Current AffairsTechnology/Equipment

Funeral Planning Services commissions website for classic coach’s journey home

A fully restored classic 1950s Bedford OB coach, which is being gifted back to the Shetland Islands next June by owner, Nick Taylor, now has its own website – www.ShetlandCoachTrip.co.uk.

The website to provide information about the fascinating story of its final journey. The website, built by Norfolk Web Developer, Philippa Green and commissioned by Funeral Planning Services, features a range of information to keep site visitors informed about the Coach’s progress.

The new site has more than ten pages with images of the coach being restored, the route the coach will take up to Shetland. It includes a description of the team who are accompanying the coach and copies of featured articles covering this fascinating story. The trip is due to take place in June 2017, departing Norwich Cathedral after being blessed by the resident Bishop.  

The idea to drive this vintage vehicle more than 900 miles was conceived when Nick Taylor was visited last year by Shetland Islander and original driver, John Watt. Nick was moved by the emotion Mr Watt showed upon seeing the Bedford OB restored to its former glory.

Nick said: “It was his life – he’d drive it every day across the island. He took children to school and relatives to weddings and funerals. He even did impromptu deliveries across the island. In many ways the Bedford was a life-line to the islanders and so many of the Shetland folk would have travelled in it at some time.”

After seeing the way Mr Watt reacted to seeing the coach, Nick felt that the coach would be better appreciated in Shetland than in Norfolk and decided to selflessly donate it to a Preservation Trust on the islands – but not before taking one final journey in the vehicle. Next summer then, a team of ten people will travel together in the coach and accompanying support vehicle from Norwich all the way to the Shetland Islands.

The story has already captured the attention of thousands of classic vehicle fans as well as the mainstream media, with the BBC and Let’s Talk magazine running an article about the coach. The new website, provided by Norfolk sponsor, Funeral Planning Services, has been set up to provide regular updates on the coach’s progress. It will supply background information on its journey through recent history, including how it came to be owned and kept in Norfolk after serving in Shetland between 1950 and 1979.

The coach’s journey is supported by a number of businesses the length and breadth of the country, including Vestra Wealth, Respect Green Burial Parks, Melia Powell Funeral Directors and Bennetts of Kilwinning, among others. The journey will be closely followed by interested parties and classic car fans as this 70-year old vehicle makes its final journey home. Visit www.ShetlandCoachTrip.co.uk to find out more or follow the whole story on Facebook.

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