Number 831 to Roughmoor Farm

They say that ‘Two’s company, three’s a crowd’ but I beg to differ. Sharing a wedding duty with two other colleagues brings with it much cameraderie and banter, not to mention practical assistance in tight spots.

YDL318-&-972EHW-at-Roughmoor-Farm

Last weekend’s duty called for two Lodekkas to transport a large group of wedding guests from a church near Taunton to a reception venue on the other side of town. It gave me the chance to meet up again with one of my former colleagues from ‘Exmoor Explorer’ days, Conductress Cherry Selby. Our pickup point was All Saints Church in the strangely named village of Trull, just outside Taunton and we arrived at the nearby Community Hall car park to find that there was a large section coned off for the wedding buses. How very organised!

White-wedding-car-SV9795-Trull

Two white vintage cars awaited the bridal party while the rest of the guests were grouped together beside the churchyard for photographs before boarding the buses. With Driver Wilkins leading in Bristol Omnibus LD6B LC8518 (972EHW), we drove in convoy across Taunton to Roughmoor Farm which is near the new Park & Ride site on Silk Mills Road. Both buses were almost full and the steering on Southern Vectis FS6G 573 (YDL318) was noticably heavy. Or maybe I’m still shaking off my winter lethargy…

972EHW-&-YDL318-at-Sainsburys

After our passengers had departed for the reception, we drove across town and parked up near a big Sainsburys store for 5 hours before returning to the farm. In the bright sunlight both buses looked splendid, having enjoyed the attentions of the cleaners back at the depot. 573 is still very presentable, despite being due for a repaint this year. The Bristol Omnibus Lodekka rarely gets an outing these days so we swapped buses and I drove it for the return journey.

While we waited, Driver Wilkins regaled us with scary tales of coach tours to Alpine ski resorts while Cherry and I reminisced about our adventures on the Service 400 ‘Exmoor Explorer’.

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Bristol Omnibus Lodekka – just like new

Apologies for featuring yet another Bristol Lodekka. Other bus manufacturers did exist, I promise.

Yesterday I visited Crosville Motor Services for an informal chat and a freebie conducting duty just for fun. This is a relative newcomer to the world of heritage bus hire but the staff have many years of operational experience between them. I was invited to conduct on a wedding hire job on what was possibly the hottest day of the year. This was bizarre, given that yesterday was the first day of October!

My first surprise of the day came when I walked into the spacious garage where no less than 8 heritage vehicles were lined up. And I’d already passed another on its way to a private hire job as I approached the garage! After I’d retrieved my jaw, which had just fallen to the floor, I took the picture below. It was rather shadowy and I only had my phone camera so please forgive the blurriness. Some of these vehicles are being garaged on behalf of a local collector.

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