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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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