Saturday June 9th 2007, was GCS 50V's first day out to an organised event. The event in question was an open day held by Stagecoach Western at their Kilmarnock Depot to celebrate 75 years in business. This was the same company GCS 50V started life with back in 1980 so it was fantastic she was able to attend. The journey to Kilmarnock went smoothly, we had been allocated four spaces at the depot and GCS 50V was joined by Ex Kelvin Volvo Ailsa, Ex Midland Metrobus and Westerns own Leyland Leopard coach which the museum has on long term loan. We made good progress, but since two of the vehicles were double decker's we had to take the long way to Kilmarnock. Although slightly late arriving at the depot we were quickly shown to our allocated spaces..... Time now to chill out!
part of a long line up at Kilmarnock Depot, B105 PKS Ex Midland Scottish Metrobus seen with proud owner George next to GCS 50V.
GCS 50V is in there somewhere, I think!
The day was very successful with GCS 50V attracting much attention since this was her first day out since passing into preservation. The weather was fantastic very hot day and my only worry was would we all get back to Beith without overheating!
During the afternoon I met with some members of the training school based at Kilmarnock Depot. Since this is where I might be learning to drive it was a great opportunity to meet some of the trainers. One of the attractions at the open day was the chance to have a shot of driving a real bus, and once the line waiting was not too long I decided to give it go. I found it a bit strange at first and great to drive, but I was also aware that the fairly new Volvo coach I found myself in might not be just the same experience as my 27 year old Leyland leopard!
Just time to be quickly shown the important things like the brake!
OK one more lap will do me promise!
Although I did not own former Clydeside Scottish Leyland Fleetline HSD 73V at this point in time, she did also attend the event. Below are some pictures taken in the yard at Kilmarnock.
Just after 4.00pm it was time to head home, we were all ready to leave when we found that the Western Coach we had brought had a flat battery and would not start! After a little attention from George and a jump start we were on our way home to Beith. A pleasant journey home, again with no problems encountered by any of us. After my first driving lesson at Kilmarnock, I decided that since GCS 50V's MOT was due to expire shortly, the journey home would be a great chance for me to finally get to drive my bus on the open road. After a quick run through the controls then we were on our way again. I was delighted with how she drives, the steering was a little heavier but apart from that not too different to the Volvo I had experienced earlier in the day. My confidence was now growing and after arrival back at Beith I decided to try and navigate GCS 50V in the gate, around the other buses in the yard, back inside the museum and finally reversed back into my space. No problems were encountered, the training at Kilmarnock must be good!
Finally a big thank you to Donald Scott for being my driver for the day, without you GCS 50V would not have been able to attend the open day. Much Appreciated!
After my first lesson, now I am ready to hit the road!
Time to head back to Beith, why is everybody traveling on the other bus?
Since the MOT on GCS 50V expires on the 24th June 2007, we decided in light of the reasonable summer weather to take her for a short run today. After a quick fuel stop at Renfrew Road in Paisley, a road this vehicle would have known well earlier in its life, it was back to Beith and on down the coast to Largs. We had a fantastic view of the Clyde and the island of Millport as we started our steep decent down in to Largs a route again this vehicle would have travelled often in the past. From Largs we headed along the coast to Kilwinning and back home to Beith via Dalry. As always a faultless journey with GCS 50V performing well apart from the 2nd gear not working. Many thanks again to Donald for kindly agreeing to drive today!
A quick stop for fuel at Renfrew Road, Paisley.
A quick photo stop on the A78 just outside Seamill.
Today Beith Transport Museum had a visit from Philip and Sandra Lamb, Bus and Coach Preservation Magazine. The weather was good and a pleasent day was had by all. Both GCS 50V and Volvo Ailsa LHS 747V were used to take our guests out for a short run and photo shoot in the local area. The photos taken will be used in an article to be published soon in the magazine. The photos of GCS 50V were taken outside the local church in Beith. Many thanks again to Donald for driving both vehicles on the day!
Some Pictures Taken Outside The Local Church In Beith
Back At Beith After Photo Shoot!
Today GCS 50V Passed her MOT! After I finished work I decided to take her for a run to Kilmacolm. I grew up in Kilmacolm and have many memories of traveling on Clydeside Scottish Leyland Leopards to and from Kilmacolm. This was also my first proper drive with my bus since I had passed my test. As always with GCS 50V no problems were encountered during the run. Many thanks to Ewan Gray for taking the photos since I left my camera at home that day!
Houston Road, Kilmacolm. The House I Lived In During My Time In Kilmacolm Was Just Round The Corner. I Got Off At This Stop On My Way Home From School!
The Turning Circle On The Road To Port Glasgow. Kilmacolm Is In The Background.
The Cross At Kilmacolm.
Houston Road Again! This Stop Would Be Where I Got The Bus To School! Time To Head Back To Beith.
This was the first full open weekend of the TPT Beith Transport Museum. Since GCS 50V was now serviced, insured and had a current MOT, she operated a few shuttle services with myself driving! to Glasgow George Sq and also Glengarnock Station. As you will see from the photos the weather was not great on the Saturday but the Sunday was a fantastic day. GCS 50V preformed very well and the open weekend was a great sucesss.
Below are some photos taken during the two day event.
Old Friends Meet Again! GCS 35V also now preserved, visited our open weekend at Beith.
Shuttle Service From Glengarnock Railway Station.
Some Photos Taken During The Shuttle Runs To Glasgow George Sq. The Clydeside Crew!