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Vintage 1959 bus to take to Norwich’s roads again for EACH fundraising day

PUBLISHED: 13:27 02 August 2017 | UPDATED: 07:18 09 August 2017

The restored LS 789 pictured in June 2016. Picture: DANIEL PEART

The restored LS 789 pictured in June 2016. Picture: DANIEL PEART

DANIEL PEART

It has transported hundreds of people across the country.

The LS 789 bus when it was being downgraded. Picture: ETCS ARCHIVE The LS 789 bus when it was being downgraded. Picture: ETCS ARCHIVE

And now, after more than 30 years after it was taken out of official service, an East Anglian vintage bus will rev up again and take on a starring role for a hospice fundraiser.

The 1959 Bristol MW5G will be used for bus rides around Norwich landmarks on Sunday, August 13.

All the rides are part of the inaugural Norwich Bus Bash event, running from 11am-4pm, in aid of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices’ (EACH) nook appeal.

EACH launched its appeal two years ago to raise £10m for a new purpose-built facility at Framingham Earl, which will replace its Quidenham base.

An image of the LS 789 bus when brand new. Picture: ETCS ARCHIVE An image of the LS 789 bus when brand new. Picture: ETCS ARCHIVE

Alongside the rides, First Eastern Counties is opening its depot on Roundtree Way, Norwich, to the public for the first time.

The Norwich Bus Bash is free, but donations will be collected during the day for EACH.

Bodywork of the 1959 Bristol MW5G, known as the LS789, was built by Eastern Coachworks of Lowestoft.

It spent the first half of its life operating express coach services from Norfolk across the country.

A decade later, the LS 789 was downgraded to work town and county services, being based at Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn, Norwich and Peterborough until its withdrawal at Lowestoft in August 1976.

After a brief spell as a school bus at Lowestoft’s Kirkley High School, the vehicle was bought for preservation in June 1979 by the Eastern Transport Collection Society.

The society restored the bus to its current condition.

David Jordan, First Eastern Counties marketing manager, said: “We are delighted that our ongoing relationship with local preservationists such as the Eastern Transport Collection Society has allowed us to offer rides on this immaculately restored vintage vehicle as part of this event.

“We hope that rides on this, as well as the many other heritage buses that will be joining us on the day, will be greatly enjoyed by everyone who comes along.”

Family-friendly activities at the Norwich Bus Bash include a display of old and new buses; guided tours; opportunities to have photos taken in a bus cab; and a ride through a bus wash.

Visit www.firstgroup.com/Norfolk-Suffolk for more details.

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