The Newsletter of the Omnibus Society Inc., PO Box 9801, Wellington, NZ

Editor: Mike Secker – Contact details at the foot of the last page.



Subscription unpaid?  Subs for 2007 are due. Treasurer, Morris Moller, would appreciate hearing from you. Sub forms were sent out earlier but, if you need one, ask either Morris (477 9467) or Henry (476 7278) to send you one. Subs are $25.00 per year or $12.50 for non-earners.


RECENT EVENTS… Thanks to Michael Berry for this report…


Saturday May 19 will be remembered by many people as being the most perfect Autumn day. For seven Society members, it had the added value of coinciding with an interesting day looking at buses in the Wairarapa. Unfortunately, Wally Hammond’s Bedford VAS was not available so we travelled in Mike Flinn’s and Morris Moller’s cars for which I thank them.

Tranzit Depot in Masterton. We were able to walk around the yard to look at the buses and coaches up close. Notable vehicles present were:

1032 CAZ 795, Newmans livery, Volvo 2004; 1153, Tiger; 1157, 214 LU 1168, Isuzu 1984; 230, Tiger/Hawke; 233 KZ 1321, Hino, 1983 New to Blue Bus Co.; 217 TN 1784, Volvo, Australian Import; 296, Toyota Coaster, “Wairarapa Gourmet Wine Escape” red livery; 429, Mitsubishi Rosa; 69 Ford Econovan (bus); 304, van; 435, Bedford VAS; 417 CLZ 817, In Jamieson Motors livery; 246, MCW Metrorider, ex UK; 1055, Volvo/NZMB ex Newmans; 140, ERF recovery truck and boat trailer; 243, MCW Metrorider, ex UK being dismantled

Miscellaneous Japanese imports present were numbers 236, 259, 260, 267, 289, 379, 384 & 386.

Also seen in service outside Masterton was 232.

We continued on to the shed at Opaki rented by Neil Brown, that contains unrestored buses owned by him or members of the Society. Neil opened the doors to reveal:

DU 9957 Bedford SB3/NZMB 1960 Ex NZRRS

FX 1950 Dennis Lancet 1 / Benton Motor Bodies, Kamo Northern Bus Co., Whangarei No. 3

CT 3915 Leyland Lion / NZMB 1962 Nelson Suburban Bus Lines 5 / 17

CT 3909 Leyland Comet / NZMB 1959 Newmans No. 9

Malcolm Little’s father-in-law, Graeme Daue, has a vehicle workshop on his property and we were warmly welcomed when we called to view the vehicles present there. An unidentified modern coach was being modified. WCT 433 was being dismantled. WCT 472 was being rebuilt to become a motor home. WCT 460, DCT 177 Leyland Leopard and HB 7882 Leyland Royal Tiger await restoration.

After this point the two cars separarated. My group went to Wayne Little’s house where his family kindly let us view WCT 203 in Big Red livery,
WCT 66 in red livery,
WCT 388 in red/white livery,
WCT 395 in CTS red/orange/cream livery,
WCT 117 in red/white livery and
New Plymouth Crossley trolleybus No. 2. (NB 66, 117 and 203 are trolleys; 388/395 are Leopard “breadvans”. – Ed.) We were told that the Masterton Motor Camp hosted some former buses and we discovered three that had been turned into motor homes inluding a Seddon Pennine and an ex-Nimons Hawke-bodied bus.

The Tranzit yard at Carterton is a locked compound so we could only see the vehicles, primarily Japanese imports, from afar. However, former Guthries & Vickers Commuter 2 bodied KZ 2134, that used to work the Wellington Airport service, stood out. In Greytown Tranzit’s buses are kept at the homes of their drivers.We found three of them: 268 1995 Mitsubishi Fuso, 389/DQK528 Isuzu Journey and 295/DFF245, Toyota Coaster.

