The Barry heritage bus group held their long anticipated Running Day on the Bank Holiday Sunday but alas it rained most of the day. The Cardiff Transport Preservation Group had postponed the event as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II passed away a few days before it was scheduled to be held last September. The day concentrated on former Cardiff Buses to mark 120 years of Cardiff
Sufficient local Vale, Barry and Cardiff residents and what may be described as transport enthusiasts came along, although rain was forecast all day. There were many local families with young children evident and those signing the visitors book showed some had travelled to Barry especially to the event from Grimsby, Leicester, Paignton, Litchfield, Stratford on Avon, Swindon, Bristol and Cardigan.
The 1964 and 1979 Open Top buses were left parked-up due to the rain and others were pressed into service running free trips on four different routes around Barry. It was particularly wet around 11 am but that did not put people off travelling on bus types such as a 41 year old ‘Pick an Orange’ Volvo Ailsa or a 55 year AEC Swift that was purchased in the era Trolleybuses were being withdrawn and all gone by January 1970. Inside The Bus Depot, two Trolleybuses from 1948 and 1955 were shown off, as their restoration has continued at pace since a fire nearly destroyed them when they were kept on a farm in east Cardiff. By mid-afternoon the rain eased and seemingly ever popular an Open Top bus even with grey threatening skies!
The bus group were also able to show off two newly painted former Cardiff Buses: a 51 year old Daimler Fleetline in the historic crimson and cream livery and a 47 year old Bristol LHS in Orange. Thanks also goes to Cardiff Bus for showing-off one of their Scania Irizar buses, 1 of only 6 in the U.K.
“The rain may have put some people off, but the kind of event heritage transport centres put on now are becoming big Destination Attractions. Interest in heritage buses is a reminder of how communities change and many people told me I went to school on one of those with a smile when they realise our buses are 40, 50 or 60 years old giving away their age! Amongst younger people, even the Dennis Dart, we almost think of as a modern ordinary bus, we notice has a following – again a bus youngsters grew up on are now being withdrawn across the county, and none are now in daily service with Cardiff Bus. We have restored a couple from Cardiff, one dating from 28 years ago, and a free ride on one seems highly sought after. Despite the rain we had a successful day. We are now preparing for what has almost become a famous British transport and classic car event – the Barry Island Festival of Transport on Sunday 11th June when we will be running our heritage buses again”.Mike Taylor, the group’s chairman