Our next project is to get 255 looking like this...
Plans to return the outside appearance to something nearer the original condition are restarting after a two year pause due to restrictions and the consequent back log of work.
The above image shows 255 when still quite young. It has the CCFL logo on the side and a normal sized advert panel.
Additionally, 255 sports a full set of sun shades above the windows, including the front upper deck.
The other significant difference are the roof mounted lights, which can just be seen proud of the domes.
From this and other period images, it would appear that the mudguards were also body coloured. This would change the appearance, especially from the front.
With all that in mind, and with a full set of sunshades in hand, we sought out our friendly body specialist who set about fixing them to the bodywork, using the original plans and some period images. Some of the shades had seen better days and quite a bit of tlc was required to straighten them out. The method of fixing was also determined.
Before these were fixed onto the body, the programme of side window refurbishment was completed. Now, the windows stay up and keep out the draughts and rain!
Now the shades are fixed on, they look quite natural, although unpainted for now. We were not sure about the roof lights, but these have now been fabricated and will be fitted when work commences, lets hop they don't let the water in..
The side blind above the platform, which was painted over, had never been an issue. However, due to the livery change, it was agreed that we should bring it back to life.
AEC images show that the original affair had set back window glass without a rubber surround. The only way to accomplish this was to ask our body specialist to construct a bespoke panel based on the original plans. You will see from the image below that he has done a great job. A job for the future would be to get blind gear back in the box and working.
Another period picture came to light showing a bus in the proposed livery, but it still had semaphore indicators on the first pillars. Upon investigation, 255 still has the void in which to install these and after quick trawl around, a set of indicators were sourced and tested. This would also mean changing the rear light confiuration too, but as we run with a modern light bar, it won't be a problem.
Once all this work is done we are actively looking for someone to handpaint the bodywork.
And finally, the Sagres advert will remain, but will be proportioned to fit within the five central bays.
Our most recent trip was to the Beamish Open Air Museum, travelling up on Friday 15 June 2022, attending the site on Saturday and Sunday, returning home on Monday.
255 behaved impecibly during the journey, and we also provided visitors with rides as part of their heritgae bus service on both days.