2009 Newsletter 2 of 4









ISSUE NO.2 of 4 – 2009

Nicole Cooke, our Olympic Gold Medal winning cyclist, signed

this photograph for the group. The CTPG provided the bus for

the homecoming of Nicole to Wick from Beijing last September.


Chairman’s Message;

Welcome to the second 2009 CTPG newsletter.

A couple of notices for you;

Our rally, The Barry Festival of Transport, is taking place on

Sunday 14 th June, you may have seen it advertised. We need as

many members and volunteers as possible to help out on the day.

The event will be on two sites this year, the normal Hood Road

site and the Bus Depot, please contact me on the number below to

volunteer. You will not need to spend all day with us; a couple of

hours will allow someone else to have some time off.

At 11am the Depot will be officially opened by the Vale Council

Leader. All former Western Welsh and National Welsh

employees are invited to come along. I hope that a Western Welsh

convoy will arrive with the Council and ex-employees.

On Monday 8 th June at 6:30pm Roy Noble will be unveiling a

plaque to commemorate the late Julian Brinkworth, the CTPG’s

first Chairman. All members are invited to come along for a cup

of tea.

Road Runs began in May and continue until August, remember it

is a 7pm start from Cardiff County Hall.

The Bus & Coach Wales has finally been confirmed for Sunday

6 th September at the College in Merthyr Tydfil.

Work at the Depot is progressing well, a few extra regulars have

been helping out and the results are very impressive. I hope that

we can complete the painting in time for the 14th.


Tel: 01443 862144

Email : mikeystrad73@btinternet.com



Send your items and articles for the newsletter to the editor at -----



Our guest speaker was Robert Edworthy of Chepstow whose

subject was the various liveries of the National Bus Company.

However due to a breakdown there was no slide projector

available. Robert gamely gave a talk on liveries used by the

N.B.C. companies but was at a disadvantage due to the lack of

visual aids. After the break Chris Taylor presented an impromptu

quiz that went down well with those present.



Glyn Bowen gave a presentation of slides and videos of buses in

Malta and Cyprus. These were from his visits to the islands over

the last 20 years. Malta in particular had an amazing variety of

elderly buses that slowly are being replaced with more modern

buses and coaches. Glyn has penned an illustrated article which

appears in this issue.




The first road run of 2009 took place on 20 th May. We had the

opportunity to sample the fine AEC Regent V owned by Martin

Doe. This Northern Counties bodied double deck bus was new to

Rhondda Transport in 1966. Sold for preservation in 1980, it has

survived in preservation over twice the length of time as it did in


The AEC Regent photographed at Cowbridge Town Hall. (V.C.)

Around 25 members and guests joined Martin and KNY 495D at

County Hall, Atlantic Wharf, Cardiff for an evening trip around

the Vale of Glamorgan.

Travelling via Wenvoe and Rhoose Airport we then skirted

Llantwit Major and soon arrived at the Town Hall Bus Station in

the old market town of Cowbridge. There a short break for

refreshment was enjoyed before the returning to Cardiff via the

A48 and the A4232.




by Glyn Bowen

Following final release from the Cardiff Bus training fleet, the last

Optare Metrorider, 143 (N143PTG) was transferred to a yard in

Ystrad Mynach for temporary storage and then on to another yard

at Oakdale. Whilst stored at Oakdale, there was a serious fire in a

road sweeper lorry parked in the yard and, although 143 suffered

some heat damage to the offside front, the prompt attendance of

the local Fire Brigade saved it from a premature demise!

Former Cardiff Bus Optare N143 PTG (Glyn Bowen)

Luckily, Gareth Handy of Sixty-Sixty Coaches, Merthyr Tydfil

agreed that 143 could be kept in his yard whilst renovation work

took place and also kindly offered parts from the two ex Cardiff

Metroriders that he had purchased in order to provide spares for

his three serviceable examples. Apart from replacing the fire


damaged items, the opportunity was also taken to ensure 143 had a

full set of matching seats in good condition.

The original intention had been to T Cut the white paintwork but

the scorch damage prompted the decision to undertake a full

repaint. Following many hours of preparatory work, 143 was resprayed

all-over white by 6060’s painter during the course of a

weekend. Gareth kindly allowed 143 to stay in the workshop over

the following week in order for me to apply the orange and brown

paint and to apply the orange and gold vinyl lining stripes together

with the original “Cardiff Clipper” vinyl lettering. Grateful thanks

to Gareth and the staff at 6060 for their assistance and interest.

