The Eastern Coachworks bus building factory situated in Lowestoft, Suffolk was closed in 1987. Over the weekend of the 8th and 9th July 2017 the East Anglia Transport Museum at Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft, staged an excellent event to mark 30 years since it’s closure. The independent transport videos cameras were on hand to record the event just as they did in 2012 when the 25th year was also commemorated. A good number of preserved ECW-bodied buses were invited to take part in the event and these turned up from many parts of the United Kingdom. The variety of visiting vehicles brought back memories of forgotten liveries and fleets that are now no more. The East Anglia Transport Museum is home to an interesting collection of trolleybuses and trams. On the days of filming they were running London Transport and Maidstone Corporation trolleybuses as well as a London Transport and a Blackpool Corporation tramcar. In some cases, back in the day, these electric vehicles would encounter buses and coaches with ECW bodies whilst in service.
Our filming on the Saturday begins at the Museum before the doors were open to the general public catching the arrival of the visiting ECW-bodied buses and coaches. As before, the Museum’s car park is utilised as a bus station for the departures to Lowestoft town centre or Beccles. Visitors had to park their cars off site and use a Park & Ride service that was operated by First Eastern Counties using the appropriately registered 37572 (AU58 ECW), a Volvo B9TL with a Wrightbus Eclipse Gemini body! Our cameras sampled rides on three ECW-bodied vehicles. LFL57 (557 BNG) a Bristol FL6G with an ECW H70RD body formally operated by Eastern Counties and from the same fleet we ride on LC556 (3003 AH) a Bristol SC4LK with a B35F ECW body. We also ride on 4 (YRT 898H) an AEC Swift with a B45D ECW body that was operated by the local municipality, Lowestoft Corporation. This interesting bus has a body that would normally be found on a Bristol RE chassis, but sounds like an AEC Routemaster! Plenty of action is filmed in and around the Museum before the preparation for the evening road run to the picturesque Gunton Cliffs. Our cameras travel on former Lowestoft Corporation AEC Regent II, 21 (GBJ 192) with ECW H56R bodywork. The route takes us past the retail park that was once the site of the ECW factory. Quite a spectacle as some 26 ECW bodied buses and coaches make their way through Lowestoft on a sunny July summer’s evening to Gunton Cliffs where our cameras film the parade arriving. On returning to the Museum we film the buses and coaches arriving back from the parade.
Our Sunday morning filming starts again at the Museum as we capture even more ECW-bodied buses and coaches as they arrive for the day. We take a ride to Lowestoft onboard YDX221 (NWU 265D) a Bristol FS6B with ECW H60RD bodywork from the York-West Yorkshire fleet, and return to the Museum onboard LL711 (KNG 711) a Bristol L5G with ECW B35R bodywork from the Eastern Counties fleet. Look out for PLZ 2876, a rare low-height, long wheelbase Leyland Olympian/ECW bodied coach double-decker. It was formally known as 4510 (D510 PPU) in the Eastern National fleet and is a welcome arrival to the preservation scene. Our filming concludes on Chapel Road outside the Museum as the vehicles depart, ending a superb weekend and fitting tribute to these well-loved buses.
We include a bonus disc with a unique chance to ride in the cab of LKD229 (OVF 229) the 1954 Bristol LD5G with ECW H58RD bodywork. Travel with us on the evening road run to Gunton Cliffs on this beautifully preserved former Eastern Counties bus. Enjoy!!
Produced by - Independent Transport Videos
Running time - 109 minutes (approx)
Format - 16:9 Widescreen
Release date - September 2017
Brighton & Hove Buses 2017
It is some six years since the independent transport videos cameras visited the Sussex coastal resort of Brighton to record the bus scene. A good deal has changed making the contemporary bus scene just as enjoyable in 2017 as it was in 2011. In 2017 the bus services are still chiefly in the hands of the Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company which is part of the GoAhead group. We also see buses from Stagecoach, Compass Bus, The Big Lemon and Metrobus, as each company operate services into and out of the city. This programme covers two visits our cameras made to the city, the first in April and the second in July 2017. We begin filming at Old Steine where we see the spectacular lime green and mid-blue liveried, Wrightbus StreetDeck double-deckers operating the frequent route 12 group of services that run along the coast connecting Brighton with Eastbourne. We continue filming around Old Steine and view most types of the contemporary Brighton & Hove fleet as well as the Enviro400 double-deckers of Stagecoach on the frequent 700 Coastliner service that links Brighton with Portsmouth to the west. Our cameras then move to Castle Square, North Street and the busy Churchill Square. Look out for the new low-height Wrightbus StreetDeck double-deckers on service 1 and the silver liveried Wrightbus StreetDeck demonstrator, numbered 293 (SN64 CTU). We also see the Volvo B9TL Wrightbus Gemini 2 double-deckers in the smart purple/maroon and buff livery that operate on the Regency route linking Tunbridge Wells with the city. Filming continues along Queens Road and York Place to the Railway Station to catch up with the action at this busy interchange. St George’s Place, Gloucester Place and Grand Parade are our next locations where we view the buses as they go about their business. Further filming along Pavilion Parade and Old Steine takes us to Marine Parade where we catch up with the action here. We see the Coasters running alongside the red and cream liveried buses in the Brighton & Hove fleet. Our April visit concludes with filming on Eastern Road and Edward Street as well as catching up with the evening rush at Old Steine, North Street and Churchill Square. Look out for the former GHA Coaches Volvo B7RLE, a Wrightbus Eclipse Urban, registered BA58 GHA now with Compass Bus. Our cameras return to the city on a hot day in July 2017. Again our locations are similar to the April visit taking in Old Steine, Castle Square, North Street, the Railway Station area and Churchill Square. Now it is time to sample the Coaster service! We board 940 (BX15 ONS) a Wrightbus StreetDeck with a H81F body for a ride along the coast to Seaford Library on service 12X. We pass a number of similar vehicles as they head towards Brighton. At Seaford we film the action on Sutton Park Road, Station Approach and Clinton Place. Our cameras then return to Brighton on board 925 (BX15 OMY) arriving at Marine Parade. Our final scenes are at Old Steine where we also see the solar powered Optare Solo of the Big Lemon company, YK55 ENM, together with buses from Stagecoach and of course Brighton & Hove buses. We hope you enjoy your visit.