Bristol MW – Diary

Visitors: 12313

Restoration record may be seen at Classic Bristol Buses

4/4/2017 – First MoT since  1979, seen here in Thaxted on the way home



21/4/17 – Rebecca’s wedding.  Seen here in Beesmoor Road, Frampton Cotterell, David Bateman driving



20/5/2017 – Bristol Road Transport Collection rally, Chippenham







1/4/2018 – Museum of Power Transport Festival.  Drivers: David Bateman (outbound journey) Chris Stewart (homeward)

chrisstewart(Photo by Chris Stewart)





9/6/2018 – Elsenham Village Fete, Colin Hodgin driving.




We had a very enjoyable day at Elsenham, this is the kind of event I enjoy!

14/7/2018 at the Colne Valley Railway, Castle Hedingham.  Jack Benee drove us (blue shirt) and Mr and Mrs. Bateman came for the ride.  We intended to go to North Weald but the M25 and the M11 were both closed so the traffic in south Essex was awful.  It was a very hot day and we boiled over on the way home, though to be fair I forgot to check the water level before the return journey.




11/8/2018 – Jessica and Elliot’s wedding, a lovely trip to Saffron Walden registry office and then to The Green Man at Lindsell.  Chris Stewart driving.


DSC_0235 (1)




26/8/2018 – A second visit to the Colne Valley Railway, this time for the vintage vehicle rally which was a bit of a non-event, the poor weather forecast meant hardly anybody turned up – I think there was about half-a-dozen buses and a lorry, and that was a bus recovery wagon!  It rained heavily on the way back,  Mr. B. driving and we had some problems with the driver’s side windscreen wiper – a cheap plastic clip that was a poor fit on the wiper arm meant that the wiper blade kept flipping through 90 degrees and of course every time we stopped for a temporary fix I got soaked again so I was glad to get home and get some dry clothes on!   So different from the last time out at the end of the heatwave.

I found a better clip amongst my bits and pieces and drilled and pinned the blade frame to the arm as a bit of added precaution and ran the wipers for ten minutes with no problems, so hopefully that’s fixed.  Mr. B. still thinks there’s a problem associated with the throttle pedal linkage so we will have a closer look at that.  Noted that after the previous boiling over event on the very hot day, we used virtually no water on the run back from the railway.


20180826_101919  Just coming into Braintree


Visit to the North Norfolk Railway at Holt, John Stewart driving.  We were not able to join the bus but it did do several enthusiast trips out from Holt.

At Holt Station, NNR

At Holt Station, NNR

The next day we visited the East Anglian Transport Museum at Carlton Colville and again the bus took several loads of passengers out into the surrounding countryside.

At EATM Carlton Colville, photo by Nigel Utting

At EATM Carlton Colville, photo by Nigel Utting



The journey from Holt to Carlton Colville took in Norwich.  Here are a couple of John Stewart’s photos  from that Journey:

Norwich Station, I believe. Photo: John Stewart.

Norwich Station, I believe. Photo: John Stewart.

We were a small splash of green and cream among a sea of red:

At the East Anglian Transport Museum

At the East Anglian Transport Museum

Duncan preparing to take us out

Duncan preparing to take us out on our trip to Beccles

At the terminus of the route to Beccles

At the terminus of the route to Beccles

Back at the EATM after our service run

Back at the EATM after our service run

Upon the bus’s return I spent some time acquainting myself with how the fuelling and engine speed is controlled as the engine was idling too fast, which was causing the occasional problem with gear changes.  I found that at idle the timing was over advanced.  Retarding it necessitated shortening the link bar from the throttle  pivot by around 1/4″.  I achieved this by removing the linkage end and reducing the thickness of the lock nut by around 1/8″.  This allowed the end to be screwed further down the rod so the timing pointer was almost at minimum.  This reduced the idle speed significantly.    However, once the engine is at full temperature the revs are still not dropping fast enough.  Ian thinks this is due to the rack sticking slightly.  I’m not convinced – the rack is completely free or so it seems, however I will follow his advice and oil it when I get the chance.


