* A VISIT TO THE OLD TIME CINEMA, 191 SUTHERLAND ROAD, LYALL BAY/MELROSE is planned for Saturday, 30 July, 2004.
It is a combined movie and dinner event such as the Society held a few years
ago. The cost is $25 inclusive per person. Drink – BYO. Starting time will be for . The main film is “Summer Holiday”
starring a London Transport RT bus. Cliff Richard and The Shadows also appear
in this light-hearted musical about a group of young travellers who drive
through France and Hungary to Athens.
The two-course dinner will be served either side of a selection of short films,
one of which will feature Wellington
in the old days. There is a choice of meat balls or lasagne for the main meal. Those
interested, and/or needing further details, should contact Morris Moller
on 04 475 9467 by 16 July. A minimum number of 20 is needed by this date
and a maximum of 37 may attend. Friends and family are, of course, very welcome
*A VISIT TO MANA COACH SERVICES’ PORIRUA DEPOT – a visit to this
recently enlarged and rebuilt depot is planned for late August, 2005.
NOTE that the Society’s new website, masterminded by Mike Butler, is now
incorporated in RUNNING SHEET’s title heading as
from this issue. Pay it a visit!
Subscription unpaid?Some subs are
still unpaid. Treasurer, Morris Moller, would appreciate hearing from you. Sub
forms were sent out earlier but, if you need one, ask either Morris (475 9467)
or Henry (476 7278) to send you one. Subs are $25.00 per year or $12.50 for
OUR FLEET…Thanks to Peter
Rendall, Henry Brittain
BIG TIMES IN THIS DEPARTMENT!THREE
NEW VEHICLES! MUCH MORE LATER……FIRST, PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING BOXED
6 – the Nimon’s Morris
Commercial has become a focus of activity as it is required for that
company’s centenary celebrations on the 16 and 17 July, 2005, coinciding in the HawkesBay
with the BCA Conference. Bryce has got the motor running, Wayne Little is handling the outside panel
work and painting, and Henry (and, hopefully, Mike Flinn) will be leading the
attack on the interior. A new exhaust system is being manufactured, some new
panels have been sourced, and the reinstatement of the “eyebrows” over the
windows is under way. Peter R. confesses to running round in circles! Someone’s
Seriously, there are many jobs
that could be done by unskilled members – rubbing down and painting seat-frames,
painting cracked leather seats, sanding down and cleaning, washing the floor,
stripping varnish off wooden fittings.
Donations would help if you
wish to contribute in this way. Such activity costs money and it would help
greatly to underwrite these restoration costs. We need your help NOW - there
is much work to be done. All hands to the pumps for this one!
9- the Bedford VAL is available
for service and has a new starter motor installed.
39 – the silver BUT is still at
Kilbirnie, needing some electrical work done.
119 – this later BUT is
going to be relicensed. At present, brake shoes are awaited.
255 – the Royal Tiger
(at present at the TramwayMuseum) earlier had its
generator belt replaced and had a trip to Porirua for a pre-COF assessment.
Peter Beale has bought two new batteries for it.
322 – the Mk 1 Reliance
has been getting attention from Wayne.
Many minor blemishes and faults have been sorted and it is in running condition.
It is ready for a COF.
374 – the Mk 2 Reliance
is still at Masterton getting TLC from Wayne.
Will return soon.
462 – the Leopard, a
useful performer, is available for service.
3583 – the Bedford is on the road. It
was, earlier in the year, used at the official inauguration of Stagecoach’s
Eastbourne Connection service and branding.
Cable Car 3 – is at Gladstone in the Wairarapa
for restoration for the Cable Car Museum.
Leyland Beaver Truck – the ruptured
hydraulic hose to steering pump has been replaced. Its rev-counter has been
fixed but awaits re-installation. Indicators need attention.
Tidying up of the storage area
has been done, including the stowing away of heavy items.
