Chester Heritage Tours
Chester Heritage Tours operated their last tour of the city on Wednesday 30 May 2018. Mike Edwards started this business in 2005 by forming the company Chester Heritage Tours Limited and purchasing 946WAE, the only vehicle used. As is evident from the name of the firm the principal work of the bus was tours around Chester. The vehicle was also hired for weddings, TV and filming and other private functions.
Mike Edwards placed this touching message on his webpage (now closed)- "Sorry everyone, but Chester Heritage Tours has reached the end of the road. Thank you to everyone who made my dream come true"
He is offered the very best of wishes for his retirement or perhaps ..... his next project!!
The replica bus was built by E.L. Farrar of St. Austell, Cornwall. It is mainly based on a 1967 Bedford VAM 14 chassis- LXE556E, which was new to Seamarks Bros of Luton with a Plaxton Panorama body. However it has some parts and importantly the registration number donated from a 1964 Bedford SB5 chassis - 946 WAE - which was new to Wessex Coaches of Bristol carrying Duple (Northern) Firefly coachwork. This wonderful reproduction of an open top London bus first entered service in July 1990 in Torbay before moving later on to Ilfacombe and then onto Chester when Mike purchased it in 2005. It is now with Ensign Bus, Purfleet, Essex and is available for hire.
It appears that in total three such replicas were produced based on Bedford chassis.
B1934 (DFB704B) is with Nottingham Heritage Vehicles and B1349 (DET720D) is at Beamish Open Air Musuem.
1964 Bedford SB5 chassis (946 WAE)
Photo courtesy of P Hopes
1967 Bedford VAM 14 chassis (LXE 556E)
The only vehicle owned by Chester Heritage was :-
Reg No: 946WAE Chassis Bedford VAM14 Body Farrar O16/18RO
History: Built by E.L. Farrar of St. Austell, Cornwall in 1990 - mainly based on a 1967 Bedford VAM 14 chassis (LXE 556E) together with parts and registration number donated from a 1964 Bedford SB5 chassis (946 WAE)
Following the closure of the business it was sold in Jun 2018 to Ensignbus, Purfleet, Essex