Friday, 25 June 2010
Weymouth Rally 2010
So here we go my quick review of the Weymouth Rally this year. As always a fantastic event with some great routes running and a great variety of buses, not just your - dare I say it 'usual' lot.
The day started off though on board Plymouth Citybus' Volvo B10M JSK 263. Shame that it couldn't be undertaken on a more interesting vehicle but then again, getting there in just 2 and a half hours does have its advantages!
The first trip of the day though was a hop into town on Steve Cock's BDV 318L. Of course this vehicle undertook the Penzance to Aberdeen Royal Blue run and has survived seemingly un-scathed! The engine was still running fantastically! Great little bus with an expert driver at the helm.
After a quick look round the depot in Weymouth taking in the local bus scene it was onto Cheltnam District liveried BOU 6V. BOU is quite rare in being an automatic example of the Leyland National while also being pod-less. She gave a great ride back upto the rally. The owner was hoping to drive the service, but unfortunately over 8 passengers were onboard. You will note the vehicle has just turned 30 - making this legal with 8 or less passengers onboard.
The next trip was out to the iconic Portland Bill aboard D707 GHY, one of the Ex-First Devon and Cornwall Volvo Citybus'. This one hasn't joined her sisters in being on open topper and has instead made it into preservation. I never managed a ride on this when she was actually in service but she did give a great ride upto the Bill. Its amazing how much power these old beasts have, and summited Portland with ease!
Onto the interesting few buses, there were a nice little line up of minibuses including and LDV and 3 Transits. Love them or hate them these really did work hard when in service and is really the reason we now enjoy high frequencies on many routes. Of course at A-Line a P reg example is still at work (quite literally, the Vario is off the road yet again)!
I believe this is RHT 503S's first rally after being withdrawn from the Western National fleet in 2003. She was new to Bristol and is now preserved within Bristol. I very much look forward to seeing her restored over the coming years.
Another vehicle you may recognise here. A813 THW did work in Penzance on the Penwith explorer for several years and is now preserved. She was seen last year still in the FDC livery but she is now being re-painted and looking very nice.
So there we go. There's my brief overview of the rally. Thanks must go to all the organisers of the rally. Yet again it was a brilliant event and I'm looking forward to next year's already!