2010 – Issue 2 of 4

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www.ctpg.co.uk<br />

REGISTERED CHARITY No. 1063157<br />

ISSUE No.2 <strong>of</strong> 4 <strong>–</strong> <strong>2010</strong><br />


Inside this issue Andrew Wiltshire explains all about the<br />

Optare Excels, their short life with Cardiff Bus and their<br />

subsequent life with other operators.<br />

1 1<br />


A SLICE OF THE CAKE (1);<br />

Cardiff has seen two blue & white livered rival bus firms looking for a slice <strong>of</strong> the cake. For<br />

three years from Sept.1993, Cardiff Bluebird competed on several city routes. Seen here are<br />

MAU 619P one <strong>of</strong> the unusually styled ex. Nottingham Atlanteans at Beechley Drive, Pentrebane<br />

on 10.9.95 and one <strong>of</strong> the two new Darts, M200 CBB in Wood St. on 22..3.95 (Mike Street)<br />



Welcome to the summer edition <strong>of</strong> the CTPG newsletter. We are now<br />

well into our annual calendar having just had this year’s first evening road<br />

run in Gwyn Gardiner’s National 2. A good run to Porth was undertaken<br />

with enough time for a pint whilst the National visited its old home. It is<br />

incredible that this bus is almost 30 years old!<br />

For our June run on Wednesday 16 th we have been invited for a tour <strong>of</strong><br />

the BBC at Llandaff. I hope that we can be transported down in summer<br />

sunshine aboard the freshly MOTed open top 434. Those who do not<br />

wish to visit the studios can visit the Heathcock pub.<br />

In July we will be travelling on the Leyland PAX 466F which will kindly on<br />

long term loan from Julian Peddle and in August, Mike Walker will be<br />

kindly providing something from his Bristol fleet.<br />

I have received confirmation that Merthyr College and Council will be<br />

supporting Bus & Coach Wales again this year, the date is set for Sunday<br />

5 th September.<br />

We attended the Bristol Harbour side Rally on Sunday 16 th May with our<br />

stall aboard HWO 323 and Richard’s MW coach. Both performed<br />

faultlessly and the weather remained mainly dry allowing us to have a<br />

good day on the stall.<br />

In terms <strong>of</strong> our running fleet, the addition <strong>of</strong> PAX provides us with a nice<br />

mix <strong>of</strong> old and new buses. My aim is to have Pontypridd No.8 on the<br />

road this year. Extensive bodywork repairs have been performed, so<br />

fingers crossed. Keep them crossed as well that we might see the Swift<br />

return at some point this year, as repairs are progressing well.<br />

Please keep supporting the group if you can, remember there is a lot<br />

more to do than drive and maintain the buses.<br />

Mike<br />

Tel; 01443 862144 Email; mikeystrad73@btinternet.com<br />



It was pleasing to see a better attendance at this meeting.<br />

Around 30 members and guests gathered to support a presentation by<br />

our member John Jones. John gave us a tour <strong>of</strong> Wales using slides <strong>of</strong><br />

buses all taken in just one year, 1990. It was surprising to see the changes<br />

that 20 years has brought to both the bus operators and the vehicles.<br />

After the break Chris Taylor presented an informal quiz on some <strong>of</strong> the<br />

operators and buses we had seen. Many thanks were given to John and<br />

Chris.<br />


Bob McCoy was the speaker for the April meeting, who although an<br />

Englishman, entitled his talk ‘Travel in the Valleys’. Mr. McCoy recalled<br />

the travel situation at Merthyr Tydfil in the early 1920’s when the town<br />

was served by the B.E.T. owned tramway and independent bus operators.<br />

In 1924 the Merthyr Council began operating buses, which Mr. McCoy<br />

said was a brave move in a depressed area with so much unemployment.<br />

After a break his theme moved on to the post WW2 years in Cardiff<br />

when the tramway system was on its last legs. We heard that politics<br />

played a part in retaining electric traction in the city including the<br />

trolleybus extension to Ely as late as 1955.<br />


The first road run <strong>of</strong> the year was in Gwyn Gardiner’s pristine former<br />

