The 2014 Clacton Bus Rally saw a number of modern and classic buses converge on the car park of Clacton Factory Outlet Village on Sunday 1st June. These were a mix of historical and new vehicles representing over 70 years of public transport. Several buses gave free rides to Walton, Gt Holland, Dovercourt and Clacton town. Two open-top buses provided a Clacton seafront scenic tour while a venerable London Transport RT gave two leisurely mystery tours during the afternoon. For the youngsters, we also had our regular NYPD car and a fire engine. A small number of classic cars joined the rally and some of their owners wore period costume in keeping with their vehicle’s age. In addition to the vehicle exhibits and free rides, we had a collector's market for transport enthusiasts. This had goodies ranging from photos and models to coasters, books and DVDs. For friends and families of enthusiasts and exhibitors, there were shopping opportunities in Clacton factory Outlet. We enjoyed glorious sunshine all day, giving ample opportunities for photography and browsing the stalls and shops. Special thanks go to the rally organisers and volunteer marshals, without whose hard work there would be no rally. The rally was sponsored by Clacton Factory Outlet, A Barham & Sons (bus and coach engineers) and Panther Travel. Catering was provided by East Side Diner at the rally site, and by restaurants in the Factory Outlet.

Vehicle Entries

Some of the preserved vehicles entered were unable to attend on the day due to serviceability issues. While this is disappointing to visitors, it is even more frustrating for the vehicle owner. When a historical vehicle breaks down, it isn't a simple case of popping into Halfords for a spare part. Operator's vehicles may also be unavailable on the day due to operational requirements; these are often last-minute issues such as emergency rail replacement duties. We had a good selection of buses and coaches present, covering seven decades of public transport, though 2014 saw fewer London Transport vehicles than 2013. Towards the end of the day, several owners arranged vehicle line-ups for photo-shoots.

0001. 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, this bus now operates in open-top form. Over the last few months she has had an engine rebuild and passed her MoT just a few days before Clacton Rally. She is always popular with visitors and provided some of the open-top seafront tours.

0002. 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. Unfortunately unable to attend due to a failed starter motor.

0003. 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. FWC439H provided several free services during the day.

0004. 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; a welcome feature after a long journey to a rally!

0005. 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. This coach gave some free rides during the day, letting visitors experience 1970s luxury travel.

0006. 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. JJT437N operated several free services into the town centre.

0007. SDX35R - Leyland Atlantean / Roe - Ipswich Buses.
Entered by Leon Wells
New 1977 to Ipswich Borough Transport as No 35 to replace the rear-platform half cab double deckers. Originally in the light cream livery with green stripes signifying a one-man operated buses, it was reliveried in the 1980s into green and cream livery, acquiring the darker green "skirt" in the 1990s. After being withdrawn from service, No 35 was sold to Carters Coach Services, and fused for schools service. After being sold by Carters, it languished, minus its seats, for several years. It was acquired in 2012 by Leon Wells and Dan Trent as a long-term restoration project. We had hoped this Atlantean would make its preservation debut, but restoration is proving to be a slow business with a number of set-backs.

0008. 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. This LH operated several free services during the day.

0009. WAH587S – Leyland Greenway / East Lancs – Eastern Counties
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 now displayed in red Eastern Counties livery. Operated several free services on rally day.

0010. 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. Provided some town centre shuttle rides during the rally.

0011. 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.

0012. 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.

0013. 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. This coach gave several free services, giving visitors the chance to experience 1980s-style luxury coach travel

0014. 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.

0015. 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. Operated several free services on rally day.

0016. 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.

0017. J160LPV - Dennis Lance / East Lancs – Ipswich Buses

0018. 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.

0030. LHR446 Bedford OB / Duple
Entered by Brian Stevens.
This 1950 Bedford OB has been restored to its original blue-and-cream livery by the current owner during 2011/12.

0031 A62OJX - Leyland Leopard / Plaxton Paramount Mk I - Dons of Dunmow
Steve Harvey / Dons of Dunmow
1984 Leyland Leopard.

0032. AJN825 – Bristol K5G / ECW – Westcliff-on-Sea
Entered by Martin White for the AJN825 Preservation Group.
Always a favourite with photographers and on bus rides, this is a 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 believed to be the oldest K in existence, carrying the oldest known double deck body by ECW of Lowestoft.

0033. 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.

0034. 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.

0035. M455 LLJ - Dennis Dart / East Lancs - Yellow Buses, Bournemouth
Entered by Ryan Wrotny
New to Yellow Buses Bournemouth in April 1995, withdrawn from service in September 2007 and sold to Wealden PSV sales. Purchased by The Big Lemon of Brighton. Withdrawn in December 2011 and sold for preservation. Repainted into its original Yellow Buses livery in January 2014.

0036 - 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.

0037 - YN04YJR Scania Omnidekka / East Lanc NIBS Buses
Entered by John Bath on behalf of NIBS, Wickford. Scania N94UD4X2EB260 Omnidekka; Fleet no 104.

0038 - Steve Simister
Likely to be a Leyland National.

0039 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. Unable to attend on the day.

0040. 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. Unable to attend on the day.

0041. MOO177 - Bristol MW / ECW – Eastern National
Entered by Chris Stewart.
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.

0042. 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.

0043. London Bus Company
Entered by Thomas Simcock on behalf of The London Bus Company..
Vehicle attending will depend on availability. It will operate London Bus Mystery Tours on the day.

0044. P337ROO – DAF DB250RS / Northern Counties Palatine 2 – Harris Bus / Ilford Link
Colin Thorne . Former Harris Bus/Ilford Link bus, currently rallied in its previous operator's (TM Travel) livery. Based at Yeldham Transport Museum.