NOW…. THE 3 NEW ARRIVALS….The following material was supplied by Peter
FIRST - The Ford was new as Newlands Coach Service No 10. It is
an R226 model, C/N CLB41592545. Body is NZMB and DP45F. Registration
is CU9643 and it was new on 11
December, 1969. From Newlands it went to Rob Dowle at
Taumarunui, and was transferred to Ray Charteris when he bought Rob's
business. Charteris sold out to Kevin McGrath - McGrath Buses
Anderson drove the bus when he was working at Newlands, and when he found the
dead hulk at Taumarunui, purchased it. It is in going order, but requires lots
of little things done to it before we can think about getting a COF on
it. Neil A.found the costs of the project were getting away from him, and
6117 Ltd* has taken an interest in the bus. It will be operated in the
company fleet, along with 6117, when we get it up to standard.
Brown and Peter Rendall are the shareholders in 6117 Ltd.)
SECOND - Currently sitting greenly at Mana Coach Services,
Waitangirua, is CQ1420, the former Eastbourne
Borough Council No 20. The chassis is a 1958 Leyland Royal
Tiger Cub, which was rebuilt in 1984 with an NZMB Commuter II body.
It is DP29F and its designation is RTC1/1 (I think - there is a remote
possiblity it is a 1/2….). This bus has been donated to the
Society by Mr Dick Hanham, of Hanham’s Buses, Albany. Dick has recently sold his
business to Ritchies, but 20 was not included in the sale. It
has been out of service for a couple of years - age and some body frame rust in
the front. Paul Gourley of Auckland
has been working for Hanham's and is a friend of Dick's. He suggested that,
as Dick was looking at tidying up the section round his house, perhaps 20
could head home, and Dick agreed, very kindly donating this interesting unit to
us.(We must have one of the best Leyland collections in the world - counting up,
we have a Cub, an OPS3, a Royal Tiger, 2 Leopards, a Tiger Cub, now a
Royal Tiger Cub, and Neil B has a Comet, a Lion and another Royal
All this happened
very quickly - within 10 days of the first phone call, the bus was back in the
Wellington Region. Early last Saturday, Malcolm Little, Peter Beale and
Mike Boyton headed north by car and Malcolm's ERF tractor unit. Reaching Albany mid-afternoon, the RTC was driven from Dick's house
down to ParemoremoVillage (yes, it is quite
driveable!) when the tractor was attached to the front. Some spirited
running saw the crew overnight at the Tirau Pub (where a good time was had
by all). By 1100 they were in Turangi and home to Porirua by 4 !!!
It is reported that the RTC was probably running the fastest it ever had
on its return home! The motor ran all the way, giving the steerer brakes
and lights. The costs of this expedition have been met by generous
donations from members of the group – thanks, guys - you know who you are!
So we now have our
first Eastbourne unit !!
A momentous couple
of weeks, during which we have added historically interesting and relevant
buses to our collection.
Note: Apparently, the latest issue of Memories
magazine has an article on Eastbourne
THIRD - Also added (and currently hiding at Neil B's place in Te Horo) is
a Leyland Monarch tractor unit. This has been made available by Lindsay Cameron
(who is waiting patiently for payment). This unit has been officially
acquired for spares for the Beaver truck, as it is nearly mechanically
identical.... and has the Ergomatic cab like the Beaver. We understand
this unit was new to Inglewood Motors, and had passed to the Kairangi Poultry
Farm, from where Lindsay and his truck restoration colleagues had acquired it. It
comes with a spare vertical 680 and gearbox.