National Welsh Leyland National 2, BUH 240V. We travelled up the Ely<br />

Valley to Porth to where this bus was first allocated in 1980. It later<br />

worked at several other depots including Cwmbran.<br />

The Mark 2 National was arguably the best version <strong>of</strong> a maligned model<br />

that certainly exudes a flavour <strong>of</strong> the 1980’s.<br />

N/Welsh only bought 3 examples whereas they bought over 200 <strong>of</strong> the<br />

original version. By 1988 N/Welsh were in dire straits and the 3 Mk 2’s<br />

were sold to Burnley & Pendle while they were still worth some money.<br />

Please turn to the back cover for a photo taken at this event.<br />


CARDIFF’S BUSES by Andrew Wiltshire<br />

Here today gone tomorrow……………the brief Excel era<br />

Fleet numbers: 201-215<br />

Registration number: R201-215DKG<br />

Chassis type:<br />

Optare Excel L1150<br />

Engine type:<br />

Cummins 6BT 6 cylinder turbocharged<br />

Gearbox:<br />

Allison B300R “World” series<br />

Overall length: 11.5m<br />

Brakes:<br />

Air<br />

Suspension:<br />

Air<br />

Body manufacturer: Optare integral<br />

Seating layout:<br />

B42F<br />

Year built: 1997<br />

Date <strong>of</strong> withdrawal: May to July 2000<br />

The Optare Excel was to be the first purpose built low-floor single decker<br />

to be produced by this Leeds based bus builder. It was a full-size bus<br />

launched in 1995 and replaced the more conventionally built Delta. It was<br />

constructed as a fully integral vehicle and the styling <strong>of</strong> the body, whilst<br />

quite obviously Optare, was very striking and incorporated a very deep<br />

windscreen above a simple flat front panel. The bus was available in four<br />

lengths, 9.6m, 10m, 10.70m and 11.50m and given chassis codes L960,<br />

L1000, L1070 and L1150 respectively. Seating usually ranged from 27 in<br />

the L960 up to 45 in the L1150, but varied to suit individual customers’<br />

requirements.<br />

The first example was N330 EUG, a 10 metre demonstrator built for<br />

Optare’s own use in 1995. This was followed in 1996 by four 9.6m<br />

examples for Thorpes <strong>of</strong> London and eight 10.7m models for Blackpool<br />

Transport. The Excel became very popular with orders coming from<br />

both large and small operators. The bus was updated in 1999 with the<br />

launch <strong>of</strong> the Excel 2, which <strong>of</strong>fered the Mercedes Benz 900 series engine<br />

as an option but retained the same Allison gearbox. This was available in<br />

three lengths 10.7m, 11.5m and 11.8m (L1180). The new long 11.8m<br />

version was favoured by Wilts and Dorset and Trent Buses.<br />


In all about 610 Optare Excels were built between 1995 and 2004 and<br />

included fourteen 11.8m left hand drive models for a Hungarian operator.<br />

A late Excel 2 model was YN53 ELH, an 11.8m model built for Optare’s<br />

own account, and later purchased by Welsh operator Richards Bros <strong>of</strong><br />

Cardigan with whom it was still operating in 2009.<br />

The early Excel did not have a particularly good reputation for reliability<br />

and many fleets took the opportunity to dispose <strong>of</strong> them prematurely.<br />

Excel 204 en route to Heath Hospital. (A.W.)<br />

Cardiff’s Excels<br />

It didn’t come as much <strong>of</strong> a surprise when it was announced that Cardiff’s<br />

first low-floor buses were to be from Optare, as they had previously<br />

supplied large numbers <strong>of</strong> the Metrorider model between 1990 and 1996.<br />

They were sold to Cardiff at a low price in an attempt to establish the<br />

model in the market place. Fifteen L1150 model Excels were ordered for<br />

delivery in 1997 and would take fleet numbers 201 to 215, marking the<br />

commencement <strong>of</strong> a new series. They were painted in a similar style to<br />

the seven Darts (023 to 029) delivered in 1995, being white with an<br />

orange ro<strong>of</strong> and a brown skirt. However the Excels had branding applied<br />


on all four sides which featured the slogans ‘Easyrider’, ‘Low floor bus’<br />

and ‘Easy Access’ with the fleet-name being Cardiff Bus, Bws Caerdydd.<br />

They started to arrive in October 2007 with the last three (213-215)<br />

arriving the following month. 201 and 202 were initially used for driver<br />

training in October, while 204 appeared at the Motor Show at the NEC in<br />

Birmingham the same month. November 3 rd saw the entry into service <strong>of</strong><br />

