Photo © Ken Aveyard. Please do not re-post without permission.
In 1978 the West Riding Omnibus Preservation Society received a letter from Colin Shears West of England Transport Collection at Winkleigh to say they had acquired a former West Riding coach from a farmer in Kent and would we be interested.
It's still in the original colours the letter said. It wasn't except for the inside of the fuel filler flap. A group of members travelled down to the open day on 1 October 1978 and after a test drive and some negotiations purchase was agreed and we returned to Winkleigh in November to collect the coach. It is of course West Riding 803 JHL983 an AEC Reliance MU3RV with Roe Dalesman C41C coachwork new 1 May 1957 which passed to the dealer Kirkby (Anston) in October 1966 then Pulleine London SE22 in January 1967. It moved again to Pierce Borough Green in March 1969 and was used to transport agricultural workers to various farms in Kent. There was a fair bit of lower body damage, big chunks of earth in the chassis, and evidence of a boot fire. Restoration began in the winter of 1978 and the finished product made its debut on the rally field on the East Coast run in June 1982. It returned to Winkleigh to visit on the October 1982 open day.
Photo taken by Ken Aveyard, Sunday 1 October 1978, West of England Transport Collection, Winkleigh, Devon
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