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Beth is an AEC Reliance with Duple Dominant II coachwork owned by the Brown Bombers Club and is seen here on its first public showing since a repaint into the colours of the former N&C Luxury Coaches.

Built in 1979 the coach is an AEC Reliance 6MU3ZR with 11 metre Duple Dominant II C53F body. New to Eynon’s of Trimsaran she was first registered on 1st December 1979. The body was fully rebuilt in 2001 and in March 2003 passed to Baldrey’s of York where she worked until June 2011. The coach then passed to Mike Kidwell of Swansea for private preservation before passing to new owners, The Brown Bombers Club in January 2015 who have reconfigured the coach to C25F+4T to enable exhibition space at the rear for N&C memorabilia and a scale model of the Briton Ferry N&C Depot.

The Brown Bombers Club was founded in the autumn of 2014 by three Neath & Cardiff Luxury Coaches drivers, Graham Colwill, Peter Parker and John Hughes, who readily admit that working for the N&C was the best job they ever had. The fourth founder member is Colin Scott, a life-long devotee of the N&C Company whose long career in local government began by a daily commute (or in his words, ‘adventure’) aboard the Brown Bombers! The four had previously been involved in returning to running order a genuine N&C coach that had been neglected by its owner. Unfortunately, despite progress under joint ownership, their efforts were stifled and this led to the partnership being disbanded in 2014. They quickly came to realise the fondness and esteem in which the N&C Company is held by so many people across South Wales even to this day. It had been a joy to participate in the active promotion of that vehicle despite the difficulties encountered, and so the four decided to continue their efforts by exploring pastures new.

With two N&C coaches already privately preserved, the group began to search for a suitable “tribute” vehicle that, had the Company continued in existence, would likely have been regarded as best to suit its needs. This was when Michael Kidwell, hearing of their plight, offered them his splendid Duple-bodied AEC Reliance. They didn’t take a lot of persuading and a deal was quickly struck. The coach arrived at its temporary home in Gorseinon early in 2015. Mike was as keen to become involved as the group were to have him aboard, and so he is maintaining a close association with the coach as an Honorary Life Member of the Club. The time was right to launch the Brown Bombers Club, with the founder members each holding a share of the vehicle.

The coach, BTH365V, has been given the name ‘Beth’ on account of her registration letters and was steadily prepared for its new life during the first few months of 2015. She moved to her new home at Myrddin Jones’s Llandeilo garage in April and received her sparkling new colours in May, thanks to the sterling work of Stevie Griffiths. Complete interior reconfiguration has resulted in the splendid tribute vehicle you see here, which was photographed at the Swansea Bus Museum’s running day on 31st May 2015.

Text and history adapted from original supplied by Colin Scott.

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