EFE Browns Blue Bus Launch

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On Monday 9thSeptember, Exclusive First Editions (EFE) launched its latest 1:76 scale diecast model of AEC RT Browns Blue registration KLB 596. The launch took place at the old Stoneygate Tram Depot, now home to the Leicester Transport Heritage Trust (LTHT), with the first model presented to Mick Gamble, owner of the preserved vehicle on which the model is based.

Our model (E34116) sitting on the real AEC RT Browns Blue bus!

Browns Blue was established in 1923 by Lawrence Daniel Brown of Markfield and, after adopting a blue and red colour scheme, the company became known as Browns Blue. The name was lost in 1963 when Browns Blue sold its bus routes to Midland Red and its fleet of vehicles were sold by auction to other operators.

Mick Gamble, a retired bus driver from Ratby, had fond memories of seeing the Browns Blue buses operating whilst growing up in Leicester and so in 2012 he set about making plans to mark the 50thanniversary of the closure of the company. Mick purchased former London Transport RT1347 from a private hire company and had it repainted to represent one of the original Browns Blue buses (ex-RT173, registration HLW 160). During 2013, the bus featured in a number of celebrations marking 50 years since the sale of Browns Blue and Mick even hosted a celebration meal for the Brown family and former employees of the company at the Copt Oak – the very location where the company’s fleet had been auctioned some 50 years ago.

The real Browns Blue at the Leicester Transport Heritage Trust
Featuring the old advertising for Leicestershire based companies
Left to right: Mike Greenwood (Director of Archives & Research for LTHT), Neil Fraser (Bachmann Europe Military & Toy Brand Manager), Mick Gamble (Owner of Browns Blue KLB 596) and Colin May (LTHT Member and former Midland Red Engineer)

Mick continues to show the bus at various events and rallies, for further details please visit www.ltht.org.uk

KLB 596 entered service with London Transport in 1950 and was withdrawn in May 1978 from Barking Garage. Following a spell at the North West Transport Museum it was sold to a company in Andover for private hire before being sold to Mick in 2012.

Our model (E34116) carries blinds for Coalville via Barwell, Earl Shilton and Newbold Verdon making this a fitting subject for Barwell-based company Bachmann Europe – owner of the EFE brand. With a RRP of £34.95, the model is available now from Bachmann stockists, find your nearest stockist at www.bachmann.co.uk/stockists

Neil Fraser (Bachmann Europe Military & Toy Brand Manager) hands a model of the
Browns Blue bus over to Mick Gamble (Owner of Browns Blue KLB 596)