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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
590 Harbourside
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!

 

December 2012

Restoration Update

AEC Bridgemaster: The re-build of UCY 837 has progressed rapidly during the past few months. Reconstruction of the body frame has been completed along with the internal stress panels which have now been primed. Delivery of the exterior aluminium sheeting is now awaited. It's planned to have 1203 restored in time for June, when it will be joined at the museum by the Leicester
AEC Bridgemaster, 217 AJF, during the weekend of 15th & 16th. Keep watching the website for more news of this event.

AEC Routemaster RM 308: RM 308 is undergoing an internal overhaul during the winter months. This involves removal of all seats and seat backs, heavy cleaning and replacement where necessary. The grab poles and seat frames are being removed, while the old rexine is being stripped out and be either repainted or replaced. The ceiling is being stripped and repainted on both decks.

Bristol VRT BEP 978V: In recent months, 978 has had the fuel tanks refitted with new stainless steel straps. Starting problems ensued due to problems with 2 separate fuel lift pumps. 978 moved once again under its own power on September 23rd, but with air pressure loss due a leak from the handbrake control valve. Following repair, on October 3rd 978 was in a fit condition to be driven around the yard, albeit without a 4th gear due to a jammed solenoid. The electrics and dashboard wiring are presently receiving attention. In the new year, work on replacing aluminium panels and timber frame inserts will commence ahead of a repaint of the SWT green livery.

Leyland National JTH 756P: 756 is presently on blocks with wheel hub assemblies undergoing an overhaul. The brakes will also be overhauled before reinstatement, with body panels being put back on in the near future.

Coming up in early 2013

The group's Burlingham-bodied AEC Regal IV will be arriving at the museum in early 2013. This former Thomas Bros "Seagull", MTG 172, has been stored for several years in Devon,

A new addition to our fleet is former SWT / First Cymru Leyland Olympian C903 FCY. It was one of a batch of 7 delivered new to SWT in September 1985 - somewhat of a historic landmark as the last brand-new double deckers delivered to the company and their successor First Cymru. Last owned by Chepstow Classic Buses, 903 is being moved back to Swansea in the near future.



October 2012

Oct 12 Running Day

NARTM

On Saturday October 27th we were honoured to host the AGM of NARTM, the National Association of Road Transport Museums.

Delegates visited the museum before being transported to the Village Hotel, pictured, for the meeting with evening meal afterwards. Delegates who stayed over until Sunday visited the National Waterfront Museum before participating in our well-supported Running Day which raised around £1,100 towards ongoing restoration of our AEC Bridgemaster.

Throughout the weekend we laid on shuttle services for delegates between local hotels and the railway station.

NARTM AGM


June 2012

Transport Festival

On June 17th we held a running day in conjunction with the Swansea Festival of Transport.
After a somewhat cloudy start the sun shone brilliantly on this very successful event.  Swansea’s Castle Gardens, Princess Way, Oxford Street and Union Street were filled with classic vehicles and large crowds.  Open-toppers Bristol KSW5G 500 (WNO 484) and Bristol Lodekka 323 (SWN 159) were packed with people enjoying free rides to and from the museum, with Regent 639 making a guest appearance at Castle Gardens (left).  Routemasters 308 and 66, together with Bristol VRT 942 (right), attracted crowds in Union Street

SFT VRs

 

May 2012

A striking new arrival is our AEC 403/S-type open-top double decker, CY5981, new to SWT in 1923.  She arrived during May and is already attracting attention.  This is the earliest South Wales Transport bus in existence, complete with signs in the windows for Mumbles and the fleet name in gold leaf.  Though she has no engine or gearbox the body has survived remarkably well, and shows a wealth of interesting details from that period, from fleet number 60 to a speed restriction of 20mph!  You wouldn’t want to come down from Townhill on her either – front brakes were not fitted in those days! To completely appreciate this truly iconic vehicle, a visit to the museum is essential. 

S-type


 

April 2012

On April 25th we welcomed a new resident to the museum. This superb AEC Reliance coach with Duple Dominant II body was new as BTH 365V to Eynon's of Trimsaran in November 1979.

