As of late, we've been busy organising our store bus 5807. Due to a change of management at the former East Kent Heritage garage at Sandwich, all of our spare parts have now got to be moved - and that's quite a lot of spares! Paul Tripptree and myself removed the last few bits of exhibition units downstairs to create more room.
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 last few weeks I've been commuting to work on the bus due to the taxi having a few issues with the steering box. Sitting on these all singing all dancing low floor Breeze buses, you can't help but think whether they'll last long enough to reach preservation. Stagecoach are already having huge problems with the chassis on their N, P and S reg Volvo Olympians which are cracking BIG time. Apparently, so I'm told, this was due to Volvo making the chassis out of recycled metal which has created imperfections which have grown into cracks. With the Enviro 200s and the earlier generation of Dennis Dart there are problems with rot in the rear of the chassis. The Scanias that are the previously mentioned Breeze buses have also had a few mechanical issues as of late too. Is there any type of modern vehicle that is built to last? The chassis cracks in the Olys is bad news to Stagecoach and also the dealers who would sell these 86 seat buses on for further use - mostly school buses. This would've lengthened their service life considerably, many finding use with small bus and coach companies up and down the country. This won't happen now with most of them destined to be used as spares and/or broken up by dealers. The low floor double deckers tend to have lower seating capacity so aren't as useful to the smaller operator (unless they do rail replacement work) - this proven by some having been withdrawn from London and getting scrapped! So I wonder if these modern wonders will have the 15-20 year life span of the older vehicles, the VRs that plod on forever and the faithful Atlanteans and Fleetlines? Somehow I doubt it.
This is a fantastic video shot by DMS550's Dad, Paul as RVB977S - better known as the Pride Of Thanet- passed through the Dartford Tunnel en route to North Weald.
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.
Work has started on stripping out 7980's lower deck ready for the seat frames to be repainted and the floor paint to be put down. Andy removed them all bar one stubborn back on the offside which wouldn't budge! As time permits we will start sanding down the frames soon. Excuse the poor quality pictures but they were taken in pitch blackness as 7980 is parked between other buses, including sister bus RVB977S the Pride Of Thanet and 6801FN, an East Kent Park Royal bodied Regent.
With the closure of Fotopic, most of my old photograph collection was removed from the internet. Luckily I had made copies of everything so it was more annoying than a big loss. As I stated some months back, I will start to put the pictures back on but on this site, eventually I will maybe add a complete page and gallery for them, but for now they can slot into the news page. Here's some of my Southern Vectis Bristol VR collection that were taken when I lived on the Island in the early 90's.
Always good to see another VR enter preservation. This is ex Crosville YMB512W which was Arriva's last Bristol VR and worked in Rhyl in North Wales. Here's a couple of YouTube videos of the old girl, one of her in preservation and one of her in service.
MFN41R has finally arrived at our yard to join the rest of the collection. With help from Andy, she was picked up from Thanet Garage today (1st September 2011). The drive down to the yard was good highlighting some work needing to the steering and that will probably be it. 1st job on the list though is a good clean up inside as she is pretty messy inside. Also when collecting her we almost carried our first passenger. A large ginger cat had decided to to have a nap on the back seat and seemed most alarmed when I stuck my head in through the doorway to look for a broom handle to dunk the fuel tank with!
As stated below we have another new bus joining the collection. I'm pleased to announce I'm in the process of acquiring MFN41R, East Kent's first Bristol VR and latterly the Thanet Crimebuster then the Silver Safety Bus. I'm hoping to collect her within the new few weeks once the paperwork is sorted out. She will be DMS550's replacement in the collection.
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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