AND NOW, IN HONOUR
OF EBC20, some interesting comments from Steve Palmano about the RTC model,
made available to me by Peter Rendall:
Most interesting - the Leyland Royal Tiger Cub was a
anyway. I was actually unaware that Eastbourne had operated one – Ithought that its Leyland
"zoo" consisted of Tiger Cubs, Comets, and L1 andPSU4
Leopards. Really, the RTC1 Royal Tiger Cub was part of the
Leopard family, essentiallyan intermediate
length model (33 ft overall, 18 ft wheelbase) that fittedbetween
the L (30 ft overall, 16'2" wb) and the PSU3 (36 ft overall, 18'6"wb), and equipped as standard with the 13 ton
gvw suspension that wasoptional on the PSU3
Leopard. In fact, the RTC1, announced very quietlyaround
April/May 1960 as an export model, predated the PSU3, which appearedaround third quarter 1961, and was primarily a
domestic market model. TheRTC1 filled an
apparent gap in the Leyland export range.
did not have an export 33 ft underfloor chassis below theheavyweight
Worldmaster ERT1. On the other hand, AEC had for several yearsoffered
a 17'6" wheelbase, 33 ft version of its medium-weight Reliance, inaddition to its 33 ft heavy-weight Regal IV.
Effectively, most of the"beefing-up"
engineering that Leyland needed to go from the
L Leopard to thePSU3 had already been
done for the RTC1.
The RTC1 seems to have been a low-key model throughout its
life, not alwaysmentioned
in the Leyland standard lists or brochures. I
think that, to someextent, the 1961
change in the UK regulations that allowed 36 ft buses,albeit
necessarily with shorter wheelbases than were typical hitherto for 36ft export models, may have had an effect, as
other Commonwealth markets followed suit, or in any event found the PSU3
Leopard to their liking. AECmaintained the
33 ft option on its export Reliance models through the 1960s,including
into the 6MU (505) and 6U (691) era, but it seems to havedisappeared
by about 1970. By then, of course, the previous 16 ft + wheelbase 30 footers had typically grown to
around 32 ft or so, so thejustification
for the intermediate wheelbase had faded. In the Leylandcase, what might have been RTC opportunities
were also filled by special,shortened
wheelbase, and in some cases shortened overall versions of thePSU3
Leopard. As far as I know, Dunedin and Sydney had such Leopards –maybe
although I have never succeeded in getting definitivewheelbase
and length information for the 1966 WCT Leopards. But to my eye,they
looked to be very similar to the BUT trolleybuses, which were 33 ftoverall with a 17'6" wheelbase.
As far as I know, the RTC disappeared from the
Leyland catalogue around1968, in the same
rationalization that saw the elimination of the Tiger Cub(to
protect the new Bristol LH) and the Panther Cub (slow sales and to steerpotential customers to the short-wheelbase
version of the AEC Swift 505,which shared
essentially the same chassis.) Presumably, the EBC RTC, as an RTC1/1 model, has
the "easy change" (Leyland
terminology) 4-speed synchromesh gearbox. Does it have a single-speed ortwo-speed axle? The only RTC1 specification that
I have (dated May, 1961)shows a choice of
either, without change of model designation. (From
NB Our fleet needs constant care. Tuesday work
nights at Karori Depot could use more people. If you don’t mind getting your
hands a bit dirty, and, irrespective of whether or not you have any particular
expertise, the small dedicated team of regulars would welcome your presence and
BOOK…For sale through the Society is Leylands and
Trolleybuses by Sean Millar assisted by Ian Lynas, a combined reprint
and update of two popular booklets of the 80s, Trolleybuses in New
Zealand by Sean, and Leyland Buses in Australia and New Zealand
by Sean and Ian. Price to Omnibus Society Members is $25.00 (or $30.00 by
post). Normal non-member price is $29.95. Please contact Morris Moller (04 475
9467) if you are interested in a copy. Hurry, though, as four of ten copies
OBSERVATIONS…Thanks to Henry
Brittain ,Neil Brown, Graeme Inwood, Morris Moller, Ian Robertson, Peter
Rendall, Nick Stoneman, Peter Thompson
*Welcome to Nick Stoneman whose contributions appear in Running Sheet for
the first time – thanks, Nick.
AUCKLAND – Both Ian and Peter
T. comment that not much is going on at the moment. Peter says the known Stagecoach
deliveries are taking place but that next time there will be the Ritchies
deliveries to consider. Ian seems to have caught a glimpse of the Ritchie’s phenomenon.