202 to 212, and before too long all fifteen were earning their keep. Most<br />

were used on services such as the 8 and 9A serving Heath Hospital,<br />

Grangetown and Cardiff Bay, but could at times, also be found working to<br />

Thornhill or Pontprennau.<br />

It was announced in 2000 that all fifteen would pass to Reading Transport<br />

to replace the last <strong>of</strong> the former Reading Mainline Routemasters. The<br />

reason being that in Cardiff, they were not considered to be a very<br />

suitable vehicle by either the Managing Director or the Fleet Engineer.<br />

This was down to three main problem areas that were identified at an<br />

early stage.<br />

The most serious issue concerned the body structure, and corrosion was<br />

identified at a very early stage and was most probably going to be a very<br />

major problem in due course, worse than the Metroriders! Secondly<br />

there were structural problems with gearbox, and the actual gearbox<br />

mountings breaking away from the under-frame <strong>of</strong> the bus. The final issue<br />

was that <strong>of</strong> fuel consumption, these buses were thirsty, returning figures<br />

as low as 6mpg at times. It was felt that they were unsuitable to form the<br />

basis <strong>of</strong> a ‘standardised’ fleet <strong>of</strong> full-size single-deck and midibus type<br />

vehicles from the same family that used the same common parts and units.<br />

The Dart on the other hand was considered ideal.<br />

Detail differences after two years in service saw 206 lose its Easyrider<br />

logo from its windscreen, while 207, 211,212 and 214 had much smaller<br />

logos than the rest. 204 had a small one then a large one. Towards the<br />

end <strong>of</strong> their short lives in Cardiff they were allocated to the Ely routes 17<br />

and 18. Their place on the Ely routes was taken by a batch <strong>of</strong> new SPD<br />

type Darts that entered service as 361-9/71 in August 2000.<br />



Life after Cardiff<br />

The first <strong>of</strong> the batch to leave Cardiff were sent to a bus works in<br />

Rotherham on 4 May 2000 for some refurbishment work, and by the end<br />

<strong>of</strong> the month 201 to 205 had departed Cardiff, and been allocated Reading<br />

fleet numbers 946 to 950. The remaining buses 206 to 210 went by the<br />

end <strong>of</strong> July becoming Reading 951 to 955, and followed by 211 to 215 in<br />

August becoming Reading 956 to 960.<br />

Excel 207 heads west over Ely Bridge (A.W.)<br />

Although Reading had a large fleet <strong>of</strong> Excels, the Cardiff Buses had several<br />

features that existing Reading examples did not have. After a spell <strong>of</strong> only<br />

eighteen months in Reading R206-215 DKG were sold to Eastbourne<br />

Buses in exchange for six Eastbourne Optare Spectra double-deckers.<br />

The ten Excels settled into life on the South Coast as Eastbourne (38 to<br />

47) and gained that operator’s attractive blue and cream livery. They<br />

were to remain unique at Eastbourne.<br />

Meanwhile back in Berkshire the Reading undertaking was starting to<br />

experience problems with the Excel model, and was looking to<br />

commence disposal <strong>of</strong> some early examples. By February 2005 they had<br />

withdrawn a number <strong>of</strong> their own examples and found a ready buyer in<br />


New Zealand. This exercise was repeated in March 2005 with the five<br />

remaining former Cardiff buses R201-5 DKG. They were driven down to<br />

Southampton docks on 17 March for loading onto the ship Tarago for<br />

onward shipment to New Zealand, travelling out via the Panama Canal.<br />

They had been purchased by Ritchies Transport <strong>of</strong> Auckland and upon<br />

arrival they were converted to dual-door forty seat buses as follows:<br />

new fleet no: new registration:<br />

R201 DKG…..…...671…………… (CSM 936)<br />

R202 DKG……….672…………… (CSM 933)<br />

R203 DKG……….673…………….(CSY 461)<br />

R204 DKG……….674…………… (CSY 465)<br />

R205 DKG… ……675 ……………(CSM 934)<br />

Entering service in the August, this is likely to be the last we hear <strong>of</strong> these<br />

five buses!<br />

R214 DKG in Eastbourne’s pleasing blue and cream livery (Mike Street)<br />

Back in the UK in 2005, Eastbourne had repainted at least one <strong>of</strong> the<br />

batch in their new predominantly blue fleet livery, but this did not prevent<br />


all ten from being advertised for sale by the end <strong>of</strong> the year. In 2006 they<br />

were sold as a batch to the South Gloucestershire Bus Company. They<br />

would be based at Patchway near Bristol for use on local services, and<br />

they gained an all over white livery. South Gloucestershire sold out to<br />

the Rotala Group in late 2007 and their stay at Patchway would be rather<br />

brief as reliability issues continued. With the exception <strong>of</strong> 208/10 which<br />

