“The Old Girl” comes to Bournemouth Aviation Museum

A vintage bus made a rare visit to the Bournemouth Aviation Museum for the fifth annual Vintage Transport Day.

The bus, a 1939 K5G, was built in 1939 in Bristol, and is believed to be the longest-serving bus in the UK.

Affectionately known as “The Old Girl”, after more than 70 years, it is now the nation’s oldest bus still to be working with its original owner Southern Vectis.

It is marvellous and beautifully restored, with green and cream livery, The Old Girl stands out from all other buses at the exhibition. The design on the front of the bus as well as an open top adds more characters to this double decker.

The roof was removed early in 1959 for seasonal operation. The problem with an open top is that it would be too cold in Winter to sit there even for a few seconds.

The bus is fitted with 30 seats upstairs and 26 in the lower saloon plus 8 standing.

Over the years, various modifications have taken place including replacing padded seats to hard, wooden, slatted seats, flashing indicators and a tachogragh being fitted.

The bus began working on the Ryde to Cowes route taking workers to and from the shipyards during the second world war. Now the bus is mainly used for private hire and is popular with wedding parties for transporting the bride, groom and guests to and from the wedding venue.

The Old Girl has aged well and does not look at all old, more like a pretty young girl. Hopes are high that she will be kept in this state for future generations.

Main Image: Xialu Wang

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