To mark 200 years since horse bus operation began in the Manchester area, each month we’re highlighting a different vehicle from our collection of buses which spans almost 100 years.
The 2nd part of our series focuses on a type of vehicle once a common sight all over the country, the Bristol VRT.
In the late 1960s, this type of bus was Bristol’s entry into the rear engined bus market and remained in production until 1981.
The most popular specification was those bodied by ECW of Lowestoft similar to our example in the museum, PFE 542V.
This bus joined our collection from the Road Car in 2001 having being the last VR and indeed the last Bristol in the Road Car fleet.
It arrived wearing a striking yellow and red school bus livery and is now in National Bus Company colours.
A couple of the smaller vehicles in our collection are receiving some attention.
Our 1975 Honda 50 Stepthru Moped has being given a thorough clean and some work carried out on the carburettor.
This 1969 Raleigh Wisp Moped has been shown a lot of attention recently, including a brake service, repairs to the number plate/rear light bracket, fuel tank drained and cleaned and all panels removed and cleaned.
Austin 10 Saloon (CVL 212)
Repairs to the engine block are complete and reassembly of the car is underway. Much attention has also been paid to the wiring with a new harness and complete rewire of the dashboard being carried out.
BMMO SOS DON (RC 2721)
Exterior painting is on hold until warmer weather returns but work on the interior is progressing well. A newly fabricated entrance door has been test fitted.
Underneath, red oxide primer is being applied to the chassis.
Chevrolet LQ (TE 8318)
Work has been progressing well and the end of this restoration is in sight, although still plenty to do! Dare we say, it should be back on the road this year?
200 years ago, horse bus operation began in the Manchester area.
Although we do not have any horse buses at the Lincolnshire Transport Museum, we do have a collection of milestones in the history of buses dating back almost 100 years.
Each month this year, we’ll focus on one of those vehicle milestones in the LVVS collection and for January, it’s our 1930 Leyland Lion (TF 818) – Lancashire United 202.
Leyland Motors grew from the Lancashire Steam Motor Co Ltd which had its origins in 1896.
Activity in WW1 saw thousands of lorries being produced but a slump in trade followed and by 1922 Leyland declared a loss of nearly £1 million – a huge sum in those days.
A strong demand for buses however, enabled Leyland to be in profit by the mid-twenties, this situation being substantially helped by the recently introduced ‘Lion’ model, a number of which were soon seen on Lincoln’s streets.
This particular bus (TF 818) was of the second generation Lion series introduced in the late 20s and was one of the first vehicles preserved by the museum here in 1959.
Coincidentally it ran in the area of Manchester where public horse drawn buses started services 200 years ago.
Just six years off its 100th birthday, the oldest Plaxton bus body in existence was showing signs of ageing around the step entrance. Repairs are underway to remove and replace rotten wood to restore its integrity.
Great news from the LVVS ‘Team Capri’ – the restoration of the Society’s 1969 Ford Capri is complete! This has been a challenging project, certainly testing the welding and fabrication skills of some of our volunteers and all completed on a very limited budget. The team hopes to put the Capri through a voluntary MOT in the New Year and see it out and about at our car events in 2024.
**The directors of the LVVS are delighted to announce that this appeal has reached its target!
Former Lincolnshire Roadcar Fleet No. 2020 (FFW 830) is now in the ownership of the Society.
A huge thank you to everyone (both members and non members of the Society) for financially supporting this project**
A unique opportunity has arisen for the LVVS to acquire a fully restored ex Lincolnshire Bristol L type single-deck bus.
FFW 830 (Fleet Number 2020) entered service in 1950 and served the county’s residents at Louth and Goole during its 14 year working life with LRCC.
Originally secured for preservation by the Society’s founder member, Vincent LeTall, 2020 was acquired by its present owner in 2017, having worked for many years as a vintage tour bus in Wensleydale. Since then, all mechanical and bodywork repairs identified on acquisition have been completed and the bus has received a full external repaint.
The current owner is now looking to dispose of the bus and has offered it to the LVVS at a discounted price of £20,000 so it can continue in preservation in its native county. The Board is keen to acquire this bus for the museum collection and for use at future local heritage events.
That said, the Board is also very conscious of the need to conserve available Society funds to ensure our continued wellbeing in these financially difficult and uncertain times. The Board would therefore like to invite Society members and other interested parties to make donations towards the purchase price. Recently, an appeal similar to this successfully secured a rare 1928 Karrier for the Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester.
