Monday 7 February 2011

January Update

Firstly, apologies for the delay in my latest update, a combination of weather, work, family sickness and just generally not enough hours in the day combined to make it difficult... New years resolution must try harder...

Anyway above is the underneath of a Routemaster, RM371 and its B-Frame to be precise. The frame on this was starting to show signs of corrosion where at some stage the edges had been 'folded over' and moisture had been allowed to collect in between. The frame had to be dropped out and specialist welding done to all the areas affected. Its one of those long and invisible jobs to the public that just has to be tackled and is part of the point of this blog to show some of these kind of things. The good part is you only need do it once properly and it will last a lifetime, the bad news is the RMA and RMC will probably need the same treatment at some point in the future. It would appear that the grit and salt on the roads has affected the RM's that ran in Scotland in this way, as it is not a problem repeated on buses that have spent all their lives in London.

Talking of vehicles that have spent all their lives in London M1 is one such bus. Originally delivered to Chiswick in April 1978, she went to Cricklewood where she entered service in June of the same year. With the fleet number MT1 she was the only Metro to run with a black skirt. She also had the three piece destination displays like the DMS class, whereas the later Metros had two piece displays. It was always our intention to keep a Metro for preservation and when M1 came long it was the obvious choice. Usually though when the bonnet number is dictating the vehicle you keep, it often turns out that it would not have been the bus you would have kept on the basis of drive and condition! Not so in M1's case, as it really is a great Metro to drive and is in good shape underneath. However, like all vehicle it requires much looking after and here it is getting some attention on its rear brakes prior to MOT.

Diving back underneath again, here we are looking at our latest major restoration project. I showed the interior a few months back and I think most of you worked out what it was. For those of you who haven't its a London Transport Country Area, Leyland Cub, of 1935 vintage. It has been under restoration now for some two years and hopefully will be completed in the summer time. Who knows maybe next month I will include an exterior photo of it...

...And Finally... Our newest recruit...

Yes its an RTL and a roof box one at that.

Numbered RTL453 it has been with the RTL453 preservation group since they acquired it direct from LT some 40 years ago! The gents of that group wanted to see it go to a good home and we are deligthed that they decided that we were just such a place! It avoided going to Ceylon from LT due to the fact that it had a broken spring all those years ago. On acquistion we checked it over and recertified it, getting it back to bus status for the first time in some 40 years. The log book and getting the tax class changed was another story as there was an ID issue/confusion with RTL123 (which was exported to Ceylon) that we had to sort out. Fortunately all was resolved and on finally getting the paperwork back on Friday 4th Feb, she debuted on Saturday 6th taking a group of enthusiasts on a trip around routes out here in the east, as well as a visit to our depot, as seen here on this image kindly supplied by Russell Young of her at the Tilbury Ferry Terminal.

Another newbie with us is Royal Blue Bristol VDV749, that requires some TLC to be brought up to our private hire standard, but fills a gap we have for a period coach after the departure of our Tiger Cub a couple of years back. Always a smart looking fleet this is one we look forward to tackling as Im sure the result will be very satisfying. The photo is courtesy of Colin Lloyd, many thanks.

OK until next month cheers for now