End of year review - Events

2015 has been full of big events in the Norwich area, not only enthusiast events but public events which have drawn in enormous enthusiast attention.

Sunday 22nd March - Norwich Classic Bus Running Day
Centred at County Hall, local bus preservation groups worked together to provide this excellent running day. Unlike many rallies, this event provided an opportunity to ride on the buses. Various routes around the Norwich area were planned, and First opened the doors of their Roundtree Way bus depot to the general public for guided tours.

One of a number buses loaned over the 'Big Weekend'
Sunday 23rd and 24th May - Radio One Big Weekend
This year's Radio One Big Weekend was hosted at Earlham Park this year. Though it is a music event, the weekend turned into an enthusiasts dream with an operation like no other locally for the festival goers. First provided shuttles up to every 5 minutes from Norwich Bus Station and night time circulars looping estates of Norwich to get home. Four double deckers from First Ipswich were drafted in to provide additional capacity across the weekend, as were buses from the East of the region. Alongside this, buses from Norse were loaned to provide extra capacity to and from the city centre after the event.

Konectbus were operating park and ride services from Costessey and County Hall, which was temporarily used as a park and ride site across the weekend. Coach Services provided feeders from Thetford to Norwich every two hours across the weekend too.

The incredible view over Wembley Coach Park on May 25th
Monday 25th May - NCFC Play Off Finals at Wembley Arena
Sanders were contracted to provide transport for over 40,000 NCFC fans. Vehicles were drafted in from operators as far as Leicester and London to cope with the demand. The biggest attention was drawn to the fleet of First X1 Alexander Dennis Enviro400s and Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9TLs from Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. 

Coaches gathered in the area beside Wembley arena, and for those not in the grounds this provided a excellent photographic opportunity of the coaches from above. If you cannot remember, Norwich won 2-0 against Middlesborough and were promoted to the Premiere League. The A11 was a cheery place on the journey home, with lots of horn beeping and light flashing - not to mention the singing onboard the coaches!

Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd July - Norfolk Show
The yearly Norfolk show took place in early July this year. As always, First provide shuttles on the 100 from Norwich Rail Station and the City Centre, backed up by existing half-hourly X1 journeys past the Royal Norfolk Showground to and from Peterborough. 

Konectbus provided their increased service 4, with additional buses operating between Norwich and the Royal Norfolk Showground. New for 2015 was service 400 from Harford Park and Ride, which operated to a 20 minute frequency. 

As always, a vast array of visiting coaches made an appearance at the show to transport school and private parties to the event. 

Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July - EATM 50th Anniversary Event
The East Anglia Transport Museum celebrated their 50th Anniversary this year. The event was attended by a handful of visiting vehicles, and the usual attractions of the museum were out in force.

Syd, Dan and Richard's beloved 12 at Old Buckenham Rally
Sunday 23rd August - ETCS Old Buckenham Rally
The third Eastern Transport Collection Old Buckenham rally was the biggest so far. An excellent array of vehicles turned out and their were plenty of friendly faces and blog contributors. Eastern Transport Collection Society done an excellent job, and the operators and preservationists supporting the event made in such a memorable day. 

Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th August - EATM End of Season Gala
The East Anglia Transport Museum marked the end of the season with a get together event of their own vehicles and a small number of visiting vehicles. Stars of the show were heritage liveried 32059 and big sister 85, owned by First's very own Chris Speed and Danny Beales.

Sunday 31st August - North Elmham Village Fete
I was asked to play conductor onboard ETCS owned Bristol Lodekka LKD229 on a free shuttle around the beautiful village of North Elmham during the village fete. An enjoyable day with the villagers, albeit returning home soaking wet from the rain!

The some five hour queue of buses to get into the rally field
Sunday 20th September - Showbus
Far from its usual standard, this year's Showbus was hosted at Woburn Abbey. Buses got stuck all round and the queues getting in were unbelievable. Looking past this, there was the usual excellent array of vehicles and sales stands to delve into. There were some simply stunning vehicles on display at the event, both new and old.

Next years event is confirmed to be taking place at Donnington Park, which is promised to have hard standing ground - hopefully avoiding the grief at this year's infamous event.
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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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