Unless otherwise stated, all trips depart from the front car park at Stagecoach’s Stockton Depot, in Hill Street East, just off the Church Road dip. There is usually more than enough on-street parking available for Sunday departures. Members and friends are welcome on all of these outings. Full details for each event will be posted nearer to the date and further events may be added. Each outing is subject to the usual provisos about (1) the listed event going ahead as planned, (2) vehicle availability, (3) sufficient members intending to travel, (4) developments with Covid (5) etc., etc.

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Provisional 2024 Rally Programme

The following is our initially intended programme of outings for 2024. Please note that not all the events are confirmed, nor are the dates, and our attendance will be subject to acceptance of our entry. Confirmation of each event will be posted as we receive it. Further events will be added as we get confirmation from their organisers.

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Sunday 31st March 2024 – Cumbria Easter Rally (Kirkby Stephen)

Sunday 5th May 2024 – NEBPT Metrocentre Rally

Sunday 26th May 2024 – NNRG Open Day at Philadelphia

Sunday 21st July 2024 – SYTT Running and Open Day at Eastwood, Rotherham (to be confirmed)

Sunday 28th July 2024 – Sandtoft Gathering

Bank Holiday Monday 26th August 2024 – NEBPT Seaburn Rally

Sunday 13th October 2024 – AVTG Skipton

Sunday 27th October 2024 – NNRG Open Day at Philadelphia

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Previous Events Attended

Sunday 20th March – Manchester Museum of Transport’s Spring Spectacular. We travelled with Rob Hughes in his Strathtay Leopard, leaving Stockton Depot at 0700. With refreshment stops en route, a great time was had by all.

Sunday 17th April saw us return to the Cumbria Easter Rally at Kirkby Stephen for 106’s first rally outing since June 2019. 106 performed very well on the day, including two runs on the Brough to Kirkby Stephen shuttle service, although avoiding the demanding hill between Kirkby Stephen East and West stations! Untypically summery weather made for a very successful start to what we hope will be a full rally season in 2022.

Sunday 1st May – Workington Transport Heritage Trust – Leyland National 50th Anniversary event. We travelled in newly repaired Olympian 223, M223SVN, for only her third rally since her restoration in 2020! A long but very worthwhile day, departing from Stockton Depot at 0655, picking up at Feethams in Darlington en route and arriving at Whitehaven at 1010. Given the length of the journey, we had a comfort stop at the Rheged Discovery Centre, each way. One of the most unusual service areas anywhere!

Saturday 7th May – Our sales stall was at the MBF Show at Wawn Street Salvation Army Hall in South Shields.

Saturday 14th May – We took 99 to the Aycliffe & District BPT’s Darlington Running Day, involving the recreation of two former Darlington Corporation bus routes. We provided free rides on the 2B Salters Lane Circular (at 1200 and 1400) and on the 4 to Branksome at 1115, 1245 and 1445. Both services operated non-stop with start and finish in the open air Market, where the buses were on display between runs. 

Sunday 15th May – NEBPT – MetroCentre Bus and Coach Show. We attended possibly the biggest preserved (and current) bus gathering in the Northeast and hopefully provided a surprise by turning up with three buses, 99, 106 and 223. Between that and our best day ever on the sales stall, a great day out.

Saturday 28th May – Northern National Restoration Group Depot Bash. A delightful day out to the NNRG’s Open Day at their depot in the Grade II listed, former Sunderland & District Electric Tramways Power Station in Philadelphia. It is a fascinating building in itself and lies next to the one-time SDO Depot. The NNRG’s resident vehicles were augmented by Graeme Scarlett’s and Rob Hughes’s Leopards and our own H106 and 223. Seven of the resident and visiting buses ran trips to the Herrington Country Park roundabout, next to Penshaw Monument (and further!). A lovely relaxed event was rounded off by a cavalcade followed by a photo session in the former SDO forecourt.

Sunday 5th June – HCVS – Tees Tyne Run with H106. A very enjoyable event, cruising through County Durham and over the Northern Spire Bridge in Sunderland to get from Stockton to South Shields. A great atmosphere with friendly waves from spectators and bystanders as the cavalcade passed.

Sunday 19th June – NEBPT – Durham (Howlands) Fathers Day Classic Vehicle Display – departing Stockton Depot at 0900. We took 99, H106 and 223 and all three operated two trips each on the revised shuttle service. Particularly nice to have David Hunter travelling with us again.

Sunday 26th June – Preston Park Vintage Fire Engine Rally – We departed from Stockton Depot at 0900, parked up at Preston Park and set up the sales stall, only to have the event cancelled due to safety concerns related to the strong winds forecast.

