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2017

Tiger

Making its debut operating the Park & Ride shuttle during our February Running Day was the latest addition to our collection - a Leyland Tiger, registered DFP 492Y.

It was new in May 1983 to Trimdon Motor Services of County Durham and registered BAJ 637Y, complete with Plaxton C49FT bodywork. Following several changes of registration - 2090 VT, DFP 492Y, MIA 2082, YOI 13 & DBZ 918 - it passed to Andrews Sheffield Omnibus.

Having been acquired by Strathtay in September 1999 and rebodied by East Lancashire Coachbuilders, the Tiger returned to service as fleet number 427 in May 2000 with EL Myllenium DP49F bodywork. Based at Dundee for much of its new life, it was renumbered 25815 and painted into Stagecoach livery following their acquisition of the Traction Group in 2006.

Re-registered as DFP 492Y, it was sold to Woottens of Chesham in April 2008, before passing to Cresta Coaches of Alresford, Hants in 2014. It was purchased by one of our Trustees in fully MOT'd and running condition in February 2017.

February 10th: We were recently delighted to welcome a particularly generous visitor.

Seen opposite with museum chairman Alan West, Pamela Davies from Pontyclun had dropped into the museum with a special donation. It was a collection of 600 photographic slides taken by her late husband David between the early 1950s and the late 1980s featuring buses in and around Swansea. The slides will now be added to the museums growing collection of artifacts depicting the city's colourful transport past.

Alan said: "We're delighted with the generosity of Mrs Davies and know that the images caught on her late husband's camera will play an important role in recalling the past."

Slides donated

 

Autumn 2016

Eagle-eyed visitors will probably have noticed an unusually long coach sitting towards the back of the museum. This is a rare 12-metre bodied Bedford YMT, RGS 598R. which joined us earlier this year following a move from Norfolk. Being MOT'd, it undertook the 300 mile journey to Swansea smoothly under its own steam. Its owner, museum volunteer Nick Dasey, describes its history:

During 1976 Bedford chassis, numbered FW454711 was built at the plant in Boscombe Road in Dunstable. It was a standard 11 metre chassis. It then went to Tricentrol Chassis Developments at Skimpot Lane, Luton.

There the chassis was cut just in front of the rear axle and a plate fitted: this extended the wheelbase by 18 inches while a further 18 inches was added to the rear of the axle to enlarge the boot.

It then went to Duple Bodybuilders of Vicarage Lane Blackpool, where a Dominant II body, number 679/7300 was fitted.

In September/October 1976 it was displayed in the demonstration park at Earls Court for the Commercial Motor Show (pictured below). It is not known on who entered it as the catalogue does not provide this information.

RGS598R
YMT at Earls Court

After extensive testing during the next six months, it was registered RGS598R and placed into service on 1 April 1977 by Tricentrol Coaches Limited of Tavistock Street Dunstable.

It spent the next five years in service with Tricentrol, operating various coach services including some operated in conjunction with National Express.

In May 1982 it was purchased by Eagre Coaches of Morton near Gainsborough in Lincolnshire. It remained with them until May 1995 when it was bought by Spratts of Wreningham in Norfolk.

It was bought in 2002 for the sole purpose of driver training and the obtaining of a class D licence. The vehicle is currently being restored to its original colours as it was with Tricentrol Coaches. This task has been greatly helped by the recent acquistion of a colour picture of it in Tricentrol livery. Up until this point all photos in my possession were black & white!

October Show

As advertised on our home page, our October 30th show will take place at the museum as usual. Please be aware that, due to having a new new neighbour, the layout of the area immediately to the front of the museum has changed, while there are also several new storage containers just beyond the museum. Visiting display vehicles will still, however, be able to park in the yard beyond.

It is imperative that show visitors arriving by car use the free Fabian Way park and ride facility from where a free shuttle bus will operate to the museum throughout the day. On-site parking is available to blue badge holders only. We are well aware that many car owners "try it on" but their selfish behaviour inhibits our ability to run bus services from the site and poses a real risk to public safety.

As our building lease now has another 15 months to run, we expect to hold our 2017 shows on site, but the situation is being kept under review.

 

Buses undergoing restoration during 2016 - with your help!

1950 SWAN MOTORS DAIMLER CVD6  GCY 740, FLEET NUMBER 40

The only surviving Swan Motors bus, GCY 740 is also unusual, strange as it may seem, to have a Daimler engine fitted to its chassis – many such chassis were fitted with other proprietary engines.  After a period of storage with us while other vehicles were being restored, it’s now the turn of the Swan.  Malcolm has already stripped out the interior, including the floors, and removed all the exterior panelwork so that upper deck and lower deck can be separated.  The Bruce of Cardiff body was built on an East Lancs frame, and this was originally built in upper and lower halves.  This is not as odd as it seems – Routemasters were built in the same way.  This will also make it easier to restore the upper deck.  Some welding is needed on sections of the frame, and new, shaped wood inserts will be placed in the body frame.  The floors will be renewed along with the many varnished wooden trim pieces in the interior.  Seats will be retrimmed in period moquette.  Mechanically GCY starts and runs, so hopefully a thorough service will see her moving.  Other jobs include cleaning and painting the chassis, rebuilding the interior, electrics, repanelling and painting.  No doubt other jobs will make an appearance as restoration proceeds!  This is a major restoration and will take a long time, but you might see her on the road next year.
GCY 740
323

1959 UNITED WELSH BRISTOL LODEKKA LD6G, FLEET NUMBER 323, SWN 159
323 was long overdue for an overhaul, so her tired panels and upper deck floor have been stripped and seats removed.  The rusted nearside mudguard has been repaired, new wood inserts put into the body frame and a new floor put down.  Soon she will be repanelled, the interior retrimmed and the seats recovered.  After a mechanical service 323 will be back on open-top duty to Mumbles.

1964 UNITED WELSH BRISTOL RELH 6G, 375 GWN
375 is in the middle of her restoration.  Mechanical work has been sorted out by Steve, with a replacement Gardner engine being fitted, the brakes overhauled, a coolant leak, air system leak, brakes and air suspension all dealt with.  Exterior panels have been stripped to allow inspection of the body frame, with replacement of a few wood inserts and red oxide treatment of the inner panels and frame.  Fibreglass sections of the body have been sanded down, too, after the removal of all the decorative trim.  After panel replacement and painting, you’ll see 375, the oldest surviving RE, back on the road in 2016.