Please could I ask for expressions of interest to be made to me by 25th October at the latest please, as a deal needs to be in place by the end of October if this vehicle is to be secured for the museum.
Finally, I would add that it is hoped to have the bus on display at the Society’s next Open Day on 22nd October.
Thanking you in anticipation,
Phone 07984 872994
22nd October saw the last of our special event days for this season. With a Lincolnshire meets United theme, visitors enjoyed free bus rides around the local area and we were delighted to be able to welcome a limited number of visiting vehicles.
The weather was good to us, the homemade cakes were particularly popular and we’re now busy planning next year’s events!
Bristol VRT (PFE 542V)
After several years of inactivity, our VR (Fleet No 1958) is undergoing pre voluntary MOT preparations and hopefully will be available to give free rides at our “Special Open Day” on October 22nd.
August Bank Holiday saw our annual Car Running Day take place at the museum. Thankfully, the sun was shining and visitors enjoyed browsing the visiting classics and riding in the vintage cars giving free rides around the local area. Thanks to all our visitors, volunteers, supporters and local businesses for helping to make this a great event!
After 22 years service, latterly with Kimes Coaches of Folkingham, Daimler Fleetline CKC308L was repurposed as a large storage area for the LVVS. Running gear removed, the shell of the Fleetline arrived at the Lincolnshire Road Transport Museum in 1995.
Here it remained until 2006 when a deal was struck with a preservationist (a member of the Merseyside Transport Trust) and the vehicle was towed back to its original operating area. After a further period of storage, work began in March last year to get this former Merseyside PTE bus running again.
Thanks to the considerable efforts of a Fleetline maestro, Matt Davies, 3008 now moves again under its own power for the first time in nearly 30 years!
There is still a long way to go with the bodywork and chassis but a big hurdle has been leaped. We look forward to seeing further progress.
Team Capri is now in rebuilding mode with the engine back in, brakes plumbed in and most of the wiring reconnected and gearbox cables fitted.
The exhaust has been challenging as it’s proved impossible to buy a new exhaust to exactly the same match as the old one! So once again, the modification skills of our volunteers have been put to the test! Sadly the steel wheels are in poor condition, so the hunt is on for a new set of period wheels suitable for a Mk1 Capri. If you can help with this, please contact the museum.
Leyland Titan TD1 (WH 1553)
Even the strongest of our drivers found the steering very heavy on this bus, so some remedial work has been carried out which, thankfully, has made a big improvement. At the same time, a full brake check was carried out and adjusted where necessary. We hope to get a voluntary MOT on this bus soon.
The Pit !
One of the much less glamourous jobs around the museum site is maintenance of the pit, an essential area for the maintenance of our larger vehicles. Unfortunately, a troublesome pump led to the pit constantly filling up with water ! Thanks to the efforts of several volunteers, this problem is now fixed and we’re sure it’s as job they won’t be wishing to do again!
August Bank Holiday Preparations
Thanks to great service from Welton Motor Engineers Ltd, four of our museum cars have all passed a voluntary MOT and will giving free rides for our August Bank Holiday Monday car running day. Click here for more details.
Some of our members took along several vehicles from the collection to the 1940s weekend held in uphill Lincoln on 22nd & 23rd July. The great British Summertime weather ensured most visitors got a good soaking but the LVVS was proud to be part of this excellent event.
July 2nd saw the second of our Special Open Days. Once again, several hundred visitors enjoyed free entry to the museum and historic bus rides!
Vehicles operating this time were (1411) – Leyland Tiger, (2318) – Bristol Lodekka, (DD2) – Daimler CVD6, (23) – Guy Arab III plus guest vehicle (PDJ 269L) – AEC Swift.
It was great to welcome the immaculate DD7 to the museum, reuniting two former Gash & Sons of Newark vehicles.
Our recently repainted Bristol VRT (36) also proved to be very popular with ‘junior trainee bus drivers’ who were eager to jump in the cab!
Thank you to all our visitors, supporters and volunteers for another very enjoyable day.
The 138th Lincolnshire Show took place on the 22nd and 23rd June and several vehicles from the collection were taken along to put on display.
The Show attracts over 60,000 visitors and this was a great opportunity to showcase the work of the LVVS and increase awareness of the Museum and our events.
The Society first visited the Lincolnshire Show in the 1960s and the last visit was many years ago, so it was great to be back and we hope to return in 2024.
Thanks to the continued efforts of our volunteers, great progress has made with a number of workshop projects. These include:
1969 Ford Capri – (MVE 397H)
Significant welding repairs to the bodywork have been completed, primer applied where required and a thorough clean up of the reusable areas of interior carpet.
