The 2013 Clacton Bus Rally had a new rally organisation team this year, aiming to make the event even more of a family day out than ever. Improvements included more stalls (a veritable collectors market), new layout with better public safety in mind and clearer timetables.

The Rally Control Rally bus was Leon Wells’ Optare Excel R186DDX. As well as providing information, timetables, car graphs, duty sheets and rally packs (commemorative mug, programme and snacks) for entrants, there were transport-related fundraising items, “Max & Pam’s Jams”, children’s Lucky Dip, some eyecatching handbags & purses, and Josh Steward’s cakes, cans and confectionery stand. Programmes and commemorative mugs were on sale to non-entrants. Many thanks to Maxine Walker and her friends for manning the Rally Control Stall.

Feeder services were kindly provided by Thomas Simcock (London Bus Company), Paul Ashman (Ensign Heritage Fleet) and Steve Simister. These served routes from Gt Dunmow via Braintree & Marks Tey, Brentwood via Shenfield, Hutton & Witham, Greenhithe Station via Lakeside, Pitsea and Chelmsford.

Free bus rides from the rally site served Clacton Town Centre & Rail Station, Weeley (operated by half-cabs GR9007 and AJN825 in convoy); Holland-on-Sea & Walton-on-the-Naze, St Osyth Beach; Seafront Circular (non-stop tours operated by open-top PD3 BUF 426C & Routemaster CUV306C) and "London Bus Mystery Tours" on the London Bus Company RT (arranged by Thomas Simcock).

Illustrated 2013 Clacton Rally Newsletter

Vehicle Entries

These were the entries received for the 5th Clacton Bus Rally are listed below, including those who were unable to attend on the day and the “on the day” entries. Attendance of heritage vehicles depends on operability on the day. Different vehicles may be substituted by operators. This year saw a bumper turnout, thanks to the good weather, and Clacton Factory Outlet kindly allowed us to spill into an adjacent parking area.

0001. Withdrawn. Non-operational. This RT is a long term restoration project.

0002. BUF426C - Leyland PD3 / Northern Counties Queen Mary Open Top – Southdown livery
Entered by Fred Lawrance & Chris Sampson.
New to Southdown in 1965 as a convertible open top, numbered 426. It was later sold to Harris Bus of Grays before languishing at Ensignbus for 5 years prior to preservation with the Worthing 426 group. She was purchased by Fred Lawrance and now operates in open-top form.

0003. CUV306C - AEC Routemaster / Park Royal – London Transport
Entered by Mark Lawford.
New to London Transport in red, this Routemaster has also carried London Country Green during its service life.

0004. UFM53F - Bristol RE I ECW – Crosville
Entered by Paul Ashman.
New to Crosville in 1968 and allocated fleet number ERG53, this vehicle operated from depots across the Cheshire area. It worked for a number of independent operators in the Liverpool area before being preserved and painstakingly restored by its current owner.

0005. FWC439H - Bristol RELL / ECW – Eastern National
Entered by David Edwards.
New to Eastern National in 1969 and allocated fleet number 1516, this operated from Kelvedon, Silver End and Chelmsford depots for a number of years before being sold to Kent Council for use as a caravan. Now restored to Eastern National condition.

0006. UUF335J - Leyland Leopard I Plaxton – Southdown
Entered by John Ward & John Roberts.
New to Southdown in 1971 and allocated fleet number 1835, this coach has been with several owners since, notably Woods Coaches of Barnsley; Fairline Mini Coaches, and Carrs Coaches before entering preservation. As part of its preservation, it has been partly fitted with seats and tables.

0007. SPK203M – AEC Reliance I Plaxton – Green Line
Entered by Fred Lawrance.
New to London & Country in 1973, SPK203M was allocated fleet number P3. It worked for Edwards Thomas & Sons before being used by London Bus Preservation Trust as a driver trainer before entering preservation.

0008. JJT437N - Bristol VR / ECW – Hants & Dorset
Entered by Michael Cole.
New to Hants & Dorset in 1974 as 3325, this operated from Salisbury and Poole depots. Upon withdrawal from Wilts & Dorset it went to Beestons and then Venturer Travel before entering preservation.

0009. Withdrawn. Non-operational. The Atlantean is a long term restoration project and we hope to see it on the road in 2014.