We were asked to bring the bus to Berden Fete as an additional attraction.  We ran three trips with Duncan Law driving in a short figure-of-eight circuit taking in Berden Priory and Clavering Road.  Here we are awaiting our next trip:

About to depart Berden bus stop

About to depart Berden bus stop







Fete attraction!

Fete attraction!







 20/7/2019 – Ewan and Rosie’s wedding, Colin Hodgin driving.

The service took place at Tilty Church, Little Easton and we had the pleasure of picking up two groups of guests en route and taking a full load back to the reception afterwards.  Our first pickup was at Thaxted, from the bus stop by the post office.

At great Great Dunmow where we picked up some passengers

At great Great Dunmow where we picked up some more passengers


A layover for 15 minutes at The Stag, Little Easton, as we were running early!

A layover for 15 minutes at The Stag, Little Easton, as we were running early!

At Tilty Church

At Tilty Church


The happy couple

The happy couple  (Colin Hodgin’s photo)

A full load about to leave for the reception at Little Easton

A full load about to leave for the reception at Little  Easton (Colin Hodgin’s photo)

After the wedding ceremony, we took a lot of happy people to The Memorial Hall at Little Easton.




















15/9/2019 John Stewart took the bus to Kings Lynn for the town’s Heritage Day, in company with a number of other buses.  We drove up for the day and enjoyed a number of rides around the town on our bus and others including Towler’s superb Bedford SB coach.

Carrying a good load at Kings Lynn. Photo by Dave Bell, thanks to East Norfolk Bus blog.

Here is a video of the event by Graham Sleath:


Due to the Coronavirus pandemic we have not been able to take out the bus this year apart from short exercise runs.  However I have taken the opportunity to some maintenance including replacing some gaskets in the gearbox to try to reduce the oil leaks, fitting a new horn and adjusting the position of the footbrake pedal as requested by two of the drivers.  The back of the seat adjacent to the emergency door was delaminating so I took it out and repaired and refitted it.   Routine maintenance was carried out as well, an engine oil and filter change, all the chassis grease points attended to and a general MOT-style check carried out.  Lubrication of brake rod joints,  throttle linkages, governor and rack, locks, catches and hinges, some rust prevention work around the fuel tank brackets and a good sweep out and hoovering of the interior completed the work.

22/8/2021 – Lodge’s Coaches Classic Vehicle Event, High Easter

This was an invitation-only event for buses and coaches so we were lucky to be able to attend.

4/9/2021 – Audley End “Fly”

This was our first proper event after the hiatus caused by the ongoing pandemic.  This was a very pleasant, invitation-only event at Audley End airfield, featuring vintage aircraft, a Spitfire fly-by, classic cars and a barbecue.  Avery enjoyable day, Colin Hodgin arranged our attendance and drove us there and back.

17/9/2021 – A bit of maintenance.  The windscreen wiper blades, despite very limited use, had become very decomposed so I replaced them.  Land Rover Series II seem to fit nice and tight to the marine wiper arms.


This was a family outing for us with Ian driving,  the trip gave Ian the chance to experience and fix the strange and long-term fault where the engine revs would not die down when the throttle was closed for gear changes.  This particular fault only seriously manifested itself when the engine was very hot, though it seems it was present in a limited way throughout the engine’s temperature range.  Curing it was a matter of adjusting the length of the rack operating linkage by about 1mm as detected by Ian’s expert eye.  As a result  the bus is now much nicer to drive.

Addendum to above:  as of March 2024, this problem still isn’t resolved.

We attended the the “Transport Fest” at the Museum of Power at maldon in April 2022 and again on 31st March 2024.  In between we had trips out to Lodge’s open days in August 2022 and 2023 and trips to The Snug Cafe at high Easter in between, usually with Ian driving.  Also attended were Elsenham Fete and Berden Fete in 2022 and 2023.

Restoration diary of a 70-year old AEC single-deck bus and the trials, tribulations and adventures of our 1966 Bristol bus.