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!
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 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.
More new pages have been added to the site, well two old ones and one new one to be honest! I've moved the Picture of the month archive and DMS survivor pages onto the main menu bar to help open the site up a bit. The new page added is 'So you want to own a bus...?' and is aimed at people who are maybe thinking about entering the world of bus preservation. As you will no doubt see from this site, bus preservation is not easy task especially when on a bit of a budget as we all are these days. You put so much into it and the real joy you get is seeing the vehicle turn heads as you drive along a street. If anyone does have any questions about bus preservation please get in touch, I'll always be happy to offer any advice I can. I will be adding a page with buses I have owned in the past on to the site soon.
I must say a huge thanks to Maurice Bean (7980's former owner) and Dave Atkins of Dover Transport Museum (5137's former owner). Thay have just relocated to a different parking site and cleared out the old one making a lot of Bristol VR spares available for us. We now have a good selection of ECW glass, some transfers to use as patterns, some internal trim and a spare wheel. All this is stored safely on 5807 locked in the bonded upstairs section along with the Titan glass and seats we got with Nu.
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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