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July 2004
Stagecoach is almost ready to retire its last Bristol VRs, so they held an open day in May 2004 at Hampshire Bus depot in Basingstoke, where the last three operate, to pay tribute.   A fine selection of operational and preserved VRs were present including those from Wilts and Dorset and Southern National (above left).   Two of the Stagecoach VRs were operating special local services, while the third performed bus wash duties (above right)
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Stagecoach Hampshire made everyone most welcome (lower left) with a good mix of enthusiasts and locals in attendance.   Local services were provided by a mixture of old and new vehicles including two of the remaining VRs (upper left and right).
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Two interesting vehicles used in service included a recently preserved Leyland National from Hants and Surrey (above left) and one of the Cambridge based Bristol Lodekkas, still used by Stagecoach today (above right).
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Hampshire Bus in Basingstoke has operated VRs for many years, including these examples from 1974 (left).   Latterly after Stagecoach bought the company other VRs found their way into Basingstoke such as the one above from Devon General.   The bus station has now been rebuilt and a new depot opened.
Stagecoach VR Farewell
Click to enlarge photos.
Photo Facts (from top to bottom)
VRs at Basingstoke depot including LFS296F (Alder Valley, ex Eastern Scottish), JWV976W (Southdown) and BFJ175L (Southern National)
Stagecoach Hampshire Bristol VR 15763 (EWS751W) in the bus wash
Stagecoach Hampshire Bristol VR 15762 (EWS748W) preparing to leave for Winklebury
Stagecoach Hampshire Bristol VR 15760 (JOU160P)
Stagecoach Hants and Surrey Leyland National 1180 (UMO180N)
Stagecoach East 19952 (JAH552D), an open-top Bristol Lodekka
Hampshire Bus Bristol VRs 3303 (CRU303L) and 3301 (CRU301L) at Basingstoke depot in July 1984
Hampshire Bus Bristol VR 450 (LFJ880W) with a phantom driver at Basingstoke bus station in July 1994.
Stagecoach Hampshire Bus
Bristol VR Society
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