Those of you who know me, know that I'm a bit of a crazy cat man! Well it's now gone one step further with Leyland Leopard/Duple Dominant MWV840 joining my collection. She was new in 1980 to Maidstone & District as JKM165V and later passed to Hastings & District where she gained her current reg. She's pretty much ready to go thanks to the hard work from her previous owner and will be given a good clean up and service. She will also be regaining her original registration number too!
Following the horrible year that was 2020, this year is shaping up to be a little bit better from the perspective of shows and events. This year the Thanet Vintage Bus Road Run will be held on Sunday 1st August 2021. The start point as always is Ramsgate Boating Pool at 10am.
Full details are on the run's Facebook page as well as HERE!
I think we all know what went wrong! What a strange year it's been. Despite being in various lockdowns here in Kent, I've managed to visit the buses pretty much as usual. Volunteer work is permitted and following and attempted break in at the garage back in March, I decided to pop down regularly just so I can keep an eye on things and run up the buses occasionally.
The only show that I attended was the excellent New Romney Bus Rally which went ahead between the waves on Sunday 6th September. This was in WKO137S and included a private run down to Dungeness.
Friends of the East Kent re-acquired AEC Swift VJG187J which is keeping us all busy with her mostly cosmetic work. Talking of cosmetic work, PKE809M has a new nose. Her old front panel was a bit battered so I've fitted her with a slightly earlier style one. I've also taken the opportunity to sort out all of 5809's interior lighting and have given her a few dusk runs out which has shown this lighting off to good effect.
Paint stripping is going really well on PKE809M and hopefully during 2021 she will at least gain her undercoat. Swift VJG187J is also in much need of a paint job and the old stuff is being stripped off by myself. The interior on VJG is also undergoing a minor retrim too.
All that remains is for me to wish you a safe and happy New Year.
I'm still planning what to do this year as far as shows are concerned. I'm hoping the following list will help anyone who wants to see the buses in the flesh - although as usual, things might change at the last minute. If you visit our Facebook page that will be updated at very short notice.
20th & 21st June - Barham Vintage Rally - WKO137S & PKE809M
12th July - Thanet Road Run - WKO137S
5th September - Walmer Green/East Kent 104 - WKO137S & PKE809M
6th September - New Romney Bus Rally - TBC
I will be at other shows such as Detling but will be wearing my Regent Coaches hat there whilst other shows I'm planning on attending I'm waiting to see how busy work is. I will also be going to the Isle of Wight for Rydabus and Beer and Buses with Rosiy and Paul but this year we won't be taking a bus... maybe next year??
Work continues on WKO137S and PKE809M with them both being prepped for the forthcoming season.
I'm still trying to get out of holiday mode after Christmas and New Year. It's always a bit of a bind getting back into the swing of things again isn't it? I'm currently working on PKE809M to get her a bit more tidy and sort a few thing out underneath. Despite being mechanically fit, her chassis is looking decidedly rusty so I'm slowly working around underneath treating it. Other bottom side jobs include oil the springs, a grease up and a brake service. She also will have a tyre change too as the rear offside outer has developed a crack in the wall of the tyre. Top side she is being prepared for undercoat with all the flaking paint being stripped back.
When all of this has been done - if not before - I will also give WKO137S a brake service and a safety check. Her front panel needs painting to match the rest of her and she will also have a service too as she is way over due an oil change. I've had a set of filters on the shelf for ages and I originally was going to put them into TFN980T but since then PKE809M has used one of the fuel filters and WKO has become serviceable as work progresses.
I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I've recently been on a bit of a YouTube uploading spree! I'm trying to upload one video every month to keep interest up in my channel. I'm going to post a link to one of the videos below. If you love listening to the sounds of Bristol VRs , Fleetlines and the occasional National then please pay a visit.
5137 the Bristol VR had her new 'nose' fitted in time for Walmer Green Rally on Saturday 31st August which is an original East Kent one - I believe from MFN42R - and was still in EK maroon with the cream 'East Kent' fleetname on it. Although I was hoping to keep it as an exhibit in it's own right, the fact it's an earlier style panel with the rounded 'coffin' style lights made it ideal to return WKO to her original appearance. Now our season has finished this is being stripped down and prepared to be painted into the 'Stenning' Maidstone & District livery to match the rest of the bus.
Back in April 2019 a new bus joined my collection. J913MJF is a Ford Transit Mk3 with Dormobile bodywork and was new to Humberside Council before being converted by a previous owner into a motorhome. Whilst she's never been a service bus, she represents a type that very similar to the service buses. Another attraction is the Dormobile bodywork which was built in nearby Folkestone. Those of you who know me will know I've always liked the Ford Transit minibuses - probably more now than when I did when they were in service! I think at the time seeing one of these turn up in Newport bus station and having a choice between that and a VR, the VR would win every time! But time is a wonderful thing and these once hated minibuses are now rather sought after and indeed rather rare - especially the earlier Mk2. Despite often being labled 'breadvans' -a term I hate if I'm honest - it could be argued that these helped to turn around the bus industry in the 1980s.
Here she's seen with my other and later minibus N301XRP which is a Mercedes 709D with Alexander bodywork. New to Stagecoach United Counties 301 is still - and staying - very much a bus and is currently having MOT work done on her brakes with a view to getting her on the road again. J913 - or Snoopy as she's now known - came with an MOT until October and whilst the underside of her certainly isn't pretty I'm hoping I can muddle her through another MOT before starting on doing some serious work on her which will include a repaint into bus company livery that's period with her look. Snoopy will be remaining as a motorhome. She's very useful and comfortable and has become my base during the week when I work away from home.
14th July saw the Thanet Vintage Bus Road. This is held every year and follows the old East Kent Road Car Company open top route 69 around the coast of Thanet calling at Ramsgate, Broadstairs, Cliftonville, Margate, Westgate, Birchington and then back to Ramsgate via Manston.
This year was without doubt the best one yet with seven preserved buses on the route. Those that took part this year were:
HKE867 - ex Maidstone & District Bristol K
PFN874 - ex East Kent AEC Regent
YJG807 - ex East Kent AEC Bridgemaster
AFN780B -ex East Kent AEC Regent
RVB977S -ex East Kent Bristol VR
AFJ692T -ex Western National Bristol LH
HW54BTU -ex Southern Vectis Dennis Dart
A collection for local charity Cats In Crisis was held and as soon as the amount raised is known I will post it on here.
Many thanks to all involved for a truely amazing day. I'm looking forward to next year's already.
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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