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July 2009

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Reading Transport Open Day


Today Reading Transport held their second annual family open day at the Great Knollys Street depot. The doors opened at 1100 with tours of the control room and workshop, rides through the bus wash, a safety bus, hazard perception tests, bus cab photos, face painting, a tombola, a barbeque lunch, a cake stall, a trolleybus film show, transport sales stalls and modern and preserved vehicle displays. A free shuttle bus ran every 20 minutes to/from Great Knollys Street via the Station and Town Centre loop using a mixture of guest vehicles, whilst all proceeds from the day went to the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance.

GKS on 5 July 2009

Visitors looking at the display of current Reading vehicles, with recently returned 599 as the centre piece along with preserved AEC Regent 47 just off camera to the right.

599 on 5 July 2009 599 on 5 July 2009

Two views of 599 ("Ethel") showing off the bio-ethanol branding and centre door conversion.

258 on 5 July 2009

Bristol RE 258 getting ready for a turn on the shuttle service amongst a backdrop of modern Scanias.

729 on 5 July 2009

729 was running the bus wash rides, and displays an advert for the new film "Brüno" which has recently appeared on a number of the buses in the fleet. Thanks to Matthew Painter for this photo.

The day concluded at 1600 with a "cavalcade" of buses running a circuit around the town centre.

47 on 5 July 2009

AEC Regent 47 led the procession, dating from 1935 it is the oldest Reading bus in preservation.

852 on 5 July 2009

852 is seen as the procession passes St. Mary's Church.

The line up was as follows:

  • Preserved 47 (driven by British Trolleybus Society Chairman, Graham Bilbe)
  • 1111 - route 17
  • 829 - routes 23, 24
  • 845 - routes 15, 16
  • 801 - Reading Generic (silver)
  • 825 - route 26
  • 473 - Reading Generic (silver)
  • 122 - Goldline 142
  • 817 - routes 20, 21
  • 109 - route 40
  • 805 - route 5
  • 860 - Reading Generic (silver)
  • 855 - route 33 (driven by Chief Executive Officer, James Freeman)
  • 852 - routes 63, 64

Followed by preserved vehicles:

  • Thames Valley Bristol JRX 823
  • Reading Mainline No.25
  • Reading Transport Bristol RE 258
  • Alder Valley Leyland National 218
  • Reading Transport AEC Regent 3
  • Reading Mainline No.15

Thanks are to be extended to Reading Buses for opening their premises for the event, which appeared to be very successful with lots of people from the local community present.

BTS Annual Tour


This evening saw the British Trolleybus Society's annual tour of Reading by preserved bus. Former Thames Valley Bristol Lodekka GRX 140D made a welcome return to the roads after some time, accompanied by former Reading MCW Metrobus Mk1 162, and as an added surprise former Alder Valley Leyland National 218.

218 on 3 July 2009

The three vehicles met each other at Bulmershe, with the sun low in the sky behind.

The tour commenced with the two deckers taking a run out to Peppard Common on former route 54, and then after some shunting to let a Vitality bus round, across Reading to Woodley.

162 on 3 July 2009

Unusually with the Unicorn Pub in the background, former 162 stands adjacent to the Peppard Common terminus.

Waiting at Bulmershe was former Alder Valley Leyland National 218 which joined the group for a run around the old 44A Woodley route. The Metrobus left the group at Shepherd's Hill with the other two to continuing on for a run to Wokingham on former route 3.

218 on 3 July 2009

218 at Wokingham Broadway.

Finally the National departed at Winnersh leaving the Lodekka to complete the tour back into Reading.

GRX 140D on 3 July 2009

GRX 140D outside Odd Fellows Hall on Oxford Road at the end of the tour.

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