In his words, he saw “….an Optare painted in Ritchie’s colours. Only a
fleeting glimpse so I didn’t pick up much detail, and it had NO rear number
plate that I could see as it turned from Great North Road into St. Luke’s Road. It
has been rumoured that Ritchies have on order a large number of British-sourced
buses but I have not sighted one again since.”
(NB May’s issue of the BCA’s “circular” magazine has John Murphy
testing one of Ritchie’s new 12.6 metre 3-axle SLF urban buses for Auckland, to
wit a Scania L94UB6X2, bodied by Kiwi, 601/CMZ632 – (I think that
F/N is right! Please correct me, if it isn’t.)
Hanham’s Buses, Albany, as noted in the
piece on EBC 20, has been bought by Ritchies.
CHRISTCHURCH – Christchurch Bus
Services – your Editor spotted, parked along Mana Esplanade (ie SH1 at
Paremata), during Queen’s Birthday Weekend, a low-floor Optare Excel in this
company’s livery, with recent C— plates. I am assured it was F/N 140
being delivered from Kiwi, who sorted it out for NZ regulations, to Christchurch.
WELLINGTON – Stagecoach – new trolley 302/CQM
368 arrived in Wellington
on Monday, 9 May, and was first used in service on Friday, 3 June. As I write,
it had not been in service since then. “Spotting” details include F/N at front
on the black area below the windscreen (301 has the front F/N on the
driver’s side white area), a more neatly styled fairing round roof-top
equipment, and the “blacked-out”side window area has the bottom edge forming a
straight line, i.e. there is no rear kick-up as on 301. Conventional
doors distinguish it from the earlier bus, too. All in all, it’s a very
good-looking, state-of-the-art vehicle. The Dominion-Post of Wed. 25 May
carried an article, with photo, of 302 under the headline “Higher
trolley bill confirmed”. Why this continual whinging about costs all the time?
Easy short-term appeal to readers, I suppose. It’s about time some-one started
praising the long-term environmental and, yes, economic benefits!
Curiously, The Dom-post also referred to it as a “Brazilian
trolleybus”. Well, yes, certain vital equipment has been sourced from Brazil
but the all-important and highly visible body was, of course, built in
Ashburton, NZ, by Designline.
Another new arrival on
9 May was MAN 2454/CQF 860. Mon. 16 May saw the arrival of trolley 303
and MAN 2457. MAN 2455 arrived on Tues. 10 May. I also have a
sighting of a 2400 with the registration CRA 217 which could, of course, be
either 2455 or 2457. Further info on these regos would be
Mana Coach Services
Newlands Depot – Here, reports Peter B., the only vehicles left in
the old colours are NCS 38, NCS 41 and NCS 66. How quickly things change! NCS
61 is parked at Porirua to ease congestion in Newlands yard.
Kapiti Depot – Newlands 143/ NCS 43, 1989 Hino RG197 34-seat
coach, at Kapiti for engine repairs as earlier recorded, is likely to remain at
this depot. Mercedes-Benz 0302 46 “Peanut”, a favourite of your Editor,
has finally gone to its new owner, departing the fleet by the weekend of 28/29
May. I do not know where it has gone – does anyone have this information?
At Kapiti, old Mana livery is still worn by Volvo B6 14/RX8173,
Hino RK 30/NA7377 (and, of course, it still adorned 46 until its
departure.) Newlands metallic green, with large gold “N”, livery is still worn
by coaches Leyland Tiger 135/NCS 35 and Leyland Leopard 136/NCS
36. Leyland Leopard bus 144/NCS 44 has the striped green and white
livery with “N” incorporated in the stripes – it is used largely as a school
bus. Otherwise, Jamaican lime is the predominant livery in the yard.
