This year's event attracted large numbers of visitors (R Walker)
Regular rallying contributor Richard Walker has provided yet another set of excellent photographs from a nearby rally.

Clacton Bus Rally is held every year on the first Sunday after the final May Bank Holiday weekend at the factory outlet store car park. The event is organised and run by the wonderful bunch of enthusiasts at Colne Esturary Preserved Buses, many of which Norwich Buses Blog has excellent links with.

Sadly, the sun wasn't around to reward all those who put their effort into the event, but I am told the damp conditions certainly did not dampen anybody's spirits! This year saw an excellent selection of buses and coaches of all ages appear, with some of them outlined below.

'Project X' made its debut at Clacton on Sunday (R Walker)
Making a debut at this year's Clacton Bus Rally this year was what was labelled 'Project X' by the  owners of the smart bus, the proprietors Ventura Coachways. 'Project X' has long been teased at over on Facebook, and it was revealed just a few nights ago that it was WPH135Y. New to London County in 1982 as an Eastern Coach Works bodied Leyland Tiger, the coach moved on to Hedingham in the late 1980s where it became L138 and re-boided in 1993 with an East Lancs EL2000 structure. Venturer Coachways are relatively unknown, but have an excellent range of interesting fleet members -  I can only advise you view the owner's Flickr photostream for more photographs from the fleet.

The Great Yeldham Collection also played a massive part in making Clacton Bus Rally as impressive as it was this year, bringing a large portion of their collection - many of which appeared in a photo special last month. Ipswich Buses provided newly repainted Dennis Dart SLF/East Lancs Spryte 98 X98LBJ, with First Essex providing one of their brand new Wright Streetlites and their Westcliffe-on-Sea heritage decker to display alongside a preserved vintage vehicle from the former operator.

Two of many vehicles brought along by Panther Travel (R Walker)
Essex based Panther Travel, owned by the A Barham Group and originally formed to loan buses to other operators, provided an impressive display of vehicles from their fleet. One of the most recent vehicles was present, that being Enterprise Plasma/Plaxton Primo SB07PAN. Other vehicles brought along by Panther Travel included two of their Plaxton Panther bodied Volvos, an Optare Solo, a Leyland Olympian double decker and a Wright Renown bodied Volvo B10BLE.

Go-Ahead owned Hedingham attended with one of their newly refurbished former Metrobus East Lancs Omnidekka bodied Scania N94UD, whilst Ixworth based Mulleys brought along one of their newly acquired former Nottingham City Transport Scania Omnicities and an Alexander Royale bodied Volvo Olympian - which appeared in our Mulleys Special back in March. Sullivan Buses also made an appearance with one of their newly acquired former Stagecoach East London Scania Omnicity deckers.

One of the many rows of preserved buses at Clacton (R Walker)
One final shot from Richard is this trio of preserved buses. From right to left we have Patrick Burnsides Eastern Counties 3003AH, a preserved Eastern National Bristol VR and former Nu-Venture Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Dart. A number of Norwich enthusiasts headed down on Patrick's preserved Bristol, which departed from Diss. Just visible at the very end of the line up is preserved Crimson Tours Bedford SB and Viv Carter's Bristol FS6G.

That's all we've got room for here on Norwich Buses Blog, but Richard has an excellent collection of over one hundred photographs from the event over on his Flickr page, which can be viewed by clicking here.
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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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