Finally, after the sun had gone over the hill, we stopped at the Tranzit yard at Featherston which is also a locked compound. Here we found: LU 1173 Tourmaster Ex Vickers; JJ2138 Volvo/NZMB ex-Newmans; 1068IC Hino with replacement Tourmaster front; KM4101 Seddon/Hawke ex-Mercury and LG5842 NZMB Ranger ex-Vickers. When we arrived back in the Hutt Valley, a look through the fence at Runciman Motors brought the day’s events to a close. It had been a great day out and I would like to thank our Wairarapa hosts for allowing us on to their property, Neil for showing us his shed and the drivers, Mike and Morris, who all contributed to the success of the trip.


FUTURE EVENTS…Thanks to Michael Berry for these notes…

2007 Event Programme

Actual dates and times to be advised closer to the date.

            26 August                    Visit to Newlands Depot (See below.)

            September                    Hutt Valley Bus Rover

            27 October                  Annual General Meeeting, Police HQ, Molesworth Street

            November                    Trip on WCT 322 to celebrate its 50th birthday.

                                                Also Open Day at Karori Bus Depot.

            December                    Social Gathering.


Other dates to keep in mind are a Welcome Ceremony for the new trolleybuses in September, 2007 and a Trolleybus Festival in January, 2008 (Anniversary Weekend)


Visit to Mana Coach Services’ Newlands Depot

The Society’s August event is a visit to Newlands Coach Services’ depot on the corner of Newlands Road and Hurring Place on Sunday, 26 August, 2007.  Please gather outside the depot at 10 am and we will make a formal entry into the yard. The visit will last until lunchtime. If the weather is atrocious, an alternative date will be arranged.  Please note that this event is available to Society members only.

Peter Beale may be driving a ski tour that day but he said that the supervisor will be aware that we are coming and doesn’t mind us just looking round and taking photos.

Mid-Winter Dinner and Movie

A fuller report later, but many thanks to Morris Moller for organising a thoroughly enjoyable occasion on 21 July.


OUR FLEET… thanks to Peter Rendall

NOTE:  322 – The ex-WCT AEC Reliance is 50 years old this year. (See Future Events section.)

 Owing to yard resurfacing, a number of buses had to go to nearby temporary parking, from which they returned on 17/18 July. They were 4, 55, 90, 109, 119 and 322. Leopard 462 did the towing as the exhaust pipe of the Beaver truck was broken. 322 was due for a COF inspection on Friday, 20 July.


Many thanks are due to Jo and Gareth Morgan for their very generous donation of $10,000 to the Bus Operating Group with the aim of getting both EBC 20 and the Wally Hammond Bedford VAS on the road. Thanks are also due to the following for their donations, targeting restoration: Jo Morgan, Mike Boyton, Mike Berry, Grant Wild, Mike Butler, Alan Smith, Peter King and Neil Brown. Donations are a vital element of the life-blood of the Society, and we are very grateful to all of these people for their generosity.


OVERSEAS FEATURE.... Here is the second part of Gus Weir’s account of two recent trips to the United Kingdom. All photos are by the author.


Gus Weir’s World Tour of the UKLondon: Part 2


Being a transport nut, not just a bus nut, my interests are varied and on our first visit to London in 2004, Win and I took the train to Wimbledon to sample the delights of the Croydon Tramlink service.

Tramlink run three services using 24 Bombardier Vienna three-section LRVs, the trams being numbered consecutively from No 2530, continuing the number series from the original London trams.

We took a ride on the service No 1 from Wimbledon to Elmers End, probably the longest route. The first part of the route follows a former heavy rail alignment until it reaches outer Croydon and then takes up street running to West Croydon, which is located on a loop. Services Nos 2 and 3 terminate at West Croydon, effectively adding a balloon loop to these services. On the return journey from Elmer’s End, we stopped at East Croydon to photograph the passing LRVs.

London Tramlink Bombadier LRV 2541

London Tramlink Bombadier LRV No 2541

East Croydon is a very busy interchange with all routes’ trams passing through and some terminating. The interchange is laid out with a centre track, which is used by terminating services. Bus services pass along the outside of the Interchange, allowing passengers easy transfer to the trams.

