London Bus Museum is renowned for the quality of its restorations with much of the work being carried out by our skilled volunteers. The Museum has a fully-equipped workshop with the facilities to carry out all mechanical and body-work as well as an upholstery trimshop. We have volunteer staff with mechanical, coachbuilding, coachpainting and trimming skills. New recruits to our restoration teams are always welcome, whether skilled or just ‘general hands’. Training is willingly given to those eager to learn new skills. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer in this area, please contact us here.
Previous total restorations have included our 1937 STL-type and the 1945 Guy ‘Utility’, the latter being subject to a complete body/chassis separation at the Museum. Here are details of our current restoration projects and future plans:
‘UMP 227′ is currently being painted externally and having its seats fitted. Completion is targeted for Summer 2013.
The re-building of the body of NS174 has commenced using new pieces of ash framing and what remains in usable condition from the original body. Some original drawings are available and our restorers have also been able to take measurements from London Transport Museum’s NS. The chassis and most of the mechanicals have already been completed. The reconstruction of the body is a major task, for example, new seats will have to be made from scratch, and further funding will be required for the manufacture of parts and any specialist work needing to be contracted out. A fundraising appeal will be launched during 2013. Full restoration is likely to take at least another two years after that.
Work on the Canteen Trailer will start during 2013 with a view to a light restoration that will make the trailer presentable for display by the end of the year, attached to its fully-restored Bedford tractor unit. If anyone has a small, 1950s-style ‘Ascot’ water-heater which they would be willing to donate towards the restoration of the canteen, we would be delighted to hear from you – please contact us here.
Upon completion of ‘UMP’, attention will turn to RF19. The coach will be returned to its original ‘sightseeing’ condition but all parts which were fitted when it was converted to a Green Line coach will be retained. The vehicle is in excellent mechanical condition, with new tyres fitted, but needs an interior re-trim and external repaint. Completion target date is late 2013.
After the completion of RF19, attention will turn to RFW6. There is body-work to do under the skin on this coach as well as an interior re-trim and external re-paint. A realistic completion date would be during 2015.
There is currently a fundraising appeal for RF19 and RFW6, with a total of £30,000 needed in order to complete both and to present the “Private Hire Story”. Donations are most gatefully received and details of the appeal and how to donate are here.
Longer-term projects to be started after completion of those above are T357, RLH53 and T448, probably in that order. There will remain after that LT1059 and STL2093 – restoration of those is still very much in the future, unless one of our supporters wins the Lottery and donates a considerable sum to the Museum!