Sunday 17th July – NEBPT/Beamish Living Museum – Beamish Bus Bonanza. We took 99, 106 and 223 again. 99 and 106 needed to travel ahead with the main party following on 223, at 0830 from Stockton Depot. Our passengers all benefitted from the very generous concession of free admission to the Museum. 223 operated 4 trips on the hourly external shuttle service to Chester-le-Street. Between them, 99 and 106 were kept busy for much of the day on the internal shuttle service which, for the Bus Bonanza, saw buses almost entirely replacing the normal internal tram service. Another great out-turn on the sales stall.

Sunday 24th July – South Yorkshire Transport Trust – Eastwood (Rotherham) Open Day and Running Day. As well as seeing a choice display of vehicles not so familiar to us, we also had a chance to have at look at progress with 544. 90 miles to travel so we set off early from Stockton Depot at 0700. 223 operated the 1340 journey on the free shuttle service to Rotherham Interchange and Clifton Park. Afterwards, we were given a very detailed walk through the further work necessary on 544.

Sunday 31st July – NEBPT – Bishop Auckland : Buses Through The Ages. A first time for us at this growing NEBPT event. We took 106 and 223, leaving Stockton Depot at 0900 and had a great time despite the atrocious weather early doors.

Sunday 14th August – NEBPT – Whitley Bay Classic Vehicle Display. What was not to like about the idea of a seaside day out on The Links at Whitley Bay in the weather forecast for this weekend? In the event it was only possible to take 106. leaving Stockton Depot at 0845 for a full day out north of the Tyne.

Although keenly anticipated given its iconic setting, Sunday 21st August’s Vintage Bus Display at Locomotion (Shildon) sadly fell a little short of our always high expectations of it, this year. We arrived late because of difficulties getting our buses out of the Depot and further delays fuelling en route. A combination of this and other issues during the day then depressed our takings. We had not preselected our sales stock, so the usual and necessary limitations on space at the museum, meant that we were unable to fully unload 106. As a result it was not practical for her to run shuttle journeys. 223 developed a suspension problem and thus only operated a single journey. With only 2 tables allocated, sales revenue was well down on previous years, a first for this season’s rallies. Yet again, 99 acquitted herself well, though!

A real team effort by our guys-with-spanners and our drivers, to have all 3 runners available again, for the NEBPT’s Seaburn Classic Vehicle Rally on Bank Holiday Monday 29th August and to have each run at least one of the 5 shuttle journeys we operated. Also, yet another great effort to produce a bumper result on the sales stall. A truly great day out and the total of 41 buses attending was a fitting reward for the effort the NEBPT put into their comprehensive program of rallies across the Northeast which we all get so much enjoyment from.

Such a shame that the absolutely foul weather got in the way of the JPCMotorsports Classics at The Farm event on Saturday 24th September. By the time the heavy rain finally stopped, most folk would already have abandoned any plans to attend, thereby missing a fascinating gathering and depriving the charity of the hoped-for funds. We did enjoy the day though. Great craic with some lovely, friendly folk there, making plenty of visits to 99 on her “private” hard-standing. We also had an extended visit by James Connaughton, the eponymous JPC, who seemed to enjoy his visit despite sadly, not quite being able to get into 99’s cab. Many thanks to Andy Rasmussen for passing on the invitation to attend a great event.

Sunday 2nd October – The Northern National Restoration Group held another Open Day at their splendid premises in Philadelphia. The NNRG’s buses (and others) are housed in the 1905-built former Power Station for the “District” trams and the local collieries and the building is worth a visit in its own right. We took 99 and 223 and the sales stall and 223 operated one journey on the free Penshaw shuttle service.

Sunday 9th October – we took 223 to the AVTG’s Skipton event. Set in idyllic surroundings this was a very enjoyable and sizeable event with some 29 buses operating over 70 round trips on 13 services. We operated the 1205 service 210 to Gargrave and the 1440 service 76 to Ilkley.

Sunday 30th October – 223 transported 11 members to the Dewsbury Bus Museum’s End-of-Season Running Day, running a single trip on the shuttle service between the Museum and Dewsbury Town Centre and Railway Station. A wide-ranging event, featuring buses and coaches dating from 1948 up to 2001 and including a standout appearance in service, by one of the only two surviving Guy Wulfrunians, both of which are under the Museum’s care.

On Wednesday 29th December 2022, six members and friends joined the annual post-Christmas “Bashers Day” trip out, using Explorer North East tickets or National Concessionary passes to tour the region by service bus. Starting in Middlesbrough, the day took in stops at Peterlee, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, South Shields, Jarrow, North Shields, Wallsend and Newcastle and allowed us to see some of the latest developments in both bus stations and vehicles – plus enjoy some older machinery, too. Perhaps the greatest contrast was transferring at Wallsend from an 18-year-old Scania ‘decker to a new fully electric Yutong single decker. Thank you to those who attended and we hope you enjoyed it.

