Tom Michaels, Mike Hudson, and Rob & Bobby Darch spent the day at Milehouse working on the remaining B10Ms. The main task that was accomplished was a seat swap from the remaining B10Ms onto our latest addition to the fleet, 185 (F602GVO). It is now looking very smart internally with seats from 184 and 187. All the destination blinds from the B10Ms have been removed and with thanks to Plymouth Citybus, we are allowed to sell them on to raise group funds. A dashboard was swapped from 186 (F603GVO), as 185 was missing a fuel gauge and rev counter. However, no gauges at all were working on 185 though the dashboard worked fine in 186, so there’s clearly some electrical fault with 185. Bobby’s 105 was also moved to Colebrook with thanks to Mike for driving, and to Tom Pearce for giving Mike a lift back to Milehouse to collect his car.
171 left Milehouse today for a spell at Loddiswell, where owners Eddie Watkins and Roland Stone plan to work on it, getting it restored and repainted. The bus performed well on the journey which is the first journey it has made for approximately 18 months.
Regular working parties have resulted in the creation of a locker room for active volunteers at our new 'home' in Colebrook, Plympton. Repainted walls and ceilings and a shampooed carpet has only been possible with the help of Roger Matthews, Terry New, Paul Laxton, David Hockings, Peter Scott, Eddie Watkins, Dave Moor, Alan Sutton, Roy Davies and Ralph Delbridge. There is much still to do and a restroom is being put together next with recently acquired chairs and tables. If you can spare a few hours and wish to get involved please advise Andy, our Membership Secretary. His email address is email@example.com.
The 16th and 17th has seen the new depot cleared of all rubbish and our spares parts and panels sorted. The transfer of vehicles from Milehouse to Colebrook has already started with 175 now residing inside the depot alongside 214, 458 and newly acquired Ford Transit Luton van no. 7579, while 19, 101 and 7535 temporarily residing outside. A massive thank you to everyone who helped out this weekend, Mike Hudson, Jacob Eaton, Roger Matthews, Terry New, Mike Delbridge, Lee Risk, Robbie Darch, Bobby Darch, Philip Heseltine, Graham Tout, Andy Jennings, Rob Jennings and Ralph Delbridge.
Further working parties both midweek and at weekends are to become a regular event and if anyone can assist in painting, cleaning, sweeping, or minor maintenance and repair to our building then please contact Ralph by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by mobile.
An update re: Atlantean no. 9 from David Jenkins in Chepstow:
The starter motor has been refitted and engine cranked over with the aid of a jump start, but unfortunately, the engine did not start due to fuel starvation. The fuel system has now been bled and a restart will be attempted soon. It appears that the batteries are not holding charge so these will have to be replaced as will the front offside tyre. The interior strip is going well and a fair bit of the original trim is still in place. 9 still has its full set of destination and number blinds fitted to the front and rear!
David welcomes emails from anybody who wants to know more about no. 9, and from other Atlantean owners who may be able to offer technical advice - his email address is email@example.com.
David has also found an interesting website about Park Royal vehicles, and there is an interesting page devoted to Plymouth's Atlanteans - see http://www.prv.org.uk/ and scroll down to the bottom of the menu on the left-hand side.
National Windscreens have fitted a new windscreen to 214 which was damaged at RNAS Culdrose after being in collision with a glider. One part of the windscreen was cracked and the other part had been replaced with perspex. With its new windscreen, 214 is one step nearer to being back on the road once again, and later, a new glass panel for one of the 2-piece doors and 2 perspex windows will need replacing. A new set of batteries have also been fitted to 214.
Work has started on the doors at our new depot in Colebrook. One of the beams has already been raised in order to accomodate full height double deckers and now the door will be made higher and runners raised. The work is hoped to be completed in a weeks time.
Meanwhile work has also taken place to decorate the Conference Room and Rest Room within the accomodation area of the new depot.
