1950 BEDFORD OB’S RETURN TO SHETLAND ISLANDS

We have Arrived in Shetland
Our Trip from Norwich to Shetland is Over

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This beautiful and iconic coach made its long journey home to the Shetland Islands from its then current residence in Norfolk after the owner, Nick Taylor, decided to gift the vintage vehicle back to Shetland. The coach became integral to the way of life for Shetland Islanders between 1950 and 1979 as a lifeline to shops, schools and other essential amenities we all take for granted today.  

Nick bought the coach back in 2011 and immediately sought to finish the renovations to it. In 2013, former owner and operator John Watt from Reawick, Shetland, visited the coach in East Anglia. Nick was moved by the emotion seeing the old coach evoked in John; it was clear that many people on the Islands remember the coach.  In its working heyday it took residents to school, to dances, to weddings and to funerals. To Nick, it seemed the only course of action was to return the coach back to the Shetland Islands where it is so fondly remembered.

THE GIFT

The coach has been gifted to the Shetland Commercial Vehicle Preservation Trust, an organisation based on the Shetland Islands, which will ensure that it is used for the benefit of the islanders and visitors for many years to come. The Trust has pledged to maintain the vehicle at least to its current condition.

Read more >>>> RENOVATION

THE COACH

The coach is of the iconic Duple Vista design with a six-cylinder petrol engine and a top speed of around 40 miles per hour. Research shows that the coach spent the first 29 years of her life in the Shetland Islands from 1950 onwards. Having made its way south in the late eighties, it eventually wound up under Nick’s ownership in 2011. More recently, the coach has undergone large-scale renovations so that it is now ready to complete such a lengthy journey.

Read more >>>> THE COACH

THE TEAM

1.      Nick Taylor – Owner and one of the main drivers

2.      Ivan Robertson – Mechanic and professional coach driver from Shetland

3.      Tom Taylor - Recently retired professional chef providing for the teams culinary needs

4.      Rev Michael Kingston - In charge of the route and possibly our spiritual needs?

5.      Mike Batcheler - Financial management and publicity.

6.      Elizabeth Robertson - Support for Tom with purchasing provisions and food preparation

7.      John Watt – Previous owner from Shetland and driver

8.      Mark Robinson – (Shetlander) will support with driving, and arrangements on Orkney and Shetland.

9.      Trevor Allchin – Semi-professional photographer/movie maker who will accompany the trip and produce a professional quality DVD of our adventure.

10.    Philippa Green (Web Designer) in charge of updating the Web Site, Facebook Page and Twitter Page during our trip.

THE ROUTE

The coach set off on Monday June 12th from Norwich Cathedral, after being blessed by Bishop Graham, who is a fan of the coach. The route then incorporated the North Norfolk Coastline, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, the Lake District, Skye, Orkney and many other points along the way before reaching the final destination on the Shetland Islands. The coach was accompanied by a support vehicle to carry spares, tools and food and drink for the team.

Read More >>>> ROUTE MAP