First Devon & Cornwall VR running day, 09/12/06


The last closed top VR journey from Lands End (on this day at least), 38873 - LFJ873W stands at Lands End with the 18.35 to Penzance.
photo copyright of Shaun C

Firstgroup's official farewell to their fleet of closed top VR's was on Saturday 9th December 2006, despite the distances involved to get to Penzance and only four weeks notice of the event the turn out was very good from both enthusiasts and preserved/other vehicles.
Photographs are from various sources, quoted under each image.


Workings

AFJ706T - AFJ760T - OTA290G - LFJ847W - AFJ764T - VDV137S - JWV259W - DSU107 - LFJ862W.
11.20 - all lined up in Penzance Bus Station
38641 - VDV141S
17A (duplicate) - 09.30 Penzance-St Ives
17A (duplicate) - 10.03 St Ives-Penzance
17 (duplicate) - 11.03 Penzance-St Ives
17 (duplicate) - 11.35 St Ives-Penzance
2 - 12.15 Penzance-Perranuthnoe
2 - 12.40 Perranuthnoe-Penzance
see 'cavalcade' - 14.00
2 - 15.15 Penzance-Perranuthnoe
2 - 15.40 Perranuthnoe-Penzance
1A - 16.30 Penzance-Lands End
1 - 17.35 Lands End-Penzance
2B (duplicate) - 23.05 Penzance-Helston Tesco
2B (duplicate) - 23.57 Helston Tesco-Penzance
38749 - AFJ749T
2 - 09.45 Penzance-Helston Tesco
2 - 10.40 Helston Tesco-Penzance
2 - 11.45 Penzance-Helston (direct due to late running)
2 - 12.45 Helston Coinagehall Street-Penzance
see 'cavalcade' - 14.00
1 - 15.20 Penzance-Lands End
1 - 16.32 Lands End-Penzance
2 - 17.45 Penzance-Helston
2 - 18.52 Helston-Penzance
2B (triplicate) - 23.05 Penzance-Helston
2B (triplicate) - 23.57 Helston-Penzance
38873 - LFJ873W
1A - 09.20 Penzance-Lands End
1 - 10.17 Lands End-Penzance
1 - 11.20 Penzance-Lands End
1A - 12.17 Lands End-Penzance
see 'cavalcade' - 14.00
17 (duplicate) - 15.03 Penzance-St Ives
17 (duplicate) - 15.35 St Ives-Penzance
2 - 16.15 Penzance-Perranuthnoe
2 - 16.40 Perranuthnoe-Penzance
1 - 17.40 Penzance-Lands End
1A - 18.35 Lands End-Penzance
2B - 21.05 Penzance-Helston
2B - 21.57 Helston-Penzance
2B - 23.05 Penzance-Helston
2B - 23.57 Helston-Penzance
OTA290G
Private - 06.45 Plymouth-Penzance
1 (duplicate) - 11.20 Penzance-Lands End
1A (duplicate) - 12.17 Lands End-Penzance
see 'cavalcade' - 14.00
Private - 16.30 Penzance-Plymouth
AFJ764T
Private - 06.45 Plymouth-Penzance
see 'cavalcade' - 14.00
LFJ847W
Private - 06.45 Plymouth-Penzance
see 'cavalcade' - 14.00
LFJ862W
Private - 07.00 Exeter-Penzance
see 'cavalcade' - 14.00
Private - 18.00 Penzance-Exeter
JWV259W
1 (duplicate) - 11.20 Penzance-Lands End
1A (triplicate) - 12.17 Lands End-Penzance
17 (triplicate) - 15.03 Penzance-St Ives

'Cavalcade'

At 14.00 a procession of all 12 VR's present took a route around Penzance, from the bus station via Albert Street, Market Jew Street, Alverton Street, Alverton Road, A30, B3315 'The Coombe', New Road, Western Promenade Road, Battery Road, The Quay, and Wharf Road. In order, this consisted of:
VDV141S, OTA290G, AFJ749T, AFJ760T, AFJ706T, LFJ873W, LFJ847W, AFJ764T, JWV259W, DSU107, VDV137S and LFJ862W


Photography - currently in an unconventional order, to be sorted


38749 - AFJ749T and 38641 - VDV141S at Penzance bus station, AFJ having arrived from Helston working a 2, and VDV from St Ives on a 17.
photo copyright of Shaun C


A healthy weathered look adorns OTA290G after its lengthy run from Plymouth in the morning, posing with other VR's prior to a cavalcade around the Penzance area.
photo copyright of Shaun C


The "cavalcade" of VR's that were in town, including First's three - left Penzance at 14.00 for a short round trip to show them off - lead by VDV141S and followed here by OTA290G, AFJ749T, AFJ760T, AFJ706T, LFJ873W, LFJ847W, AFJ764T and the photo taken from JWV259W. Behind this were DSU107, VDV137S and LFJ862W.
photo copyright of Shaun C


38641 - VDV141S at St Buryan on the 17.35 Lands End-Penzance service.
photo copyright of Shaun C (with thanks to the driver for his assistance with this image!)


