Coincidentally, a very major and personal event has happened recently, after waiting over 7 months for it to happen. On the 9th May 2014, my favourite vehicle in London (SEL763) re-entered service, with a brand new engine and refurbishment.
In November 2013, SEL763 broke down. The engine on the vehicle had blown, meaning it was just sitting in the CELF for months on end, waiting for it to receive a new one. In February 2014, I got fed up of waiting and decided to go down to Perivale myself to see if I could spot my favourite bus. Four other SEL's were off the road at the time, but I didn't see one! I tried again in April, and saw SEL747, looking pretty unwell. It was an SEL, but not the right one. In May, I thought I would never get to even look at it again, knowing the 7 month deadline of it being off the road was getting closer. I tried going to the CELF once more, but I didn't see SEL763 anywhere in the industrial estate. I was about to give up checking on London Vehicle Finder (a brilliant source of finding out where individual vehicles are) too, but on the 9th May, the bus came back into service at 17:15 on route 90!!!! I was so happy, I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming about this event.
It later moved onto the 7, and on the 17th May I decided to hunt it down to get some pictures of it. But, London Vehicle Finder decided to stop working when I was checking where SEL763 was at Waterloo Station. I'd just got off the 53 at Lambeth North, and I was hoping to get on a decent bus after my horrible experience on the Stagecoach London Gemini 3. My chances of catching SEL763 were near to zero, but I decided to head down to Russell Square and wait for half an hour to see if it turned up. 25 minutes later.............
|It pulled in!|
|Year Of The Bus sticker alongside new doors.|
|Front view of SEL763. Annoyingly, it parked right behind a cycle rack.|
|SEL763 in the distance...and some bicycles.|
|A shot of SEL763 from a different angle.|
|The new lights and code.|
|New logo on the side!|
|Refurbished downstairs interior.|
|The upstairs interior.|
|iBus of SEL763, taken at 4:16 PM.|
|Now, doesn't the air-conditioning look better!|
Once SEL763 cleared the traffic, it sped up a bit and by the time I got to Paddington, LK07 BDE (the registration plate of SEL763) was travelling at normal pace. But, in Ladbroke Grove my bus got delayed again, due to some badly parked cars on Cambridge Gardens, near Ladbroke Grove.There were now two buses directly behind us, and it remained like that until I was doing 40mph round East Acton Trading Estate. Despite the delays, I really enjoyed my journey on SEL763 and to me, it will always be one of the all-time greats (bus-wise). Although it has had mishaps and isn't the most reliable of buses, the ride is always so amazing you don't even notice that it might have been faulty for 7 months.
On Monday 19th May, I bumped into the bus again on Du Cane Road, so I took one more picture: