There comes a time when, as a collector, you have to review your treasured acquisitions and perhaps let some go to make room for more. Well, that time has come for Crosville Motor Services in Somerset.
As most of you know, Crosville is a bus and coach operator based in Weston-super-Mare. Alongside a large and growing fleet of modern service buses and coaches, the garage also houses an enviable collection of heritage vehicles. These are mostly of Bristol manufacture, having either local connections or having been operated by the original Crosville Motor Services in north Wales and north west England.
These are not museum pieces but are used in service on private hire duties as well as attending rallies and running days from time to time. As time passes, various buses are put through a thorough restoration or refurbishment programme and, when they return, are added to the active fleet. This has happened recently, when I drove a 1967 Bristol RELL bus back from Stoke-on-Trent after work costing in excess of £20k was completed.
Another historic bus, ex-Hants & Dorset TD895 (HLJ44), is also nearing completion and I’m looking forward to bringing this Bristol K6A back to Somerset soon. Both of these vehicles will be available for private hire in due course.
This means that some vehicles will be regarded as surplus to requirements, hence the decision to sell. Two of these already have buyers lined up so I won’t mention them here but still available is ex-Crosville DVG528, a 1986 Bristol VRT. Converted to open top format in 1991, DCA528X was acquired by the current Crosville company in 2013 but so far has not seen service. It last saw action in Blackpool, on the Pleasure Beach service 12. Asking price is £4,500 and more details are available in this Ebay listing.
Which brings me to W75, the subject of the photo at the top of this post. Although FAE60 started life in 1938 as a Bristol L5G 32-seat bus, it was converted by Bristol Omnibus in 1956 as a departmental Tower Wagon and was used to maintain high level structures across the BOC network. In Crosville ownership it has received a re-restoration but hasn’t seen any action since and doesn’t really fit in with current plans for the heritage fleet. It is in full running order and the asking price is £19,995. More details on the sale in this Ebay listing.
If you are interested in more modern vehicles, Crosville is also disposing of a large number of coaches and buses from more recent times. This is part of its long term strategy of continuous upgrades and renewals to its operating fleet. You can download a list of the vehicles for sale here. In the case of these and the heritage vehicles above, please don’t contact me, I’m just a part time driver. Call the Crosville office on 01934 635259.
In other news, I’m due to bring London Transport RTW29 (KGK529) back home next week. This rare 8ft wide 1949 survivor has been on loan to the London Bus Museum at Brooklands for the last 3 months and in November took part in a re-creation of some of the routes in the Bromley area that RTW buses used to operate on. RTW29 is due to join the active fleet and may be seen on a few selected private hire duties this year.
And, in case you’re wondering, I haven’t forgotten to write about the return of Crosville’s new Yutong coach. The new livery is still ‘under wraps’ so you’ll have to wait until it has been officially unveiled!