Whilst awaiting transfer to Barry, 143 again came under threat

when youths entered the premises at night and drove ex Cardiff

134 around the yard and eventual through (or rather over!) the

locked gates and out on to the road severely damaging the vehicle.

A van parked next to 143 was badly damaged and CCTV images

showed how near 143 came to being hit.

143 is now safely housed in Barry Depot and will hopefully make

its first public appearance in restored Clipper livery very soon.


A coachbuilders’ advertisement from 1931



Next season will see Cardiff City Football Club move to their new ground

on Leckwith Road after nearly 100 years at Ninian Park. As this advert

from some 80 years ago shows, public transport has always been

important to the success of the ‘Bluebirds’.


AS I SEE IT by Derek Perry.

(photos CTPG)

I have been asked to up-date you on the depot transformation.

With the number of members involved I cannot know of every

thing that has been done or by whom, hence the title “As I see it”.

My first look at the Bus Depot was one of horror! Neglect and

vandalism had taken their toll, but also the way that nature has

tried to claim back its territory was quite amazing. Roots have

invaded the drains, branches were hanging down the inside of the

walls, but there was nothing that cannot be fixed.

The kitchen area (above) has been tackled, the windows unboarded

and glass replaced. The old sink unit has been pulled out,

the suspended ceiling panels and frames taken down. The flaking

paint was scraped from the walls, the old radiators and pipe work

removed, it looked better all ready! The electrician has been busy

fitting wires, lights, sockets etc.


A sink unit has been fitted and plumbed in with a water heater and

a section of work surface fitted from sink to wall. One missing

door and frame has been replaced, the other door has been painted.

The walls have been filled in and two coats of paint applied.

Some of the skirting had rotted so had to be replaced with

planking taken from the fuel hut. A pressure washer turned on the

area has made it quite presentable and much better working

conditions for the plumber. Painting the floor has completed the

job. All the necessary equipment for a kitchen has now been put in

place plus a couple of heaters so we can now sit in comfort for our

meal break.

The toilets and sinks have been renewed, piping laid and water

connected. The ladies toilet doors and frames were covered with

paint that has cracked badly so a blowlamp and scraper had to be

used to take them back to bare wood. The bottom of the door

frames have rotted, these have been scraped out and filled with

cement which will not show too much when painted over. The

walls of the canteen have been washed down with sugar soap

which revealed that most of the wall tiles are OK but some have

been damaged. These have now been filled with cement and the

numerous holes have been filled with polyfilla and a couple of

coats of tile paint were needed to tidy it all up. The walls above

the tiles, together with the corridors have had fixtures and fitting

removed, cleaned and painted. The missing door and frame has

been replaced and the frame and floor painted.

The gents’ toilets are differently constructed to the ladies with

partitions of melamine which, after a good clean are found to be in

a fairly good condition. The doors have been painted, some of the

wall tiles have been damaged, and have been given the cement and

polyfilla treatment. A good wash down with sugar soap have left

it looking quite presentable. The walls and floor have received the

same treatment. The missing outer door and frame has been

replaced. A final clean up has completed the job.


The rear windows have been bricked up or replaced and extra

bricking to secure a weak point next to the main sliding door. The

fuel hut in the doorway has had the electrics removed, and been

dismantled, the slab it stood on broken up and the resulting hole

filled with concrete. Another hole in the floor, where the rolling

road once was has now been levelled off with concrete.

A pile of rubbish was building up until a member turned up with a

trailer and did several trips to get rid of it. He has been back a

good number or times since to keep the depot uncluttered.

The sliding doors to the pit area haven’t been moved for some

time so the pressure washer was used to blast out the runner

trough. An application of oil, a large lever, and brute force got the

large doors moving. Where water has leaked down the inside

walls, the paint has flaked, and moss has grown. The pressure

washer removed most of these problems by taking it back to red

brick, but we couldn’t reach to the top so it was decided to use the

open top bus to work from.


We have heavy plastic sheets to hang down the side of the bus to

protect it, but it still got a little dirty, but has cleaned up OK.

A channel in the floor to catch the water from bus washing has

been cleaned out and the edging angle iron reaffixed to the floor.

More metal grids over the top have been obtained, modified and

fitted. A rear door has been opened, rubbish cleared away,

shrubbery cut down and climbers cut back for the scaffolder to

erect platforms for the lead flashings to be replaced and the

guttering to be cleared out.

