More from Great Yarmouth 40

40 at the now non-existent Beach Rail Station (c) Syd Eade
Wow. Never before has a post on Norwich Buses Blog created so much attention. Since a post published on Sunday 26th April and a later post on Tuesday 28th April, I have been bombarded with emails regarding Great Yarmouth 40 and images of it are currently all over Facebook. The amount of interest clearly shows how much of a gem the rare bus is.

Syd Eade was in touch with an excellent report regarding 40's survival immediately after withdrawal. "Great Yarmouth 40's survival was down to a local group of enthusiasts known as the Great Yarmouth Preservation Society who used to meet in the Tramway pub at Gorleston. They acquired number 40 from the Corporation and it was kept behind the petrol station on Southtown Road... where the car wash now stands. Like many groups they were not cash rich, but the bus was kept in good order and visited rallies regularly. However, a serious gearbox fault arose that was beyond the ability of the group to fund the repair and so 40 was reluctantly sold to PK Commercials at Humnanby near Hull. No local enthusiasts could be found to take the bus on with the known problem. It is not known if PK Commercials then repaired 40 or just sold her on, but she survived. A later engine failure resulted in a converted PD3 engine being fitted, so the one now in her is not an original Atlantean O.600. I took this interesting photo of 40 in service in the summer of 1972 at Beach Railway Station in the days when normal services operated through the centre of all the holiday coach chaos"

40 in 2002 whilst in the media spotlight (c) Richard Haughey
The Beach Rail Station which Syd mentions was located on the ground we now know at Beach Coach Station. The station became disused in 1959 after heavy competition from buses and other road traffic in the town. In the mid 1980s the station building and associated track was demolished to form the now busy coach park.

Mick, who was in contact all the way from North Carolina, USA, pointed out that the trio were purchased as chassis in  1967 and bodied a year later by Marshall in 1968 - following a year's storage at the Blue Bus depot.

Richard Haughey was also in touch with a report from 2002, when the bus was under ownership by a Cambridge based group of enthusiasts.

Richard informs me that 40 was used in as part of filming for a documentary on bus enthusiasts. Richard also comments on how one simple mention here on the blog has lead to such interest! If anybody knows where to find this documentary, I'm sure it will be of massive interest.

Bringing us up to the present day is this next photograph, copyright to M. Peters - who I am assured had permission to be on the site were 40 lays today. As it can be seen, 40 really is in a sorry state. There are a number of window panels missing and plenty of rust. Since this picture was shared on Facebook, so many enthusiasts have commented saying it needs saving, with somebody expressing a genuine interest in buying it and another suggesting it deserved a place at the East Anglia Transport Museum.

A thank you goes to all who sent in reports and photographs, and I apologise for being unable to include them all!
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About Kieran Smith

Norwich Buses Blog was founded in December 2013 by Sam Larke after he left another popular blog, Norwich Bus Page. Since it's launch, the site has grown dramatically, especially whilst written solely by Kieran Smith during 2015. The blog is now in it's third year and we look forward to more success and growth in the future. If you think you'd make a good writer for Norwich Buses Blog, please do get in touch via email: samuel.larke@gmail.com
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6 comments :

  1. I should mention I was not the driver of the vehicle. I have also got a copy of the programme but not sure how to get it up on Youtube.

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  2. At the time of the programme 40 was owned by just one person.

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  3. Having talked to Reg I believe a few approaches have been made but nothing came of them as the owner won't budge. Pity but hey ho

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  4. Sad to see No 40 (GEX 740F) in this state. I was the driver when the TV programme was made by BBC Look East for their Inside Out programme which went out on 16th September 2002. I was also privileged to regularly drive the vehicle for the then owner Clive Porter on a number of outings with the Cambridge Omnibus Society.
    After it left Norfolk it went to to Jim Stones Coaches, Leigh in 1988 then into preservation with Richard Davies, IoM but kept at St Helens Bus Museum.
    Then to Clive Porter, Sawston in 2000. Clive sold it in October 2004 to Norman Dawes & Brian Collins of Royston where it was going to be used as heritage bus in Dawes Meridian Line fleet. This never happened & No 40 then passed solely to Brian Collins in March 2010 who sold it on eBay to the current owner Terry Wilkins of Gorleston.
    Whilst writing No41 (GEX 741F still survives after being stripped out & used as a youth project bus in Beckenham, London. I understand that the current owner Clive Cook of Swancombe, Kent wants to sell the bus.

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  5. Whilst on the subject of Gt Yarmouth buses, AEC Swift PEX 171K (No71) is believed to be still around in the Diss area as a caravan seen here in 2011 http://www.travellerhomes.co.uk/?p=10714 It was listed back in the late 1990's as preserved along with PEX 177K with Freeman, Diss. I myself have not been able to trace it so maybe some of you local enthusiasts could find it. Also in the same area is ex East Kent Regent PFN 872 also seen on Travellers Homes web site http://www.travellerhomes.co.uk/?p=10716 believed to be owned by John Davies of Norwich as a caravan since the 1970's

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  6. Not sure what the latest situation is with GEX 740F, I heard recently that the owners of Hopton Timber Estate, Hunters Vehicle Dismantlers, have not been paid storage for the bus by its owner so its future looks uncertain. Could be broken up for spares to off set the amount owed.

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