Firstly, apologies to anyone arriving at the East Kent Bus Festival looking forward to a ride on Nick's open top Leyland National, this was a little one off for 1st April... NPD145L is still in one piece and as far as I know hasn't become the Shanklin's Pony replacement bus!
Well with various shows and days down HQ, I have had quite a busy month. Sometimes I can't help think it would be easier to have the shows in the winter and spend the whole summer months working on the motors... well, the weather is better for starters. On 5th April we attended South East bus Festival and on 20th April we were out again at The Gears Of Change Classic Car Show at Sandwich. Both these were attended with Bernard's WKO137S and a full report and pictures will be available on The Southern Counties website.
Work has started on another Maidstone & District bus, 5807 (PKE807M). Paul and myself spend an afternoon at HQ opening up the slats on the radiator. As stated previously on this site, they help keep the water temperature up during the depths of winter, but in summertime have to be fully opened to allow the radiator to work. 5807's had been painted shut and this could be the reason why she gets slower before stopping. Anyway, the damn things are open now and Paul has removed the spring which closes them so they can't shut by themselves and 5807 should enjoy a nice airflow through her grill. The next step is to wait for a very hot day and try her out... fingers crossed everyone. If it works, she will be sent up for MOT and be back on the road this year. It would be nice to have one of "Jake's Buses" back out there.
This May, I will be getting Bernard's Bristol LH coach AFJ692T ready for MOT and don't forget that on Sunday 25th May, we're holding the 2014 Thanet Road Run. If you like to see local vehicles running along old routes, you will love this. No matter what the weather, it's a good day out with various photo stops and a lunch stop, it's a leisurely drive around the coast of the Isle of Thanet. Again, more details are available at the SCOC website.
As part of the website upgrades, I will eventually be adding a "Jake's Taxis" page as I have both an FX4 Fairway and a Metrocab taxi. Although not buses (obviously!) when restored, they will attend various shows and events on behalf of SCOC.
And finally (and cunningly placed at the bottom of the news spot!) , a new vehicle has joined the collection. Owned by myself but very much a Southern Counties vehicle there will be more on this later this month.
Anyone wishing to maybe enter the world of bus preservation now has a good chance. Dealer Carl Ireland of Hull has former East Kent 7669 (XJJ669V) for sale. She is of course a ECW bodied Bristol VR and apparently has very good mechanics even if her bodywork is a little tatty. Only contact Carl if you are GENUINELY interested in buying this little piece of rolling history.
Also a reminder that Bristol LH / Plaxton AFJ692T is ALSO still up for sale with Bernard. The asking price of this little beauty is £2000 ono. She comes with no MOT or tax. Again, no TIME WASTERS or tyre kickers please.
Well just as you make plans, something comes along and blows them out of the water! From a bus owners perspective, June isn't the best month to move house - especially when the dates you're given to sign the paperwork and move in clash with the Preston Steam Rally, but this is what has happened to us. As you can imagine, everything is now on hold from MOT's to attending shows (anything that costs money basically!) until we get moved and settled in. Bit of a pain but can't be helped I'm afraid. Despite this, work hasn't stopped on the buses. When ever I've had a spare few hours Paul and myself have been working on something. Latterly 3131 and 7980. 3131 was prepared for a buyer who then pulled out at the 11th hour. 7980, Bernard's one of a kind Willowbrook bodied VR has been having her external paintwork sanded down pending a tidy up and panel work. She will also be sporting a 'unibus' advert for a much missed local company too - just to add that certain something to her.
Just a reminder that today, our sister site has been updated with news on 3131, 7681, 5137 and 5807. Also a new YouTube video has been added, a link to which is below.
The new website has been updated with the reports from Herne Bay and New Romney. You can see them here at http://southerncountiesomnibus.weebly.com/
Today we attended the excellent Herne Bay Bus Rally in the town's William Street car park. There was a great selection of vehicles and the turn out was really good - including the weather too! We took along 3131 which filled in on a few of the runs around the town and then up to Tankerton. She proved very popular and most runs she was pretty full up. Nick Moore was also there in 1145 on static display, however, he did do a photographic run to the seafront so some pictures of 1145 and the famous clocktower could be taken.
Following on from the conversation about The Italian Job film, here is the same film with a more appropriate soundtrack! I know this was used at the beginning of the original film and not the end when the coach goes over the edge, (sorry if I've spoiled the ending for anyone!) so we've swapped a Lamborghini Miura for a Bristol LH and 'Big William' is played by Andy Watkins.
Another video of 3131, again with Andy at the wheel as he takes her down the notorious Winchelsea hairpin along with some thoughts on the classic film 'The Italian Job'!
This was filmed coming back from Hastings Bus Rally yesterday as Andy drove 3131 back through the East Sussex countryside.
Andy and myself had very busy Sunday yesterday when we took 3131 for a run to deliver some National parts to the yard. I then brought back 7980 whilst Andy got to grips with 3131. 7980 is now living undercover with 3131 and work will begin on her rather tired bodywork to spruce her up and get her ready for an MOT. After she was squeezed inside the shed, we scrubbed the grime off of 3131's roof ready for next weekend's trip to Hastings. The roof is now white as opposed to the snotty gray it was before!
Click here for the archive news pages dating back to 2008.
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.
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