The North West Vehicle Restoration Trust hold an annual event show casing some of the preserved vehicles in the North West, along side visiting buses from around the country. The 2015 event was as ever busy and with three vehicles been unveiled after lunch, this years show was promising to be big.
For your author, it was an early start on Sunday May 31st 2015, by 07:00 it was of to fuel up the car, venture to Leeds and then head on to the M621, M62 and finally the A580 to go and enjoy my second NWVRT open day. My first visit to this particular rally was in 2013, missing out on the 2014 event, I was going to enjoy this years event. There were some interesting facebook postings which included the rarely seen West Yorkshire PTE 7250 Foden NC, I will be posting another blog about that bus aswell.
Upon arrival at the breezy Kirkby NWVRT depot, with car parked it was time catch up with visiting vehicles and fellow photographers as the near 40 plus buses arrived during the morning. With five buses coming from the Merseyside Transport trust, with Atlanteans 1162, L835, Bristol RE 2025, AEC Regents A36 & A267. SELNEC preservation Society brought the Northern Counties MCW Metrobus 5320, as the Telford Bus group brought Daimler Fleetline 2236 with Park Royal bodywork. The KBMT brought across the recently officially donated former Leeds City Link 5610 (30790) Volvo Olympian with Alexander bodywork. The event was sponsored by Peoples bus a local Liverpool based firm, who also brought a selection of there buses including a Northern Counties bodied Olympian which was part of a batch R registered buses new to MTL North, with an East Lancs bodied Olympian just fresh from repaint into the post 1986 North Western livery.
With free bus journeys starting from around 10:00 the buses were getting fuller by the minute, with Plaxton bodied Volvo B6 7227 making its way to Kirkby train station, then followed by a trip to Liverpool Lime Street on 1847 one of the Willowbrook bodied Leyland Atlanteans, this one had coach seats when refurbished by Merseybus. Halton 33 the final production Leyland National 2 was on hand to run a few morning trips to Prescot via Knowsley Village, as Birkenhead number 10 mixed in a few trips to Kirkby rail station during the morning too. Preserved Scania saloon 5309 made a feeder service from Liverpool Lime Street and another run later in the morning. Former Merseyside PTE 0062 the Alexander bodied MCW Metrobus was also out doing a few morning runs on the Kirkby Circular service and a run into Liverpool. The buses were very busy, even the stalls inside the NWVRT were keeping the visiting enthusiasts out of the cold, the Café just down the road 'Pat's Cafe' seemed to be doing a roaring trade with folk going in and out.
Above is the newly restored Volvo Olympian with Northern Counties Palatine II bodywork, it was new to MTL North as part of a batch of 22 buses, new to Liverpool. As part of a new brand 'The Millennium Fleet' all new in June 1998, the first new buses since 1989 in fact in Liverpool, other similar Volvo Olympians arrived in the Wirral division in 1997. The bus was restored with help from Peoples Bus and various members of the NWVRT, which all helped with 0317 looking resplendent in the original MTL North livery. For me the real finishing touch has was the original branding on the side of the bus, top marks for that one.
Also unveiled so to speak were former Reading Buses MCW Metrobus now Fareway travel bus 3186 and Southport 7656 a Marshall Capital bodied Dennis Dart. Then these were joined by a Northern Counties bodied Dennis Dart in CMT livery and a Crosville Leyland National SNL816, which is owned by John Cherry who gave his MPTE National 1000 a run on the 96 Kirkby Station service.
As the day moved on so the weather improved, as the sun shone to allow some more local photographs to be taken. After all the excitement of the unveiling of the newly restored buses then came the moment which seemed to draw a lot of attention the arrival of WYPTE 7250, which had been hiding all day down a restricted access area. NWVRT members and invited guests were allowed on the Foden, which looked in good condition, even with a couple bits and pieces which needed doing in the vehicle before the day and the one trip out. For this trip 7250 was driven to Kirkby Railway Station for a quick photo stop and some additional shots. The Foden arrived back at NWVRT again with plenty of clicking cameras, no sooner had the Foden being put back then another Merseybus livered vehicle was taken into service. Northern Counties bodied Leyland Olympian number 261, which performed a few local runs in service. The two Marshall Capital Dennis Darts were also on hand to complete some additional trips, 7656 (V656DVU) restored into Southport livery and 7660 (V660DVU) which was making its preservation debut in as withdrawn condition in Arriva livery.
Towards then end of the various vehicles were seen running around the Kirkby Estate as some groups and private visiting vehicles headed home, and others were given a trip round to warm up before departure. All in all another well placed together event, with some interesting vehicles being used in service, plenty of stalls with a good and varied selection visiting buses on the day.