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(best i could do on short notice, mr de franca...)

Almost 10 hours after starting the day at Witton, a frozen Preselector is again in darkness to greet the arrival of Birmingham CT 2222, Leyland PD2 / Park Royal behind Mansfield Group Mercedes Boniface Interstater wrecker.

The sun rises on a very misty morning, as the cast of ..........(wait and see!) get familiar with their new co-star, RM506.

Testing the capacity of the Volant carpark, BMMO S17 and RM506 show that buses take more than a car-length - we now know how all the visiting vehicles will have to be arranged on Sunday.

With the VAL gone, 334 away and the VRT, RM and LUF on the low-bay side, tons of space for stallholders for Sunday - and Leopard, XNX, Trent SON and 3002 (at least) still to come out.

After ages of not being used, the ex-WMT training vehicle and, later, purpose-rebuilt garage shunter, Ford D-series, has worked tirelessly dragging and pushing various non-running vehicles around both the old and new museum sites - she may be scruffy, but she don't half go! (Maybe she also deserves a proper restoration).

MCW Plug Doors enjoying the luxury of a preselector transmission.

With no bus alongside, the VAL can be seen in all her glory, enhanced by an on-top position from 4714.

I don't believe any regular passenger would have any idea of the age of this beautiful coach, the subtle changes to the front giving it really contemporary look, accentuated by the cloud reflections in the screen.

Installed at Shenstone Drive, and much of the contravision already removed. The museum will probably retain the blue and yellow livery for now, anyway, as the bus becomes the promotion and sales vehicle for AMRTM

With the Embankment in January looking like the South of France, Johnsons Bova wastes a few hours.

Truck and Bus Engineering (Nottingham) Leyland-DAF 95 300 delivered non-runner withdrawn First London Citaro Artic EA11044 to the site. Nice to see some more-elderly wreckers still in use - anyone know the history of this one?

Now a classic chip shop, RM697 is shown on one list as preserved - doesn't look like it to me. Shame they weren't open though. London, South Bank

At least one AEC crept into the Coach and Bus Show 2013 - Routemasters Ltd's very authentic RM1152.

After a bit of coaxing (blocked fuel filter?) JF2378 was driven under her own power into position with the other displaced Witton vehicles.

Arriva Midlands Optare Solo 2564 (X731FPO) in Sainsbury's livery, running the Sutton Coldfield free bus service from the Mere green supermarket.

Offside front view. It just looks worth preserving, doesn't it? Let me know if you're interested!

........while Yardley Wood Bus Club again allowed us to use their BCT single-deck Fleetline 3472, with 5479 (again) and WMPTE Fleetline 4041 bringing up the rear. The museum's new sign can also be seen for the first time on a public event - hope the visitors found the museum a bit more easily this time!

It's bonnet propped up to clear the battery booster used to start it, the museum's Metrocab Mk1 E681NHX ready to leave for the new site.

Temporary home at AMRTM Aldridge. 160 miles at the wheel from Framlingham to Aldridge - what a great way to spend a Saturday - thanks John!

An unexpected but very welcome visitor, this Bedford TK tipper.

One little bit of the past still showing - AEC Southall on the selector plate, the whole binnacle being designed for the later Merlins and Swifts. Unlike standard CAV/SCG plates, LT didn't have the neutral warning light - on the selector itself, the blocking plate that prevented a shift from 4th to 1/2/R was also not used by LT, as a very rapid manual shift from the 4th gear (auto) position to 1st could be needed in an emergency.

Procters of Leeming Bar Van Hool TDX Astromega PR05TER. Cambridge Services.

Restored in the museum's former home at Witton, 2548 was one of three Birmingham Guys present.

London Fire Service Mercedes rescue unit AE07HXS (FRU23) attending a road accident in the Embankment underpass at the north end of Blackfriars Bridge. The crew were trying to extract the driver of a small car that had gone into the back of a taxi.

The last event of 2013 at Aston Manor Transport Museum; the Collectors' Fair is not a running day, so not many buses 'in steam', just enough to run the Walsall feeder service. So S17 5479 waits to leave from Aldridge, with RM506 and BCT 3002 behind.........

Glad to see our friendly Mancunian on service again - thanks Kevin and friends.