London Central Dennis Dart Plaxton

London Central LDP134, Dennis Dart Plaxton, Wimbledon

Returning to Wimbledon from East Croydon, we took a bite of lunch at the Station Shopping complex. After lunch, during some window-shopping, I located some cheap camcorder tapes, then, whilst Win went and checked the shopping centre, I took the opportunity to photograph some passing buses.  Many of the vehicles were single deckers. I guess this is due to this being on the ‘outer’ part of London with lower passenger densities. They were mostly London Central LDPs, Dennis Tridents with Plaxton Pointer bodywork, operating with London United and Travel London Connex double deckers, TA class Dennis Tridents with Alexander ALX 400 bodywork. This intersection outside the Wimbledon Station was very busy and not a Womble in sight.

As mentioned in Part One, one of the things I was looking forward to doing on our first visit to London was to see the London Transport Museum located in Convent Garden which was within walking distance of our hotel. And, as mentioned earlier, there was some disappointment at the emphasis on child involvement. However, there are many interesting exhibits. In the entry hall is a replica, I think, of George Shillibeer’s horse bus and horse, and two or three other similar vehicles, including an actual horse tram. Next is a row of former London tramcars, a partly-enclosed top double decker, and an E1 type next to one of the well-known Feltham-type double deckers. Next to be seen is a trolley bus and a K type open top bus and a row of more modern but pre-war AEC vehicles. These exhibits take up a large part of the Museum ground floor

The mezzanine floor is taken up with the ‘Underground’ displays, several antique carriages, and a mock-up driver’s cab complete with controls and sound effects. I had to wait several minutes before I could have a ‘play’ on this exhibit. In addition there are many static displays of tickets,  ticket machines and uniforms, etc. etc. A very interesting venue.


To be continued….


OBSERVATIONS…Thanks to  Ken Bowles, Kevin Gannon, Peter King, Peter Rendall, Nick Stoneman, Peter Thompson


                AUCKLANDPeter T. notes new Scania K94s for Ritchies: 638/DUZ221; 643/DUZ240; 644/DUZ239. One is a spare for the Northern Express service, and two are based at Swanson replacing 640/645 which are at Kiwi being refurbished for Mana C.S. (See MCS notes below.) New Hino FG/Kiwi coaches are 544/DYN171 and 546/DYT321 in Intercity livery for the now 7-days-a- week Auckland-Palmerston North service via Taumarunui and Wanganui.

Bayes have another DAF, 94/DTB89, a 1991 SB220.

The Globus contract has gone from Scenic to THL with 1232 and 1233 having the two versions of the GLOBUS plates now.


                DUNEDINNick reports that Citibus has just received its next two new MANs which are Designline 16.223s. Other details not known at present.

Citibus Leyland Leopard

Citibus Leyland Leopards 190 and 194 at the Depot on 5 June. They are used mainly on schools work.

Photo: Nick Stoneman


            HAMILTON – Peter T. reports new MAN 12.223s for Gobus as follows: 181/DWP894; 182/ DWP900; 183/DYL972; 184/DWP895; 185/DYL185 and gas-fuelled buses 161/DSQ627; 162/DSQ628; 163/DSQ634; 164/DSQ629; 165/DSQ639; 166/DSQ640; 167/DSQ650; 168/DTH584; 169/DSQ653; 170/DTH582. He notes that the firm has about 40 new SLF buses running, and services are increasing.  



            HAWKES BAY 

            Nimons –

In answer to my question in the last RS asking who was the original owner of 30/ DE 4152, a Bedford with NZMB bodywork, which went to MOTAT in August, 2006, Kevin Gannon (I think, from the UK) replied as follows: “…. if you look in the marvellous OB Monograph 12, page 33, you will see the answer – ARA 878, North Shore 78.” Many thanks, Kevin.

Peter King has kindly sent me (as the 400-series ex-WCT Leopards vanish from his yard) a list of their Nimons F/Ns with regos as follows: 101/IX3660; 102/PA6877(a re-reg); 103/IX7763; 104/JC2506; 105/ JD182; 106/JD184; 107/JF1909; 108/JD196; 109/KP7998; 110/JA1197; 111/JC2570; 112/JF1908; 114/LH1322; 115/IX3806; 117/IX7766; 118/IU9431; 119/IX3808. When Peter sent the list in May, 101 and 119 had been sold. More, if not all, will have gone by now, with two rumoured to be returning to the Wellington area, to Runcimans.

