Operators show support for bus rally

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This line-up of vehicles which have run with Cambridgeshire operators includes Dews Coaches 1973 Bedford VAL 70, UFX 360L, voted best company-owned vehicle and AF52 VMD, Chris Shaw’s 2002 new to Whippet Wright Solar-bodied Scania L94, voted visitors choice winner at the event. NICK LARKIN

Operators gave superb support to a Suffolk event set to become a major fixture in future rally seasons. Nick Larkin reports

More than half the 90 vehicles at the Big Bus Show came from operators. They varied from treasured classics to new double-deckers and tri-axle coaches.

Held for only the second year and for the first time as a joint venture between the Eastern Counties Bus Preservation Group and the venue, Stonham Barns in Suffolk, the show was a great success.

First Eastern Counties and First Essex provided a colourful display of vehicles in local and special liveries – a far cry from past times of strict rules on corporate identity.

Voted best company-owned double-decker at the event was PC23 SAN, a Volvo B8 EvoSeti, one of three delivered to Sanders Coaches of Holt, Norfolk, the 90-seat vehicles being used on local services.


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Suffolk operator Mulleys Motorways showed its two Switch/Optare Oe MD1114 Metrodeckers, delivered in March this year and used on a variety of duties. YJ23 EKN AND YJ23 EKO were part of a cancelled Reading Buses order.

Delaine Buses showed well-known East Lancs-bodied Leyland Olympian M1 OCT from its heritage fleet and Dews Coaches took the award for best company-owned single-decker with 1973 Plaxton-bodied Bedford VAL UFX 360L.

Stagecoach East brought along an electric MCV-bodied Volvo BZL double-decker now in use in Cambridge. Ipswich Buses continued its 120th birthday celebration by showing three vehicles: open top Leyland Atlantean MRT 9P, driver training vehicle ADL Enviro 300, SJ56GBY, new to Dunn Line, and commemorative liveried Scania N23OUD OmniCity, new to London United in 2009.

Organisers’ spokesperson Kaylee Vendy said: “People have done us proud and the support we’ve had from operators has been wonderful. Thank you.”

The event will be taking place again next year.


Dan’s Coach Travel based in Stowmarket, Suffolk brought several vehicles to the event and the team enjoyed a picnic. Seen here are T125 OAH, a new to Ambassador Travel for Norwich Park & Ride 1999 Wright-bodied Volvo B10BLE, and SF06 WDL, a Plaxton-Bodied Volvo B12M new to Parks of Hamilton in 2006 as KSK 954. NICK LARKIN
Ipswich Buses was celebrating its 120th anniversary at the event. NICK LARKIN
Looking superb in Independent Coachways guise is this 1980 Plaxton-bodied Bristol LH6SL, new to Skinner & Harvey of Oxted. NICK LARKIN