Bristol Vintage Bus Group

News items 2007













3rd December 2007 - 13th January 2008


If you're a member and you haven't yet received the December newsletter, please contact the webmaster at as it appears some copies went missing in the post.


The Group's annual new year lunch took place at the Beaufort Arms PH at Hawkesbury Upton on Sunday 13th January.  LAE13 transported members to the meal on one of its rare outings.


Members outside the Beaufort Arms at the annual lunch


RM1363 has been fitted with a new exhaust system, and work is now complete on this bus.  We now plan to exchange LAE13 for RT1599 and deal with the injector pump and leaking rear axle seal on the RT.


12th November - 2nd December 2007


RM1363's injector pump has been removed for overhaul and found to be beyond repair.  A replacement has been sourced.


We are in the process of listing all the spares we have in stock.   We have a lot of spares for Gardner LW engines in particular, and these are now listed on the Gardner spares page.  Have a look - if you need spares, we've probably got what you need.


30th October -11th November 2007


Member John Grigg has bought former Royal Blue coach MOD978 (1291), which is now being prepared for restoration.  For more information, follow the link.  John would be interested in any information about the coach's depot allocations during its time with Royal Blue, or in any other information that you may have about the vehicle that doesn't appear on the site.  More pictures of the coach will appear on the site in the next few weeks.


RM1363's fuel system has received further attention to try to kill the algae in the diesel tank and to replace the diesel sedimenter that caused a breakdown on the way home from the Isle of Wight rally in October.  The starter motor has not been entirely reliable, and this has been removed, overhauled and re-fitted and is now working correctly.


22nd - 29th October 2007


A new book has been published this week by members Martin Curtis and Mike Walker, entitled "Bristol Omnibus Company, the green years".  The book tells the story of Bristol buses from the 1940s to the 1980s.  Available in all major booksellers in the Bristol area, or on Amazon.  For more information, visit



1st - 21st October 2007


On the weekend of 13th/14th October, RM1363 went to the Isle of Wight for the IoW Bus Museum's rally and running day, while LAE13 went north to Yorkshire to the Samuel Ledgard 40th anniversary celebration.


LAE13 has been out of action for some time, pending bodywork repairs, but was brought out of mothballs, MOTd and prepared for the journey following a late decision to attend the event.   All went well - not bad after several years' inaction.


The RM, on the other hand continued to suffer from the fuel problems that had caused problems from the start of September.  This time the glass sedimenter bowl in the fuel line shattered while en route through Southampton from the ferry on the way home, and a Heath Robinson fuel supply arrangement was set up to get the bus and its tired passengers home.


LAE13 in Yorkshire


RM1363 on the Southampton Ferry


On the weekend of 6/7 October, RM1363 was in action as Bulgy the Bus, for the Avon Valley Railway's Thomas the Tank Engine weekend.


Bulgy the bus.  Photo courtesy Dave Jefferies


24th - 30th September 2007


AHU803 took members on a tour of the old bus routes of Wiltshire on Sunday 30th September.  A throttle linkage rod broke within half a mile of base, and a temporary repair was made to get the bus back to Flowers Hill where a replacement rod was quickly fitted.  The bus then headed to Chippenham, and after that by a series of picturesque country routes to Devizes, Pewsey, Trowbridge and Bath.


AHU803 stands by a rather modern bus stop in the pretty village of Bremhill....


...and a little later, outside the Greyhound at Bromham, where members enjoyed lunch.


3rd - 23rd September 2007


RTW29 attended the Merthyr Tydfil rally on 9th September. 


Over the same weekend, RM1363 made a visit to Surrey, and joined in a street party there.  The bus broke down at Froxfield near Hungerford on the journey there but was eventually re-started after some fiddling with the fuel system by Steve and Matthew Wilkins, cousins of the bus's owner.  A big thanks to the people of Froxfield, who were very friendly and helpful, and to Steve and Matthew for doing a round trip of 150 miles to come to the rescue.


FTT704 and OTT98 were at the Exeter rally on 16th September.


LAE13 has been receiving attention in the hope of obtaining an MOT and getting it back on the road after many years' absence.  At present further work is underway to the rear brakes.


RM1363's fuel filter was cleaned out along with the sedimenter (Routemasters didn't have these originally, but one was fitted following fuel problems over ten years ago), and the exhaust repaired where a section of flexible pipe had broken.


