Counties area and were allocated to the Great Yarmouth Caister Road depot, the coaches had now both lost their National Express branding but were not repainted and instead, both wore a plain white livery with First written on in small decals, they also retained their Nat Ex style seating. While at Great Yarmouth the pair were allocated exclusively to what became known as ‘the X1 shorts’, First doubled the frequency between Great Yarmouth and Norwich to compete with a new Anglian service 7 which was also stepped up to compete with the X1.

20515 exists today in this state, and sees use predominantly on
contract work and rail replacements.
Owing to roadworks just east of Norwich in Postwick, from October 2014 the X1 was overhauled and the ‘shorts’ no longer operated, at this point she became surplus at Great Yarmouth and began to be passed from pilar to post seemingly. 20514 and its sister are fitted with digital tachographs meaning that they are ideally suited to rail replacement work, and regularly see on the frequent weekend engineering works on the Greater Anglia Mainline, often being shunted between Ipswich and Norwich. An interesting side note about this coach is that on one occasion, due to a breakdown, she saw deployment on Ipswich service 77, completing one journey. 

Sister 20514 was recently treated to an external overhaul, and a new interior is also looking likely following an inspection by Rotherham Paint Shop in the week. 20515 is to receive similar treatment in due course, however, is reportedly finding herself extremely busy completing work on Bernard Matthews work run from the Norwich depot.
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About Kieran Smith

Norwich Buses Blog was founded in December 2013 by Sam Larke after he left another popular blog, Norwich Bus Page. Since it's launch, the site has grown dramatically, especially whilst written solely by Kieran Smith during 2015. The blog is now in it's third year and we look forward to more success and growth in the future. If you think you'd make a good writer for Norwich Buses Blog, please do get in touch via email: samuel.larke@gmail.com
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