Timeshift: The Modern Age of Coach Travel (BBC documentary, 2011)


Nowhere near as good as its prequel Timeshift: The Golden Age of Coach Travel - too easily distracted by trivia. No disrespect intended to the Model Bus Federation, but why use models (pushed around by hand, for heaven's sake) when footage of the real thing is easily available? (I've included some but not all of the models). It's also noticeable that the general quality of footage is much lower than the much older film seen in the earlier programme. That said, there is much of interest to see, if you don't mind screwing your eyes up. If you can add anything to the identifications, I'm open to offers!
The show opens with footage of passengers boarding a Grey Cars coach, and another. In between is interior footage of a Maidstone and District vehicle.
A pair of Timpsons Willowbrook bodied AEC Reliances, an unidentifiable North Western coach, and footage repeated from The Golden Age of Coach Travel of a Midland Red BMMO CM5T at speed::
The models are many and various in this documentary, provided by the Model Bus Federation. Here's a Black and White Daimler Roadliner/Plaxton, HDG773D, alongside a Yelloway AEC Reliance with a later Plaxton body:
Southdown 1280 (OWV280R), a Plaxton Supreme bodied Leyland Leopard passes a Brighton Corporation Leyland Titan:
The scene is set for the rest of the documentary with a host of models, most significant among them being perhaps Shearings K493VVR, a Volvo B10M/Van Hool, and Foxes of Hayes URO913E, the Bedford VAL/Plaxton used in the Beatles' movie Magical Mystery Tour:
Footage of the modern Birmingham Coach Station includes Bournemouth 318 (HF54XKX)Volvo B12BM/Caetano Levante flanked by two Scania K340/Caetano Levante, including Durbins FJ58AKV, and National Express NXL25, (YN55KDU) a Scania K114/Irizar:
...and there's a view of Cheltenham Coach Station in the mid 1970s, with assorted Duple Dominant and Plaxton bodied coaches
There's a look at Greyhound in the US, with Greyhound 2088, a TMC 102A3 new in 1987:
Greyhound Silversides:
Greyhound GM PD-4501 Scenicruiser M265, the footage isn't clear enough to confirm the front view is the same vehicle:
We return to the UK and smart Western National 3547 (FDV803V) Leyland Leopard/Plaxton with Royal Blue fleetnames:
Berrys of Taunton YYC230H, Bedford VAM/Plaxton, following a Royal Blue Bristol RELH/Plaxton
Another shot of the model Foxes of Hayes Bedford VAL/Plaxton URO913E is matched with a photograph of the real thing with Beatle Paul McCartney:
We look at the overland tour phenomenon, serving Middle Eastern countries from Europe and featuring this Mercedes, MUN705R
Various other vehicles are seen, including a Penn Overland Tours Plaxton Supreme and a wrecked Mercedes:
More general shots, and some detail from Cheltenham, some of it badly blurred. A Plaxton-bodied Royal Blue, a Bristol Greyhound Bristol RELH (also seen in The Golden Age of Coach Travel, and two Black and White Duple Dominant bodied Leyland Leopards, 246 (FDF246L) and 245 (FDF245L):
ATJ140E, a Bedford VAM/Plaxton new to Robinsons of Great Harwood, plus a late model Eastern Counties Bristol MW, an unidentified National Bus Company Plaxton and a Ribble Leyland Leopard/Plaxton:
A model of Wallace Arnold UNW27M, a Leyland Leopard/Plaxton, is juxtaposed with a similar but real Wallace Arnold/Evan Evans Leopard in traffic:
Footage from the BBC drama Mr Harvey Lights a Candle fails to identify this Plaxton coach with the fleetname 'Cornwell's Coaches':
Mention of the Stiff All Stars tour includes footage of the bands but not the coach, which was Wiffens Coaches SNO777K, Ford R226/Plaxton Elite II, seen in Juke Box Heroes: Ian Dury. The rock music connection leads us to a left hand drive coach and a sleeping Cliff Richard:
A general view of a coach park including representatives from Pulhams of Bourton on the Water and Johnsons of Henley in Arden, followed by views of band buses including two relative rarities: Parks of Hamilton LSK515 (Volvo B12/Jonckheere Monaco) is parked next to Y-Not A11XAO, a Volvo B10MT/Plaxton Paramount 4000RS
Tammy Wynette's Eagle tour buses:
A Midland Red dualpurpose Leyland Leopard/Plaxton Supreme, an AW of Wakefield Plaxton heading for the Continent, and two Laceys Tours Plaxtons
North Western 239 (JDB239E) Leyland Leopard/Alexander leading a line of similar vehicles:
National Travel South East coaches including ULW490M and ULW491M, Leyland Leopard/Plaxton:
An unknown Daimler Fleetline seen through a window:
A124XEP (Leyland Tiger/Duple Caribbean, South Wales 124) and Eastern National GJD196N, a Bristol RELH/Plaxton:
More footage at Victoria Coach Station shows Western National 3518 (VOD618S), a Leyland Leopard/Plaxton Supreme, then a Slatterys Coaches Leyland Leopard/Duple Dominant, also a distant Oxford South Midland Leyland Leopard/Duple Dominant II and another similar vehicle:
A Leyland Leopard/Duple Dominant II at the launch of the shortlived British Coachways - the registration appears to be fictitious.
