June was such a busy month for Southern Counties with various shows. We visited Dover Transport Museum in the middle of the month and at then at the end was Preston Steam Rally. Both buses on the road this season have been Maidstone motors, 5137 and 5215. As for July, so far the focus has been on my buses, with work this weekend on MFN41R. Paul and myself have been stripping out the police bus conversion from the lower deck. This has revealed a few damp areas but now the vehicle can 'breath' a lot better and the internal air flow is greatly improved so this should soon dry out.
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.
Anyone wishing to maybe enter the world of bus preservation now has a good chance. Dealer Carl Ireland of Hull has former East Kent 7669 (XJJ669V) for sale. She is of course a ECW bodied Bristol VR and apparently has very good mechanics even if her bodywork is a little tatty. Only contact Carl if you are GENUINELY interested in buying this little piece of rolling history.
Also a reminder that Bristol LH / Plaxton AFJ692T is ALSO still up for sale with Bernard. The asking price of this little beauty is £2000 ono. She comes with no MOT or tax. Again, no TIME WASTERS or tyre kickers please.
7656 arrived at HQ on Thursday 1st August after a nail biting tow from MOD Manston. Here she joined former shed mate 7681 and our other buses where her new role as spare parts float and store shed will begin. To get her into her position, all of the other buses (except 7681 which doesn't have an EP control box at the moment) had to be moved. Big thanks to Paul for sorting out the tow and both he and Matt for helping on the day.
Just a quick thank you to you all for the huge amount of hits we're now recieving on this site. Even now after having a website since 2008 it still suprises me that we can get excess 300 hits A DAY! Totally amazing and thank you to you all for this.
7656 the Skip Buster from Manston should arrive later this week if all goes to plan. A full report will appear on this site in due course.
As detailed in Picture Of The Month, 7656 has joined the collection and will be used for parts and as a store shed/workshop. A new page will be added for her on the site in time, but meanwhile, here are some more exclusive pictures of her.
Also, work continues on 7980 and getting 1178 ready to move into undercover storage. As stated last month, 7980 is having an Invicta Radio advert added as well as giving her existing livery a freshen up too. Hopefully all of our EK vehicles will be ready for the big East Kent 100 in 2016!
Well just as you make plans, something comes along and blows them out of the water! From a bus owners perspective, June isn't the best month to move house - especially when the dates you're given to sign the paperwork and move in clash with the Preston Steam Rally, but this is what has happened to us. As you can imagine, everything is now on hold from MOT's to attending shows (anything that costs money basically!) until we get moved and settled in. Bit of a pain but can't be helped I'm afraid. Despite this, work hasn't stopped on the buses. When ever I've had a spare few hours Paul and myself have been working on something. Latterly 3131 and 7980. 3131 was prepared for a buyer who then pulled out at the 11th hour. 7980, Bernard's one of a kind Willowbrook bodied VR has been having her external paintwork sanded down pending a tidy up and panel work. She will also be sporting a 'unibus' advert for a much missed local company too - just to add that certain something to her.
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.
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.