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.
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.
Apologies for this update being a little later than planned. We've finally moved East Kent Leyland National EFN178L in to secure undercover cover storage in the east of the county. Here she will be returned to the road and work on her windscreen and wheelchair lift door can continue in the dry.
The fuel starvation issues with WKO137S seem to have been resolved. Her fuel tank was given a clean out and her filters changed. All the fuel system is now being put back together again and then we can give her a local test run to check she works..
Paul has been very busy with his two buses. The door area on DMS550 is now complete and he is currently re-fitting the indicator units to the side of the old girl. He has also serviced a faulty leveling valve on B124BOO, his ex Hedingham Leyland Tiger. Paul still has a few minor jobs to do on her but she is proving to be a very fine addition to the collection.
Meanwhile, in our other unit in the west of Kent, Nick has been on somewhat of a buying spree. He's saved former Maidstone & District / Arriva Volvo Olympian M916MKM (5916). She is bodied with a Northern Counties bodywork and currently carries and all-over advertisement for 'The People's Trust'. She requires some work to be undertaken on her chassis but Nick is hoping to get that sorted out quickly.
We're currently working on our 'works runabout', a 1999 Metrocab taxi. Although only on loan to the collection following our FX4 Fairway popping a gearbox seal, we're hoping that TOL the taxi will join the collection full time from early next year. Here she will attend the longer distance rallies and shows and help promote Southern Counties even further afield as well as being used as a daily runabout and works motor.
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.
Jake and Paul have been busy working on our Leyland National 1178 (EFN178L). The screen was damaged by the previous owners in a minor shunt with an East Kent AEC Reliance, this was removed to see how much rot was in the metal lip that holds the screen rubber in. We're glad to say it's not too bad and some can be repaired whilst some will have to be replaced. Once this is done the new screen can go in. Paul has managed to sort out the niggly electrical issues that have plagued her with the horn and main beam flasher unit and now they work well too.
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.