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Sad bus geeks unite - Wythall, Video Review


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I was all set to head to the VSCC Welsh Trials on Sunday, but then I remembered that there's a big bash at Wythall to mark 30 years since WMPTE was formed (the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive I think?). 


So, I think I'm going to have to get all bus geeky instead. Here's the timetable and a list of buses taking part.



It's all quite excited to a humble Brummie such as myself. I've not even seen an Ailsa for years, let alone heard one! Certainly haven't ridden on one since about 1984.


Anyone else fancy it? I'd be aiming to pay £6 admission and then make full use of the free bus journeys - though I imagine donation buckets will be placed in strategic places.

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 Unfortunately I won't be able to make it but for anyone who does go, a ride on the Ailsa is a must. It's quite different from any other WM bus. Also try and catch Walsall 56, an experimental Daimler CRC6-36. It's the long pale blue bus with 2 doors ;) Now that the Aldridge Transport Museum's Tracline (A 110 WVP) has passed its MOT it may also be a late entry.

For those who can't make it tomorrow then there is another opportunity for riding on old buses from the WM area at Aldridge the following Sunday (16th) with the Autumn Running Day:


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The only way to drive an Ailsa is like you stole it, 4772/5 were regularly hammered along the old A63 dual carriageway with their third owner and relatives of mine Parkinson & Gordon of Gt Preston, made L10 Lynxes look slow

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The Bristol VR originally was due to have the same layout mechanically as Walsall 56, 2 prototypes with Gardner 6LX were built, but were pretty hopeless reliability wise. One did survive into the 1990's but was scrapped as a fluid flywheel couldn't be found for it (allegedly). A batch were built for export with Leyland engines, and bodied by BUSAF in South Africa, they had the same internal layout of twin staircases and doors at each end. British VRL's were the superb looking ECW bodied coaches for Standerwick, and there is a fully restored example on the rally scene.


We also got a twin staircase, front & rear entrance bus built as an experiment for London in 1983, the infamous Volvo B55 Ailsa V3, which spent over 15 years being restored by Black Prince after it rolled. The owner of the WMPTE Ailsas, Keith billingsley used to own it, but sold it on, and it is now in full London guise with twin doors once again. 

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