© Bristol Vintage Bus Group 2014-15.  Charity No: 1083056

News 2013

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30th September - 31st December 2013

Work has continued on several of the Group's buses, with replacement timbers fitted to LAE13, seats re-upholstered in KLJ749, seats removed for re-upholstering in EMW284, window rubbers replaced and windows refitted in HHW920L, and various engine faults traced and fixed on RM1363.

23rd - 29th September 2013

AHU803 provided transport for the Avon Valley Railway's Bitton 1940s weekend on Sunday 29th September, assisted by Kelvin Amos' Bristol L, LHT911.

Paul Tovey and Oliver Leighfield had charge of the Group's own 1934 Bristol J-type, seen at Somerdale (photo Roger Newport)

whilst Rob Leighfield and Dayley Lawrence crewed Kelvin Amos's Bristol L, pictured at Bitton Station (photo Roger Newport)

2nd - 22nd September 2013

Work on the group's new Bristol RE, HHW920L, is now largely complete.  All the windows have been re-rubbered and refitted, and mechanical work is complete.  A repaint is now being considered.  Work has also re-started on rebuilding the timber frame of LAE13.

On 21st September, FTT704 went to the Kingsbridge rally, and on 22nd took part in a run to Dartmouth.

FTT704 en route for Dartmouth.  Photo: Ken Jones

Also on 22nd September, HHW920L took members to Showbus, held this year at Long Marston.  View photos.

4th August - 1st September 2013

The Group's annual running day, in conjunction with the Avon Valley Railway, took place on 11th August.

Photo: Ken Jones

Photo: Ken Jones

Photo: Ken Jones

View more photos of the event

14th July - 3rd August 2013

It has now been agreed that for the Group's Open Day and rally on 11th August, the Group's premises at Flowers Hill will not be open.  All activities will be concentrated at the main rally at the Park and Ride site, which will make management and staffing of the event more straightforward.  Due less buses being available for public service this year, the regular service to Bath has been withdrawn and will be replaced by one-off round trips when buses and crews are available during the day.

Please would all volunteers helping out report to the Park and Ride site between 08.00 and 08.30 on the day.

RM1363 is still out of action pending final diagnosis of the engine problem that occurred in April.  Two possible causes are currently being explored.

KLJ749's seats have been removed for re-upholstering and re-chroming.  The work is well underway, but the bus is unlikely to be back in action for 11th August.

HHW920L has been the subject of a lot of work over recent months.  Window rubbers have been replaced, but more needed to be sourced.  It is unclear whether it will be in use on 11th August as several windows are currently missing awaiting the arrival and fitting of the new rubbers.

1st - 14th July 2013

Any members available to help out at the Group's annual rally and running day on 11th August are asked to let Lionel Tancock know their availability and preferences for duties: Lionel.tancock@tiscali.co.uk.

On 8th July, RM1363 was due to take a group of children from Cam Hopton School to Cribbs Causeway, but as the Routemaster is out of action, and no Group buses were made available to replace it, Mike Walker kindly stepped in and leant Bristol LH AFB392V.  It is seen here loading at Hopton School.

Photo: Roger Newport

On 4th July, 536JHU took children from Beacon Rise school to Tracey Park:

536JHU loads at Kingswood Park.  Photo Roger Newport

24th - 30th June 2013

GHT154, GHT127, KLJ749 and PFN865 represented the Group at Castle Coombe circuit's classic and retro day on 29th June.  See video (on YouTube).

Three of the Group's buses in procession at Castle Coombe circuit.  Photo copyright Trackside Images

9th - 23rd June 2013

OTT98 and EMW284 both successfully completed this year's Royal Blue run.  OTT98 completed 597 miles overall, travelling as far as Hayes on the Thursday evening; going on to Victoria Coach station on the Friday morning and being there while the Transport Trust's Red Wheel commemorative plaque was unveiled by Leon Daniels, head of TFL surface transport.

There was a mass exodus of 21 preserved coaches including Royal Blue, Western National, Wilts and Dorset, East Kent and Maidstone and District examples at 11.00 am, followed by a journey through South East London to Ramsgate going via the old A20 road to Maidstone, Canterbury and Margate over what was at one time a joint M&D / East Kent express service with several journeys every day.

On the Saturday morning in torrential rain and high winds, and with thick fog on high ground, the coaches journeyed to Portsmouth via Sandwich, Deal, Dover, Folkestone, Hythe, Dymchurch, Romney, Lydd, Camber, Hastings, Bexhill, Pevensey, Eastbourne, Seaford, Newhaven,, Brighton, Worthing, Arundel, Chichester and Havant, following the route of the old "South Coast Express", a joint Royal Blue/ Southdown/ East Kent daily service which in former times extended as far as Bournemouth. En route, KFN220, an immaculate 1955 ex East Kent AEC Reliance/Park Royal, lost one of its roof light/ventilator  covers which was sucked off by a strong gust near Dungeness.

On the Sunday, the coaches followed an Associated Motorways/Royal Blue route from Portsmouth via Southampton, Romsey, Salisbury, Amesbury, Pewsey, Marlborough, Swindon, Cricklade, and Cirencester to Cheltenham, where they entered the site of the old coach station shortly before 4.00 pm.

