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October 2008

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Pink Routemaster Visit


The La Senza "Brabus" RML2545 is visiting Reading this weekend to promote professionally fitted bras. Parked on the Oracle Riverside outside the Vue Cinema, it seemed like a good excuse to include some scenes from an area of Reading that's not really been associated with buses since the demolition of Reading Transport's Mill Lane depot.

RML2545 on 18 October 2008

According to the La Senza website "La Senza, the Bra Fitting Specialist is committed to encouraging women to get professionally fitted. And with La Senza donating 50p to a local charity for every woman fitted on the La Senza Bra Fitting Bus, there's never been a better time to get fitted. The La Senza Bra Fitting Bus is a cerise pink Routemaster-style bus with luxurious bra fitting rooms on the top floor and a glamorous La Senza boutique, complete with our most popular bra styles, fully transactional tills and banquettes to relax on downstairs." Having been launched at the Lakeside Shipping Centre on 12th September it's visit to Reading on 17-19th October is part of a nationwide tour in the run up to Christmas.

RML2545 on 18 October 2008

The site of the Reading Transport Mill Lane depot.

Reading Trolleybuses 1936 - 1968


The first event to mark the 40th anniversary of the demise of the Trolleybus in Reading took place today. Reading's oldest preserved vehicle, 1935 AEC Regent number 47 took part in a tour of the former Trolleybus routes along with 1957 AEC Regent III number 3 , ahead of the anniversary of the final Trolleybus journey which took place on 3rd November 1968.

The tour commenced from Reading Station (Stations) via route 18 to Suttons Seeds Roundabout (Liverpool Road), then back to Cemetery Junction and up to the route 17 terminus at Wokingham Road.

47 & 3 on 12 October 2008

3 and 47 at Wokingham Road (Three Tuns).

From Wokingham Road the buses ran the length of the 17 to the Bear Inn (now the Bear & Dragon!) where the sun was positioned for some great photographs.

3 on 12 October 2008

3 turning at the Bear Inn in the sunshine.

47 on 12 October 2008

47 also at the Bear Inn.

The buses returned down Norcot Hill and took up the 18 route again to the Amour Hill turning circle.

47 on 12 October 2008

47 at Armour Hill. With dimensions similar to an Optare Solo, the vehicles were easily able to negotiate around the cars which now park at this location.

From there the buses returned via route 18 to the Station, and then took route 15 to Northumberland Avenue, crossed over to the Engineers Arms and back to the Station via route 16.

The next event takes place at the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft who hold their Twilight Trolleyday on 16th November, and will be running up to five Reading Trolleybuses. Modern day Reading 1114 is also scheduled to attend, upon which Reading Buses are offering interested parties travel to and from the event for just 10 return.

Bus Zone Celebrates 10th Birthday!


It may come as a surprise, but Bus Zone celebrates it's 10th birthday today. Originally called the "Robert Williams Home Page" the site was eventually refocused purely on buses and renamed Bus Zone in August 2001. Monthly updates have been archived since 2002, and news goes right back to the start in October 1998. Other notable dates include the switch to digital photography in 2002 and the addition of the Bus Zone Forum from 27th July 2002 (and its subsequent move to Yahoo!Groups from 7th January 2006).

701 in September 1997

701 was still the flagship of the Reading Buses fleet when photographed at the Reading Buses open day in September 1997.

In the beginning the site had about 150 new hits on it's front page per month, mostly from family and friends. Things have moved on quite significantly since then, including the level of detail that web stats can provide, and the site now has a staggering 25,000 visits a month. Weekends are quieter than weekdays, and the busiest time of day is 1600-1700, closely followed by 2100-2200, whilst the quietest time is 0500-0600. The most frequently accessed page is the Updates page, followed by the Oxford Area Bus Routes page and then the Reading Area Bus Routes page. The most common search term in search engines is "Streetcar", followed by "Bus Zone" and "Scania Irizar". The main focus of the site does however remain Reading Buses!

The Bus Zone Forum also continues to go from strength to strength with 122 members and an average of about 75 messages posted per month.

The first news item in the news archive dates from 31st October 1998 when former Reading Trolleybus 113 paid a visit to Broad Street to commemorate 30 years since the sad demise of Trolleybuses in the town. Now ten years on we are of course approaching the 40th anniversary of their demise, and the British Trolleybus Society are planning a special tour of Reading Trolleybus routes on Sunday 12th October at approx 1400 from the Station using a preserved bus. Following that the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft's Twilight Trolleyday event on 16th November will have a Reading theme with as many former Reading Trolleybuses in operation as possible, and Reading's ethanol Scania OmniCity 1114 expected as well.

113 on 31 October 1998

113 seen on the then recently pedestrianised Broad Street East on 31st October 1998.

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