Bristol Vintage Bus Group

News items 2008













24th November - 20th December 2008


The leak in RM1363's fuel tank has been repaired.  However, the engine was very reluctant to start when everything was connected back up again, and the injector pump was removed and sent away for overhaul.  It was found to have a strange red glaze in it, the source of which is still unknown.


At the same time the power steering system began blowing out aerated oil.  The injector pump has been refitted, and work is underway to dismantle a value on the power steering pump to see whether this is jammed.


Any members who would like to attend the New Year lunch on 11th January should ensure that their bookings are received by 3rd January at the latest.


2nd - 23rd November 2008


RM1363's fuel tank has been removed and inspected ready to repair the leak.


27th October - 2nd November 2008


Photos of the Isle of Wight rally have now been loaded on the website, and you can view them here.


Photos of the running day on 26th October have now been loaded and you can view them here.  Following the success of this small event, it has been decided to run a similar event on 29th March 2009 - make a note in your diary.


KLJ749 has been prepared for MOT, and work has begun to cure the leak from RM1363's fuel tank.



20th - 26th October 2008


Our first autumn running day took place on Sunday 26th October.  Six buses took part, and members and visitors were able to travel on routes in Bristol and the surrounding area.  The event was small, but if you came along and enjoyed it, or have any other comments about it, including whether we should repeat it next year, please let us know.  You can e-mail the webmaster on


FTT704 outside the premises of 'A' Bus on our running day, 26th October

(Photo courtesy of Ken Jones).


12th - 19th October 2008


KLJ749 replaced RM1363 on this weekend's visit to the Isle of Wight.  Members left on Saturday, staying overnight on the Island and enjoying the rally on Sunday.


KLJ749 on display at Newport Quay


Mastery of utility over style: the Red Funnel ferry Red Osprey heads for Cowes


29th September - 11th October 2008


RM1363 performed its usual role as Bulgy the Bus in the Avon Valley Railway's Thomas the Tank Engine weekend on Saturday 4th October.  It was due to repeat the performance on Sunday 5th, but during the night developed a leak from its fuel tank, and could not be used.  The tank has now been drained ready to seal the leak.  In the event that the work is not complete in time for the Isle of Wight rally, KLJ749 will be used instead.


22nd-28th September 2008


EMW284 and RM1363 along with a number of classic cars, lorries and tractors, took part in the Wessex Heavy Horse show near Shaftesbury on Sunday 28th September.


If you prefer horses to buses, here's one for you:



This year's open day photogallery has been updated with pictures kindly provided by Bob Brimley.


15th - 21st September 2008


In contrast with the item below, KLJ749 took part in a happier occasion on Friday 19th September, transporting the bride and her seven bridesmaids to a wedding at the Grange Hotel at Winterbourne.  Laura, the bride, is the daughter of members Kath and Dave Jefferies.  Congratulations to her and her husband, Nathan.



FTT704 and OTT98 attended the Exeter Rally on Sunday 21st September.



14th September 2008


It is with great sadness that we record that Ivor House (pictured left, front) died on 14th September at the age of 78.  Ivor had been a member of the Group since early 2007, but had been involved for some time before that. 

Many members and visitors will remember him as the smiling till operator on the refreshment stall at our annual open days.

Ivor had many interests in life, including children, grand-children and great-grand-children, line dancing, and the Royal and Ancient Order of the Buffaloes, but still found time to help us out and join us on occasional rallies.

A celebration of his life was held at the Memorial Woodlands near Tytherington on Thursday 25th September, and was attended by about two hundred family and friends including members of the bus group.


1st - 13th September 2008


Unfortunately due to lack of demand, the Group did not attend either the Chingford or the Merthyr Tydfil rallies on 7th September. 


However, RM1363 went to Reigate to visit the owner's relations (and had a much less eventful trip than last year).  On the way back on Sunday afternoon, passing through Dorking, the bus found itself embroiled in the later stages of the Dorking running day. It attracted a lot of curious looks from enthusiasts attending that event, as it was showing blinds for the 414 (West Croydon to Horsham) which passed through Dorking (although of course it was not normally (if ever) worked by red RMs, which no doubt caused some disapproval amongst those of the most geeky persuasion). 


11th-31st  August 2008


Repairs have begun to the rear of LAE13, damaged during the open day on 10th August, but as a result the bus will be out of action for a while.  Rear panels have been removed and the opportunity is being taken to inspect and replace parts of the wooden framework.


RM1363 and GHT127 attended the Hawkesbury Upton Village Show on Saturday 30th August.  Pictures will follow.


It has now been decided not to take the sales stand to Merthyr on 7th September as few members are attending this rally.  FTT704 will be attending instead of EMW284.


Arrangements are underway for the Group's mini-running day on 26th October.  This event is primarily intended for Group Members and other enthusiasts, and will involve the Group's buses running on routes around Bristol and the surrounding area from 10.00hrs onwards.  The day is being planned flexibly - as this is a first event, we're not sure how many visitors to expect, so the number of buses running will be adjusted as necessary on the day.  If you'd like a day riding vintage buses around the Bristol area, please come along.  All routes will start and end at our base in Flowers Hill.  If you haven't previously visited, click "Find us" on the menu for directions to the site.


4th-10th August 2008


Our annual open day, rally and running day, jointly organised with the Avon Valley Railway, took place on 10th August.   If you came along and enjoyed the event, or have any suggestions to make about improvements for next year, please let us have your comments by clicking hereView photos.

