On Sunday 10th September, despite the weather the Festival of Transport at Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre drew visitors from many parts of South Wales. At the event the bus preservation group brought out their latest restored bus, a 24-year-old early Dennis Dart, originally new to Rhondda Buses. Mike Taylor, the Chairman of the Cardiff Transport Preservation Group which organised the event said “Our plans altered due to the weather, as it was not going to be good for our open-top buses, but we brought along several closed top buses and the many visiting vehicles made the day interesting – Several classic cars did come along but not as many as expected. Somewhere in the region 80 classic and modern cars came, including some iconic American fish tailed Cadillac’s and British icons such as the 1950 and 1960 Morris Minor and original Austin mini’s. On the commercial side, there was much interest in a World War II Bedford QLD truck in the colours of the Eight Corps, British Army, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. It was also good to see about 30 former Merthyr Tydfil busman have a reunion led by our now CTPG volunteer Elwyn Jones, Painter and former Union leader with Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council Transport Department plus their former Manager Glyn Bowen, and a special heritage bus trip was arranged too.At the festival, a surprise visitor from Somerset was a former AEC Regent V new in1967 formerly with Pontypridd Urban District Council as their no 4, a double deckerconverted into a mobile home, and painted green. Interestingly, owners Paul and Sam Bateman converted the bus with beds, cooker unit, lounge and shower and used it on their honeymoon 25 years ago. Having celebrated their 25th wedding NEWS RELEASE MERTHYR TYDFIL 11th September 2017 anniversary in August this year, they decide to re-visit Wales and have a look at the preserved former Pontypridd AEC No 8, running free trips on the day. Amongst the visiting buses two red ones joined in running free trips during the day, a 1973 Marshall of Cambridge bodied Leyland Leopard in Midland Red Wyvern colours and a 1979 Bristol VR double decker from the Swansea Bus Museum. Buses from the heritage collection at Barry running trips included the groups newly restored maroon Rhondda Dennis Dart, and Rhondda Mercedes restored last year;an orange and white 1996 Cardiff Metrorider, and three double deckers from he 1960s. These included the dark blue and cream Pontypridd AEC; a green and cream Caerphilly Titan, and a bright blue and ivory Bedwas & Machen Titan. Jones International of Llandeilo who brought along their yellow coach, helped out on the free trips to Rhymney Brewery.Mike Taylor, added “whilst the weather was against us, those that came were not disappointed and we ran all our programme of free trips. We would like to thank all those that came and to our sponsors, R.T. Williams, Sixty-Sixty Coaches, the Brecon Mountain Railway, Rhymney Brewery, Griffin Mill and Newtown Motors”.
A selection of Barry based buses made the journey to Merthyr Tydfil for their Merthyr Amazes event outside the restored town hall, much interest was generated from a photo display of old corporation drivers prior to it being placed into the Depot. Cardiff 434 provided regular open top trips to the castle and was mainly fully loaded. This was obviously a good advert for our upcoming Festival of Transport at the Leisure Centre on September 10th.
The CTPG attended this popular annual event at the old steel town again on Saturday 15th July, several buses attended from Barry including R&W Guy, Bedwas 6, Caerphilly 36 and Cardiff 434 but also making its debut was our recent acquisition Hills of Tredegar Leopard which attracted much interest from past employees. Cardiff 434 provided half hourly trips around the old steel works site and was full almost every trip.
Barry Rally Review
The event attracted record numbers of classic and performance cars and other vehicles to the seaside town. Around 450 visiting vehicles turned up from an Aston Martin DB 6 to a double decker from Birmingham. After a week of some rather wet weather a dull start developed into sunshine at the seaside rally site. The free heritage bus service operated with its most intensive timetable with a bus every ten minutes.
Mike Taylor after the show said
“We had a busy event and we had a lots of people travelling on our heritage buses. In the past we ran a 15-minute service, but this year our free heritage service operating every 10 minutes between the rally site and our restoration centre at The Bus Depot on Broad Street. Right from the start the buses were operating with good loads and we added in some extras. This was on top of the Park and Ride link, an open top bus service and some trips out to into the Vale of Glamorgan with preserved coaches. The classic car side was phenomenally well attended with many more car clubs attending than in past years.
We had a lot of first time visitors and amazingly eight people from Hong Kong, two a husband and wife travelling independently, who visited Wales today especially for our event. We are a charity and the funds raised will go to restoring our collection of old Welsh buses and we can always welcome new members able to work on restoration projects. I want to thank all our members who volunteered on the day, the Vale of Glamorgan Council and all the exhibitors making the day possible”.