Sunday 9th April 2023 – 17 of us attended the Cumbria Easter Rally based in Brough and taking in Kirkby Stephen. Unfortunately a relatively minor fault prevented our running 106 but she did see us safely there and back. The usual great time was had by all, in no small part due to the untypically good weather.

Sunday 30th April 2023 – Workington Transport Heritage Trust, LN51 based in Whitehaven. 0700 departure from Stockton Depot and an additional pickup in Darlington, on Feethams, opposite the Dolphin Centre.

Saturday 6th to Monday 8th May 2023 – Beamish Museum Bus and Tramway Event marking 50 years of Beamish’s transport system. To maintain the correct period feel, only 99 attended this 3 day event and as a loan vehicle, not a Group outing.

Also Sunday 7th May 2023 – NEBPT, Metrocentre, North East Bus and Coach Show. 0830 departure.

Saturday 13th May 2023 – We had a smashing day out at the Northern National Restoration Group’s Philadelphia Open Day on Saturday 13th May. The usual intimate collection of buses and coaches which allows time to chat with everybody there. An iconic building as the base and runs out to Penshaw Monument and to Cherster-le-Street, pausing to pay respects to the former Northern Depot in Picktree Lane, now being demolished after more than 100 years of service. An excellent cafeteria at Phili and an impromptu organ recital from the gallery by Craig Smith and Graeme Scarlett. What was not to like?

Sunday 4th June 2023 – Quite a bit different, our outing on Sunday 4th June 2023, to the North Western Vehicle Restoration Trust’s Open Day in Kirkby, Liverpool. Perhaps the longest single-day outing undertaken with our own vehicle, was rewarded with a friendly and enthusiastic reception. Some 55 buses were on outdoor display on a lovely warm, sunny day, around 30 of which ran on various shuttle services around the area and into Liverpool City Centre. Around a further 30 could be seen with varying degrees of accessibility inside the two sheds. Each of the 17 of us who travelled will have their own standout memories but to see, amongst all the “foreign” (to us) buses, two of only 7 Foden-NCs completed, has got to be a highlight. A small display of cars, an excellent collection of sales stalls, a splendid canteen and a disco (!) completed the picture. We did great business on our sales stall, which travelled separately in a hired van.

Sunday 18th June 2023 – NEBPT, Durham Vintage Bus Gathering at Howland Park & Ride site in Durham. A wonderful day out at the NEBPT’s annual Father’s Day Rally in Durham. Glorious sunshine all day, apart from the 25 minutes that we were running with 223! Can’t win them all.

Sunday 23rd July 2023 – South Yorkshire Transport Trust, Annual Open Day at Eastwood, Rotherham. The reality of the weather forecaster’s blue splurge over the middle of the country on Sunday was continuous rain (often torrential), all the way from Stockton to Rotherham for the SYTT Open Day. And back! However, much of what is to be seen is indoors so the rain did little to spoil our enjoyment. We were also treated to a “guided tour” of progress on L544. Many thanks to everybody involved but particularly to Ade Beadnell and Tony Walshaw for sharing the 192 miles of driving in often atrocious conditions.

Sunday 30th July 2023 – Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum Gathering. We were blessed with fairly clear skies for a change to the recent norm! We also enjoyed a prime parking position for the whole of the day at Sandtoft. A great show put on by the Trolleybus Museum and a good day for us with the stall and two very enjoyable scenic runs on the Isle of Axholme tour. Thanks to the 14 members and friends who endured the brutally early start and straight-through 2hr15min journey, to travel with us for a day out at a very different venue from our norm.

Saturday 19th August 2023 – Aycliffe Bus Museum, Running Day and Display at the Great Aycillfe Town Council office site, School Aycliffe Lane, Newton Aycliffe. Depart Stockton Depot at 0815.

Bank Holiday Monday 28th August 2023 – NEBPT, Seaburn Historic Vehicle Display. 0845 departure.

Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th September 2023 – Beamish Museum, Autumn Transport Gala To maintain the correct period feel, only 99 will attend this 2 day event and as an exhibit/loan vehicle, and not as a Group outing.

Sunday 24th September 2023 – Dewsbury Bus Museum, Autumn Open Day. 0745 departure.

99 was at Beamish again on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th October, running on the Museum’s internal circuit. She did not return to Teesside overnight so this was not part of the Group’s Rally Programme.

Sunday 8th October 2023 – Aire Valley Transport Group, Annual Yorkshire Dales Running Day at Skipton.

Saturday 28th October 2023 – Northern National Restoration Group’s Philadelphia Open Day delivered the usual intimate collection of buses and coaches which allowed time to chat with everybody there. An iconic building as the base, a great cafeteria and free services to sample the buses attending.

(Updated 10/02/24)