My first encounter with FRA1 was memorable to say the least, as it was the vehicle
used on a trip organised by the Fife Bus Club (which I wasn't previously a member
of) to visit every garage and depot in Stagecoach Fife with a visit to Stagecoach
Perth thrown in for good measure. I took as much camcorder footage as the battery
on my original camcorder would permit, and someday I will do a comprehensive set
of stills of this footage which cover (at a guess) well over half the buses then
in the Stagecoach Fife fleet. In fact I transferred the lot onto a DVD a while back
as a fund raiser, and sales will surely go into double figures any year now!
However this isn't the place to cover the details of the buses in 'stripes' that we saw on that trip, but for this page I have captured as many useable images of FRA1 from that trip as possible.
1. A close up view of FRA1 from the side
while parked at Dunfermline garage.
2. FRA1 at Dunfermline garage viewed
3. Another view of FRA1 at Dunfermline garage,
showing the nearside and the passenger door.
4. After leaving Dunfermline garage, FRA1
stopped off at Dunfermline bus station for a few minutes, as seen in this picture.
5. Another view from Dunfermline bus station.
6. FRA1 at Cowdenbeath depot, which
despite the 'D' allocation on the front, was actually it's home depot in 1994!
7. A rear-on view of KSF1N at Kirkcaldy
garage, which was still a large and busy depot at the time making it necessary even
on a Sunday to park outside the pits to keep out of the way of other buses!
8. Next stop Glenrothes depot, which was
smaller then than it is at the time of writing making it necessary for FRA1 to park
outside the gate!
9. We moved on to St Andrews bus station
and garage, where space was equally at a premium, although at first FRA1 was able
to park off to one side.
10. But not for long. In this view, FRA1
starts to maneuver round the bus station site...
11. ... swings past a parked bus with
very little room to spare...
12. ...and heads into one of the stances.
13. A full view (albeit from the back),
of FRA1 and a couple of other vehicle occupying the three traditional stances at
the old St Andrews bus station.
14. The last view in this set is of FRA1
at Newburgh depot. Although buses were no longer maintained here with the building
out of use, buses were still parked in the depot yard at evenings and weekends.
We went on to Perth and then back to Fife to return everyone to their starting point and as it happens I didn't film FRA1 (from the outside) again on the trip. It had been a fun day out, marred only slightly by the offside of FRA1 being damaged in a minor road accident near the end of the trip, and FRA1 had proved to be a reliable and enjoyable vehicle to travel in. The prospect of it being preserved by the Fife Bus Club had been mentioned, but livery aside it was a reliable member of a working bus fleet and preservation seemed a somewhat remote prospect at the time - it's just as well none of us knew it would take 15 years!