Our ex Herne Bay car 1178 is slowly coming along on her return to the road. The framework is now in place in the former wheelchair doorway which will mean the panels can start going on soon.
Work continues on former East Kent Leyland National 1178 with the former wheelchair door area being cleaned up ready for the new framework to be inserted. This work being carried out by Jake whilst Andy sanded the exterior paint ready to give her a freshen up. Once all this work is complete she will be give a service.
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.
The main news this month is the collection of 40306 (N306XRP) Bernard's minibus. The axle change has been completed and we are just left with a few minor jobs to sort out for an MOT. Although all of our buses a currently resting, work continues apace. Q255GRW has had a tyre change and will also be on the road for next year. DMS550 is getting redder and redder with every week as Paul continues to paint her. Also, the smallest member of the collection, the Metrocab taxi is having extensive work on her for her MOT. Paul and Jake have been busy replacing the kingpins, bushes and ball joints and to date just have the exhaust and rear brakes left. The kingpins alone having taken 3 days solid work. Following news that the MOT test no longer lift the front wheels to check the kingpins, this has given us hope that Bristol LH 3131 may well pass the test with out packing them out. Although only listed as an advisory on the previous test, we wanted to sort it out, however, talking to the testing station, it would seem that she is likely to pass as she is which sounds very promising.
Aside from all the vehicle news, all of here at Southern Counties Omnibus Collection would like to wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Wow, we've all been really rather busy this week. Work has continued on 7041 and the police bus interior is slowly receding on the lower deck. Meanwhile, 5807's staff room area is now all but done and proved to be very handy yesterday when the rain came down. We're now of the opinion that maybe it's a bit too comfy...! Andy, Paul, Jake and Matt helped with 5807 also tidying her upper deck which is now home to some RF seats that Paul acquired. Jake has been busy with the de-greaser and has cleaned the engines in 5807, 5137, Nuw and 1178. they now all look a lot better and we're thinking of maybe painting them up to keep them tidy. Paul and Nick were also busy working on 1178's front end and have removed most of the rotten lip that held the wind screen in place. It looks like we may have to remove the other screen too if we're to do the job properly but once it's done it's done. Last month 5137 passed her MOT and is now on the road again. A small problem with fuel starvation has reared it's head but the team know what's causing this and will be getting it resolved once the poor weather has passed.
Work has started on stripping out the police bus conversion from MFN41R, East Kent's first Bristol VR. As you remember, she was going to preserved as an exhibition unit and used as living accommodation when we attended the weekend steam shows, however, with the arrival of a full interior from 7656 the decision to return her to bus status was taken. Matthew, Paul and Jake have been busy stripping out the soft trim and the residual glue this left behind on all the panels. This can be quite a tricky and time consuming operation as there are a number of original signs and adverts behind the trim and these are being preserved as we uncover them. We're moving down the bus one window bay at a time and so far are just past the stairs on the lower saloon.
Now the house move is getting out of the way, work on the buses has started to resume. Ex East Kent Bristol VR XJJ565V arrived at HQ on 1st August and has taken up her position as spares bank and storage unit. She will be given a wash to remove 21 years of grime from her exterior bodywork. Paul Tripptree collected his new coach on 5th August. Formerly L124 in the Heddingham fleet, B124BOO is a Leyland Tiger with Plaxton Paramount 3200 bodywork. "BOO" attended this years Herne Bay Bus Rally which was held on 11th of this month. Later this month we hope to complete the MOT of WKO137S. New pages on the new buses will be added to the site soon as will a full report on the Herne Bay Rally. Also we are adding a complete list of preserved East Kent and Maidstone & District vehicles. The East Kent page is up and running, whilst the M&D will be up over the next few weeks. Please pay this a vist and let us know what you think.
If all goes to plan, next week former East Kent 7656 will be joining the collection. As previously stated, she will be used as a store shed and spares bank having previously been used by MOD Manston as a fire evacuation unit. A page will be added to the site in good time but there are no plans to restore or return this 1980 Bristol VRT to the road. Her interior will help return 7041 to a bus again.
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.
On Wednesday 27th November 2012, the former Dunlop Tyres/East Kent/Stena Line and Crosskeys Leyland National 2 Q255GRW passed into preservation. Now owned by Peter Moore (who's been heavily involved with NPD145L owned by son Nick) she was collected from Crosskeys Coaches Folkestone yard by Nick, Paul and Jake. Built in 1981 she was used by Dunlop as an unregistered test vehicle. Later when she passed to East Kent she gained a Q reg as the original paperwork had been misplaced. Used on the docks shuttle between the station and the ferries, for long time she wore a 'Hoverspeed' contract livery and worked to the Western Docks - home to the hoverport where the large SRN4 craft landed. She was later transferred onto the Eastern Docks services and passed into ownership of Stena Line. After that she was acquired by Crosskeys and used as spare bus on various school duties. A full page for 1255 will be added soon.
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.