0010. UVX7S - Bristol LH / ECW – Eastern National
Entered by Sarah Hartwell.
New to Eastern National in 1977 and allocated fleet number 1103, this operated from Colchester depot for a number of years before being sold to Hedingham Onmibus. Now preserved, it doesn't bear the livery of either operator, and bears a commemorative Tilling-style Eastern National livery instead.

0011. WAH587S – Leyland Greenway / East Lancs – Carters Coach Services
Entered by Richard Walker / Suffolk Bus Preservation Group.
New to Eastern Counties in 1977 as a Leyland-engined Leyland National in red. It was refurbished in 1995 with a Gardner engine and Greenway body. It was acquired by Carters Coach Services early in 2003 and then by its current owner for preservation in 2011. WAH587S is displayed in Carters livery.

0012. JHJ150V - Leyland National – Eastern National
Entered by Adam Barham.
New to Eastern National in 1981, it was the last Mk l Leyland National new to that operator. It finished its working life as a driver trainer for the company before being retired. It has been fully restored and preserved by A Barham & Sons. Unable to attend on the day and another Panther Travel vehicle was substituted.

0013. KOO79OV - Bristol VR/ ECW – Eastern National
Entered by Luke Deal.
New to Eastern National in 1981 and allocated fleet number 3072, the bus operated from a number of Essex depots until becoming a Heritage Vehicle for First Essex Buses. It was acquired by its present owner in 2010.

0014. KRU848W - Bristol VR / ECW – Wilts & Dorset
Entered by Michael Cole.
New to Hants & Dorset in December 1980, becoming a Wilts & Dorset bus in 1983. It was totally refurbished by December 1996 and ended its service life at Lymington in 2008. It was later acquired by Michael Cole and has been restored and reliveried in Wilts & Dorset colours. Unable to attend on the day.

0015. RGV690W - Bedford YMT / Duple Dominant II – Prince of the Road
Entered by Dan Trent / Suffolk Bus Preservation Group.
New to Suffolk County Council in April 1980. It later went to Hodges Coaches of Sandhurst; then Jervis of Stoke-on-Trent in December 2009.

0016. A175VFM - Leyland Olympian / ECW – Wilts & Dorset
Entered by Michael Cole, Sarah Cole, Bradley Brooks.
New to Crosville Wales in 1984 it was sold to Wilts & Dorset in 1990 and later served with the Go South Coast Group (GSC) which had acquired Southern Vectis, Wilts & Dorset and Damory Coaches. It became part of the GSC Event Fleet until 2012 when Wilts & Dorset / Damory disposed of a number of older vehicles. Unable to attend on the day.

0017. B115LDX - Leyland Bristol B21 / Alexander – Ipswich Buses
Entered by Suffolk Bus Preservation Group.
B115LDX is one of six left-hand drive B21 chassis originally destined for Tel Aviv. When the order was cancelled, it was converted to right-hand drive for Ipswich Borough Transport. It has chassis plates from its time in both left-hand drive (export) and right-hand drive form. After service with Ipswich Buses, it was used for schools services, occasionally being hired to Carters Coach Services for school work, then sold to Galloway Coachlines for schools service.

0018. C415HJN - Leyland Olympian / ECW – Eastern National (First Group)
Entered by Michael Cole.
New to Eastern National in 1986 and allocated fleet number 4015, this vehicle operated from several depots across Essex. It later gained the fleet number 34815 with First Essex Buses before being withdrawn and entering preservation in FirstGroup livery. Unfortunately it was unable to attend on the day due to mechanical issues.

0019. J160LPV - Dennis Lance / East Lancs – Ipswich Buses
Entered by Leon Wells / Suffolk Bus Preservation Group .
This bus was purchased for restoration and preservation in February 2013 and is jointly-owned by the SuffolkBus preservation group as part of the Colne Estuary Preserved Buses collection.

0020. R186DDX - Optare Excel – Ipswich Park & Ride (Rally Control bus)
Entered by Leon Wells / Suffolk Bus Preservation Group.
A former Ipswich Buses Optare Excel, it was new to Park & Ride services in Ipswich before being sold to Norfolk Green. It has been restored to Park & Ride livery.

