We've been busy having a move around at our bus garage. We hope it will make life a bit more easier to get buses out. All the Friends of the East Kent vehicles are on one side with Southern Counties now on the other. It also means the AECs now can drive straight in and straight out without too much manovering which is a great help when you're driving a bus with no power steering and a manual gearbox.
Last month (May) your Southern Counties Omnibus Team spent an enjoyable few days on the Isle Of Wight at Rydabus which is held by the IOW Bus & Coach Museum at Ryde. It was also a chance to catch up with SCOC Member Robin and meet one of his latest buses Dennis Dart/Plaxton Pointer HW54BTU.
We had a great time at Detling on Saturday 6th April - even if the weather didn't play ball. It was a fairly nice morning when we left HQ but as we got closer to the Kent County Showground it got darker and darker and finally a light drizzle set in soaking everyone and everything quickly.
We'd decided to take Paul's bus - MLK550L - and she was given a National Bus Company makeover to represent the hundreds of DMS type Fleetlines that passed into the NBC in the early 1980's. A double arrow logo was stuck on her nose whilst the fleet number 5033 adorned her front dome in a Maidstone & District style. Originally she was going to be numbered 5350 but a short of 5s put pay to this scheme! (they were wheeliebin numbers.)
This - as always - was our first show of the season and was as always a great day out.
A full report will follow shortly.
We are pleased to announce that Jake, one of the founding members of Southern Counties, has recently been voted in as Chairman of Friends of the East Kent (FotEK). This is a very exciting time as Southern Counties is the largest tennant of FotEK at the
We've not had a massively busy month if I'm honest. Paul has managed to get the autolube system working on MLK550L which should make maintaining her a bit easier. Her ride quality has improved dramatically since all the springs have been oiled and greased up. MLK550L will be at the South East Bus Festival this April.
Jake has been busy painting Mercedes N301XRP and is also hoping to have her ready this spring -although she won't be going to Detling.
For a bit of a change - and because we've not done a lot to them recently - this last weekend we decided to have a fiddle with a couple of the Metrocabs in the collection.
'Rocks' the series 1 was more than happy to start and move (after a blast of 'Easy Start' into her air in-take) despite having three flat tyres. She's definately going to be a long term project as her subframe is rotten but fortunately not beyond repair.
TLX the series 2 on the other hand decided she didn't want to play at all and refused to start. She's actually in pretty good condition apart from some shocking electrics and a dodgy starter motor as we found out.
We've not forgotten the buses either, PKE809M was run up on Saturday afternoon. She also wasn't her usual self and seems to have drunk a bit of contaminated fuel as she's running rather rough at the moment. In the new year this will be given some attention and we'll see if we can get her running sweetly again.
Paul's Leyland Tiger coach B124BOO has been moved along the private roads to new storage as the original spot was deemed to be a bit "too much on the radar!" She's still outdoors for now but Boo is now settling into her new spot in our garden!
To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of jakesbuses.weebly.com - the site that started this one- we went out for a spin in Paul's London Transport Daimler Fleetline MLK550L. Here are a few highlights of what was a very enjoyable weekend.
On 7th October a very reluctant PKE807M made her way along private roads to her new temporary undercover storage. She's taken the place of siter PKE809M whilst some work is done on her -namely the hydraulic throttle, fuel lines and a mechanical service. It's hoped that she'll then also be on the road for some point in 2019.
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.