FNV15 - Moving FNV 15 To Methil

Although we had inspected FNV 15 a couple of times, checking it was structurally sound and that it would run (after repairing a water leak and putting some fuel in!), I didn't get the good chance to film it or take pictures prior to the day we moved it. The story (in the J-Files anyway), therefore starts on the 28th October 2000 when we turned up to prepare it for the move...

1. The first vsnap on this page shows it from the off-side after it had been towed out of the shed it had been stored in at the Lathalmond bus museum.


2. A close-up of the front of the Viking, with the towing bar still attached. Starting it inside the shed was not part of our plans, as we had made the mistake of running it indoors on an earlier visit and discovered that the engine wasn't in perfect health, putting out copious exhaust fumes! (Visibility in the shed that day went down to below the length of the Viking and my eyes were watering badly!)


3. A look at the near-side of the Viking now, showing the remains of the Fife Scottish logo uncovered by the previous owner. As you can clearly see, the livery scheme when we bought it was less than exciting, to put it mildly, with some mild body damage that is hard to see in most of these vsnaps, but which spoiled even this livery close-up (yes really!).


4. This initial 'tour' of the outside would not be complete without a look at the back of FNV15. This view is more interesting that it might look at first, as it not only shows the engine grill which is unique to this rear-engined Y-Type, but also the tow-bar that it managed to acquire after leaving service with Fife in the early 1980s. It was in fact converted as a big ''camper van' and apparently made it all the way to the 1982 World-Cup in Spain (and back). By the time we bought it the rooms and fittings had been removed, and there was nothing left inside but a drivers seat


5. Rab (the previous owner) and Alistair shaking hands (purely for the camera!). We had plenty of time that morning as we had more than an hour and a half to tow it out, start it, and drive it carefully down to the site entrance. Sharp-eyed viewers will notice that Rab had retrieved the destination blind that was in it as that wasn't in the sale.


6. Another closer shot of Rab and Alistair shaking hands. I didn't need to include this one but I scanned two frames from that part of the footage to try and get a good shot and couldn't resist putting both in. Nice cheesy grins guys! The registration FXA715D can be seen much better than in the last shot, and is a genuine 1960s Kirkcaldy area registration. That made Alistair very happy -  he's always wanted a vehicle with one!


7. Rab in the drivers seat. Not all that unusual actually as he drives buses for a living, but not ones like this! Buying a bus from a friend has its plus points as Rab was keen to help out, including driving it to the entrance which might have proved tricky otherwise as neither of us had driven a Viking before.


8. Not quite ready to start up yet! When we were sorting out batteries, jump-leads and tools Rab tried out my camcorder, so for once I appear in some of my own vsnaps - in this case I am just visible at the front inside, doubtless going to my car alongside for some reason.


9. Still getting ready. I'm not sure why I included this as it has a (fortunately distant) view of me bending down to connect the batteries. We brought our own batteries as the set fitted were totally flat!


10. The first vsnap showing the sparse interior. Alas the view (such as it is) of the interior is spoilt by me connecting jump-leads to our batteries! Note that FNV 15 had even lost its lino, due to carpets being fitted instead as part of the conversion. The removal of the fittings has left only the bare plywood, except for about a bucketful of carpet tacks sticking out (according to Alistair who had to crawl all over the floor removing them!).


11. Ready to start! Connect one jump-lead and push the button (and pray!). The back of the non-standard drivers seat is visible up front in what seems a cavernous interior with the seats and luggage racks missing.


12. Pushing the button. Connecting with jump-leads isn't the best option, but was all we could manage on the day. Luckily we know a thing or two about starting diesel engines...


13. Vroom! Pity about the smokey exhaust...


14. All aboard for the trip to Methil! FNV 15 only had to go about half a mile or so, but at least it did part of the journey under its own power! The problem with this part was that only the hand-brake was available to slow the Viking down, so Rab is actually going quite slowly!


15. Ready for the tow. I ran Rab back up to the upper shed to get his car, and we took the chance to film the Viking from a distance. It's a good thing you can't hear the sound track of the camcorder footage as Rab was shouting to Alistair (who is sitting in the drivers seat), forgetting that the camcorder has a microphone...


16. Liftoff! The tow in this case was a suspended one, and the large tow truck that arrived wasn't troubled by a lightweight Y-type with most of the weight at the back.


17. FNV15 leaves Lathalmond, closely followed by Rab! If you think this picture looks a little on the dull side, you are right, as the day started dull, and got duller. I have actually brightened this picture up with a picture editor (and most of the vsnaps that follow as well). Well, it was the end of October!


18. Nearly caught the ground! For some reason there is a hump at the entrance to Lathalmond and FNV 15 was suspended a touch high at the front. Once past this bump there was no danger on any of the routes to Methil, although a later picture shows what happened going in the entrance at the other end!


19. Turning onto the M90. FNV 15 will have spent relatively few of its road miles travelling down motorways, and never like this. (NB before anyone complains I was filming from the drivers seat of my car when stationary - safer!)


20. A much brighter picture now, as I film FNV 15 being towed down the A92 from an overbridge at Crossgates. I had difficulty finding a frame of footage that wasn't blurred as this truly qualified as an 'Express Tow'!


21. A rear view from the same location as the last vsnap, and with so much sky in the frame the camcorder has reverted to a duller image, even after a bit of enhancement. The relatively fast speed of the tow meant I took until Kirkcaldy to catch up after re-joining the A92!


22. The first layby after Kirkcaldy West. Despite appearances, it isn't yet lunchtime and the tow is about three-quarters done!


23. Turning toward Lower Methil at Muiredge, which is the western end of the 'Levenmouth area' - only a couple of miles to go!


24. FNV15 arrives at it's new home. The view in my side-mirror shows that waiting to turn into the entrance has ensured us an audience, although possibly not a happy one!  The only thing left to do is drive in the gate...


25. Ouch! The bottom of the towbar scrapes the ground on the way in!


26. Journeys end! All that is left is to reverse the Viking into the planned parking space, which the tow truck driver is about to do to save us having to start it again.


27. Home safe! FNV 15 takes its place in our bus lineup at Methil. The easy bit was over - hard restoration work ahead...


Click Here To Return To The J-Files - FNV 15 - Our Albion Viking


These pages are owned and maintained by Jeffray Wotherspoon. The storage space for these pages is provided by the University Of Stirling, but it is in no way responsible for the contents of these pages. Please email me at jeff.wotherspoon@stir.ac.uk if you have any questions, comments, problems etc.