0025 - WNG864H Bristol RELL6G / ECW – Eastern Counties
Julian Patterson.
This RELL has a dual Purpose body and is presented as Eastern Counties RLE864. It was new in March 1970 has an ECW ‘Deep flat screen’ Dual Purpose body and has been extensively restored by its current owner.

0026 - YJE 3T Bedford YMT / Plaxton Supreme – Kenzies, Shepreth
Cambridge Omnibus Society.
Bedford YMT Plaxton C53F, new to Kenzies & still used daily on schools services.

0027 - S218 LLO Volvo Olympian / Northern Counties Palatine I – First Capital
Upminster & District Omnibus Preservation Group.
New to First Capital at Northumberland Park Garage for London Buses contract for route 341 (Waterloo – Northumberland Park Tesco), though in practice used on their routes all over North and East London. Moved to Dagenham garage in 2008 and Bracknell in 2012. The vehicle retains First Capital’s red and yellow livery with patriotic branding added at BL for service 100 at Windsor.

0028 - K909 CVW Dennis Dart / Plaxton – Thamesway
Blackwater Preservation Group.
New to Thamesway Buses in 1992 and based at Basildon. It then saw many livery changes and company, First Thamesway, First Essex Buses. In its final years with First Group 909 retained fleet number 46109. It was then transfered to Clacton depot before it was sold to the Blackwater Preservation Group who has now restored back into the Yellow and Maroon Thamesway livery. Unavailable on the day.

0029 - CPU 979G Bristol VRT / ECW – Eastern National
Blackwater Preservation Group.
New to Eastern National’s Basildon depot in 1969 in Tilling dual-purpose livery and mainly used on Route X10 (Southend to London Victoria Coach Station). It was transferred to Maldon depot and re-liveried into NBC leaf green and white. It became a Driver Trainer vehicle in 1986 before leaving Eastern National in 1991. In 1993 it with the Northern Bus Company. In 1997 it went into preservation, joining the Blackwater Preservation Group in 2007. It is restored to NBC leaf green with MN depot codes.

0030. 5280NW Leyland Titan PD3/5 / Roe Ensignbus (Heritage Fleet) – Leeds City Transport
Entered by Paul Ashman on behalf of Ensignbus.
This Leyland PD3 was new to Leeds in 1959. It features semi-automatic transmission and featured in a film, “Brothers in Trouble” Before passing to EnsignBus it was operated by Black Prince.

0031a. P335ROO – DAF DB250RS / Northern Counties Palatine 2 – Harris Bus / Ilford Link
Colin Thorne . Rallied in Harris Bus/Ilford Link green & blue livery. Based at Yeldham Transport Museum. Unable to attend due to mecanical issues. OR
0031b. D302PEV – Volvo B10M / Harris Bus
1986 Plaxton Bustler in Harris Bus blue & cream livery. Based at Yeldham Transport Museum. Also unable to attend due to mecanical issues.

0032. F143PHM – Volvo B10M / Alexander – Grey - Green
Terry Collett.
Alexander-bodied Volvo, new to Grey-Green in 1988. It has also served with Arriva London North (red and cream livery), Fleetlink and latterly Crawley Luxury Coaches. It was most recently liveried in green and cream, but may be restored to one of its former liveries.

0033. AJN825 – Bristol K5G / ECW – Westcliff-on-Sea
Entered by Martin White for the AJN825 Preservation Group.
1939 Bristol K with 5 cylinder Gardner engine. The body is an Eastern Coachworks Low Bridge design. This bus was new to Westcliff-on-Sea Motor Services on 31st March 1939 and was lent to Bristol during the war. It is thought to be the oldest K in existence and carries the oldest known double deck body by ECW of Lowestoft.

0034. LLU 670 - RT / Weyman– London Transport
Entered by Thomas Simcock on behalf of The London Bus Company..
RT3871 attended this year. She was new in 1950, beginning her service life at Chiswick. In 1978 she became a driver training vehicle and a year later was sold to Sullivan of Chingford for preservation. In 2007 she was retained as a private hire vehicle by Roger Wright of The London Bus Company.

0035. GR9007 - Crossley DD42/3 – Sunderland Corporation
Entered by Gary Sharpe (on behalf of J Jackson & T Melia).
One of a batch of 6 delivered to Sunderland Corporation Transport in April 1947. It was converted to a mobile polling station and used as such from 1962 to 1972. It was rescued from a dealers in 1985. Restoration did not start until acquisition by its current owner in 1999. Restoration to its current state took 7 years as the body needed to be completely rebuilt.

