The importance of WNO 481, this 1953 Bristol KSW / ECW open-top bus cannot be overstated. This authentic, iconic, actual living 50 years of rock and roll history is surely without equal.
This is not like a car or truck seen in a movie where they may use multiple vehicles during filming. This is a true ONE-OFF. This is THE ACTUAL, UNIQUE bus in all the 1972 Wings Over Europe tour films and pictures. The bus that Paul McCartney had specially painted, that he entrusted himself, his family and his band on to for his first European tour, after the break up of The Beatles.
Paul chose a bus, the transport of the people, because he wanted to get back to his ‘band on the road’ roots after the heady days of The Beatles, the limos etc. The biggest rock star in the world, the rock star of the people, acquired this bus, WNO 481, to be filmed and carried across Europe on, with his family and his new band. 25 cities, 25 concerts, 9 countries and 2 months on WNO 481, all in the glare of the fans and the world’s media, watching and recording.
50 years of rock and roll living history on wheels, the chosen one and only, the best. Paul McCartney himself gave bus WNO 481 its Wings, thus creating this international treasure.
If Carlsberg did buses it would be WNO 481 probably the most famous bus in the world.
The story of WNO 481 always gets such an amazing reaction from people. I personally have been run over by this bus. So, I’d like to present this Mission Statement to let everyone know the plans going forward.
With A Little Help From Friends of WNO 481
TO RESCUE AND SAVE
- To rescue the bus from its Wings after-life twilight zone.
- To carry on the task of saving the bus after it had been rescued from a ravine after 24 years under the blazing Tenerife sun and brought back to the UK.
- To save the bus for all Beatles fans, Wings fans, Paul McCartney fans.
- for its next bus-life as a living museum dedicated to its illustrious musical past and exciting future.
- for future charity fund-raising
- for fans of automotive art
- to preserve it for future generations.
- To get this important, authentic, iconic, actual living 50 years of rock and roll history back on its wheels.
- To get it up and running so that it can move around under its own steam.
- To restore the bus to its rockin’ and rollin’ glory days condition.
- To let everyone see and share it carefully and lovingly restored by people in the Bristol bus preservation societies and wider bus preservation community, because that’s what they are. To paraphrase or para-sing a song featured in The Italian Job, We’re The Bus Preservation Society.
- To raise awareness of all those involved in the restoration and preservation of the bus, for they are the custodians of care who protect the precious legacy WNO 481 represents.
- To offer Liverpool’s students of metal-work and vehicle maintenance the opportunity to work on the restoration.
- To have a RESTORATION ROLL OF HONOUR on display on WNO 481’s Facebook Page, and on the bus, crediting everyone who contributed to the restoration.
- To share the amazing back-story of this bus how for years so few people knew where the bus actually was and who owned it. So few people had seen it and so many rumours went around it took on an almost mythical magical mystery status, like an albatross or unicorn. Had it been crashed or destroyed? Had it been scrapped? Was it lost forever?
- How the bus was tracked down and after a lengthy negotiation I could happily say, or para-sing The Bus Is Mine.
- To share that WNO 481 has led unparalleled, amazing and varied lives and like a cat it may tick off a life or two but it seems to keep landing on its feet, or wheels. The plucky bus that refused to die even after 24 years under the blazing Tenerife sunshine. It is hoped its current life of rust in peace will soon be at an end. It is planned that the bus will emerge phoenix-like to live once again in the hearts and minds of those who love it already and those about to fall in love with it through its new, planned adventures.
- To continue to promote the values of family, unity, team spirit, music, peace and harmony and all the other qualities that shine out of those videos from the Wings Over Europe 1972 tour.
- Share the experiences on the bus, this tangible link to that tour that surely made the summer of 1972 The Summer Of Love 2. I have driven through those landscapes in summer and taken in the aromas lingering in the warm air. Fab memories of just touring around or sitting around just simply enjoying being together in a warm and wonderful place.
