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ISSUE No.36 January <strong>2012</strong><br />

Continuing the restoration on the Caerphilly No. 32. Derek Perry gives the<br />

details in this issue. Also inside, the final part <strong>of</strong> The Cardiff VRT Story.<br />

1


Two CCT buses some 30 years ago when in running order. Thankfully both the AEC<br />

Regent 408 and the Crossley 46 are still in preservation, the former at Barry Depot.<br />

In the late 1980’s the 87 route did go to Cyncoed from Penarth seafront. Here we see<br />

Cardiff Olympian 566 on 26 th June 1987. (A. Wiltshire)<br />

2


CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE;<br />

Welcome to the first CTPG newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>2012</strong>. I think that we should congratulate Viv,<br />

our editor, on the continuing quality <strong>of</strong> the newsletters over the last year, please help to<br />

support him through your articles and photos. Thanks also to our printers, Barry<br />

Advertiser, for the excellent photo reproduction.<br />

During the last couple <strong>of</strong> months Caerphilly 32 has received a lot <strong>of</strong> attention and now<br />

looks almost finished with the majority <strong>of</strong> the top coat <strong>of</strong> paint completed and the<br />

Caerphilly destination blinds in place. We hope that following a pump and injector<br />

overhaul the Swift may return to the road in <strong>2012</strong> along with Caerphilly 32.<br />

We were recently saddened to learn <strong>of</strong> the untimely death <strong>of</strong> our member, Michael<br />

Lowrie <strong>of</strong> Barry.<br />

As we begin another year I would like to thank all those who keep making the CTPG and<br />

the Depot a success, I look forward to working with you again this year and hope that<br />

more <strong>of</strong> the membership will join us.<br />

On behalf <strong>of</strong> myself and the CTPG Committee I would like to wish all members and<br />

readers best wishes for <strong>2012</strong> and good fortunes in whatever you do.<br />

<strong>2012</strong> Events - Barry Festival <strong>of</strong> Transport & Depot Open Day Sunday 10 th June & Bus &<br />

Coach Wales Sunday 9 th September at Rhydycar Leisure Centre, Merthyr Tydfil. Both<br />

our events will be supported by the local Councils again in <strong>2012</strong>, it is likely that we will<br />

also run buses during the Tall Ships event in Barry the week before our Merthyr event.<br />

See you at the AGM, remember this will take place at Penarth Conservative Club on<br />

Wednesday 18 th January.<br />

Mike<br />

Tel: 01443 753227<br />

Email : mikeystrad73@btinternet.com<br />

Also keep up to date on our Facebook page<br />

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DEREK’S LOG <strong>–</strong> CAERPHILLY 32, GNY 732C;<br />

November 2010;<br />

Bob Sparks joined the team. His first job was to refit the headlamp onto the front wing<br />

that gave us so much trouble. The hole through which the headlamp shaft fits was out <strong>of</strong><br />

line with the underneath clamp, so when a little cutting had taken place, the headlamp<br />

slid into the clamp and the bolts tightened. He then fitted the domed headed bolts to the<br />

top <strong>of</strong> the wing.<br />

Our attention now turned to the lower saloon. The first job was to clear out the last <strong>of</strong><br />

the items that were put in at Bonvilston for transport to the Depot. These included two<br />

boxes in connection to the Jones bus, and the worst thing to move, a large leaf spring<br />

(very heavy). After Christopher Hiat took the first sweep through, we could see that<br />

the floor covering was cracking badly in places. A large <strong>of</strong>f-cut <strong>of</strong> lino has been obtained,<br />

and the worst sections cut out, and patches stuck in place.<br />

The interior, which was brown, would have to be painted green, and with this in mind<br />

the decision was taken to remove all the seat frames. The back rests have been<br />

removed from the frames, the material on the back <strong>of</strong> these had been painted brown,<br />

but a rub down and two coats <strong>of</strong> green fixed that. Cleaning and painting <strong>of</strong> the frames<br />

4


then took place. The brown paint flaked <strong>of</strong>f easily with a wire brush, finishing with sand<br />

paper to prepare for two coats <strong>of</strong> green.<br />

The job <strong>of</strong> refitting the backrests has been carried out and we found a safe storage place<br />

for them until we are ready to refit them. Thank you for a fine job Paul Gilbertson, and<br />

Richard Evans.<br />

Following the completion <strong>of</strong> the Ponty bus, Richard Fitzjohn joined us with the Caerphilly<br />

bus repairs. With the floor clear, it was noticed that a piece <strong>of</strong> checker plate has been<br />

riveted to the floor between the rear seats that gave way when walked on. Removal <strong>of</strong><br />

this plate revealed no timber flooring underneath. A new timber panel was made and<br />

the plate refitted.<br />

The removal <strong>of</strong> the seats gave access to more floor surface that needed patching, also<br />

the side wall covering material, the removal <strong>of</strong> which revealed more rust holes to be<br />

patched. Spraying with under-seal helped to hide the joins and gave it a dimpled look to<br />

like the original material. We followed this up with two coats <strong>of</strong> green. Rubbing down<br />

and painting the downstairs area was completed, including four battery boxes, two<br />

heaters, front and rear seat frames, plus the platform partitions.<br />

Rubbing down the upper outside <strong>of</strong> the body was carried out by Alan. A dent along the<br />

length <strong>of</strong> the N/S upper panels (damn those trees) was filled in and rubbed down. In<br />

some places the top coat <strong>of</strong> paint was not bonding to the paint underneath and a lot <strong>of</strong> it<br />

had to be chipped and scrapped <strong>of</strong>f, a long and laborious job. With the scaffolding tower<br />

