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News - 2012

(Click here to see news page from 2011)

(Click here to see news page from 2010)


Some of the most recent events affecting us and our fleet:

(Click on photos for full size images)

Wednesday, 26 December: there was some doubt as to whether we were going to be able to resource our customary 'Boxing Day Buses' event in Torquay but a last88 - Castle Circus 261212 minute decision was taken that this could go ahead.  Having used the B6 last year it was time to return to somewhat older transport this time around and the 1972 LHS (VOD88K) was pressed into action.  Initially, 88 was unimpressed with the idea and protested with recurrence of a previous issue whereby the clutch plate and flywheel become stuck together.  This has the effect of disabling the clutch altogether, making gear selection impossible with the engine running.  A few running repairs overcame 88 - Strand 261212the problem though and 88 journeyed to Torquay on Christmas Day.

Boxing Day saw most of Torquay's shops open and, with no other buses or trains running, we picked-up a steady supply of passengers throughout the day.  All were very appreciative of the service ... especially so when they found out if was free!

Service 136 ran from Torquay, Castle Circus, down through the centre of the town (and Fleet Walk) to the Strand and then along the sea front through to Paignton.  Six round trips were completed at hourly intervals.

Shedden Hill 020912(1)Sunday, 2 September: the fourth annual Torbay Vintage Bus Running Day, as usual held at Shedden Hil Car Park in Torquay.  We were, once again, well supported with over 30 vehicles in attendance and as an experiment, this year all services commenced and terminated at the rally site rather than on the seafront.  This seemed to work well.

Shedden Hill 020912 (2)We have received much positive feedback and hope all who attended enjoyed the event.

Saturday, 16 June & Sunday, 17 June: the 3rd weekend in June (the Sunday of which is usually Father's Day) is the traditional date for the Weymouth Vintage BusJOJ548 at WVBRD 170612 Running Day and this year saw our 6th consecutive event.  Once again Lodmoor Car Park was the venue and we were pleased to enjoy much better weather than that seen in 2011.

Saturday evening was taken-up with the usual run down to Portland Bill for early arrivals at the event and this year 4 vehicles made the journey.

The more clement weather resulted in a much better turnout on the Sunday with Lodmoor Car Park - WVBRD 170612some 35+ vehicles in attendance, along with a selection of stalls and, most importantly, a good number of visitors.  Free bus services once again operated throughout the day and a new route to Chickerell was introduced this year, along with a variation on the '22' to Portland via the Olympic sailing venue (the 'Olympic Special' was operated, appropriately, by a Leyland Olympian on some of the journeys).

We have received much positive feedback and it seems that the day was enjoyed by all those in attendance.

Wednesday, 6 June: today saw something of a first for the Group as, with 6 of the fleet needing MOTs, it was decided to tackle all of them in one day.  This took a certain amount of organising as the vehicles are split between storage locations but, with some careful planning, 518, 2883, 913, 911, 1159 and 1804 were all successfully tested.  Although not all of these will be required for immediate use, it does make a couple more available for forthcoming events, notably the Weymouth Vintage Bus Running Day on Sunday, 17 June

Sunday, 27th May: another 'first' was our participation today in the Weymouth Vintage Vehicle Preservation Society's 'Dorset Tour'.  This is an annual event that allows owners of88 at Winterborne Monkton - 270512 vintage cars (with the odd van and lorry) to spend a morning travelling at a sedate pace around the minor roads of Dorset, at the same time enjoying some magnificent scenery.  Various clues to a 20-point puzzle are provided along the way to add to the interest, as well as some suggested 'watering holes'!

Our role here was to provide transport for those without vintage vehicles so that they too could enjoy the event and take part in the quiz.  A small number joined us 88 at Winfrith Newburg - 270512for this experience and after a quick circuit of Portland we went on to visit such exotic locations as Langton Herring, Winterborne Monkton, Moreton, Winfrith Newburg and East Chaldon before returning to Weymouth for a static display of the vehicles and judging of the entries.

Again, the weather was perfect and this added to a very enjoyable event.

Saturday, 26th May: a new event on the calendar was the St Margaret's Somerset Hospice Summer Fair held at the hospice in Yeovil.  Initially we were asked to provide a bus as an exhibit but this developed into a request to run a free shuttle service from the Yeovil Showground car park to the Fair.  Although the distance is probably less than 300 yards, the very busy A37 Dorchester - Yeovil road has to be crossed and it was concluded that this could more easily be done in a bus (the driver begged to differ on several occasions!).  Anyway, some 20 round trips were run and although the crowds were not vast it appeared that St Margarets did well.  The glorious weather can only have assisted.  The photograph shows 88 parked outside the Hospice awaiting passengers for the return to the car park

88 at St Margaret's Hospice, Yeovil - 260512

Thursday, 3 May - Tuesday, 8 May: the May Day Bank Holiday weekend sees the88 at Bodafon Fields, Llandudno - 050512 annual Transport Festival at Bodafon Fields, Llandudno.  This coincides with the town's Victorian Extravaganza which takes place in the town centre and the two events have come to compliment each other.  For some years there has been a tradition of running 'shuttle' buses between the town centre and the rally site and this service is provided by various vintage vehicles that are attending the event.  This year some 30,000 passengers were carried over the three days with the fine weather on Saturday and Sunday helping to draw good numbers of visitors.

88 in Llandudno - 070512 (Carl Berry)In previous years we have managed up to three vehicles but 2012 saw just one of the fleet making the 500 mile round trip.  With recent attention to various faults and a new MOT, Bristol LHS 88 was the choice this year and it made the trip up and back with apparent ease.  Despite the fact that the bus hadn't have carried full loads for many years, it seemed very happy to be carrying 33 passengers again, even on the steep climbs of the Great Orme on Sunday evening.  Some 31 round trips between Bodafon Fields and the town centre were completed and around 800 passengers conveyed.

All in all a very enjoyable and successful weekend.

(2nd photo courtesy of Carl Berry)

Sunday, 29 April: two years ago the Devon General Society held a running day in Exmouth.  This was well supported and received much favourable comment, to the extent that they decided to repeat the event this year.  Unlike 2010, however, this year was not blessed with such good weather.  In fact the day was  very similar to that suffered at the Weymouth running day last year with constant rain throughout the event and miserable journeys both ways.  Despite this a respectable number of buses and members of the travelling public attended and both 518 and 88 behaved themselves all day.  Unfortunately 701, the B6, decided that the wet weather did not appeal and developed an insurmountable gear selector problem confining it to base in Torquay.  All in all an enjoyable day despite the weather.

Friday, 27 April: MOT time again for the LHS, VOD88K.  Dorset Works at Charminster was visited and a pass certificate obtained.  88 will now join 518 at Sunday's Devon General Society running day in Exmouth.

Tuesday, 22 February: a trip to the Transport Museum at Wythall with Woody's5919 at M5 Michael Wood Services 210212 S23.  A general service and a few minor jobs will be attended-to ahead of the bus being submitted for MOT and then a return to its base in Dorset.

The photograph shows 5919 entering Michael Wood Services on the northbound M5.







Updated 27 December 2012          E&OE.  Nothing contained in this website constitutes a legal contract or guarantees availability.