Commercial Transport

Sandstone’s AEC bus returns home

AEC bus image 1

                                         The AEC amongst the Cosmos at Stars 2014. Photo by Alex Reichle

A well-known favourite in the Sandstone collection is the 1951 built AEC bus originally from Wales. In the collection since 2001, this rare Bruce bodied AEC Regal was donated to Sandstone by John Allen who bought it in Wales in 1971 and brought it with him when he emigrated to South Africa in 1991.

After enquiries from the Cardiff Transport Preservation Group (CTPG) in 2014, Sandstone’s trustees decided to release the bus for export back to Wales. After raising the funds required, the CPTG confirmed their intentions and the bus left Sandstone on the 18th December in transit to Durban for the sea voyage to Europe.

AEC bus image 2

                           The AEC loaded for transport to Durban and the long journey home in December 2014

Sandstone is not a dealer in Heritage items but there are occasions when we cooperate with other parties whose interests are completely genuine and we make the decision that the item in question is better with them than with us. A bus that used to spend its life travelling between the different villages in Wales is slightly incongruous in the Eastern Free State.

AEC bus image 3

                                              Arrival in Barry after the journey from Southampton Docks

Our Bristol bus on the other hand was supplied new to Welkom Municipality which gives it a powerful provenance for it to be with us in the Free State.

The export of the bus has been extensively covered by the Welsh media as the following links show:

AEC bus image 4

                                 Alongside sister No. 6 after starting on the button to be driven into the depot

                     The visitors must be wondering where in Wales Hoekfontein is! Both photos by Mike Taylor


For a full story and history of the AEC have a look at John Allen’s story on the Sandstone web site.


Pakwa the "Package Wagon"

This very interesting road container vehicle, which was obtained from the railway authorities direct, is currently being restored by the Steam Workshops. It is in remarkably good condition and the upgrades are purely cosmetic.

Manufactured by Henred, probably back in the 1950's, it would have been designed to haul freight from Kazuni Siding in Johannesburg to addresses in and around Johannesburg's industrial areas. We are not sure what would have pulled it but we will find out in due course and try and source one.

It has the lovely name Pakwa. Translated in Afrikaans it means simply package wagon.

Unfortunately the date in service item isn’t always on the vehicle nameplate.

Pakwa 1

Pakwa 2

Pakwa 3

Pakwa 4

Pakwa 5

Pakwa 6

Sandstone Buses

I took a couple of photos of the two buses that were out for the Stars of Steam event and dig a bit of digging on their history. The Bristol from Welkom is very interesting as the last survivor of some 100  or so exported to South Africa just after World War 2. However, the other single decker far from its original home in the Welsh Valleys also intrigued me as its original owner - Bedwas & Machen Urban District Council was a very small operator and only ever had a handful of buses.

The reason I am writing is that in my earlier life before focusing on steam, I did have quite an interest in buses and I knew that somewhere in my collection I had a photo of a Bedwas & Machen vehicle. This is the only photo I have from this operator and when I dug it out over the weekend, I discovered that it was No. 7 - the very same bus that you now have at Sandstone - quite a coincidence.

I took this photo (age 13) in Caerphilly in March 1969 with my first slide camera - a Kodak Instamatic. The result is surprisingly acceptable, may be due in part to using Kodachrome film !! I also attach the photo of No. 7 taken on May 5 this year.

Interestingly a quick web search of Bedwas & Machen found another recently restored vehicle

May be, the next time No. 7 needs some paint, the blue and cream scheme would look nice.

Article by John Nicholas Middleton


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Bedwas-and-Machen-7-in-Caerphilly-Mar-1969R w

Rare and very special Bristol Bus transferred to the Sandstone Heritage Trust

Click Here to Read More (1.74 MB)


Old SAR Container trailer recovered..

To add interest to our NG Consists we have located and purchased an early Railway Container which would have transported goods from stations to freight clients.

It would have been hauled by a truck or tractor of suitable vintage.



Sandstone’s Kenworth T900 receives cosmetic upgrade.

Sandstone’s workshops have applied themselves to the refurbishment of the cosmetics on our Kenworth T900. This truck was purchased new in 1990 in Melbourne Australia and shipped from the Paccar factory where it has been ever since.

It is the pride and joy of our Heavy Truck fleet.













Sandstone Heritage Trust - Rail News

RN 73 - A venerable old container which probably dates back to the 1940's



This venerable old container which probably dates back to the 1940's rings a bell with many older people. They were used to transport people's furniture across country. A trailer like this was brought to someone's home, packed with furniture, loaded on a rail truck, transported across the country, and then taken off the other end and delivered. Full of character and still in remarkably good condition.

An acquisition like this reinforces the fact that the Sandstone Heritage Trust are not just interested in the mega items such as locomotives. In its own way this particular container has every right to sit at the top table of preservation.

Peerless 4t truck

Peerless set the standards for engineering in the Auto Industry and had many firsts in design, such as: an engine under the hood; a drive shaft with floating rear axle; a stamped steel frame; the first side entrance touneau; a tilting steering wheel; an accelerator pedal; the use of aluminum to save weight; and the first enclosed body. The first starters and electric lights, and the list goes on and on.
Barney Oldfield was hired in 1904 to race the Peerless Green Dragon. For two years Barney and the Green Dragon broke track speed records all over the USA and made Peerless a name to reconcile with. In August 1905, Peerless dropped out of racing and began competing in reliability runs called the Glidden Tours. With three cars competing, the Peerless's finished with perfect scores, again putting the Peerless name above all other marques in automobile reliability.

peerless_01 Peerless_logo

Leyland Octopus 1963 - Information

leyland_octupus_truck_01   leyland_octupus_truck_02


Asset Number:
2004 / 1015
Description of item: Truck
Leyland Octopus 1963
Country of Origin:  
Serial No. & Markings:
Engine No. 680-45141 Chassis Type: 121224OE
Vehicle Model: 2401B1963 Chassis No. L01912
Chassis No: 1S23  
Current Status:  
Potential for Full
Restoration In %:
Potential for Cosmetic
Restoration in %:
History of Company:
Manufacturers of light, medium and heavyweight vehicles. Leyland Trucks has laid claim to the roads in the UK and the rest of Europe for more than 100 years. Founded in 1896, the US-based PACCAR subsidiary (since 1998) makes about 14,000 heavy-duty trucks each year. Ranging in size from six to 44 tons, Leyland's trucks can be found on roads all over Europe. Leyland also makes trucks for other PACCAR companies, such as DAF, Foden, Kenworth, and Peterbilt.
Brief History:
8 x 4 powered by a Leyland 680 through a 5 speed gearbox with a 8.44 rear axle ratio. Top speed 30mph. Originally purchased by Chapman and Cawder (later AECI). Specified as an explosive transporter. Back body removed, replaced by flat deck. Sandstone Estates recently purchased this truck from Yuri Peila.
Company logo: LL_logo