Nimons Bristols

Three lovely Bristols at Nimons. They’re gone now and I don’t think Peter K. was as sorry to see them go as he could be about losing the Leopards!

Photo: Peter King


            TAURANGA – Peter T. also reports that Bayline have two new school/charter vehicles, built by Kiwi on Hino truck chassis – 122/DSE41 and 123/DWQ656.


            TIMARU –

Timaru 153 Zhong Tong

The current scene in Timaru - Timaru Bus Services 153 DRA896 a Zhing Tong SLF. 151 and 152 are also of this type.

Photo: Nick Stoneman


            WAIPAWA –  Waipawa Buses has bought Taupo Passenger Services with the latter’s buses being renumbered in the 170 – 200 series, Peter T. advises. (See also Mana C.S. notes.)


            WELLINGTON – Go Wellington/NZBus – The 200-series Volvo/Hawke trolleybuses are beginning to disappear to provide parts for the 58 new three-axle trolleys. They are being dismantled at a yard in Kingsford-Smith St., Rongotai. Peter R. reports that 262 is the latest to bite the dust. There will be a total of 61 new trolleys, including the two-axle prototypes 301 – 303. The three-axle versions will be numbered from 331.


            Mana Coach Services –

            Kapiti – I have discovered that 1993 Dennis Javelin 138/ DCF386’s UK bodywork is by Wadham Stringer. Leyland Tiger 135/NCS35 was being stripped of the gold “N” logos on 24 July, and is pictured in current ACS Coach Sales ad’s. It will soon go to them. Thanks to Ken Bowles for alerting me to the ad’s. Also pictured in this firm’s ad is 54/NI4961, a 1987 Isuzu MR1113 with Designline 28-seat body, a vehicle once at Kapiti. Leopard 136/NCS36 with a Ranger body left the depot on 19 July to go to ACS’s Palmerston North yard – pity, as it’s a nice old beast with a booming exhaust and pneumocyclic gears. Volvo/Kiwi 75 has a replacement Allison gearbox (ex-Voith) and (as I can attest first-hand – Ed.) is very pleasant to drive.

An interesting newcomer to Kapiti in June was a 1979 Merc O305/NZMB Hess body, ex-ARA and Taupo Passenger Services. It’s a 46-seater and rego is CQK650. It carries F/N 189 (could be a Waipawa Buses F/N – see above) and is apparently intended as a source of spares for the Depot’s O305 SLFs.

New also here on 26 June was 45/CZE242, 2002 Toyota Coaster, 22-seat, automatic transmission.

            Porirua/Newlands – Also in the ACS ad mentioned above is 153/NCS53, an ex-Dunedin 1979 Leopard in the striped NCS livery and long gone from these parts.  

Peter R. has passed on these details of ex-Gobus MAN 12.223s coming to Mana. They are the buses replaced by new vehicles in Hamilton (see notes above). They are 20/CUY394 (ex-181); 21/CUY397 (ex-182); 22/CUY399 (ex-183); 50/CUY402 (ex-184); 52/CUY406 (ex-185). All were in service as of 9 July, 2007. Also he mentions 119/AQB611 and 120/AQK359 ex-Ritchies 640 and 645, respectively. Both are 2002 Volvo B7LRE/Kiwi, B47D. 119 has a distinctive white air-con unit and, at the time of reporting, 120 was having some air-con problems before entering service at Newlands Depot.   



Billy Higgs Cadillac

This fine image, from a painting by Wallace Trickett, more of whose work can be seen as murals at the Southward Motor Museum, was sent to me by John Murphy. It depicts Billy Higgs’ Cadillac No.1 at Rongotai in 1947.


Editor:  Mike Secker, 63 Glen Road, Raumati South, Kapiti  5032.  Ph: (04) 902 1173   Fax: (04) 902 1174 

Mob: 027 426 7901  Email:

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