Sunday, 27 November 2016

Ollies At The Hollies

I received tip offs from Malcolm and Robin (Malcolm your parents missed a trick by not naming you Batman) from Borderbus of activity at The Hollies camping and leisure resort in Kessingland. In fact I was basically instructed to go up there for a look. So on Friday I did.

The Hollies have purchased 3 ex Hedingham Dublinbus Volvo Olympians, 2 of which are being converted into self catering holiday homes. The third will be having something done to it, but as yet nothing firm has been decided. Also purchased is an ex Hedingham Wright bodied Volvo B10BLE which is being converted into a tea room. I went to the site office to find two really nice ladies, including Louise, who told me about the project. I was given a really warm welcome and given permission to go round the site taking photos.

The 3 Olympians are on the Glamping field, glamping being a merge of "glamourous camping". One is being used to store the seats of the other 2, and is the one with the undecided future.

Ex Hedingham L361 M144 UKN no with more seats than intended!
Moving to the main glamping field and next was L360 M282 UKN. This bus has been stripped out ready for conversion and I was allowed on it to have a look.

Ex Hedingham L360 on its pitch at The Hollies
Lower deck stripped out ready for conversion
And the upper deck, with the seats stored in the bus visible through the windscreen
The third bus was locked up, with a lot of carpentry in evidence. L362 M146 UKN

Ex Hedingham 362 M182 UKN
However it appears some attention is needed to the windows unless a decking balcony is being built and that's where the french windows are going! Nurse for Louise!

No pane no gain!
I have a feeling once completed these glamping buses will prove very popular if sensibly priced. It certainly puts a whole new slant on the term "busman's holiday", or should that be "busman's ollieday"! I'm delighted to report the driver's cabs are being retained which should prove very popular with children of all ages - yes very big children too. A railway coach is also being discussed, which again I can see being very popular. I advised that Hedingham were currently selling off the rest of their Olympians and now was the time to buy with DDA looming, so hopefully there will be more additions.

My thanks to Louise and her colleague whose name I didn't get for their warm welcome, and I look forward to following the progress of the conversions. Now if you need a guinea pig to try them out and review once they're done.......

The tea bar will be ex Hedingham 481 R216 HCD. Not much more than a shell at the moment, but again I'll be following its progress

Ex Hedingham 481 in state of conversion

The engine and everything else is currently under tarpaulin. No idea if going back but if not there is space for one heck of a kettle!

The empty engine bay
I know most of us would like to see Olympians still on the road in public service come January but it's not going happen. Much better alternative uses that will still bring enjoyment to many are found than facing the scrap man, so I really hope The Hollies are successful in this venture.

Coming up later this week a bus with a shed on the back. Never thought I'd type those words! Take care all.


  1. Hi steve galloway update the Daf optare decker is going to be coverted to DDA very soon at the moment they are looking for 2 deckers posibal more Daf optares to replaced the two olymians in the fleet with 253 (1842pp) going first as it may not part another mot

  2. It steve its me david from galloway above messege

  3. I read somewhere that non-DDA vehicles can be used for a certain amount of days each year. Is this true?

    1. Yes they can, though how that is meant to be enforced is anyone's guess. However maintenance costs, not to mention MT and insurance simply don't make that cost effective, unless the vehicle has regular contract work, in which case it can cover DDA vehicles once a fortnight!

    2. Note to self - don't watch airport cams and reply to comments at same time! They can be used 25 times in a year.

  4. The B10 was having the tyres looked at / repaired today.

  5. Hi,The B10 Cafe project is coming on well, having cut out all the rear chassis members and welding in a new steel ring beam we now have a decent head height at the rear (kitchen) inner rear wheels have been removed and outers back on to create more space internally. Hygienic walls and ceiling now fitted to kitchen area and we'll soon be fitting the hygienic flooring throughout. Will keep you posted on progress, Jim. Hollies Maintenance Manager. Ps Engine/Gearbox and wheels for sale

    1. Many thanks for the update, Jim. I look forward to seeing her on completion.