Bedford YRQ – VDL 264K

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 owned by  –  The Isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum (click title to read more…)

VDL 264K
Seaview Services VDL264K is seen receiving a wash at Newport Quay

The bus service between Ryde and Seaview via Puckpool Park and the coastal road along the Duver was for years the only independent stage carriage service on the Island. The survival of this last independant route was influenced by the Newell family’s ownership of the Toll Road which kept the bigger company out of their territory. Their bus route served 2 popular (at the time) holiday camps (St Clare and Puckpool), as well as the seaside village of Seaview where the company’s Seafield Garage was the terminus in Ryde Road.

A selection of small capacity single deckers proved inadequate to deal with the post-war traffic boom which necessitated 3 double deckers. A high capacity Bedford VAL bus followed and the next bus purchased was a Bedford YRQ with Plaxton Derwent 49 seat bus body, registered VDL 264K in 1972.

VDL264K, with Chivers, seen in Upper Hale, Farnham, 21 May 1982 © Peter Relf
VDL264K, with Chivers, seen in Upper Hale, Farnham, 21 May 1982 © Peter Relf

VDL264K settled down to a mundane career on the Ryde-Seaview bus service for nearly 7 years, when VDL was sold, in June 1979 to Chivers of Elstead in Surrey. It subsequently passed to gales and then the East Surrey fleet which came to the fore as the local National bus companies relinquished much of their less remunerative rural work, the vehicle regularly operating between Oxted and East Grinstead. It was a reliable vehicle which contributed to the long term survival but its working career ended soon after East Surrey sold out to Metrobus. In the mid 1990s. VDL passed to Wealden Omnibus, the Kent based dealer and then was acquired, but not used by, the Traditional Motor Bus Co. which had been set up for franchised operation in the South Wight area of the Island. It was resold without entering service to Michael Perkins, a Newport enthusiast, who intended restoration as an exhibit for the I.W. Bus Museum but sadly died before this could be carried out. The bus at this stage still carried the orange and cream livery of East Surrey.

It was inherited by Sally Sears (of Freshwater, then later of Newport) but eventually passed back to the Bus Museum in August 2001. It was displayed in the Museum for a time but then, as Southern Vectis were in need of an extra driver training bus for a heavy trainee programme, it was placed on loan as their No. 576. It was intended this would have been for a 2-year period but it was not the most popular of vehicles and in fact the loan only ran for 11 months. It was given an MOT on 10th October 2002 and put into service at once but was not used after 15th April 2003. After a period parked up at Ryde, VDL 264K was placed in the body and paint shops for renovation and repaint as part of the hire arrangement. After provision of transfers by Seaview Services and a long period in storage, it was returned to the Bus Museum for display in 2013

Vehicle Details/Specification:

  • Bedford YRQ, Chassis No. 2T471267
  • Body: Plaxton Derwent, No. 729849

Key dates:

  • New – 16 March 1972
  • Withdrawn – 1979
  • Sold to Chivers of Elstead in Surrey – June 1979
  • Sold to Gales, Surrey – ????
  • Sold to East Surrey as No 20, Godstone – 1988
  • Sold Wealden Omnibus, Kent (dealer) – ????
  • Sold to Traditional Motor Bus Company, Isle of Wight  – ????
  • Sold to Michael Perkins, for restoration/preservation – ????
  • Inherited by Sally Shears, Freshwater – ????
  • Donated to Isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum – August 2001
  • Loaned to Southern Vectis as driver trainer 576 – September 2002 – August 2003
  • Repainted into original Seaview services livery by Southern Vectis – 2003

Current Status:

  • Non operational