When we were in Blenheim a gentleman approached us while we were filling up with diesel at the petrol station. It turned out he had recognised our bus as he had worked on its transformation when it first arrived in New Zealand. To him our humble little home was known as Number 15.
Naming a Housebus - 'Forest of Arden'
This gentleman, Reece, proceeded to provide a rich history of our bus, detailing what it went through, how it used to look and a little information on the others in the fleet including humorous stories. It was such a fun experience. It turned out this little ole Plaxton arrived in NZ with 4 others (number 11,12,13 & 14) and were bought by DeLuxe. Number 15 received a first class overhaul. When it arrived it had the destination 'Forest of Arden' across the top.....its last destination in Britain before heading to NZ maybe?
It has been debated heatedly amongst all the Fraser bus experiment participants, on a number of occasions, as to whether the bus should have a name, and if so what, but nothing has ever quite been agreed upon. Thus, this name seems somewhat fitting....(but don't expect to see it plastered across the top any time soon.....as the debate still rages!)
Transformation from a Coach to a Luxury Coach
So the bus was stripped and cleaned both interior and exterior. The rear windows were taken out and a new solid back replaced it. The rear door changed sides.
Then some polystyrene filled sides, new alloy paneling, new tyres, and a new rear door and paint job.
A luxury new interior, a wash down, and there she goes, standing tall and proud ready for her inaugural coach tour of NZ.
How cool is that!!!!
Not only did Reece share the stories he also so very kindly sent us the photos. Reece, thank you so much we are truely grateful that you did that for us. It is really special to have this history as part of our narrative now.