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.
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
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!).
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
(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.
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!
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.
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!
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!).
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.
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
Pity about the smokey exhaust...
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!
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...
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!
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!
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...