Standerwick 25 is owned by the Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust, a well established Registered Charity which was set up to restore, maintain and operate historic commercial passenger vehicles. Over the years the Trust has built up a considerable amount of spares etc to allow the restoration to be carried out with materials contemporaneous to the vehicles manufacture.
The Trust has also acquired an early model Leyland Atlantean which was used for research and development by its subsidiary company, Self Changing Gears Ltd. This vehicle was not registered for use on public roads, has comparatively low mileage and will provide a valuable source of parts. Following restoration the Trust will assume the responsibility for Standerwick 25's maintenance and safe keeping.
Self Changing Gears R&D Atlantean
However, the restoration of Standerwick 25 is well beyond the Trust’s resources and therefore considerable outside funding and expertise will be required. The obvious first port of call for funding is the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust have made enquiries in the past and are of the opinion that an application to the ‘Your Heritage’ fund with a maximum grant of £100,000 would offer the best chance of funding as the decisions on the grants are made locally, and the bar is not set as high as the Heritage Grants programme.
The sourcing of the skills required to do some of the work will be more problematic. Whilst the RVPT does have highly skilled volunteers, there are not enough to carry out the work in an acceptable time frame. The skills required are those of coachbuilders from the 1950s/1960s and as time goes on the people possessing these skills become fewer and fewer.
The ideal solution would be for the Gay Hostess to be restored as part of a training scheme where scarce and valuable skills could be passed on to the next generation of historic vehicle restorers. If anyone is aware of an institution that runs or possibly could run such a scheme please get in touch.