1962 Triumph Tiger – (301 BUH)
This fabulous looking machine was recently donated to the museum by a retired paramedic who has obviously cherished and looked after this bike well. Following the previous owner’s instructions, our team gave the bike a good look over and had it running well.
Some attention has also been given to two other motorbikes from our collection.
(DVL 992) – which hadn’t been started for many years. After some tinkering and general servicing, this bike is now running nicely.
(610 BRM) – this one is being a little more reluctant to work but team Velocette Viper is applying the usual process of elimination and won’t be defeated!
1954 Bedford CA Van – (HTL 913)
This little van is our workhorse and is used regularly for transporting larger items. A full brake service has been completed along with sorting a minor coolant leak.
1980 Bristol VRT – (NFW 36V)
A purely cosmetic transformation for this bus (or rather, half of it!) has been completed proving that appearances can be deceptive! After a little more work in the cab area, our younger visitors will be welcome to jump in the cab seat and ‘play bus driving’
1935 BMMO SOS DON – (RC 2721)
This bus has been in the care of the society since 1962 and we can’t wait to get it back on the road. Much work has already been completed including the recent fitting of all seats and missing glass in the cab area, but still plenty to do!
1929 Chevrolet LQ Coach – (TE 8318)
With many hours of paint preparation complete, more coats of gloss will be added to this little coach over the summer.
If you’d like to help with projects like these, volunteers are always very welcome!
Set in the beautiful grounds of Lincoln Castle, this event has, once again, proved to be incredibly popular. Around 200 classic cars were on display, the weather was good to us and Lincoln Castle recorded around 16,000 visitors that day! A huge thanks to everybody involved in making the day so enjoyable.
Leyland Olympian ’45’ is now back on display at the museum. A brief inspection has discovered a few jobs that will need tackling before a full service and voluntary MOT. We’d like to be able to use this bus at a future ‘Special Open Day.’
For National Drive It Day on April 23rd, we held a new event at the museum. ‘Cars and Coffee’ invited classic car owners to bring along their pride and joy for an early morning gathering! A chance to admire each other’s cars, chat with like minded people and have a free look around the museum. A huge thanks to everyone who braved the very wet weather and came along. We really appreciate your support and hope you enjoyed it.
April 2nd saw the first of our Special Open Days this year. This was a free event and several hundred visitors enjoyed exploring the museum and experiencing a ride on a classic bus.
Vehicles operating were the (122) -Doncaster Regent, (129)-Northampton Daimler, (202)-Lancashire United Leyland Lion and guest vehicle (RML 2364) – London Transport Routemaster.
A very enjoyable day and a big thanks to all our visitors, supporters and volunteers for making the day a success.
Here’s a photo from the day and also a flashback to 1969 when the LVVS held its first event. Whisby Road traffic was a little less busy back then!
Preparations are underway for the first of our Special Open Days (Sunday April 2nd). We hope to be running this ex Doncaster Corporation Regent III, which means completing some wing repairs! Corrosion had set in around the mountings, which required cutting back and some expert welding by Geoff at T R Weston and Son of Lincoln. Once refitted and secure, some filler to smooth the surface and repainting can begin.
This little 1929 coach has undergone many hours of preparation ready for a repaint, which began last year but the colder weather stopped play. Now Spring has arrived (and hopefully warmer weather!), painting can be resumed along with further work on the interior.
After a great deal of mechanical attention, the back of the AEC Monarch has been cleaned up and painted. This area will be used as an elevated display for our 1970s electric car!
Through the winter, work has continued on the interior of the ‘SOS’. This includes refitting of windows in the cab area and now that the new flooring is down in the main saloon, the seats will gradually be fitted (and don’t they look great?!)
The LVVS Team Capri has been focussed on the driver’s side inner wing, footwell and sill end cap over the last few weeks. The work has involved some tricky fabrication, alignment and MIG welding. The current job is fitting the front valance. This panel was ordered from Germany and a disclaimer advised it may need some modification to fit – which turns out to be quite an understatement! Work is underway to cut, significantly reshape and reweld the new panel.
To return this East Lancs bodied VRT to roadworthy condition would cost a great deal of money, not to mention many thousands of volunteer hours, both of which we can’t provide at the moment. But never say never! In the meantime, work has started to cosmetically spruce up the exterior and also provide a safe and accessible place for our younger visitors to jump into the driver’s seat and play ‘bus driving’.