Saturday, 30 January 2010

Repaint for Ribble VRT 1997

Ex-Ribble VRT 1997 (OCK997K) achieved celebrity status after clocking up 29 years passenger service and being the oldest bus (outside London) with FirstGroup. After life with Ribble, 1997 operated with Crosville and then Devon RedBus before finally becoming part of First Western National. It was withdrawn from service, still in RedBus livery, in January 2002 and returned north in August after acquisition by the Lancastrian Transport Trust for preservation.

Full restoration of 1997 commenced in September 2006 by LTT volunteers and now a vacant slot in the BusWorks' paint shop has allowed repainting in cherry red to commence.

Final re-assembly for Southdown 248

Following an engine and axle strip down, Southdown 248 has returned to the paint shop for final re-assembly. Although originally intended to return to use in september of last year, our client decided to upgrade the bus to full Class VI pcv status and to reach this standard it was decided to undertake a significant amount of mechanical work.

Glazing, seat frames, re-upholstered seating and re-chromed handrails and other fittings are now being put back with a view to submitting 248 to VOSA for a Certificate of Initial Fitness (Coif) in March. Ex Southdown 248, GCD48 is a 1939 Leyland Titan TD5 rebodied in 1950 with a Park Royal H28/26R body.

RTW335 makes good progress

The extensive restoration of London RTW335 is progressing well at the BusWorks. Commissioned by Ensignbus, the bus arrived with us in late November and already the bus is stripped down and rebuilding work well in hand.
View RTW335's own blog at and keep fully up-to-date with its restoration.

The view opposite was taken in December 2009 - much has changed since!

London LH BL91 becomes Scilly Pony

Remember the Shanklin Pony 'open top' Bristol RE that operated on the Isle of Wight and is now preserved - well it is possible that the design may influence a Scilly Pony!

The BusWorks were approached by Island Rover on the Isles of Scilly to consider options to replace an open top 27ft. long PD2 that was reaching the end of its operational life without a thorough overhaul. The narrow country lanes required a vehicle less than 8ft. wide and 30ft. long. The answer? An ex-London Transport 7ft. 6ins. wide Bristol LH converted to open top inspired by the Shanklin Pony. Former BL91 was acquired in October 2009, transported from Norwich to Blackpool and is now under open top conversion ready for tour duty on the Isles of Scilly from summer 2010.

Kelvin 1929 returns home

Kelvin 1929 (or RM910 to London fans) was collected by its owners Martin Gurr and Gary Conn on 28 January following completion at the BusWorks.

In a cruel twist of fate the M74 was closed due to a serious accident at Canderside, meaning 1929 had to leave the motorway and detour through Larkhall, passing Dunsmore, where many many Kelvin RM's were broken up. 1929 will make its debut appearance on Sunday 7th February at the GVVT's Kelvin Blue & Yellow Excursion. See

Sunday, 24 January 2010

WYPTE Derwent 8534 repanelled

West Yorkshire PTE 8534 was the penultimate Plaxton Derwent bodied Leopard delivered to the undertaking in 1975/6. The 35 short wheelbase Leopards were delivered in three batches 8501-8513, 8514-8525 and 8526-8535 and were commonly associated with the Todmorden and Halifax areas of the "Metro" operations.

They survived in service until 1992 but 8534 still operated out at Todmorden, in Todmorden JOC livery until 1999 when it passed into preservation. Latterly acquired by Andy Rawnsley, the bus is at The BusWorks for mechanical work, a complete repanel, re-flooring, refurbished seating and a repaint back into original WYPTE livery.

Eastern Counties RLE864 arrives

Flat-screen Eastern Counties RLE864 has arrived at the BusWorks for a complete restoration to NBC poppy red and white express livery. 864 had a long life with Eastern Counties, being delivered in 1970 and finally being withdrawn in 1988 by 'Cambus'. But 864 then passed to Citybus in Belfast for use as a driver trainer, returning to the UK for preservation in 1990.

After several owners in preservation, RLE864 was acquired by Julian Patterson of Konectbus fame. Julian has commissioned the BusWorks to undertake a thorough restoration including engine & gearbox overhaul, new cream glazing rubbers, refurbished interior, external repanelling and a complete repaint.

Derek Randall rides again!

AEC / Plaxton Supreme JIW4045 was new to Derek Randall European Enterprises and its restoration is almost complete after a significant renewal of the main body frame, repanelling and re-glazing.
JIW has been returned to its original Derek Randall livery but still awaits application of graphics and lower skirt rubber mouldings. This view was taken on 22nd January on a pre-MoT test run.

Classic Atlantean for Classic Bus North West

The other trading name of Totally Transport Community Interest Company is Classic Bus North West that operates private hire and a handful of College contracts. Although Volvo Olympians are generally used on the College contracts there was a need for "cheap & cheerful" spare bus that would cover inspections and times when the core fleet is under repair.

The answer was to acquire former Blackpool Atlantean 358 built in 1984. It has been repainted in Classic Bus fleet livery of Southdown green and cream with dark green skirt. The layout adopted is identical to that applied to Preston Bus' Atlanteans in later years - inspired by the fact that our coachpainter is originally from Preston Bus.

Kelvin Routemaster complete

A Kelvin Scottish Routemaster will return to the streets of Glasgow following a complete makeover at the BusWorks. Former RM910, but latterly Kelvin 1929, the bus arrived for its restoration at BusWorks in late October in a psuedo-Edinburgh tram livery. Over two months, 1929 was completely repanelled and internally it has been repainted, had its burgundy rexine lining panels renewed and new Treadmaster flooring fitted.

1929 is owned by Gary Conn and Martin Gurr and is part of the Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Collection at Bridgeton and the bus will be a great contrast to their 1985 built MCW Metrobus 1669 also in Kelvin livery. RM910 joined Kelvin Scottish in September 1986 and re-registered as EDS288A in March 1988, remaining in service until October 1992. A launch event was planned for the bus on 7th February 2010, almost 24 years after arriving in Glasgow.

1929's owners commented "we are both delighted by the progress and standard of work", the only detail missed is the protective grills on the bulb lighting that we asked to be ommitted. The people of Easterhouse used to pinch them!!

A BusWorks blogroll

This blog has been established to let our clients and enthusiasts follow the interesting projects being handled by the BusWorks in Blackpool. We now employ 14 full time staff and have handled well over 100 projects in less than two years. Work was in progress on 17 projects at the beginning of January 2010:-
  • Bristol (BHW432) - Bristol L / ECW
  • Crosville ENL930 - Leyland National
  • Crosville EOG207 - Leyland Olympian / ECW
  • Derek Randall Tours (JIW4045) - AEC Reliance / Plaxton
  • Eastern Counties RLE864 - Bristol RELL/ECW
  • Kelvin 1929 (EDS288A) - London Routemaster RM910
  • Lincolnshire 1431 (CVL850D) - Bristol RELH / ECW
  • London RTW335 - Leyland Titan / Leyland
  • London RM1152 (152CLT) - London Routemaster
  • London MD60 - Scania Metropolitan / Metro Cammel
  • London BL91 (OJD91R) - Bristol LH / ECW
  • MPTE 1689 - Leyland Atlantean / East Lancs
  • Ribble 1997 (OCK997K) - Bristol VRT / ECW
  • Southdown 248 (GCD48) - Leyland TD / Park Royal
  • Tayside (TSL94S) - Ford Dominant / Duple
  • United Counties 651 (651EBD) - Bristol Lodekka / ECW
  • WYPTE 8534 (RWU534R) - Leyland Leopard / Plaxton