375
903

1985 SWT LEYLAND OLYMPIAN 903, C903 FCY
The interior of 903 is almost ready, with just clearing out of items stored inside, seat cleaning, the painting of the window pans and replacement of dud fluorescent tubes to be done.  Work will next centre on the exterior and mechanicals.  The exterior has a couple of minor panels needing replacement, gas struts on the engine compartment doors, welding of the battery compartment and, of course, a complete sanding down of the whole body!  All the windows will have to come out and eventually put back with new rubbers.  The usual dings, dents and scrapes will then have to be filled and sanded before painting.  Mechanically, a thorough service is required, plus a new shock absorber and possibly suspension air bag, the throttle actuator needs freeing, and the chassis, wheels and wheel arches will need cleaning and painting.  With its Cummins L10, Voith auto gearbox and high ratio axle 903 was capable of 70mph on a motorway, so look out for her in mid 2016.

1993 SWT DENNIS DART 501, L501 HCY

Some modern vehicles will be making their way on to the roads of Swansea during 2016.  Among these will be 501, the first Dart that SWT bought.  The windows have been removed recently and some body panels will be replaced.  Electrics still need sorting and a few mechanical parts await replacement, but with the interior intact it’s mainly exterior work that remains to be done.  501 will then reappear in City Mini two tone green livery.
501
580

1996 SWT DENNIS DART SLF, P580 BTH

Also hopefully appearing in 2016 in green livery will be 580, one of SWT’s earliest low-floor buses and the last bus delivered new in SWT livery.  Unfortunately 580 arrived at the museum minus several parts, including the driver’s seat, the electronic destination display, alternator and other rather useful parts!  We now have a driver’s seat, but still have to obtain the other pieces.  Once those are in place, the chassis can be checked, cleaned and painted, the mechanicals serviced, and the livery applied.

1981 SWT LEYLAND NATIONAL 2, 829, KEP 829X
829 was the last new National ordered by SWT and will be the first one restored and back on the road in 2016.  Its tired Leyland 680 engine has already been replaced by Steve with a TL11, along with some damaged panels.  The interior is complete, so a full service and a repaint should see this dual-purpose bus cruising the roads by the summer.

829

AND FINALLY
Love them or loathe them, they’re still a part of our local transport history, so expect to see one of SWT’s1980’s minibuses back on the roads this year!       


Chairman's 2016 New Year Message

First of all I wish you a very Happy New Year! I hope 2016 looks favourably on us all!

2016 is a make or break year for us. As you may be aware, our lease expires at the end of this year and we have been notified that it is highly unlikely to be renewed under the same favourable terms. Our building sits within the SA1 Local Development Area, which is set to evolve rapidly following the opening of the new Swansea University campus last September. It’s only a matter of time before our former industrial site will be consumed for residential and/or leisure use. In the short term, increased occupancy of adjacent units has pushed up rents.

We carried out a business planning exercise with Landsker Business Solutions Ltd. in 2014. Key to the execution of the plan ls the securing of our own property, either through direct ownership or a very long term lease. Such an arrangement will make it easier for us to obtain grant funding, something we have had only limited success with so far. Our present site arrangement does not fit the criteria to achieve this.

We’re presently investigating several alternative sites in the wider Swansea area and will place renewed urgency on the situation now that Christmas is behind us. In the meantime, you may have noticed that the museum is currently closed to the general public. This is due to a major housekeeping exercise underway in the spares area at the far corner of the museum in preparation for the move. The need to create space to work in that area has meant that some vehicles have needed to be moved into the public display area, restricting movement there. For public safety reasons the trustees decided on the closure during this quiet time of year. The museum will reopen to the public for the Swansea Historic Vehicle Autojumble on Sunday February 21st , when our vehicles will be on display outside, before our own Running Day on the following Sunday, February 28th.

I’m making a heartfelt appeal for as much assistance as possible from members and volunteers on Sundays during this “down” time. The future success of the museum depends on all of us, while failure will see the break-up of the collection and the likely loss of many historic vehicles to the scrap man, something we have worked hard to avoid over the years. We really need to be pulling together now!

I trust that I can count on your continuing support at this crucial time.

Alan West
Chairman, Swansea Bus Museum.

 

 

We celebrated 447's 60th birthday in style at our October 25th Running Day with a great turnout, including a record number of visiting buses and coaches.

Enjoy this superb video by Bob Masterman

A massive "thank you" to ALL who attended and supported the event, including the public, volunteers, traders, vehicle owners, South Wales Transport, Brace's, Joshua Temple of First Cymru and Llanelli & District Model Engineers, whose rides proved popular.

See our Facebook page for pictures of the show.

We look forward to seeing you again at our next Running Day on Sunday February 28th 2016!

A CALL TO ACTION!

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

Running the museum involves much more than just fixing buses, however. We need people to help with general duties such as assisting the general public during our opening times and keeping the museum clean & tidy. During our event days there is always plenty to do with general organisation, assisting the public, driving (subject to appropriate licence) and conducting. Our stall is an important source of income, both during our own shows and at other rallies we visit. An hour spent practising your selling skills can be good for the soul!

We have an urgent need for extra volunteers, upon whose loyalty the very future of our operation depends.
Your spare time - during ANY day of the week - is valuable to us so please don’t pass over the chance to preserve as much as possible of our remaining local transport heritage. Please contact us in person or via email, Facebook etc to register your interest.

DON'T LET THE SCRAPMAN WIN - YOUR MUSEUM NEEDS YOU!
Scrapman!

 

July 2015

Alan West has worked hard to bring 447 (right) to its current stage of restoration.  MCY 407 had started to look rather shabby and rust was appearing around some window pans.  Now she gleams in a fresh coat of SWT crimson and cream. All the upstairs interior panels have been painted in SWT blue, and the ceiling is now in a period cream.  The floor scoops have been repainted in brown and a layer of new thin plywood laid prior to the new lino being put down. Outside, the front mudguards have had a fresh coat of black and the rubber rear mudguards sprayed with a special coating.  The downstairs window pans have already been painted, so that all the windows can be installed with new rubbers.

