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July 2004

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Full Side Adverts Appear in Reading


A new type of advertisement has been applied to a Reading vehicle this week. Already in use in a few other towns and cities, the new adverts cover the whole of the offside of the bus, a bit like a ColourBus advert, but just on one side. The advert, dubbed by Bus Zone a "MegaSide" is applied to Olympian 84 and advertises "XXXX" beer in conjunction with MegaRears on at least 471 and 475.

084 on 22 July 2004 (64352 bytes)

84 on Friar Street today. The building site behind was once the Boars Head pub. The current building work necessitates the use of a temporary stop to cover the 17 (and 19x services) until there is space to put up a new shelter.

Leyland National Returned to Former Glory


Friday 2nd July saw the unveiling of former Leyland National 333 for the British Trolleybus Society's annual tour of the area. The vehicle has now been fully restored into Newbury Buses livery - the first ever preserved vehicle in these colours.

333 on 2 July 2004 (45694 bytes)

333 posing at Newbury Bus Station, 2nd July 2004. Many thanks to Paul Hilton for this photo.

333 was new to Alder Valley in November 1974, originally numbered 182 it entered service (at Newbury) in December 1974. On 1st January 1986 the company was split up in preparation for privatisation, 182 passing to Alder Valley North Ltd. This company subsequently became The Bee Line, who renumbered the vehicle 333 in November 1987. The vehicle came into the ownership of Reading Transport with the acquisition of The Bee Line's Reading and Newbury operations on 16th August 2002, and continued as Newbury Buses' number 333. In October 1993 the vehicle was repowered with a Volvo THD100EA 10-litre turbocharged engine, and then in January 1994 it was refurbished.

Finally the vehicle was withdrawn in May 1999, having notched up 24.5 years service in the town. It is unique in the Leyland National fleet, being the last survivor of a trio of Nationals (332-4) that served Newbury for their entire lives. 333 passed to the Birmingham Coach Company for further service before being acquired for preservation. During its time in Birmingham it was treated to another refurbishment into a jazzy orange, cream and blue moquette, although now the trim used by Reading Transport has been restored. The front lights have also been restored back to the configuration that they were in when the vehicle was new.

(Historical Source: "Reading Transport.... another 20 years" by Phil Cross)

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