Tuesday 11 October 2011

A bus-y Sunday

Sunday saw me heading off bright and early to my old home town of Canvey Island for the annual open day at the local transport museum.  The rainy, overcast greyness of my 10'o'clock start had me fearing the worst, but in the end I needn't have worried.  The weather gods were smiling on Canvey as usual and although it remained quite blustery the sun soon came out and all was warm and bright.
Nice weather for wind-surfing!
The very first thing that caught my eye as I approached the main entrance, besides the wonderful Art Deco design of the building itself, was what was quite easily the oldest exhibit ever to have graced us with its presence - a 1912 Hallford omnibus!
It wasn't running, of course, but otherwise it was open for everyone to look around and by jingo, it was fascinating!  Not to mention something of an eye-opener; like all good historic artefacts it gave a real taste of the past - in this case what it must have been like to be a bus passenger in the 1912.  And from what I experienced, that Edwardian bus passenger would have to have been a) a lot shorter than me and b) very steady on their feet(!).  The stairs - open, of course - up to the top deck - ditto - were small enough to put a child's slide to shame.  The sides barely came up to my waist and it was a devil of a job getting back downstairs again.  My admiration for the commuters of 100 years ago has increased immeasurably!
Lots of adverts to distract your attention as you fall off the back
Solid wheels would have made for an interesting ride, if it had been running!
I want some Mazawattee Tea!
Wandering around the museum it struck me that even bus rallies can be victims of the depression - the stalls, featuring models, books and transport paraphernalia for sale, as well as some tasty-looking cakes and a raffle or two, seemed to lack a little something from last year although the numbers coming through the gate still looked healthy.  The buses that were running were a trifle too modern for my taste, although as the day wore on more properly vintage buses did start taking passengers.
These two turned up... just as I was leaving!

The displays were as good as ever.  There were many familiar faces from the previous year, but also plenty of wonderful vehicles not seen before:

1967 Ford Transit flatbed

Rover 100 & Morris Minor

1938-49 Ford Prefect

1964 Mercedes W110 190c

1946-49 Triumph Roadster

1953-56 MG ZA Magnette
1956-58 MG ZB Magnette

A lovely pair of Rileys (an RME on the right)

A 1938-41 Wolseley 14/60

A beautiful 1925 Alvis 12/50

1953-56 Austin A40 Sports

1947-53 Jowett Javelin

Another Riley

A couple of Austin Sevens
1956-67 Morris J2

A row of Austin Sevens

An absolutely spiffing MG

A splendid 1927-36 Austin 16

By far and away the star of the show for me, however, was this little 1934 Singer Eleven tucked away in one corner of the display area.  Not only was it in immaculate condition both inside and out, with a lovely two-tone brown paint job and matching brown leather seats, but the owners had even gone to the trouble of adding some delightful period touches which just set the whole thing off perfectly.  I wanted to take it home, most definitely!

"Have A Care There".  Brilliant!  And a free handkerchief!

I can just see the advert now: "Singer drivers smoke Capstans"!

Then it was off on one of the buses to the second showground, where more vintage vehicles awaited.  This was the main bus display area, being much bigger than the museum grounds.  As you can see, I continued snapping away like a good 'un!

A 1964 Austin... Seven (the Mini name didn't come into common use 'til later).

1935-37 Morris Eight.  This one's called "Brenda"(!).

We do have 'em, even if they are only buses(!).

1940-53 Morris Z-series

1935-37 Morris Eight pick-up

There were lots of vintage adverts to be seen this year, which was very pleasing to see:

So there you have it for another year - I hope you enjoyed these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.  The slight disappointment of this year in comparison to the last is certainly not enough to dissuade me from returning again (I am a museum member, after all!) and I'm already looking forward to 2012.  I can hardly wait another twelve months, but the museum does have other events on in between times, so I shall have to see about getting along to one or two of them.  All aboard for the next time, ding-ding!


  1. Lucky you to have the pleasure of such a wonderful day out, thank you for sharing

  2. You're welcome, TM.

    LG - I know! I took so many pictures that came out well I couldn't bring myself to select just a few of them.

  3. Oooh! Pretty cars! Me likey. X

  4. This looks awesome! I really want to go here and to Mangapps, the chap who I read the news for keeps telling me to go... I just need to find the oppotunity to get there!
    Thanks for sharing lovely, and thanks for your kind words re my blog :)
    G x

  5. Looks like a lovely sunday!

    Theres a transport museum in Oxfordshire I keep meaning to visit, but I never find the time!


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