Saturday, November 09, 2013

trentbarton 100: One man and his coach

What a day we had on 31st October as we celebrated our 100th birthday, 100 years to the day that Trent Motor Traction was created!

Read some of the coverage we received on the day in the Derby Telegraph and in the Ashbourne Advertiser. We've also got a selection of photos on the trentbarton website here and don't forget to look at the video on YouTube here.

Who else better to ask how the day went than one of the drivers of our vintage buses? Michael Rogan can normally be found driving on zoom between Long Eaton and Derby, but on 31 October, he was whizzing about in his own coach - a 1980 former Barton Leyland Leopard, no 564.

We put a few questions to Michael after the big day...

Michael, Michael, give us a wave!

What did your passengers on the day think?

Well the reaction I received from the customers was excellent. Several of them commented on how my bus brought back memories from, and others commented on how smooth and comfortable the bus was. One lady even said it doesn't rattle and was clearly built well, despite being older than other buses.

And what about other road users?

On my travels throughout the day I had several other road users flashing their lights and waving. Some even pipped their horns and then jumped as I sounded my horn in return.
There's something about heritage buses that makes people smile no matter whether they're young or old.

What did you enjoy the most?

The thing I enjoyed most about the day was driving my bus in service and listening to the older customers telling stories of when they used to travel on buses like mine when they were new. I also enjoyed helping Trent celebrate this great milestone in it's history. Here's to another 100 years!

What's it like owning your own bus?

I had always wanted to have my own bus and I longed for the day when I could get behind the wheel. That day came in the early part of 2013 when I brought ex Barton Leyland Leopard KAU564V. The bus I always wanted to preserve was ex Barton A613CAL, this being my old school bus. Sadly my friend who used to own her sold her to a company in Kent and there she remains, sitting in a field out of use slowly returning to nature. Maybe one day I can get her back before it's too late. 

For now though I shall concentrate on restoring 564 to her former glory. Hopefully she'll be ready to help Trent celebrate 125 years...

Read more about our 100 years here.

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