It's been a really busy month. There was a time when we used to get to the Autumn breathe a sigh of relief and start pulling vehicles off for the winter as it quietened down. Not so now, as the season and particularly wedding season work is still very busy with some Saturdays seeing us having up to 13 vintage buses out per day. What is especially nice to see is that some of more unusual vehicles are all getting outings now and our biggest increase this year has been on our vintage single deck market.
One of the single decks that has proven to be a big success this year is the 10T10 now its restored in green. It has been especially useful as DUF179 has had to have its engine removed and new parts made as it had a slight knock on it and we would always rather cure something at an early stage than run it into the ground and despite our best efforts to find the parts we failed, so we have had to make. Anyway I digress, the 10T10 was up with the BBC earlier in the month for the One Show who did a piece on Showbus and the OAP pass scheme and rather splendid it looked to. I have to confess to having a real soft spot for this vehicle, perhaps because its such a joy to drive.
The last major event in Transport for London's Year of the Bus Event was the operation of RT family type vehicles on Central London route 11. The 11s was known for being an RTW and thus Leyland route so we went out of our way to get all our Leylands out for the day. So not only did RTL453 and RTW335 go out to play but less seen RTL1014 also joined the proceedings. This RTL was sold from fledgling Ensignbus to Unitrans in California way back in the 1960s and when Californian regs meant the bus could no longer operate there it was offered back to Ensignbus, and we gladly brought her home. Restored with her USA lights, reg and UNITRANS logos seen here in a photo by Malcolm Conway experiencing anything but Californian weather!
Meanwhile the Daimler moves on to final completion but sadly it appears the corrosion around the cab and more reframing than we had originally envisaged mean it wont make our running day this year, which is a great shame as it will be so very close. However, an early decision to not rush it means that we can concentrate on getting some other vehicles ready that perhaps not many will be expecting...
The image above gives you an idea of some of the additional work we have had to undertake but the finished item is going to be a real treat when finished in the Southend blue & cream of the old Southend Corporation
Lastly September saw Showbus and our very own MD60 win the Shillibeer Award for Best in Show. The team here were delighted to win such a prestigious award and Paul Almeroth who has spent years waiting to see this back on the road and who has been fastidious in getting the detail correct was perhaps the happiest man in Cambridgeshire that weekend!
And talking of awards on November 5 its the RouteOne Awards where Ensign are up for Best Medium Sized Operator and then in mid November its the UK Bus Awards where not only is the company up for Best Independent Operator but also our Engineering Manager Jason Jackson is up in the Best Engineer category. For all he does in not only keeping a modern service fleet on the road but also all our vintage buses working and running safely we are all crossing our fingers his skills will be rewarded.
Cheers for now