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.
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.
On Sunday 11th March the famous landmarks of east Kent, the cooling towers and chimney at Richborough Power Station were demolished. The area does look very bare without them but at the same time it's rather nice to see Pegwell Bay 'as nature intended.'
On Saturday 31st March a show is being held at the Kent County Showground at Detling near Maidstone to celebrate 60 years of the M&D and East Kent Bus Club. We're hoping to attend with 7980 as we missed out the M&D 100 one last which was organised by the same people. Last year whilst taking some fellow yacht club members out for a drink in Ramsgate, the hinges on the rear offside engine door failed due to rusty hinges. This is still to be fixed as 7980 has been off the road over the winter period. Although we do have spare panels, they're the later type with the squarer tail light units so for ease it will be just as easy to repair the one currently on the bus.
This coming Sunday is of course the excellent Herne Bay Bus Rally which is held in William Street Car Park in the town. Originally I hoped to take a few of our buses along but an expensive MOT on my car and buying 7041 has put pay to this. We will be there in (probably!) 5137 which would be her first visit to this event.
On September 11th there is the New Romney Bus Rally which is held in the car park of the light railway station. Classic buses, steam trains and fish and chips at Dungeness - what could be better? Again I will be taking one of our buses along - maybe 7980 or 7681.
The Thanet Roadrun will also hopefully be in September too at some point where we will be celebrating 7681's 30th birthday and her 10th year in preservation. If you'd like more information on any of these events please contact me via the site.
As stated on the Picture of the month, our buses will be at lots of local events as per norm but we haven't yet decided which ones where. I'm currently getting 7980 through her test then I'll be putting Nuw the Titan through followed by 1178 our National. I'm hoping to have 7681, 7980 AND 1178 at the Herne Bay Rally this year and maybe at the Friends of the East Kent Running Day too.... watch this space. 7681 is going on the road a little later this year, probably May or June so that she can stay mobile a little later in the year. As to the events, we will be at Sellindge on the 28th/29th May (I think that's the right date!) and Preston Steam Rally on the 25th and 26th June.
Well I'm starting to grind back into life after a rather nasty cold winter and have booked the tests for 5137 and 7980. Both Bernard and me had assumed (wrongly) that 5137's MOT was in June, BUT we found out it ran out on the 27th March, whoopsy! She is now booked in for a class 5 on the 30th March meaning if she passes she will certainly be at the M&D event stated in a previous post. 7980 has her test booked for 15th April and I would really like to check her brakes before she goes up (they did smell rather warm in Hastings on the hills last year) but apart from that she should be ok.
Other little jobs that need doing involve all the fleet having a good clean out inside and out as well as:
7681: Swap F/N/S tyre. Install the opening front windows and tidy bodywork by August.
7980: Floors to be tidied and painted. Seats to be tidied. External bodywork carried out. Also start trying to source the front push out windows.
5137: T-Cut and wax bodywork for April 9th. Waterproof front screen area. Try to source a ticket machine for her.
T553: Resolve stuck leveling valves. Uncover destination area. Start on bodywork. Maybe give her a service.
1178: Source O/S windscreen and fit. Service (oil change and lube). Check brakes. Smoke test. MOT.
Both 5807 and DMS550 will be stored VOR (Vehicle Off Road).
If you would like to lend a hand please get in touch HERE. We welcome help with everything from cleaning to other tasks important to keeping these ladies on the road.
Sometimes owning and restoring old buses can be great fun and very rewarding but other times it can be a real pain in the ####! This week I checked the fleet at the yard only to find that 'NUW' has two sticky leveling valves making her lean to the right and 7681 has a flat tyre making her lean to the left. I'm hoping the tyre is something simple like a leaking valve rather than a puncture as it has a good tread on that particular one. Changing bus wheels is never easy - because of the size and weight of the things for a start - and when I get round to doing it I will include a photographic report on it to give you and idea of what's involved.
As stated in this months picture of the month, 7681 is 30 years old this September and it's also 10 years of her being in my ownership. I'm looking at doing something special - maybe with the Thanet Roadrun which happens at that time of year - and giving her a run around her former routes and maybe out to Canterbury. Of course it would be nice to recreate the 47 school service as this was my old school route that I used to travel on 7681 to and from school. However, with the final stages of the East Kent Access Scheme (nothing to do with East Kent Buses I'm afraid!) closing several of the roads this route used, it looks likely that a trundle round Thanet will have to do. If you're interested in coming along and riding on 7681 on this important event please contact me via the website so I have an idea of numbers. I don't want to end up leaving people behind!
Good news is that 7681 passed her test today at Canterbury. She drove perfectly there and back after spending last night in Thanet (it was an early test!) showing that keeping her mileage down this year has helped iron out some of the little problems she was having. Next year of course is 681's big three oh birthday and also 10 years of her being in my ownership so around September we will certainly be holding an event of some kind, probably around Thanet. Over the winter I hope to tidy her up a little bit and sort out the opening front windows. I was thinking about getting 'EK' stickers to go over the NBC double arrow too as this would show how she would have looked post privatisation before receiving the 'new' maroon and cream livery. It would also compliment 7980 and National 1178 (when she arrives!) too. The jury's still out on that one though.
Elsewhere, fomer copshop 5807 will be off road for the next year or two. She still has the tendancy to throw a wobbly when she get warm which I will be getting fixed in the next few months if it proves to be the fuel pump. Not only that she is proving very valuable as a store room / office / canteen too. I'm keeping her mobile with little trips around the yard but her upper deck in now full of VR and Titan spares.
DMS550 is still slumbering in the garage at Sandwich. Everything is there to complete her but it just needs putting on! Again, this winter I'm hoping to progress on 550 and maybe move her towards an MOT too.
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.