Heritage buses operating included four former Cardiff buses including 434 an open top 1964 Guy Arab V; 360 a 1979 open top Bristol VR; single decker 267 a 1991 Leyland Lynx II, and 143 a 1996
Optare Metrorider. Others included: Newport Corporation 68 a 1966 Leyland Atlantean; Caerphilly Urban District Council 36 a 1966 Leyland Titan PD2, Bedwas & Machen Urban District Council 6 a 1968 Leyland Titan PD3, Pontypridd Urban District Council 8 a 1969 AEC Regent V, and National Welsh HR8215 a 1982 Leyland Olympian. On the Park & Ride service Rhondda Buses 91 a 1996 Mercedes 711D operated almost continuously all day, whilst a 1976 AEC Reliance and a 1990 Duple 425 coach were used on the Vale of Glamorgan Rhoose circular tour. Visiting buses that operated included the 1979 Bristol RE from New Zealand and a 1981 United Counties 952 a Bristol VR which had visited Barry from Bleanau Ffestiniog.
Visiting buses and coaches included modern vehicles from Cardiff Bus, Stagecoach in South Wales Edwards Coaches and Henleys of Abertillery, whilst on the heritage side buses came from Newport Swansea Bus Museum, Cheltenham, Birmingham, Bristol and the South West.
Amongst the many cars that came it is hard to pick stars as each had their admirers, some stood out like the 1956 white Jaguar SS saloon and a two-tone green and black 1936 Wolseley 10-40. That’s not to discount the humble black 1936 Morris 8; the red and white 1956 Standard 8, the German turquoise and white microcar a 1958 Zundapp Janus or the newly restored chocolate and cream 1964 small Volkswagen crew bus.
Amongst the displays a 1990’s London Taxi could be seen. This is owned by a group memeber and did great work helping to shuttle drivers between sites. Two cold war Bedford Green Goddess emergency tenders we also present along with a number of lorries. Car clubs attending included the South Wales Classic & Performance; the Glamorgan; the Ryland, Range Rover Cymru; South Wales XR Owners, the Welsh Mini Group; Vale Ford and the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club.
The preservation groups’ next big heritage bus and classic car event will be in Merthyr Tydfil on Sunday September 10th.
LeylandLynx June 12th, 2017
BUS & COACH WALES 2016
On Sunday 11th September visitors were drawn to the Classic Car, Bus & Coach Wales 2016 event at Merthyr Tydfil, many for a new book launch on Cardiff buses. The rally event organised by the heritage bus group based at Barry, the Cardiff Transport Preservation Group has several former Cardiff buses in their care. It was fitting that one of their oldest buses, a 1964 Guy Arab V with a Neepsend open top body was used quite literally, as the platform for the launch. The publishers standing on the rear bus platform introduced author Andrew Wiltshire to say a few words on why he prepared his new book “Cardiff Municipal Buses”. It had been a hobby from his schooldays because he noticed some looked different from others. His work contains many photographs but also detail histories relating to the fleet from the end of the Second World War to today. This was followed by a few words by former bus manager Glyn Bowen who started work in the bus industry as a clerk, eventually working his way up and subsequently became Traffic Manager of Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council Transport Department. Mike Taylor, the organising groups Chairman said “Our Classic car, Bus & Coach Wales 2016 event was a great successful helped by the sunshine and the number of visitors. Our rallies have become a good choice to launch new books on public transport. Last year we had a new book “Remembering Rhondda -the bus company that helped win a war” launched by a different publisher now it’s the turn of Coastal Shipping with one of their new titles. Author Andrew Wiltshire has been a member of our restoration group for many years and we are only too happy to help with the launch of his new book”. NEWS RELEASE CARDIFF 12th September 2016
The publishers Coastal Shipping of Bristol, they felt that a big bus rally such as the one held yesterday in Merthyr Tydfil on Sunday 11th September, was a good venue to launch the book. The rally had around 200 visiting vehicles, classic cars and heritage buses from former city and valleys fleets, but some came from Bristol, Kidderminster, Swindon, Essex and Kent, whilst two buses, 50 and 58 years old were from the former Wigan Corporation fleet. Coastal Shipping normally produces titles about container ships, tankers, ferries, trawlers and tug boats as their name suggests, but had decided to expand with other subjects and few bus titles in their portfolio. This is their first road public transport history reference book.