Panic stations: we arrived one day to find the pits flooded. It was

discovered to be coming in a rear door which hadn't until then

been opened, outside was a small yard that gives access to the air

compressor and boiler room. This area has a drain pipe that must

open up down the railway embankment. Drain rods were

borrowed, and with them and a nozzle on the pressure washer, the

water eventually started to run away. The water from the pit floor

was then swept out the door.


Water is also a problem with the internal down pipes from the

guttering. An initial clean out of the drains they run into solved

most of the problem, but two down pipes at the rear are blocked

completely. When it rained (and we have had rather a lot of that

lately) the water cascaded down and a hole in the pipe produced

rivers across the floor until it found another drain. There was only

one thing left to try -- the pressure washer!

A ladder was placed near the pipe, the hose placed down the hole

at the top, and the pressure turned on. Well, it had to be seen to be

believed the thick black sludge that came up and out, ran down the

wall, splashed over me at the top of the ladder and Mike at the

bottom until it eventually cleared. The second down pipe took the

same treatment with not quite so much effort it also ran clear. The

clean up after was a big job with the shovel, brushing and hosing.

I do not know how Mike got on but when I got home I changed

my trousers, took them out the back and turned the garden hose on

them until they were clean enough to go in the washing machine.


One of these down pipes has since blocked again, on removal this

was found to be packed full of leaves. We have now replaced it.

Painting was started in the pit area, the first coat was thinned

down to form a seal, and then with the second coat the bright

yellow started to show up the safety feature of such a colour. More

muted colours have been applied around the outsides. Pit lights

have been fitted. Two rear doors have been replaced and fitted

with push handles to open from the inside only; the third rear door

is a good solid metal door.

On the outside area, lockable posts have been fitted across the

front to keep illegal parkers off our patch. The road side wall has

had a fresh coat of paint to brighten it up, and two lamps have

been fitted and wired with light sensors for security. Lights have

now been fitted to cover the interior area.


At first the centre office (below) was used for tea breaks, an

electric kettle providing boiling water. A couple of chairs and a

desk completed our home comforts. The drainage channel in front

of the door was effectively cleaned with new grills fitted. Doors

have had their boarding removed, cleaned up and rubbed down.

Glass has proved to be too expensive, so a call was made to

Wickes to obtain polycarbonate sheeting which has been cut and

fitted. The single door now has a working lock and the double

doors have a catch that works that with the addition of a new bolt

can be secured from the inside.

A gap in the ceiling boards the length of the room has now been

filled with ply wood, giving us a good storage area above. The

floor pressure washed, walls and floor painted we now have a tidy

office. This office is to be used for a display of our artefacts and

memorabilia. It is slowly turning into a museum with glass

cabinets, shelving units, and pictures on the walls. The outside

wall has received Western Welsh signs etc.


Starting from the main entrance doors we have cleaned, scraped,

and painted right along to the paint shop doors, a mammoth task,

not helped by the persistent rain water leaks that, in spite of all our

efforts, seem to slow but not stop. It was decided to go back to the

original cream paint on the top, with black on the bottom, with a

dividing red line. The folding doors to the paint shop have rollers

on the bottom which are proving to be a problem as they are

seized. They refuse to free off and removing the doors seems to be

the only answer, but at the moment no-one is brave enough to


All the lower broken glass panels have been removed, and have

been replaced with polycarbonate; the top row will be fitted with

ply wood, or left open. Meanwhile, behind these doors has been a

hive of activity with the old wiring and pipe work removed and

paint has been applied to the walls and floor. Benches are set in

the area between the paint shop and the pits, and tools etc., placed

in their cupboard ready for when we get back to working on the

buses. As spare parts are arriving they have been placed in the

various rooms at the rear of the building on the shelving that has

been assembled around the walls. Some sorting is taking place.

The two former office rooms facing the pits are being sorted,

suspended ceiling panels replaced, and walls cleaned and painted.

The doors have received some attention with locks still to be

fitted. The outside of the offices are receiving several coats of


Buses are arriving and are being arranged side by side in a row

towards the rear of the building, on the pits, and along the front

wall. We have now prepared and painted the front wall, the end

wall is a problem with three oil tanks in the way it will be

awkward to reach.

(Well done to everyone involved for their hard work! Ed.)




A light hearted look at some of the Leyland models.

In the early years Leyland Motors relied mainly on letters and

numbers to identify their various vehicle types.

