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Phil raised a number of points which I would like to reply to.
1. Our depot is anything but cramped with space for 600 buses - we only have about 230 - so I do not know where he got this idea from. To the best of my knowledge it is the largest museum in the world. I am also unaware of any museum with more vehicles.
2. We are an operating museum and it is our intention to have 70% of todays fleet operating in one hundred years time. By then parts will be totally impossible to obtain and inordinately expensive to make so our solution - as we have the space - is to stockpile as many parts as possible. Bear in mind there are many other museums who will need parts and we will go out of our way to help anyone. But the easiest way to store parts is as vehicles!
3. Take a simple fact. A Gardner or 680 engine is about 4,500 euro to have overhauled. Is it not sensible then to keep a stock of at least three engines? And they are better stored in vehicles where when it comes time to transfer them we can first document the way they are installed so as to minimise the problems of the transfer. Don't forget that a lot of the skill will die with people like myself and our generation and an engine change in twenty or fifty years time will present that generation with many problems. The ideal place to learn from, is an actual installation, and believe you me that, with all our current skills we have nightmarish problems at times, so heaven help the future generations.
4. I disagree totally with his assertion that anything other than Bus Eireann nobody can relate to. That is nonsense. A good museun covers all areas and all aspects of bus transport and that is exactly what we are doing. Be it Leyland or Ford of Bedford or whatever we will have a complete collection - and the best.
5. I do not know what he means by not having a high standard. Any buses we have taken to a rally have always been of the highest standard. R 913, 2531, Nefkins 1179, KC 129 to name but a few, so it is total bull**** to say we do not keep our vehicles. How would Phil know anyhow when he has never been near us? Right now we are working on restoring ten buses, extending the depot, organising a maintenance shed, taking in two buses a week, painting one at a time, putting up proper fencing etc. etc. and etc. What more does he think we could be doing?
6. I do not see any criticism of Howth or Mark Phipps or Gary Manahan or any one else but we outclass any museum in Europe in the amount of work we do so where is the problem? It might not be what armchair general Phil thinks we should do but it is our money, we have a long term strategic plan and we are working to that. If Phil would like to help fund the 100,000 euro a year deficit the museum incurs then please contact me at once - preferably enclosing a cheque - and he can decide all sorts of things then and carry out his armchair generals plan.
7. If we do not acquire these buses now then they are lost forever. Does that not occur to him? Is he saying only a few buses should be saved or does he agree with me that it should be as many as possible?
8. As for his statement that people might take us seriously if we did what he wanted I think this is just a nasty throw away comment motivated by jealousy. We are taken seriously and are the best museum in Europe, end of matter so shut up. We do not need this type of sneering. Put your money where your mouth is and come down and work with us. You will be made welcome - and put to work at once!
Its really 130 buses
I do not know where you get your information from and one can only draw the conclusion that you are jealous of what we have achieved. You are not a member and have never visited us so how can you tell what we have.
I invite you to come and see for yourself and count them yourself and you might find 250 by the time you get here.
The mjuseum does not need nasty comments like yours.