On the heritage front, Ribble 1997 was refitted with its overhauled Gardner engine after a £3,500+ reconditioning and has finally returned to passenger service for the first time since withdrawn by First Western National back in 2002. We are using it on private hires and Zoo service 21.
Another recent addition to the hire fleet is Blackpool PD3 516 which has been absent in passenger use since it became a driver trainer bus in 1984. After removal of the training modifications, 516 was resprayed in the red/white Blackpool colours of the 1930s which was applied to sister buses 507 & 516. Again, the bus has joined our private hire operation but was used for the first time on Zoo service 21 on 19 August with its period style Tigerrific adverts.
Sadly, PD3 529 (on loan from LTT) sustained roof damage on a private hire early in August and is now stored awaiting repairs which will be undertaken during the winter. Routemaster RM1583 is also absent awaiting a new engine (its AEC unit failed and is beyond repair) whilst Ribble RE 366 has been away for attention to engine oil leaks but has now returned.
|529 returning from the Zoo before it sustained roof damage which now awaits repairs. (All pictures Alan Robson)|
|Ribble 1997 leaves the Stanley Park on its way to the Zoo|
|516 heads to the Zoo showing its new Tigerrific adverts.|