As the old saying goes, March roars like a lion and leaves like a lamb, which is the best way to describe the weather on the first full bus rally of the year in Yorkshire. Which is the now annual Spring open of the Dewsbury Bus Museum, with a fare selection of buses on show, most from Yorkshire with one or two from beyond our fair county.
The day started damp and dull without much improvement, well apart from the old glimmer of hope for some warm sun. Your author arrived early doors, as a small number of Dewsbury Bus Museum's vehicles were awaiting there starting orders. Parked up in the Kirklees SEC car park were Todmorden 9, Yorkshire Woollen 768, Arriva Yorkshire Spectra 637 and a Keighley Hoppa minibus. While outside were Woods of Mirfield Roe bodied Crossley, West Riding 733, Yorkshire Traction 245 and South Yorkshire 81. These were joined by First Halifax Volvo decker tribute to the late Geoffrey Hilditch, in a special livery and a 15 plate TLC ADL E20D. The Bristol RE shown above arriving at the rally, was officially being handed over to West Riding Omnibus Museum Trust during the day.
Fellow Yorkshire based bus museum based in Keighley had brought five vehicles, which were owned by members of the group with West Yorkshire PTE Atlantean 6020 (9339) seen above, Bradford Corporation AEC Matador as WYPTE 025, fictional Yorkshire Rider recovery vehicle 9501, West Yorkshire Road Car 1853 now preserved as Yorkshire Coastliner 421 and finally core vehicle Huddersfield 473. 9339's restoration is all thanks to a select number of gents since 2010 until late in 2014, when the bus was complete apart from a few road tests. The bus was out on its first full public viewing and it looked very smart in the Yorkshire Rider colours. The livery on 6020 is as originally applied by Yorkshire Rider Engineering in 1992.
Also from the West Yorkshire PTE were a former Huddersfield Leyland Atlantean and a former Todmorden based Leyland Leopard. While another West Riding vehicle was the smartly restored ECW bodied Leyland Olympian 577, which did a few morning and afternoon turns on the 70 service to Dewsbury. The NBC was also represented by Trent 356 a fine example of the Bristol RE with Gardner engine, which sounded really draft when climbing out of Ravensthorpe.
The Museum was busy as always with people looking and buying all kinds of bus related collectables. The café, which was in a bus last time, was now inside the depot. Which allowed a Leyland National 2, a Guy Wulfurian and a West Riding coach time to stand outside in the fresh air. The free shuttle service to Dewsbury was as popular as ever, with plenty of the buses going full towards Dewsbury, the mystery tours and visits to Charlottes Ice Cream parlour were popular despite the awful morning weather. Thankfully the afternoon perked up quite well as the sun finally arrived on the scene. This allowed for some very pleasant shots near the canal area just near Mill Lane, which is were the West Riding Leyland Titan 640 above is pictured.
For much of the day your author decided to photograph the various buses moving between Ravensthorpe and Dewsbury, with West Riding vehicles running in the morning on service 70. Guest vehicles running around during the afternoon with various extras, during that time. The preserved Woods of Mirfield Roe bodied Crossley was used on a special service 205 to Mirfield via Knowle to Dewsbury.
By 16:30 preserved West Riding Leyland Olympian 577 made its final trip out to Dewsbury, before going forward to Wakefield and the Arriva Belle Isle depot. As the sun set on yet another fine event, with Dewsbury Bus Museum buses parked up ready for bed, one final bus made its was home, Yorkshire Woollen Park Royal/Roe NBC body style Leyland Atlantean 768.