Work remains to be done: seat frames are in the process of being rubbed down and repainted before installation, while the internal upstairs and downstairs side panels also need a lick of blue.  Once the windows are back in, the transfers and fleet names can be applied, then 447 will be back on the road and appearing around its old Llanelli routes.  It'll be the star of the show in October celebrating its 60th anniversary!

447 Ext
375 Outdoors

375 (left) has been brought out of retirement and has been receiving some TLC.  Its tired engine has been replaced by another Gardner and a leak from the water pump sorted out.  New clutch fingers have been obtained and fitted, and the engine runs well. 

At present 375 has an air leak so has no brakes, but that will no doubt be sorted by Steve, who has already devoted many weeks of hard work to our restoration projects. 

After the interior has had a thorough clean and repaint, 375 will have a respray into her old United Welsh coaching colours.  As the oldest surviving Bristol RE as well as the only surviving ex-United Welsh example, 375 will be a splendid sight on the roads.


May 2015

May 31st show

But before that..................

On Saturday May 16th we’ll be participating in Wales on Wheels, taking place in and around the National Waterfront Museum and Dylan Thomas Square in Swansea Marina. It’s organised by the Roads & Road Transport History Association in conjunction with the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea Museum and ourselves. Participation and entry is free. Our static display will be situated on the field between the Waterfront Museum and the Swansea Museum, and we’ll once again be joined by Swansea Museum’s Llynfi Coaches 1947 Leyland Tiger PS1.

Other attractions will include the local car clubs, Trinity St David’s School of Applied Design, Swansea Railway Modellers Group and Penydarren Steam Locomotive.

WoW 2015

Harbourside

The following day (Sunday 17th) sees the welcome return of the
Bristol Harbourside rally, which has been cancelled twice out of the last 3 years due to non-availability of the venue. We currently have 4 vehicles booked in, including SWT AEC Regent V 423 HCY and 3 Bristol VRs – 942, 978 & open topper MOD 571P (aka Peter’s Bus!). Members wishing to travel to the show should be at the museum ready for a 07:30 departure.

 

January & February 2015


Thank you to all who braved the elements on Sunday February 22nd to attend our first running day of 2015. Despite a cold & frosty start, heavy rain arrived just in time for the 10am kick-off and kept going until mid afternoon. Our plan to run open top bus services proved to be wildly optimistic!

Under the circumstances there was a good turn out, including many who had travelled from far and wide. Among them was the Ulsterbus 2599 & 1321 Group who made the four and a half hour journey down from Nottingham in their 1990 Leyland Tiger, the Cotswold Green Mercedes N912 ETM which had come from Aylesbury and Swansea Museum's 1949 Llynfi Leyland Tiger.

Once again we were well supported by traders, volunteers and visiting vehicles without whose assitance we could not operate these running days. We hope to see you under more favourable circumstances for our next event on Sunday May 31st!

Inside visitors

MWs Ulsterbus 1321

 


Show banner

SHVR autojumble

Autojumble at the museum - Sunday February 15th

In a change of venue, Swansea Historic Vehicle Register will be holding their February autojumble inside the museum on Sunday February 15th. To accommodate the numerous stands, all our running vehicles will be moved outside and lined up on display.

For further details, click on the SHVR logo to the left


Please note that our May event to be held in conjunction with First Cymru has been rescheduled
to Sunday May 31st to avoid clashing with Bristol Harbourside

You may have read about Swansea Council’s demolition of the old United Welsh bus garage and our efforts to obtain the premises for an exhibition area for our restored buses.  We had several meetings with Council officials over the course of the past two years but once the Council secured EU funding to demolish the building there was no stopping its plans to turn the site into a surface car park in preparation for development in the future. The bulldozers moved in and demolition of this great building sadly commenced in early January.

Council officers did offer to look for other suitable premises for us and we are waiting to hear from them.  We’re currently exploring other possibilities and as soon as we have any positive news we will pass it on.
clarence Terrace garage

Oxford New Year
Following the demise of the traditional Winchester show, a party of around 25 of our members set off early on New Year's Day on the Morris Bros Volvo coach to visit Oxford Bus Museum. We were warmly welcomed by their chairman Chris Butterfield who, after we had availed ourselves of their café facility, laid on a presentation on the history and evolution of Oxford Bus Museum, which started off in 1967. This was followed by a tour around their workshop, which is housed separately to the main museum building, and a trip out on their 1949 AEC Regal III NJO 703. At the half way stop-over point near Kidlington Airport some of us were able to transfer onto their fine 1967 AEC Renown FWL 371E for the return leg.

The rest of the day was taken up with looking around the comprehensive displays which included buses - complete & cross-sectioned - as well as uniforms, historic press cuttings and loads of photos.  There was also the added bonus of the Morris Motors Museum on the same site. The layout and displays certainly provided us with plenty of food for thought.

Our sincere thanks to Chris and all at Oxford Bus Museum for making us so welcome and providing a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

 

November 2014

Peter

From South Wales Evening Post, Saturday November 8th:


Swansea man helps to restore bus he was pictured in as a teenager

Read the full story HERE

2015 Events

With the 2014 rally season now firmly behind us, our thoughts turn to 2015.

As is customary, our first show of the year will be on the last Sunday in February (22nd) when we will once again run classic bus services around the Swansea area, while the museum will host a display of both our own and visiting vehicles. Trade stands and refreshments will be available inside the museum

Following the success of the SWT centenary event held in May, we'll be holding a similar event in conjunction with First Cymru on Sunday May 31st. Once again it will take the form of running day coupled with the family fun theme. Plans are currently at a very early stage, so watch out for updates over the months ahead.

May 15

 

October 2014

We held our regular autumn running day on Sunday October 26th. The event was very well supported, with a steady turnout throughout a showery day. As usual we ran well patronised services to various points around the greater Swansea area, operated by both our own and visiting buses.

The exterior display area attracted a variety of visiting vehicles, including a superb contingent from First Cymru. A first-time visitor was Swansea Museum's well-preserved Llynfi Coaches' 1947 Leyland Tiger PS1. In addition there were classic cars and Ruben's famous rare 1953 BEA AEC Regal IV coach.

