The Return of the Olympic
The remarkable story of how a long-forgotten, unusual Winchester bus was tracked down in Ireland, shipped back home and restored to its former glory
author: Stephen Morris
softback 240mm x 170mm, 68 pages
ISBN 978 0 9565740 1 5
This beautiful little book tells the complete story of how Friends of King Afred Buses discovered in a field in Ireland the rusting hulk of King Alfred's 1950 Leyland Olympic, JAA 708, presumed long since gone, and brought it back to life.
JAA 708 spent its King Alfred days carrying the citizens of Winchester to and from the city centre until 1965, and this is covered in the book, together with the story of its usual route, the 4. There is also a brief history of the King Alfred company, and a look at the technical significance of the Leyland Olympic.
The bus was brought back to the UK in 1990, but until it could be brought under cover, work was initially slow. Then at last, in 2002, with the bus now indoors, the real restoration project began. Stephen Morris watched this over the years and reported on its progress in a series of occasional articles that appeared in Bus & Coach Preservation magazine.
The book uses these articles as a basis for the tale of a task that many thought was impossible. With well over 120 pictures, illustrations and maps, many never seen before, it unfolds page by page to give a complete picture of the life and times of the unusual bus and the hard work done by a dedicated band of enthusiasts who have seen it through 22 years of restoration to a triumphant result, significantly seen back on the streets of Winchester in the Olympic year of 2012.
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