09/04/2015

Southend in the 1990's - part 1

This week our regular guest blogger Philip Slynn returns with the first of a new three part feature Looking back... at buses in the Essex seaside town of Southend in the 1990's, the first two parts will focus on main operator at the time Southend Transport with their interestingly varied fleet whilst the third part will cover other bits and pieces that were around in Southend at the time...

Southend 1990's (c) Philip Slynn
Our first picture is a Routemaster. Southend operated a few of these and this 1993 shot is ex RM378 a 1960 example. A detailed history of this bus can be found on ‘Ian’s Bus Stop’ a website dedicated to London Transport vehicles. This was operated by Southend between 1990 and late 1993. It is now one of the many Routemasters in Preservation.

Southend 1990's (c) Philip Slynn
The second picture is another AEC, not a very good shot, as it was in the depot. It is fleet no 594. This AEC Regent III was new to Morecambe and Heysham in 1949. I don’t think It was with Southend for very long but I managed to photograph it in 1993. This continued in preservation for some time, but it has now been exported to the Ukraine for use as cafĂ© by the Black Sea.

Southend 1990's (c) Philip Slynn
Next we have a Bristol VR, fleet no 305. According to Rob Sly’s excellent website, this bus had several owners during its working life, starting with Northern General in 1978, although it was reported being originally ordered by Trent. It ended up with Southend in early 1992, withdrawn after accident damage in 1996, cannibalized and the remains sent for scrap to a dealer in Ferrybridge. This picture was taken in 1993.

Southend 1990's (c) Philip Slynn
This Leyland Olympian was new to Crossville in 1984 and found its way to Southend in 1990. Seen here, again in 1993.

Southend 1990's (c) Philip Slynn
Another bus in preservation is this 1965 Leyland PD3 seen here in the depot as the driver training vehicle. Just to the left of the picture for those that are interested is an Austin Allegro.

Southend 1990's (c) Philip Slynn
Moving forward to 1998, finds this 1988 Leyland Olympian which was new to Alder Valley. Southend was now under the ownership of Arriva, having originally been sold to the British Bus Group in 1993.

Many thanks to Philip for the photos and captions included in this feature, look out for the next part, coming soon.