First Eastern Counties heritage colours

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First Eastern Counties now has seven vehicles in heritage liveries and is supporting a major event at the East Anglia Transport Museum this year.

The buses are spread across the company’s network, being based at Norwich, Ipswich, Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth.

First Eastern Counties
Representing the colours of Great Yarmouth independent Flying Banana, taken over by First in 1998, is an Alexander-bodied Dennis Dart new to First Devon and Cornwall in 2007. ZAC NELSON

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Liveries represented include the Post Office Red-based scheme from the company’s days as a post deregulation independent, and the red and cream colours adopted by GRT, which took over the operator in 1994 before merging with Badgerline to become FirstBus in 1995. Also commemorated is the former Lowestoft Corporation, which was absorbed into Eastern Counties in 1974, and Great Yarmouth Transport, taken over by FirstGroup in 1996.

Staying in Yarmouth, a 2006 Alexander-bodied Dennis Dart has been outshopped in the yellow and green livery of Flying Banana, the trading name of Halesworth Transit which competed on routes in the town from 1989 until passing to First in 1998.

First Eastern Counties
Post Office Red-based post deregulation livery is carried by this 2002 Volvo B7L with Wright bodywork new to First York. ZAC NELSON

“While we are a modern company that very much respect our heritage,” said First Eastern Counties Marketing Manager David Jordan. “The Heritage liveries have proved popular and serve to show that although we have the advantage of being part of a national group we are also a local company with management based in this area.”

The Eastern Counties Omnibus Company was formed in 1931 to amalgamate four subsidiaries of the Tilling and British Automobile Traction Limited. The operator was nationalised after the war before becoming part of the National Bus Company.

First Eastern Counties is supporting the Eastern Transport Collections Society’s 50th anniversary event at the East Anglia Transport Museum, Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft on Saturday/Sunday 6/7 July. As well as providing park and ride buses it will be displaying vehicles.

Details of this event via