Having taken several months of planning the main event in June for The Year of the Bus. Was the much anticipated Regent Street Cavalcade, which promised some 40 plus vehicles across London's Transport history, in attendance. Using a rolling road block between eight and ten buses were driven to regent Street from the Albert Embankment. Classic London General B and K-types, a Thomas Tilling double decker and one A.G. Partridge vehicle were amongst the first wave. Then came the STL, RT, RTL, RTW and RLH variations of the AEC Regent chassis, these looked the part wondering around central London. The prototype Routemasters RM2 and RML3 were the next to be seen, passing along Whitehall and Trafalgar Square. Following more restored RM's came the initial rear engine buses the FRM1, SM1, MBA582, DMS1, M1, T1 and DMS 2646, all entering lower Regent Street. Awaiting there turn onto the Regent Street display, these were followed by modern buses in the shape of a SP, TE, VW, three LTs an OEC and the Optare Excel outshopped in the Year of the Bus evolution of the London bus advert.
As the vehicles were parked up along the length of Regent Street, with stalls and various entertainment areas. The setting was complete for a good day, as the horse drawn bus stood at the Piccadilly Circus end, while LT8 was placed near the Oxford Circus end of Regent Street. While this unique event was going on the North Wheld Bus rally was in full swing, again with a Year of the Bus flavor. There were not Leyland or Volvo Olympians or V3 at Regent Street, but the preserved Grey Green 115 Volvo Citybus was there.
The hot sunny weather also help the day go by, as the families wonder around the history of the London bus. Starting with the George Shillibeer horse drawn bus right up to the low floor New Routemaster buses, via the London General B-type, London Transport RT, RM, DMS, SM, M and T class buses, then the modern low floor Dennis Trident, Scania N230UD and Volvo B7TL. The London Transport Museum and TfL members were on hand to assist, with questions and vehicle information. For myself, I was pleased to have made the effort to travel down from Yorkshire for this special event. With the support of Londoners and tourists the whole event was a welcome relief from a congested central London. But no-doubt some with disagree with such events that prevent people moving around London by car.
As part of the Year of the Bus programme TfL and Go-Ahead London, opened the Stockwell bus depot on June 21st 2014.
The depot was open in April 1952 and ran just one service, 178 with 12 vehicles. Today the depot is home to some 170 plus buses, 68 of which are hybrid types. With 770 staff members and 16 routes including the high profile 11 Fulham Broadway-Liverpool Street service, using the New Routemaster buses.
Stockwell was easy to get to, aswell via the Victoria line tube service from King's Cross, in less then 20 minutes. I arrived in Stockwell from the underground, after getting a few local buses, ventured towards the depot. Upon arrival the sheer grandure of the structure takes you by surprise, its impressive, really impressive. The Go-Ahead and TfL staff were as ever friendly and very chatty, which helps and the display of buses inside, well it was just fantastic. Ranging from the 1910 B-Type to the YofB silver New Routemaster and the classic RT and RM vehicles. TfL are really thinking straight down the enthusiasts route of the great buses to parade within these open days. One surprise for me was the V3 Volvo Alisa twin staircase AVE (Alternative Vehicle Evaluation) being on display, also having a look around the bus. The interior reminds me of a latter West Yorkshire PTE interior, as it has the same yellow and browns, with the seat moqutte. Naturally I used both staircases, its interesting to think that in 2010 the same twin staircase has been built within the New Routemaster. As it was a family themed day all the kids from 4-86 were climbing in and out of the cabs, tweaking horns and flicking indicators. Face painting and a bouncy castle were also used, plenty of stalls selling Photos, books and models, plus the London Transport Museum were selling Year of the Bus themed merchandise.
After a few months of planning the latest KBMT open day arrived on a very sunny June 8th 2014. Amongst the arranged duties were two bus services, a display of buses which did not make Metro 40, stalls, exhibits, guest vehicles and a programme.
Carrying on from the success of the open day in March 2014, the events committee sat down to flesh out ideas for the June open day. The KWVR was holding its annual Diesel engine gala across that weekend. So with that in mind, it was decided to run rear-engine vehicles on the Ingrow shuttle service. While traditional Half cab veterans were used on the Riddlesden Hall service which ventured passed the Airedale Heifer public house. Running on the Ingrow service were KBMT Huddersfield Fleetline 473, private owned K&D Olympian 389, private owned WYPTE Atlantean 6294, Private owned Yorkshire Rider Olympian 5181 and private owned Pennine Dart D15. While on the Riddlesden route had KBMT Bradford Titan 309, KBMT Leeds Regent 916, private owned Leeds Atlantean 331, private owned Pennine National LN19 and private owned WYPTE Leopard 8534.
Inside the museum Olympian 5024, Fleetline 7140, Atlantean 6228 and Atlantean 6020 were placed in a row with preserved Bradford AEC Matador 025. The remaining private and museum vehicles were static displays for the visitors to wonder around, museum members were on hand to assist with questions about the whole collection. There were a couple of stalls within the museum and a refreshment stall just near the entrance. Although the morning was quite things picked up during the afternoon with KWVR diesel gala visitors also milling around the museum and riding on the free bus services, the god weather also helped. Beside the KWVR gala, there was the traditional Keighley Gala which saw a procession ride around the town.
As the afternoon drew to a close the event was completed and all the visiting buses were going home and the KBMT and private owned buses were placed back into the depot, thus ending quite a successful open day.
The next open day at Keighley will feature as our main theme the AEC Regent, from the initial Regent I to Regent V with no doubt the popular RT thrown in. So make a date in your diary for Sunday September 28th 2014.