38641 and 38749 at Penzance bus station during the early evening.
photo copyright of Shaun C


38873 leaves Penzance with the 09.20 number 1, with First's other two VR's in the background.
photo copyright of Shaun C 09/12/06


38873 - LFJ873W at the top of the shopping area in Penzance leaving with the 11.20 Penzance-Lands End. OTA290G and JWV259W also followed on this working to Lands End.
photo copyright of Shaun C 09/12/06


38749 - AFJ749T at Porthleven shortly after 13.00 heading back to Penzance on a 2.
photo copyright of Shaun C 09/12/06


LFJ862W and OTA290G in Penzance bus station, 09/12/06. Photo's or sightings/publicity for the preserved vehicles over the weekend of this event are particularly welcome - the only images of these so far are pics in Penzance bus station.
photo copyright of Shaun C 09/12/06


On the way home to its Summercourt depot, JWV259W followed LFJ873W on the 15.03 Penzance-St Ives 17 service, photographed after arrival at St Ives.
photo copyright of Shaun C 09/12/06


38749 at Sennen Cove on the 15.20 Penzance-Lands End.
photo copyright of Jay Taylor 09/12/06


38873 at Penzance before working the 16.15 2 to Perranuthnoe.
photo copyright of Shaun C 09/12/06


38641, 38749 and 38873 stand at Helston Tesco waiting to work the final service, the 23.57 to Penzance together, 09/12/06.
photo copyright of Jay Taylor

38641 leaving Penzance with the 11.03 to St Ives. The 17/17A service runs throughout from St Just to Penzance and onto St Ives, VR's on the 17's on Saturday (three trips) ran only between Penzance and St Ives, and to avoid unneccesary crew/passenger changes at Penzance the VR's only duplicated the booked services on the 17 service, 38641 followed a Dart at this time which had worked the 10.30 St Just-St Ives which is scheduled to leave Penzance at 11.03. The 17/17A services have slightly changed to briefly divert from the main road to serve Ludgvan Leaze, since October when the 16 service (Penzance-St Ives) was withdrawn.
photo copyright of Shaun C 09/12/06

AFJ706T and AFJ760T in Penzance bus station, both of these are preserved by First employees.
photo copyright of Shaun C 09/12/06

38641, '90179', 38749 and 38873, lined up at Penzance to show the oldest surviving Western National VR with the remaining First closed top fleet of three. OTA290G is still looked after by First and of course used in the summer time by them, hence the fleet number.
photo copyright of Shaun C 09/12/06

38873 LFJ873W in Market Jew Street working the 10.17 from Lands End to Penzance.
photo copyright of Shaun C 09/12/06

38873 LFJ873W at Lands End prior to the 10.17 Lands End-Penzance 1A.
photo copyright of Jay Taylor 09/12/06

38847 LFJ847W at Penzance, presumably a first for one of the Torpoint 'ferry conversion' vehicles? The only other one known to have visited non-Plymouth outstation routes in Cornwall was LFJ846W working a 45 from Camborne to Troon on 7th April this year.
photo copyright of Shaun C 09/12/06

10 lined up at 13.40; AFJ706T, AFJ760T, LFJ873W, LFJ847W, AFJ764T, VDV137S, JWV259W, DSU107, LFJ862W and OTA290G.
photo copyright of Jay Taylor 09/12/06

The alternative line up! At 10.55, the rears of VDV141S, LFJ862W, DSU107, JWV259W, AFJ764T, VDV137S, LFJ847W, OTA290G, AFJ760T, AFJ706T. The dark sky soon passed...
photo copyright of Shaun C 09/12/06

LFJ862W at Penzance after returning from the afternoon cavalcade.
photo copyright of Shaun C 09/12/06

LFJ847W, LFJ873W and AFJ764T having arrived back at Penzance, also after the cavalcade.
photo copyright of Shaun C 09/12/06

38641 and LFJ862W.
photo copyright of Shaun C 09/12/06

38641, 38873 and 38749 at Penzance bus station after the final run, at roughly 1am.
Another useless(!) fact for you, only four VR's ran in service with the new larger Almex ticket machines, the three in the photo above (having been very recently fitted), the other one being Western National Preservation Group LFJ844W which finished service at Torpoint on August 1st - having had its machine since May.
photo copyright of Simon Oliver 10/12/06
VR Running Day 09/12/06
Photo's from the camera of Simon Coates

LFJ873W (about to work the 12.17 Lands End-Penzance service) with followers OTA290G and JWV259W.
photo copyright of Simon Coates

Leaving for the cavalcade at 2pm, 38873 longingly displays ‘2A Falmouth’, a lengthy journey that was still possible by VR in the summer when it was the ‘7’ route, but something that will be exceptionally unlikely to happen again. Indeed, since it changed from 7 to 2A in September it is believed to have not had a VR work on the route.
photo copyright of Simon Coates from OTA290G

LFJ873W and its followers at Penzance Wharf during the cavalcade.
photo copyright of Simon Coates from OTA290G

After the cavalcade returned, in this view is (left to right) JWV259W about to reverse, LFJ873W, LFJ847W, VDV141S and AFJ764T.
photo copyright of Simon Coates

AFJ749T by the entrance to Lands End prior to the 16.32 service to Penzance, one of two services that parked by the main entrance on this day – the 1/1A service normally terminates at the windswept location of the car park by the deserted house (surely that place would be a great location for a hotel?!)
photo copyright of Simon Coates

Preserved: VDV137S, LFJ862W, AFJ760T.
photo copyright of Simon Coates

38749 and the moon at Penzance, before the 21.05 2B to Helston Tesco.
photo copyright of Simon Coates

A wide angle lens proving useful to fit LFJ, OTA, LFJ, VDV, AFJ, JWV, DSU, LFJ, and VDV into the same view at Penzance during the morning.
photo copyright of Simon Coates

Thanks to employees of First who allowed information on the event before the day to allow some forward planning, and the drivers on the day for their patience!