Showbus Specials Part Four: The modern

19000 is meaningfully named "Spirit of London"
As always, Showbus brought out a nice mix of modern - but not brand new - vehicles still in service across the country. The event is always supported in one way or another by the 'big three'; Arriva and Stagecoach both provided impressive displays of their vehicles. The Arriva line up totalled at least nine, and Stagecoach entering a similar number. I noted four vehicles from First on the day; from Leicester, Midland Red and King's Lynn.

Of all the vehicles at the event, Stagecoach London 19000 LX55HGC was one of my favourites. It is a bus I have always wanted to get on a camera, and one which such meaning and sentiment. 19000 was built and delivered ready for October 2005 to replace the bus destroyed in the London Bombings attack on July 7th.  It was the first ever Alexander Dennis Enviro400 to be built. In 2012, 19000 was unfortunately subject to an arson attack by two fourteen year old girls which wrecked much of the vehicle. In an investment of around £60,000 Stagecoach paid for the bus to be repaired. The relaunch of the vehicle on Sunday 21st April at London Bus Museum was attended by Leon Daneils, managing director of Transport for London, Mark Threapalton, managing director of Stagecoach London, and George Psaradakis - the driver of the bus which was destroyed in the terrorist attack.

Very smart Ipswich Buses 24 SN51AXO, acquired from Lothian
Ipswich Buses brought along one of their newest additions to the fleet. Former Lothian Buses Plaxton President bodied Dennis Trident SN51AXO was brought along by Leon Wells - third best bus driver in the UK 2015. Given fleet number 24, SN51AXO was sporting the new style fleet number which will be rolled out across the fleet as they are repainted into the Purple and Green livery. 24 retains the tartan seating moquette used by Lothian Buses. Along with sister 25 SN51AXP were both out in service today. Photographs are on Flickr from contributor Bryan Dickson, see here.

Parked alongside the above was TFA13, numbered 55 in the Midland Classic fleet. The former London Soverign East Lancs Omnidekka bodied Scania N94UD carries the smart yellow, black and white livery of Stevensons, used as a heritage livery upon the vehicle

Sister to a number of local buses is Leicester 66970 KX05MJV
Of the small handful of vehicles entered by First was Wright Eclipse Urban bodied Volvo B7RLE 66970 KX05MJV is relevant to our local area being a sister vehicle to 66976, 66977, 66978, 66980 and 66982 in Norwich and 66979, 66981 and 66983-66987 at Ipswich.

First Leicester 66970 KX05MJV carries the standard local livery, similar to that used locally in Norwich and Ipswich. The garish pink is also now used in Southampton, and is what is expected to be used when repaints and refurbishments in Norwich take place on the fleet of vehicles allocated to Pink Line service 11 and 12. 66970 was accompanied by Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TL 32646 KP54AZL - which wears the cream and brown Leicester City Transport heritage livery. It is one of two vehicles painted into iconic Leicester liveries last year to celebrate a century of Leicester City Transport and predecessor First Leicester.

A huddle of Alexander Volvo Olympains from the Motts fleet
A final from the modern in service section is for all for all the lovers of the Volvo Olympians at Great Yarmouth. Operating free tours of the deer park at Woburn Abbey and tours at additional cost of the safari park was a fleet of Volvo Olympians provided by long supporter and key sponsor of Showbus Motts. At the end of the day, the Olympians bunched up together at the back of the rally site ready to head home; here we see to former East Yorkshire Motor Services Alexander Royale bodied Volvo Olympians and a former Dublin Bus.

That is it for part four, with the final selection of vehicles on show appearing tomorrow.
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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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