On 15th June we attended the Dover Transport Museum bus rally which is held in conjunction with the East Kent Railway and includes a free bus service between the two sites. This really is a great day out and the museum has so much to look at with cars, commercials, models and loads of other exhibits. If you're in east Kent area pay them a visit, details on their website HERE. Same applies with the East Kent Railway. If like us you grew up with Southern Region electric trains then this place is for you. A 4-BEP and a 2-EPB are just some of what they have there. We took along two of Nick's buses, N715TPK and NPD145L and had a great day.
As the sun begins to shine, it has allowed work to continue at a growing pace.
At HQ the buses continue to be prepared for Detling on the 5th April, BOO and 5137 have been run up to check that everything is still moving and working correctly.
DMS550 ventured into the outdoors for the first time in over 3 years, It was a fantastic site to see and a credit to Paul, who has constantly been working on it for the past 2 years.
In the West Kent base the rebuild of Q has been progressing with the front now fixed into position, and now looks like a bus again at the front, the next step is to replace the back end which was rather rotten!
5916 has been shunted around the yard a few times to keep everything running and to keep the wheels turning, she has now been parked up for the time being, while a problem with the gears is rectified.
A new bus maybe on the scene within the next few months which has meant something has to go. With sadness we must part company with our Zig Zag Dart. She was rescued with the intentions of passing the project on to someone that had the time to put her back to former glory. Anyone wishing to express an interest in taking it on please get in touch!
It has been a fairly busy month for the fleet, lots of small jobs have been completed. Any progress in the winter months is good news but with fairly warm weather for the time of year, the opportunity had to be seized!
At HQ Andy & Jake gave the buses a few laps around the yard, including our store shed 5807. We like to give all our buses a few laps when possible just to keep them in good running order and everything moving freely. Even yard bound buses like 5807 and 7041.
At the West Kent base, NPD and Q have had a few minor jobs done by Nick & Paul. This included fixing a saggy door which would not close under its own power, this was rectified along with the power steering being topped up on NPD which was causing a whining noise. Q was moved to allow rubbing down of the higher panels to start, but the water feed to the engine was broken, fortunately it was noticed in time before it caused a lot of damage. it was found to be caused by a simple Jubilee clip snapping, this was replaced and refilled.
TOL the Metrocab taxi is still away under repairs and we eagerly await her return to the fleet!
More news in February!
Another year gone and we're a step closer to the big 100th anniversary of East Kent Road Car in 2016. This year we're hoping to finish the work on 1178 (EFN178L) and also 7980 (TFN980T). Other buses in the collection that should be on the road at some point this year are 1145, 1255, 5137, DMS550, BOO and 40306. Work will be focusing now of getting the East Kent vehicles (7041, 7681 and 7980) back on the road and fit for service ready for 2014. Whilst this is our aim, as we saw with last year NOTHING can be guaranteed...
Work will also continue on 'store shed' 7656 which will release 5807 and 7041 for work - hopefully with a view to hitting the road in 2015/6. Nuw is going to be given a much needed break this year in that time she will be mechanically serviced and tidied up inside and out. All in all another busy year is looming.
Also, in the coming months Nick Moore will be upgrading our website, making it even better and more personal to us too. More information on that later.
Paul, Jake and Andy have been working on ex M&D 5137 getting her ready to hit the road this season. Her test will be taken at Arriva's bus garage in Maidstone. This is the first time we have used Arriva for testing the double deckers, although 1145 has been tested there before. Talking of 1145, Nick has decided to keep her off the road this year as 1255 will be out and about in her place. This will give the team chance to do some work on 1145 and get her tip top for next year.
1145 and 3131 attended the New Romney bus rally on Sunday. This was a great day out with bus rides and train rides galore. This marks 3131's last rally with the collection as her tax runs out at the end of this month and Bernard has reluctantly decided to sell her to allow us to concentrate on our buses. Other news is 1145 collided with a bollard on the way back from Herne Bay whilst taking evasive action to avoid a on-coming car. Nick and Peter repaired the nearside damage in time for New Romney although the middle door step still needs a bit more work, she's looking tidy.
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.