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I don’t normally get into the car and go off for a jaunt on a bank holiday weekend, can’t be bothered with the extra traffic and people that are inevitably about wherever my destination might be. However, I figured if I went in the morning, earlyish, I might miss the worst of the day’s congestion and so set out to travel the half-hour or so journey to Barry. I was just approaching the Barry tun-off on the A48 when I recognised the rear end of a vintage double decker going my way. Well, that was alright, it was the Cardiff Transport Preservation Group’s (CTPG) open day at their Barry depot I was going to visit. The bus lumbered along the “five-mile-lane” at a steady 35 miles an hour and I was a couple of cars behind as we approached Barry, the bus turned right and I turned left, I reckoned I could get to the depot, park the car, and photograph it as it came into view. I did, but not soon enough to get my camera out and into shooting position, so ambled across to where the driver had positioned the vehicle, then realised I knew the driver! The bus I was following (ex Wigan Corporation) is on the extreme left of the picture.

The CTPG Depot at Barry

Attempting to photograph old vehicles to give the feel of a vintage scene can be problematic, there are many visual distractions which would not have been in a view of the 1950s or 60s; double-yellow lines, hi-viz jackets and day-glo traffic cone bollards are the worst offenders. Normally I don’t bother to attempt to exclude them from my photographs but yesterday I could see a couple of set-ups where I might be able to get a period appearance to my images. The first one is taken from across the road from the depot, which was formerly a garage for Western Welsh buses, now the home of the CTPG. I waited for gaps in the traffic passing in front of the scene and at the same time had to wait for the public to move out of frame. Eventually I had it nearly perfect for my purposes but that one person leaning against the front of the coach looked like he was there for the day and didn’t budge, so I fired hoping I could blend him in a little. I have removed digitally many annoying features, the double yellow lines and traffic bollards being the main sources of distraction. Now at first glance you could be convinced this is a scene from the late 1960s, the only difference would have been a row of Western Welsh buses instead of the assortment we see here, and the the depot would have had the Western Welsh name and crest prominently displayed.

UTG 313G roars away from Barry depotAnother scene I could see a possibility of developing was a roadside shot with the rear of a vintage bus in the foreground and another in the middle distance, now all I needed was another traversing along the road towards me, but I figured I’d have to wait for ages as most of the tours went off in the opposite direction and then eventually returned along this road, and there were none due for ages. Just as I was about to abandon this idea I remembered I’d heard the conductor on the next tour to leave announce it was for Sully and Penarth so reckoned he’d turn right out of the garage and so I waited. My patience paid-off as UTG 313G came roaring out of the garage and up past me, giving me one chance to fire the shutter, a half-second later would have been better to give a clearer view of the bus in the background, but I’m reasonably pleased with this. I’ve cropped tightly to eliminate modern vehicles either side of the picture, the double yellows will have to stay though, I don’t have time to remove them right now as today I’m off to visit a local railway preservation society at their open day.

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