A major feature of the show was the return to the road of our AEC Bridgemaster UCY 837. However, running in service on the steep route 33 to Tycoch with its first full load of passengers in over 40 years identified shortcomings with the offside air suspension as well as the transmission, so it was sadly withdrawn at the start of the second run and substituted with other buses thereafter. It is now undergoing remedial work.

A high presence of trade stalls inside the museum complemented the rides and displays. To all visitors, vehicle owners, supporters & volunteers we offer our deep gratitiude and hope to see you again at our next running day on Sunday February 22nd 2015.

500 on 77

Bm Queue First 3
Ext Disp

Restoration update

282 DWN - Single deck AEC Regent V

38 has already been out on the roads in the last year, resplendent in its new crimson SWT paint, but its interior was looking rather tired, so Steve and Nicola have been busy replacing the floor which was rotten in some places, and painting the chassis while the floor was up.  Nic has already repainted all the blue paintwork inside, and the new seat squabs and cushions are ready to go in once the frames have been painted.  Some new aluminium kickplates at the front bulkhead are required too. Due to the thorough work being carried out, 38 was not ready n time for the October rnning day but will look superb by the time of our next show

1993 Dennis Dart L501 HCY

New member Scott together with Bob, Matthew, our new mechanic Alex, with assistance from junior member Jake, have repaired the front frame, stripped most of the vinyls off the body, sanded the body down, and secured the destination box in place woth the outer housing now in plcae also.  New wiper spindles are on order to replace the seized originals, and Alex has attended to the electrics, including the bodged isolator switch, the fuse box, and the seized alternator.  Alex has also freed the seized fan drive and reconnected the air pipes which had been cut.  It just shows what can be achieved.


MCY 407 - AEC Regent V

Chairman Alan West’s Regent V, the tenth  built by AEC, has been completely stripped back to bare aluminium ready for repainting into SWT crimson and cream.  Alan has almost singlehandedly spent about three months painstakingly sanding away the old faded paint, a filthy, dusty job which is tedious in the extreme.

Alan has also replaced some damaged panels at the back, along with a panel at the front of the cab.  With the really hard work now almost over, Alan can look forward to seeing his bus transformed into the gleaming Llanelli bus that it once was.  Expect to see 447 in the Spring, especially in the Llanelli area, along with 38.

501

 

 

August 2014

Sunday August 10th saw a double-first for us with two of our vehicles attending away rallies for the first time.

Leyland DAB Lion D160 UGA, although having been with us with us for around a year, attended the annual Brislington bus show at Bristol. Its attendance was a matter of some prior concern, not least due to the remains of Hurricane Bertha passing through, and accompanied by a problem with a rear light.

Setting off from the museum at 07:45, it travelled superbly up the M4, with a good turn of speed and comfortable ride on the air suspension.

A detour was made at Chepstow to collect newly-restored 978 (BEP 978V) which passed its MOT the previous day and was also destined for Brislington.

The issue with 978's kingpin (see below) turned out to be bigger than anticipated, due to wear in the socket, necessitating a whole new front axle. In addition, rear brake pads and headlamps were also changed by David Hoare and his able team at Chepstow Classic Buses.

Pictured right: 160 and 978 on display at Brislington

Brislington 2014

Our former Thomas Bros of Port Talbot Burlingham Seagull -bodied AEC Regal IV arrived on July 30th. Although part of our collection for several years, MTG 172 has been stored in an open-sided barn in Devon. It was driven through the local village before being placed onto a low-loader for its journey to Swansea.

While still driveable, the mostly-intact body and frame has suffered corrosion having been previously used as a traveller's home. As you would also expect, the seats are long gone.

MTG 172, named "Port Talbot Monarch" while in service, is now on view in the museum and all offers of help to restore her are most welcome - SEE BELOW

MTG172/2
978 on lift

After showing off its unique two-tone green, yellow, red and white SWT privatisation livery at the Centenary show, 978 has had all its transfers applied, including the stylised “SWT” logo.  The nearside upstairs window that had been removed has now been replaced with a new rubber, and the seat frames and rails are being repainted in the correct “olive drab” colour!  Unfortunately the nearside front upstairs fibreglass pillar cracked when a window was being replaced, so that has now been repaired and repainted.  One frustrating problem has at last been overcome, the non-functioning wipers!  After swapping the dashboard control and the air motor, they still refused to work, performing half a sweep or doing nothing at all.  Finally it was found that the spindles were seized on the inside of their collars.  VR spares vehicle 957 donated some bits, and the spindles underwent persuasion through blowtorch and hammer.  At last we have wipers! 

There then followed the problem with the leaky screen washers. Following much deliberation, the air powered system was replaced by an electric pump and hey presto!

At the time of writing some remedial work is still required to pass the MOT, including a new nearside kingpin as well as headlamp and brake adjustments. Fingers crossed!

During August, 978 features as" Photo of the Month" on Rob Sly's website

501 in service © Richard Field, with our gratitude.

Work has recently started on 501 (L501 HCY), right, donated to us by First Cymru some time ago, and the first Dennis Dart in service with SWT. 

501 suffered a front end accident in 2009 and the front of the chassis had been pushed back.  Thanks to Don Howard and his hydraulic body jack that he had kept from his coachbuilding days, the chassis has been straightened.  The later First “Barbie” vinyls have almost all been removed, and now the front windscreen frame can be replaced together with the surround and screens.  Front panels can then be bolted on, and lights, wipers and destination display fitted.  Once the rear air tank has been put back and mechanical checks done, the interior can be cleaned and 501 can be repainted into “City Mini” green livery, as shown in the picture, left, taken whilst in service

501

And finally, a plea for help: this group restoration project and others need more volunteer assistance.

We all enjoy riding the restored buses to and at shows, but to make this happen they first of all need to be restored then maintained - this cannot happen without volunteer support. You don't particularly need to have specialist skills, just bring your enthusiasm! If you have a few hours to spend each week, enjoy working with an enthusiastic bunch of people, and relish a sense of achievement surrounded by some fascinating vehicles, come along and see us any Sunday.

