Back on home turf with a BOC Lodekka

A few days ago I was once again given the honour of driving an ex-Bristol Omnibus Lodekka through the city it served more than 50 years ago.

LC8518 (972EHW) belongs to the Bristol Omnibus Vehicle Collection and is on hire to Crosville Motor Services at the moment. It is in immaculate condition, having completed a thorough restoration about 3 years ago.

972EHW-at-St-Aidans

After doing my walkaround checks I brought the bus out of the darkness of the garage and into the daylight. My conductor arrived shortly afterwards and, after re-fuelling the bus at the newly-commissioned bowser (hooray, no more trips to Morrisons!) we set off up the A370 for Bristol. By coincidence, the pickup point for this private hire duty was just a stone’s throw from where my parents-in-law live, so I didn’t need to research the route at all! The weather was dull, cold and wet so I wiped the condensation off the cab windows while we waited for the bridal party to board.

The trip to St Aidan’s Church, St George was very light, with only the bride, her parents and bridemaids on board. This leg of the journey was mostly new territory for me so, once again, I had studied Google Maps and carried a bullet point list of directions in the cab just in case. When we arrived, Barry my conductor commented that he was impressed that I appeared to know my way around Bristol better than he did, and he was brought up there! I had to admit my reliance on Google and some previous knowledge due to family connections. I also had to admit that, in the event of a road closure somewhere on my planned route, I would have been a bit stuck! My PCV training taught me to always have a Plan B but I’m afraid I don’t often have one up my sleeve.

Continue reading

Advertisements

New page – driving a vintage bus

Several readers have pestered me / encouraged me to write an article on what it’s like to drive a vintage bus. This I have now done and the page “How to drive a vintage bus” can be accessed from the link at the top of the home page.

cab-view

It is not meant to be a comprehensive tutorial, just my personal impressions of driving buses from a bygone era. I hope you enjoy reading them!

Crew change


Pictured above is an ex-Northampton Corporation Daimler CV6G in May 2009. Along with many other classic vehicles, it was providing an intensive bus service on routes in and around Minehead, Somerset. Click on the picture for a larger view. Photo © Bob Brimley.

My driver and I were relief crew on that day and the cameraman has caught us as we took the Daimler on its next duty while its rostered crew had a lunch break.

Continue reading