There were only two minor inconveniences, one being an inconsiderately parked Co-op lorry in Wickham which forced all the entrants into three-point turns in the village square, and a Boy Scout fair in Cricklade with a temporary road closure which resulted in various donations being made to the scouts to save another set of three-point turns.   

A very enjoyable weekend.

Coaches on the Royal Blue run line up at Cheltenham.  Photo: John Grigg

OTT98 on the first day of the run.  Photo: Ken Jones

...and EMW284 passes the same spot.  Photo: Ken Jones

RT1599 received a wash and brush up at Flowers Hill on 23rd June.

Roy Adams and Oliver Leighfield give RT1599 a clean.  Photo: Roger Newport

GHT154 visited Stanbridge School on 20th June as part of our educational work.

GHT154 at Stanbridge School.  Photo: Brian Bessell

EMW284 took members for a day out to the seaside at Weymouth  and to participate in the rally there on 16th June.

EMW284 takes a break at Yeovil Bus Station en route to Weymouth.  Photo: Brian Bessell

12th May - 9th June 2013

OTT98 and some BVBG members went to the Barry Island Festival of Transport on 9th June.  The buses were squeezed in somewhat and Ken Jones apologises for the difficulty in getting a decent photo:

OTT98 at Barry Island.  Photo: Ken Jones

On 19th May, AHU803 took a small number of members to Lord Macalpine's private Fawley Hill Railway.

5th - 12th May 2013

OTT98, GHT127 and FTT704 took part in the Taunton running day on 12th May. More photos.

GHT127 and FTT704 in front of some architectural splendour in Taunton.  Photo: Ken Jones

15th April - 4th May 2013

Several of the group's buses went to the Bristol Harbourside rally on 28th April.  See the video (on YouTube).

OTT98 arrives at the rally.  Photo: Ken Jones

RTW29 has now been sold by its longstanding owner, Roy Adams, and has left the group's collection for a new home in Weston-Super-Mare.

8th - 14th April 2013

Our new Bristol RE, HHW920L has been thoroughly inspected and found to have a number of maintenance needs.  A bad water leak has already been rectified, but there's still a lot to do.

Meanwhile RM1363 failed on Sunday 14th April, the likely cause being fuel problems.  Further investigation is needed.

1st - 7th April 2013

The Group's mini-running day took place on 7th April at Flowers Hill.  A good number of both visitors and buses came along, but the big news of the day was the arrival of our new acquisition, Bristol RE HHW920L, a Bristol Omnibus city services dual-door bus new in 1972.

HHW920L poses at Hick's Gate

Dave Withers and Richard Avery inspect the interior

MOD978 has now been taken to Winkleigh for rewiring to be undertaken.

11th February - 31st March 2013

The latest edition of the Group's newsletter is available on the members' area of the website.

A new bus model is being released by EFE this week:

Plaxton Panorama Coach with the “Bristol Dome”

Reg: UUO 453J   Fleet No:308  On route to Bristol,

This is available from South West Bus Models as part of a deal which means that every time one of our members buys a model from them, they give £1 to the Group.  Details are available on their website.

28th January - 10th February 2013

Please note that the date of the AGM has been altered again to Sunday 24th March at 10.30, Unit 'H' Flowers Hill.  Formal notice of the meeting will arrive with members shortly by post or email.

The Trustees have approved the rally and events programme for 2013, and this is now available on the website.

Minutes of the Trustees' meeting of December 2012 are now available on the members' area of the website.

14th - 27th January 2013

In the interest of making our collection of vehicles relevant to a younger generation, the Trustees are currently negotiating to buy a dual-door Bristol city Bristol RE.  Further announcements will be made shortly.  In preparation for that, we've been working on making space in unit 'H' to accommodate it.  By tidying up and moving the stores to the area at the back of the unit, it will be possible to get three buses side-by-side in the main area of shed rather than two as at present.  This has required the removal of the racking in the rear area of the shed, which was not used.

Dayley Lawrence at work tidying up in preparation for this area to become the stores

Paul Tovey and Chris Knight have obtained a supply of moquette from Mike Walker to enable KLJ749 to be re-upholstered.  The seats are the one area of this bus that is not up to standard, and this is a project for this year.  Unfortunately an exact match with the original moquette is not possible without getting a supply specially manufactured, which would be prohibitively expensive, but Mike had a supply that, whilst not an exact match, will be appropriate to the age and style of the bus.

Paul Tovey and Dayley Lawrence measuring the replacement moquette

7th - 13th January

The date of the Group's AGM has been announced as Sunday 10th February at 11.30, Unit 'H', Flowers Hill. All members are invited.  Any items of business to be discussed at the meeing must be notified to the Secretary in advance: lionel.tancock@tiscali.co.uk.

The Group's New Year lunch took place on Sunday 13th January at the Old Down Inn, at Emborough, with AHU803 providing the transport.

AHU803 outside the Old Down Inn.  Photo: Ken Jones

Members pose with the bus after a hearty New Year meal.  Photo: Sally Jones

17th December 2012 - 6th January 2013

On New Year's Day 2013, EMW284 took part in the annual Winchester event.

Click these links to see news from previous years:

2012  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007  2006  2005