Somewhere I had never visited as a bus enthusiast was
Keighley, the steam trains at the bottom of the hill being of more interest
to the rest of the family when I was young. That was when the local buses
were allover red Keighley-West Yorkshire ones. These days they are
Keighley and District, sightings of which in Bradford and Leeds have whetted
my appetite for a longer look at them on their home patch. Courtesy of my
Dalesrail Card I got a day trip from Carlisle for the grand sum of £3,
so with snow on the ground and a definite chill in the air, off I went.
Frustration with bright sunshine at a low angle, a photography unfriendly
bus station and difficulty in finding traffic free spots meant a certain
repetition in locations for the photos, but a selection of K & D buses
was captured on camera. A return visit on 31st January 2004 proved to be
torrentially wet, but a few shots were taken and the best added at the bottom
of this page. Apparently the Keighley Town services are to get new low floor
midibuses in March this year, so another trip will be needed soon! All images
are approx 800 x 600 pixels as this reduces the file size to a sensible size,
enabling me to get more in my allocated webspace. As ever, if you wish to
use any photo, be my guest but let me know and give me a mention as the
photographer. Comments &
Keighley and District 505, a 1996 Volvo B10B with Alexander bodywork,
turning into the new Bus Station on a local service. I am impressed with
the new Bus Station here, but as with the refurbished ones in Huddersfield
and Bradford, it is not great for photography, having doors which only
open when there is a bus on the stand, and being heavily patrolled by Metro
employees in bright yellow coats. As I am not inclined to trespass and
wander about on the tarmac, I had to search around for other locations
Keighley and District Northern Counties bodied Leyland
Olympian 905 dating from 1992 on Cavendish Street. As indicated by the
registration this bus originated with fellow Blazefield company Yorkshire
Coastliner. Noticeable with the K & D fleet was the lack of external
advertising (other than route branding), even on double-deckers and the
very smart appearance of the buses (except for a small amount of seasonal
Volvo B10BLE/ Wright 549 route branded for the major 662 service
to Bradford, in the same spot as 905. I failed to get a good enough quality
picture of one of the more recent dual purpose bodied Volvo B10BLEs, all
attempts coming out blurred.
646, a Volvo B6-50 with Alexander body, formerly with Harrogate
& District, in the same spot as the last two photos.
Further down Cavendish Street is 1995 dual purpose Alexander
bodied Volvo Olympian 925, another bus which came from Yorkshire Coastliner
a couple of years ago and one of the newest double deckers in the fleet.
It is route branded for route 760 to Leeds.
Waiting in the queue of traffic on North street is another of 1996 Alexander
bodied B10Bs, 506, en route to the Bus Station, with two more buses behind.
In the same place is Volvo B10BLE 546, route branded for the 662
but operating on the Worth Valley services, the destination already being
set for the next outward journey.
Just pulling away from Bow Street into North street is elderly
Leyland Olympian 381, with ECW body, looking very smart despite being
19 years old! If only other bus operators could keep their vehicles looking
so smart. First impressions count, and the outside of a bus is the first
thing a potential passenger (or customer, or whatever we are these days)
Waiting to turn into the Bus Station is another Volvo B10B, 529
of the 1998 batch, proclaiming itself to be a Star Bus!
Right behind 529 was First Calderline 3346, arriving to take up
a short working journey on the not very frequent route 500 (Keighley-Todmorden).
This bus is a Dennis Dart SLF with Alexander bodywork. This service and
the hourly 502 to Halifax are First Calderline's only presence in Keighley.
Aside from the hourly Burnley & Pendle service to Burnley and Padiham
(another Blazefield company) and a group of infrequent village services
operated by Tyrers, Keighley and District is dominant in the area. I failed
to snap the only B & P bus I saw (another B10B/Wright) and the white
liveried Tyrer's minibuses did not excite me much. By this time the light
was fading, as shown by the blurred bus seen behind 3346.
Also at the same place is a minibus of interest, as it is representative
of those in the Keighley & District fleet. It is 125, a Plaxton bodied
Mercedes 811D dating from late 1993. By this time I think I had seen all
K & D buses on the road that day, and took my leave to spend an hour
or so scribbling madly in Leeds City Centre before returning home on a nice
warm class 156 DMU.
And so to 31st January 2004. The Todmorden service was being operated
by First Calderline 40554, one of the early Wright bodied Dennis Darts
which started out as London Transport DW81 before being a First Centrewest
and First Beeline bus before migrating north. did this bus not originally
have a two piece windscreen?
To make up for the failure of 2003, I got a decent photo of one of
the dual purpose Wright bodied Volvo B10BLEs, 577, starting out for
Another of the ex Harrogate & District Volvo B6-50s is 644, this
one having a nice shiny grille.
Another B6 with Alexander bodywork is 223, one of three from 1994
numbered in a different series to the ex Harrogate ones. Behind this bus
can be seen part of a Burnley and Pendle bus.
And here it is. Burnley & Pendle 1069 is a Wright bodied Volvo
B10BLE on what is known as the Mainline through Colne, Nelson & Burnley
to points west. Keighley is the furthest east for regular services on this