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N 2 B 1.8K C 0 E Mar 31, 2014 F Jun 18, 2011
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This feature was prepared for a Maltese transport magazine, which used it as a centre-spread to accompany an article on the northern open-top sightseeing tour. My aim was to capture the splendid but challenging terrain over which the service operates. I was fortunate in being able to take a number of pictures specially for the feature, by staking out the regular public service, but I had no idea of the composition until I'd laid out the images. The title 'Northern Blue' seemed natural, given the livery carried by the buses. I had no interest in photo-sharing websites at the time but, when a need unexpectedly arose, it was convenient to develop the Northern Blue theme. The text reads:

"The highlight of the northern open-top route is surely the spectacular cross-country section from Rabat to Mgarr, over steeply graded and largely single-track roads. Rabat buses were traditionally blue under the pre-grouping scheme, so it is appropriate that this colour has been adopted for the new operation. This sequence of pictures was taken in June 2008, when there were three blue buses in use, Leyland Titans COY 009/10 and Volvo COY 011, supplemented by other vehicles as necessary. The second Titan evaded our camera on the scenic parts of the route, so we focus here on the other two vehicles. However we can say that all three looked splendid and were handled with great skill. Driver opinion seems to favour the Volvo but only just. One point that intending photographers should note is that this section of the route runs in a northerly direction only, creating challenging photographic conditions (these pictures were mostly taken late afternoon). Whilst we hope to have conveyed something of the 'off the beaten track' nature of the route, the true splendour can only be appreciated from the top deck".

All rights reserved. Follow the link below for terms and conditions, additional information about my work; and to request work from me:
www.flickr.com/photos/northernblue109/6046035749/in/set-7...

Tags:   photo feature

N 2 B 2.8K C 6 E Dec 28, 2013 F Apr 21, 2011
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Many hours were spent preparing this digitally-coloured photo feature for a Maltese transport magazine that subsequently decided not to use it (or to explain why). A couple of close-up views follow later in this Flickr set; meanwhile, here is the text that appears in the bottom right-hand corner.

"This view of Castille Terminus, which has been digitally coloured by the author, is another gem from the collection retrieved by Roger De Boer from the archives of the Times of Malta. We cannot positively identify every vehicle so have used a little artistic licence to ensure that most of the routes serving Castille are represented; namely Gudja (mid-blue with cream band), Kalafrana (light blue with red and white bands), Lija (red with red and white bands), Mosta (brown), Naxaar (mid-brown with yellow band) and Zejtun (dark red with green band).

Notably absent are buses from the Mellieha route (white with blue band). This is surprising given that, of the routes serving Castille, it had the greatest allocation of buses. The presence of pre-merger Mosta-Naxxar liveries dates this view from the early 1960s. Note the Barrakka lift in the background".

See my complete set of Malta Bus Photo Features here:
www.flickr.com/photos/northernblue109/sets/72157631903411...

Strictly Copyright: You are encouraged to provide links to this image but it would be an offence to post it elsewhere (or to publish or distribute it by any other means) without the express permission of the copyright owner. Please provide your link to this page (not the full size image) so that visitors can read the caption and supporting information.

Tags:   digitally coloured Malta bus photo feature

N 1 B 5.7K C 0 E Jun 16, 2011 F Jun 16, 2011
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To accompany the digital recreation of Indiana 2002 (later 434), here's a photo feature that I prepared for a Maltese transport magazine to accompany a comprehensive article by the magazine's resident corresepondent, who supplied all the images except the background picture. The latter was a challenge; I'd taken several closer views but felt that standing back amongst the machinery better captured the atmosphere of Zinnu's old workshop at Kirkop. The finished bus, which was illustrated in the main part of the article, was a real credit to Zinnu's skills and ingenuity. We were delighted to spotlight Zinnu himself in a subsequent feature.

See my complete set of Malta Bus Photo Features here:
www.flickr.com/photos/northernblue109/sets/72157631903411...

