In October 2004, the Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust re-created the magic of express coach travel, when Preston came alive for a festival of public transport. The Trust, based in Freckleton, Lancashire, is a registered charity dedicated to saving and restoring buses and coaches with a Ribble connection and to remembering the glory days when the Frenchwood based company dominated coach travel in the north west. Most of its express routes passed through Preston, and the Trust felt that the re-creation for a day of some of these services would form a fitting tribute to Ribble's buses, coaches and its staff. At the modern Walton-le-Dale Park and Ride site, close to Preston City Centre and just across the River Ribble from Frenchwood, the Trust gathered together over forty mainly vintage buses and coaches but also a selection of more modern vehicles associated with Ribble routes and local operators including Preston Bus Limited, John Fishwick & Sons and Stagecoach. In addition to the static display of vehicles, the Trust organised a series of services so that enthusiasts and the general public alike could step back in time and take free rides to places such as Chorley on the famed X60 route that originally ran from Manchester to Blackpool; Blackburn on the X55 and Lytham on the X61. Medium distance services were represented with journeys from West Yorkshire to Preston via Accrington and Burnley re-enacting Services J1/ J2 and from Morecambe and Lancaster to Preston to recall services operated by Western Scottish to Preston and beyond.
Happily Independent Transport Videos were there to film the day's events and capture the 'feel' of vehicles that would have worked peak period services from Manchester to Blackpool, so sit back and enjoy some evocative moments from trips to Chorley on preserved vehicles such as Lytham St Annes all Leyland PD1 no. 19 and newly restored ex Ribble RESL no.338. Look out for shots of Ribble coaches including a Burlingham bodied Tiger Cub; a Plaxton Panorama bodied Leopard and White Lady no 1279, plus coaches representing the fleets of West Riding, West Yorkshire and Western Scottish.
You can also take a ride aboard Preston Bus Limited's Atlantean no.176 repainted in a special livery to commemorate 100 years of public transport in Preston, as it operates a special service from the Park & Ride site to the Ribble Steam Railway on Preston Docklands. Plenty of action shots and familiar Atlantean engine sounds to savour!
Produced by - Independent Transport Videos
Running time - 71 Minutes