I recently attended a book launch, not the usual type of event for me to visit, but this one was special. In conjunction with the annual Barry Festival of Transport, the bus depot at Barry, now a bus museum, was also open to visitors and this was the venue chosen by the author and his publisher to publicise the arrival of the book Red, cream and a touch of Gray.

The story of the Western Welsh Omnibus Company Limited, author Colin Scott has provided lovers of Western Welsh buses with a long-awaited comprehensive history of the company complete with a stock list at the end for number crunchers and “anoraks”. Roy Noble, who has written the foreword, was also on hand and gave a colourful introduction to the launch and later stayed with Colin and together they signed books purchased at the show. It really is a grand publication, a good read and a fine addition to anyone’s bookshelf, even if you don’t have any real interest in buses.

Whilst at the bus museum I also re-acquainted myself with a rather grand old lady, Western Welsh 856 (CUH 856), a Leyland half-cab bus with Eastern Coach Works body that was introduced in 1947 and ran for 13 years before being withdrawn from service in 1960. I remember well this class of vehicle at Bridgend bus station although I’m unsure whether 856 was ever allocated to Bridgend. My photos show Colin and Roy launching the book followed by 856 as she is today during restoration with a picture alongside of sister vehicle 857 at Bridgend.

Colin's book launch. It's only been 53 years . . . CUH 857

As mentioned previously, the launch was in conjunction with the annual Barry Festival of Transport and I took a number of photographs of some of the buses on display at the event. Sadly very few Western Welsh buses survive in preservation, the first photo shows two from the 1960s. All photographs hosted on flickr.

A Western Welsh pair! Three grand old ladies! Barry Festival of Transport

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