1978 Bedford BLP2

The ubiquitous Bedford faithfully served Australian bus operators for over half a century. This vehicle is one such example which spent its entire working life operating school services in regional New South Wales and Queensland. The Bedford was built new in August 1978 for Ken Farmer of Bonalbo, south of Woodenbong (near the Queensland border), in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales. The bus was purchased to run a daily school service to Culmaran Creek (south of Bonalbo). In 1989, the bus and run were sold to Russell & Myrna Clark, who, as of 2017, remain the current operators of the service. 

During late 1994, the Clarks replaced the Bedford with a brand new Mercedes Benz school bus. The Bedford was then sold by Queensland vehicle dealer Geoff Philp to continue its life as a country school bus in the town of Kingaroy, in the South Burnett region. The bus was sold to Bruce and Marilyn Dray for use on the Hillview school run (to the north of Kingaroy). The vehicle and run then passed to Robin and Noelene Bliesner in 2000, and then finally to Steve and Cathy Davis in 2002. The Bedford continued to ply the Hillview school run until June 2006, when it was retired from service and sold to QOCS member Fred Clark for preservation. 

The Bedford was Fred’s pride and joy and was regularly displayed and operated at club rallies and other community events in South East Queensland each year. Fred untimely passed away in August 2016, with the vehicle then passing to our club in July 2017 for continued preservation.

Vehicle Specifications

ChassisBedford BLP2
Engine6-cylinder Bedford 500 diesel engine, 141bhp at 2800rpm
TransmissionTurner 5-speed synchromesh
BrakesFull air-operated brakes and air-operated spring brake
SteeringBerman power assisted steering
BodyDomino Hedges Pty Ltd, Northgate, Queensland
ConstructionTubular steel frame with exterior aluminium panelling
Seating45 seated
In ServiceAugust 1978 to June 2006
The Bedford was new to Ken Farmer of Bonalbo in August 1978 for use on the Culmaran Creek school run in northern New South Wales. Photo: Geoff Foster
The Bedford is pictured here in August 2005 under the ownership of Steve and Cathy Davis of Kingaroy, Queensland.
The late Fred Clark is pictured here in front of his beloved Bedford in November 2008.