Showbus Special Part Two: The Vintage

A duo of the gathering of pre-1930s built buses at Showbus 2015
Part Two of our Showbus Special series focuses on the vintage vehicles attending the event, held at Woburn Abbey on Sunday 20th September.

This year's event was attended by an impeccable number of pre-1930s buses, all immaculately preserved. Many of these vehicles I saw in action run as smoothly as they did when brand new, and have had incomprehensible amounts of time and money invested into them. Showbus claimed that the gathering of these entries "was the biggest gathering of pre-1930 buses in decades."

Seen to the right is just duo of the vehicle. On the left is BD-209, a 1929 Dodson bodied Leyland G7 from United Counties accompanied by HE-12 on the right; a stunning 1913 Leyland S3.30 with Brush bodywork from the Barnsley and District Electric Traction Company. LN7270, a 1908 Leyland X2 from London Central Omnibus Company was also in attendance, alongside a number of other London related charabancs.

The wonderful Bedford SB3 which transported me to Showbus.
A special mention has to go to WLO685, the vehicle which I travelled onto the event. Owned by John and Ann more, the Duple Super Vega bodied Bedford SB3. The coach was acquired in an extremely poor state and overhauled entirely inside and out by John and Cobus. The coach was new to Curries of Bexleyheath and is today used by Spratts of Wrenningham on a number of mystery tours and vintage themed excursions. John and Ann's hard work on the coach has lead to it winning a number of awards, including the Bernard Watkins award at the Norwich Bus Rally many years ago, now the Old Buckenham Bus Rally - organised by the Eastern Transport Collection.

Surrounding this wonderful Bedford was a whole range of similarly built coaches, including a line up of six beautiful Bedford OBs with a lake and views of Woburn in their background.

Eastern Counties Eastline liveried RE849, now preserved.
One of my favourites from the vintage selection was of local interest, being RPU869M. The Eastern Coachworks bodied Bristol RELH4/658 was new to National Travel South East in 1974, passing to Eastern Counties in 1978. Becoming RE849, the vehicle was used on long distance coach services, including the Eastline service - the livery for which it is preserved in. Following the privatisation of the bus industry, RPU869M passed to Ambassador Travel, and almost immediately onto a dealership for further sale. The coach then was passed around at least four operators across Britain, including Shearings, before being acquired for preservation towards the end of 1996.

Also visiting from the preserved Eastern Counties scene was Patrick Burnside's immaculate  Eastern Coachworks Bristol MW LM452 3014AH and 1969 Bristol RELH4/213 with Eastern Coachworks SVF96G
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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:
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  1. Good report but WLO685 was not new to Kenzie's. She was new to Curries Coaches of Bexleyheath Kent. My late Father used to work for Curries.. Keep up the good work young fella