5


in place, I took a look at the ro<strong>of</strong> and where I could reach, new screws were fitted and<br />

the paintwork rubbed down. The removed vent panel has also been refitted.<br />

We are limited by floor space where we can use the tower, so the rest <strong>of</strong> the ro<strong>of</strong> had<br />

to wait until the bus was moved.<br />

The upstairs interior, <strong>of</strong> course is also brown; all seat frames have been unbolted, slid<br />

down the stair-well and out <strong>of</strong> the door. (Any doubts we had that this could happen,<br />

because <strong>of</strong> their size, was quickly put at ease) The upholstery is in a very poor state, a<br />

problem for the future. Rubbing down and painting will keep us busy for a while; also a<br />

few patches to the floor covering have been done.<br />

The platform area has been rubbed down and painted including under the stairs. The<br />

signs were masked over while this was being done. With the top floor seats out and on<br />

the bench with the backrests removed, further rubbing down and painting has taken<br />

place. Having a good team around certainly pushed the jobs on.<br />

The outer body work had primer/undercoat applied. This did two things: It made it<br />

look like a big leap forward and also showed up small marks and steps in the paintwork.<br />

Application <strong>of</strong> fine stopper and more rubbing down then took place. When the bus was<br />

moved <strong>of</strong>f the pit, the scaffolding was put in place to access the rest <strong>of</strong> the ro<strong>of</strong>. Fifty<br />

new screws were fitted to replace those broken and missing from the ro<strong>of</strong> panels.<br />

Wire-brushing and sanding down was done, a vacuum over and a wash down with white<br />

spirit, then a touch up <strong>of</strong> the bare metal with primer.<br />

With the 2011 Barry Rally and Open Day coming up, bus repairs were put on hold and<br />

we repainted water damaged walls and floors to tidy up the depot. Further repairs and<br />

painting to the stores’ doors took place, plus the moving and cleaning <strong>of</strong> the buses.<br />

August 2011;<br />

The front O/S headlamp removal brought the usual rusted bolt problem, one removed,<br />

and one snapped <strong>of</strong>f, entailing the drilling out <strong>of</strong> the stub, luckily we could get at the back<br />

so a bolt and nut could be fitted. The body plate behind the lamp had rusted, so a patch<br />

has been made and fitted. The O/S side lamp was then removed and the front panel<br />

filled, rubbed down and primed. The front area around the windscreen, destination<br />

board, driver’s door and areas over the bonnet have been rubbed down and primed;<br />

likewise the curving panel up to the ro<strong>of</strong> has been treated.<br />

We decided to remove the bonnet and place on the bench as the underside was coated<br />

with a layer <strong>of</strong> oily dust. A hot water pressure washer would have made short work <strong>of</strong><br />

this, but as we do not have one, we made do with a wire brush, washed down with<br />

white spirit. Peter Smith gave it a final rub done with sand paper and applied aluminium<br />

paint, the result has given it a lovely new look. Flaking paint on the outside <strong>of</strong> the bonnet<br />

made us decide to remove all the paint back to bare metal, followed by grey primer.<br />

Back upstairs the hand rail that is fitted along both sides has been removed and cleaned.<br />

The panels between the windows, upstairs and down, have had two coats <strong>of</strong> light green,<br />

6


to match the Formica around the emergency doors. The upstairs side panels have been<br />

rubbed down and painted green. As all the window rubbers are past their sell by date<br />

and gone hard as rock, we realised they will not keep out water, so have removed all the<br />

glass. Mike has obtained a supply <strong>of</strong> new rubbers, so when we are ready they will all be<br />

refitted. With them all out we can clean down and paint the body edges that the new<br />

rubbers will fit onto.<br />

The bus has now been coated in primer and a rub down with wet and dry has started.<br />

Alan Poole has worked hard on this, but it will take some time to complete.<br />

We experienced problems with the synthetic paint drying too quickly and not flowing to<br />

a smooth finish, the hot weather not helping. A lot <strong>of</strong> time was been wasted trying to<br />

make it work, a decision was taken to obtain different paint, namely enamel.<br />

The enamel has been applied to the ro<strong>of</strong>, down to window level. Mr Alan Jones has<br />

joined us, his painting skills were immediately put to good use on the <strong>of</strong>fside top window<br />

frames (cream), and then lower panels (green). The cream (synthetic) was again<br />

problematic and meant more time wasted on rubbing down. (Sorry, we have to have<br />

enamel.)<br />

Upstairs, cleaning the flooring strips took up a lot <strong>of</strong> time, removing dirt and excess<br />

paint. It was worth the effort as they look so much better and are now ready for the<br />

floor painting. Well done to Paul Gilbertson & Richard Evans. Bob Sharp prepared and<br />

painted between the windows inside downstairs, and also the ro<strong>of</strong> and surround<br />

alongside the cab. After applications <strong>of</strong> stopper to fill in the dents etc, plus further grey<br />

