We’ve talked about Harpers busses here on the blog a lot over the years – many of us have fond memories of catching these distinctive green double deckers and coaches to popular local destinations, like Birmingham, Lichfield and Cannock.
I think most of us smile at the memory of the Clippies, hopping on via the rear door, and the thick fug of smoke on the top deck.
Well, it seems the good folk visiting Aston Manor Road Transport Museum remember them, too, and this popular local museum have their sights set on preserving a couple of the Harpers fleet in order to share this well regarded bit of our communal heritage.
Yesterday, the museum posted the following on their Facebook page:
Bring back the Harpers Two!
At the museum, we’ve been struck by the number of visitors with fond memories of Harpers buses and coaches, who served the area faithfully until 1974 and had a garage just down the road in the centre of Aldridge. Now there’s a chance of bringing two Harpers coaches back from Ireland and bringing the pale green and cream livery back to the streets of Aldridge. But we have to move fast – their storage area must be cleared in the next couple of weeks – and the purchase and move will be costly – at least £2500 just to repatriate them, then we have to find storage space and restore one or both of them. Once ‘home’, the cost of restoration will probably get into five figures. Can you help?
The coaches, dating from 1959, had bodies by Willowbrook of Loughborough on Wolverhampton-built Guy chassis; with this year being the centenary of Guy Motors, that’s another good reason for bringing these coaches, registered 1291RE and 1292RE, back to their home area.
We need firm offers of financial help – not just vague promises, but funds now! If you can help us raise the money we need, drop us a message with contact details (preferably not as an open reply) and we’ll get in touch. If we can get them (they come as a pair!) we also need storage – the museum is too full at the moment and, although we can get storage elsewhere, it is both distant and costly. Have you an empty barn, shed or factory in which they could go when they arrive – preferably somewhere in the Aldridge, Brownhills, Cannock, Heath Hayes area, where they belong? And at a cost we could afford? Again, get in touch with us – we’d really appreciate it, as we’re keen not to lose these local icons for ever!
If you feel you can help the museum preserve these vehicles for posterity, you can contact the folk who matter via museum website or their Facebook group, or you can drop me a message on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com, and I’ll hook you up.
It really would be sad to see these historic vehicles lost forever.