It was all the way back in 1931 when Elizabeth saw her first light of day, being created at the Sentinel Waggon Works in Shrewsbury. She is very special for a number of reasons and here are some of them.
Being a DG6P enrolled her into a quite exclusive club. DG for double geared, six for six wheeler and P for pneumatic, a reference to her revolutionary ‘pump up’ tyres. The drive from Elizabeth’s engine, to her wheels is via huge chains and she was one of the last to be built like this, as later models were much more modern, sporting the newfangled shaft drive.
Being one of the first vehicles turned out with modern inflatable tyres made her revolutionary at the time. Believe it or not, only six DG6’s survive and of those, only two are of the pneumatic tyre type. By some strange quirk, Elizabeth’s only true Sister lives no more than 60 miles from her! However, that is where the similarity ends.
While Elizabeth is seen by untold numbers of people every single year, her counterpart has not been out of her shed for nearly 30 years. In 1931, Elizabeth began her working life with the Cement Marketing Company, performing sterling service for them until the late 1940’s.
Facing redundancy, Elizabeth was rescued to start a new life as a Tar Sprayer in the north east, at Bituminous Road Products of Middlesbrough. Following a very useful, but relatively short tenure, she again found a new owner, in the well known road contractor, Glossops. Here, she ended her first working life, going on to pass through the hands of many enthusiast owners in what was to be a life in preservation spanning over 40 years.
When she became available in 2002, our offer was accepted and the rest, as they say is history. Her Bus, or Charabanc body was lovingly constructed using the time honoured coach building method, along with traditional materials. Some 60 cubic feet of beautiful white ash and mahogany went into producing what you now see.
Sentinel produced these vehicles with the intent that they would be multi purpose and Elizabeth fits that criteria perfectly. When you take a ride, you will hear the incredible story of how officialdom had to be fought to allow Elizabeth to take to the road as a Bus.
Marvel at how the Government were lobbied to change the Road Traffic Act and no less than the Secretary of State for Transport agreed to issue a special licence for Elizabeth to legally carry passengers.
WHITBY was the pride of London as the town’s bright red-liveried steam bus was cheered and applauded by hundreds of thousands of people at the Lord Mayor’s Parade.
The bus was one of more than 145 entries in the historic and colourful pageant at the weekend - and earned extra attention from people lining the streets of the capital as the only participant from the regions.
Tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire backed the participation of the bus along the three-mile route through the City of London from the 15th century Guildhall to the Lord Mayor’s home Mansion House and onto St Paul’s Cathedral, the Royal Courts of Justice, Temple Gardens and the Thames Embankment.
The event was broadcast live by BBC TV, adding three million people to the audience, and providing a major tourism boost in the heart of the city for Whitby and Yorkshire.
Whistling and hooting along Cheapside, Ludgate Hill, St Paul’s Churchyard, Fleet Street and Queen Victoria Street, the bull-nosed, puffing vehicle created a talking point among the amused and delighted onlookers, hundreds of whom took pictures and clapped and waved to the passengers.
The bus had joined a cavalcade of more than 150 horses, the Lord Mayor’s gilt state coach, the costumed London sheriffs, beadle, yeoman warders, pikemen and musketeers, plus London freemasons, marching bands, and the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and the Household Calvalry Mounted Regiment Band, and many more organisations.
More than 6,000 people took part in the parade itself, which commemorated the installation of the new Lord Mayor, alderman Michael Bear, the 683rd holder of the office.