For the Autumn open day at Keighley Bus Museum, a theme all about the various AEC Regents was used. The AEC Regent began production during the 1930's, but the on set of World War II stopped production. It was in 1947 the Regent production began until around 1968 with the popular Regent III and Regent V models. The RT was the London Transport version of the Regent, with over 7000 built for LT, which included some 2100 Leyland Titan chassis built to RT standard as RTL's.
The KBMT found support from First-West Yorkshire as the event sponsor, they sent over LT2 used for trials as the New Bus for West Yorkshire. Keighley also had a real treat for visiting enthusiasts and families, rides on Leeds 139 a 1934 built Regent II, which went well. Roe bodied 106 is on extended loan from First, being a worthy addition to the whole KBMT vehicles. Other private owners place their Regents on display in Dalton Mills, just up from the KBMT's Riverside home on Dalton lane in Keighley. A recent addition to the former Leeds AEC Regents is 135, which was being restored at the MTT's Burscough site.
Bradford 220, EYMS 652, Morecambe & Heysham 73 and Rochdale 205 were displayed on the main row inside the KBMT depot, Leeds 106 & 492 were stored near the back of the depot. Meanwhile Leeds 916 was used in service along with former London RT Bradford 410, kindly loan for the day from the Aire Valley Transport Group. Other buses assisted with the free journey's such as Huddersfield 473 and Yorkshire Coastliner 421 (WYRCC 1853).
As is the standard for the open days, two free bus routes were in operation, with a town service via Ingrow railway station. The other visited local attraction Riddlesden Hall and the Airedale Heifer. As an extra treat as already mentioned 139 would be used for trips to Bingley, via Crossflats. Passengers could only used the lower deck, purely because of the age of the bus. The 14:05 departure featured an outing with the NBfWY LT2 bus as a duplicate with 139.
The event ended with a Regent cavalcade around Haworth and Oakworth and back into Keighley, which saw LT2 and a recently introduced Enviro E400/Dennis Trident 33882, along with Bradford 410, Leeds 139, Morecambe 69, Rochdale 235 and 290 with a Mayne's of Manchester Regent V. This allowed for great photos to be taken of this true classic of the front engine half cab era. When the cavalcade returned, both vehicles from First were driven back to Leeds. The visiting Greater Manchester Museum of Transport buses also set off for home, just leaving the KBMT buses to be put to bed.
Thus ending quiet a successful year for the whole KBMT members, who started the year in March with a great open day, followed by the hugely successful Metro 40 held in Bradford. Then the two depot open days, which equaled the years success, with high visitor numbers and bus ride being made. This year saw the introduction of private stall holders and catering being made available at the museum for the first time, another reasonable draw.
So here it is to a successful 2015, with more rallies planned for next season, and members visits to rallies and open days across the year/season.
During late 1975, Leyland was producing prototypes for its new integral double deck TN series Titan bus. MCW had enjoyed success with two Scania chassis based vehicles from 1968-1977, the Metro-Scania saloon and the Metropolitan double decker.
The skills involved with Scania, allowed MCW to consider an integral double deck chassis for the UK bus market, using their own in house body design. The MCW Metrobus was created using a Gardner engine with a Voith gearbox and a drop centre rear axle, for those who wanted a low height version. Naturally MCW homed in on the London Transport business for the Metrobus, which gave MCW orders for some 1000 plus vehicles from 1977-1984. The West Midlands PTE purchased seven prototype models from 1977, with full orders from 1979-1986, with over 930 in the fleet.
West Yorkshire PTE had looked at the intention of ordering a small batch of the Leyland Titan for evaluation, however with the production problems encountered at Leyland. The PTE cancelled the order, when it was clear that the Titan TN series going to be a London Transport vehicle. The PTE then ordered ten MCW Metrobuses DR101/7 all with Gardner engines and Voith gearboxes, these were stationed at the Seacorft depot. 7501-5 arrived in April and May 1980, with 7506-10 arriving in late November 1980, with hydraulic brakes fitted when new. air brakes were fitted to 7501-10 during March to August 1983. All ten passed to Yorkshire Rider in 1986, then stationed at Torre Road depot in Leeds and gained the Yorkshire Rider livery. 7507 was withdrawn in March 1994 and dispatched to PVS in May the same year, 7509 was involved in a fatal collision in 1989 and also sent to PVS in 1990. 7501-6, 8 & 10 were sold to Merseyside transport in August 1994 for continued service. 7501-4, 6, 8 and 10 were withdrawn and purchased by Fleetlink a Liverpool based dealer, these buses found buyers around the UK.
7505 was later purchased by Rutherford (Earnside Coaches), Glenfrag in Scotland in 1996 then passing to the Keighley Bus museum in 2002. The bus was slowly tended too across the years with various parts found for the bus. However 2014 was busy year for 7505, it was seen at Metro 40 in Bradford and then sent off for a re-paint into the WYPTE Metrobus livery. By late September the bus had returned to Keighley now looking very well with the PTE livery applied. Saturday 27th September 2014, the bus was used for a photo-shoot for Bus & Coach Preservation magazine. Philip Lamb and a few KBMT members were driven around Keighley as the sun was setting that evening, photographs taken. 7505 headed back to Keighley and the following day's open day.
It is hoped that 7505 will do a photo-shoot around her old Easterly Road haunts in Leeds, as she revisits Leeds for the first time since 1994?.