A lot of people are helping with the history of the 1972 Wings Tour Bus. Here is a selection of photos that have been agreed to be used/shared.
(Note: You may need to mouseover the image for the attribution.)
Still With Its Wings
The above photo is noted as a “Halls Valliant” bus (aka Halls Coaches, aka Silverline Tours), taken circa 1972-75. However, it has since been confirmed that this picture was taken at Brunel University for its first ever ShowBus event, in January 1973.
Here’s another from that event, with WNO 481 in the convoy.
On Epsom Derby Day it was likely that WNO 481 would attend. It was there regularly between 1966 – 1980. The above photo is from 1976.
The Dunstable Silver Jubilee Carnival occurred on 6 June 1977 and was opened by DJ Ed “Stewpot” Stewart. Apparently, The Red Arrows were also supposed to appear but bad weather prevented this. Good job WNO 481 was there!
Milton Keynes, Autumn 1979, by John Law
In 1980, WNO 481 attended the annual Tulip rally. It was seen in Amsterdam and nearby Volendam.
Steve Guess, March 1980, Volendam
Here’s another Volendam photo taken by Frans Angevaare, that he dates as being 29 March 1980. This appears to be the same event as the others shown here, and is probably the correct date. Do you know if this is right?
(Correction/Addendum: From Frans Angevaare:- “It’s 40 years ago so I can’t remember in detail, but the event was organised by a friend of mine called Erik Overveld (now deceased) who worked as a driver with NZH, one of the large public transport companies in NL.
He knew Peter Newman of Ensign (don’t know how that came about) and somehow had contacts at Grey-Green. Erik used his UK contacts to get the buses to the Netherlands, I think there were just a few Dutch entrants…
The annual Tulip rally, the “real one” (Tulpenrally) was a long standing event for cars and has nothing to do with the bus rally. In fact, the bus rally was ever announced as “Tulip Rally” over here but as “Old and new Dutch Bus & Coach Rally organised by Grey-Green”.
“Tulip Bus Rally” was a sign on just a few of the UK buses.” Frans is also certain of the date.)
Steve Guess, 13 July 1980, in Sutton
Another photo taken by Steve Guess, in Sutton Town Centre, on “The Green Line Road Run to Crawley”. This July 1980 photo is one of the last, if not the last time the bus was photographed at work in Tricentrol colours.
(Addendum: We now know the bus appeared at the ShowBus Rally in September 1980).
Cannes Rally Colours
Did you know WNO 481 went to Cannes? It was for a rally arranged by BAFTA in 1989 to promote the British Film Industry and raise money for Save The Children. WNO 481 was given a red/white livery for the event, which it is believed was retained for a few years until c1993, when it was returned to its Wings livery.
The above image is thought to be from 1989, possibly 1990, but it is not in Cannes. It may have been at the Southend Rally, the ShowBus Rally, or another (Radlett has been mentioned). Can you date and place it?
Addendum: We have now confirmed that this picture was taken at the 1989 Southend Bus Rally.
If you have any photos, memories or stories about The 1972 Wings Tour Bus, whether it was in its Wings livery, or at any time before or since then, do please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!