During Albert's years with the hippie couple in Chepstow, South Wales, the roof was replaced, to restore the original over all height of the bus: 14ft. 6 inches, or about 4.4 metres in the new money. And thereby get more standing room upstairs.
Not the most elegant design, but very strong, and weatherproof.
Way back in 1969, the original bus roof had been involuntarily reduced by a bridge on the Salzburg - Munich Autobahn in Germany. To a vehicle height of 14' 3" from its normal 14' 4" !
After Trip 02, from UK back to Australia, bearing in mind the adventure at Dozan Bridge in Pakistan, before departure for the next journey back to England, the roof was further reduced, to 13' 9". This was done at Doonside in Sydney's west, using a can opener in Andy's words ! A motor engineer might say using the cut and shut method.
However, now that Albert is actually two inches taller than when new, and not looking all that well-groomed, a new roof is to be constructed, to get over all height down to 13' 9", in anticipation of low road and bridge clearances which might cause problems. Normal semi-trailer pantechnicon height is about 14 feet, so if trucks can get through, so will Albert.
Naturally headroom in the top deck will suffer. This space is used mostly as the dormitory at night, or as a forward observation lounge for seated passengers during the day, so it is hoped that headroom of 5 ft. 9 inches (1.75 metres) will not cause too many cracked skulls!
Andy Stewart takes up the story:
At this point it can be said that unlike in a modern car, where the roof is an important structural element, stopping the vehicle from bending down in the middle, the roof of a double decker is nothing more than a metal umbrella. That's why it is so easy to make open topped sightseeing double deckers: just slice the roof off at window sill level! And tell the passengers to stay seated when they go under bridges?
In a matter of only days, the old roof panelling is off.
The new steel roof bows are there, and the original fore-and-aft stringers are being re-used. The pole in the centre is holding the whole lot up until the curved brackets are inserted, attaching each bow to its matching side pillar.
The rather eerie-looking green ceiling is of course only a tarpaulin to keep the worsening Scottish weather out. With winter coming on, Andy is seeking some undercover accommodation to permit work to proceed in some comfort while it's -10 deg. outside.