As part of the big push to prepare Colebrook for its new role, a working party today commenced work on the volunteers Rest Room and clearing rubbish and organising parts. A massive thank you to Bobby Darch, Robbie Darch, Mike Hudson, Paul Laxton, Roland Stone, Jacob Eaton, Terry New, Roy Gould, Roy Davies, Roger Matthews, Bill McCarthy, Andy Jennings, and in a supervisory capacity our recovering Chairman Ralph. A further working day is planned for Sunday 24th February, 10:00 till 12:30. If available please let Paul Laxton know of your availability (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Also, 171 is now in the raised depot at Milehouse awaiting attention to rear brakes and contaminated oil. Following an oil change it will then be straight in for its MOT.
An update re: Atlantean 171:
The rear brakes which have binded and stuck on are now receiving attention.
Work continues at our new depot in Colebrook. The entire door length canopy has been reduced in height in readiness for the heightened doors.
Atlantean no. 171 is back on the road after 1½ years laid up, as it passed its MOT today. All the work on the rear brakes has been completed. The kingpins have been replaced on Volvo B6 no. 53 as have the brakes on the rear axle, so 53 is also serviceable too.
Andy Cooksey has started replacing the seat cushions on Volvo 175, starting with the lower saloon first.
Work has been completed on the doors at our new Colebrook depot. The doors, their runners and a beam have been raised in order to accomodate double deck buses and 214 was driven inside to gauge the amount of clearance. The rest of our fleet will leave Milehouse this weekend to take up residence in Colebrook.
53, 168 and 176 became the next 3 vehicles to leave their Milehouse home for their new home at Colebrook today, meaning 175 and 176 are once again reunited together for the first time since their withdrawal in 2010. Thanks go to Rob and Bobby Darch, Eddie Watkins, Roland Stone, Ian Byrne, Roger Matthews, Terry New, Mike Hudson, Jacob Eaton and Lee Risk, with special thanks to Terry, Roger and Lee for getting Members back to Milehouse to collect their cars, and for the use of the trade plates to enable 168 to be moved. And thanks to Bobby Darch, home-made scones were provided to hard-working Members!
137 has had attention to both front wheel arches, sealing all under-floor joints and rust proofing. Whilst the wheels were off, opportunity was taken to silver the brake drums. A massive thank you to the Plymouth Citybus management for allowing staff access to facilities in their own time to prepare several of our vehicles as they systematically move to our new depot.
Meanwhile at Buckfastleigh, Dave Clarke Commercials have been relining the rear brakes on 201 and we look forward to seeing this old girl back in service later this year.
Back at Milehouse the seized brakes on 283 have been rectified and the braking system is now to Class 6 MOT standard. An MOT is planned in the near future following some attention to the external appearance.
And finally, a new acquisition: A Mercedes Sprinter van has joined the fleet and has been allocated number 7551. This will be used to store parts and be available to pick up spares when necessary.
Work continues on 133. Removal of the upper deck offside panel mouldings and body prep can be seen in these pictures. All external work will be completed shortly, with attention turning to the interior soon.
137 was used to provide the free bus service 54 to the Plym Valley Railway from the City Centre and provide rides around The Barbican and the Hoe. It was the last time it left its home - the former Tramshed in Milehouse - and at the end of the day entered its new home at Colebrook. Although it was a cold day the bus carried heavy loads.
53 and 105 attended the Penzance Running Day which was organised by the Cornwall Bus Preservation Group. It was a glorious day with plenty of chances to ride around the Cornish lanes to various villages and coastal destinations.
One of todays highlights was when one of our Conductors, Paul Burch, walked into an enormous cow pat while helping with the reversing of 105 and uncontrollably let out a few rude words!
Thanks to Andy Cooksey and Mike Hudson for the photographs. More photographs and a video can be seen on our Facebook page (click the logo at the top of the page).
Our support vehicle 7551 has left our fleet unfortunately. It was taken away by the DVLA - nothing to do with us but with one of its previous owners we believe.
A great day out was had at the Bristol Harbourside, organised by the Bristol Vintage Transport Collection. Andy Cooksey's Volvo B6 no. 53 was used for the trip, and it was joined by many other preserved buses representing various different bus companies.