May 2014

A very big thank you to all who visited us during the SWT centenary weekend on 17th & 18th May. Our static display at Wales on Wheels at The National Waterfront Museum was well supported while the attendance at our joint event with First Cymru surpassed all expectations. The sunny weather ensured a very high demand for our bus rides, particularly open-top. A high number of visitors enjoyed the displays, charity stalls, funfair and drive-a-bus.

The star of the show was our 1959 AEC Bridgemaster 1203 (UCY 837) which appeared in public for the first time sporting its fresh coat of SWT livery following a complete rebuild.

WoW2014 Centenary
BM Clipper

Centenary Ad

SUNDAY, MAY 18TH
Sponsored by First Cymru, SWT’s successor, our major event will be on Sunday, 18th May at Swansea Bus Museum, with the emphasis on a day out for all the family.  First Cymru will be displaying fifteen of their latest buses in their latest livery, including their express Greyhound coaches and the FTR “bendy buses”.  First will also feature four of their buses painted in recreations of the classic liveries of South Wales Transport, United Welsh, Thomas Brothers and Neath and Cardiff Express Services. 

There will be charity stalls for you to help your favourite causes and lots of stalls offering models, photos, memorabilia and books. Children’s amusements, including bouncy castles, will be there for a fun day, and when you’re feeling thirsty or peckish you’ll have catering available, too.  Toilet facilities, including disabled facilities, will be on site.  Entry to the show and museum will be FREE, as will the bus rides provided throughout the day.  We’ll be recreating some of the old bus routes in Swansea, including our popular seafront open-top (weather permitting!) ride to Limeslade and our drive through the Gower scenery to the cliffs at Pennard. 

Besides the latest modern buses and our vintage ones, there’ll be classic cars and other vehicles, and visiting buses from other parts of the country.  A sixty foot marquee will house fascinating displays produced by First of the history of South Wales Transport, together with ticket machines for the children (overgrown ones as well as genuine ones!) to operate, and seating for weary parents!

A special Centenary Programme will be on sale as a memento of this special occasion, along with timetables of the free bus rides for you to choose your favourite destinations and buses!South Wales

April 2014

Peter Nedin given an open top bus as retirement gift after 45 years as a driver

A full size open top double deck bus has been donated to the Swansea Bus Museum by First Cymru in honour of a member its staff, who volunteers at the museum and retired at the end of March.

Peter Nedin (68) from St Thomas in Swansea left First Cymru on 28 March, having spent 45 years as a driver for the company.  In that time he clocked up well over one million miles on the road – without ever having had an accident.    

Peter, and his friends at the museum, will now restore the bus – a Bristol VRT open topper - to its former glory before putting it on display for all to see.

It’s thought the presentation of a full size open top double deck bus is the first of its kind as a retirement gift. It certainly beats the standard carriage clock gift that so many people get when they leave active employment!

Peter joined the bus industry 45 years in 1969 at the tender age of 20 and over the years has remained a model employee. He passed his driving test first time round at 17, and took his PSV (Passenger Service Vehicle test) just two or three years later, before joining the United Welsh Bus Company.

Peter's bus
MOD 571P is handed over to Peter by Phil Trotter, Marketing Manager, First Cymru.

In all his years of service on the buses he has never been involved in any form of blameworthy incident – maintaining a perfect driving record throughout.   Five years ago he was given a medal by First Cymru recognising 40 years safe, incident free driving and was also given the Road Operators Safety Council (ROSCO) Award for Safe Driver of the Year. 

Talking about his achievements, Justin Davies, Managing Director for First Cymru, says: “It was a sad day for us when Peter left the business. He has been a perfect employee: he’s a brilliant driver and was great with all the customers. We recognise though that after 45 years of working for us, five of which have been on a part time basis, he wanted to spend more time doing the things he loves even more: restoring old buses.  To help him with this we donated one of our oldest vehicles – which we had recently taken out of our fleet – to the museum in his honour. We hope he gets much fun and enjoyment restoring it back to its former glory.”

Old & New beach buses
Former SWT & First Cymru beach buses

Talking about his retirement, Peter Nedin, said: “People had often joked that I should be given a bus because I’d worked for the company so long, but I never actually expected it to happen. It was such a shock and a great honour to be told the old open topper would be donated to the museum in my name.  It’s in really good condition for its age and it’s nice to be able to keep this in the area, helping to celebrate its history.

“I had a fantastic career at First, and a great sending off when I left. I’m now enjoying retirement and wondering how I ever really had the time to go to work. I have plenty of little jobs to do around the house and have been enjoying days out here and there, alongside my work at the museum.

The bus being donated to the museum is a Bristol VRT/SL3/305 with an ECW O43/32F body and a Gardner 6LXB engine. Registration:  MOD 571P. From April 2011 until recently it was used as the ‘Beach Bus’ on a service from Swansea to Limeslade/Bracelet bays. Prior to that it was used in Devon and Dorset.


Here's the latest news of the May SWT Centenary Weekend:

SATURDAY, MAY 17TH
Following on from the success of last year, Wales on Wheels 2014 will take place on Saturday 17th May. The venue as before will be the National Waterfront Museum and its environs, and Dylan Thomas Square (courtesy of Swansea Museum). Access will be available for all vehicles, and there is space indoors for stands and other exhibits.

There'll be buses, lorries, fire engines, cars (including the pink Cadillac!), motor bikes, C5 for the kids, rocket cars for all-round fun, and an eclectic collection of other vehicles. There's a military and World War 1 thread in addition to the many other vehicles which will be present. The organisers have booked a horse-drawn WW1 ambulance, with re-enactors – bring carrots and turnips!

With the aid of Roy Noble and the attendance of several of our vehicles, Bryngold Books will launch an important new book celebrating the centenary of South Wales Transport. The front cover features our own Peter Nedin dressed as a conductor!

WoW2014
Centenary Ad

SUNDAY, MAY 18TH
Sponsored by First Cymru, SWT’s successor, our major event will be on Sunday, 18th May at Swansea Bus Museum, with the emphasis on a day out for all the family.  First Cymru will be displaying fifteen of their latest buses in their latest livery, including their express Greyhound coaches and the FTR “bendy buses”.  First will also feature four of their buses painted in recreations of the classic liveries of South Wales Transport, United Welsh, Thomas Brothers and Neath and Cardiff Express Services. 

