Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Bum Steer

The humble wedding ring has a lot to answer for.

After passing through the fingers of thousands of bus drivers, 270 KTA's steering wheel lost its war of attrition with the band of gold long, long ago. For every battle scar in its plastic coating, a new layer of tape - black, gold, and even bright red - has been wound around its surface like a giant bandage.

Now twice its original thickness, multicoloured, sticky, and with trailing ends that slime through your hands at every bend, it's become the job I really must tackle before we go out again.

I discovered this evening, there's a problem - somebody's already tried and failed. Quite spectacularly.

To get the steering wheel recoated, or even painted in the interim, it has to come off. Normally you'd remove the centre nut and use a pulling device to lever the wheel gently from the column.

Or, if you're silly, you'd just resort to bashing the centre of the steering column for no obvious reason, mutilating the threads and ending any hope of getting the original nut to fit. You'd then leave the steering wheel attached only with a token nut of the wrong size and thread and hope that nobody noticed. Guess which method was used last time?!

Far from the small task of getting the wheel repaired, I'm now faced with the challenge of finding a way to build up the steering column enough that a new thread can be cut into it. Otherwise, the steering wheel could fall of at any time!

Oh, and it has to be done before Kingsbridge Running Day in three weeks. Any ideas, then give me a steer....

Friday, 5 August 2011

Little Things

Great news for those eagerly awaiting the models of 270 KTA and her kind, mooted earlier this year.

A pre-production sample of the resin kit, specially comissioned, reached me today. It's great! The windscreens will need some careful attention to make them look right, but the basic body is spot on.

If you're one of the lucky 25, heralding from as disparate locations as Guernsey and Scotland, you can expect your bundle of joy in September.

But, as with a real SU, you'll need to invest a few hours before it's quite ready for the coach station...

Tuesday, 2 August 2011


As if there hasn't been enough to celebrate these past couple of months, 270 KTA is rejoicing in a milestone for her owner.

I've passed my PCV test, and now have a full licence to drive buses and coaches!

(Those interested can read more in this article.)

This is, of course, great news for anybody hoping to ride on 270 KTA. I've previously been allowed to drive her with only 8 passengers or fewer because of a legal exemption for drivers of buses over 30 years of age.

With a PCV licence we can participate fully in running days and carry as many of you as her 33 seats will take at a time. Form an orderly queue...

Roll on Kingsbridge Running Day, Saturday 17th September. More on that very soon...