0036. GYE394W - MCW Metrobus – London Transport
Entered by Neil Bowyer.
New to Aldenham Works in September 1980, one of a batch of 300 Metrobuses ordered by London Transport. M394 was allocated to Finchley Garage (FY) in October 1980 replacing RM's on routes 26, 125, 221 & 263. Transferred to Uxbridge Garage (UX) in August 1981, then spent 2 years at Alpeton Garage (ON) from September 1982 before being delicenced. Returned to service in February 1985. Transferred to Willesden (AC) in 1988, to Harrow Weald (HD) in 1993, then privatised to Metroline in 1994, remaining at Harrow Weald Garage until withdrawal in 1999. Bought by Ensign (dealer) and soon entered preservation. Purchased by the current owner in June 2011. Unavailable on the day.

0037. MOO177 - Bristol MW / ECW – Eastern National
Entered by David Bateman.
Entered service with Eastern National in 1962 as 556, based at Chelmsford. Renumbered 1356 in 1964. Became a driver training vehicle in early 1978 and renumbered 9001. It was withdrawn from service by Eastern National at the end of 1978 and acquired by the 5th Bradford South (Horton Grange) Scout Group, Bradford. During the 2000s it had a succession of private owners. Since Feb 2011 it has been in preservation with David Bateman of Chelmsford.

0038. UAR597W - Bristol VR /ECW – Eastern National
Entered by John Day.
New to Eastern National as fleet number 3l07 in 1981. The vehicle has worked across Essex, ending its Eastern National service at Walthamstow Garage before transferring to Western National. It later entered preservation and is now in the ownership of former Eastern National driver John Day. It is currently undergoing exterior refurbishment.

0039. WNO479 - Bristol KSW /ECW (Open Top) – Eastern National
Entered by John Day.
The only KSW to have remained with Eastern National and its successors. This 1953 open top bus became part of the First East England heritage fleet based in Clacton and was used for occasional wedding hire and similar private hire work before entering preservation with John Day. Unfortunately driver shortage meant this vehicle was unable to attend.

0040. IIL 4317 - Mercedes-Benz / Neoplan Cityliner
Entered by David Cocking. This eye-catching clover red Cityliner was new to Clevedon Motorways, Bristol in 1982. In the late 1990s, it was converted into a band touring bus for pop groups/singers and run by Atlantic Coast/Jumbocruiser. It was purchased in May 2007 for preservation.

0041. TCD490J - Bristol RESL6L / Marshall Camagna 2 - Southdown Green/Cream
Entered by John Wilcox.
New to Southdown in September 1970, this was one of 10 RESLs delivered to Southdown with the powerful Leyland 680 engine. It was withdrawn in the mid 1980s and sold to Culinan Coaches, Wealden PSV, Sussex Bus, and finally Blue Lake in Chichester, retiring from service in 1999. After a period with the 490 Group in Worthing, it suffered a major engine failure and was eventually acquired by John Wilcox who spent 4 years restoring it to its present immaculate condition.

0042. KXW234 - AEC Regent / Weymann – London Country
Entered by Neil Chilvers for the East Anglia Transport Museum.
London Country RT3125 (1950) is based at the East Anglian Transport Museum at Carlton Colville in Norfolk.

0043. YJN 455S - DAF / Plaxton – Staines Crusader
Entered by Paul Smith on behalf of Talisman Coachlines.
New to Staines Crusader of Clacton-on-Sea, this coach is unusual “back-to-front” gear linkage, making up changes right to left. Fully restored several years ago the vehicle is owned by Talisman Coach Lines.

0044. G103 CJN - MAN / Van Hool Alicron Royale – Crusader Holidays
Entered by Paul Smith on behalf of Talisman Coachlines.
Now-rare model of an “integral” vehicle where the running units and body are built as one by the manufacturer without a traditional ladder chassis. The coach has a MAN engine.

