Only 600 miles to go! Historic Shetland Island bound bus passes through Doncaster on marathon 750 mile journey home

The Lerwick bound bus near Bawtry. (Photo: Mick Hickman).
The Lerwick bound bus near Bawtry. (Photo: Mick Hickman).

A historic bus making a marathon 750 mile journey to the Shetland Islands has passed through Doncaster this morning en route home.

The Shetlander coach, which is bound for Lerwick in the Scottish islands, passed through Bawtry and is making the long journey north after the enthusiast who spent years restoring it deciding to return it to the isles where it served as a public transport vehicle for nearly 30 years.

The Shetlander bus is returning home to the Scottish islands. (Photo: Mick Hickman).

The Shetlander bus is returning home to the Scottish islands. (Photo: Mick Hickman).

Owner Nick Taylor, who bought the coach in 2011, is one of the main drivers responsible for undertaking the coach trip which set off from Norwich yesterday and will arrive in Lerwick on June 23.

He said: "This beautiful and iconic coach is making its long journey home to the Shetland Islands from its current residence in Norfolk.

"The coach became integral to the way of life for Shetland Islanders between 1950 and 1979 as a lifeline to shops, schools and other essential amenities we all take for granted today."

In 2013, former owner and operator John Watt from Reawick, Shetland, visited the coach in East Anglia.

Nick was moved by the emotion seeing the old coach evoked in John and added: "It was clear that many people on the Islands remember the coach.

"In its working heyday it took residents to school, to dances, to weddings and to funerals. To me, it seemed the only course of action was to return the coach back to the Shetland Islands where it is so fondly remembered."

The coach is being gifted to the Shetland Commercial Vehicle Preservation Trust, an organisation based on the Shetland Islands, which will ensure that it is used for the benefit of the Islanders and visitors for many years to come. The Trust has pledged to maintain the vehicle at least to its current condition.

The coach, which has a top speed of around 40 miles per hour, is returning home on a route which takes in Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, The Lake District, Skye and Orkney before its return to the Shetland Islands.