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About this eventA new vintage transport venue for us in 2023 is the village of Kirkby-in-Ashfield where we will be visiting Vallances Coaches for a day of photography with their 1946 AEC Regal coach around rural Nottinghamshire.
In its current heritage transport identity, the coach is known as Walter, although it will be operating incognito during our event with appropriate destinations fitted over the blind so that the AEC looks the part for the occasion.
Walter was delivered new in October 1946 to J H Wooliscroft of Darley Dale, near Matlock in Derbyshire. The company traded as Silver Service and operated many local bus routes in and around Darley Dale. By the mid-1970s Walter had been withdrawn from service and spent some time stored outdoors in Derbyshire. It soon passed into the care of Mr Gardiner based in London for preservation. The vehicle’s stay in the south was short-lived and by the early 1980s Walter was back in Derbyshire owned by its namesake Mr Walter Slack of Fritchley. Rallied by Mr Slack and his family for some years, eventually the AEC became in need of serious restoration so was taken off the road and stored in a barn for a number of years before it was purchased by John Burton at Burtons Coaches in Alfreton. Under John’s ownership the AEC became the subject of a full ‘body off’ nut and bolt restoration with the entire wood frame being replaced in the process.
In 2011, it was time for Walter to once more move on and it passed to Exclusive Cars Ltd of Nottingham, an operator of wedding cars and vintage buses. Walter was operated for several years before the owner’s death saw The coach for sale again. At this point, the Regal passed to its current owners, Vallances Coaches Limited based in Kirkby-in-Ashfield and is again available for private hire. The AEC Regal is a 33-seater and is in immaculate condition inside and out.
For those not familiar with the area, although fairly close to Nottingham there are a wealth of rural locations from which to choose, so much so that we certainly can’t visit them all in one day; fortunately, Vallances have several other fine vintage vehicles which we might just have our eye on for future reference!
We intend to have some accompanying vintage transport to complement the Regal, exactly which vehicles will depend on how well the event books. We will also be looking for some period passengers to add to the scenes and to populate the passenger seats during photo stops. No guarantees, but we are already hard at work on this one. Thanks is due to Steve Kirk and Ben Vallance for their help with this event.
We aim to meet at 09.15 for a departure at circa 09.30 hours, and for us to be out on the road until approximately 17.30 (though with at least one refreshment break and most likely two during the day). We will arrange a suitable meeting place close to Kirkby-in-Ashfield with car parking; details nearer the time. New vehicles and a new area to explore should provide us with an interesting and enjoyable day out with a difference.
Image courtesy Steve Kirk.
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