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Bristol Vintage Bus Group's Rally, Brislington, 15 August 2010

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On Sunday 15 August 2010, I was one of a group of 14 enthusiasts who set off from Camborne bus station at 06.30 hours to make the 360 miles round trip to Brislington in Bristol for the annual rally held by the Bristol Vintage Bus Group. Our mode of transport was a 1969 Bristol RELHRear-engined single-decker bus or single-decker coach chassis built by Bristol Commercial Vehicles 1962 until 1982; widely considered most successful of first generation rear-engined single-decker buses; available in low (for bus) or high (for coach) versions; eventually totalled five variants: RELL and RELH (long), RESL and RESH (short), and REMH (maximum length) 'Royal Blue' coach 14601969 Bristol RELH6G with ECW C45F coachwork; New to Southern National March 1969, transferred to Western National, remained in service until May 1981 when became part of BaMMOTT collection at Wythall. Purchased by WHOTT May 2005 OTA 632G | Bristol RELH | Fleet No. 1460 (OTA 632G1969 Bristol RELH6G with ECW C45F coachwork; New to Southern National March 1969, transferred to Western National, remained in service until May 1981 when became part of BaMMOTT collection at Wythall. Purchased by WHOTT May 2005 OTA 632G | Bristol RELH | Fleet No. 1460) owned by the West Country Historic Omnibus & Transport Trust (WHOTTThe West Country Historic Omnibus & Transport Trust). She is based in west Cornwall and looked after by 'friend' Mel Williams with a little help from myself and a few other 'friends' from WHOTT. 

The trip up was good with just a 'comfort' break at Sourton services and a coffee stop at Cullompton. We arrived at about 10.45 hours after negotiating roadworks near to the site to see lots of Bristol buses spanning several decades in liveries that hadn't been seen for years. It wasn't long before the 'RE' was off again on the 11.20 hours departure to Bitten railway station with Nigel at the wheel and Chris as the 'courier'! The next trip to Bitten was done by Tyrone and Chris and I went along with Tyrone on the third run. It was on this run that I was lucky enough to meet Clive who used to work in the Bristol bus factory at Brislington. He sat up the front with me and said 'Do you realise I helped build the chassis on this coach 41 years ago and this is the first time I have been re-united with her'. That was amazing and needless to say he had so much to tell us about those days and how the 'RE's' were road tested on the A4 to Bath reaching speeds of 80 mph! I laughed and explained that 55 to 60mph was probably enough for her now. We had two trips to Bath and back with Clive as guide and he just loved every minute he was on 1460 and I was delighted that we were able to 'make his day'.

After several line ups of buses for the photographers, it was time to head home at about 17.30 hours. 'FriendBecome a ‘friend’ with a minimum donation of £15. We will keep you informed of all developments in a quarterly newsletter.' Colin Billington had brought his 1933 Bristol H to Brislington from Maidenhead and had to end the day with it in Kingsbridge, Devon. We thought we should not let Colin undertake this trip on his own so we went in convoy with him as far as Exeter where we stopped for some much needed food. We arrived back at Camborne just before midnight which was rather pleasing as I wouldn't have been happy if the 'RE' turned into pumpkin! I think a good day was had by all.