There will be charity stalls for you to help your favourite causes and lots of stalls offering models, photos, memorabilia and books. Children’s amusements, including bouncy castles, will be there for a fun day, and when you’re feeling thirsty or peckish you’ll have catering available, too.  Toilet facilities, including disabled facilities, will be on site.  Entry to the show and museum will be free, as will the bus rides provided throughout the day.  We’ll be recreating some of the old bus routes in Swansea, including our popular seafront open-top (weather permitting!) ride to Limeslade and our drive through the Gower scenery to the cliffs at Pennard. 

Besides the latest modern buses and our vintage ones, there’ll be classic cars and other vehicles, and visiting buses from other parts of the country.  A sixty foot marquee will house fascinating displays produced by First of the history of South Wales Transport, together with ticket machines for the children (overgrown ones as well as genuine ones!) to operate, and seating for weary parents!

A special Centenary Programme will be on sale as a memento of this special occasion, along with timetables of the free bus rides for you to choose your favourite destinations and buses!South Wales


February 2014

Thank you to all who travelled from near and far to support our first running day of 2014 on Sunday February 23rd. Despite an ominous weather forecast in the run-up to the event, the day itself was mostly dry.

In the circumstances there was a good turn-out, while the bus journeys were well supported. The shuttle service to the Swansea Historic Vehicle Register auto jumble event at Llansamlet and the route 23 Penlan Circular proved a hit.

As is now customary, Steve Lewis produced a great video of the event, including footage shot on board 961 on route 64 to Pennard - to view, click "play" on the window to the right.

Centenary

Events update

As mentioned in the January update below, we'll be part of the Wales on Wheels show at the National Waterfront Museum on Saturday May 17th. On Sunday, May 18th, Swansea Bus Museum and First Cymru will hold a special Open Day at the museum with our historic vehicles on display with First’s latest. There will be further attractions on site for all the family. 

We're also looking at other events which will be held throughout the year, including possibly an Open Day at First’s Ravenhill depot and a special day for First employees, together with a presence at Swansea City Centre Classic vehicle show in June.

Keep watching this page for further updates............


The bus museum featured on the CBeebies programme "My Story" on February 4th.

Filmed on a sunny and warm day last September, the 15-minute programme featured our chairman, Alan West, and his granddaughter, Seren, discussing his love for old buses.

Following a trip on a modern First Cymru bendy bus (Alan's first trip on one) they arrive at the museum where they take a look around and Alan explains how it was set up. Seren has a go at being a bus conductor on 590 (pictured) before they set off on an open top 500, ably driven by Peter Nedin, to Limeslade, where they enjoy an ice-cream and a review of their day.

MyStory

 

January 2014

Happy New Year! 2014 is a special year for us as it marks the centenary of South Wales Transport. Plans for celebrating the occasion are advancing well, and include a special weekend on Saturday and Sunday 17th/18th May. The Saturday event is a static display of vehicles at Wales on Wheels at the National Waterfront Museum, where Bryngold Books will launch their commemorative book on SWT, written by Jonathan Isaacs. The Sunday event will be held at the bus museum and will include a large display in our yard as well as a running event.

We're also working closely with First Cymru, who are planning to paint four current buses in special liveries, These will be N&C, SWT, Thomas Bros & United Welsh. They're also planning special events in which we will participate.

Updates will be posted here and on our new Facebook page at www.facebook.com/swanseabusmuseum


panneling the Bridgemaster

Former South Wales Transport buses undergoing restoration ahead of the centenary celebrations this summer.
Pictures taken January 12th 2014

Left: SWT 1203 (UCY837), one of only 4 surviving rear-entrance AEC Bridgemasters, receives new external panelling. The upstairs interior refurbishment is well advanced while the downstairs floor is also being relaid. The rear nearside destination box has also been reinstated.

Bottom left: SWT Bristol VR BEP 978V receives a coat of primer in preparation for repainting into the post-deregulation green livery.

Below: The oldest surviving AEC Regent V, SWT's 447 (MCY 407) is stripped back to bare metal ready for a new coat of SWT red paint with cream band.

978 in primer 447 gets rubbed down

 

November 2013

BM Nov2013

With the 2013 rally season behind us we're now busy preparing vehicles for the landmark SWT centenary year which begins in just a few weeks.

Following the superb repaint of 38 (282 DWN - see below) MCY 407, the oldest surviving AEC Regent V, is presently undergoing a major refurbishment in our workshop area. It will return to the road during the first half of 2014 with a new coat of classic South Wales red livery, complete with cream waist band.

Over the past few weeks, Bristol VR BEP 978V has been rubbed down for a respray and will soon be receiving a new coat of post-deregulation SWT green livery. With completion of restoration scheduled for early 2014, this means that all 4 main SWT bus liveries will be back on the road.

Work on the AEC Bridgemaster has accelerated thanks to a generous donation. It has moved to Swansea Coachworks where the domes and upstairs are presently being refitted and painted (pictured left). The drive train is being reinstated in order to make UCY 837 driveable once more.

BUT.....we can achieve more! We have several vehicles which require relatively minor attention to return to the road for the centenary. The Bedford YMQS LCY 299X, Dennis Darts and the Mercedes minibuses may not strike you as classic buses, but they are nonetheless part of SWT's heritage and deserve recognition. This can only happen with the help of willing volunteers, of which more are always required to complete restoration work in a shorter timescale. You don't need to be an expert in bus mechanics to get involved; we have a wide range of complementary skills in the group and so help each other out.

If you want to see more of our classic buses back on the road and take pride in the fruits of your labour, then why not call in and see us any Sunday between 10am and 4pm? Volunteering is not restricted to Sundays, as access can be arranged to suit your availability.

We look forward to seeing you!

Oct2013

Autumn 2013

Good progress has been made in the past few weeks as we headed towards the museum's reopening on our running day on October 27th. Full segregation of commercial area has been completed, with the museum's cabin now relocated alongside new pedestrian entrance. It has been refurbished and will contain the museum office, staff rest area as well as toilet, including disabled, facilities.

