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
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.