Group buses prepare for action at Flowers Hill


The traditional line-up of half-cab buses at the end of the day


21st July - 3rd August 2008


RTW29 has been repainted by Busworks in Blackpool, and then took part in the trans-Pennine run on 3rd August.


GHT154, GHT127, AHU803 and FTT704 have all passed their MOTs and are ready for the rally and Open Day on 10th August.


RM1363's brake accumulators have been re-pressurised, and an indicator ear has been replaced after one presumably fell off during a trip to Weston Super Mare a couple of weeks ago.


Times of free connecting bus services for the rally and Open Day have been updated on the site - click here to view.


14th - 20th July 2008


KLJ749 went to the Alton rally on Sunday 20th July, while RM1363 took the owner's family and friends to Weston Super Mare for the T4 concert on the beach.


Trips from Flowers Hill on the 2008 Open Day, 10th August, have now been finalised and details can be found here.  Please note that these are only the details of trips from Flowers Hill and do not include the many free services operating from the rally site itself.


7th - 13th July 2008


Several alterations have been made to the rally programme due to a combination of a small number of members wishing to attend the rallies and the pressing need to do preparatory work to get several of the buses through their MOTs in time for the open day.  As a result, no bus went to North Weald or to Crich, and the Weston Super Mare routes day on 20th July is also postponed: this is probably just as well in any event as there is a concert on the beach on that day, the seafront is closed off and traffic in the town will probably be very heavy.


Instead of the WSM routes, on 20th July KLJ749 will be going to the Alton rally.  If any members would like to go to this, please contact Chris Knight by the end of Thursday 17th - or tel 01454 238661.


29th June - 6th July 2008


RTW29 has been taken to Blackpool for a repaint by Busworks.


FTT704 attended the Stroud rally on 29th June.  View photos of the event.


8th - 28th June 2008


Apologies for the lack of updates to the site recently - there has been a problem uploading data, which has only just been resolved by the internet service provider.


OTT98 has now passed its MOT and took part in the Royal Blue run and the Weymouth rally.  It is currently still at our base pending further adjustment to the brakes.


A new bus has joined the Group.   KLJ749 is a Bristol LL6G with a Portsmouth Aviation body new to Hants and Dorset. 






28th May - 8th June 2008


RT1599 and RM1363 attended the Southampton rally at Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley on Sunday 8th June.  Over 20 members came along for the ride in fantastic weather.  View pictures.


OTT98 unfortunately failed its MOT due to brake problems and has returned to WHOTT near Maidenhead for further attention before another test.


RTW29 is being prepared for a professional repaint by Busworks at Blackpool.


13th - 27th May 2008


GHT154, EMW284, and OTT98 attended the Bristol Harbourside rally on Sunday 18th May.


OTT98 has been prepared for its MOT.


12th May 2008


Today was the 100th anniversary of Bristol Commercial Vehicles, and to mark the date a parade of vintage buses took place over the first Bristol bus route, from the Clifton Suspension Bridge to the Victoria Rooms.  This was featured on the local news, including interviews with several of our members.  GHT154 and AHU803 took part.


21st April - 11th May 2008


RT1599 has passed its MOT.


RM1363 spent the weekend of 10th & 11th May posing as Bulgy the Bus for the Avon Valley Railway's Thomas the Tank Engine weekend.


TD130 is now for sale.


14th - 20th April 2008


RTW29 spent the weekend in Manchester for the Manchester Museum of Transport's London bus day.


The cracked glass in the emergency exit door on OTT98 has been removed for a replacement to be made to pattern, and the aluminium surround removed to rectify a dent, and replaced.


7th - 13th April 2008


This season's rally and events programme has now been finalised - view it here.


17th March - 6th April 2008


RT1599 is now ready for MOT, and has received some internal repainting.


The rebuilding of MOD978's engine is now complete.


RM1363 and an intrepid and rather cold set of passengers attended the Cobham bus rally on 6th April in unseasonal snow.   The bus performed beautifully after all the attention to its fuel system since the autumn, and appears (I'm touching wood as I write this) to be fully restored to health.  More photos of the Cobham rally.


RM1363 stands in the snow at Reading Services


10th - 16th March 2008


RM1363 has passed its MOT.  RT1599's hub has been reassembled with a new set of bearings and oil seals.


18th February - 9th March 2008


The leak on RT1599's cooling system has been fixed, and the half-shaft removed to rectify an oil leak.

RM1363 has been prepared for MOT.


A provisional list of this year's rallies has now been placed on the site.


11th - 17th February 2008


Look out for an article about our last Open Day in This England magazine's Spring 2008 edition which is out now.  It's a two-page spread including a number of photos of the event, although not of any of the Group's own buses.


21st January - 10th February 2008


Work has begun to repair a leak from RT1599's cooling system.  OTT98 has arrived at Brislington for attention to its bodywork.


AHU803 (with all its identifying features, fleet crest and adverts masked) was used for the production of a film about the Nazis' mistreatment of disabled people.



14th - 20th January 2008


RT1599 has arrived at Brislington ready for work to its injector pump and a rear axle seal, while LAE13 has been moved to Westerleigh in the RT's place.  RTW29 has been found to have a defective brake valve which is causing loss of air pressure and will need attention.


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.


News items 2007