Jake - Have just been reading your website with interest. You mention that 553 passed from Fleetlink,Liverpool to Roberts. This is incorrect. Fleetlink sold 553 ( along with 554 and 595) to me( on paper) - he never saw the buses,and we picked them from United Counties depots. All three came here, 554 was repainted blue and white for Renown of Bexhill,595 was painted in our (then current) 'Hire fleet' livery,which was essentially Devon General red/cream,but with WK HIRE fleetnames,and 553 was sold to Roberts Coaches. All three were in Stagecoach original livery. We kept 595 for several years until it was sold to Farleigh Coaches of Wouldham,nr Maidstone,who ran it in our hire livery until he withdrew it. It then passed on to Nu Venture for spares,and has now been scrapped. 638,which you saw with Poynters was another of mine. This came to me from GTL (Glenvale),not MTL,and was one of five which we bought from GTL. We painted 638 in hire fleet livery,although,for cheapness,the middle cream band was omitted,and the top painted by hand. Poynters had previously bought a pair of Titans from me for a Tenterden school service ( 488/529),and 529 had been the victim of a serious accident,and was written off.they needed an urgent replacement,so I sold them 638,as our ' self drive hire' fleet was being run down at that time. Poynters never repainted 638,as you have seen. However, when they finished with 638,they sold it back to me,late in 2009. We have now repainted it into our current fleet livery ( see attached photo) and it is one of three we currently use on service work ( NUW638Y,NUW671Y and B124WUV). I also still have A871SUL,which will be returned to service in due course. I also own EYE250V,which,as you may know,was the final bus produced by Park Royal Vehicles. It was new as LTE T250,but had been the last of five intended for Maidstone & District,to be 5400 (FKM400V).That order was cancelled due to late deliveries and union problems at the factory. I bought it from Stagecoach East Kent about ten years ago,and it has stood here since then,awaiting restoration. I intend using it in our fleet colours initially,but will have it turned out as a Maidstone & District vehicle eventually - another' 'might have been',though perhaps,somewhat closer - as it WOULD have been......! Our current fleet livery is a slightly modified DEVON GENERAL livery - based on what may have happened had the fleet continued beyond 1971 into the 1980s. The larger area of cream around the lower deck is the change - all other lettering is based on DG style as I remember from my youth in Devon. I have been considering that when they are next painted,they will have the entire DG livery,with three cream bands,so watch this space. I have attached pictures of 638,671 (with black ribbons for a strange wedding customer!! I would be most interested to see 553 when you paint it! Best of luck with the fleet. All the best, Stuart Gilkes. West Kent Buses
Well there you go, Nuw is linked to Devon General liveried 638! I never expected that. This has spurred me on even more to put Nuw into a Devon General livery. Stuart also sent some pictures too.
Thanks very much Stuart!