Tuesday 3 January 2012

Happy New Year

Well indeed all the fun and festivities are over, so certainly time for an update.

First up is our backlog or poorly engines has started to be unblocked. The first to get its reconditioned lump put back in was RTL453 that we had running on Christmas Eve, and she sounds superb, and was a great Christmas present for us all here. This vehicle has not been out and about as much as we would have liked and we have some jobs for it in the New Year so we can now at last concentrate on getting the interior brought up to speed.

Well as everyone knows we are never averse to the odd acquisition, and this month has been no exception with a few vehicles joining us. First up was RB51 one of the Green Line AEC Duples. Sadly we could not get it ready in time for our own running day, as to Class 6 it took some time, happily however it did debut in Southend on New Years Day, which is quite fitting as I remember the old 795 running there in years gone by and of course later the X1 became a Green Line service, albeit after the hey day of the service.

One that we did get ready in time for our running day was RF319 which joined us in very late November. The vehicle is in wonderful condition and makes a nice change from our ususal basket case condition. The vehicle is seen here on its debut on our running day in a photo taken by Russell Young and kindly sent in. If anyone does have any shots of this vehicle from the past be really grateful.

At the same time we collected the RF and had a family day out, we also bought back a superb addition to the fleet. A wonderful 1937 ex Southdown, Harrington bodied Leyland TS7. Taken at Clacket Lane services on our final run for home, it proved faultless on the drive back. The vehicle has some rot and requires some attention in places but is a fantastic survivor of a by gone era and one we look forward to having on the road sooner rather than later.

Another lucky survivor is the STL breakdown tender that we recovered from Florida and which finally arrived back in the UK on December 28 and here in PT the following day. Our fitters instantly took a shine to it and decided it was far more appropriate than our Transits or Scanias. The intention will to to retain it as a service vehicle, as whilst the attraction of owning it as Bluebird STL175 is there, we would be into the realms of replcas rather than restorations, so as 739J she will remain.

Last but not least is the Cub restoration here which is nearing completion. The vehicle has been run a few times but is smoking quite heavily so we are completing all the exterior work now before it is moved to the specialists who reconditioned the engine so they can resolve the smoking issue. Once that is done it will be returned to us for bonnet and front mudguards to be fitted before once again moving on for painting.

I will update a few more of the jobs that have been done on the buses as winter maintenance as they prepare for the summer season as well as an update on the 10T10 which is coming along very well in my next update.

Cheers for now