Strictly Copyright: You are encouraged to provide links to this image but it would be an offence to post it elsewhere (or to publish or distribute it by any other means) without the express permission of the copyright owner. Please provide your link to this page (not the full size image) so that visitors can read the caption and supporting information.

Tags:   Malta bus photo feature

N 2 B 2.1K C 0 E Aug 19, 2011 F Aug 19, 2011
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This is the first of a batch of photo features prepared some years ago. This particular version is based on an original feature published in a Maltese transport magazine in 2006. Like all features in this series, the narrative (reproduced below) is somewhat dated and may not have been absolutely accurate in the first instance. A lot of information has subsequently been published elsewhere about this particular bus. Here's what I wrote in 2008:

Possibly the most famous ‘Bedford’ of them all, FBY 781 has always been something of an enigma. Variously recorded as an OB or OL, we now know that it was not a Bedford at all - but a 1953 dockyards rebuild of a 1936 White. The 36-seat body was built by Barbara.

Initially registered 3359, it entered service in the white and blue Mellieha route livery shown in the first view (an approximate digital representation). It was later renumbered A-3359, Y-1482 and then Y-0781 as shown in the ‘green era’ view from 1993. At this time it was one of a large number of normal-control Bedfords and Bedford look-alikes. By the time of the first ‘yellow-era’ view from 1996, normal-control Bedfords (real or otherwise) were thin on the ground. Now registered FBY 781, it was already a minor celebrity.

In 1998 it gained the pre-war ‘WT’ style chrome radiator shell from an earlier generation bus, as seen below in March 2002. This was sadly to be its swansong. The end came twelve months later when (with its original pressed steel radiator shell re-instated) it was part-exchanged for a new BMC low-floor bus. It survives in the private collection of Leo Grech but its future is unclear.

See my complete set of Malta Bus Photo Features here:
www.flickr.com/photos/northernblue109/sets/72157631903411...

Strictly Copyright: You are encouraged to provide links to this image but it would be an offence to post it elsewhere (or to publish or distribute it by any other means) without the express permission of the copyright owner. Please provide your link to this page (not the full size image) so that visitors can read the caption and supporting information.

Tags:   photo feature Malta bus

N 1 B 2.2K C 1 E Aug 19, 2011 F Aug 19, 2011
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This is the second of a batch of photo features prepared in 2008. Like all features in this series, the narrative (reproduced below) is somewhat dated and may not have been absolutely accurate in the first instance. It is pleasing to report that both of these vehicles survive in Arrivatised Malta. Here's what I wrote at the time

Perhaps the most characteristic Maltese buses were those built on lengthened chassis from former miltary trucks. Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford all provided large numbers of outwardly similar vehicles from their Canadian assembly lines. Dodges proved to be particularly popular on Malta, as both lorries and buses. Only two buses are known to survive in original normal-control form, one Dodge and one Ford. Both are in semi-retirement as licenced PSVs that are rarely used in service. The green and yellow views date from 1983 and 2007 respectively.

In the first pair of pictures we see Y-0661, the current EBY 661. This chassis has commonly been reported as a Willys-Dodge but it is most likely to be a Dodge that incorporates certain Willys parts. The 35-seat body was built by Brincat. This bus was initially registered 2219 (Kalafrana route) and subsequently carried registrations 3036 (unscheduled bus), A-3036, Y-1557 and Y-0857 prior to becoming Y-0661.

In the second pair of pictures we see Y-0636, the current EBY 636. This is a Ford V8 despite the Dodge front, which replaced the original Ford assembly. The 40-seat Gasan body originally had a central entrance. This bus was initially registered 2890 (Sliema route) and subsequently carried registrations A-2890 and Y-1337 prior to becoming Y-0636.

See my complete set of Malta Bus Photo Features here:
www.flickr.com/photos/northernblue109/sets/72157631903411...

Strictly Copyright: You are encouraged to provide links to this image but it would be an offence to post it elsewhere (or to publish or distribute it by any other means) without the express permission of the copyright owner. Please provide your link to this page (not the full size image) so that visitors can read the caption and supporting information.

Tags:   photo feature Malta bus


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