Everyone at the Southern Counties Omnibus Collection would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.
We had a truly amazing day riding around the coast of Thanet. The rain held off and we even had a spot of sunshine!
The 2021 Thanet Vintage Bus Road Run raised a staggering £339.55 which beat last year's amount by nearly £100. A huge thank you to everyone who donated. Every penny helps.
We're pleased to announce yet another new vehicle to join the collection during June was ex London Central Leyland Titan B80WUV - former T1080. Rescued from a local MOD site where she'd laid for at least ten years, she was moved to safety on the 23rd June- although we've been working on her on and off since March.
Latterly in use by a church in a non PSV capacity, this actually saved her from being scrapped due to the amount of wood used during the conversion! This has all mostly been stripped out as she'd gotten very damp due to all the standing around.
She does run and drive but the engine will require a rebuild so don't expect to see her out and about for quite some time. She will be a total restoration and eventually will be restored as a London Central bus.
Due to yesterday's announcement by the government, we have decided to move the date of the run back by several weeks. Although public transport is now pretty much back to normal, this is classed as a public event and thus, under current law would be restricted to only 30 people.
The new date is now Sunday 1st August 2021! We look forward to seeing you there.
Don't forget that this year we also organising an Isle of Sheppey Vintage Bus Run too. This has also had it's date changed to Sunday 12th September 2021.
And big news is that Leyland Leopard/Duple Dominant MWV840 has joined the collection. New to Maidstone and District as JKM165V in 1980, she passed to Hastings and District in 1983 where she later received this registration mark. She later worked with Merton Pisces swimming club and entered preservation in 2008.
We are pleased to announce the date for the 2021 bus run will be Sunday 11th July 2021. Due to a lot of uncertainty we've left it until the very last minute and it looks like it will be able to go ahead following the sad cancellation of the 2020 event.
Please visit the main page for the run where we have uploaded a poster and a timetable as well as details on the event.
We've been busy adding new content to our YouTube channel. New content is added at least once a month so don't forget to subscribe and like our videos.
We hope this update finds you safe and well. What a year 2020 turned out to be. We think it's safe to say that nobody is going to miss it!
Even though there's been various lock downs and restrictions, we managed to get to the New Romney Bus Rally on Sunday 6th September. Unfortunately our rescheduled Thanet Road Run had to be cancelled in December due to Kent going into the new Tier 4 restrictions.
Despite all this, we've still kept working on the buses (volunteer work is still permitted- even in Tier 4) and made great progress on PKE809M with paint stripping, whilst DMS550 has had a few little cosmetic jobs done.
Joining the Friends of the East Kent fleet in September was AEC Swift VJG187J which has also helped to keep us busy.
During the first few weeks of the lock down in March 2020, we experienced an attempted break in to our garage. Fortunately no damage was done and they didn't gain access. After this, it was decided that (with our Landlords consent) that we would make weekly checks on the vehicles and garage.
As lock down restrictions have eased Paul and Jake have started working at the garage again. We've had most, if not all, shows and events cancelled for this year which has enabled us to concentrate on a number of vehicles that have needed long term TLC.
Here is an up to date status of our collection (including the FotEK buses too).
YJG807 AEC Bridgemaster (FotEK) = currently awaiting completion of fitting of the new tyres. Our compressor has been offline for several months which has delayed this.
AFN780B AEC Regent V (FotEK) = Undergoing repaint. Currently most of the front has been renewed.
MLK550L Daimler Fleetline = On the road and usable
PKE807M Bristol VR = Awaiting bodywork and engine work. Stored off road.
PKE809M Bristol VR = Undergoing bodywork but on the road and usable as a display vehicle only.
MFN41R Bristol VR = Faulty alternator and power steering. Stored off road at the moment.
WKO137S Bristol VR = Has been facelifted and tidied up. On the road and usable.
TFN980T Bristol VR = Undergoing restoration. Currently off the road but mobile at last!
XJJ656V Bristol VR = Stored off road
SKL681X Bristol VR = Mitre box fault. Stored off road.
NUW553Y Leyland Titan = Stored off road.
B124BOO Leyland Tiger = Stored off road
N301XRP Mercedes 709D = Stored off road
N306XRP Mercedes 709D = Stored off road
We've had a busy few weeks with work being carried out on WKO137S, TFN980T, PKE809M as well as Friend's of the East Kent's YJG807 and AFN780B. We will be including them in our fleet news from now on due to the closeness of the two groups working together.
Here are a few pictures with the work carried out in the captions.
Here you will find out the latest news about our buses and future events we hope to attend. In addition we will add any interesting bus and coach related news we come across.
SOUTHERN COUNTIES OMNIBUS.
A collection of retired buses living in southeast England owned by a group of friends.