John was invited by Crosville to join in the celebrations marking the return of ‘Elizabeth’, the only working Steam Bus in Europe.
GT2827 was built in 1931 at the Shrewsbury factory of the Sentinel Waggon Works Ltd as a flatbed waggon and delivered to the Cement Marketing Company. Later converted for use as a tar sprayer, she ended her commercial days in a scrapyard in the 1960s but was fortunately rescued for preservation. Eventually she was converted for passenger use by the Northern Star Motor Carriage Company who built a new body out of mahogany and white ash but, before she was allowed to carry fare-paying passengers, she had to pass a 35° tilt test and required an amendment to the Road Traffic Act due to the exhaust being emitted from the front of the vehicle.
Managing director Jon Jones-Pratt told the Mercury in June: “It’s a special thing and it has a big following – more than I anticipated.”