stayed behind to work for the newly named Wessex Connect fleet, the<br />

others moved north to Birmingham to work for the Central Connect<br />

operation, 208 and 210 later joining them.<br />

By April 2008 all ten were up for sale once again! It is thought at this<br />

stage that they all passed to Dawson Rentals (dealer) shortly after, who<br />

was faced with the task <strong>of</strong> ultimately finding buyers for them. However,<br />

initially, many went out as loan vehicles to a number <strong>of</strong> different small<br />

operators.<br />

In July 2009 that situation was believed to be as follows: 211 and 213 had<br />

found a new home with TM Travel <strong>of</strong> Halfway, Sheffield joining a small<br />

fleet <strong>of</strong> Excels with this expanding operator. Initially 208-10/12 went on<br />

loan to Red Arrow <strong>of</strong> Huddersfield while this new operator established its<br />

own fleet <strong>of</strong> buses. 210 spent a short spell on loan to Meakin <strong>of</strong> Crewe<br />

while 207/12/14/15 went on loan to Premiere <strong>of</strong> Nottingham by<br />

December 2008. It is thought that 207/12/15 were subsequently<br />

purchased by Premiere. 206 remained unused since leaving Central<br />

Connect, and its location is unknown. 209/10/14 had passed to Ventura<br />

Bus and Coach Sales by early 2009.<br />

In conclusion the story <strong>of</strong> Cardiff’s Excels (201 to 215) is one <strong>of</strong> a batch <strong>of</strong><br />

buses that should never have really been purchased by Cardiff Bus. Apart<br />

from the five that escaped overseas, the others seem to have been passed<br />

from one fleet to another. The only real attraction to a prospective<br />

buyer I suppose is that they are modern looking low-floor buses. Now at<br />

twelve years <strong>of</strong> age, their poor reliability and corrosion issues will mean<br />

the writing has to be on the wall for the ten that survive in the UK. Also<br />

<strong>of</strong> interest and worth mentioning briefly, as they are Welsh Excels, are<br />

the three 10.7m buses that Bebb <strong>of</strong> Llantwit Fardre purchased in 1999.<br />

Registered V78/9,81 JKG, they were sold by 2004 after a troubled<br />


existence, and passed initially to Weavaway <strong>of</strong> Newbury, but have since<br />

moved on.<br />

I would like to thank Gareth Stevens <strong>of</strong> Cardiff Bus and Alan Kreppel<br />

