Classic Buses Take Centre Stage
As curvaceous and stylish now as in their heyday, two well-preserved beauties from the sixties arrived at Bluestone last week.
The delightful duo isn’t at Bluestone for a relaxing break though. They will soon be put to work, taking our guests on trips to Pembrokeshire’s many attractions, beauty spots, and places of interest.
Bluestone has taken delivery of two classic Bristol MW buses; one from 1960, the other from a year later. When Bluestone CEO William McNamara came across them, he knew they were much more suited to the job than some bland modern counterpart.
“Modern life is so serious and pressurised, and these beautiful vehicles are just so evocative of more carefree times,” he said.
“They’re fine examples of great British engineering, but to many people, they’ll also conjure up joyful memories of holiday trips and jaunts to the seaside. We hope they’ll help create similarly fond memories for a new generation.
“There’s also an environmental advantage, in that the more people who come together and share transport, the fewer individual cars there’ll be making similar journeys.”
The buses have also triggered some pangs of nostalgia among the senior staff at Silcox Coaches, who will be managing the buses for Bluestone.
Silcox’s veteran Traffic Manager Bert Dix remembers driving and working on similar vehicles when the company operated a fleet of Bristols in the 1970s.
“They’re sturdy, reliable, and built to last,” says Bert.
“They may not have the hi-tech trappings of modern vehicles, but I think they’re certainly more handsome.”
The buses are both Bristol MW6GHs, built by Bristol Commercial Vehicles Limited with Gardner 6H engines and bodywork by Eastern Coach Works of Lowestoft.
573UVX was built in 1961 and was run by the Eastern National Omnibus Company based in Chelmsford. She was used for trips across the Channel to Paris and ran in and out of service until January 1976, when it was used by Kings School, Chester. The bus then went into private ownership.
617DDV was built in 1960. She started service with the Exeter-based Southern National Omnibus Company but was soon sporting the distinctive livery of Royal Blue Services. After traveling the West Country for about 15 years, she went over to MJ Dean in Leatherhead for another decade’s service. She subsequently went into private ownership.