Bus & Coach Wales 2006 truly lived up to all expectations despite a less than encouraging weather forcast on Saturday.
A good mix of Welsh buses and coaches as well as a few foreigners from across the (Bristol) channel and not to forget the boys from the East Midlands, thats right 'ma duck'.
It was fitting that rally organiser Robert Price was on hand to welcome the arriving buses, we were not sure if Robert was making a fashion statement, or trying to convince us that it was really warmer than it was with his display of those legs !!
Robert was organiser and rally secretary and with both Barry and Merthyr to organise, we had really had a busy year, we are sure everyone appreciated his work.
Now a regular rally attender is former IBT Leopard no. 34 ( DNY534V) preserved in Blackwood by RVTPS member Mark Barnett seen here with fellow RVTPS members and IBT Leopard owner Martin Evans (on the steps). Mark introduced his own publication, a History of no. 34 complete with photos and priced reasonably at £2.00.
John (Mr. RVDC) Evans had worked so hard with his small team of RVTPS members to have a remarkable line up of three former Rhymney Valley District Council Leopards at Merthyr over the last three months and annoyingly was beaten at the post, but still managed to get two of his fleet to Merthyr, more about the missing member of the line up later. Here we have original fleet member no. 8 joined by recent aquisition no. 87 with John standing in the doorway of no. 8 no doubt telling the young marshalls that the tea is not on yet lads.
Although there had been rain at Merthyr and the clouds were menacing, thankfully the rain kept away during the afternoon.
However with a perfect hardstanding and sales stalls "indoors", even the odd spots of rain did not dampen the spirits of the visiters who were treated no only to a splendid line up of vehicles, but also special trips to the The Brecon Mountain Railway and The New Rhymney Brewery at Dowlais.
A colourful line up, left to right, a Cardiff Bristol VR, Newports preserved Leyland PD2/40, a South Wales AEC Regent V, the Leyland Tiger Cub of Jones of Aberbeeg and John Evans RVDC no.8.
Former RVDC no. 31 (OJD45R)Bristol LH6L ECW B45F originally operated by London Transport owner Mike Taylor, CTPG chairman stands next to ex Red & White Bristol Lodekka LD6G TAX235 with standard 60 seat ECW lowbridge body delivered new to Tredegar Depot during 1958, but subsequently operated from various other depots of Red & White Services Ltd. After withdrawal and sale by Red & White in 1974, it was purchased by Globelle Coaches, West Bromwich in the Midlands were it wore a rather unusual shade of lime green !
Gareth Handy (right) , owner of Sixty Sixty coaches of Merthyr Tydfil chews the fat in front of two of his latest coaches.
There is no show without the trio of buses fielded by the Reliance Boys of Tredegar. Left to right Caerphilly Leyland Tiger no.1 LTX311, Red & White Bristol LAX101E and Western Welsh AEC Reliance WKG284.
Caption to follow
And now the one that did'nt make it.........
Three set out on Sunday and one did not make it due to a silly problem that time did not allow to be sorted out.........lack of gearbox oil !
Although not complete with its RVDC livery, it was was to be entered and did in fact leave its base in Bargoed, but gears were lost and it had to be left behind.
A few pints of transmission oil were added on Monday morning and here it is on a test drive at Tirphil with no problems !