formerly <strong>of</strong> Cardiff Bus for their help with this article.<br />

Latest News; Cardiff Excel R209 DKG is now back in south Wales with<br />

Edwards Coaches, Llantwit Fardre. See back cover.<br />

Editor’s Note; The Excels may not have been an operational success in<br />

Cardiff but they were certainly good to drive. In Nov. 1997 your editor<br />

transferred to the Heath Hospital roster and was impressed by the<br />

handling and speed <strong>of</strong> the brand new Excels.<br />

By the way, Andrew’s latest book, the excellent ‘Independent Buses in<br />

South & West Wales’ is still available from the Ian Allan shop.<br />

------------------------------------------------------<br />

OOPS (2)<br />

This Western Welsh archive<br />

photograph is thought to<br />

have been taken in the late<br />

1940’s. It was said that one<br />

<strong>of</strong> the company’s two Ford<br />

V8 4x4 former gun tractors<br />

assisted with the recovery.<br />

The photo is the right way<br />

up, it’s jut the bus that isn’t!<br />

Bus 188 (KG 7038) was a<br />

1936 Roe bodied Leyland<br />

TS7 allocated to Aberdare.<br />

De-licensed in Sept. 1952 it<br />

was sold as scrap to James<br />

Thompson, Cardiff in Dec.<br />

1952.<br />



(CTPG vehicles under cover in Barry Depot)<br />

1951 LNY 903 Leyland Titan PD2/12 / Leyland L27/28R ex. Caerphilly 3 (u)<br />

1958 TAX 235 Bristol Lodekka LD6G / ECW H33/27RD ex. R&W L358 (rp)<br />

1958 XNY 416 Guy Arab LUF / Longwell Green B44F ex. Aberdare 14 (u)<br />

1958 889 AAX Leyland Tiger Cub PSUC1/13 / Weymann B44F ex. Jones 98 (rc)<br />

1961 XUH 368 Leyland Titan PD2A/30 / MCW H36/28F ex. Cardiff 368 (u)<br />

1964 ABO 434B Guy Arab V / Neepsend O37/28R ex. Cardiff 34 (rc)<br />

1965 GNY 432C Leyland Titan PD3/4 / Massey L35/33RD ex. Caerphilly 32 (rp)<br />

1966 EDW 68D Leyland Atlantean PDR1 / Alexander H74F ex. Newport 68 (rc)<br />

1968 JKG 497F Daimler Fleetline CRG6 / Park Royal H42/33F ex. Cardiff 497 (rp)<br />

1969 UTG 313G AEC Regent V 2MD3RA / W/brook H34/26F ex. PUDC 8 (rp)<br />

1969 OUH 177G Leyland Leopard PSU3A / Plaxton C49F ex. WWOC 177 (rp)<br />

1971 TKG 518J Leyland Leopard PSU4A / W/brook C45F ex. WWOC 1518 (o)<br />

(converted to recovery vehicle1985)<br />

1986 C101 HKG Ford Transit 190 / Robin Hood B16F ex. N/Welsh 1 (rp)<br />

1996 N143 NTG Optare Metrorider / Optare B31F ex. Cardiff 143 (o)<br />

1996 P164 TNY Mercedes 711D / Plaxton B27F ex. Rhondda Buses 164 (o)<br />

(CTPG vehicles in restoration away from depot)<br />

1947 CUH 856 Leyland Tiger PS1 / ECW B35R ex. WWOC 856 (rp)<br />

1956 LKG 678 AEC Regent V MD3RV / P. Royal H33/28R ex. WWOC 678 (rp)<br />

1968 MBO 512F AEC Swift MP2R / Alexander B47D ex. Cardiff 512 (rp)<br />


(Vehicles in storage away from depot)<br />

1969 PKG 532H Daimler Fleetline CRG6LX / W/brook H74D ex Cardiff 532 (u)<br />

1974 PKG 587M Bristol VRT/SL6G / ECW H43/31F ex. Cardiff 587 (u)<br />

1982 NDW 407X Volvo Ailsa B55 / N/Counties H39/35F ex. Cardiff 407 (o)<br />

1990 G258 HUH Leyland Lynx LX2R / Leyland B49F ex Cardiff 258 (o)<br />

(Non CTPG owned vehicles at Barry Depot)<br />

1950 HWO 323 Leyland Tiger PS1/1 Lydney C33F ex. Red & White C350 (rc)<br />

1958 964 DTJ Leyland Tiger Cub PSUC1/1 Weymann B44F ex. Merthyr 100 (rc)<br />

1960 TUH 13 Albion Nimbus / Harrington DP30F ex. WWOC 13 (rp)<br />

1963 408 DBO AEC Regent V 2DR3RA / East Lancs H35/28R ex. Cardiff 408 (rp)<br />

1966 FUH 370D Leyland Tiger Cub PSUC1 / P.Royal B43F ex. WWOC 1370 (rc)<br />

1966 KNY 495D AEC Regent V 2MD3RA / NCME H37/27F ex. Rhondda 495 (rc)<br />

1966 EDV 505D Bristol MW6G / ECW C39F ex. Western National 1423 (rc)<br />

1968 PAX 466F Leyland Titan PD3/4 / Massey L35/33RD ex. Bedwas & Machen (x)<br />

1972 WUH 585K Daimler Fleetline CRL6 / MCW H43/31F ex. Cardiff 585 (rp)<br />

1973 NNY 817L Bedford YRT ? Plaxton C53F ex. Sidney Davies, Penygraig (rp)<br />

1976 LUH 105P Bristol LHS6L / ECW DP27F ex. Cardiff 105 (rp)<br />

1976 OJD 45R Bristol LH6L / ECW B45F ex. London Transport BL45 (o)<br />

1986 C42 CKG Leyland Tiger TRTTL11 / East Lancs DP49F ex. Islwyn BT 42 (o)<br />

(o) original (u) unrestored (rp) restoration in progress (rc) restoration completed.<br />

