Maltese Connection

Peter Skerry (right) lives in Malta, and discovered the remains of an AEC coach over there. Investigation revealed that it had been new to Wallace Arnold, Leeds, back in 1948 and registered KUM 386.

This guy is obviously up for a challenge (or else he's completely mad!) but he decided to have a go at restoring it. The body was too far gone - in fact it had disappeared completely, so he exported the remains of a similar one with the aim of replicating the pieces. But, the chassis has been totally restored, and when the fuel tank and vacuum brakes are fitted, it will drive under its own power. He has a team working on it at the moment.

He has spent the last four years searching all over the world for any photo that may have been taken of KUM 386 when it was in service, and had all but given up hope of ever finding one. Then, on 12th May 2011, he was in the UK and dropped in to see us at Ravensthorpe. We moved a bus out of the way so he could walk around, then he spotted - on our museum wall - a photo of his bus, taken in the early 1950s in Leeds. He was literally speechless with emotion!

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We sent him a copy of the picture, and he was so grateful that he promised a warm welcome to any of our members who might be passing through Malta. So, in early July, Malcolm King popped over to meet him. (Well, he popped over to see Arriva take over from the traditional old buses of Malta, happened to spot a parked car with the Maltese registration KUM 386, and introduced himself to the driver - Peter Skerry).

Peter told him that more sponsorship had been received and he intends to rebuild the cab area of the coach during the winter. But he had hit a snag. The body he had imported was a 30' 0" Duple A coach body, and he realised that KUM 386 needed a 27' 6" Duple A coach body! This means a little scaling down has to be done, and here he makes an appeal for help. If anyone out there has an official drawing of a 27' 6" Duple A coach body, could they please urgently get in touch with Peter? You can contact him directly on this e-mail address we have set up for him: [email protected] - this will automatically forward your message to his personal e-mail address in Malta.

You can see some of Peter's projects on this website: www.maltatruckrally.com/Restoration-Photogallery.php
There is also a YouTube video of the engine being started shortly after Peter acquired the remains of the bus - click HERE.

Below left: the photo from our wall showing KUM 386 in service with Wallace Arnold.

Right:  the remains of KUM 386 when acquired by Peter Skerry.

Below right:  the silver painted chassis in its present condition.

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