Sunday, 19 September 2010

Portswood Memories

Tomorrow I return to University in Southampton for the first time since Portswood's closure. I have not been any where near Portswood since early June - mainly because I haven't had any need, either academically or bus-related. Tomorrow, it will very strange for me as I sit at the route 3 bus stop, in St Denys Road as I have done many-a-time, and not see or hear Portswood depot in operation.

On the way to or from my lectures, I would frequently give myself 20minutes or so in Portswood high street - enough time to grab at least one of photo First's route 7 or BlueStar's 2, along with a couple of Unilink or First route 3 obs, and a 14 if I was lucky. Route 3 operates every 10 minutes during the week, and could have anything at Portswood allocated to it - always of interest and always easy to photograph.

I would also peer over the wall to have a look at which buses were on death row (buses backed onto the rear wall, in the corner, when withdrawn or, in some cases, being prepared for service). A quick walk to the sheds was also involved, as various interesting buses often sat at the rear - easy for a quick photograph. Although Empress Road is only down the road, it isn't as convenient and enthusiast friendly as Portswood was. New arrivals or perculiar occurances aren't as easy to find as a quick look over Portswood's wall.

Portswood's closure is a shame from a personal point of view, but not all is lost. I have left it so long that things in Portswood have begun to get interesting again. Firstly, if we look at BlueStar, the former Go Ahead London Presidents are ready for service on Unilink route U1 - all which require photographing. Furthermore, BlueStar have repainted Dennis Trident 775 and 777 into the dark blue livery, and route 14 is Trident operated, which adds further interest. First too are introducing Volvo B7RLEs from Devon & Cornwall already (as an aside, 69248 is already in service - with accompanying black-surrounded headlights...), and Volvo B7TL deckers from London onto the 8A soon, which are quite likely to stray onto route 3 or 7 every so often...

An appeal of sitting along St Denys Road waiting for the 3 to arrive - the odd workings it throws up. Here is usually route 8 allocated 37162 (HY07FSV), one of 5 Wright bodied Volvo B7TLs allocated to Empress Road. Lets hope these don't end up with black headlight-surroundings...

My Portswood updates should recommence soon - if I find anything interesting you'll find it on here. And forgive me in advance if I say Portswood meaning Empress Road!

1 comment:

  1. Well you could always call it St Denys if you like, or Bevois Valley. As Empress Road is more well known these days for the ladies of the night!