Sunday 15 December 2013

Ensign Running Day ~ 7th December 2013

A week has passed since the successful Ensignbus Running Day last Saturday. It comprised two routes;
X81 Shenfield to Grays via Lakeside and X55 Upminister to Gravesend via Lakeside. More than twenty vehicles took part in the event

Contributor Neil Chilvers has provided some photos of the event and the first is of former London Transport THX 646S (DM2646), a Leyland Fleetline with a Park Royal body in Shillibeer livery. She is pictured at Grays having commenced her journey at Shenfield

Neil says 'a quick train trip got us from Grays to Upminster where we got a photo of RT 3251 LLU610 on an Upminster to Lakeside service'. The AEC Regent III with Weymann H56R bodywork spent most of its working life with London Transport as a 'Green Line' RT based at Romford's London Road Garage

Also on duty was an ex Lancaster Leyland Titan PD2 /East Lancs 204
KTJ204C which operated between Lakeside and Grays on the X81
A selection of Ensigns single deckers  ran tours of the Lakeside area. These included the 10T10 ELP223 which was brought back from Australia by Ensign.

Steve Newman's Ensignbus Vintage Fleet blog explains the reason for her livery in that she has been
'in restoration now for some three years, a few months back it became apparent that whilst we could be set with it mechanically, and we could recertify in time we had no chance in getting it finished to the required standard, so what to do. Well the answer was to 'undercoat' it grey and run it to look as an American Red Cross Clubmobile. 55 of the 10T10s went for this purpose, each was named after a US state and they were driven by an LT driver with three American Red Cross girls as the serving crew'

Neil also savoured the 40 minute Lakeside tour on the 'wonderful DUF179'.

In Southdown colours she is a Harrington bodied Leyland Tiger TS7. New in June 1937, she was numbered 1179 in the Southdown MS fleet 

Another green liveried vehicle seen at Lakeside was London Country Leyland Cub C4 BXD628 making its début after an extensive
rebuild. A number of passengers were complimentary about the ride, even though drivers were having to do fancy footwork when changing gear on the 'Chinese' reverse-H gearbox

Neil's final ride was on former Southend Transport Fleetline MRJ233W back to Shenfield - the event was 'well worth the £8 Rover ticket' he says

I would like to express my thanks to Neil for all the photos he provided (I managed to include six of the eight!) and his accompanying notes.

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