Opportunity was also taken to visit no. 9 which is still having work done to it by David Jenkins in Chepstow.
On the way back we stopped off for an excellent meal at the Skylark in Wellington, but following an unplanned diversion we were slightly late in returning to Plymouth. Thanks to our Events Coordinator Paul Laxton for the selection of photographs shown opposite.
Thanks to our Chairman Ralph Delbridge we have an update on work to 102 and 201:
Work is progressing again on 102. The oil and filter change is complete and now the underneath is being stripped in preparation for the chassis to be silvered, following which it will be moved to Colebrook depot for ongoing restoration work. The pictures show the cleaned underneath of 102.
Meanwhile, 201 has had the rear brakes relined and attention has turned to the slipping gear. A number of gearbox manuals recently acquired have provided the various settings which will assist us in identifying the cause of the slipping gear.
Although expensive, some brand new Griptone sockets have been purchased to fit to 9, 19 and 102, to bring them in line with the rest of the fleet, to assist us in the event of a start fault, requiring our new booster.
On Thursday 2nd May, Roger Matthews and Ralph Delbridge spent the morning beginning to organise the stores area before clearing out the door runner and greasing it, to avoid a future situation whereby your esteemed Webmaster, Paul Furse, finds the strain of fighting the stiff door more than fighting the stitching on his trousers can cope with!
Finally, a big thank you to our Events Co-ordinator, Paul Laxton, for his personal donation allowing us to purchase a commercial quality combination lock for our access door.
Another Leyland Atlantean joined the PCTPG fleet today in the shape of TTT162X - sister vehicle to East Lancs bodied 168, 170 and 171. The bus had resided in Cornwall after withdrawal by Roselyns Coaches. More info on 162 will be shown on its own Fleet page in due course.
East Lancs bodied Leyland Atlantean no. 162 (TTT162X) arrived back in Plymouth for the first time since the final Atlantean running day almost 7 years ago. It is now back as the newest member of the Plymouth City Transport Preservation Group. Its first preservation appearance is planned to be the Hoe Rally on the 28th July. Co owners are PCTPG Members Jason Beverley, Tom Pearce and Bobby Darch. Thanks to Tom for the photo's of 162 arriving at our Colebrook depot.
A working party spent several hours preparing 176 for its forthcoming journey to the West Somerset Railway. Roger Matthews, David (oops I think I broke this) Moor, David (I think I can fix it) Jenkins, Alan Collins, Alan Sutton and your esteemed Chairman all caught a little sun too. Thanks also to Paul Laxton for ferrying Ralph to Milehouse to collect 176.
For an early fathers day we operated a trip to the West Somerset Railway for PCTPG Members and members of the Plym Valley Railway to enjoy the mixed traction weekend. The day was blessed with beautiful weather as you can see from these photographs taken by Jason Beverley and Paul Laxton. Group Members enjoyed a generous discount on their train tickets thanks to the West Somerset Railway. Just one on the benefits of belonging to the Plymouth City Transport Preservation Group!
Work continues on 133 with front panels refitted. A few more lengths of external mouldings need fitting and then minor attention to the front and rear upper domes before internal work is carried out.
Meanwhile Plymouth Citybus' Foden recovery truck 901 (TSS583S) has been preserved by us. It had recently been withdrawn from service by Citybus, and still retained the Citybus logo from the 1990's era when the fleet of buses wore the black, white and red livery.
Group Member Eddie Watkins has kindly sent us an update regarding Atlantean 171 which is beginning its transformation back to its 'as-delivered' livery of red and cream. Corrosion around the windows is being attended to at present.
A working party was organised for today to assist with moving and organising parts to make room for our ever-expanding fleet of vehicles to be housed inside the depot, after the Plymouth bus rally in a few weeks time. Thanks to those who helped today - Jason Beverley, Jacob Eaton, Tom Pearce, Lee Risk, Terry New, Philip Heseltine, Mike Hudson and Paul Furse. Transport to Colebrook was laid on by Mike Hudson, using his car. Further working parties will be arranged over the next few weeks to prepare our buses for the Plymouth bus rally on Sunday 28th July.
