Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Ensign running day

For a lot of preserved owners the rally season finishes in September or October. Not mine!

Having acquired Leyland Olympian H105GEV with a class 6 MOT (that's what you need to operate for hire & reward), I offered myself and the vehicle to Ensign Bus for their heritage running day on Saturday 3rd December. As the running day is operated commercially, collecting fares, only class 6 vehicles can be used.

Subject to a satisfactory safety inspection, check of my licence and agreement on how the vehicle would be correctly insured etc, Ensign Bus agreed to the Olympian's inclusion in their event.

We were allocated to the X81 Grays to Shenfield route - we were unable to work either of the other two routes (X21 Upminster to Ongar & X55 Upminster to Gravesend) because of the London Low Emission Zone, and also a low bridge on the X21 means its a single deck only route.

Ensign had the Olympian stored at their depot from the Tuesday prior to the running day to allow time for the safety inspection to be completed, so it was only a short dead trip on running day morning to take up service at Lakeside on our first trip to Shenfield. We then duly completed 3 round trips.

Because the running day uses only class 6 vehicles, it is a properly registered bus service that observes all bus stops on line of route and thus offers local journey's and one off connections for one day only. It was certainly different stopping when people put their hands out or ring the bell..........and collecting fares - the last time I did that was 16 years ago! We sold £17.10 worth of local fares, so it goes to show that we didn't just have enthusiasts on board.

Here we are at Lakeside before entering service on our first trip to Shenfield: