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 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.
Last year I was speculating that maybe some additional cooling grills in 5807's rear panel may help her out and stop her getting so hot and flustered. A chance conversation with a fitter friend of mine revealed that his firm had an Olympian with the same issue and it was the fuel pump. Apparently the Oly would get hot then slow down and grind to a halt too and, coupled to the fact that when I picked her up from Canterbury it was a cold January day and she drove back with no issues. The MOT was on a cool day in May but even then she would not restart at the test centre. Both days 5807 lost all power were hot summer days so maybe the cooling grills and / or even an additional electric cooling fan may not be a silly idea for now.
Despite being laid up for the last few years with mechanical problems and used as our storeshed, 5807 often performs circuits of the yard to keep her mobile. I'm hoping as time permits to have a play with 5807's gearbox / flywheel to see if that improves things. If successful it could result in her being returned to the road and restored to bus status depending on several factors such as availability of seats and internal fittings and what we can do with all the crap we've stored on her!
With all the MOT work it would be easy to forget 5807, my Camperbus 1! Although she's not on the road at the moment she still get runs around the yard and moved about. I've also been looking at maybe trying to improve the engine cooling grills on the side panels as they seem smaller that the original series 2 grills and could be contributing to her getting hot and bothered. She also doesn't have the grills on the rear advert panel which I will put in too.
Good news is that 7681 passed her test today at Canterbury. She drove perfectly there and back after spending last night in Thanet (it was an early test!) showing that keeping her mileage down this year has helped iron out some of the little problems she was having. Next year of course is 681's big three oh birthday and also 10 years of her being in my ownership so around September we will certainly be holding an event of some kind, probably around Thanet. Over the winter I hope to tidy her up a little bit and sort out the opening front windows. I was thinking about getting 'EK' stickers to go over the NBC double arrow too as this would show how she would have looked post privatisation before receiving the 'new' maroon and cream livery. It would also compliment 7980 and National 1178 (when she arrives!) too. The jury's still out on that one though.
Elsewhere, fomer copshop 5807 will be off road for the next year or two. She still has the tendancy to throw a wobbly when she get warm which I will be getting fixed in the next few months if it proves to be the fuel pump. Not only that she is proving very valuable as a store room / office / canteen too. I'm keeping her mobile with little trips around the yard but her upper deck in now full of VR and Titan spares.
DMS550 is still slumbering in the garage at Sandwich. Everything is there to complete her but it just needs putting on! Again, this winter I'm hoping to progress on 550 and maybe move her towards an MOT too.
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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