From the mid 1920’s onwards they supplemented the type

designations by using mainly animal names for their goods and

passenger vehicles. Over the following 60 years over 30 animal

names were used. Some of these are listed below.

Lion (psv)

Lioness (psv)

Octopus (goods)

Lion Cub (psv)

Boxer (goods)

Lion (rear engine psv)

Mastiff (goods)

Tiger (psv)

Hippo (goods)

Tigress (psv)

Super Hippo (goods)

Royal Tiger (psv)

Retriever (goods)

Royal Tiger Cub (psv)

Bison (goods)

Tiger Cub (psv)

Buffalo (goods)

Cub (goods/psv)

Terrier (goods)

Cheetah (psv)

Rhino (goods)

Leopard (psv)

Llama (goods)

Panther (psv)

Leveret (goods/psv)

Panther Cub (psv)

Badger (goods/psv)

Panda (psv)

Comet (goods/psv)

Swift (psv; not AEC)

Super Comet (goods)

Gnu (psv)

Lynx (goods/psv)

Steer (goods/psv for export only)

Beaver (goods)

Super Beaver (goods/psv for export only)

Bull (goods/psv)

Bull Moose (goods-Canada)


Leyland used many names from the cat family but not ‘Pussy’.

Several cattle names were also used but not ‘Bullocks’.

I think there was only one model named after a bird, but certain

models may be regarded by some as turkeys. Eventually British

Leyland took over Jaguar and Rover, the former a really fast cat

but the latter became a right dog!

If readers (other than Chris Taylor) can name any other Leyland

animals please contact the editor.

A Leyland advertisment from 1950.


MALTA and GOZO – A Welsh vehicle update.

Words & photos by Glyn Bowen.

The Mediterranean islands of Malta and Gozo have long been an

attraction for the British bus enthusiast not least because of the

large number of vehicles with UK origins. A few operate in almost

original condition but most have been extensively rebuilt over the

years by their enthusiastic owners anxious not only to prolong the

useful life of their vehicle but also to embellish it with chrome,

badges and individual artistic designs.

The magnificent DBY300 (formerly TNY 495G) awaits departure, Valletta

Bus Station, March 2009.

The purpose of this article is to identify the various route buses

that were new to Welsh operators and carried Welsh registration

marks. Therefore, touring and private hire coaches are not

included and neither are the vehicles that were not new to Welsh

operators but passed through the hands of Welsh operators before


arriving in Malta. Perhaps these could be the focus of a future


At the time of my latest visit to Malta, March 2009, pride of place

must undoubtedly go to Willowbrook bodied AEC Reliance

DBY300. This magnificent machine, now unfortunately fitted

with a Cummins engine, was new to Aberdare UDC in 1968 and

registered TNY495G. It passed to Cynon Valley DC on Local

Government reorganisation in 1974 and was exported to Malta by

May 1981. The centre doors were removed before it entered

service. Sister vehicle DBY345 (ex TNY494G) remains in service

but is generally in very poor condition. The third example,

formerly EBY510 (ex TNY493G) was withdrawn from service in

2003 and replaced by a new low floor King Long. However, it was

one of the vehicles retained by the Government for possible use on

heritage/tourist services and it still survives in outside storage

albeit in rapidly deteriorating condition.

The not so magnificent DBY345 at Blue Grotto terminus, March 2009


A remarkable survivor is former Rhondda Transport AEC Regal

GNY764. New in 1948 it was fitted with a new body by Debono,

Malta in 1963 and now carries the registration EBY484. To add to

the disguise, it now has a Bedford style front although AEC

badges are still proudly displayed.

Not what it seems at first sight, the chassis of EBY484 is based on an ex

Rhondda Transport AEC Regal.

The only other former service bus is DBY352 that started life as

Davies (Pencader) Bristol LH6L/ ECW HBX948N that arrived in

Malta in 1986.

All the other route buses with Welsh registrations were new as

coaches with their original owners. Some retain coach seating

whilst others have service bus seating. Again some have been

extensively rebuilt. EBY611 (ex RDE298S) is a Bristol LH6L

with Plaxton coach body that was new to Silcox, Pembroke Dock

in 1977.


All the remainder are Bedfords with Duple Dominant I coach

bodies with the exception of YLQ DBY385 (ex RBO669R) that

has a Plaxton Supreme body and was new to Hills, Tredegar.

