DBE 187 - the Restoration

After withdrawal in 1964, this bus was used for many years as farm transport at Soham, Cambs. before being rescued for preservation. 'DBE' arrived at the Museum partly dismantled.

DBE 187 - Before Restoration DBE 187 - Before Restoration
Before - DBE 187 at the end of its 'farm transport' days. As Acquired - DBE 187 as acquired by its present owner, in the fomer Lincolnshire Road Car outstation garage at Messingham, early 80s.
DBE 187 - 1980s DBE 187
Under Restoration - DBE 187 in early 80s, after restoration started. Note Museum's RT (OLD 714) in left background, also prior to restoration. Under Restoration - off side panelling removed to allow repairs to framework.
DBE 187 - Platform Lower Deck Interior
Under Restoration - platform framework under repair. Nearing completion - lower saloon interior paintwork nearing completion - seats soon to be re-fitted
DBE 187 - Undercoat Lower Saloon Interior
Nearing completion - first top coat underway - 2002 Back in Service - Lower saloon of DBE 187 following restoration.

Time-line of the last few years of restoration

October 1999 - New lino has just been fitted to the lower saloon floor.

December 1999 - New window rubbers are being sourced, and the lower deck is now in the process of being completed - although this is in its very early stages!

April 2000 - The lower deck is receiving newly painted seat frames, trim and refurbished covers over the rear axle etc. Kick treads have also been fitted to the staircase and the cab seat is being renovated. The renovation of certain floor panels have been causing grief however!

January 2001 - Two new seat cushions have been made for the upper deck (single seater).

April 2002 - A new rear platform handrail has been manufactured and fitted by T Westons.

October 2002 - Now in the process of being painted. Virtually all the windows have been removed whilst the painting is being undertaken. New window rubbers will be fitted fairly soon. Still lots to do with the platform treads and interior work, etc.

January 2003 - The window surrounds and roof have now been glossed. After several Sundays with professional help, the windows are now back in black with new rubbers, as are the destination screens. Not an easy job it turned out!

April 2003 - The front wheels now have had two new cross ply tyres fitted, and work is being undertaken on the front near side wing ready for painting. A vacuum leak is also being investigated, and the fuel pump has been adjusted to reduce the fog every time the bus is started up.

July 2003 - Recent work on the platform area has seen most of the handrails fitted, kick treads and platform edging fitted, and new lats manufactured and cut to size.

October 2003 - The platform area is now completed and the new rear wings (steel) are being fitted.

January 2004 - Recent work has seen the electrics being completed including the fitting of trafficators. (All the Road Car K types, and L types for that matter, were withdrawn in the 1960s without this addition.)

April 2004 - Attention has now turned to fitting the steel rear wings which look as if they will have to be modified somewhat!

July 2004 - Both rear wings are now on (thankfully!) and more work has seen all the lower deck seats installed and the interior front bulkhead finished together with some lino replaced on the staircase.

October 2004 - The front opening windows have been re-rubbered, repainted and fitted. New rubber flaps have been fitted above the windscreen and between the cab and bonnet top. Several test runs have been made to find that the radiator needed dismantling to cure an overheating problem. This has now been remedied. Work has continued with lots of little jobs like fitting the cab and saloon blinds, and preparing the bus for its final paint. A new 12v windscreen wiper motor needs to be sourced as the one fitted (new stock some time ago) has lost the will to live.

January 2005 - For the first time in 40 years the bus received an MOT certificate, just before the November Open Day! Some further work was needed that week - thanks to Arthur at Auto Electrical Services who dropped everything to help sort out several problems. There are still many small jobs to do over the Winter.

April 2005 - This has received some interior adverts in the lower saloon and attention to the rear destination indicator. The last remaining upper deck seat is now in place following repair.

July 2005 - This is still in the process of receiving its final top-coat to the exterior.

October 2005 - This has now received its last top coat on the exterior. Linings, fleet names and legal lettering are now being applied.