Prepared on Notepad by Ian Smith,

This page created 31st January 2016.

Optare Excels: EOS (Swallow Coach Company)

Swallow Coach Company - EOS - acquired three Optare Excels in November 2014, two for use on the 66A from Harlow, plus the HC1 Harlow College route. The third was for spares. All three came from Filer's of Ilfracombe. All three were different lengths.

EOS 10.0m XL sketch

761 (JFZ8261) was 10.0m, and started as an Optare demonstrator as P446SWX. Sometime in 1998 it was at Harris of Grays, where it stayed until the end of 1999. It spent a while with Tillingbourne in 2000, becoming TIL6877. It went to Andybus of Yate in 2001, after the demise of Tillingbourne, and acquired another registration mark: P429 AHR. Classic Buses of Annfield Plain had it next, then Burton's of Haverhill for Network Colchester. Thompson's of Christchurch operated it for a while between 2010 and 2012, before it went to Filer's in Ilfracome. There it gained white with a blue skirt, and another registration: JFZ 8261.

762 (JFZ8262) was 10.7m, and originated with Metrobus of Orpington as P507OUG. It had progressed via the Diamond Bus Company, Birmingham, and then Gray Line of Bicester before Filer's took it. They had used it in white, with blue skirt, and reregistered it as JFZ8262.

R300PAR was a long 11.5m Excel, that originated with Swanbrook of Cheltenham for about ten years. Glyn Williams then used it until 2013. Filers took it - perhaps for spares, and it came to EOS - for spares - with the other two in November 2014.

They did not last long with EOS, going for scrap in spring 2015.

Bus Histories

These histories are incomplete. They are being assembled as I garner information from a variety of sources. Particularly useful have been:
  • LOTS for accurate data: TLB, LBM, Annual Reviews
  • "London Bus Handbook", Capital Transport
  • for VIN data

      P446 SWX  3/97    10.0m Optare Excel L1000, Optare 9072, B32F 
                3/97    new to Optare, Crossgates: demonstrator 
                2/98    loaned by Blackpool Transport
                3/98    returned to Optare 
                        loaned to Harris Bus: red, grey, white (like London United)
               12/98    used on 384 to Tilbury $
                2/99    used on 383 to Chadwell St.Mary $ 
               12/99    returned off-hire 
                9/00    acquired by Tillingbourne, Cranleigh
      TIL 6877 12/00    reregistered
                3/01    Tillingbourne into administration 
                4/01    sold to Bob Vale 
             by 7/01    bought by Andybus, Yate: orange/white
      P429 AHR 10/05    reregistered
               12/05    bought by Classic Buses, Annfield Plain #7803
                4/07    Classic Buses, Annfield Plain #7803
                1/08    Classic Buses, Annfield Plain
                8/08    acquired by Burtons of Haverhill
                2/09    in service, Network Colchester: white, blue skirt, yellow band $
                3/09    in service, Network Colchester: white, blue skirt, yellow band $
                6/09    in service, Network Colchester: white, blue skirt, yellow band $$
               10/09    in service, Network Colchester: white, blue skirt, yellow band $
               10/09    bought by A.Barham, Harlow
                3/10    acquired by Thompson's, Christchurch: white
                7/10    in service, Thompson's: white $
                8/10    Thompson's
                6/11    Thompsons
                3/12    bought by Filer's, Ilfracombe
                7/12    in service, Filers: white $
      JFZ 8261  1/13    reregistered
                7/13    in service, Filers: white, blue skirt $ 
               11/14    bought by EOS London
                1/15    in service on 66 to Waltham Cross: white, blue skirt $
 761            2/15    numbered, EOS
                2/15    in service on 66: white, blue skirt $
                3/15    in service on HC1 to Harlow College $
             by 5/15    sold for scrap

507  P507 OUG   7/96    10.7m Optare Excel L1070, Optare 9041
                8/96 MB new to Metrobus for 358 (Green Street Green)
                7/00 MB  
                3/01 CY transfer for 4/5 (Crawley)
                3/01 CY reallocated to 1
                4/01 CY unusual on 409
                3/02 CY 
                7/02    bought by Birmingham Coach Co, Tividale, West Midlands #107
                3/04    in service, Diamond Bus: white/black/red $
                6/05    in service, Diamond Bus
               12/05    Birmingham Coach Co now part of Go-Ahead
                8/06    rebranded Diamond (Go West Midlands)
                3/08    Diamond bought by Rotala Group 
                6/08    bought by Grayline Coaches, Bicester
                5/09    in service, Grayline: white $
               12/09    in service, Grayline $ 
               11/10    into store
                3/11    reinstated
                        bought by Filer's, Ilfracombe
               10/12    in service, Filer's: white, blue skirt $
     JFZ 8262           reregistered
                7/13    in service, Filer's $  
               11/14    bought by EOS (Swallow Coach Co)
               12/14    in service on 66A, Harlow
 762            2/15    numbered, EOS
             by 5/15    sold for scrap

     R300 PAR   2/98    11.5m Optare Excel L1150, VN9183 B40F
                2/98    new to Swanbrook, Cheltenham
               11/01    in service, Swanbrook: green/gold Cheltenham Flyer P&R $
                9/07    in service, Swanbrook: aquamarine $
                        bought by Gwyn Williams
                9/09    in service, Gwyn Williams: blue/pale blue $
                4/10    in service, Gwyn Williams: blue/pale blue $
                6/13    Gwyn Williams: for sale
                        bought by Filer's, Ilfracombe 
               11/14    bought by EOS (Swallow Coach Co) for spares  
             by 5/15    sold for scrap

Photographic references

A key to the references is in the bibliography.

Bus Stop XL Index. EOS Excels. histories. photo refs.