Sunday, 9 July 2017

Eastern Coach Works ~ 30th Anniversary Weekend

The East Anglian Transport Museum holds its special event to commemorate the closure of Lowestoft's Eastern Coach Works just thirty years ago and we were there yesterday.

Although the day started dull and overcast, by the time the gates were open the sun was out and it was feeling warm. I used the Park and Ride service (right) from the Co-op store in Ashburnham Way with First Eastern Counties thoughtfully providing Gemini 37572 AU58ECW.

On entering the site Leyland Olympian D367JJD was parked beside Lowestoft Corporation AEC Swift YRT898H and I was hopeful of a ride on the former which unfortunately didn't materialise!

After passing Southdown ECW bodied Leyland Tiger GUF727 outside the entrance to the ESLR station I saw the Eastern Transport Collection's Bristol LD OVF229 postioned back to back with York-West Yorkshire Bristol FS6B NWU265D. The 1966 preserved vehicle also carried fleet number YDX221

I then came across London Transport LUC389, an AEC Regal lV with an ECW C39F body, new in 1951.

Turning the corner, I then observed another West Yorkshire bus in the form of 1962 Bristol SUL4A 811BWR on sentry duty guarding the entrance to the new museum extension into the field behind.

There were three groups of vehicles in the field and the first contained Red and White Services preserved 1968 Bristol RELH-6L/ECW bodied RC968 OAX9F alongside 1950 Bristol L6A LKT991 from the Maidstone & District fleet.

Also among the same group was Eastern National Bristol L6B / ECW 4107 PTW110. Built in 1950, it is now preserved at the Castle Point Transport Museum at Canvey Island

In the middle group was a United Auto Leyland Olympian B251NVN, formerly with Transdev Burnley & Pendle

The third group comprised a very colourful trio. Bristol FS5G/ECW H33/27RD OVL473, new to Lincolnshire in July 1960, was sandwiched between two Bristol VRs. On the left is former Southern Vectis FDL681V and on the right is open top former Southern National ATA559L. Interestingly ATA559L was stored in Great Yarmouth by First Eastern Counties during early 2002 and subsequently moved to Ben Jordan for further storage prior to preservation

During the course of the afternoon a few vehicles arrived including Patrick Burnside's beautifully restored former Eastern Counties Bristol SC4LK 3003AH and ex Eastern National Lodekka 2849 NTW942C

Unfortunately I couldn't stay for the procession and assembly of vehicles in north Lowestoft but enjoyed the day and it was good to meet up with friends Tim Miller and Trevor Arbon

My thanks to the museum for assembling a good variety of vehicles with more photos appearing on my Flickr site HERE


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