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Ensignbus 2022 Running Day
& buses in service
                
Ensignbus was formed in 1972 by the Newman family.  Based in Purfleet, Essex the company has a successful bus and coach dealership and have operated buses in parts of Essex and Kent as well as London tendered bus services and open-top tours.  It was announced on 8th February 2023 that the family would retire and the bus operations were to be taken over by FirstGroup.  9th March was the final day of operations by the independent operator with First taking control on the 10th March.  For the past few years Ensignbus have put on an enthusiast running day during December using a number of their own heritage buses and inviting many other preserved vehicles along to join in.  The independent transport videos cameras attended the one on Saturday 3rd December 2022.  Four special services were operated using heritage buses with the event centred at Lakeside, West Thurrock bus station. 
 
Our cameras were on hand to film the action on the day at the bus station and on no less than seven different buses!  The first ride was on former Southend Corporation 263 (GLX 913), a 1944 Daimler CWA6 with a 1954 Massey body on the X54 service to RAF Hornchurch and back.  Our next ride took us on M1 (THX 101S), London Transport’s first MCW Metrobus, driven by Peter Newman, founder of Ensignbus on the X55 service to Bluewater over the Dartford Bridge.  At Bluewater bus station we changed to 250 (J135 PVC) a former Leyland Olympian demonstrator that was acquired by Capital Citybus and is restored in their livery to return to Lakeside.  The next departure was the X81 service to Tilbury Ferry and back on board former London Transport RM1843 (843 DYE), an AEC Routemaster that spent most of its life between 1985 and 2013 in Missouri, USA and has now been expertly restored to its original London Transport livery.  We next ride out to Upminster on the X55 service on a preserved Ensignbus MCW Metrobus.  192 (F292 NHJ) takes us on a spirited ride as darkness falls.  At Upminster Station we ride on 1938 built T499 (ELP 223), a London Transport ‘Green Line’ AEC ‘T’ on the X21 service to Brentwood.  Here we see the action in the brightly lit High Street before returning to Lakeside on M1440 (C440 BUV) a former London Transport MCW Metrobus.  We conclude the day at Lakeside bus station where the Ensignbus ‘Christmas’ open-top Routemaster bedecked in coloured lights brings seasons greetings to the event!  The second part of this programme is filmed at both Lakeside and Bluewater recording the operations of Ensignbus, First Essex and TfL’s Arriva and Stagecoach vehicles at Lakeside.  At Bluewater bus station we also see Arriva Southern Counties.  The first filming in December 2022, begins at Lakeside we then ride to Bluewater onboard Ensignbus 168 (LX71 AOB), a Wright StreetDeck on the X80 service.  This bus has now been renumbered 35693 in the FirstGroup series. 
   
Our 2023 filming takes place in February 2023 a few weeks before the end of Ensignbus as an independent operator.  Filming begins at Bluewater before our cameras travel on Ensignbus 503 (EV62 BTF), a Volvo B5LH with Wright Gemini 2 bodywork to Lakeside for filming at the busy bus station.  With our filming completed we travel back to Bluewater on service X80 on board 144 (LX17 DZE) a Chinese built BCI CityRider BRZ1 with BCI H72F bodywork.  These buses were designed for the British market with Ensignbus and are very impressive vehicles.  We conclude our programme at Bluewater and hope that this DVD programme is a good record of the final days of this superb independent bus operator that lasted 51 years -  1972 – 2023.


     
 
 Filmed :  2022 & 2023
   
 Duration :  119 mins
   
 Price :  Within UK - 16
   Rest of world - 18
   
 Format :  DVD -R
   Picture Aspect 16:9
   
 Order Ref :  D440

 

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