(x) due June <strong>2010</strong><br />


DEREK’S LOG;<br />

(Now that we are approaching the finishing touches to the depot, on most<br />

Fridays and Saturdays, Derek Perry, Alan Poole and their small team have<br />

returned to restoration work on the group buses. Here is Derek’s log <strong>of</strong><br />

progress on the Leyland PD3, GNY432C.)<br />

Repairs were needed to the supports for the body side panels with<br />

cutting and fitting wood in-fills, plus a wood frame around the fuel tank<br />

filler. Some <strong>of</strong> the panels have been paint stripped and re-fitted, others<br />

have been replaced with new panels cut from sheets that have been<br />

purchased. All side panels up to the driver’s door have now been refitted.<br />

We then moved our attention to the last corner, the O/S front which has<br />

the complication <strong>of</strong> the drivers door, and two steps. While I was away<br />

for four weeks Alan removed the trim and panels to reveal the usual rust<br />

and rot problems. New angle iron has been cut, welded and bolted into<br />

two <strong>of</strong> the down stays.<br />

Now for the driver’s sliding door, the top runner was cleaned and<br />

lubricated and is working well. The bottom <strong>of</strong> the door has a length <strong>of</strong><br />

steel fitted which should run in a channel in the body. What is left <strong>of</strong> this<br />

channel has been removed and used as a rough guide to making and fitting<br />

a replacement <strong>of</strong> steel angle iron framing with timber inserts. This made a<br />

strong tidy job. Attached between this and the curved angle support for<br />

the wing, is a steel support for the top step. Nuts were welded to the<br />

back so that after the panels are fitted the step is fed into place and<br />

countersunk bolts went right through to hold it solid. In theory this is<br />

fine but in reality the top step has disintegrated and the only replacement<br />

that can be found is smaller. We therefore made the decision to use the<br />

bottom step in the existing frame at the top and put the smaller<br />

replacement step at the bottom where new supports will have to be<br />

made anyway.<br />

The curved angle iron to hold the wing is twisted and cannot be<br />

straightened in place, so we cut it <strong>of</strong>f, reshaped it in the vice and welded it<br />

back on. Then we re-bolted the wing to it and re-fixed the bottom stays<br />

to the last upright. A new body panel has been cut with a hole for the<br />


step, and shaped around the wing. Panels have also been made and fitted<br />

to the inside, thus filling the gap between the door runner and the floor.<br />

The wing has taken a hammering over its life span, and has been patched<br />

and finished with body filler which is flaking <strong>of</strong>f. After cleaning <strong>of</strong>f, new<br />

layers <strong>of</strong> filler have been applied and rubbed down. The door had been<br />

removed to facilitate these repairs, while it was <strong>of</strong>f it was stripped <strong>of</strong> its<br />

old paint and on checking it has proved to be in good condition.<br />

New body trim strips have arrived and we started with a half round piece<br />

half the length <strong>of</strong> the bus under the windows, this has been cut to length,<br />

drilled, countersunk and fitted. A long piece <strong>of</strong> the wider flat trim has<br />

been cut into lengths, drilled and countersunk, and fitted as the five<br />

vertical trims necessary for that side.<br />

A sheet <strong>of</strong> checker plate arrived and using the new and old panels as<br />

patterns, a new panel has been cut from it complete with holes for the<br />

steps. It was placed over the new panelling and drilled and riveted. The<br />

top step was fitted with counter sunk bolts right through into its support<br />

plate. The bottom step was riveted on with a support bracket up to the<br />


chassis. Around the wing needed a half round trim, this we curved into<br />

shape, (easier than we thought) drilled and screwed.<br />

There is a seal on the rear pillar with a trough on the door that fit<br />

together when the door is closed and as they are in good condition they<br />

do not need attention.<br />

At this time another group member has joined us, namely Peter Smith. He<br />

has been helping with the depot decoration from time to time but is now<br />

keen to put some time in on bus repairs. Together we studied the front<br />

<strong>of</strong> the driver’s door where a section <strong>of</strong> rubber sheet acts as a seal that<br />

needed replacing. A piece <strong>of</strong> angled aluminium that holds this in place was<br />

removed, a piece <strong>of</strong> rubber matting cut and the angle refitted to hold it in<br />

place. A final cleaning and a coat <strong>of</strong> grey primer made the door ready for a<br />

trial refit. Peter drilled, counter sunk and screwed the top edge <strong>of</strong> the<br />

checker plate, and also finished the top <strong>of</strong> the step into the cab with a<br />

section <strong>of</strong> checker plate cut to fit with a length <strong>of</strong> ridged kick plate. The<br />

door catch has also been refitted to the door pillar.<br />

With the scaffold tower placed at the rear <strong>of</strong> the bus I accessed the<br />

outside <strong>of</strong> the emergency door and with Alan Poole on the inside we<br />

freed <strong>of</strong>f and turned the handle. The door slid down in our waiting hands<br />


as what was left <strong>of</strong> the hinge screws fell out <strong>of</strong> the top frame, just as we<br />

had anticipated. The door is made up <strong>of</strong> a wood frame with an outside<br />

aluminium cover with two window panels. With the locking bar, catches<br />

and handles removed the inside covering <strong>of</strong> Formica, which as the glue has<br />

dried out with age, came <strong>of</strong>f easy with out damage. The outer cover was<br />

carefully removed to reveal a wood frame that is not too bad for its age.<br />

The steel hinge screws had rotted the timber around them, so two pieces<br />

<strong>of</strong> oak have been cut and fitted allowing the hinges to be re-screwed.<br />