7


primer, Alan Poole had further rubbing down to do. With the arrival <strong>of</strong> the mid<br />

Brunswick green enamel, Alan Jones and I have started the first coat. We used a roller<br />

and the result on the lower panels is very good, and will only need a fine rub down<br />

before applying the second coat. The upper panels did not turn out as well, the filling<br />

and rubbing down <strong>of</strong> the damaged areas showed up badly and further coats <strong>of</strong> undercoat<br />

and rubbing down were needed.<br />

I applied a coat <strong>of</strong> aluminium paint upstairs to the front panel and the side <strong>of</strong> the<br />

walkway. Brian Williams arrived to work, so he started on further filling in and rubbing<br />

down.<br />

We have been working on this bus since November 2006, but don’t think we don’t get a<br />

break. As mentioned earlier, preparations for the “Open Day” gave us change <strong>of</strong> job.<br />

One <strong>of</strong> those jobs was to rescue our spare chairs from a damp storage area, give them a<br />

good scrub. After the day, a drier storage position was found and now covered with a<br />

plastic sheet, should make things easier next time.<br />

A grand sort out <strong>of</strong> our stock <strong>of</strong> nuts & bolts, and placing them all together in one store<br />

room was an overdue job. Numbering and sorting the bench cupboards and draws, and a<br />

list <strong>of</strong> contents hung on a wall nearby will save time in the future.<br />

We have obtained a sink unit and fitted it to the wall over a drain by the workbench, so<br />

we will be able wash dirty parts away from the kitchen.<br />

Derek Perry; October 2011<br />

8


OCTOBER MEETING;<br />

Around 25 attended the meeting on 19 th October. This was the last to be held at<br />

County Hall, which has been our ‘home’ for over a decade.<br />

Mac Winfield, formerly <strong>of</strong> Cardiff Bus, gave a power-point presentation that explained<br />

the variations on the bodywork <strong>of</strong> the batch <strong>of</strong> AEC Regent 111’s that were delivered to<br />

CCT in 1950. These had East Lancs frames, five <strong>of</strong> which were completed at Bridlington,<br />

with the rest completed at the Cardiff factory <strong>of</strong> Bruce Coachworks.<br />

After the break, Mac moved on to railways and his favourite early DMU’s. Staying on<br />

rails we were shown photos <strong>of</strong> some <strong>of</strong> the forgotten railway tracks in the south Wales<br />

valleys. Also fascinating, were the views <strong>of</strong> the disused tunnels, many <strong>of</strong> which Mac has<br />

trudged through and photographed.<br />

NOVEMBER MEETING:<br />

The first <strong>of</strong> our meetings at Penarth Conservative Club attracted about 25 members.<br />

Andrew Wiltshire presented colour slides taken between 1960 and 1977 by his father<br />

John, who although now in his 80s still retains his CTPG membership.<br />

We were shown shots <strong>of</strong> paddle steamers, Bristol Channel dredgers and cargo vessels at<br />

Cardiff Docks.<br />

Of the Cardiff buses shown, several were in the various overall advert liveries that were<br />

popular some time ago in the city. Included were shots <strong>of</strong> the trolleybuses that visited<br />

the city from other areas. Interestingly, John also took ‘before and after’ photos <strong>of</strong> the<br />

city’s bridges over the River Taff that were replaced around 40 years ago. These views<br />

certainly brought memories.<br />

DECEMBER MEETING;<br />

The annual Quiz Night held on 21 st December at the Penarth Conservative Club was<br />

attended by only 20, including a contingent from the PSV Circle and the South Wales &<br />

West Omnibus Society. Where were all our members? Perhaps it was too close to<br />

Christmas.<br />

Once again our Vice Chairman, Chris Taylor, organised the quiz assisted by his son,<br />

Michael. It must be difficult for Chris to set suitable questions in view <strong>of</strong> the vast amount<br />

<strong>of</strong> collective knowledge present in the room.<br />

Certain questions did fox the so-called ‘experts’ and confused most <strong>of</strong> the room.<br />

Obviously the theme <strong>of</strong> buses was to the fore, but questions were asked on trams,<br />

railways and cars.<br />

At the break those present enjoyed mince pies and sausage rolls with some obtaining a<br />

drink from the bar downstairs.<br />

At the conclusion <strong>of</strong> the evening the winning team was judged to be the O.S. with the<br />

individual prize going to our member, Ge<strong>of</strong>f Gould.<br />

9


What a busy scene!<br />

On a lovely bright afternoon in 1963 at King Square, Barry Dock, Western Welsh 902 (a new<br />

Weymann bodied PD2A) comes to its stop in Holton Road. The crew that day were Ron<br />

Braithwaite and Billy ‘Champ’ Ellis. The 101 route from Barry Garden Suburb to Llandough<br />

