120th Post - WLTM Bus Blog History So Far...

120th Post. I don't like the number, nor the route, so I end up wanting to do explanation of this. And end up doing a history lesson. The former members aren't coming back, it's just for completeness.

The WLTM Bus Blog. Named after my novel concept which is in three parts, L1/Group being the epicentre. A history of breakups, friendship tensions and failures; the harsh reality. And the real victim of this: the very blog itself. I never have done anything to create tension, yet it was affected when James and Matt left me to run the blog almost on my own. Note that the former members would have pictures that are already on the blog..

There isn't that much difference between London and life in West London Time Masters and real life London and life. Except the time powers, transport systems, and the extent of the L1/Group. And some events. But the basic shell is the same.

The idea of running something like a bus blog ran as far back as 2006, when Matthew Wharmby's London Bus Page was ended, for the last time (web archive link). I, in my overambitious mind, thought I could follow into doing sort of the same thing. At this time, Fotopic hosted a lot of photos from many people. I even thought about having one of those. I didn't know about Blogger until the Circle of London existed and I saw it from 2011.

In February 2012, when I started, I was clearly the "new blogger", relatively unknown to the blogging world. And then somehow, I survived, even though I was blogging whilst on crutches for the first few posts...

This is Stagecoach 17588 at Canning Town, 13/02/12

London United VR228 on Route 9, Hammersmith, 25/02/12

Go-Ahead E170 on Route 453, Trafalgar Square, 25/02/12

I had covered these as soon as I could, and with the last journey, I got this. With progress, these now will run on the 24 as a full allocation. 24 is home to a lot of firsts... Like Grey-Green.
I was very lucky to have kind crew that allowed me to take photos of the cab!

I then met Matt in March 2012, and this flourished into a friendship that ended up with the joining of friends with James, who became my best friend for a few number of months. Without Matt, I'd never would of met James. And thus came the WLTM Bus Blog trio.

Stagecoach 23113 on Route 227, Crystal Palace, 23/06/12 (James)

London United ADE5 on Route 120, Southall* TH, 29/06/12

The S7 stock is a recent addition to the London Underground, running to replace the C and D stocks, after the beloved A Stock was replaced by the S8.

First (Tower Transit as of June) VNW32352 on Route 308, Stratford, 08/09/12

The 50th Post soon came after, the sole joint post by the (at that time) WLTM Bus Blog Trio of James, Matthew and I.

Pictures by James:
Go-Ahead HOV1 on Route 360 (James)

And instead of the 283, to which they were assigned to, this Versa was on the C1
London United OV50 at Shepherd's Bush (James)

Another rare working.
First DML 41419 on route 228 at White City (June 2012) - (James)

A rare destination for the 95, taken at Greenford (Matt)

However, socially, all was not well for me, and on the 3rd October, Matt left the blog. This left James and I, and the friendship grew. The blog grew too, and a lot of content were covered by James and I, together, as friends did, and should. This led to it streaming to the new year with the same pair.

Stagecoach TA1, Leyton Bus Garage Open Day, 22/09/12
Stagecoach keep TA1 in semi-preservation state. James is seen walking towards the rear of the bus.

 Arriva LT1 and Shillibeer RM2208, Leyton Garage Open Day, 22/09/12.
LT1 - a new Boris Bus for London, operated on Route 38X by Arriva.
RM2208 is in preservation in Shillibeer livery - throwback by LT to the first Omnibus route.

A Stock Railtour: Unit 5063, Eastcote, 29/09/12.
The A Stock running between the 1960s and 2012, now withdrawn due to age, DDA and the S8 Stock.

A Stock Unit 5034, Railtour, Wembley Park, 29/09/12
The finale was Wembley Park Station. I was lucky/clever enough to stand on the same platform, but was in a less crowded space.

First DML41430 on Route 953, Romford Station, 31/10/12
One of the last few mobility routes, now gone.

Stagecoach 15040 Poppy Livery
Stagecoach 15040, Poppy Livery, Route 53, Westminster, 17/11/12
TfL put a few Stagecoach Omnicities (well, two) in a Poppy livery for 11/11 (Armistice Day)

Arriva DW301 on Route 149, London Bridge, 08/12/12.
James took this picture with my camera, due to my infamous knee problems. Also, at this point, we encountered George/Lawrence from the AOLBB...

