2015 in review

As 2015 draws to a close, I think a summary of my ‘Busman’s Holiday’ blog stats should be my final word of the year. The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys have prepared a 2015 annual report for my blog.

Once again, earlier posts about heritage buses for sale and my progress towards gaining my bus driver’s licence drew the highest number of views. I’m not worried that they’re old posts because their popularity helps my rankings in Google searches and potentially encourages people to read other posts while they’re here.

Thank you for adding your own page views to the total and I look forward to writing more bus-related musings for you in 2016. Happy New Year!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 47,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 17 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Southern National 1938 Bristol L5G acquired by Crosville

Crosville Motor Services in Weston-super-Mare has recently acquired a 1938 Bristol L5G, originally Southern National 280 (ETT946).

ETT946-at-Winkleigh

Although it originally had a Mumford body, Crosville’s example now has a Beadle 36-seat body similar to one I’ve featured here before. Wilts & Dorset  504, a 1938 Bristol J (pictured below), also had a Beadle body and was transferred from Hants & Dorset in 1952, according to the notes in my Dad’s photo album.

BOW169-1

As you will see from the photo of ETT946, it has managed to retain its original high-mounted radiator in common with only a handful of surviving Bristol L buses. Usually these were replaced by the later PV2 radiator when re-bodied. This example has been in private ownership for many years, spending most of the last decade at Winkleigh with the West of England Transport Collection. I’m grateful to Les Eddy for his permission to use the photograph at the top of this post.

The bus has seen better days and, although restored many years ago, will need a thorough re-restoration before it can join the active Heritage Fleet at Crosville. It will have to wait its turn in the queue! One day it should look a bit like this fine example, a 1940 Beadle-bodied Bristol L5G from the Western National fleet.

Apparently the bus is still driveable and it may make the journey to Somerset under its own power. I’ve volunteered for that job but a fair amount of preparation will need to be done before it is fit for the road. Watch this space!

Crosville-Merc-Sprinter-minibus

I seem to have done a fair bit of delivery driving recently. I wrote a while ago about taking the Sightseeing Tours Bristol LH charabanc to Exeter and back for some attention to the paintwork. I also drove an open top Leyland PD2/3 to Plymouth and back for the same operator for some mechanical repairs and servicing. Probably my last driving duty for 2015 will be to return a 2009 Mercedes Sprinter minibus from Stoke-on-Trent after some attention by Reliance Bus Works. I drove it up last week and the trip was comfortable and trouble-free, which contrasts starkly with some of the delivery journeys I’ve done with more elderly vehicles!

 

Morris Minor wedding car

This is one of those posts that doesn’t feature a bus, or at least not directly. This time I’m focussing on one of my other interests, the Morris Minor.

Morris-Minor-wedding-car

I recently acquired a new Minor, after passing my first one (a Dove Grey 2-door saloon) to my son Peter. He has inherited my love of historic transport and often joins me on my bus adventures as Conductor. Convertible Morris Minors don’t come onto the market very often so I was particularly drawn to this one, especially as it is white. Regular readers will know that I attend many weddings as a vintage bus driver so the prospect of turning out occasionally with a Moggie appealed to me!

The market for classic vehicles as wedding transport continues to flourish in the UK, and not just vintage buses. Vintage cars have been used for weddings for decades but recently other types of vehicle have gained popularity. These days you can see brides arriving for their marriage ceremony in vehicles as diverse as stretched limos, fire engines and VW camper vans! The iconic Morris Minor has also been added to the list of popular vehicles in the last few years but I have never seen one used as wedding transport in South Devon. So I intend to plug that gap!

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