Rearrangement of vehicles has been largely completed, with designated areas for bodywork and vehicle maintenance in place. Barriers mean that the public will not have access to working areas, while display vehicles which are pending restoration have been fenced off for enhanced safety. Holes in the floor have been filled and it will be painted.


38 new paint

Though 38 has previously polished up well thanks to a lot of elbow grease, there remained some panel damage and the roof was shabby. 

In September it was decided to undertake repairs to the damage and a full repaint, so the extension to the rear nearside chassis which had been used for towing was cut off, and the damaged panels repaired or replaced.  The rear dome was repaired, with the holes, dings and dents pulled out and filled before sanding, etching and priming. 

The opportunity was also taken to remove both front mudguards, which had suffered some rusting, and rebuild them, together with the engine compartment side panel and the nearside wing “infill” panel.  After much preparation work 38 received its first coat of lovely, rich, shiny SWT maroon, with a typically excellent finish by painter Viv.  This was flatted down ready to receive the final coat, after which the fleet names and numbers and legal notices were applied. 

38 now looks “as new” externally, while the interior will undergo restoration in the near future.


Having remained in its former First Devon & Cornwall colours since its return to the road 2 years ago, 942 has now been repainted into its former post-SWT Western National livery thanks to the hard work of Mike Kidwell. Its first outing was to the Merthyr show on September 8th and was the focus of many a keen bus photographer.

Look out for 942 appearing the new film "One Chance", out on October 25th. Starring James Corden and Julie Walters, it chronicles the life of Paul Potts in the run up to his first appearance and subsequent success on "Britain's Got Talent" in 2007. Filmed largely on location in the Port Talbot area, the producers approached us for use of a bus that would have been running in the area during the 80's/90's. Their ideal choice was Bristol VR 978, in SWT green livery, but as it wasn't roadworthy we offered 961 instead. Strangely they said they didn't want anything that resembled a red London Bus(!), so instead selected 942, then in First Devon & Cornwall livery.

As for 978, it's presently being taken back to bare metal for a full SWT green repaint ready for next year's rally season.

942 new paint

Lion front

Leyland DAB Lion, D160 UGA, the arrival of which has been reported below, has undergone body and mechanical repairs. The repair work on the front, pictured left, has now been completed, as has a repair to the speed limiter mechanism.

As a result, the Lion oassed the MOT test on Friday October 26th and was able to particpate on runs during our event on the 27th. At a full 15 feet high and only able to access the museum following a modification to the roller door, it needs to be driven cautiously to avoid collison with rogue tree branches.

The bus carries the name "William Harold", commemorating William Harold Fowler who established Fowler's Travel in 1947.

 

August 2013

August has been quite a month for comings and goings in the collection. We said goodbye to North Western Bristol RE JMA 413L when sold in July, while in its place arrived a rare 1986 double deck Leyland Lion which originally saw service in Scotland. A former London bus, a 1950 Saunders-bodied RT arrived on August 15th. RT1396 will increase the number of former London buses on site to 4, alongside RM66, RM244 & RM308. Read more below......

Leyland DAB Lion

D160 UGA is an Alexander-bodied CH49/37F bus with Leyland TL11 engine. As one of only 32 ever made, this unusual mid-engined bus, based on a DAB design and originally registered D852 RDS, was one of six coach-seated double deckers ordered by Kelvin Scottish in June 1987.

Due to Kelvin Scottish being unable to take delivery for financial reasons, it passed back to Leyland where it saw some use as a demonstrator at SYTPE in Sheffield. From there it moved on to Clydeside Scottish where it acquired former Routemaster registration 705 DYE.

In July 1994 it passed to independent operator Cottrells of Mitcheldean with registration number D160 UGA. It was bought by Fowlers Travel of Spalding, Lincs, in 2007, where it adopted the 'Ambers' fleet brand and registration YDO 823.

It was purchased by one of our members in July 2013. regaining the registration number allocated while at Cottrells.


From an earlier era is RT1396, pictured right being fuelled for the long drive to Swansea following collection from Alphabus in Luton. This bus comprises a Saunders of Anglesey RT3/3 body coupled with an AEC 9.6 litre engine

New in August 1950, RT1396 started its working life at the Victoria depot on Route 137. As a result of LT's practice of swapping bodies, RT1396 ran with a Park Royal body from 1958, reverting to Saunders in 1966.

Having operated from Victoria, Twickenham, Holloway, Sidcup, Bromley, Southall and Walworth depots, RT1396 was sold to PVS of Braintree, Essex in 1970. Since then it has passed through several owners including, in 1987, the RT1784 Group who bought it with the sole intention of preventing it being turned into a burger bar!

In 2006 it received a major overhaul at Ward Jones Ltd of High Wycombe. RT1396 resumed PSV operations in June 2008 with Alphabus of Buckinghamshire


A much more detailed account of the bus and its history will appear in our October members' newsletter.

RT1396

Work on improving the museum is progressing well, with a new public entrance door and lobby now in place. The outer door will be open in line with museum visiting hours, so visitors will enter the lobby where they can ring a bell to alert museum volunteers of their presence.

Work is also well advanced on filling in holes and pitting in the floor to remove trip and stumble hazards. The vehicle layout is presently being rearranged, and the portakabin will soon be moved elsewhere within the building.

Vehicles that are awaiting and undergoing restoration will be more securely fenced off and designated public areas better defined.

We aim to complete the work during September, well ahead of our next running day on Sunday October 27th, but the exact date is heavily dependent on the availability of volunteers. If you are able to assist us in any way, please report to the museum any Sunday or Wednesday.

New lobby
New door
Rearranging

June 2013

The team!

All at Swansea Bus Museum wish to express our deep gratitude to the owners of the Leicester City Transport AEC Bridgemaster, 217 AJF, who visited us over the weekend of June 16th/17th. From the museum members' runs on Friday, through to Laugharne on Saturday and running trips for the public at the Swansea Festival of Transport on Sunday, they have shown us a deep level of support with their superbly restored vehicle.

Gorseinon

217 alongside the former site of the Gorseinon bus depot

 

 

As advised elsewhere on this site, the museum is presently closed to visitors while site improvements are being carried out.

The long awaited refurbishment of the museum is now underway, with a new pedestrian entrance being added further along the building from the present access point. This will enable increased segregation between the visitor and working areas. The vehicles are being rearranged into a new display area, while it's also planned to include displays of memorabilia which are presently stored off-site.

Further progress updates to follow.

 

 

April / May 2013

38 news

282 DWN, sole survivor of only eight Roe-bodied AEC Regent V single deckers specifically designed to pass under low bridges in the New Dock area of Llanelli passed its MOT on May 10th after around 20 years off the road. Acquired from the National Museum of Wales in April 2011, much work has been carried out on replacing engines and overcoming niggling problems to get 38 restored.

38 will be on show at Wales on Wheels on May 18th as well as the Barry show on June 9th. A return to its former hometown of Llanelli is planned for July 14th when it will attend the Festival Fields classic vehicle show.

For more on the restoration story of this now unique bus, click here


590, pictured right, has now received a makeover of its interior upholstery. Thanks to the hard work of Alan West, the seating has been re-covered in blue vinyl in the shade that adorned the bus when in service. The new seating had its first outing during the Bristol Harbourside rally on April 28th, where 590 ran 2 journeys to Lawrence Hill, home of the First Group bus depot.

626 Harbourside 2013
Also representing us at a very enjoyable and well supported Bristol Harbourside show were Bristol VR VTH 942T and Weymann Fanfare-bodied
AEC Reliance NCY 626, both pictured.
942 Harbourside April 2013
On a less positive note, RM66 failed to complete the journey to the London Bus Museum show at Brook lands on Sunday April 21st.
Having broken down three times on the way to Reading during the previous day, the decision was made to continue on the Sunday, However, 66 broke down on two further occasions, the last one being across a busy roundabout in Bracknell. It was decided to call it a day and seek assistance. A tow truck turned up and RM66 finally arrived back in Swansea earlier then planned at around 19:00.
The fault was caused by a defective fuel lift pump, for which Duane and Doug sourced a replacement a couple of days later. Once fitted, 66 was taken for a run around Swansea and performed faultlessly, in fact sounding much better then she has for a long while.
66 returns Apr 2013

 

Bristol KSW 500 WNO 484 has undergone major electrical work following problems earlier this year.

Much of the wiring to the lighting circuits has been replaced.

978 repanel 586 new axle

 

Following catastrophic failure during our February event, 586 (154FCY) now has a complete rear axle replacement and is again driveable. The axle was sourced from a scrap vehicle that resides at the museum.

However, the bus was found to have a weak front nearside spring, which is now in the process of being replaced.


February 2013

First Cymru has passed on one of its oldest vehicles, a 1996 Dennis Dart SLF (super low floor), to the museum, while at the same time raising money for its charity partner, Macmillan Cancer support.

Instead of charging us for the vehicle, P580 BTH, fleet no 42580, First suggested that we make a £500 donation to the company’s national charity partner, Macmillan, and we willingly obliged. First have sold retired vehicles before but this will be the first time that they have donated the money to charity.

First Cymru‘s General Manager, Simon Cursio, said “I think the work that the South Wales Transport Preservation Trust is doing to celebrate the fascinating history of public transport in Wales is really important. We are all very proud to be contributing to such a great project. In particular, I would like to praise its members for the stirring renovations that they have done, especially on some of the buses from the 1950s, 60s and 70s—they look fantastic! I am also glad to see the bus we have donated to them helping to support another great cause, our charity partner Macmillan Cancer Support."

This Dart SLF was one of the first batch of Super Low Floor Darts supplied new to South Wales Transport in November 1996 painted in SWT/First green livery. Prior to being painted into First "Barbie" livery, it carried all over advertising for local radio station "The Wave". Withdrawn from service in October 2012, it is the youngest SWT/First Cymru bus to enter preservation.

580 is pictured here with several group members at the bus museum.

580 has arrived

Running day - Feb 2013

Despite the bitterly cold weather and the mass exodus to Wembley, our running day on February 24th was yet again very well supported. Regular services ran from the museum to the city centre, Limeslade, Pennard, Caswell and Briton Ferry. All bus rides proved popular with bus enthusiasts and the general public alike.

The cold weather played havoc with some of the vehicles with some rearrangement of the running schedule being necessary. Unfortunately our AEC Regent V, 586 FCY, suffered differential failure on an inward journey and was towed back by recovery vehicle RM66. Thanks to all visiting bus owners who assisted by providing services as well as recovering stranded passengers!

All who attended, including traders, classic vehicle owners and last but not least the public contributed to making a very cold day into a very enjoyable one.

 

January 2013

PLEASE NOTE: Due to delays incurred in signing the new lease, the site improvements originally planned for 2012 will commence this month. The work includes construction of a new pedestrian entrance as well as a comprehensive re-organisation of the building interior and displays. We therefore warn visitors of potential disruption to site access due to vehicle movements. Our volunteers will advise visitors of work being carried out and reserve the right to temporarily suspend public entry for safety reasons. Children, both inside and outside the building, must always be supervised by an adult.

 

We're pleased to announce that the Leicester AEC Bridgemaster 217 AJF, pictured right, will be visiting us during the weekend of 15th & 16th of June. More information will be posted nearer the time.

217 AJF

903 Update

As reported last month, we've recently acquired former SWT Leyland Olympian C903 FCY, one of the last batch of new double deckers delivered to SWT.

We're pleased to announce that 903 arrived with us on Sunday January 6th, having been towed from Winkleigh in Devon. She's been stored outside in a wooded area for the past 3 years and conditions had started to take their toll, The blue-painted exterior had a good covering of algae while the interior had become musty, with mould starting to grow on the green cloth seats.

Upon arrival, the exterior was treated to a thorough wash. The algae was been removed, with the blue Chepstow Classic Buses livery, applied in 2008, cleaning up well. With new batteries fitted, the engine was started and the bus driven around the yard, with the Cummins L10 engine and Voith automatic gearbox running well. The bus is now parked inside the museum with the doors and windows open to enable the interior to dry out ahead of a thorough clean.

It's planned to repaint 903 back into the original NBC Poppy Red livery in the near future. Keep watching this site for future updates and more photos, which will also be posted on our Flickr group.

903 returns

903 back in Swansea!

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