Plea to find new home for rare Plaxton coach

Bus'Keith Kitching
Bus'Keith Kitching

A Scarborough bus enthusiast is appealing for somewhere to store his precious 1950s Plaxton coach - which is the only one of its kind in the world.

Keith Kitching, of Filey Road, is asking Scarborough News readers if they can help - otherwise he might have to make the heart-breaking decision to sell it.

He explained: “For the last ten years the coach has been kept undercover at a friend’s farm with a combine harvester for company.

“However, the farmer is retiring and selling his farm so I need to find alternative accommodation for it.

“The coach is only 20ft long by 6ft 8ins wide and about 9ft 6ins high. I need secure, undercover storage where I can occasionally carry out cleaning and basic maintenance to the vehicle.

“It is not used commercially and is only taken out for a few vintage vehicle events each year or for the occasional family outing.”

Keith added that the nearer the location is to Scarborough the better, but he would be happy with anything in a 15-mile radius and would of course be prepared to pay rent for storage.

He said: “It’s got to be out by June. If I can’t find anywhere the only alternative would be to sell it, which I really don’t want to do.

“It’s a big part of my life and it means a lot to me. I want to keep it as long as I can.”

In 2005, 53 years after it left Plaxton’s in Scarborough, the coach returned to the town where it was built after it was bought by Keith and his wife Chris.

Only six of the coaches are thought to have been built.

Since then it has appeared at various local classic vehicle shows. In the 1980s the coach was featured in an episode of the BBC series All Creatures Great and Small and has also appeared in Heartbeat.

Keith drove coaches for Scott’s Greys of Darlington in the 1970s. He also worked as a bus driver for United and did a season with Wallace Arnold.

He says he always had a soft spot for Scott’s Greys, which went out of business on January 7, 1992.

Mr Kitching and his wife now own the company on paper and have given their Plaxton’s coach the name Maid Marion after its first owner, Marion Hunter.

Her family took over the Scott’s Greys business in 1952 after company founder Fred Scott died and his family decided to sell the company. The Hunter family sold Scott’s Greys in 1981.

The coach has had owners in Tyne and Wear, Stoke-on-Trent and Ilkeston, Derbyshire before being bought by Keith.

• Can you help Keith by providing storage for his beloved bus? Call him for a chat on 07949 408472.