Church was routed via No. 2 Dock, Bendricks, Sully and Penarth. In the foreground the lady in a<br />

plaid skirt munches something, while in the background on the seats by the Town Hall steps; the<br />

elderly rest their weary bones. Over by the phone boxes an orator draws quite a crowd, but is<br />

ignored by the man reading a newspaper. Over by the ‘Chocolate Box’ in Tynewydd Road an<br />

early Atlantean prepares to overheat its transmission by climbing the steep hill on the 109<br />

service from Robert Street to Merthyr Dyfan.<br />

(Editor’s Collection)<br />

10


CARDIFF’S BRISTOL VRT S3’s by Andrew Wiltshire <strong>–</strong> Part Two<br />

(Part one was published in the October 2011 issue)<br />

Transmission trials;<br />

Cardiff was experiencing excessive brake lining wear with the series 3 VRTs and a<br />

solution was sought. A new gearbox manufactured by Maxwell was now available which<br />

it was hoped would reduce brake wear, as some transmission braking was undertaken by<br />

the gearbox itself. In June 1982 Cardiff decided to fit a Maxwell four speed gearbox to<br />

390. This was a new gearbox developed for the bus industry. A further six were<br />

ordered, three being fitted to 391/3/5 in 1983/4. In 1985 No’s 357, 363/5-7/9,<br />

371/2/5/7/8, 381/7, 392/4/6/7 were similarly fitted. 21 buses were now featured the<br />

Maxwell gearbox. The years 1986/87 saw No’s 355/6/8-62/4/8, 370/3/4/6/9, and 383-6/9<br />

fitted as well. It has been established however that No’s 380/2/8 were never converted<br />

to Maxwell. The first two converted (390/391) made a very distinctive screech or<br />

squawk as top gear engaged. This was for some reason less noticeable on the other<br />

conversions.<br />

In service the gearbox did its job but was not particularly reliable. Also it was claimed<br />

that maintenance could be carried out on the gearbox whilst it was still in situ on the<br />

vehicle. This was never practiced by Cardiff who would simply exchange a faulty unit for<br />

a serviceable one and carry out any repairs on the bench at a later date. It is thought that<br />

many <strong>of</strong> the buses converted actually reverted to Leyland G2 gearboxes at some stage.<br />

Out on the road;<br />

Talking with some members who drove these buses it is possible to include some<br />

interesting points. The cab heaters on No’s 301-326 were a welcome addition in cold<br />

weather but were not initially able to be turned <strong>of</strong>f when not required. This proved to<br />

be an issue with drivers in the summer <strong>of</strong> 1978. Cabs were well laid out for one person<br />

operation but those on the Alexander models were to a higher standard. Power steering<br />

was good and consistent at all speeds, unlike say a Leyland National.<br />

One problem with the 5 speed gearbox was that if you left the bus in gear it would move<br />

forward, not just creep. This was worse on some buses than others. It was thought to be<br />

a combination <strong>of</strong> the automatic transmission and the torque from the Gardner engine.<br />

Apparently semi-auto or Leyland 510 engine VRTs did not do this. The 5 speed<br />

transmission was frustrating as you generally could not induce a change down when you<br />

required one. You had to wait until the bus was labouring in gear before a change was<br />

made. This made for very slow hill climbing. However you could cause up changes if you<br />

used the gear hold position to take the bus to full speed in any gear. Then by putting the<br />

selector into neutral and immediately re-selecting gear hold, you would always get an up<br />

change. Another annoying point with the 5 speed boxes was if you selected the gear hold<br />

position from the drive position to prevent an up-change, you had to pass through<br />

neutral. This caused a pause in transmission which resulted in a dead spot before the<br />

same gear was re-engaged and a loss <strong>of</strong> road speed when it was needed. Much better<br />

control was possible with the Maxwell gearbox as you didn’t pass through neutral to<br />

11


hold any gear; just a sideways movement <strong>of</strong> the lever was all that was required. In<br />

comparison the 5 speeds gave the best ride quality with smoother braking as the gearbox<br />

had no braking effect. The 5 speed gearboxes were later reset so that they would drop<br />

down through the gears as the vehicle slowed down, instead <strong>of</strong> at the next use <strong>of</strong> the<br />

accelerator pedal. This spoilt the ride quality.<br />

In conclusion the downside to an automatic VRT was that it had to be driven at full<br />

throttle to effect gear changes. A semi-automatic Fleetline on the other hand could be<br />

changed up or down whenever the driver liked. Perhaps it is no surprise that some<br />

subsequent operators <strong>of</strong> these Cardiff VRTs converted them to semi-automatic.<br />

350 in an all over advert for Welsh Bitter at Llandaff North In Aug 1989. (A. Wiltshire)<br />

Coats <strong>of</strong> many colours;<br />

Being such a large batch <strong>of</strong> buses it was inevitable that over the years many would carry<br />

advertisement and other special liveries. All 97 buses were delivered in standard orange<br />

and white and the first variation was 325 which received some advertising to do with<br />

driver recruitment campaign titled ‘Drive Me’ in the spring <strong>of</strong> 1978.<br />

The first overall advertising livery was Willowbrook bodied 311 which received a<br />

basically yellow livery in September 1979. This was to the order <strong>of</strong> associated car dealers<br />

Nash <strong>of</strong> Cardiff and Carmo Citroen. By coincidence these car dealerships were located<br />

opposite the Sloper Road bus garage! It carried this until November 1982. From the<br />

same batch 305 received a dark blue overall advert for Phoenix Insurance in May 1980<br />

which it carried for just over 3 years. 317 then received a basically white and red livery<br />

for Alders department store. In July 1980 343 was painted in the old Cardiff tramway<br />

12


livery <strong>of</strong> maroon and cream with a grey ro<strong>of</strong> and gold lining, to celebrate 75 years <strong>of</strong><br />

Cardiff being a City and 25 years as a Capital. It regained orange in March 1983 shortly<br />

after both the convertible open-toppers received a similar colour scheme, but with<br />

maroon ro<strong>of</strong> areas. Other overall adverts applied over the years were as follows:<br />

327 Debenhams blue 1981<br />

340 Jockey Shorts white/black 1984<br />

329 “Bildapowa Hire Centres” 1985 until 1987.<br />

340 Ken Thorne Cars white/red 1985 until 1988<br />

339 Randall Cox photographic dealers 1985 until 1987.<br />

391 Debenhams blue 1987 until 1989<br />

387 Asda white<br />

The following buses carried full height orange fronts with a white band with their overall<br />

advert livery, perhaps to avoid confusing potential passengers.<br />

361 Thomsons Directories 1988<br />

347 Workforce Employment Agency 1988<br />

367 Clive Ranger Jewellers 1988 until 1990<br />

363 Senator Windows 1989 until 1990<br />

350 Welsh Bitter 1989<br />

364 .. 1989<br />

355 Queenswest Shopping Centre 1989 until 1992<br />

362 National Museum <strong>of</strong> Wales 1995<br />

362 Edwards Sports 1997<br />

In addition to overall adverts, two other forms <strong>of</strong> advertising were used on many <strong>of</strong><br />

these buses. The most numerous form was the “rear end advert” which occupied the full<br />

height <strong>of</strong> the bus. Vehicles <strong>of</strong>ten received these for a short time only. Buses so treated<br />

started with No. 304 for Wildings Security in 1983 and 305 for Howard’s Vision in 1984.<br />

A further 14 series 3 VRs received rear end adverts in the 1980s and early1990s<br />

307,324,327,331,334,340,343,354,364,371,380,384(2 versions), 387,392<br />

The other type <strong>of</strong> advert livery was the “broadside advert” which was basically<br />

advertising between decks all around the bus. Examples <strong>of</strong> this included No.304 (Dan<br />

Air) and 320 (Gold,Gold,Gold jewellers) followed by 355 to the order <strong>of</strong> Pontypridd<br />

markets in 1984. No. 325 carried two different liveries (one being Anglia Windows in<br />

1987), and 328 (Leekes <strong>of</strong> Llantrisant from 1987 to 1990). In June 1992 the two<br />

convertible open toppers (359/60) were given a revised livery incorporating large areas<br />

<strong>of</strong> white, not unlike the colours previously carried by open top Guy Arabs No’s 424 and<br />

434.<br />

The rundown begins;<br />

In October 1986, which coincided with the deregulation <strong>of</strong> the bus industry, five <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Willowbrook bodied batch (301-3,308,312) were put into store. They were back in<br />

13


service two months later however! The first permanent casualty was that <strong>of</strong> No. 320. In<br />

February 1988 it was mistakenly driven down Virgil Street in Grangetown and collided<br />

with the notorious 13ft 6in low bridge. Damage was extensive and the bus was<br />

withdrawn the following month and cannibalised for spares. Its remains were sold for<br />

scrap in the November. Incidentally the only other series 3 VRT to receive substantial<br />

accident damage was No. 356 (date unknown). It is thought to have been rebuilt using<br />

parts from 378? Also the ro<strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong> No. 359 was struck by different buses on two occasions<br />

while suspended in the garage!! It too was repaired.<br />

328 approaches Dumfries Place stop, with advert for ‘Leekes’ in Aug. 1990. (A. Wiltshire)<br />

1989 saw the first routine withdrawals <strong>of</strong> the Willowbrook bodied batch. No’s 321-326<br />

were withdrawn in April and sold as runners to North’s <strong>of</strong> Sherburn, Yorkshire in the<br />

June. No’s 324 and 325 were snapped up by Smith <strong>of</strong> Alcester later that year. However<br />

No. 325 was burnt out within a few months. No. 323 went to the Leicestershire<br />

Employment Department at Loughborough as a NPSV, while No’s 321 and 322 remained<br />

unsold eventually ending up in the breaking fields <strong>of</strong> Barnsley. No. 326 was never traced<br />

any further. No. 324 later saw further service with Roy’s <strong>of</strong> Morley until 1997. These<br />

were the only vehicles from this batch to be sold as runners. No’s 301 to 319 were<br />

gradually withdrawn and cannibalised before being sold for scrap. No’s 308,311-316 were<br />

taken out <strong>of</strong> service in February 1990 followed by 301/4/6 in the July. By the end <strong>of</strong> 1990<br />

only No’s 310,318 and 319 survived. Most were sold to either T. Wigley or PVS <strong>of</strong><br />

Carlton and promptly broken up.<br />

The last vehicle in the batch to survive in Cardiff service was No. 319. It was withdrawn<br />

from service at the end <strong>of</strong> November 1991 and put to use as Central Bus Station<br />

14


<strong>of</strong>fice/rest room. Enquiries were made with a view to saving it for preservation. These<br />

efforts were dashed when its engine was removed at short notice and the remains<br />

<strong>of</strong>fered for sale as scrap. No. 323 was probably the last survivor <strong>of</strong> the entire batch,<br />

being sold for scrap by Leicestershire Education Department in 1998.<br />

November 1991 saw Alexander bodied examples (356-8/63/64, 372/8/9/81,382/3) placed<br />

in to store. Withdrawal <strong>of</strong> further VRTs would take place over a long period <strong>of</strong> time and<br />

age did not necessarily determine a vehicle’s demise. No. 357 was taken out <strong>of</strong> service in<br />

1992 and became a rest room at Caerphilly with fleet number 50. Those cannibalised and<br />

sold for scrap early on included No’s 327/9,343,357/8,366, 371/2/8,383. Meanwhile No’s<br />

364,379,385,387,390 and 397 all found new homes in 1994. 385 passed to Valley, Combe<br />

Down and 397 to Boomerang, Tewkesbury. The other four went to Heyfordian, Upper<br />

Heyford where they were re-registered. No’s 364/79, 387/90 (became 9197WF,<br />

7034KW, 3762EX, 9945NE) in September 1994.<br />

No’s 328,330-42/4-7,352,363/6,375 were all withdrawn by the end <strong>of</strong> 1996 but 337-42/4-<br />

7 were reinstated in September 1996 to cover school contracts obtained from Cardiff<br />

Bluebird that month. 1998 was the last year that Cardiff Bus operated any open top bus<br />

tours. No’s 359 and 360 were duly withdrawn in January 1999 and sold. No. 359 passed<br />

to Vintage Yellow Buses, Bournemouth in the March and 360 passed to the Bath Bus Co.<br />

for use on Bath Sightseeing tours for a number <strong>of</strong> years.<br />

Their numbers dwindled and so by May 1999 only nine VRTs remained in service in the<br />

Capital. These were No’s 384/6/8,391-6. The last to go 392-5 were withdrawn by the<br />

end <strong>of</strong> June, and so the Bristol VRT era was drawn to a close without ceremony.<br />

Looking back, quite a few <strong>of</strong> the Alexander bodied examples saw further service with<br />

operators all over the UK. Some <strong>of</strong> these were in the role <strong>of</strong> non-PSVs, such as<br />

playbuses or rest-rooms for film companies. Many did however end up in minor fleets in<br />

South Wales and were used mainly for school contracts. By 2010 most <strong>of</strong> these had<br />

been scrapped, having been replaced by newer vehicles. Changes in the provision <strong>of</strong><br />

school transport favours newer specially adapted vehicles, and so the future <strong>of</strong> any<br />

remaining survivors has to be bleak.<br />

The pair <strong>of</strong> convertible open toppers still continued to see use as well. No. 359 passed<br />

to Hoare <strong>of</strong> Chepstow by November 2002 and <strong>of</strong>ten attended events like The Derby<br />

and was frequently stored at Winkleigh in North Devon. It usually regained its ro<strong>of</strong>. By<br />

late 2010 it had been withdrawn and stored. No. 360 later passed to Solent Blueline<br />

(902), who used it for a Special service in the New Forest along with an ex NBC VRT. It<br />

was then deployed on the Southampton Docks sightseeing tour and was later spotted on<br />

the Isle <strong>of</strong> Wight carrying fleet number 992. Its ro<strong>of</strong> was known to have been scrapped<br />

by June 2007. By 2008 it had been sold to Classic Bus <strong>of</strong> Blackpool for use on a new<br />

open-top service at Bournemouth and was partially refurbished. This only project only<br />

lasted the 2008 season and the bus returned to store in Lancashire.<br />

15


In 1998 Cardiff bought 8 Ailsa deckers from Fife Scottish. By coincidence two years later,<br />

Fife Scottish became the owner <strong>of</strong> Cardiff VRT 380, having acquired it with the business<br />

<strong>of</strong> Philp, Dunfermline in April 2000!! A late sale for further use took place in October<br />

2007 when Clynnog & Trefor sold WTG 367T to Woolley <strong>of</strong> Llanedwen, Anglesey for<br />

use on schools contracts. It has since been sold on.<br />

Into Preservation;<br />

The first series 3 VRT to be saved was No. 348 from the Wilkins <strong>of</strong> Cymmer fleet in the<br />

Afan valley. It was chosen as it was reputed to be the best examples from those they still<br />

had in stock. It had been converted to semi-automatic which was probably a good thing.<br />

No. 348 was acquired in April 2005 by the Cardiff Bus Preservation Group members,<br />

Trevor Jones and Kevin Edwards. It later passed to the Cardiff Transport Preservation<br />

Group. Local enthusiasts Matt Carroll and Ian Barlow, bought No. 375 from Llynfi,<br />

Maesteg in November 2005 and this remains in storage.<br />

348 and 349 with Wilkins <strong>of</strong> Cymmer in Oct. 1999. (A. Wiltshire)<br />

So far only No. 348 has made its foray onto the rally circuit. It will be interesting to see if<br />

either 359 or 360 are eventual subjects <strong>of</strong> preservation.<br />

I would like to thank Peter Smith, Mike Taylor, Mac Winfield, Nicky Reason, Trevor<br />

Jones, John Jones, Dave Thomas and the PSV Circle for their assistance with this and my<br />

previous article.<br />

Andrew Wiltshire 2011<br />

16


NOTES FROM WEST WALES; by our Deputy Chairman, Chris Taylor.<br />

Since I purchased a caravan at Penbryn near Tresaith in Ceredigion, I have come into<br />

contact with the Aberaeron Historical Society. Every year they hold an exhibition <strong>of</strong><br />

photographs and books etc. on various aspects <strong>of</strong> the town’s most interesting history.<br />

This year they held an exhibition on transport that was based on the fact that it was 100<br />

years since the railway reached this west Wales port. The CTPG loaned some uniforms,<br />

ticket machines and other memorabilia for this show. The attendance was very good<br />

with last year’s visitor numbers exceeded in the first 2 weeks. A road train ran on part<br />

<strong>of</strong> the old railway track as an attraction to visitors on the day <strong>of</strong> the railway centenary.<br />

Newcastle Emlyn;<br />

Situated in the centre <strong>of</strong> the town is a museum at the Old Town Hall. I have been able<br />

to exchange transport photographs with them. One <strong>of</strong> the members worked for<br />

Western Welsh, whose garage in the town still stands.<br />

The photos and history <strong>of</strong> the town is well researched and displayed. Newcastle Emlyn<br />

was very early with road transport, including a steam bus (<strong>of</strong> which we are finding<br />

difficulty in identifying).<br />

Fishguard;<br />

I had an interesting visit to the home <strong>of</strong> former Western Welsh Inspector Glyn Griffiths.<br />

He donated boxes <strong>of</strong> WWOC Bulletins, timetables and memorabilia that are now in the<br />

care <strong>of</strong> CTPG. Many thanks to Glyn!<br />

New Book;<br />

The Aberaeron society has produced an excellent book <strong>of</strong> photographs, including some<br />

real finds <strong>of</strong> buses and coaches <strong>of</strong> GWR, Jones Bros., Aberystwyth and Crosville, who<br />

still have a depot in the town. There was a launch <strong>of</strong> the book in the local sports club<br />

and sales have been very good. For those interested, a copy is available for perusal at<br />

Cardiff Library.<br />

Other books you may have missed;<br />

Pantyscallog Village (Pant);<br />

Published 2002 by Merthyr Historical Society 230 pages £9.95.<br />

This area is to the north <strong>of</strong> Dowlais and at one time had extensive railway and street<br />

tram systems. This book is very well researched, including the railway and motorbus<br />

details. One <strong>of</strong> the most interesting companies was Dowlais Motor Transport.<br />

Images <strong>of</strong> Wales, Treforest, Glyntaff & Rhydyfelin;<br />

Published 2005 by Tempus Publishing, Stroud. 128 pages, £12.99<br />

This edition is well supplied with photos <strong>of</strong> transport, particularly electric trams.<br />

17


It seems odd to me that Treforest Trading Estate was so named, being at least 3 miles<br />

from its namesake. Why not Nantgarw?<br />

150 Years <strong>of</strong> Road Transport in the Cynon Valley;<br />

by Elfed Davies, self published 2010. 206 pages, £9.95.<br />

This book tells the story <strong>of</strong> the horse buses, trams, trolleybuses and motorbuses that ran<br />

in the Cynon Valley. However, it is in the photographs that this book excels, with many<br />

previously unpublished. To the author this must have been like finding gold in the<br />

garden. This book and a reprint quickly sold out, but no doubt can be found in the<br />

Cynon Valley Libraries. What gave me great pleasure was that the help <strong>of</strong> other authors<br />

and historians was fully credited. Many thanks Mr. Davies, my only wish is that the<br />

younger generation <strong>of</strong> writers were as grateful.<br />

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

This c.1960 advert featured in E. Davies’ Book on the Cynon Valley.<br />

18


CHEPSTOW HOSTS A RED & WHITE DAY;<br />

A group <strong>of</strong> Red and White vintage bus enthusiasts clocked up the miles for a reunion at<br />

Chepstow. Seven vehicles and their devoted owners, who have spent hours restoring<br />

the buses to their former glory, met up at The Old Ferry Inn, Beachley, to tell the public<br />

about their history.<br />

Red & White Services Ltd., as part <strong>of</strong> Red & White United Transport Ltd. from 1937,<br />

expanded rapidly from new headquarters in Chepstow and was operating a fleet <strong>of</strong> over<br />

400 buses and coaches in the south Wales area and further a-field.<br />

Tiger HWO 323 from Barry depot parked alongside the Morgan’s Arab HWO 342 (V.C.)<br />

Some <strong>of</strong> the 300 visitors to the reunion on Saturday 1 st October stepped back in time<br />

for a ride on two <strong>of</strong> the buses, one <strong>of</strong> them a Red and White Guy Arab, 1949, owned by<br />

Ken and Shirley Morgan, who worked as a driver and bus conductress respectively for<br />

the company. Now with a vintage bus in their possession, they take it to various events<br />

throughout the country.<br />

The event was organised by CTPG member, Robert Edworthy. The recently retired<br />

enthusiast is such an avid Red and White fan, that his Rogiet home is stuffed full <strong>of</strong><br />

90,000 negatives <strong>of</strong> vintage buses he has photographed across the country.<br />

19


Robert met other local enthusiasts through worldwide group the PSV Circle and with<br />

friends Nicky Reason and Jim Lynch is currently dusting down EU 9722, an ex-Red and<br />

White 1949 Leyland Tiger which had stagnated on a Chepstow drive for 30 years.<br />

It is the second time Robert has owned the bus as back as1976 he bought it, along with<br />

John Jones and Andrew Mann, from the Multiple Sclerosis Society in the Rhondda for<br />

£100, as they were selling it for a more modern vehicle.<br />

Nicknamed ‘Mabel’, some thirty years ago it completed a 1000 mile trip to vintage shows<br />

the length and breadth <strong>of</strong> Britain, from Southend to Carlisle and back. Whilst<br />

mechanically good it needed a complete body overhaul which was then beyond their<br />

means.<br />

Former Red & White S14.49 Leyland PS1at Porth c. 1976 (Robert Edworthy)<br />

A Mr. Cumper <strong>of</strong> Chepstow, who wanted to run it as a preserved vehicle, bought it for<br />

£600 a few years later, but the plan never materialised and it was left to rust.<br />

Robert told the press "It didn't move a wheel for 30 years and it was just rotting to<br />

pieces, so we are now attacking it to restore it to how it used to be."<br />

Not currently roadworthy, the bus did not make it to this event, but the friends are<br />

hoping their restoration work will pay dividends and that they will see it back on the<br />

road once again. The bus is currently based in a secure yard at Lydney.<br />

(This article was edited and amended from an article in the MONMOUTHSHIRE FREE<br />

PRESS <strong>of</strong> 4 th October 2011. Ed.)<br />

20


SWANSEA EVENT; SUNDAY 26 th FEBRUARY <strong>2012</strong>;<br />

South Wales Transport had a long affiliation with AEC which ended on February 27 th<br />

1982 when the final AEC Regent Vs were withdrawn during a special event organised by<br />

James Freeman, now CEO <strong>of</strong> Reading Transport. Although most Regent Vs had been<br />

withdrawn in 1980, six 27’ versions had been retained to service the number 14 route to<br />

Pennard, which involved a tight corner in the village <strong>of</strong> Murton. These Regent Vs were<br />

replaced by 5 Bedford YMQS single deckers.<br />

The Swansea Bus Museum are holding a 30 th Anniversary commemorative event, called<br />

“Regent 30” on Sunday February 26 th <strong>2012</strong>, during which they aim to run as many<br />

surviving AEC Regents as possible on routes around Swansea. To this end, they would<br />

welcome any contribution you can make to the success <strong>of</strong> the day by bringing along<br />

vehicles, either for use on the routes or display at Swansea Bus Museum.<br />

In particular they would love to see Taff Ely No 8 at the event. Nick Larkin has indicated<br />

that he would like to bring No 7 along, especially so if No 8 is there as well.<br />

They are currently preparing their fleet <strong>of</strong> vehicles for the day, including the last-ever<br />

Regent V to run on that day in 1982, GWN 867E (SWT 639/839/889). After many<br />

years <strong>of</strong>f the road and seeing use as a mobile grandstand, it is currently undergoing a<br />

repaint into its early 1970s pre-NBC livery and is hoped to be ready for the road again in<br />

time.<br />

SWT Regent 154 FCY at Bus & Coach Wales September 2011. (V.C.)<br />

21


About the CTPG<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

Annual membership <strong>of</strong> the Group is £17, which runs from the date <strong>of</strong> joining. Joint membership is<br />

also available for £25.<br />

CTPG Committee<br />

Chairman<br />

Deputy Chairman<br />

Secretary<br />

Mike Taylor, 10 Ger Nant Ystrad Mynach, Hengoed CF82 7FE<br />

Phone: 01443 753227<br />

email: mikeystrad73@btinternet.com<br />

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

Phone: 02920 693734<br />

Gayle Alder, 16 Carter Place, Fairwater, Cardiff CF5 3NP<br />

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

Membership Secretary<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 />

Publicity Officer Tudor Thomas email: tudoralt@cf14.freeserve.co.uk<br />

www.ctpg.co.uk<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 Group, its<br />

Committee or the Editor. Every effort is made to give due credit for all photographs and material<br />

used in this newsletter. Should there be any unintended breach <strong>of</strong> copyright; the Editor must be<br />

informed to enable a correcting acknowledgement to be made.<br />

22


Bristols at last years’ Bus & Coach Wales at Merthyr Tydfil and our Red & White Tiger at<br />

the Cardiff Model Railway show at Llandaff College. (Paul Hamley / Tudor Thomas)<br />

23


The earlier days <strong>of</strong> two vehicles now preserved at Barry Depot; Bustler No.1 seen at Holton<br />

Road, Barry in 1986 and HR818 in Wood Street, Cardiff some 3 years later. (Anon)<br />

24

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