Around the edge <strong>of</strong> the frame was a strip <strong>of</strong> steel over which the outer<br />

cover fits. Very little <strong>of</strong> this strip was left, and knowing the effects <strong>of</strong><br />

mixing steel with aluminium we are trying to replace this with aluminium.<br />

We will check if this is stiff enough, if not, at least we will have good<br />

templates to mark out steel ones.<br />

Alan has striped the paint <strong>of</strong>f the outer cover. I am pleased to say that<br />

with a small repair to one corner and a little panel beating it can be reused.<br />

Cleaning and painting the back has taken place, so we are ready for<br />

a trial re-assemble.<br />

UTG313G AEC Regent V<br />

This bus has stood around for some time. We have all looked at it and<br />

realized that the work done previously was not done with enough care.<br />

The alignments left a lot to be desired and work was put on hold for a<br />

while. Things changed with the arrival <strong>of</strong> a new member Richard Fitzjohn.<br />

He has a background <strong>of</strong> coach building and a yearning to be busy, so after<br />

more discussion we are having another look at it. We will go with Mac<br />

Winfield’s suggestion and start with the back emergency door and work<br />

our way round from there. News travels fast and Graig Boanas was given<br />

the job <strong>of</strong> wiring the rear end before any panels go on.<br />

The lower panel to the right <strong>of</strong> the door appears to be in good condition<br />

so we fitted it back into place. Luckily looking through the bus, a box was<br />

found containing various parts, including door handles and catches, plus<br />

hinge balls and bolts.<br />

Looking at the door, we find the first thing to do is rebuild the bottom<br />

cross member. The outer skin had already been eased <strong>of</strong>f at the bottom<br />

to access this so the old metal was cut <strong>of</strong>f and a channelled bar has been<br />


found and welding into place. At the same time a new wood block was<br />

fitted for the bottom hinge screws, the door skin has been gently refitted,<br />

and the other two hinges have been fitted with new screws.<br />

The door opening has previously been worked on with a new wood frame<br />

top and sides. New narrow edge panels on one side had been cut and put<br />

in place loosely without fixing. With a little work the other side panels<br />

will be usable. The bottom wooden step was loosely in place but when<br />

we tried to put the door into position on the hinges, the centre hinge did<br />

not line up and the step proved to be too high. On removing this step<br />

and a certain amount <strong>of</strong> wood from the left pillar the door closed, but<br />

overhung at the bottom instead <strong>of</strong> fitting flush the same as the rest <strong>of</strong> the<br />

door. After much puzzlement we realised the hinges on the body are<br />

three different lengths, the longest at the top and the shortest at the<br />

bottom, the last repairers had fitted the shortest hinge in the middle.<br />

(This reinforces the reason why everybody walked away from this job).<br />

On removing the bottom step, we reversed the angle iron to fix the floor<br />

to the inner panel and changed the hinges around then refitted the door.<br />


We now have the hinges lined up and the door fits flush all around. The<br />

previous repairers had made up angle plates for the front edge <strong>of</strong> the<br />

door frame and we have found the original beading strips, drilled and<br />

riveted these back in place, thereby holding the angle plates in place.<br />

The angle plates for the rear <strong>of</strong> the door were in the large box <strong>of</strong> bits that<br />

came with the bus; these have been tidied up and put into place. The door<br />

catches and locking bar have been sorted and a section <strong>of</strong> checker plate<br />

has been cut and fitted to the step.<br />

The rear curved corner body panel was missing so a new one has been<br />

cut, curved and fitted and a new half round trim has been fitted. Offering<br />

up the two flat body panels across the rear caused a flurry <strong>of</strong> comments<br />

from the purists about the positioning <strong>of</strong> the number plate which the last<br />

repairer, a long time ago, fitted flush onto the panel at the top. Mac<br />

obtained a recessed panel which we fitted lower down so that the plate<br />

and lamp can be fitted in its original position.<br />

---------------------------------------------------<br />


The Group is saddened to report the death on 23 rd April <strong>of</strong> our<br />