0045 - LUR 446 - Bedford OB / Duple – Kirbys
Entered by Brian Stevens.
New to Kirbys of Bushey Heath, Herts in 1950 for local and excursion work. It then passed through several hands including Bernells (Minehead, Somerset), Venners (Witheridge, Devon), Perrets (Cheltenham, Gloucs), Manor Coaches (Winterbourne, Gloucs) and Fielding & Haines (Gloucs). It was bought by Prestons in 1989 for restoration at Herefordshire; this was completed in 1995. It was acquired by the current owner in 2011 and restored to its Kirbys livery.

0046 - VNO 859 - Bristol KSW5G 55RD – Eastern National
Entered by Ian Sharpe for the 1407 Preservation Group.
This bus entered service with Eastern National Chelmsford Depot in 1953 and remained with the company until 1970. before going into preservation with the Eastern National 1407 Preservation Group in Hadleigh.

0047 - D138FYM - Leyland Olympian / ECW – Ipswich Buses
Entered by Ipswich Bus Preservation Group.
New to London Transport’s Plumstead garage in 1986. Re-registered WLT 838 in 1994 passing to London Central following the privatisation of London Transport/Buses. In 1997 it reverted to D138 FYM and sold to London Traveller (Metropolitan Omnibus) for Rail Replacement and School work. In 1999 it joined Ipswich Buses Ltd and used on Felixstowe Schools. In 2000 it was refurbished with Ipswich Buses moquette, and violet Park and Ride livery. After withdrawal in 2011 it went into to preservation with the Ipswich Bus Preservation Group.

0048 - D261FUL - Leyland Olympian / ECW – Ipswich Buses
Entered by Ipswich Bus Preservation Group.
New to London Transport’s Plumstead garage in 1987 and one of the four last Olympians to have Coach Seats. In 1987 it was transferred to Camberwell (Q) for private hire work, was fitted with a high speed diff and re-registered as 2 CLT. In 1989 it joined London Central (later Go-Ahead) at New Cross Depot (NX). In 1998 it was retired and reverted to D261FUL. It passed to Holmeswood Coaches, Rufford, converted to single door layout and was re-registered A19 HWD in 2002. In 2013, Holmeswood disposed of it to the Ipswich Bus Preservation Group and it regained its original D261 FUL registration.

0049 - PBJ 2F - Leyland PD2/47 / Massey – Lowestoft Corporation
Mick & Julie Betterton.
This Massey-bodied Leyland PD2/47 was new Lowestoft Corporation Transport in August 1967. In 1974 it passed to Waveney District Council and continued in service until Waveney ceased operating at the end of 1977. It is preserved as Lowestoft Corporation No. 12.

0050 - FAH 275Y-Volvo B10 / Supreme – Peelings Coaches
Entered by Jonathan Joplin.
New to Smiths of Wood Norton in 1982, this bus is now owned by Peelings Coaches, but retains the Smiths livery.

0057 - T117 DBW - Dennis Trident / Alexander ALX400 – Hedingham Omnibuses
Entered by Dave Arnold on behalf of Hedingham Omnibuses (Go-Ahead Group). Fleet number L417. From their Hedingham Depot comes this ex City of Oxford Park-and-Ride service Dennis Trident.

0058 – W428 WGH - Volvo / Plaxton President – Chambers
Entered by Dave Arnold on behalf of Hedingham Omnibuses (Go-Ahead Group).
Formerly with Go Ahead London, this entry was displaying the new Chambers livery.

0059 - V203 ENU - Optare Excel - Hedingham Omnibuses
Entered by Dave Arnold on behalf of Hedingham Omnibuses (Go-Ahead Group). Fleet number L390 from the Tollesbury Depot. After withdrawal from the Konectbus fleet, this went on loan to Anglian at their Beccles Depot before being permanently transferred to Hedingham omnibuses alongside other ex-Konectbus Excels.

0060 - Y347 FJN - short Dart / Alexander - Hedingham Omnibuses.
Entered by Dave Arnold on behalf of Hedingham Omnibuses (Go-Ahead Group). Fleet number L408. Formerly with Stagecoach London and now part of Hedingham’s Clacton fleet.

0070 - Carters (unable to attend on the day)
0071 – Beestons (unable to attend on the day)
0072 - Patrick Munford - Minibus(unable to attend on the day)

0073 V434 KGF – Dennis Dart / Caetano Compass – NIBS
Entered by John Bath on behalf of NOBS, Wickford.
Formerly with Go North East and sold to Ensign Bus Co before enteing service with NIBS of Wickford.

