A short history

Since forming in early 1994, 1st Blackwater Valley has benefitted from ownership of various vehicles, the standard of which has slowly improved as the Group has developed:

MILDRED – current coach (Bedford YNV)

LONG JOHN SILVER – current minibus (Ford Transit)

THE TREK CART – the original and current trek cart on permanent loan from Ditton Hill B-P Scout Group (now closed).

JACK HOLT – current sailing boat

ERMINTRUDE – former dinghy

BIG YANK – former 5m Sillenger inflatable

CUBETTE – former big minibus (Leyland box)

GEORGE – former coach (Bedford YMT)

MATT – former minibus (Renault Traffic)

POLLY FILLA – first minibus (Ford Transit)

PENELOPE PITSTOP – first coach (Bedford YRT)

Our coaches to date have been Bedford “Y” chassis vehicles. There were many on the market and so we have picked up older examples as time passed by.


Announced in September 1970, the Bedford YRQ was a 10-metre (33 ft) coach chassis intended to replace the Bedford VAM. The engine was mounted centrally under the floor.

In 1972 an 11-metre (36 ft) version, the YRT, entered production as a replacement for the twin-steer Bedford VAL.[1]

New more powerful engines were introduced in 1975 with the YLQ (10m) and YMT (11m).

The 1980 YNT was a development of the YMT with a turbocharged engine,[2] while the YLQ became the YMQ and then the YMP.

The 12-metre YNV Venturer with air suspension was the final development of the Y series, announced in 1984.

Bus and truck production by Bedford ceased in 1986.


We originally owned a Bedford YRT coach named “Penelope Pitstop” that was donated to our Scout Group.

Penelope was replaced by a short lived Leyland short bus named “Cubette”, purchased for £50.00 and scrapped for the same amount.

We then had a Bedford YMT coach named “George” donated and a new engine (£900.00) paid for by a local company. Parents and leaders of the Group swapped engines in a mammoth endeavour over a single weekend. George passed his MOT that Monday.

“Mildred” was found on the internet and was purchased for the Group by Mrs. Jean Llewellyn as a gift.