Monthly Archives: June 2017

Vintage 1950s Bedford coach to return to Shetland

A vintage coach used in the Shetland Isles from 1950 until 1979 is about to begin its 1,000-mile journey home.

The 1950s Bedford coach was bought by Nick Taylor in 2011, and he completed its restoration at his home at Weybread in Suffolk.

A visit from its Shetland-based former driver in 2013 persuaded Mr Taylor the coach belonged back on the island.

It will leave from outside Norwich Cathedral on Monday, after a blessing from the bishop.

The coach was used by islanders to get to the shops and to go to school.

Mr Taylor said he realised it was a “lifeline to the islanders” after a visit to Suffolk from its former driver, James Watt, in 2013.

He said: “It was his life – he’d drive it every day across the island. He took children to school and relatives to weddings and funerals. He even did impromptu deliveries across the island.”

Mr Watt, from Reawick, Shetland, drove the Duple Vista coach from 1968

Mr Taylor has donated it to the Shetland Commercial Vehicle Preservation Trust.

He and a support team of 10, including Mr Watt, a vicar and a chef will depart from outside Norwich Cathedral.

The Bedford, which has a top speed of 40mph (64kph), will be driven to the Shetland Isles via Lincolnshire, across to the Lake District and up the west coast of Scotland.

Mr Taylor hopes they will reach Shetland on 22 June.

1938/9 Cape Record Wolseley – help needed

I’m researching the London to Cape Town trans Africa record that was set up in 1938/9 by Humphrey Symons and Bertie Browning, in a Wolseley 18/85. I am trying to find newspaper articles and photos from the journey. I have noticed while researching that Bill Burnell photographed the Wolseley – I am wanting to use some of the photos in my blog about the journey and the car on it’s return to England. Would you be able to help me in attaining the photos?

I have Bertie Browning’s 600 page hand written diary which I have typed and currently posting chapters on my blog

You may want to follow the blog as I post the chapters.

Many thanks

Claire Wilkinson 
South Africa