The weekend got off to a busy start, with myself and Mark Conlon heading across to Selby, to collect Volvo Ailsa 814.
The Volvo was requested to attend the open weekend of a Bradford specialist recovery firm, where several classic vehicles would be on display.
As 814 would be required to operate a shuttle service between the site of the open day and Bradford City Centre, the bus needed a wash and clean out.
Mark and I set to work with the soap and water, 814 gleaming after external washing.
The Saturday saw the open day in full swing, with an excellent array of vehicles on show, providing a superb cross section of living transport history. Some really great warm spring weather and a rather fine BBQ topped off the afternoon in style!.
A Range Rover Fire appliance was placed on standby, ready to intercept any potential BBQ disaster, whilst old rivals now became friends, with the liveries of Yorkshire Rider and Black Prince on display side by side, who would have thought it!.
The venue displayed a fantastic collection of transport artefacts and novelties, the proud owners justifiably very pleased with the progress made with the operation, all showing what can be achieved in the world of classic vehicle preservation if the right team of people can work towards a common goal.
My thanks are extended to the organiser and owners of the business for inviting us along to this fantastic open day.
We were really pleased to contribute and show the Ailsa off and indeed very happy to provide the bus link to the city, appropriately showing "88 BRADFORD VIA PUDSEY" on the destination display, reminding of the days when Bradford saw frequent Black Prince buses in service on this trunk route to Leeds, Crossgates and Colton.
During the Sunday, I delivered the Ailsa back to the depot in Selby, where good friend of Black Prince buses, James Breadmore was busy working away on TIL7902, the Mercedes-Benz having suffered continually with electrical issues for several months.
James had made serious progress on 202 in recent times but this day provided light at the end of the tunnel, with the Mercedes looking ready for a test run. Whilst James was completing repairs on 202, I took the opportunity to wash the exterior of 577, which has not seen service since our "Farewell CX 38"event in September 2018.
577 was then used to jump start 202, firing first time-a huge sigh of relief was heard around the depot!. It was decided to be brave with 202, removing the bus from the shed and proceeding out on to the site driveway, where we completed several test runs to confirm reliability.
The bus performed very well during these tentative test runs, all electricals seemed to function at last, the bus having been plagued for a long while.
Huge thanks are extended to James for giving up his last few Sunday afternoons to return 202 to the road, the task has been nothing short of monumental-but, MOT pass permitting, we should have TIL back in traffic very soon.
Before the bus can return to the road, it will need a heavy deep clean, inside and out, having been stood idle for over a year-more on 202 in a seperate blog post here soon.
Of course, after such a successful weekend, I was feeling mightily proud of the fleet of preserved Black prince buses, so the opportunity was of course taken to arrange a photo shoot, the fleet looking simply stunning in the April evening sunshine.