Thursday, 25 March 2010

Scilly Pony takes shape!

Ex-LT Bristol LH OJD91R is making good progress being converted to open top for its new role as a sightseeing tour vehicle on Isles of Scilly. The bus is now panelled, windscreens refitted and the interior is now being assembled. The bus is due for handover in May and will be painted in light blue and cream livery.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Rebodied by the BusWorks!

Two extensive coach restorations have been completed this month - a Duple Dominant and a Plaxton Supreme. Both vehicles have been long term restorations partly because of the extensive rebuilding required and the need to slot work around other "quick-win" projects but also a requirement to program work around our client's budget. Both vehicles have been completely reframed by the BusWorks - so they are half original builder and half BusWorks now!

The AEC Reliance was new to Derek Randall European Enterprises of North Acton in 1979 and was used extensively on work involving taking holiday makers to the South of France Spain and Italy. JIW is now in as-new condition once more with the original livery faithfully recreated and work including a complete interior refurbishment . But far from settling into retirement, JIW will soon be earning its keep once more with "Knights Out" on private hire work from its Hemel Hempstead base. See

TSL94S was originally built only a stones throw away from the BusWorks at the Vicarage Lane plant of Duple. Now looking as good as new once more, TSL just awaits application of Tayside graphics before it is handed back to its owner Jim Crowe of the Tayside Transport collection. Like the Plaxton Supreme, work on TSL has included a complete lower half re-frame, a new saloon floor and a complete repanel. The BusWorks had to overcome the problem of restoring the polished moulding with the original plastic backing plates having deteriorated with age. Although originally operated by McLaughlins, TSL has been restored to Tayside livery and will soon be returning to Perth.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Ribble VRT 1997 emerges

Looking superb in cherry red, Ribble 1997 emerged from the BusWorks' paint shop today gleaming in the spring sunshine. There is still quite a bit of finishing work to do, but we are looking forward to 1997 returning to the road for the first time since 2002.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Bristol J-type BHW432 for body overhaul

BHW432 is a remarkable survivor. Built in 1935 for Bristol Tramways and delivered in the tramway blue livery, the bus was rebodied by ECW in 1947 and the more typically Bristol Omnibus "Tilling Green" livery applied.

After retirement from passenger use in 1958, BHW432 became a showman's bus but after being laid up for several years (and already 59 years old), the bus was acquired by Simon Harris & Kevin Scrivens in 1994, operators of vintage fairgrounds. Fitted with a generator to power rides and a large storage area to the rear, BHW432 took on a new life with the travelling fairground which includes an unusual set of chair rides.

By 2009, BHW was getting rather delicate both mechanically and structure. The BusWorks has been commissioned to fully overhaul the bus and this has involved sourcing many rare mechanical parts and not inconsiderable time and expense. The next major phase is stripping down the ECW body - a 63 year old body on a 75-year old chassis.

See for more details.

ECOC Bristol RE progresses

Eastern Counties Bristol RE RLE864 is progressing well at the BusWorks. Some external panels have been selected for replacement whilst all the window rubbers are being replaced by new silicon cream rubber. More significantly, the cab area has been stripped down to its basic aluminium frame to allow renewal of the timbers that were rotten.