Corgi's Brighton & Hove bus wears its sensational livery with absolute pride
Corgi Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company, Tunbridge Wells
REF NO: OM46515A
It was in 1884 that the Brighton, Hove & Preston United bus company was formed, a consequence of the amalgamation of a number of smaller horse bus companies and it soon became the main transport operator for the area, the forerunner to today’s Go Ahead Group owned Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company.
The company has invested heavily in vehicles from Wrightbus, with over 70 of the second generation Wright Eclipse Gemini II vehicles on Volvo B9TL chassis in the fleet, all of which carry the names of people that have made a significant contribution towards the life of the local area during their lifetime. Fleet No 439, registration number BF12 KXS, has carried the name of Phil Starr since July 2015, when it was transferred from Bus No 401 (latterly 919). Phil Starr, who died aged 72 in 2005 shortly after his last show, performed on stages across the world as a Drag Queen for more than 50 years and raised many, many thousands of pounds for charity, including an orphanage in Thailand.
The bus was painted in this striking livery for the area's famous Pride in our City event in August 2017 and the colourful scheme with striking graphics was well received. There is no doubt that this model would really stand out in any collection - deservedly so.
Corgi's tooling for this type of bus has been well used - this is the 14th version of the Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 from Corgi (model number OM46506 wasn't used) and as 13 of those have been dual destination, this makes the Pride bus the 26th and 27th. This is also the third livery of a Brighton & Hove bus in the casting (all dual destination - the only one that hasn't been so far is the Harry Potter Studio Shuttle No OM46511).
The dual destination options for this release are as shown here (OM46515A) on route 29 to Tunbridge Wells and OM46515B (route 21) with a destination of Brighton Marina & Queens Park.
Corgi's execution of this complicated livery is outstanding and the complex graphics are astonishing plus the three-dimensional destination boxes are a treat. It's easy to miss the interior with everything else but it's very well done indeed.
Given that this is the first issue eligible for the next Diecast Collector Model Awards, I think we have a real contender here already!