The number of hits this website receives has continued to grow with a new record high of 306 yesterday (29th)! This is fantastic for such a specialist site and I'd like to thank you all for your continued support.
This is Bernard's Mercedes Minibus (N306XRP) which last saw service with Stagecoach United Counties. He's owned her for nearly 2 years now but what with everything else going on the work was trusted to a garage which worked on her as and when! Finally she's been done, MOT'd and repainted into a different livery - more on that at a later stage. I've always been a big fan of these Mercs when I used to drive them at Stagecoach East Kent. This one differs from our local Kent ones by having coach seats. Just one remains at East Kent now (as far as I know) and that is N933NAP although there are a few in use with our local independents. A future classic for sure and in another ten years we will be wondering where they have all gone. Considering the huge part minibuses played in turning the flagging industry around, they are very poorly represented in preservation. Imagine if the same had happened to the Bedford OB??? I would've liked to have acquired an early Transit- in fact I owned one for a while which was a works van having been an ex welfare bus with Hackney Council - to restore as an ex EK Minilink or Southern Vectis Wanderer. If you know where any old Carlyle, Robin Hood or Alexander bodied Ford Transit is, I'd love to know... although I'm not holding my breath!
Bernard's Bristol LH coach was given a wash and brush up last Friday (17th September) and checked for the MOT which is in the first week of next month. All seems to be ok apart from one wiper and a bulb in the reversing lights. I took her for a test run to check the brakes/clutch etc and again she seems pretty good. Obviously when it comes to things like brake balance and kingpins, with our limited equipment, only the test can highlight any real problems. Pictures to follow.
Last Sunday (11th September) we was planning to go to the excellent New Romney Bus Rally, however, the night before we did a little job which involved taking Bernard and a group of friends from yacht club in Dover into Ramsgate. I was then going to pick them up about 2130hrs. A school reunion for me in Ramsgate provided a port of call while waiting for them to finish at the yacht club. After a chat to Bernard, a new collection time of 2230hrs was arranged. The time everyone was on we had left at 2245hrs and then got held up en route when the hinges broke on the off side engine door. (A emergency repair with masking tape fixed it). We finally arrived back at the yard at 0100hrs and was home about 0135. Not really fancying getting up at 0700 to get ready for the rally, we decided to knock this year on the head. Although sorry not to do this rally, there's no point driving tired and putting everyone else on the road in danger.
WKO137S runs out of tax this month so she will be SORN and replaced in the running fleet by the our ex Stagecoach Mercedes Benz minibus. More on this vehicle later.
MFN41R has finally arrived at our yard to join the rest of the collection. With help from Andy, she was picked up from Thanet Garage today (1st September 2011). The drive down to the yard was good highlighting some work needing to the steering and that will probably be it. 1st job on the list though is a good clean up inside as she is pretty messy inside. Also when collecting her we almost carried our first passenger. A large ginger cat had decided to to have a nap on the back seat and seemed most alarmed when I stuck my head in through the doorway to look for a broom handle to dunk the fuel tank with!
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Owner of 5807, 5809, 5137, 7656, 7681, 7041 & 40301
All pictures and information contained within this website are the copyright of J Bamford, R Addison, P Tripptree, B Sealy & R Harrison 2008-2019. Any images or information supplied by individuals will be credited to that individual and will be copyright of that person/persons/website.