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Historic Medway Bus Restoration

The Rochester Bridge Trust has awarded a £4,500 community grant to The Friends of Chatham Traction to restore an historic Gardner engine.

Work on the engine, which will power a restored 1939 Bristol K5G double-deck bus registered GKE 68, is being undertaken at Tivoli Manufacturing in Chartham.

The Friends of Chatham Traction are restoring the bus to full working order to celebrate the role of The Chatham & District Traction Company as a key transport provider in Medway along former tram routes from 1930 to 1955.

The bus being restored, one of 37 similar buses, spent its entire service life working from a Luton depot. It was withdrawn from service by Maidstone & District in 1955.


1. The Rochester Bridge Trust is a charitable trust that exists to maintain the old and new bridges at Rochester and serve the travelling public. It is the only surviving bridge trust still serving its original purpose, and it has served the people of Kent since 1399. The Trust also supports numerous community and education projects across historic Kent and Medway.

2. The Trust’s assets all derive from endowments of land and money in the 14th and 15th centuries and are carefully managed in order to provide an income to fund bridge maintenance and local charitable grants. The Trust receives no external funding and is regulated by the Charity Commission.

For more information:

The Rochester Bridge Trust
5 Esplanade
Kent ME1 1QE
Tel: 01634 846706
Fax: 01634 840125

Friends of Chatham Traction
Bob Ratcliffe
Tel: 01634 846043

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