Service of Otaki, possibly the only all-Bedford fleet left in NZ (does
anyone know whether this is true?), have operated since 1963. The proprietor is
incensed that Greater Wellington has suggested an exact duplication of their
shopper services (Wed./Fri. to Coastlands, Paraparaumu; Tues./Thurs. to Levin)
running every day. Michael Thompson claimed to have been given the impression
that he should not bother tendering. Chris Turver, Kapiti’s regional councillor,
said that Mr. Thompson had the right to tender for the service. Otaki Community
Board chairman, Andre Baker, welcomed GW’s announcement but expressed concern
over the possible demise of “a loyal” Otaki provider who had faithfully served
the area for many years. Mr Thompson said, “….They came to talk to me….Said
they’d get back and never did….It will cost me up to $70,000 just to qualify
for their tender process with no guarantee that I will get it. They are
squeezing me out.” It has been elsewhere said that GW stipulated a low floor
requirement which meant considerable new investment for an operator like Mr
Thompson. It appears that he may have withdrawn from the Paraparaumu service
and Tranzit taken it over in the interim – though theyre not using an SLF!
INTERNATIONAL… Pictured in BUSES
for May, 2005, is Stagecoach 80009/VX04MZG. What, you may ask, is all
that about? Well, this vehicle is the group’s first UK-spec. Designline Olymbus
diesel electric hybrid bus, a vehicle type that can be seen, yellow-liveried,
every day in Christchurch,
NZ. The numbers are its F/N in the group’s UK numbering scheme, and its
current British rego. This particular vehicle was briefly numbered 100 in the
fleet before going overseas. It was photographed in February, 2005, on London route 276, in the
group’s not-for-NZ attractive later livery which suits it well.
... Featured in
“Global News” of the June issue of the same magazine, is Wellington Volvo
trolley 253 at the Taranaki
St. traffic lights on an inward route 2 trip, to
illustrate an article headed “Wellington
renewal is back on track”. The theme here is, as we know, the welcome news that
funding has been allocated for new vehicles and improvements to the capital’s
iconic trolleybus system. Immediately above this item is another article headed
“Quiet start for Rome’s
new age trolleybuses”. A diesel bus route has been converted to trolleybus
operation (I’d love to see this in Wellington
– how about Oriental Bay/Roseneath?) and this route was opened on 23 March, 2005. ATAC, Rome’s public transport
organisation, has invested the equivalent of 30 million pounds sterling in
electrifying the Largo Labia express route and equipping it with 30
Polish-built Solaris Trollino 18 articulated trolleybuses with Hungarian Ganz
electrical equipment. A photo of one of these in attractive two-tone green
accompanies the article. Operation uses a combination of overhead and, on the
innermost section, battery power. There are plans to convert at least two more
routes to trolley operation, and ATAC are also increasing the number of
gas-fuelled buses they operate. The main reason for all this is to reduce
vehicle emissions in the city. (NB Don’t let anyone here try to tell you that
trolleybuses are out-moded or not manufactured anywhere! Wellington is in good company.)
ENQUIRIES… As noted in OBSERVATIONS,
I should like to know the new owner and location of Mana 46, if anyone
out there knows anything.
… Peter B. has three
queries as follows: (i) What are the present whereabouts of Mana’s
RE 1? (ii) Information is required about Leopard Coachlines’
operation – what vehicles are in the fleet, with makes, models, fleet numbers,
registrations.(iii) EV6635, WCT Daimler tower truck No.15 – this vehicle
has been restored as a Daimler truck by John Veneberg. It has an original
sleeve valve engine and is in running order. Photos, old registration numbers
are needed – its early history is required for registration.
Note: I’m quite happy to make an Enquiries section an occasional, or
even a regular,feature if readers of
this Newsletter send me their queries. We do circulate to a wide pool of
75TH ANNIVERSARY… It will be the 75th (Diamond)
Anniversary of the Bus and Coach Association (NZ) Inc. next year. John
McCrystal, a well-known author and literary reviewer with a particular interest
in transport, is to produce a commemorative book for the occasion. Research –
the gathering of company profiles, photos and other memorabilia – is under way
as I write. The resulting book should be of great interest.