From 1987 she was bought and re-registered as 1189 PP by Baldry's of North Yorkshire who treated her to a full rebuild in 2001, since when she has covered just 15,000 miles.

With the original registration reinstated, it's planned to take her to the AEC Centenary Rally in Newark, Notts on Sunday May 27th. Those wishing to travel with us should be at the museum for an 06:00 departure.

AEC Reliance

On April 25th, Bristol VR VTH 942T flew through her MOT and is now back on the road for the first time since 2004. She remains in the same First Devon & Cornwall livery as when she left service, and is planned for a repaint in another year or so, quite possibly into Western National livery. Well done Mike!

942 is the second Bristol VR to be restored at the museum this year, the other being 961 (WTH 961T) which has been restored into South Wales / De Cymru NBC livery. Two other SWT VRs, 931 (open top RTH 931S) and 978 (BEP 978V) are also currently undergoing restoration. 931 is being restored to a variation of the 75th anniversary theme to celebrate the 100th anniversary of SWT in 2014, while 978 is being restored in the green SWT livery with original brown vinyl seat interior.

 

February 2012

News Regent 30/1 Peter & James

On Sunday February 26th, we commemorated the 30th anniversary of the final withdrawal of the SWT AEC Regent Vs by running services on former SWT routes 14 and 77 (Pennard & Limeslade respectively). Service buses comprised a mix of our own and guest Regent Vs as well as 3 x AEC Routemasters. Due to the sunny weather & subsequent public demand, we even ran open top buses on a couple of the shuttle services to Wellington St.

We thank all from near and far who supported our event, in particular the programme sponsors and those who provided vehicles for use on service runs and for static display, including the Pontarddulais Classic Motor Club, Quantock Motor Services, First Cymru and the modern-day South Wales Transport (Neath) Ltd. Radio Mumbles were in attendance & compiled a feature on the museum for broadcast on their web-based station. James Freeman, now Chief Executive of Reading Transport and organiser of the 1982 final running event while at SWT, kindly provided archive literature for display. This successful, well attended event raised around £2,000 towards the restoration of our AEC Bridgemaster.

Vehicle Mix Greyhound Scania

We're proud to be supporting the Fight For Sight charity by loaning our open top Bristol KSW to the family and friends of six-year-old Kaleb Perman of Bonymaen, pictured.

The bus will be used to offer a tour of Swansea during one Saturday in May, with the fares going towards the charity.

For the full story read the South Wales Evening Post article here.

Former South Wales Transport Bristol VR WTH 961T has now been repainted back into its original SWT NBC livery. It passed its MOT in early February and will be running at Regent 30 on February 26th

 

January 2012

All focus is on preparation for the Regent 30 Running Day on February 26th. Alan Woolcock and the team are working flat out on getting 839 (GWN 867E) running in time, while much effort is being spent on producing a running schedule, event programme, arranging sponsors and promotion. We are grateful to First Cymru for their kind donation of advertising space inside their buses. Bus & Coach Preservation Magazine are also supporting the event and a full page advert has appeared in the February edition.

More help is always needed so if you have any spare time on Sundays, we welcome your assistance!

Proceeds from the event are in aid of of our AEC Bridgemaster Appeal Fund.

Site improvements are planned for 2012. These will involve a new building exterior as well as a rearrangement of external access doors. We also recognise that the current internal layout is far from ideal, largely due to the constraints of the power distribution system, so the new plans seek to rectify this, resulting better segregation of display and working areas. A new disabled toilet facility is also proposed.

To prepare for this, we are in the process of rearranging the displays, so we warn visitors in advance 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 access for safety reasons. Children accessing the museum must always be supervised by an accompanying adult.

 

 

November & December 2011

Gleision cheque handover at Swansea Bus Museum

On Sunday December 18th we handed over a cheque for the £1,422 raised at the October Open Day to the Swansea Valley Miners' Appeal Fund.

Press coverage appeared in the South Wales Evening Post and can be viewed via the link here.

