Seen around…

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For those with an interest in the coach and bus industry, be it professional or enthusiast, there are always interesting and unusual sights to be seen when out and about on the roads of the UK and beyond. A couple of interesting sights that have caught our interest include…

wRong capital

This London-esque open top bus was spotted on the shelves of an American book and gift shop in central Paris. Looking to be of somewhat artisanal construction, the ‘English bus’ had a price tag of €558, or around £490. According to the lettering, it offers tours of Towerbridge, Trafalgarsquare and Bigben, and is the ‘only way to see London.’ How popular such a bus might be in the French capital, we’re not sure, but the flags on the side do suggest some degree of multinationality.


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Northern down south

Pictured by Ray Ward on a trip to the Cote d’Azur, former Northern Scottish Leyland Olympian NLO16 (TSO 16X) was at one time preserved, but as Ray’s photo shows, it is now a café at the picturesque village of Valbonne. It’s not quite the standard red cliché that typifies so many double-deckers pressed into a second life as a café abroad, but we wondered what the locals might make of the destination shown, Pickletillum, which it turns out is a hamlet situated between St Andrews and Dundee in Fife. Located on the A914 a few miles north of Leuchars, the village is today served mainly by the frequent Stagecoach East Scotland Dundee-St Andrews service 99, though also sees Xplore Dundee buses on school services as well as other less frequent Stagecoach services en route to destinations further afield including Kircaldy and Edinburgh.

Ghost of the past

…and finally… This June 2021 image was captured by Duncan Coghlan, showing something that couldn’t be much further removed from the bustle of the capital and its Routemasters (or their imitations). A survivor from the 1940s, the lettering marks the former MacBraynes overnight shed at Portnahaven. Given that the fondly-remembered Highland operator ceased operating buses in the 1970s, it is perhaps even more remarkable that the shed, and the ghostly lettering, have survived for so long.

The shed is located at the entrance to Portnahaven village on western-most tip of the island of Islay in the Inner Hebrides, and closer as a crow flies to Derry and Belfast than Glasgow