0074 Panther Travel Display
Adam Barham
BIG 7596 - ex-Arriva Southend Leyland Olympian / Alexander
W3 TRU “Valerie” - Volvo B10M / Plaxton Panther, new to Truronian of Truro (First Devon & Cornwall) in 2000
VLT 177 “Kirsty Victoria” - Volvo B10M / Van Hool Alizee, new to First Devon & Cornwall in 1999
Y5 TRU “Caitlin” – Volvo B10M / Plaxton Panther - another former Truronian of Truro (First Devon & Cornwall) vehicle, this later operated with First Cymru.
P390 LPS “Dasher” - Dennis Dart / Alexander Dash – New to Western Buses in 1996. Operated with Regal Busways before joining th Panther Travel fleet.

0075 BIG 8728 - Leyland Olympian / Alexander - Dons of Dunmow
Steve Harvey / Dons of Dunmow
As FC8014 this tri-axle Olympian was new to China Light & Power fleet before passing to Citybus Hong Kong and then to Don’s of Dunmow.

H552 VAT – Leyland Olympian / Northern Counties - Stephensons
1990 Cummins-engined Olympian, formerly with East Yorkshire, was acquired by Stephensons in 2008.

L69 UNG - Volvo B6 / Alexander Dash – APL Travel
Chris Beard
New to Ambassador Travel in Norfolk in 1994 and later passing to Dorset Sprinter and Hedingham Omnibuses. It is now in preservation and based at the Yeldham Transport Museum.

JFJ 939 – Bedford OB /Duple – Felix Coaches
Felix Coaches
This Bedford OB was new to Greenslades in 1949, passing to Sheerlines of Southend in 1959, and to C & R Coaches of Little Tey in 1963. In 1970 it went to Dale of Little Tey and the interior was converted to an olde worlde caravan. In 2010 it was acquired by Felix Coaches of Long Melford and is still exhibited as a caravan conversion. Although caravan conversions are frowned upon by many preservationists, the interior is like an old country pub and deserving of preservation in this form.

JJD 463D – AEC Routemaster / Park Royal – London Transport
P & J Veares.
As RML2463 this was new in 1966 and was withdrawn from service in 2004. From 1994 until withdrawal, it was operated in London United livery. It was one of the few Routemasters to be fitted with a Cummins B Series engine and fully automatic gearbox.

KNG 711 – Bristol L5G / ECW – Eastern Counties
Patrick Burnside
This vehicle was new to Eastern Counties Omnibus Company Limited in 1950 and operated by them until 1968. She then passed through a number of owners, including 7 years as a factory worker bus with Simplex of Cambridge (green livery) before being rescued in 1984 by Patrick Burnside who restored her to original Eastern Counties condition and livery.

LTA 752 – OB Bedford / Duple Vista - Lodges
Lodges of High Easter
Named “Ede”, this OB was new to Western National in 1950. It was converted to an open-sided “toast rack” seaside runabout by Lincolnshire Reed Car for use at Butlins, Skegness and preserved until recently in that operator's livery. It is now part of Lodges of High Easter vintage fleet. It passed through a number of operators before being acquired by Lodges in 2011. Both sides have detachable window panels that are fitted for use in less clement weather.

RUI 6607 – DAF MB230 / Van Hool Alizee - Fizz Coach Trips of Ardleigh
Judy and Ivan Sage , Fizz Coach Trips
Formerly H140AFV with Genial Travel of Colchester. Fizz Coach Trips operates day trips departing from the Clacton and Colchester area.

EUJ 3O2H - Atkinson Recovery Lorry (Eastern National) Former Eastern National Recovery vehicle, fleet number 0109. It operated from the Duke Street, Chelmsford depot for over 20 years before being withdrawn and preserved in an immaculate condition.

X603 MDX - American Police Car (NYPD).
With its lights and sirens, this is always a favourite with youngsters. Don and his NYPD patrol car (Washington license tag 185 GVN) are often drop-in guests at local events and he spent part of the afternoon at Clacton Bus Rally.

RVW 844W – Bedford TKG / HCB Rescue Pump - ex Essex Fire Service
Emergency vehicles are always a favourite with youngsters and we were pleased to see this ex ECFRS vehicle.

Collector’s Market

There were a number of stalls selling bus and transport related memorabilia including photos, books and models: