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LL 711's 65th Birthday Celebratory Run . . .

Sunday, 28th June 2015 - 10:40 to 18:30 

On the 1st July 2015, LL 711, my preserved Bristol L5G, reached its milestone 65th birthday!  

To celebrate this significant occasion, the vehicle was taken on a three hour journey from Norwich to Downham Market, faithfully re-creating the former Eastern Counties route 15 via Colney, Barford, Kimberley, Hingham, Scoulton, Carbrooke, Watton, Saham Toney, Ashill, South Pickenham, Great Cressingham, Hilborough, Ickburgh, Mundford, Northwold, Methwold, Brookville, Whittington, Stoke Ferry, Wereham, Crimplesham and Bexwell.

      (Picture: LL 711 arrives at Downham Market Railway Station with her happy crew on the occasion of her 65th Birthday Run)

LL 711 was a regular performer on this long distance route for many years during the 1960s when she was out-stationed at Northwold.  Whilst based here, her regular crew were Frank Harrison (driver) and Frank Musgrove (conductor). Other known crew to serve on this vehicle were Don Ellsworthy (driver) and Dick Smith (driver, who eventually converted to one man operation).  

Long standing Eastern Transport Collection Society member, Vince Read of Carbrooke was a regular passenger on LL 711 and has kept a diary which notes many journeys travelled on the 15 route where LL 711 was the performer.  His last entry for travelling on the vehicle was in November 1967, shortly before it was transferred to King's Lynn to operate local town services 38 & 39 to North and West Lynn.

A little over a month later, she was retired from revenue earning service, having loyally served the Company for seventeen and a half years from July 1950 to January 1968, so becoming the last serving 35 seater saloon to be withdrawn.

Many photographs were taken of LL 711 during her 65th Birthday Celebratory Run which took place on Sunday, 28th June 2015, departing from Norwich, St Stephens Street at 10:40am with 15 happy enthusiasts aboard!  The route also incorporated a visit to the Desert Rats Memorial at Ickburgh on the outward journey and refreshment stops at Wereham, George & Dragon PH on the outward and return journeys.  Unfortunately, the heavens opened shortly after leaving Hingham with the rain continuing until we reached Wereham!  Luckily, things improved after the Wereham pub lunch stop and by the time Downham Market was reached, the sun had come out, allowing for some excellent photographs to be taken on the return journey.

A selection of the many photographs taken during the run are included below. . .


Photo 1 - At Hingham, Market Place on the outward journey (Taken by Patrick Burnside)


Photo 2 - At Hingham, Market Place on the outward journey (Taken by Patrick Burnside)


Photo 3 - At Watton, Crown PH in the rain on the outward journey (Taken by Patrick Burnside)


Photo 4 - At Ickburgh (Desert Rats Memorial) in the rain on the outward journey (Taken by Patrick Burnside)


Photo 5 - At Northwold, Crown PH in the rain on the outward journey (Taken by Patrick Burnside)


Photo 6 - At Northwold, Crown PH in the rain on the outward journey (Taken by Patrick Burnside)


Photo 7 - At Wereham, George & Dragon PH for the first refreshment break on the outward journey (Taken by Patrick Burnside)


Photo 8 - At Wereham, George & Dragon PH for the first refreshment break on the outward journey (Taken by Patrick Burnside)


Photo 9 - Upon arrival at Downham Market Railway Station (Taken by Patrick Burnside)


Photo 10 - The entire cast upon arrival at Downham Market Railway Station (Taken by Juana Kurzke)


Photo 11 - At Wereham, George & Dragon PH for the second refreshment break on the return journey (Taken by Patrick Burnside)


Photo 12 - At Northwold Church on the return journey (Taken by Patrick Burnside)


Photo 13 - At Northwold Church on the return journey (Taken by Paul Van Der Hulks)


Photo 14 - At Great Cressingham Church on the return journey (Taken by Patrick Burnside)


Photo 15 - At Great Cressingham Church on the return journey (Taken by Patrick Burnside)


Photo 16 - At Hingham Market Place on the return journey (Taken by Patrick Burnside)


Photo 17 - At Hingham Market Place on the return journey (Taken by Patrick Burnside)


Photo 18 - At Norwich, St Stephens Street upon completion of the run (Taken by Paul Van Der Hulks)


Photo 19 - At Norwich, St Stephens Street upon completion of the run (Taken by Paul Van Der Hulks)


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