With the exception of fleet number 67631 (registration number VX54MOV) which entered service in overall red BMMO livery, all of the Alexander Dennis Enviro300 buses that have been acquired new by First Midland Red Buses Limited have been delivered in standard FirstGroup corporate livery.
On the 14th December 2004, First Midland Red Buses Limited took delivery of VX54MOV, an Alexander Dennis Enviro300, which was delivered in plain overall red livery to commemorate to hundredth anniversary of the formation of the Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Company Limited (BMMO—Midland “Red” Motor Services).
The vehicle initially entered service on 15th December at Redditch depot for driver familiarisation duties, before entering normal service at that depot on 15th January 2005 as fleet number 67631. On 21st January 2005, the she was taken to the body shop at Worcester (Padmore Street) depot and fitted with “Midland” fleet names, numbers and logos in the post-war BMMO style of gold with black outlines. The wording “Celebrating 100 years of service from Midland Red” was applied above the windows in gold lettering, along with the standard “First” logo and fleet name. Shortly afterwards she moved to Evesham depot, presumably as this depot operates mostly rural services and the bodywork was less likely to be damaged.
Towards the end of 2006, First Midland Red were winding down their operations at Evesham depot and on 3rd September 2006 many staff, services and vehicles transfered to either Worcester (Padmore Street) depot or Redditch depot, and at this time 67631 moved to Redditch. In July 2007, after 2½ years in BMMO livery, she was repainted into standard FirstGroup Corporate livery.
In 2004, First Midland Red also repainted Leyland National number 90270 (registration number HHA101L) to overall red BMMO livery as part of the centenary celebrations. This vehicle had been new to BMMO in 1972 in overall red BMMO livery as fleet number 101.
In 2014, a number of First Group companies were repainting some of their fleet into Heritage livery and it was decided First Midland Red would do the same. After a bodywork overhaul, on Friday 19th September 2014 Alexander Dennis Enviro300 fleet number 67664 (registration number VX05 LWH) returned from the paint shop in overall red BMMO livery. It was stored for about a week waiting for graphics to arrive, and was then fitted with yellow "Midland Red" fleet names and matching fleet numbers, as used by BMMO in the late 1960s and early 1970s, before the introduction of National Bus Company livery.
In early October 2014 a second bus, Dennis Trident fleet number 33404, was also painted into heritage livery. This vehicle received the more elaborate 1930s BMMO livery with a silver roof, cream bands and gold outlining.
A press event on Wednesday 15th October 2014 officially “launched” the two heritage livery buses, although in reality 67664 had been used in service several times in the days leading up to the press event. The event saw a number of company and council officials, along with preservation groups and retired staff, invited to celebrate 100-years of Midland Red services in Worcester by riding on the two heritage vehicles on a short version of service 144 between Worcester and Droitwich Spa. The Transport Museum at Wythall provided a number of preserved buses and gave a presentation to the guests, and there was also a free lunch!
At the time of launch, a number of transport enthusiasts expressed a wish to see the wheels of both heritage buses painted red to make the livery more authentic. Unfortunately, this was not logistically possible because all vehicles in the First Midland Red fleet have their tyres and wheels maintained by an outside contractor, and thus wheels are often changed between vehicles outside of the control of First.
On Monday 5th September 2005, First Midland Red Buses Limited, at the behset of Worcester City Council, re-launched and expanded their park and ride services in the City of Worcester under the new brand name “Worcester Express”.
In preparation for this First Midland Red repainted two vehicles (fleet numbers 67652 and 67653) to orange and purple livery at the end of August 2005. From the time of the re-launch, both vehicles were used exclusively on the new park and ride service, however in the short period of time between being painted and the re-launch they did find use on normal services. 67652 was fitted with route branding for “Worcester Express W1” in time for the re-launch, but 67653 was late being fitted and operated for a short time without any branding, and although both vehicles had branding for the Service W1, they were sometimes used on Service W2 or Service W3 park and ride routes.
In December 2006, the route branding for these vehicles was removed. Both vehicles were repainted into standard FirstGroup Corporate livery in February and March 2008.
On Thursday 3rd December 2015, Enviro300 fleet number 67664, which was in overall red BMMO heritage livery at the time, was fitted with external LED light strips around the windows. The following day the “Midland Red” heritage graphics were removed and replaced with “Santa Bus” graphics. The inside and windows were also suitably decorated.
The vehicle then went on a tour of the First Midlands depot, working a week at Worcester, then Leicester and finally Stoke-on-Trent. Volunteer staff operated pre-selected services with the driver dressed as Santa, and a conductor was also provided, dressed as Sants’s Little Helper. Special single tickets were available for £1 from the conductor, with a percentage of the takings going to charity.
The vehicle returned to Worcester (Padmore Street) depot on Christmas Eve, providing transport for a number of Stoke drivers to collect withdrawn Enviro300s 67637-67641, which were transferring to First Potteries.