 

Picture © South Wales Evening Post


During November, restoration of our Dennis Javelin GX coach, M109 PWN was completed when it passed its MOT
Dennis Javelin at Swansea Bus Museum

October 2011

Oct 11 News

Our museum open day was held in conjunction with a classic vehicle show at the former United Welsh garage at Clarence Terrace. A very popular half-hourly classic shuttle bus service operated between the sites. Two N&C coaches each ran a couple of trips to the site of their former depot at Briton Ferry.

We wish to thank all concerned for their support and generosity, including Pontarddulais and Skewen motor clubs, visiting owners of classic buses and coaches, the general public who turned out in such large numbers, the local press, and last but not least our loyal team of volunteers.

We now look forward to seeing such enthusiasm for our next event, Regent 30, next February.

 

September 2011

Thank you to those who took rides on our buses at the Llanelli & District Model Engineers Autumn Rally at Pembrey Country Park, Llanelli on the 24 & 25th. Despite the poor weather and turnout on Saturday, you helped us raise almost £200 towards the Gleision Miners Appeal.


Sunday September 4th saw an impressive overall turnout of vehicles at the well attended annual Bus and Coach Wales show in Merthyr. Included in the line up were eight of our buses and coaches:

2 X AEC Regent Vs (586 & 590)
Bristol KSW (500)
Bristol MW (SWO 986)
Bristol Lodekka (323)
N&C AEC Reliances WWN 191 & PTX 830F
Volvo B58 (FTH 991W)

We ran scheduled trips to the Brecon Mountain Railway and the Rhymney Brewery. In addition, our open toppers carried passengers on trips around Merthyr. Thanks to all who supported us at this once again successful event.

Merthyr2011-3
Merthyr2011-2 Merthyr2011-1

 

August 2011

On Sunday August 21st we helped David Watkins celebrate his 80th birthday.

David is a retired N&C coach builder and repairer who has fond memories of working on the two N&C coaches we have in our collection.

David and a group of friends and family, pictured right, enjoyed a trip out in our "brown bomber" WWN 191 to Porthcawl before returning for an afternoon function at the Glyn Clydach Hotel in Neath.

 

David Watkins' 80th
Gbss event 3

Also on Sunday August 21st, group members, along with two of our buses - 447 and 500 - were present at a fundraising event in Llanelli for Group B Strep Support. Group B Streptococcus is the UK's most common cause of life-threatening infection in new-born babies. GBSS offers information and support to families and professionals alike. For more information please see their website here

Also present supporting the event were Dyfed Powys Police, Nia Griffith MP and First Cymru.

Gbss event

 

July 2011

During the week commencing Monday 25th July our 1953 Bristol KSW provided a home for Real Radio's Jagger & Woody breakfast show as it toured around 5 seaside resorts in Wales. The venues were:

Monday 25th: Llandudno
Tuesday 26th: Porthmadog
Wedsnesday 27th: Aberystwyth
Thursday 28th: Blackpill, Swansea
Friday 29th: Barry Island

For more information and pictures visit Real Radio's website

Picture © GMG Radio

Real KSW
Llanelli Jul 11

On Sunday July 10th we attended the Classic Car and Vehicle Show at Festival Fields in Llanelli, organised by the Pontarddulais Classic Motor Club. Being a very sunny and warm summer's day our open top bus rides proved extremely popular with the Bristol KSW and Bristol Lodekka running half hourly trips through the Millennium Coast Park and Llanelli. All together six of our vehicles were present. AEC Regent Vs 586 (154 FCY) & 590 (423 HCY) provided back up for the bus rides in the event of rain (fortunately this didn't happen!), while the Volvo B58 (FTH 991W) and RM 66 (VLT66) were on display, the latter in the main arena where it generated a lot of interest.

We wish to thank all for their support and generous contributions.

Llanelli Jul 11 /2
Llanelli Jul 11 /3

 

June 2011

Swansea dockers visit

We wish to thank the group of former employees of Swansea Docks who paid the museum a visit on Thursday June 23rd. They were shown around by Dave Bemmer and were impressed by what they saw.

A report of their visit, as well as a number of pictures can be viewed on the Swansea and Port Talbot Docks Retired Staff website.

