Oh dear, I can remember most of those when they were in regular service.
Several years ago, my wife and I had an enjoyable mini-break by vintage coach in the Netherlands. Whilst essentially a private party, we were joined by a coach from Thornes of Selby, who offer a programme of Heritage Coach Holidays.
Our meeting point on Friday afternoon was at the Tyne Commission Quay for an overnight crossing to Ijmuiden. Arriving after breakfast, we headed north-east to Medemblik, where we joined a steam strain for a ride south to the inland port of Hoorn. Re-joining our coaches, we continued south-east to our overnight stay for two nights at the North Sea resort of Noordwijk. On Sunday, the four coaches plus others that had joined us, participated in a concours d’elegance on the seafront. We departed Noordwijk on Monday morning, travelling north to visit the Keukenhof bulb fields and then onwards to our evening sailing from Ijmuiden.
We mostly travelled in the Bedford coach, heading the line-up photographed at Ijmuiden, which – if I remember correctly – was petrol-engined and very smooth running; but other vehicles were sampled on evening nights out. One of these was to a miniature railway running around a large lake; and the highlight of the evening was to watch the antics of a young Dutch boy attempting to cycle alongside and video the train – he kept disappearing behind bushes and then reappearing with a gusto. The whole party was in hysterics and this really underlined the great social atmosphere of the whole trip. Whilst it was clearly a transport-oriented tour, the make-up of the party and the diverse itinerary ensured that a good time was had by all..
It’s nice to bring a little something back from holiday. My good friend the late Andrew Muckley liked the traditional Cypriot village buses so much that he decided to bring one home; not only that, but he had it re-bodied by the original builder, Nikolaou of Nicosia.
New in 1969, TEC 598 spent its working life running between its home village of Lemona and the regional town of Paphos until laid-up when its owner passed away. It was subsequently acquired for stock by Nikolaou, who had re-bodied similar buses for export. It would be fair to describe it as rough when we inspected it in March 2003. Within a few days, the old wooden-framed body had been stripped and burned; and construction of a new aluminium-framed body to the original design had commenced. The completed bus was shipped to the UK six months later – then the real work to make it roadworthy began, notwithstanding its Cypriot MOT.
Sady, Andrew was never to drive the fully overhauled Bedford J6. It passed to an enthusiast/dealer who attempted to make a quick buck and then, registered VVK 149G, ultimately found a home with a private owner in the Tyne Valley.
Ooh what lovely pictures.