London United VM1, Route H32, Hounslow Bus Station, 21/12/12
This is one of two Volvo B9TL/MCV DD103 buses that run in TfL service as a trial.

The pair stood together for some time, running the blog in a good state. Until the LU150 celebrations on the 20th January, which was the last James and I covered together, as a pair. In the meantime, Jacob created the West London Bus Blog, and Lewis soon joined, this being his third entrance into the London Bus blogging scene (after Lewis' Bus Website and Lewis' Bus Stuff.), joining the West London Bus Blog.

The mass of snow bringing "chaos" to the UK also brought great shots of buses...



And then the 1st year. And the three posts.

Then some social tension built up between James and I, but we still stuck with the blog. Even desperation and friendship up to breaking point, James didn't leave. Then one day, Lewis had his first involvement in the blog where he accidentally met me at Heathrow Central. Then James joined us with a phone call, and there was an enjoyable day. Picture records were also broken - James got 308, Lewis 438 and myself 515 photos! For the main post click here, but below are some of the highlights:

Metroline VPL222 and London United SP166
First DML44021 blinded for Coney Green during blindroll
Carousel 809 and London United DE4
Metroline VP622
First ES64001 - these Citaros are now being replaced by the new 7900s and will move to Bracknell sporting a new yellow livery
Abellio 8726 appeared on route 555 at Hatton Cross

This lead to Lewis becoming a contributor, formally the "Matt Role", whilst James and I stayed as the main bloggers.

Next up saw the growing potential of me getting my favourite London United bus, the ADE, on my favourite TfL route, the 111. Lewis went up to ask the kind 120 driver at Northolt who blinded it for us! It was staged but still...
ADE12 at Northolt with blinds for 111. More images here.

Then, another good day where the trio went out, this time to cover Rail Replacement (although we ended up crossing most of north-west London including Brent Cross, Stanmore and Harrow).
The highlight was getting a Metroline VW blinded for the 635, which of course they do not operate any more...
VW1071 blinded for 635 - Stanmore
More images here, R/R post here and other obs post here.

In the 100th post I got to meet up with Jacob, of the West London Bus Blog.
First SN36067 on route 207 curtailed to Acton Vale

A dark time then loomed over me and on the 11th April 2013, James stormed off from the blog, leaving Jacob and myself shell-shocked. Lewis became a full blogger to compensate, but things left me very much in a state of disarray and depression.

The upcoming post though did cheer me up though, when Lewis took me out on the 111 for the special 'oneeleven' post. It didn't look like it was going to be that interesting a day - just ferrying back and forth on the SPs we're all to familiar with. But if you read the post, you'll know that something rather exciting came round the corner, and a few other interesting things happened too!

A recreation of the old branding, from the VAs (but with the new logo)
This was Lewis' first picture on the blog

London United ADE32 on route 111 at Swan Close
London United SP46 curtailed to Hampton Wick
London United ADE32 curtailed to Hounslow Bus Station
The 111 special post is here, and the '111A' other observations post is here

The last amazing thing that Lewis was able to cover for us was the Cobham Bus Rally:
The newly refurbished Spirit of London made an appearance, showing Stagecoach's appreciation for remembering those who lost their lives.
First VSH69924 - one of ten new Volvo 7900H buses for routes 75 and 76 (and others in the 7series)
A post on these in service will soon follow!
The Cobham post can be found here.

Of course you can now expect some changes to occur with the new team; since I met Lewis the team have been getting nice drivers to blind their buses for different routes to get strange observations (such as the 111 and 635 above).

And for a final footnote, when the header is changed, the blog name will be the WLTM Transport Blog, to reflect what the blog actually covers, and it's not just buses...

The team has changed a lot since the "trio"....

Thank you, from the new WLTM Transport Blog Team. Au and Lewis.

[PS, 120 is STILL an unlucky number for me]

1 comment:

  1. Louis 'Rodders' Cannon19/12/2013, 11:38



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