Our Running Day on June 19th was very well attended with the museum's buses providing rides between our site and the National Transport Festival of Wales event at Landore Park and Ride. These rides proved very popular, transporting around 700 people during the course of the day. Thanks to all who attended and donated generously to the cause.

The previous day one of our buses, AEC Regent V, 154 FCY, attended the annual Umder Milk Wood run from Bracelet Bay to Laugharne.

Making a welcome return to the rally scene at our Running Day was restored N&C AEC Reliance PTX 830F, pictured right, which after eight years of storage is now fully operational once again. It is now on show at the museum and is a credit to its owner Jeff Phillips.

On June 12th, our members braved the elements for a very wet but worthwhile rally at Barry. The previous weekend many also attended the coaching event at Cheltenham

PTX 830F

 

May 2011

There was the usual strong turnout for the annual Bristol Harbourside Bus Rally on Sunday May 22nd. Our vehicles in attendance were AEC Regent V 423 HCY (590), AEC Routemaster VLT 308 (RM308) and Volvo B58 FTH 991W.

The N&C AEC Reliance WWN 191 was scheduled to travel but suffered from a last-minute electrical charging problem. The Volvo B58 also suffered a delayed departure from Swansea due to a problem with the clutch pedal.

Harbourside
We wish to thank the staff and pupils of Ysgol Maes y Coed in Neath for their continued support and also Clwyd School in Penlan who paid us a visit and enjoyed an open-top bus ride to Bracelet Bay on May 19th.

Ex-SWT and latterly Western National / First Devon & Cornwall Bristol VR VTH 942T is now housed at the museum. This bus, pictured right, has been owned almost continuously by the museum since 2005 but stored at Neath. On Sunday May 8th, it was transferred to the Port Tennant site and will be assessed for future restoration. Picture © Robert Price.

942
The bus museum is featured in the June 2011 edition of Bus and Coach Preservation magazine. An article on Page 10 describes the expansion of the museum in recent months, while Pages 41 and 42 show pictures of RM 66 on show at the Cobham event (held this year in Dunsfold) on April 10th - see below.


April 2011

April 18th: Today saw the welcome return to Swansea of the sole-surviving SWT AEC Regent V Roe-bodied single decker. Number 38 (282 DWN) was specially designed with a flat roof in order to pass under bridges as low as 9' in the New Dock area of Llanelli. One of a batch of six (35-40), 38 was introduced in 1963 to replace the 1950 batch of Regal III models as well as supplement another two, 33 and 34 (TCY101/2) purchased in 1959.

38 was withdrawn in 1972 and sold into preservation. It was acquired by the National Museum of Wales, who for a time loaned it to the 447 group, based at Pembrey, near Llanelli. Having been kept at the museum’s store in Nantgarw for several years, the Swansea Bus Museum have now acquired the vehicle, as well as two engines and gearbox.

For more information and progress report click here

38 complete with grille
38 in transit
38 getting ready

 

RM66 at Dunsfold
991 at Dunsfold

April 10th: There was a strong Swansea contingent at the 38th London Bus Preservation Trust Spring Gathering, held this year in unseasonably warm and sunny conditions at Dunsfold Aerodrome near Cranleigh in Surrey (the home of Top Gear). The event was relocated due to the redevelopment of the former Wisley site.

In attendance was our ex-LT towbus RM66 (VLT 66), pictured above with RMs 2284 and 1368. This was the very first time in Routemaster history that the three single-deck variants of the Routemaster had met up.

Also making the long journey east from Swansea were former Morris Bros Volvo B58 FTH 991W and SWT AEC Regent V 590 (423 HCY). Thanks to all who helped prepare the vehicles and drive them to this once-again highly successful event.

An impromptu group social gathering the previous evening at Spencers Wood, near Reading, also proved to be highly enjoyable!

