It's been a busy few months since the last update - hence the delay. We had a few days away on the Isle Of Wight which happened to coincide with Rydabus. It was so nice to get back to my old home and go on some of the vehicles of my childhood and youth again.
Aside from this, the bodywork on N301XRP has been continuing with the top coats going on the front blue section. I'm still hoping for her to be out laterin the year- who knows, we might end up taking her to the Isle of Wight again.
With the Chairmanship of Friends of the East Kent, several other jobs have cropped up, one of which is getting our bus garage up to spec and tidied up. The amount of unused cardboard boxes and general rubbish that was cluttering up the place was rather scary. Long term plans are to get everything straight and tidy so working (or even walking) around the place isn't such a hazard.
In other news the last roofed Willowbrook bodied Bristol VR in exsistance TFN980T and new to London Transport Leyland Titan NUW553Y have passed inot my care - although Bernard, their previous owner, is still actively involved with them. Work will be starting on TFN to get her sorted out. She's a lovely old motor and only realy came off the road for a tidy up and a service, although a few electrical issues have raised their head recently. NUW is certainly going to be a more long term project and will certainly NOT be coming out the end of her restoration as a London Bus - not that there's anything wrong with a London Spec Leyland Titan - as there are plenty of those around. She will be something totally different and an interesting 'might have been'.
Another vehicle joins the collection this month and certainly bridges the gap between the buses and the Metrocab taxis I own. The vehicle in question is a Mk 3 Ford Transit with the Snoopy nose Dormobile bodywork. J913MJF was new to Humberside Council in 1991 as a welfare bus and although was probably never registered as a PSV, she shares a very similar body to those that were. The running gear is the same Ford 2.5L 'Banana engine' that the Metrocabs use and is fairly bullet proof. Currently she's fitted out as a motor home.
Obviously coming from Kent the big connection for me is the locally built Dormobile bodywork which was constructed in nearby Folkestone so despite the Leicester registration mark (she was supplied by a dealer in the area) she's really come home to place of her birth.
So why another vehicle then? Don't you have enough? I can almost hear some people asking me those questions when I tell them this news and they're absolutely correct! Currently I'm working away from home - not a million miles away but far enough to be putting 400 miles a week onto my ageing car which at some point will say "enough is enough". The Transit was bought to allow me to stay locally to my work Monday to Friday as well as allowing us to take budget breaks here there and everywhere. Although I already have a motorhome in the shape of MFN41R, sometimes a doubledecker bus can be too big and a lot of campsites get a bit twitchy when you try to book in. Plus of course there's the fuel bill... Yes, I could have bought a newer more purpose built motorhome but me being me wanted something with a bit of history and character and after looking at a couple of motors this was deemed to be the best one for full time living. Plus the connection with the locally built bodywork was rather nice.
East Kent ran a similar one from Folkestone in the 1990's which was registered D779NUD. Despite being older and slightly shorter they share a common bodywork. Maybe my one would look good in the East Kent 'EK Minilink' livery too...?
It's been a quiet month or two if I'm honest.
The painting of N301XRP continues and the offside, front and rear is looking really good. She's being hand painted by myself and she's getting to the stage where she can be turned around so I can access the other side and finish that off. Obviously bodywork is a long and laborius process so that's taken all the time so far. I'd forgotten how tedious it is prepping, painting then prepping again...
I managed to get over to check over Muff and Perkie the two VR's that are currently living outside. Both were in fine fettle no doubt helped by the fairly mild winter we've had.
In other news, I have recently been voted in as Chairman of Friends of the East Kent (FotEK). I'm looking forward to tackling the roll and working with everyone else whilst making improvements to our working enviroment (our garage space is rented from Friends of the East Kent). FotEK owned AEC Bridgemaster YJG807 and AEC Regent AFN780B which are superb vehicles and a credit to the team there.
I hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year. Things were very busy with the 'day job' in the run up to Christmas so I didn't have chance to update the website before then.
A date has been decided for the Thanet Vintage Bus Road Run in 2019 and this year it's going to be a summer one! Put the 14th July in your diary, the run as usual starts at 1000 at the Ramsgate Boating Pool on the Royal Esplanade in Ramsgate.
There's a page on the Southern Counties website soley dedicated to the Run where you can download the timetables and a poster too.
No vehicles have been confirmed yet but I'm aiming for WKO137S and N301XRP to be there.
I can't believe how quickly 2018 has gone through. I'm already planning what's going to happen in 2019. At the moment it looks like MFN41R and (hopefully) WKO137S will be out and about. I could be tempted to put PKE809M out again on a few local shows but it would be nice to actually make a start on her bodywork and get her running tip top first. I'm also hoping that I can maybe make a bit of headway with N301XRP my Mercedes minibus. If I can get her done I will definately be attending a few of the more long distance shows.
I'm slowly getting around to updating the picture galleries. The latest one I've added is for Muff The Bus.
Visit the new page HERE!
I must admit I do a pretty rotten job of keeping this website updated. It's always a problem when you're either working on the vehicles or attending shows, time updating a website tends to be not forthcoming. Various people have offered to run the websites over the years but it's just never happened for reasons unknown. So I'm going to be strict with myself and try to get an update in at least once a month.
Also I hope to update the 'Pictures' pages with more galleries on the restoration of the buses. I've started by adding a long needed update on the PKE807M picture gallery. If you click here you can see it!
Who could believe that this website it ten years old today! That's right, on 22nd October 2008 I published the first news item which eventually morphed into the Bus Blog you read today.
That news item was about 7681 a bus I'm pleased to say is still with me - despite being a perpetual pain in the arse! Since then she's been joined by 5807, 7041, 7656, 5137 & 5809 as well as 40301 and the cabs.
In those original days she was in company with FTU392T an ex Crosville Leyland engined Bristol VR who was later sold so I could rescue MLK550L - now Paul's beloved DMS550. With 7681 still off the road and FTU long gone the obvious choice was to do something that involved DMS550 this weekend. Paul and myself included a little run out with some work on B124BOO - his Leyland Tiger coach- to mark the 10th Anniversary.
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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