A National Travel London Duple Dominant II passes Victoria Coach Station - as does East Kent WJG145J (AEC Reliance/Plaxton)
South Wales 113 (MCY113X, Leyland Leopard/Duple Dominant II) is seen at speed on a rainy motorway:
Two Grey Green Duple Dominant II Leopards in British Coachways livery - YYL773T and YYL779T:
Cotters of Glasgow Volvo B10M/Van Hool TGD761W:
Various Leyland Nationals behind Brian Souter and Ann Gloag, Stagecoach founders - and their first Neoplan Skyliner, LSP222X:
Attention switches to the miners' strike of 1984-5 and the part played by the bus industry in transporting flying pickets and strikebreakers. A Bristol LH/Eastern Coachworks in National Bus Company green in chaotic scenes:
Metropolitan Police Bedford VAS/Lex from a large batch, FUU956V, FUU960V, FUU963V, FUU966V, FUU968V among them:
Plaxton Supreme at speed, and a Plaxton coach and Leyland-National with reinforced windows:
Ross(?) PUB13W, a Bedford YMQ/Plaxton, and three coaches from Bowens of Birmingham. EUK547V, a Bedford YMT/Plaxton, leads two Unicar bodied Volvo B58s; also a Plaxton coach of Wainfleet of Nuneaton:
With the launch of the National Express Rapide brand (with a hot air balloon) we see National Welsh XC1251 (SDW910Y), a Leyland Tiger/Duple Caribbean, and National Travel West 212 (CDG212Y), another Leyland Tiger with Plaxton coachwork and Wessex fleetnames:
An advert for the new service features Midland Red North's only MCW Metroliner, 1521 (C521WBF):
A model of Trathens N314BYA, a Volvo B10M/Van Hool, is followed by a Royal Blue/Trathens MCW Metroliner:
At this point we go into a sequence looking at New Age Travellers' buses. A line of such buses is followed by a view of Bedford VAM/Plaxton UWY471F
I haven't been able to trace this Bedford SB/Plaxton, but the AEC Reliance/Duple is VAC640 ex Lloyds of Nuneaton:
This is probably former Tappins CBK504C, a Bedford SB/Plaxton
This general shot includes a Plaxton-bodied ex Barton coach and what might be another ex Tappins coach, but in the foreground this Bedford OB/Duple is I believe AEP849:
AEC Reliance/Harrington Cavalier YFR477, new to Abbotts of Blackpool:
Parked up near Stonehenge, MMD686C, a Bedford SB/Plaxton:
Battered Bedford VAL/Plaxton DWF50C is seen during footage of the infamous 'Battle of the Beanfield':
More casualties of the Battle:
Unclear what these Plaxtons are:
Bedford YRQ/Willowbrook CJH626K was new to the AERE Harwell fleet:
Massey bodied Leyland PD2A/30 479CFJ was new as Exeter Corporation 79:
299DWU was formerly a Bedford SB/Duple Firefly demonstrator:
Another unknown, and a Volvo B10M/Van Hool:
Back to National Express and two Volvo B10Ms: Limebourne's Berkhof bodied A675THK and Plaxton bodied National Express 001 (NXI9001):
Then we turn to the Megabus phenomenon: a model Volvo Olympian and a fullsize Dennis Dragon:
More modern Megabuses, both Volvo B12B/Plaxton: Stagecoach North West 54026 and Stagecoach Red and White 54001. The latter is also seen on the road
New Bharat Coaches and Golden Tours:
First Cymru 117 (CU03AVC, Volvo B12B/Plaxton) in National Express livery, and a smart First Greyhound Scania K114/Irizar:
Oxford Bus 36 (K1OXF, Scania K114/Irizar) leaves Victoria Coach Station:
Caetano Levante bodied 64 is seen setting out, and an Arriva Wright bodied 'decker and Optare Versa are seen from its windows:
National Express NXL29, (YN55NDU) a Scania K114/Irizar: