Torbay Classic Bus Rally 2001

A few weeks ago Torbay was once again treated to the sights and sounds of heritage buses as they provided free trips around the area as part of the Torbay Vintage Bus Running Day. Sadly I was not able to go along this year but the photographs shown here are from a previous event, held in the attractive surroundings of Oldway Mansion, Paignton in 2001.

For several years the rally was organised at this location by the Devon General Society and it brought together an impressive number of local buses. Devon General, Grey Cars, Exeter Corporation and Western National were all represented. I wasn’t actively involved in the world of heritage buses at that time but just went along with my family. I couldn’t miss the opportunity, as it was right on my doorstep! Seen on the far left of the picture is 932GTA, one of the famous Devon General ‘Sea Dogs’. This Leyland Atlantean is now owned by Bob Follwell and visited Torbay in early May this year along with 3 others for a special running day.

FTT704 was one of several buses offering free rides. I can’t remember if we rode on it or not but we probably did, owing to my fondness for the products of a certain factory in Brislington! This is a Bristol K6A, the ‘A’ unusually denoting that it was fitted with (and presumably still runs with) an AEC engine as opposed to the more usual 5 or 6 cylinder Gardner unit. It is currently in the care of the Bristol Vintage Bus Group and regularly attends rallies and running days in the Westcountry.

Two of the three Grey Cars coaches in attendance, lined up in front of Oldway Mansion. The one furthest from the camera is 890ADV, owned until recently by Quantock Motor Services. I’m not sure who owns it now. Not shown in this photograph but seen in the shot at the top of this page, is AEC Reliance 1RDV. It carries the very attractive Harrington ‘Cavalier’ body and is one of 6 survivors from the original batch.

As you would expect, several Devon General buses were on display. This elderly trio represented the postwar era, being built in 1951, 1949 and 1947 respectively. All are happily still with us although the AEC Regal on the right lives far from home, in Halifax! For many years it too was owned by Quantock Motor Services but I don’t ever remember it running. It sadly gathered dust in the shadows while in store at the old depot at Norton Fitzwarren.

In other news, I have a conducting duty on Saturday which I will probably write about next week. It’s a private hire in the Bristol area and the weather promises to be absolutely scorching so I will have to dust off my summer jacket again!

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