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April 2003
First Variation
I'll name that livery in one
It was famously commented that Mozart’s piano concertos had just too many notes in them.   Maybe the same observation could be levelled about First’s liveries – there’s just too many of them.   Stagecoach led the way with corporate liveries by slapping stripes on anything it owned.   Arriva too has kept things simple by ordering the world’s largest pot of swimming-pool blue paint.   But the folks at First were doomed from the start when they decreed that Barbie livery was to be used only on SLF vehicles.   Thereafter it wasn’t long until Barbie2 livery was invented for non-SLF vehicles.   This variation has monstrous purple skirts and fade-out vinyls that must require hours of patience to apply.   Not content with this, a coach version of the livery has now appeared, applied to everything from station link to local express vehicles.   This is beginning to look like First’s unfinished symphony.
Photo Facts
Top: Two traditional Barbie vehicles, including Scania 110 (S110TNB) from First Manchester, in Bolton bus station in April 2001.
Middle: Variation on a theme - First Bath 1912 (R912BOU) labelled for the X39 service to Bristol where it is seen in August 2002.
Above left: First Bristol ODZ892, a Dennis Lance, which was one of the first batch of SLF vehicles to enter service in the UK in London.   This vehicle operates the station link in Bristol and is seen at Templemeads in August 2002.
Above right: First Beeline operate the Reading to Heathrow Airport Rail Air link with impressive Volvo B12/Plaxtons.   T701JLD heads along the A329M in September 1999.
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More Photo Facts
Above left: First Glasgow SV421 (M771PRS) branded for the Glasgow to Kilmacolm service at Lathalmond in August 2002.
Above middle: First Southampton have remarkably painted this Atlantean, 1264 (DBK264W), into Barbie2 livery, seen in Southampton in September 2002.
Above right: First Mainline 709 (K709EDT) at Tebay service station in December 2002 on its way from Sheffield to Glasgow.
Left: Dennis Dart 631 (S631KTP) from First Provincial (an oft forgotten fleet) wearing route livery in Gosport bus station in March 2003.
First Variation
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