The photos below show Andrew Wiltshire and Glyn Bowen launching the new book, Peter Owen’s fantastic shot of 434 and 434 again with 267 outside the Leisure centre one loading and the other unloading and finally 792 and 360 unloading passengers
Mike Taylor September 12th, 2016
Great weather this year and a good turn out for the Brislington bus rally. This rally is held in the Brislington park and ride on the outskirts of Bristol with runs to surrounding attractions (steam museum) and the local area. we chose to take our Mercedes 711d and it performed faultlessly there and back. There were plenty of other entries including classic cars and stands selling photos / DVDs. First Bristol provided the “Badger Bus” (a heritage painted single decker in Badgerline colours) as well as a few others including a brand new hybrid (of which there are only 5 in existence).
Time stopped on Saturday as we took Bedwas 6, Caerphilly 32 & 36 and Red & White Guy Arab III to Ebbw Vale for a small rally at the centre of the town. It was very busy and we operated free journeys from the bus station to the leisure centre and back on PAX carrying hundreds of people. The photo above was taken when we arrived at the bus stop before we started.
The Cardiff Transport Preservation Group that restores heritage buses in Barry organised a very well attended Festival of Transport last Sunday. The event held on Barry Island was boosted by the prospect of an air display by the Red Arrows but this was put off by low cloud at mid-day. The event saw hundreds of cars and free bus rides including for the first time in Wales on a bus from New Zealand.
Mike Taylor chairman of the bus group said that the “Festival attracted over 5,000 visitors and they saw a really extensive collection of over 420 classic cars, some modified and rally cars, as well as a wide range of visiting buses and coaches. The days started with damp cloud but it remained dry all day, unfortunately at mid-day clouds gathered but there were sunny spells. Visiting buses came from Taunton, Bristol, Birmingham and Swansea. Our heritage bus group together with visitors put on 20 vehicles running free trips which were popular. Some of the buses were over 50 years old that used to run in Caerphilly, Newport, Cardiff, and The Rhondda. Free trips provided by visiting buses were those that used to operate in Devon, Swansea, Caernarfon, London, and Christchurch in New Zealand. I would like to thank everyone involved in helping out from the car owners, exhibitors and the Vale of Glamorgan Council to John Buxton of the Barry Tourist Railway”
There were quite a few bikers and classic mopeds and several new small businesses and other charities taking part including new car traders supporting the event this year. This increased
the range of side stalls at the festival. Visitors could look at cars from 1930’s to the latest most modern Ford, Hyundai, Lotus sports car or BMW electric hybrid gull-winged supercar. These all help support the Cardiff Transport Preservation Group in their efforts to restore what is becoming a world class selection of heritage buses in South Wales. At different stages of restoration there is a 1958 Aberdare Guy Arab single deck bus, a 1958 Western Welsh AEC Reliance luxury coach that was left in a barn for 38 years, and a real
classic 1947 Western Welsh Leyland Tiger single deck bus. Away from Barry receiving attention is the first little yellow Bustler minibus, a 1986 Ford Transit having mechanical work and the 1951 Bedwas & Machen AEC Regal III, the last bus built in Cardiff that spent several years in South Africa, is now having bodywork attention
Mike Taylor continued “we are just volunteers. We need to raise funds for sheet metal, wood, paint, mechanical parts and electrical units which we can’t make ourselves, and all the people who help us are from all over the valleys, hey come in their own time and volunteer a few hours a week. We offer space to other people to look after privately owned heritage buses, some from far afield making our collection more interesting.
Our collection is also starting to get an international flavour as we have in our care two examples of British Exports. One is a 50-year-old Hong Kong AEC Regent V bus owned by John Shearman of Kent and a 37-year-old former City of Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand bus, a Bristol RE of 1979 in the colours of Bayline, owned by Dr Walker of Wells in Somerset.
We are always interested to hear from new volunteers to help our restoration teams as these make these festival events possible. They should contact me, Mike Taylor and can e-mail me at: info @ctpg.co.uk.”
The preservation groups’ next big heritage bus and classic car event will be in Merthyr Tydfil on Sunday September 11, but before that there is a Classic Bus Day in Ebbw Vale on 12 July.
Ebbw Vale Business Forum have confirmed this years event has sufficient funding to take place on Saturday 16th July in the town centre, the CTPG hope to provide open top bus tours during the day.
On Sunday 28th February we took Cardiff 267 and WW 177 to Swansea for their open day, several other members buses from Barry also attended. The day was cold and the stall was certainly fresh just inside the large door of the garage. This was 267’s first trip out following replacement of the water pump which had prevented its travelling to Merthyr last September, it also was photographed for a future edition of Bus & Coach Preservation magazine. Thanks to Richard Field for the great photos.