Friday, 15 April 2011

A Routemaster for Burton Agnes

The BusWorks is once again a bit of a mecca for Routemasters. The latest one going through the works is RM348 for Burton Agnes Hall, near Bridlington. After several years of outdoor storage, the bus looked in a sorry state - despite being one of the Arriva London refurbishments from as recently as 2002 and generally operated on the 137 service. Despite being refurbished in 2002, RM348 was withdrawn by July 2004 after route 137 was converted to OPO and later passed to Burton Agnes Hall, via dealer Ensign. Seats were removed and the bus was initially used as a stationary art gallery for artists to display their paintings. However, as the appearance deteriorated the Hall decided to get the bus spruced up for 2011 and mechanically sound once again. The BusWorks is therefore overhauling the brakes and steering for MOT work and repanelling the bus. RM348 will return to use as an art-gallery for 2011 summer season, but at the end of the year it will return to the BusWorks to be internally restored so it can once again be used as bus in 2012.

BINKY goes Dartmaster retro

After three seasons of being kept busy on weddings and other private hires, our Classic Bus North West division decided it was time to treat RM1568 to another repaint ready for the 2011 summer season. Affectionately known as "Binky" because of its non-standard registration plate letters, it lost its original 568CLT upon withdrawal from London service in 1999.

We wondered whether to keep it with a cream band or have a change and go for the later LT livery with white band. Undecided, we have opted for the third option of going Dartmaster Retro! Binky has therefore adopted the all-red style applied to the Dartmaster conversions by Marshall and the guise in which this vehicle operated in London with Sovereign & Transdev on the 13's until withdrawal in October 2005.

After life in London, Binky operated for Oxford Bus Tours briefly before passing to FizzBus Promotions in Bury as a promotional bus. However, it was soon up for sale again and was acquired by Classic Bus North West back in March 2008. Now gleaming again, Binky is ready for a busy schedule of hires over the summer months - but we may apply some typical London adverts to the bus corners to break up the expanse of red.

Bristol J gets ready for all the fun at the fair!

Bristol J-type BHW432's thorough restoration at the BusWorks is now almost complete, and all it awaits now is new cream glazing rubber which is on order - and awaited. Although the aluminium framed ECW bodywork, actually a rebody dating back to 1947, every single piece of timber insert along the sides and roof has been replaced by the BusWorks. Following this, BHW was repanelled and the BusWorks fabricated new fibreglass window pans to replace the badly corroded originals.

BHW432 has been returned to its vintage fairground style livery of mainly cream, but this time with Tilling red as opposed to the maroon it carried in later years. The bus will soon rejoin the vintage fairground for the summer after missing a summer season whilst under restoration.

More news on the two re-engineered RMLs

The thorough re-engineering and overhaul of RMLs 2590 and 2680 at the BusWorks continues. Both buses have dominated the workforce over the last two months, as the buses are rebuilt from the skeleton frames they had become. This view shows RML2590 during a shunt around ready for the next phase of work - interior repainting and then exterior repanelling.