27th August - 2nd September 2007


RTW29 will now be attending the Merthyr Tydfil rally on 9th September instead of RM1363


On 30th September, the Group will be having a day running round the old bus routes of Wiltshire.  AHU803 will be used for this, leaving Brislington at 09.30 hrs and Old Market at 10.00 hrs.  Members who would like to come along will be very welcome - please contact Chris Knight on 01454 238661 to reserve your place.


The date of our Open Day and bus rally for 2008 has been agreed as 10th August 2008.  This will again be in conjunction with the Avon Valley Railway.  If you enjoyed this year's event, we look forward to seeing you again then.


20th - 26th August 2007


Following attention to an air leak on the braking system, RTW29 has passed its MOT.


Due to a mistake over dates, RM1363 will not now be attending the Merthyr Tydfil rally, and will be replaced by another vehicle to be confirmed shortly.


13th - 19th August 2007


RT1599's rear hubs have been removed for inspection prior to an MOT.  It was found that a seal has failed on the half-shaft and this will need attention.


Thanks to everyone who has left feedback about our Open Day so far - all the comments have been very positive.  If you'd like to give us your opinion too, click here to complete a very brief survey.  Your views are important so that we can ensure next year's event is even better.


Comments so far include:

"Thoroughly enjoyable event with a friendly atmosphere."

"Will definitely be there for 2008."

"An excellent day, really well organised.  Hard to improve on."

"I enjoy the easy, informal atmosphere."

"This is fast becoming Showbus West!"

There have also been some suggestions for improvements, mainly to do with providing some form of catering at the Park and Ride site, signposting, and advance information on connecting buses.  We'll take those into account as we plan next year's event.


6th - 12th August 2007


The Group's Open Day, rally and running day in conjunction with the Avon Valley Railway took place on Sunday 12th August.  The event was the biggest yet, with just under 100 vehicles involved and hundreds of members of the public and enthusiasts enjoying the day.  View photos of the event.


If you came along and would like to tell us what you thought of event (good or bad), we'd be keen to hear your views.  You can complete a brief on-line feedback survey here.


Thanks to all our members who came and helped to make the day a success, or supported the day in any way, to all the owners of the vehicles that came along - please come again next year - and to our partners at the Avon Valley Railway.


Half-cab Bristols line up at our Open Day 2007


30th July - 5th August 2007


GHT154's broken spring has now been replaced and both it and FTT704 have passed their MOTs ready for our Open Day on Sunday 12th August.


23rd - 29th July 2007


All members who had hoped to attend the Bishop's Lydeard rally on 5th August please note that it has been cancelled.


1st - 22nd July 2007


OTT98 attended the ECW event at Lowestoft on 8th July.  The bus left the previous day as a result of the long journey, and several members went a long for the ride.


Correcting FTT704's brakes to pass the MOT has taken longer than anticipated.  As a result, RTW29 attended the Plymouth rally on 22nd July in its place.


Work has begun to replace the broken spring on GHT154.


25th June - 1st July 2007


RT1599 has been moved to Brislington and the defective auto-lube pipes have been replaced.


FTT704 has had its front wheels and drums removed and new drums fitted after failing its MOT earlier in the week due to ovality.


Details of OTT98, Southern National (Royal Blue) 1299, have now been added to the site.  The bus is a part of the WHOTT collection but our member John Grigg is its custodian, so it appears here as well.


24th June 2007


Several vehicles were prepared for their MOTs.  During the course of inspecting GHT154 it was found that a suspension spring has broken and needs replacing.  This bus will probably be out of use for some time while this is rectified, and may not be available as planned for the Bishops Lydeard rally.


23rd June 2007


Group members Alison Hinch and David Fletcher used RM1363 and FTT704 to transport their guests in style from their wedding today to the reception on the SS Great Britain.  Congratulations to them on their marriage, and best wishes for the future.  Even the sun put in an unexpected appearance.



11th - 17th June 2007


EMW284 and OTT98 spent the weekend of 16th and 17th in Weymouth for the bus rally and running days.


28th May - 10th June 2007


GHT127 attended the rally at Barry in superb June weather.  If you happened to be crossing the new Severn Bridge westbound at about 07.30 on the day, apologies if we delayed you - there was only one lane open and our top speed is 33 mph.  And some of the bridge is uphill.....


21st - 27th May 2007


Group clothing and gift items are now available for sale.  We currently stock fleeces, polo shirts and baseball caps, as well as mugs carrying photos of the Group's buses.  More details.


Also newly available is Geoff Bruce's leaflet on the history of lowbridge buses in the Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company's fleet.  More details.


