The annual spring running day at Dewsbury Bus Museum's Ravensthorpe depot, always kick starts the Yorkshire rally calendar each year. This years event was to really another grand day out, with vintage and veteran vehicle out in service, with the weather to match.
As is the norm for the running day, the feeder services joined the already gathered Dewsbury collection vehicles parked in Havelock Street, Ravensthorpe. Again Bradley McMullan provided a service from Morley using his superbly repainted former Black Prince 577, the Optare Prisma bodied Mercedes-Benz 0350. From the White Rose centre saw the welcome return to the road of the former Yorkshire Rider saloon 8601, a Scania N113CRB with Alexander Strider bodywork. KBMT member Neil brought his latest acquired vehicle to Dewsbury, former United ECW bodied Leyland Olympian 251, from Keighley. Finally two services arrived from the Wakefield Belle Isle depot using former Yorkshire Traction Leyland National 245 and a former Pennine Motors Plaxton bodied Leyland Leopard.
The main service provided by Dewsbury is the 70, which serves Dewsbury South Street and Havelock Street, this time with exactly 100 departures, including the feeder service to other area towards the end of the day. This is the service for budding bus photographers to walk along the route to capture the buses running along the route. There were also tours to the Mill outlet at Batley, home of the Dewsbury 'Summer spectacular' event in August and Charlotte's Ice Cream emporium, with three mystery tours thrown into the mix.!
The museum was open to the public with the usual mix of stalls and light refreshments, which is always very busy during the day, after spending their money the bus near the depot connected people to Dewsbury. The exceptional weather also helped with visitor numbers, as the buses left Havelock Street with reasonable loads, which is always good to see. The Ribble group brought their ECW bodied Leyland Atlantean 1481, John Cherry with NWVRT members brought across his preserved Merseyside PTE Leyland National series one 1000. Followed by the final example of the Leyland National 2, preserved Halton Transport 33 which is based at the NWVRT base in Kirkby, Merseyside. Two preserved former Pennine vehicles were also attending, LN19 the former London Transport B-series National and D15 the last step entrance Dart to serve Embsay on the last day of Pennine operation in May 2014. Preserved Huddersfield Daimler CVG6 with East Lancashire bodywork 472 was another fine example of the regular attendees, as was the former WYRCC now preserved as Blazefield Yorkshire Coastliner 421 a Leyland Olympian with ECW bodywork.
All to soon the day was slowly coming to and end as, the feeder service departed for home, so did the visiting vehicles. Again this allowed for more interesting photographs to be taken along the canal walk or on the main road leading out of Ravensthorpe.
The team at Dewsbury continue to improve this fantastic open/running day, as it was seen with plenty of buses running in service. The only vehicle not to appear on the road was former West Riding Leyland National 2 number 73, which was almost ready but not quite just yet. Hopefully this vehicle will be ready in time for the Summer Spectacular or the Autumn running day, we will have to wait and see folks.
For more information about the Dewsbury Bus Museum please visit their website at www.dewsburybusmuseum.co.uk.