OBs on the way

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Two newly-restored 1950s Bedford OB coaches should soon be earning their keep on revenue-earning service in Cambridgeshire.

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[/wlm_nonmember] [wlm_ismember] GCA 747 is ready and waiting for its new career to begin as soon as Covid-19 regulations will allow. New to Owen of Rhostyllen in April 1950, the coach ended up with Green Bus, Great Wyrley, Staffordshire in 1973, where it was used until officially being withdrawn in September 2009. KAD 882 began its career with Miles of Guiting Power in August 1950.

Both coaches now belong to Michael Attle, a keen classic vehicle collector who runs Carriages tearooms alongside his Bannolds landscape supplies business at Fen Drayton, Cambridgeshire. The result of ten years’ work, Carriages is housed in three magnificently-restored Mk1 railway carriages standing at an extraordinary depiction of a country station based on a Hornby model. Michael got the idea after seeing a railway carriage-based restaurant on a business trip to India.

“I thought it was great, and when I got home I was offered the old platform from Oakham Railway Station,” Michael explained.

GCA 747 was a full restoration carried out by Kenzies of Shepreth. Playing a major part in this was Darren Stanford, who 23 years ago joined the firm after being a passenger on a school bus driven by legendary proprietor Cyril Kenzie: “Cyril asked if any of the lads on the bus might be interested in some work. I said I was, a four year apprenticeship followed and I never looked back.”

After Kenzies closed in 2019, Darren S Stanford Coachworks began trading in January 2020. Darren is completing work on Bedford OB KAD 882 which will join GCA 747 collecting groups from Cambridge and elsewhere for a tour and afternoon tea at Carriages. GCA 747 is already available for private hire.

Carriages is located at Bannold Supplies, Huntingdon Road, Fen Drayton, Cambridgeshire CB24 4SD. Cream, afternoon and high tea is served and coach parties are welcome. Book on 01954 233279 or see carriagesofcambridge.co.uk for more information.

Darren S Stanford Coachworks is at Shepreth, Cambridgeshire. Tel 07709 254492 or email [email protected]

Nearing completion is second Bedford OB, KAD 882. NICK LARKIN
Already restored and available for private hire is 1950 Bedford OB GCA 747. NICK LARKIN