Considering her 21st birthday is approaching, Streetly Coaches unrebuilt Duple 425 still looks up to date. Although I've never driven one (any offers?) I did have some technical involvement, with assessing the Cromweld 3Cr12 stainless steel structure on older vehicles and it was very impressive.

Waiting to return to Wythall, WMPTE East Lancs Fleetline 6757 (SDA757S)attracts the passengers as Dave Wall controls the running of the service.

Having taken Moor Hall School Bird Club to Wheat's Garden Centre, VDL Van Hool WT06HOL waits for the influx of children to return

Contrasting with the elderly B10M, Weardale's Van Hool T917 Altano, yet the front profile is actually very similar.

Another Van Hool at Peterborough was Sharpe's of Nottingham's 7JXO, a T917 Astron.

Trent SON 714, BCT 3002, Coventry 334, BMMO 5479 and Stratford Blue 36 line up in Hill Street prior to the final departure back to Witton. The age-related convoy got slightly out of prder when MCWplugdoors couldn't resist hearing the sound of the Leopard reverberating off the walls of the tunnels and overtook 5479, as I took the designated surface route.

One for MCW Plug Doors, his lovely Metrorider coach, ex-Skinners of Oxted, safely stored between WMPTE 7000 and an OB.

Midland Rider Solo 1731 (X731FPO) leaves Mere Green on the Sainsbury's Free Service to Sutton Coldfield, in full Sainsbury's livery.

Now, what would Flickrer Gardner8LXB be pointing out to the owner of ERF 310PJH, preserved in Hayes of Walsall livery, that is now a short-term Aldridge resident? Why - no Gardner badge, of course!

The driver of NatEX WM Enviro 400 4720 (BU07LGW) finds very little grip pulling up from Hillhook Road into Clarence Road, Four Oaks, on the 902 to Birmingham

The end of a year-long journey! This time last year,w e set out to ferry the S17 from storage near Coventry to storage near Wolverhampton, but fuel problems arose and we never made it. After work on the fuel system, the S17 had a good active summer, but as soon as we decided to complete the journey, back to air in the fuel problems - hence the missing engine cover. Puzzling.

Aston Manor Museum's 1971 WMPTE Fleetline 4041 has been off-site so far this year, but is not forgotten and will return to Aldridge from store very soon.

At the end of the introductory week of the extension of the X12 to Sutton Coldfield, a very full S24SLT (Scania L94/Wrights) Midland Classic 81, heads into Mere Green. I know SLT stands for South Lancs Travel, its previous owners, but to a Routmaster enthusiast, it means somehting else entirely - shame the numbers are not 56, 57, 58 or 59!

D9 interior - lower saloon. BMMO used an interesting seat design, with apparently separate squabs. It will look better when the combined advert panels and lights have adverts in them.

 

......as NatExWM Enviro400 4854 (BX61LMK) heads for Hillhook along Clarence Road, Sutton Coldfield.

John waiting patiently to board his VAL (VAL466G) after the passengers for the trip to Walsall and back, and on to Chasewater - no power doors on the coach, so it's driver operation only.

Our tram-moving held up some site activities, but, as the first Scania left, this superb 4-axle DAF CF of Burrows Recovery of Derby appeared. Not sure what it had brought to the site - it may well have been a dustcart to Dennis Eagle rather than a bus to Volant - but it was a wrecker to envy!

NatExWM Enviro400 4719 (BU07LGV), still in original TWM livery, heads towards Sutton on 902, in Clarence Road, Four Oaks

Why does our porch attract so much wildlife? I think this is a grey dagger moth larva, which normally feeds on hawthorn, climbing the wall asfast as it can - maybe looking for a space to pupate.

ICM Travel of Derby and Birmingham Neoplan E1CMT in Sutton Park, with Nash's of Birmingham as the legal owner.

As the new site has had good tv coverage, a bit more detail can be shown. The former Jack Allen refuse collection vehicle factory at Aldridge is our home for an initial storage period at least, so, in clear blue skies, Ford D-series meets the very first dustcart bodied by Jack Allen with the Heil system bodywork, Salford City Council's Dennis Paxit VBA512J, now preserved by Jack Allen Holdings and due to be re-restored shortly. The site is not open to the public!

Coventry 334 has left Aldridge for a short holiday, during which the results of her (my) small altercation with a gatepost will be repaired and she will participate in the Coventry centenary events.

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