0045. 7017HK - Bristol MW / ECW -
Entered by Paul Ashman on behalf of Ensignbus; part of the Ensign Heritage Fleet.
New 1958 to Eastern National (leet no 458) and withdrawn from service in 1970, going to Davies of Graftham. Circa 1980 she went into preservation and was acquired in 2012 by Ensignbus, Purfleet to be part of the heritage fleet.

0046. L887VHT - Mercedes 709D / Plaxton Beaver-
Entered by Malcolm Alder of Malcolm's Bus Service
Former First Badgerline, this was once route branded for service 17 in Bath. It is exhibited, and in service today, in white and blue livery.

0047. KPJ264W - Leyland Atlantean/Roe - London Links
Entered by Paul Paske. Roe-bodied Leyland Atlantean AN68/1R; Fleet No: AN264, currently residing at Yeldham Transport Museum. AN264 worked for five different successor companies of London Country. Initially allocated to London Country North East, when this was split in 1986, AN264 passed to Sovereign with the western portion of LCNE for a short while in early 1989. She was then sold to London Country North West and was operated around Garston and Hemel Hempstead. LCNW sold out to Luton & District and in 1991, AN264 was sold to Maidstone & District. She returned for a last stint in the south of the former LCBS area with London Links at Beddington Farm. She ispreserved in London Links livery.

0048 - 0053. Panther Travel Display:
BIG4005 (B693BPU) Leyland Olympian ECW 73 coach seats new in 1984? Panther Travel bus livery
BIG9210 (CWR512Y) Leyland Olympian ECW 72 Coach Seats new 1982? Panther Travel bus livery
BIG8843 (P390LPS) Dennis Dart Alexander Dash B40F new1996 Panther Travel bus livery
AB53PAN (LK53KXB) Volvo B12B Plaxton Panther C53FT Panther travel black coach livery
AB03PAN (NX04ZKT) Mercedes Sprinter C16F Panther Travel Black Coach livery
BIG9895 (N320NHY) Dennis Javelin Plaxton Premiere C57F Panther Travel white coach livery
And possibly AB63PAN Ford Transit Custom Limited Engineering van

0054. 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 corporate coach for the variety industry and run by Atlantic Coast/Jumbocruiser. It was obtained by the present owner in May 2007 for preservation.

0055 - K909CVW - Dennis Dart/Plaxton - Thamesway
Entered by the Blackwater Preservation Group

0056 - MLL963 - AEC Regal IV / MCCW
Entered by Mick Betterton. London Transport RF, built 1952. This 39 seat vehicle operated in the central area as RF326, entering service in 1952 and being withdrawn in 1976.

0057 - LT52XAB Dennis Trident / Plaxton President - HERITAGE WESTCLIFF-ON-SEA LIVERY
Entered by James Johnson on behalf of First Buses. This 2002 Dennis Trident has been painted in Westcliff-on-Sea Motor Service's red and cream livery to celebrate its 100 year anniversary (being one of First Essex's ancestors). We hope to display this vehicle alongside AJN825, a 75 year old Bristol K bearing the Westcliff-on-Sea livery.

0058 - 675 0CV Bedford SB3 / Duple Super Vega - Crimson Tours
Entered by Len Wright. This petrol-engined Bedford SB Duple Super Vega was originally owned by Crimson Tours Coaches of St Ives, Cornwall. It passed to Birds Travel, Hunstanton, Norfolk in 1965 before being bought by Eastern Transport Collection members, Len and Maura Wright of Norwich, in April 1995. In 1995, it was still in use for school journeys. It is one of very few survivors of this vehicle type and is preserved in Crimson Tours colours, and as close as possible to its original standard. The rear "Crimson Tours" logo is in a 1960s style as the original design is unknown.

0059 - KJD535P Leyland National / London Transport
Entered by Andrew Davey. 1975 Leyland National in East London's red and gold livery, currently based at Yeldham Transport Museum.

0060 - OCK995K Bristol VR / Eastern Counties
Entered by East Anglia Transport Museum/Ipswich Transport Museum. Eastern Counties Omnibus Company open top VR, OT5. This former Ribble VR was converted to open form form by ECOC. This visiting vehicle kindly operated some free services during the day.0061 - GNG125C Bristol Lodekka / Eastern Counties
Entered by East Anglia Transport Museum/Ipswich Transport Museum. 1965 Bristol Lodekka, LFS125.

0062 - Mulleys entry, vehicle TBC (probably a Royale-bodied Olympian)
this bus was the rally control vehicle.

0063 - MLH426L Daimler Fleetline / Metro Cammell, Londoner
1972 ex-London Transport DMS1426.

0064 - R279LGH Volvo Olympian / Hedingham Omnibuses

0065 - DSK107 Van Hool Astromega / Integral Man Engine
Entered by Paul Smith on behalf of Talisman. This 75 seat Astromega was new in 1987 to Westbus London as D228HMT. Moved to Staines Crusader, Clacton where it was registered 114RVX, before moving to Fords of Althorne where it became DSK107. Bought by Talisman in September 2013 and is used for school trips and taking incoming groups to London.

0066 - VNO859 - 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. This visiting vehicle kindly operated some free services during the day.

In addtion, we had the following on the day:

Felix of Long Melford
NYPD Car - This American police cruiser visits the Clacton Rally for a couple of hours each year and is a great favourite with our younger visitors.
Fire Engine - Another favourite with our younger visitors.
Classic Cars - a display of classic cars and motorbikes, ranging from a venerable Austin to more recent classics that some visitors remembered from their childhood!

Collector’s Market