Today was just one of those lucky days. I had planned to spend the afternoon camped out at First's Roundtree Way depot to photograph the first Streetdecks to be delivered from Northern Ireland. I had no idea what time they might be arriving, so, at around 1315, I parked my bum on the grass and with school revision work in one hand, and my camera in the other, I began to sit out what I expected to be a long wait. Half an hour ticked by, when Mike, a familiar face to me from Norwich's engineering department emerged from the garage to pop over for a chat. After a few minutes, I'd persuaded him to check the bus tracker to find out how long my wait would be. So Mike popped back indoors, and almost the moment the front door had closed behind him, I looked over my shoulder to see a flash of pale pink heading towards me from the other end of the long road. I had my camera ready in plenty of time, and photographed both 35193 and 35194 as they entered a Norwich depot for the first time. It seemed fitting that this would be Roundtree Way, given that from autumn this year, there are plans that have been given the green light from managers to expand the site and return it to a fully operational depot rather than just a maintenance garage. As far as I understand it, this will see First move out of their premises on Lansdowne Road near the airport - but I assume we'll hear more on that later this year.
With depot manager Mike (a different Mike this time) inviting me in for a look around the two new arrivals, I took the opportunity to photograph almost every inch of the exterior and interior of each.
For reference, the registrations of the batch are listed below. Thanks to Cameron Robinson for supplying this information to me before it was published elsewhere.
35193 SK16GVR Pink Line livery - delivered to First Norwich
35194 SK16GVT Pink Line livery - delivered to First Norwich
35195 SK16GVU Pink Line livery - awaiting delivery
35196 SK16GVV Pink Line livery - awaiting delivery
35197 SK16GVW Pink Line livery - awaiting delivery
35198 SK16GVX Pink Line livery - awaiting delivery
35199 SK16GVY Pink Line livery - awaiting delivery
35200 SK16GVZ First Urban livery - awaiting delivery
35201 SK16GWA First Urban livery - awaiting delivery