- Share and stir memories in the hearts and minds of those fans who were at the shows on that Paul McCartney and Wings European tour in July and August 1972.
- Remind everyone of all the good people who travelled on that bus.
- That what we do is also in memory of Linda McCartney and Henry McCullough, sadly no longer with us.
- To share the story with the internet forums, so full of good karma, fun and affection for WNO 481. One wag has even changed one of Paul’s song titles to ‘Band On The Bus’. As the bus was saved from the ravine in Tenerife one commented in song, ‘Get The Bus Back To Where It Once Belonged’ and as I saved the bus from its most recent limbo and slumber and saved it from being ‘lost by export’ to the USA I’d like to chip in with another one or two; Back In The UK-UK, Back In The UK-EURO.
- To share preparations for its next bus-life.
WNO 481 THE 1972 WINGS TOUR BUS
The back-story with Paul, Linda and Wings is amazing. The bus has had fascinating adventures in the years since and maybe, just maybe we can write a few new chapters and help WNO 481 Get Back to where she once belonged.
– Tom – Team WNO 481
TO SEE THE FUTURE
The Beatles, busy band, Wings, busy band. The bus will be busy.
I am a member of The Whitewebbs Transport Museum in Enfield and they have kindly offered WNO 481 a home https://www.whitewebbsmuseum.co.uk. Head of Museum Alex Watt 07961 520276 is looking forward to welcoming the bus once it is up and running.
- To get the bus on to a TV vehicle restoration show.
- See once again this international treasure rocking and rolling and magical-mystery touring, up and down the UK and European highways and byways once again, to the soundtrack of Paul McCartney’s songs, 50 years after first doing it.
- Give The City of Liverpool the opportunity for WNO 481, this Pied Piper Magic Bus, to go on display, in Liverpool, possibly outside LIPA, The Liverpool Institute Of Performing Arts.
- Make the bus available for charity fund-raising, maybe putting on events with local Beatles / Wings tribute bands.
- Go on tour to museums across the UK and museums in the cities across Europe that 1972 tour visited.
- Create and share a 3D model of WNO 481 in its glorious Wings colours so that everyone, no matter where, can enjoy the beautiful automotive artwork.
- Bring to the world Wingy Bus (TM), the adventures of the bus with wings, extolling the virtues, traditions and values that shone out from that 1972 Wings Over Europe Tour. Wingy Bus (TM) can spread his Wings and fly off with the family and band to different countries to play for the kids and their Mums and Dads, solving problems and singing songs as they go, think Hard Day’s Night, Help or even a musical Scooby Doo.
In 2022: To mark the 50th anniversary of that trail-blazing Wings tour:
- To re-unite Paul McCartney with his 1972 Wings Tour bus WNO 481, so that he can look round it once again after all this time and be reminded of the memories that it holds.
- Give Paul the opportunity to meet and greet those who donated and especially those who gave their craft and dedication towards the original work on the bus and this soon to be wonderful Rock and Roll Resurrection / Restoration.
- Place WNO 481 in front of the world’s media, including the BBC, who have run several pieces about the bus including The One Show.
- In July/August 2022, give Paul McCartney the opportunity to have the bus as an amazing and authentic back-drop to any stage shows or videos that he may be planning. Imagine the third day of Glastonbury, the bus on stage, the video screens showing the 1972 Wings tour videos and Paul playing in front of the bus, re-united.
- To see again The 1972 Wings Tour Bus sailing along with its spiritual and favourite master, Paul McCartney.
- To welcome everyone on board Facebook for the 1972 Wings Tour Bus journey to its next bus-life… ding-ding! Onward and upward. Next stops: France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Belgium, The Cavern, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, The Grapes, The Jacaranda, Woolton Church, 20 Forthlin Road, Mendips, The Casbah.
- To make 2022 The Summer of Love 3.
The back-story with Paul, Linda and Wings is amazing. The bus has had fascinating adventures in the years since and maybe, just maybe we can write a few new chapters and help WNO 481 Get Back to where she once belonged…