Steam bus hits the Big Smoke

The steam bus Elizabeth on it's slow journey to Scarborough. Photo by Jonathan Pow /
The steam bus Elizabeth on it's slow journey to Scarborough. Photo by Jonathan Pow /

n LIVE BBC television coverage of the Lord Mayor’s Parade was broadcast throughout the world, with messages coming in to the Welcome to Yorkshire guests on the bus from countries such as Germany and Hong Kong.

SCARBOROUGH MP Robert Goodwill has spoken of his delight at the chance to ride around London on a Whitby steam bus.

Mr Goodwill told the Evening News that he and a number of other MPs would be lucky enough to have a private tour round the capital aboard the vintage vehicle, named Elizabeth.

The bus made its way to London under its own steam to take part in the Lord Mayor’s Parade on Saturday.

Mr Goodwill said: “The MPs were all very keen to have a ride around town. I believe we’ll be going up to Trafalgar Square and down the Mall to Buckingham Palace.

“It’s been great to see a Whitby bus around London. I’m sure a lot of people have been very interested to see it.”

Steam enthusiast Mr Goodwill added that the bus is a Sentinel – the same make as his own steam lorry.

The bus was created in 1931 at the Sentinel Waggon Works in Shrewsbury.

Elizabeth is a DG6P – DG for double geared, six for six wheeler and P for pneumatic, a reference to her revolutionary “pump up” tyres.

The drive from Elizabeth’s engine, to her wheels is via huge chains and she was one of the last to be built like this, as later models were much more modern, sporting the newfangled shaft drive.

Being one of the first vehicles turned out with modern inflatable tyres made her revolutionary at the time.

In 1931, Elizabeth began her working life with the Cement Marketing Company, performing sterling service for them until the late 1940s.

She is now a regular sight around Whitby with owner Vernon Smith at the wheel.

Also at the Lord Mayor’s Parade was a restored Scarborough tourist bus.

The 82-year-old Leyland Tiger bus – which had been transformed from scrap to full restoration by Bluebird Vehicles – was one of more than 200 entries in the prestigious three-mile parade, watched by crowds of 250,000 people.

The procession was led by a horse-drawn State Coach to mark the inauguration of the 684th Lord Mayor, Alderman David Wootton.