Group adds old Cardiff bus and tow truck to collection
12:03pm Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in News
TO BE RESTORED: Cardiff Bus 023 (N23OBO), a 1995 Dennis Dart with Alexander Dash bodywork, to be restored at the Cardiff Transport Preservation Group collection of old buses at The Bus Depot, Barry. The bus is in a special livery for driver training dutie
THE Cardiff Transport Preservation Group has acquired two additional vehicles for its expanding collection of classic and historic buses.
The preservationists are based at the 1930s former Western Welsh bus garage known as The Bus Depot, Barry, where recent night-time movements saw the arrival of a 32-year-old tow truck, a big ERF machine suitable for towing buses, and an 18-year-old former service bus, both from Cardiff Bus.
Group chairman Mike Taylor said: “The bus is a very useful addition to our heritage bus collection; it is an 18-year-old Dennis Dart single deck Cardiff Bus with 41-seat Alexander Dash bodywork that used to run locally in the city and here in Barry.
"This 1995 bus complements our collection as an example of one of the more recent step-entrance type vehicles, now soon to be phased out of public service due to accessibility issues for those with disabilities.
"More recently this Cardiff Bus example has been used for some years as a training vehicle so we are looking to restore it to an as delivered condition. This will require a re-paint and fitting of a full set of seats as these were partly removed when it was used as a trainer."
The Cardiff Dennis Dart will be added to the collection of preserved vehicles and will eventually form part of the runnable classic bus fleet. There are numerous Dennis Dart vehicles on the road today but this early example has an usual Alexander Dash body and is one of only seven delivered to Cardiff Bus.
Vehicles such as this are important to restore for younger generations. Many of the buses in The Bus Depot collection go back to the 1950s and 1960s.
Heritage buses with open platforms and half cabs look really old against this sort of bus. For people in their 20s and 30s this will be a reminder of what they travelled on to school or went on going out in the evening.
Mike continued: "The preservation group see it as important to have a few of the 1990s vehicles to allow all generations of the public to realise and appreciate how bus travel changes as vehicles like this will soon not be in public service and we are about preserving piece of local transport history."
The group also secured from Cardiff Bus an old tow truck which had been out of use for three years. It represents part of the ancillary fleet vehicles that all bus companies used to own themselves before these sort of jobs were contracted out.
The tow truck was new in 1981 and, in 1983, it was purchased by Cardiff Bus. Mike said: "Now this 32 years old has a safe home at our bus depot."
Being a heavy goods vehicle, the ERF truck is added to the collection of preserved vehiclesand will not be used for reward or as a general towing vehicle. The preservation group still intends to use commercial contractors for any significant movements.
As a charity restoring old vehicles, the group enjoyed a very successful Festival of Transport at Barry Island in June and, whilst the weather was not so good in September for a similar event in Merthyr Tydfil, the council was impressed by the interest the rally created, and want the group back next year.
More information can be obtained from the group website - www.ctpg.co.uk