The Cardiff Transport Preservation Group achieved another record breaking annual Festival of Transport event, on Sunday 8th June, now recognised as one of the biggest events of its kind in South Wales, with more visitors flocking to Barry each year.
The Festival of Transport attracted our highest number of entrants three weeks before, we closed to print the Show Guide, but every day more people wanted to bring along their vehicles, right up to the day before the event. The numbers of classic cars, around 250 or more were spread out along Barry Island seafront whilst around 60 more vehicles were up in the main parking area, with more cars, heritage buses and examples of modern buses and coaches. The event did bring a lot of people to Barry, some from as far as Portsmouth, Bristol, and Swindon, not forgetting of course our visitor from distant “Gallifrey,” none other, than the celebrated Time Lord, Dr.Who, aka Matt Smith impersonator (you wouldn’t know the difference) Matt Elliot who was a big hit with adults and children alike.
We also had an Open Day at The Bus Depot, Barry our heritage bus restoration centre and ran free heritage buses for visitors, which were very busy. The day also saw the first day back into public service of our 32 year old former National Welsh Olympian, examples of which used to run from the Rhondda Valley via Pontypridd to Cardiff and Cardiff to Barry via Wenvoe. It ran from new in 1982 until 1992 when sold on to another operator. Our bus then ran in London in the 1990’s before operating as a school bus in Derbyshire, coming back to Wales in 2011 and has taken three years for the group to restore and put back on the road. The red Leyland Olympian 77-seat double deck bus getting its MOT on Friday 6th June on Saturday it was taken on a test run around some of the hillier parts of Barry, but its 32-year old automatic gearbox technology is a little different to today’s modern buses, which was highlighted on its very first fully loaded run on Sunday for visitors to the Festival.
Jane Hutt AM, Minister for Finance for the Welsh Government, who also represents the Vale of Glamorgan, visited the festival and rode on the inaugural run said “It was great to join the annual Barry Festival of Transport once again to view all the buses and to join the Mayor and Mayoress, Councilor Howard Hamilton and Mrs Carol Hamilton to see the refurbished 1980’s National Welsh Bus.” Jane Hutt then went on to give congratulations to all who took part in this great festival. after a visit to see volunteers inside The Bus Depot. Our event this year had some surprise entrants both car and bus, for example we got a lot more really big American cars, seemed like a dozen of them, mostly from the 1960’s. People say they have friends who have booked and they wanted to come along too. On the bus front we had a former Bristol Tramways 1950 Bristol L touring coach and three examples of former London Buses – an RT type Regent III along with two AEC Routemasters, our friends over in Swansea brought along some of their collection, their 1970’s Bristol VR open top bus was popular giving free rides on the day; despite gathering afternoon dark clouds which eventually included thunder, lightning and a short heavy downpour!” luckily right at the end of the show.
Talking about buses kept at Barry Depot group chairman, Mike Taylor said “our blue and cream half-cab double deckers, the 1968 Bewas & Machen Leyland and 1969 Pontypridd AEC buses proved popular as did our 50 year old orange and white open top Cardiff Guy Arab bus.” On the single decker side former Islwyn, Rhymney Valley and Western Welsh buses took turns with new this year and on the road again was a 1968 AEC Reliance formerly owned by Neath & Cardiff Luxury Coaches and a one time resident of Barry depot from 1970, during the last days of Western Welsh. The owners of this coach have just decided to relocate their vehicle to Barry, so we hope it can be used again on other occasions”. Summing up the day, Mike said “We hope the traders on the island appreciated the additional business and the good news for us was that we had a good day and all the donations that were given will go towards restoring our heritage buses representing the towns and cities of South East Wales”.
*Special thanks go to the Vale of Glamorgan Council for helping us organise the event and making it something many people now feel is a major attraction in the classic car and heritage bus calendar. We also would like to thank many local companies for bringing vehicles along including Stagecoach, Cardiff Bus, Edwards Coaches and New Adventure Travel adding to the variety of vehicles for people to look at on the day and as always special thanks to our group members who make all this possible by their dedication and hard work.
(below are photos of the event taken by members Doreen Arnold, Viv Corbin, Tudor Thomas, Clive Williams, Steven Gardner and Mac Winfield).

May 1st, 2014

Posted In: Past Events


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