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First Bus Tote Club Outing - Sunday 24th May 2009

Although this was a private event for members of the First Bus company Tote Club, details are included here for the benefit of the 40 or so people who attended. After meeting at the St James depot, other members were picked up en route to the first destination, the Dog & Partridge at Titchmarsh, a village just a few miles north of Thrapston. Live music and copious amounts of real ale guaranteed a splendid start to the day's enjoyment.

Later in the afternoon, we made our way to the Axe & Compass at Ringstead where a three course meal had been laid on. If you take a look at the Photo Gallery of the day's events, I think you'll agree that everyone had a great day out. Poor old 154 didn't get back home to the depot until about 21:45, way past the old girl's bedtime!


Quinton House School Fete - Saturday 4th July 2009

Again, this was another private function which proved extremely popular with both pupils and parents. This is the second year running that 154 has made an appearance at this Quinton House School event. Many thanks to member Phil Breed for acting as unpaid conductor!


Northampton and Lamport Railway - Sunday 26th July 2009

Depart St James depot at 09:20. A chance to see our own local preserved Northampton & Lamport Railway and other vintage vehicles with pleasant walks in the nearby picturesque villages.


Sywell Aerodrome and Museum - Saturday 15th August 2009

Depart St James depot at 13:00. Watch light aircraft of all types operating from this historic grass airfield (weather permitting) and view the exhibits in the adjoining Sywell Aerodrome Museum.

Update

This turned out to be a cracking afternoon. Not only was the weather superb, from a flying point of view, there just happened to be an aerobatics practice session under way by the British National Aerobatic Team. This unexpected bonus provided first-hand viewing of some truly breath-taking aerobatic manoeuvers against a clear blue sky directly over the airfield. Awesome.

This photograph on Sywell Aerodrome's own website clearly shows 154 standing proudly in the background although the date is incorrect (unless someone took her to Sywell on Sunday as well!).

There is also our own Photo Gallery of the day's outing for you to enjoy.


Heritage Weekend - Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th September 2009

Although the Heritage Open Day event begins on Thursday 10th September, the vintage bus service only operates on the last two days. Apart from ourselves, there will usually be an assortment of vintage vehicles present.
Further details of this event can be found here on the Northampton Borough Council website.

Update 1

We are hoping to have no less than 5 ex Northampton Corporation Transport vehicles present at this year's Heritage Weekend. Daimler number 267, which was the last (ie: highest numbered decker of the fleet) has now passed it's MOT test and will hopefully be on active duty, alongside 154, 246, 250 and 258. Make sure you don't miss this historic occasion!

Update 2 (9th Sep 2009)

Unfortunately, Daimler buses 250 and 258 will not be able to make it after all but, nevertheless, a full Northern and Southern route service will still be operated by the remaining three vehicles. For those of you who wish to travel on a particular vehicle, the following timetables may prove useful in organising your day to the fullest. Please note that due to unforseen circumstances (ie breakdown etc), the vehicle allocation may have to be changed at the last moment.

Update 3 (10th Sep 2009)

I have just been informed that 258 will most probably be attending, but only on Saturday 12th. It is possible, therefore, that the vehicle allocation tables shown below may be subject to slight alteration (on the Saturday only) or that 258 will simply be used as a duplicate for any over-subscribed journeys. Thanks to Arthur Michell for this valuable information.

The following timetables are applicable to both the Saturday and Sunday services and all journeys start from the lay-by opposite the Guildhall in St Gile's Square:

Northern Route (H1) 10:0011:0012:0013:0014:0015:0016:00
Operated by 154267246154267246154
Southern Route (H2) 10:3011:3012:3013:3014:3015:3016:30
Operated by 246154267246154267246

Update 4 (21st Sep 2009)

Some of you may be aware that 154 suffered a mis-hap during the Heritage Weekend. A close encounter with a tree at Delapre Abbey resulted in the front upper deck near-side window being broken. Luckily, there was no damage to the surrounding body and paintwork and it is hoped that a replacement will be sourced as soon as possible. The tree in question was cautioned, taken into custody and it's details were duly logged! It is currently out on bail pending de-foliation!

It was nice to see 267 out and about during the aforementioned Heritage Weekend and was therefore able to take over the running duties of the incapacitated 154. The duties on the Sunday that were previously assigned to 267 were taken over by RLH 32, an excellently restored Regent in the blue and white livery of independent operator Samuel Ledgard of Yorkshire and which worked there between 1965-67. Please have a look at the Photo Gallery of this year's Heritage Weekend.


Town and Country Saunter - Sunday October 18th 2009

Please note: The revised departure time for this outing is now 13:00hrs.


Depart St James depot at 13:00. This is probably our most popular event amongst the members and is also the last chance to travel on 154 before she gets put under wraps for the winter. A magical mystery tour.

Update (4th Oct 2009)

The damaged upper-deck window has now been repaired so 154 is operational again. As 267 is currently garaged some distance away at Grafton Regis, we will be using 154 for this last outing of the season.

Update

This event was well attended with around 26 members, family and friends turning up to enjoy this leisurely town and country saunter. As with last year, the weather was superb and the route we took was as follows:


Magical History Tour - Sunday December 13th 2009

As mentioned above, our previous outing in October was very popular and the question was asked at the time, "would you like a special trip just before Christmas" and the overwhelming reply was a resounding YES. In response to this positive reply we can now announce that this will indeed become a reality. The date for this adventure is Sunday December 13th. As usual, the journey will begin and end at St James' depot, but for those of you who would rather not travel to St James, there will be an additional pick-up point at the bus stop in Derngate, opposite the Mailcoach pub.

Meet at St James at 13:45 hrs for a prompt departure at 14:00 hrs
or
Board 154 at Derngate (opposite the Mailcoach pub) at 14:10 hrs

This Christmas trip will be special for two reasons, Firstly, as far as I am aware, 154 has never ventured out during the winter months so, as the journey draws to a close and the winter dusk beckons, it will provide an ideal opportunity to photograph 154 in a night-time setting with all the lights blazing away. Secondly, we have secured the voluntary services of local archaeologist and historian, Jack Plowman, who will be giving a running commentary from the top deck of all the historical places of interest en route.

As a further bonus, we have produced a 20 page illustrated souvenir booklet that summarises and expands on Jack's commentary so, even if you miss some of the salient points (or were sitting on the lower deck), you will still be able to re-live this unique 154 outing from the comfort of your armchair in front of a roaring fire.

As with the October trip, we will again be holding a raffle. There will be three prizes this time with a rather unusual first prize, but we are keeping it a secret until the day of the outing. As usual, all monies raised go entirely towards the upkeep and maintenance of 154.

Remember that 154 has no heating and an open platform, so please make sure you wrap up warm for this event. With this in mind, the total journey time will be kept to about 1 - 2 hours maximum, including brief stops at each stage for Jack to catch up on his commentary.


Booking Form - Members Only

154 only has 56 seats and no standing passengers are allowed. To avoid disappointment in case this event is over-subscribed, it is essential that you let us know if are going to attend. Please send an e-mail specifying your boarding point (St James or Derngate) and the number of people. Bookings will only be accepted from registered 154 club members.


Important Note regarding the St James Bus depot
For all excursions that start from the St James depot, please ensure that you park
in the old bus club car park and, since the First Bus company now operates 7 days a week,
wait within the confines of the parking area until ready to board 154. Many thanks.