14th - 20th May 2007


At the Group's Executive Committee meeting on Monday 14th May, a couple of further changes were made to this year's rally schedule.  GHT154 will now make a rare outing to the rally at Bishops Lydeard on 5th August instead of RT1599 - all members are welcome to come along for the ride as always.  Duxford this year conflicts with the rally at Exeter, so we've decided to remove Duxford from this year's calendar.


On Thursday 17th May we held a very successful slide show at the Beaufort Arms PH in Hawkesbury Upton.  There was a good turnout for the event, which depicted Bristol buses everywhere, and was a great taste of transport nostalgia.  Keep watching the site for details of future events.


30th April - 13th May 2007


Due to the weather forecast, RM1363 attended the Minehead running day on Sunday 6th May instead of the open-top GHT127.


On Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May, RM1363 acted as Bulgy the Bus at the Avon Valley Railway's "Days out with Thomas" events.


On Sunday 13th May AHU803 took a party of members to the Basingstoke Festival of Transport.  Again, GHT127 had originally been booked but the heavy rain didn't make an open-top bus an attractive proposition.   View photos of the event. Would you like to come along on trips like this in future?  If so, why not consider our membership scheme?


23rd - 29th April 2007


Our visit to Minehead has been altered - we will now be going on Sunday 6th May instead of Saturday 5th.


Repairs to RM1363 following the Cobham rally have been completed and the bus was road-tested and found to be in good running order.


A slide show about old Bristol buses everywhere has been arranged for 19.30 hrs on Thursday 17th May at the Beaufort Arms PH in Hawkesbury Upton.  All members and friends are welcome.


2nd - 22nd April 2007


Our rally programme has been amended - please go to the rally dates page for the revised version.


On Sunday 15th April Group Members took AHU803 for a day out at the Haynes Motor Museum.  Similar events are being planned for the future.  If you're interested, consider becoming a member of the group.


19th March - 1st April 2007


RM1363 attended the Cobham rally at Longcross on Sunday 1st April.  This was its first major journey for over six years and the first rally it had attended in at least ten.  The bus started to leak diesel on the return journey, and a replacement gasket will have to be fitted to the fuel filter housing.


FTT704 has received revised wiring to the batteries in the hope of improving starting.  Due to the need to re-cut the front tyres, this bus may not be available for the trip to the Haynes Motor Museum on 15th April and another vehicle will be substituted if that is the case.


12th - 18th March 2007


After the long process of restoration, RM1363 passed its MOT on 13th March and will be available for this year's rally season, starting with Cobham on 1st April. 


5th - 11th March 2007


Transfers have now been applied to RM1363.



26th February - 4th March 2007


There will be an exhibition of vintage transport on Saturday 31st March 2007 at Holymead School, Wick Road, Brislington, Bristol.  More info.


We've now provisionally decided which rallies we'll be attending this year, and details have been posted on the site (follow the "Rally dates 2007" link in the menu or click here.  If you're a member, you're welcome to come along with us (subject to a contribution towards fuel costs, and subject to certain restrictions - contact the webmaster using the feedback form to request a place).


19th - 25th February 2007


Apart from adding the transfers, the work on RM1363 is complete.  It is booked in for an MOT in mid-March and hopefully will be back on the road after that.


The Group has provisionally decided which rallies to attend this year, and details will be posted to members, and loaded on the website shortly.


15th January - 18th February 2007


The restoration of the RM1363 is progressing well.  It is now fully painted, all the windows open correctly, all the lights work for the first time in several years, the complete set of new wheels and tyres are fitted, and work is underway to fix a leak in the exhaust and replace a worn fanbelt.  We expect to be able to take it for its MOT in the next couple of weeks.


The Group's AGM took place on 15th January.  Members will receive the minutes shortly.


The first Members' day out has been arranged for 15th April 2007, when we will be taking FTT704 to the Haynes Motor Museum near Yeovil with any members who would like to come along.  If you're a member, please contact the membership secretary by e-mail to reserve your place:


We hope to be announcing our provisional list of rally attendance for 2007 in the near future.


8th - 14th January 2007



This biography of Charles Redrup, the designer of axial and rotary engines who at one time worked for the Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company, has recently been published.  Members of the Bristol Vintage Bus Group contributed material to the author while he was researching Redrup's time with the BTCC.


The book covers subjects wider than Redrup's own life, dealing with related engineering topics from the period in question, and is an interesting read.


The book is a hardback of over 315 pages, with many illustrations, and is available from the publishers, Diesel Publishing, for 14.95,  For further information or to order a copy, visit


News items 2006