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.
As noted on the HOME PAGE, Paul's DMS550 (MLK550L) has seen the light for the first time since 2011 when she was rescued from certain death in a nearby yard where she'd laid for many years. The story of 550 is a happy one in as much as she has now found a good home with Paul who is very enthusiastic about her and keen to get her going PLUS isn't afraid to get stuck in and get his hands dirty. Maybe this time next year I will be writing this saying that MLK has passed her MOT and will be at this years shows...?
TOL the Metrocab is still off the road after fitting a new exhaust and brake work she shall be dispatched for a test soon which will ease the transport situation somewhat. TOL will hopefully be at this years Preston Steam Rally if all goes to plan.
Work this month has seen the fuel system on 5137 (WKO137S) connected up and ready to go and the clearing out of debris from 7656 (XJJ656V).
You may have notice that his months Picture of the Month feature was a tad late, this will also be the case for next month's too as on the 5th April we will be attending the Southeast Bus Festival at Detling Showground near Maidstone and we hope to have a cracking picture of the month for you from there!
Following on from 5137's fuel problems back in September, her fuel tank and some of the lines have all been cleaned and are now being put back together again. The cleaning was a rather fiddly job as I was rather reluctant to drop the fuel tank without a pit or vehicle lifts. Hopefully in the next few weeks she will be out locally for a road test to see if the issue has improved her performance.
This year continues to fly by so quickly. As stated in Picture Of The Month, Nuw attended Deal Motor Show on 25th May, the full report can be seen here. We really enjoyed this show and I took some lovely pictures of Nuw heading to the event stuck in traffic. Paul and myself have also started stripping out 7681's rear end in readiness to get to the leaking oil seal in the prop shaft. Along with 1178 that's our two big projects started now. The parts for 1178's metal work are being all sorted out by Paul and will hopefully be fitted by us when we get time. I'm hoping this month to put 5137 up for test again now that the brakes have been sorted out (back in March). The delay in sending her back for test was trying to find a local test centre to avoid the 100 mile round trip to Maidstone which although the guys there do an excellent job and are really friendly, the cost of 50 litres of full pushed up the price somewhat... Anyhow, I think we've solved the problem but I'm not saying anything else for now. Apologies in advance if the website goes a tad quiet over the next few months, Claire and me are moving home so things may end up a little bit all over the place but we'll do our best to keep you informed of things as and when they happen, and don't forget that both The Bamford & Sea;y Bus Collection and Southern Counties are on Facebook where you'll find additional news and additional pictures.
One thing we did notice last month when we tested 5137 was her reluctance to go into 3rd and 4th gears. They engaged but slipped really badly- to the point where no forward motion could be made. As with anything to do with VR gearboxes, this was a little alarming and after checking the levels I decided it must be a fault with the EP box. The EP (Electro Pneumatic) box controls the gears. Basically the electric signals from the gear selector at the front enter this little box of tricks and opens a corresponding air valve allowing the gear to operate - that's a very basic description! Taking the top off of 5137's EP box we discovered that both 3rd and 4th gear were operating together at the same time. Somewhere inside there must've been a short circuit or crossed wire. The easiest thing was to replace the troublesome box so it could be looked at and get the bus driving well again. On Monday 4th March, Paul and myself started work on 5137. Whilst Paul attended to the hazard lights and a sticky solenoid at the front, I removed 5137's EP box and replaced it with the one from 7681. Unfortunately we have had to cannibalize 7681 quite a bit as of late but she will be put back together once her leaky bottom has been sorted out. Paul and myself managed to limp 5137 back into her parking spot. The next day we returned and Paul completed the work on the EP box by rewiring the boxes loom from the unit under the back seat. Normally this isn't necessary but 5137's electrics weren't the best we'd seen. Paul has also started working on the rear lights, the wiring for which is also a bit beyond it's best.
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.
I've finally fixed the pesky water leak on 5137 and she drove around the yard today for the first time in a year. This of course is the problem with not having inspection pits...
1178 was also whisked around the yard by Claire and is now parked in the line up with the 'deckers in the fleet as opposed to being shoved at the back. With 7980 no longer here it does allow us more space.
A big thanks to friend of the collection Nigel Carroll who I had the pleasure to meet in Canterbury. He emailed me some pictures from his collection of 5137, 5807 and 7980 in their service days. Over the next month, some will be used on the site so keep checking to see the updates.
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.
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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