The first Shipley/Saltaire running took some planning, with poster designs, programmes, visiting buses, stalls and refreshments all to book. Keighley Bus Museum buses to clean and prepare for service or for display, it was going to be a long day, but worth it..................................
The week before the event the programme was being printed kindly by Transdev in Keighley, who also brought across one of the recently refurbished 662 'The Shuttle' buses. The days before were dominated by members moving and cleaning the buses ready for the off on Sunday morning, this was made a little trickier with a couple of seasonal appointments and several classic cars departing the Riverside depot. As everyone busied themselves around the buses and other duties, two members were sent across to Keighley bus station to collect the printed programmes and place them onto the Bradford Trolleybus. After washing the buses, these were placed in order of being driven out, with the Royale going in first and the trolleybus going in last, to be first out. After a busy day its was all of home and up for the dawn start at the Shipley Glen showground, where the first buses would arrive at around 05:30, with one member staying behind to ensure no-one got up to any mischief.
As Huddersfield 473, Leeds 131, WYPTE/Bradford Corporation H25, Leeds 139, Leeds 574, WYRCC SGL16, along with the two trucks and the recent purchase of SYPTE M18, the field was looking to get busy. Then more vehicles arrived, with WYPTE 8534, First West Yorkshire/Yorkshire Rider 7674, preserved Pennine Dart D15, two Crosville Bristol L's, the Royale, Bournemouth 266, Bradford 410 from the AVTG collection, with Bradford 82 and two fine coaches from Classic Connections, the 1959 Wallace Arnold Plaxton AEC and the Independent Bristol LHS. It was a splendid start as news filtered through that the rally was in full swing, as families gathered to sample the buses visiting Baildon or Saltaire Victoria Road, a place not graced by buses for some considerable time.
Above Leeds 28 a Roe bodied Leyland Tiger dating from 1934 is taken through the reverse movement on Victoria Road in Saltaire, this neat little vehicle performed well, doing quite a few journeys across the day. Meanwhile the Western SMT livered Bristol VRT was taken to the Baildon terminus, then while Leeds 28 was returning to Coach Road, Leeds 131 was setting out for its only trip to Saltaire, Victoria Road. Over the day various vehicles were used on service with Bournemouth 266, Pennine D15, United Counties Bristol KSW, WYPTE 8534, Leeds 574, WYRCC SGL16, A Crosville L and the Royale. There were 22 journeys on each service, giving us 44 trips, it was a gamble for the KBMT, but it payed off for the first event, which included a mystery tour using RM736. The four stall holders were full of praise for the initial event, expressing a return for the event in 2016, which was nice. The families and members of the public were filling up the buses, and all were happy taking a trip on the various vehicles. The Yorkshire Rider liveried modern Volvo B7TL/Gemini was used on a few journeys along the day, with its final trip out in the mid afternoon, to Saltaire.
KBMT members who were in attendance since the early start, were busy taking drivers along the routes, selling the programme and making sure that buses could not blocked in by parked cars on the Salts Grammar School turning circle. The positive feedback was keeping the mood buoyant as members were detailing the bus trips, the displayed vehicles and the buses out on runs, plus selling items on the KBMT stall. The weather held sway until around 16:00 when the Royale was embarking upon a return from Baildon, then the heavens opened!
The guest vehicles and the other displayed buses and trucks were quickly taken off the Shipley Glen field, as the public ran back to there cars, as Stall holders packed up and left the field. Above the Wallace Arnold coach making its way around the turning circle, before heading home. The Aire Valley Transport Group buses were also quickly dispatched back home, with the KBMT vehicles having to wait for the members to go to and fro to Riverside, as buses were taken back to base. By 20:00 the buses were successfully placed back into Riverside, as members then ventured to the Dalesway public house for a well earn drink and a meal.
Credit must go to all our show/event members who stayed with the events team until the close of play so to speak, it was a long day, but worth every minute.
The event will go-ahead next year on July 3rd 2016, with the same format, with a few improvements, which are needed, to ensure a successful day out for the general public.