Williams, Cwmdu were the original owners of EBY519 (ex

MTX250L) and FBY780 (ex OHB470N) both YRQs. Another

Williams, this time Gwyn Williams, Lower Tumble, was the first

owner of another YRQ, DBY319 (ex VBX518L). Two further

YRQs are DBY449 (ex JWO48P) new to Bebbs, Llantwit Fardre

and EBY596 another former Davies (Pencader) vehicle (ex

KBX39P). Another Bedford YLQ is FBY650 (ex MTX661P)

originating with Rees, Llanelly Hill.

FBY058, a former Bebbs Dennis Javelin, standing in Victoria Bus Station,


Whilst confirming the first owners of these vehicles, group

member David Donati mentioned that a group of vehicle owners

from Malta used to travel to Wales to source suitable vehicles

from friendly operators and arrangements for transporting them to


Malta were then left to Martin Perry of Bromyard. Martin still has

dealings with Malta through the supply of spares for the ageing


To complete the picture, the short ferry trip to Gozo reveals a

further three vehicles that can be found both on service work and

private hire duties. Two FBY058 (ex E38SBO) and FBY073 (ex

E32SBO) are Dennis Javelins with Duple 320 bodies from the

fleet of Bebb, Llantwit Fardre whilst FBY060 (ex F327YTG) is a

Plaxton Paramount 3200 on a Bedford YNT chassis new to East

Glamorgan, Nelson.

What the future holds for all of these vehicles is uncertain. If

Government plans are fully implemented, it is likely that single

operators will take over the services in Malta and Gozo with fleets

of low floor buses to replace the existing vehicles. The owners of

the old vehicles will be compensated but the replaced buses will

pass to the Government for scrapping. A campaign has been

organised to save some of the ousted vehicles and, at the time of

writing, it appears that the Government may be prepared to do a U

turn and allow some old buses to be retained and possibly used on

heritage type services. However, an autumn 2009 trip is

recommended if you want to see traditional Maltese vehicles and

the older UK imports in normal service.



14 th June; Barry Festival of Transport & Depot Open Day.

(marshalls are urgently required for anytime during the

day -- please help out)

17 th June; CTPG Evening Road Run with Glyn Millington’s

former Wigan Leyland PD2, DEK 3D


20/21 st June; Royal Blue/Associated Motorways Express road

run from Cheltenham.

(Join Richard Johnson on his MW coach. Depart Barry at 0700

Saturday via Cheltenham & Bath to Weymouth for the Vintage

Running Day. Optional B&B for Sat. night available @ £30 approx.

or return home by rail Sat. Eve. @ £30 approx. Try rail enquiries

for special offers. On Sunday travel from the rally site to

Southampton via Swanage, Corfe, and Bournemouth returning to

Cardiff & Barry on Sunday evening)

21 st June Under Milk Wood Road Run, Swansea.

28 th June; Stroud Group Running Day.

(Join Richard’s MW at 0730 from Barry. Pick-ups at Cardiff by arrangement)

28 th June; Welsh Heartlands Transport Festival, Nelson

15 th July; CTPG Evening Road Run (to be confirmed)

31 st July–2 nd Aug. The 35 th Transport Rally at Kemble, Glos.

9 th August; Bristol V.B.G./Avon Valley Railway Running Day

15/16 th Aug; Scottish Vintage Bus Museum Open Weekend.

19 th Aug; CTPG Evening Road Run with Bristol Greyhound.

6 th Sept. BUS & COACH WALES 2009 at Merthyr Tydfil.

(Despite early doubts, the second major CTPG event of the year is

now confirmed. For details contact Glyn Bowen 01443-693696.

Marshalls will be needed on the day.)

6 th Sept. Torbay Vintage Bus Running Day.

16 th Sept; CTPG / O.S. joint event with James Freeman on

S.W.T. and Friends of King Alfred Motor Services.

20 th Sept; W.H.O.T.T. Rally at Exeter.

21 st October CTPG meeting; Mike Walker presents the 2 nd part

of ‘Life on the Buses.’

18 th Nov; CTPG meeting (T.B.C.)

17 th Dec; CTPG Quiz Night presented by Chris Taylor.





Ian Barlow’s former Plymouth Corporation Crossley DD42 at the River Usk

Transporter Bridge at Newport on the group evening trip in July 2004. (V.C.)

This could be 50 years ago! The group’s former Red & White Lodekka TAX 235

crosses the Wye at Chepstow during the Red & White Day in May 2007. (V.C.)


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