A VINTAGE bus, which was a familiar sight on Shetland’s roads between 1950 and 1979, is heading home to the isles next week.
Owner Nick Taylor will be setting off on the eleven day trip north from Norfolk on Monday alongside four members of the Shetland Commercial Vehicle Preservation Society.
Plans to take the 67 year old Bedford OB Coach have been simmering away for the last couple of years.
The vintage bus will go on show at the society’s Shetland Commercial Vehicle Show at the Cunningsburgh show fields on 24 and 25 June after it arrives in the isles.
The bus will line up alongside over 50 entries including lorries, coaches, vans, pickups, and horse carts, as well as stationary engines, photographs and models.
In 2013 Taylor met with John Watt from Reawick, who alongside his father James ran the bus in Shetland between 1968 and 1979.
Taken by the “sentiment” shown for the bus, Taylor decided to gift the HGE219-registered vehicle to the society.
The coach was sold to W Thompson of Sandwick in 1950 before transferring to Johnson of Scalloway four years later.
In 1979 it was sold to Kestral Coaches of Stourport on Severn, before Taylor bought it in 2011 and refurbished it back to its former flory.
The eleven day trip north will cover 1,100 miles and it will take the bus through Lincolnshire, the Lake District and Loch Lomond before it heads west to Caithness and then to Orkney and Shetland.
SCVPS chairman Mark Robinson said: “For the Shetland members of the group, it will be driving off the ferry in Lerwick that will be the highlight of the whole trip.
“To bring this iconic vehicle home to Shetland, back to the people who relied on it for the twenty nine years it was in service with William Thomson in
Sandwick and James Johnson & Son of Scalloway before finally moving to James Watt and Son in Reawick is what the whole trip is about for SCVPS.”
The vehicle show is being held in conjunction with the Hamefairin of HGE219 and a supper dance will take place at Cunningsburgh Hall from 8.30pm on Saturday.