Bobby Darch took Dennis Dart 105 and some Group Members to the Weymouth bus rally. Thanks to Bobby for the photos of 105.
A further move of stored Atlantean glass was carried out today following which 137 was subject to a wash at Colebrook depot. Thank you to our Chairman, Ralph, who spent Monday evening in our container tidying up our stores.
7552 has had a window swapped so it has top openers along the entire nearside and just requires two windows to be purchased and fitted to create solid windows along the offside in readiness for advertising. An air valve has also been fitted to the drivers seat providing drivers with a more comfortable drive. A small repair to the exhaust is pending after which it will have an MOT for the next twelve months. It is planned to have flip-down seating fitted along the nearside meaning it will retain seating for 22 plus the driver but not take up valuable floor space permanently. A plan to re-livery the vehicle later this year is in hand as its conversion continues.
The chassis preparation and anti-corrosion treatment on Leyland PD2, 102, has been finished. Compare these pictures to those shown below from the 3rd May.
Group Members were invited to join 176 "INVINCIBLE" on the annual Devon Coast Run. The hot weather made it at smashing day for all involved. As 7552 was off the road, sister vehicle 53 was used as sales bus, with thanks to Andy Cooksey. Photographs by Jason Beverley and Paul Laxton.
Your Chairman, Ralph Delbridge, accompanied by the 'First Lady' took Plymouth Citybus' Leyland PD2 no. 358 out, to provide children from the Chernobyl Children's Charity, Plymouth Sunflowers, with a tour of the city and a trip across the Moors.
We attended the annual Plymouth bus rally with 105, 176, 53, 137 and our sales bus 7552, on Plymouth Hoe. Despite a few showers first thing in the morning, it turned out to be a warm and dry day. Our vehicle numbers were down on previous years due to work being carried out to refurbish some vehicles and, unfortunately, some vehicles failing their MOTs, with minor faults. We did however provide free bus trips around the city and a free bus link to and from the Plym Valley Railway who were running trains to Plym Bridge, giving transport enthusiasts time to spend at the bus rally and at the railway. There was a good turn out of vehicles including a brand new, un-registered Enviro 400 from Plymouth Citybus, but unfortunately the other main operator in Plymouth, First Group, could not muster up a single vehicle to attend. We look forward to next years event when we will have more vehicles available for people to view and ride on, thanks for the kind donations today and sales on 7552. Thanks to all those Group Members who brought their vehicles along, assisted with conducting and driving, and to those who helped out with the sales bus today. Pictures opposite by Jason Beverley and Paul Laxton.
7552 has also been fitted with displays on its electronic destination equipment. These were created by Tom Michaels and uploaded with a huge thanks to Trevellyan Jackett of Jackett's Coaches. Thanks to them for their time taken to fit them to 7552.
A quick update on the progress of no. 9 over the last day or so, thanks to David Jenkins:
It has made the first part of the move as it has been successfully extracted from the yard where it has been stored for several years. Slight damage was sustained to the front fibreglass panel due to it having to be lifted at the rear and dragged out on a flat front tyre. The wheel and tyre have now been replaced with one from Colebrook. No. 9 is now at Chepstow Classic Buses, and is due to be moved to Colebrook in the middle of next week if all goes to plan. More news of no. 9's homecoming move next week.
Atlantean no. 9 (NDR509J) has arrived back in Plymouth after spending over 26 years away from the city. The bus arrived safely at our Colebrook depot at 13:35 this afternoon behind Trevor Wigleys recovery truck. More work is needed on this vehicle before it returns to service but for now it is safe and sound next to its former Plymouth City Transport colleagues. The rear bustle was removed for the towing and is inside the bus. The fuel pump has been overhauled and it is hoped 9 will be started up over the next week or so. Thanks to David Jenkins and Tom Pearce for the photographs.
Today the PCTPG helped independent operator Jacketts Coaches by selling them some windows from ex-Citybus Dart 108 (K108SFJ). Owner Trevellyan Jackett, who has ex-Citybus Dart 119 (L119YOD), approached us for help after it was involved in a scrape with a hedge in Cornwall, damaging 3 windows. The PCTPG was happy to help one of our local operators keep an ex-Citybus Dart on the road.
283 arrived at Colebrook Depot, the latest vehicle to be transferred from Milehouse. A good clean and preparation for an MOT is the next stage for this Mercedes minibus.
105 and our sales bus 7552 attended the WHOTT bus rally at Westpoint, Exeter. Thanks to all who helped out on our sales bus today. It wasn't a busy event for spectators due to the unsettled weather forecast.
Our ex-Citybus Foden recovery truck, no. 7583, was the latest of our fleet to be trasferred to Colebrook depot from Milehouse today.
Two vehicles have joined our preserved fleet. Firstly, ex-Plymouth Citybus Volvo B10M-50 with East Lancs bodywork, no. 178, registration H178GTT, which was one of two such vehicles new in July 1991 for the expanding Citycoach fleet. Secondly, another Volvo B10M-50, no. 182, which has Alexander RV bodywork, registration G621OTV, which was new to Trent Barton in December 1989 and acquired by Plymouth Citybus in August 1999 to replace the last of the ageing Leyland Atlanteans.
Another Volvo B10M-50 has joined our fleet in the form of no. 185, registration no. F602GVO. This is sister-vehicle to 182 which was preserved by us a couple days before. Both 182 and 185 retain the yellow Student Link livery for now, with exciting plans in the pipeline for 182.
Work to tidy up 185's appearance continued with the swapping of the destination blinds with those in 186 and a good cleaning of the glass together with the periscope, by Tom Michaels and Mike Hudson. 185 then left Milehouse for its new home at Colebrook together with Ian Byrne's Atlantean 131. Thanks to Tom Michaels for the latest photographs.
A working party today began tidying and cleaning the lower deck of 178 in readiness for the trip to the Mid Hants Railway on Saturday 19th October, and work on the upper deck of 182 in readiness for Monday 21st October. Photographs and news on 182 will follow on the 21st. Thanks to Roy and Paul Davies, Bill McCarthy, Dave Jenkins and Roger Matthews.
Dave Jenkins of the number 9 group spent a productive morning at our Colebrook depot culminating in 9 starting up and running. After some minor adjustments and a restart 9 was driven around the depot. This marks a significant milestone in the restoration of 9 and full credit to Dave Jenkins and brothers Philip and Ed Heseltine who have worked hard to arrive at this stage - Well done!!
It was the annual trip to the Winkleigh open day and very nice weather for it too!
More cutbacks...182 went back into service working alongside Plymouth City Council as our latest tree lopper. Work has taken place over the past few weeks to convert 182 to open-top, and removing the old Student Link vinyls from its yellow livery. Ralph was out around Eggbuckland today with 182, and the bus will be out on the city's streets over the next 2 weeks so keep a look out!
We held a Members only event to the West Country Historic Omnibus & Transport Trust's archives in Estover, followed by a fish and chip supper at West Hoe, using Atlantean 137. Despite the very poor weather it was a super evening. Many thanks to WHOTT for the opportunity to view the various documents and artifacts which was very interesting.
Meanwhile, on Atlantean 214, the worn-out battery isolating switch, and a faulty microswitch on the lower deck emergency exit door have been replaced by Brian Derby. The various aircraft towing fittings attached to the front and rear have also been removed which will enable the front 'Manchester-style' fibreglass panel to be fully repaired next.
We ended 2013 with a free bus service operating on 4 consecutive Sundays between Plymouth City Centre and the Plym Valley Railway, who were operating Santa Specials to Plym Bridge. Both of our 'Warships' were in use on this service - 175 "ARK ROYAL" and 176 "INVINCIBLE". Thanks to Andy Cooksey, Graham Perkins and Jason Beverley for the photographs.
The PCTPG would like to thank all those who assisted us during 2013 and we wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year. We look forward to seeing you all again in 2014.