Bus fans flocked to Bradford for rides down memory lane as 35 vintage buses filled the city’s squares and streets this afternoon.
Forty years ago, Bradford bus travellers bade farewell to the blue and cream beauties that had ferried them around the city and welcomed a new era of Verona Green.
On April 1, 1974 Metro, the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, took over the merged municipal bus fleets of Bradford, Leeds City Transport, Huddersfield and Halifax and Calderdale.
Split into four districts, each got new paintworks with a new livery of Verona Green and Cream replacing the former Bradford colours.
And buses of every hue, lovingly maintained by the Keighley Museum Trust and other local transport heritage groups, drew big crowds in Centenary Square and at Jacob’s Well.
AEC Regents, Daimlers and Leyland Panthers gleamed in the occasional afternoon sun and free trips around the city in such classic vehicles were enjoyed by many visitors.
Transport fan Alan Compton, from Shipley, had brought his seven-year-old son Jack, who stood mesmerised by a big chugging diesel engine displayed under its open bonnet.
“I just love the solid engineering of these buses and the care that went into them. They were lovingly made and have been lovingly kept,” Mr Compton said.
And to show off the very latest in public transport, First West Yorkshire also gave guided tours of their Bowling Back Lane bus depot.
Truck mechanic and member of Keighley Bus Museum Trust Kiran Tolsan helped organise the logistics of bringing so many, sometimes temperamental, elderly vehicles all together.
“It’s been a team effort and it’s turned out to be really successful.
“There are lots of bus enthusiasts, but also plenty of members of the public.
“We’ve had great support from transport groups from as far as Derby and the West Midlands who’ve sent buses up,” Mr Tolsan said.
The 40th anniversary celebration was organised by all the main bus preservation organisations in West Yorkshire, led by Keighley Bus Museum Trust Ltd with help from the Aire Valley Transport Group, the West Riding Omnibus Museum Trust, and Transport Yorkshire Preservation Group.