590 at Dunsfold

We wish to thank the staff and young people of Ysgol Maes y Coed in Neath for their interest in the museum. We have recently hosted two parties from the school with a tour of the museum and a trip in a vintage bus, which was enjoyed by all. We welcome all educational visits, and our schools co-ordinator, Dave Bemmer, can be contacted by e-mail through info@swtbusgroup.org.uk


March 2011

Regent Vs

With less than 12 months to go, plans are being developed to commemorate the 30th anniversary of SWT's withdrawal of the last AEC Regent Vs on February 27th 1982. A running day is being planned for Sunday February 26th 2012 around many of the former SWT Swansea routes. We aim to have 889 (GWN 867E), the last ever Regent V to run the route 14 to Pennard fully restored in time, with the final stages of its repanelling currently being undertaken. We also intend to run as many of our operational Regent Vs as possible, including - if all goes to plan - a few surprises! Watch this space.

Since the launch of Swansea Bus Museum, we are encouraged by the interest shown by the increased number of visitors as well as organised parties, particularly school groups. Thanks to all for the support!

Our recently acquired Bridgemaster headlines in the Preservation Update section of the April 2011 edition of Buses magazine. It is currently undergoing close examination of the bodywork to assess the extent of required restoration.


February 2011

Open Day
Thanks to everyone who supported our well-attended Running Day on February 27th. Our rides to the MG & Mini Show at Clarence Terrace proved popular and the weather, albeit cold, permitted use of the KSW open topper.
Open Day Inside

1203 now1203 immediately after its arrival on Feb 26th

February 26th saw the arrival of an important new acquisition for the museum. Following years of storage at Pencader, SWT AEC Bridgemaster 1203 (UCY 837) is now back in Swansea, forming part of the museum collection.

The mechanical condition of the bus is excellent, with the engine, drive train and rear air suspension having been fully restored about four years ago, so enabling 1203 to move under its own power.

The overall condition is not so good as it has been stored outside for many years. The lack of windows has allowed ingress of the elements, and while the seating is almost totally present, the blue upholstery has weathered badly. 1203 is now being cleaned up and its overall condition assessed in preparation for full restoration.

For more information click here

1203 as was

1203 in original condition


Brown Bomber

After being off the road for many months while remedial work has been carried out, the museum's Neath & Cardiff AEC Reliance "Brown Bomber" has passed its Class 6 MOT and is now fully reinstated as part of our classic fleet.

It is now available for hire as well as once again being viewable at our museum, and should make a welcome return to the 2011 rally scene.


January 2011

Olwen from Gwili

The train now arriving.....is Percy!

As we happily embrace all methods of transportation, we are presently housing Olwen from the Gwili Railway while she's undergoing refurbishment.

Olwen is locomotive 7058, a Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns 0-4-0 saddle tank built in 1942. Olwen doubles as Percy for Thomas the Tank Engine events. It is planned for Olwen to be prepared for such an event at the Gwili during Easter. See their website for details.


There was a strong group turnout for the annual King Alfred Bus Running Day at Winchester, travelling up from Swansea in style on former Morris Bros Plaxton-bodied Volvo B58 coach FTH 991W, pictured right. Unfortunately it was not possible to take along RM 66 (VLT 66) as planned due to a last minute hitch with the lighting electrics.

991


December 2010

GWN 867E

Restoration of 27' AEC Regent V GWN 867E took a major step forward when it was driven under its own power for the first time in many years. While much remains to be completed on this Regent, which was recovered following a post-SWT life as a mobile grandstand at Withybush airfield, the achievement is a major credit to Alan Woolcock who has invested a phenomenal amount of time and effort on this project.


October 2010

Open Day

A big "thank you!" to all those who supported our Open Day on October 31st.


Despite the damp weather there was an excellent turnout, with bus rides to the classic vehicle show at Clarence Terrace proving highly popular.

But don't leave it until next year before visiting again - support our worthy cause by joining our happy band of volunteers!

Oct open day

Guy Arab

The last of the former 447 Group buses stored at Pembrey have now been moved to our new, larger bus museum. Rees and Williams Guy Arab IV, YTH 815 and Swan Daimler GCY 740, which has not seen the light of day for 15 years, were moved in time for our Open Day - see above. The fleet page contains more details of the vehicles.

 

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