member Bill Price <strong>of</strong> Llantwit Major. Although Bill was unable to<br />

attend many meetings he was always ready to help at our Barry &<br />

Merthyr rallies. He will be missed. The group was represented at his<br />

funeral.<br />


DATES FOR YOUR <strong>2010</strong> DIARY;<br />

6 th June; Barry Festival <strong>of</strong> Transport & Open Day.<br />

16 th June; Evening Road Run to The BBC studios at Llandaff<br />

20 th June; National Transport Festival, Swansea<br />

21 st July; Evening Road Run on Leyland PD3, PAX 466<br />

15 th Aug. Bristol VBG Rally & Running Day.<br />

18 th Aug; Evening Road Run on one <strong>of</strong> Mike Walker’s buses.<br />

5 th Sept; Bus & Coach Wales Rally, Merthyr Tydfil<br />

(Marshalls urgently required)<br />

15 th Sept; Evening Meeting 19.30 at County Hall T.B.A.<br />

19 th Sept; WHOTT Rally at the Devon Showground, Exeter.<br />

20 th Oct; Evening Meeting 19.30 at County Hall T.B.A.<br />

17 th Nov; Evening Meeting. Peter Heath continues his ‘World tour <strong>of</strong><br />

the U.K.’<br />

15 th Dec; Quiz Night hosted by Chris Taylor.<br />

Please check for updates on our website www.ctpg.co.uk<br />


About the CTPG<br />

The CTPG lease the former Western Welsh Depot on Broad Street, Barry from the Vale<br />

<strong>of</strong> Glamorgan Council. The CTPG organises two vehicle rallies each year and holds a<br />

monthly meeting on the third Wednesday <strong>of</strong> each month. Members receive a quarterly<br />

newsletter and if they wish they can help to restore the Group’s buses, ride on them and<br />

travel to rallies.<br />

The Group aims to preserve representative samples <strong>of</strong> the buses that ran in South East<br />

Wales and the Valleys, as well as memorabilia and records <strong>of</strong> the operating companies.<br />

Annual membership <strong>of</strong> the Group is £15, which runs from the date <strong>of</strong> joining. Joint<br />

membership is also available for £25.<br />

CTPG Committee<br />

Chairman<br />

Deputy Chairman<br />

Secretary<br />

Treasurer<br />

Membership Secretary<br />

Mike Taylor, 10 Ger Nant Ystrad Mynach, Hengoed<br />

CF82 7FE Phone;: 01443 862144<br />

email: mikeystrad73@btinternet.com<br />

Chris Taylor, 31 Heol Wen, Rhiwbina Cardiff CF14 6EG<br />

Phone; 029 20693734<br />

Gayle Alder, 16 Carter Place, Fairwater, Cardiff<br />

CF5 3NP<br />

Paul Hamley email: squash33@btinternet.com<br />

Derek Perry, 11 Countess Place, Penarth CF64 3UJ<br />

Other Non Committee Post Holders<br />

Editor Viv Corbin email: viv.corbin@ntlworld.com<br />

Webmaster CTPG Mac Winfield email: postmaster@ctpg.co.uk<br />

Webmaster Bus Depot Matt Turner email: tmatt95@gmail.com<br />

Publicity Officer Nicky Reason email: nickyreason@hotmail.com<br />

www.ctpg.co.uk & www.the-busdepot-barry.org<br />

Published by the Cardiff Transport Preservation Group<br />

(Registered as a Charity No. 1063157)<br />

The opinions and views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Group, its Committee or the Editor. Every effort is made to give due credit for all<br />

photographs and material used in this newsletter. Should there be any unintended breach<br />

<strong>of</strong> copyright; the Editor must be informed to enable a correcting acknowledgement to be<br />

made.<br />



Swansea based 2 Travel’s fleet <strong>of</strong> blue & white buses brought competition again to several<br />

routes in Cardiff during 2004-5. Retaliation tactics by Cardiff Bus brought criticism from the<br />

O.F.T. On the 250 Llanrumney service are Lynx J629 LHF and Volvo B6 L836 CDG. (C. Parker)<br />


Top; Cardiff’s 209 now in the bright blue livery <strong>of</strong> Edwards Coaches, Llantwit Fardre. (A. Jeenes)<br />

Below; At Porth Depot on the May Road Run with Gwyn Gardiner’s fine ex. National Welsh<br />

Leyland National 2. (V.C.)<br />


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