Hop aboard the big red bus
‘‘I've driven through town twice and you see little kids or you see people and it just instantly puts a massive smile on their face.’’
It has taken two years to get back into a roadworthy condition, but a 1952 double decker bus is ready to hit the roads of Marlborough.
And for Gary Wright, who owns Roadtrips Marlborough, it’s a huge source of pride.
Wright has worked on the bus, which has not been on the road since 1979, with his father Roy, and close friends have also pitched in to help.
He said it had been an allconsuming project.
‘‘It’s been a bloody massive project, everything from the whole thing being stripped back, all the windows being taken out, all the skins have been taken off it, all the wooden framing has been replaced, new skins put on the outside, new window frames. So it’s been a real team effort by a lot of people,’’ Wright said.
The bus would be used by Roadtrips Marlborough and was available for private hire, but not as a party bus.
Restoring he London bus had cost Wright a small fortune.
‘‘Oh mate, I spent a lot. I haven’t actually been counting it up and I haven’t wanted to keep count.
‘‘It’s one of those things that if I knew how much I spent on it I would probably cringe, but I’ve spent an awful lot of money on it but you’ve got to spend your money on something! Including the shed I built for the bus it would probably end up around six figures,’’ Wright said.
The bus was ready for operation but Wright said he was finalising a few things before making it available for charter.
He said it was strictly not a party bus due to the amount of work he had put into it.
‘‘It’s technically as legal as every other bus I’ve got so technically I could use it this afternoon if I wanted to. I’m just putting a few things together on rules and that sort of stuff because I’ve spent a lot of time and money on this so I don’t want it wrecked.
‘‘It’s going to be more of a ‘enjoy the old school times’ bus I guess, similar to the steam train,’’ Wright said, referring to new tourist attraction The Marlborough Flyer.
Wright said the reactions of people on the street had put a smile on his face.
‘‘I’ve driven through town twice and you see little kids or you see people and it just instantly puts a massive smile on their face. People are pointing and taking photos of it and I guess it’s almost like a pat on the back of a good achievement of rebuilding it.’’
Gary Wright says the restored bus will soon be ready for service, although not as a ‘party bus’.