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.
CTPG were on tender hooks the two days before Bus & Coach Wales 2015 as rain
all day was forecast. On Friday, Cardiff 360, our yellow open top bus with our name
all along its side and Rhondda 495 passed their MOT so all was set! The forecast
improved, but it was touch and go. Saturday morning started with many CTPG
members up early departing with a record number of buses from Barry Depot and
others welcoming stall holders at Merthyr Tydfil. Assistance by Leisure Centre staff
helped out as vehicles arrived.
Most of the cars that had entered did arrive and nearly all the buses and coaches too.
Some people rang our mobiles to ask if the rally was still on! The first heritage bus
trip of the day was given over to former Stagecoach 759 a B10M in James colours
destined for The Brecon Mountain Railway – a light load but that was usual for the
first departure; the second dispatched by Lee, our bus stop inspector, went off to
Blaenavon for the new Rhymney Brewery – a new trip and a long journey at 40
minutes each way.
Buses in the display area ranged from brand new vehicles such as Edwards Coaches
Mercedes Tourismo and a new Stagecoach X3-X4 ADL bus from Cwmbran, whilst
on the heritage front a Bristol LH in National Bus Green represented Western
National, and Merthyr Tydfil 100 (964DTJ) Leyland Tiger Cub graced the collection
amongst many others whilst Leyland double deckers from Newport Corporation and
Wigan Corporation were there along with Bristol VRs from South Wales.
As usual RT Williams brought many of their recovery vehicles to add to the display.
Free bus service turns by CTPG and members included the 1960s Leyland Titans
from Bedwas & Machen UDC and the two from Caerphilly UDC, 1966 Leyland Tiger
Cub from Western Welsh along with 1981 Leyland leopard ex. Islwyn B.T. The two
open top buses Cardiff 360 and 434 also proved very popular. Myrddin Jones also did a
run in his 1985 Van Hool bodied Leyland Tiger coach.
The Swansea Bus Museum brought into service their recently restored 1959 AEC
Bridgemaster South Wales 1203 and 1964 AEC single deck Regent V South Wales 38
did a duplicate run.
Just before 1pm Martin Doe brought his bus, AEC Regent V Rhondda 495 to the front of
the Leisure Centre and veteran broadcaster Roy Noble OBE along with Bryngold Books
Publisher David Roberts and author Jonathan Isaacs launched a new book “Remembering
Rhondda – The bus company that helped win a war”.
From about 11 till 4 the sun was out but dark clouds on the horizon meant the event
closed quickly. Mike Taylor noted many more visitors this year, around 3,000 were
thought to have been to our show and he thanked all volunteers and sponsors SixtySixty
Coaches, R.T. Williams, Brecon Mountain Railway and new this year Rhymney
Brewery and Griffin Mill Garages.
Thanks also go the Merthyr Tydfil Council, Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre for the site
venue and to Bryngold Books for the design work and printing this year’s glossy colour
24pp Show Guide.
The events calender has been updated with our meetings & rallies plus those we hope to attend, please let us know if you want to travel with us so we know if we can justify the travelling costs.
Over 300 cars were expected and the day before the show the Ford Fanatics Car Club pleaded to come along adding a further 30! A couple of old magnificent commercial vehicles alsocame joining the 106 Field Company REME Army Reserve with one of their huge eight-wheel drive recovery vehicles. Buses from Gloucester, West Midlands and Swansea came boosting the Barry heritage bus collection on display. Mike Taylor said “I can only thank the Classic Car people with their support this year, they almost overwhelmed us with something in the order of 330 visiting vehicles, we must now be one of the biggest shows of this type in Wales. The Vale of Glamorgan council staff did a sterling job in helping us on the day. The Show Guide sold out quickly but this only had 230 cars listed, all the others booked in the last two weeks and this was in spite of many roads closed to traffic due to the Velathon cycle race”. Those that came were treated to a much more intensive free heritage bus service with 15 minute frequencies and at one point we even stepped that up with extras. Our feedback was that many, especially those with young children liked the variety of buses and coaches we operated; from our fifty-one year old 1964 open top bus to our newly restored former Cardiff Bus single decker, a twenty-four year old, 1991 Leyland Lynx number 267 – one of the last Leyland badged buses ever built”. Visiting buses included modern ones from local companies, four 1960’s Bristol buses of different types, and one of the original iconic red London AEC Routemasters – RM1357 15 June 2015 NEWS dating from 1962. The Swansea bus group brought along several and for the first time their South Wales1203 bus, a newly restored fifty-six year old 1959 AEC Bridgemaster, similar ones were operated by Western Welsh on the long Carmarthen to Cardiff route and Cardiff Corporation ran six in the1960’s. Amongst the cars a Rolls Royce and a Bentley came along but it’s the cars that mum and dad, uncle or grandpa had that perhaps brought most memories back for visitors, like the original humble Austin Mini, Ford Escort or Morris Minor, although amongst them were lots of other larger cars and a Humberside Police Car – a bit outside its area, of course! On the heritage bus side the organising Group brought out many of its collection giving free rides and amongst these running for the first time in preservation, on the Park & Ride shuttle, was former Cardiff Bus 23, a twenty year old Alexander Dash Dart. At the show ground, donated to the Group two months ago, was Stagecoach Red & White 792, a seventeen year old 1998 Volvo B10M. Whilst outside The Bus Depot was group member Martyn Evans’ thirty-six year old 1979 Bedford VAS luxury coach just a day before finished and re-painted into its original Evans of New Tredegar livery after four years of restoration.
Spring Depot Running Day Sunday 3rd May
The CTPG Running day proved to be a big success despite the weather predictions of rain all day, in fact Cardiff 434 Guy Arab V open topper was able to perform its 3 scheduled runs. Photos show an Atlantic Depot line up, IBT Leopard on the last Penarth run as the rain started, 434 and Grey Cars Reliance arriving at the Depot to take visitors on a tour of the vehicles stored at Atlantic Depot.
Mike Taylor May 13th, 2015