Monday 2 January 2012

New Year, Old Buses

This year's resolution, as far as I go in for that sort of thing, is to get to more museums, events and places of interest and hopefully to meet more like-minded folk in person.  I may even have a blogger meet-up planned!

For now, though, I've started the year as I mean to go on with a visit to the Castle Point Transport Museum that has featured on these pages before.

In a similar vein to the Keighley Bus Museum whose Christmas Day service I posted about recently, Castle Point Transport Museum in association with a couple of local bus companies have for the last 5 years been putting on special services in the local area on New Year's Day when no normal buses are running.  Made up entirely of exhibits and some of the bus operators heritage fleet, it allows people to move around the local area as well as visit the museum.  It's also an excellent excuse to ride on some old buses!

So bright and early on Sunday morning I was standing at the local bus stop waiting to hail what promised to be quite a different bus compared to the norm.  Rather a nostalgia trip to see this pulling in a few minutes later:

My transport for the day, a 1973 Bristol RE
And so on to the museum, with a some stops along the way as a few bemused members of the public hopped on and off en route.  Oh, the looks you get from people as you sail past in a vintage omnibus!

1949 AEC Regent RT III
The museum itself was fairly busy by its usual standards, even taking into account the whole New Year's Sunday date.  There was even a female 1940s re-enactor (complete with victory rolls!) visiting with her family.  It all added to the fun!

1959 AEC Routemaster in local operator's colours
Several buses were lined up on either side of the museum, which was the local depot between 1934 and 1978 and still has much of the workshop ambience about it.  Elsewhere there are display rooms and a model railway, with more being added continually.

1960 Leyland PD3

Some of the buses are still undergoing restoration, like these two PD3s, and there remain many signs that this was and still is a place for repairing public service vehicles.

1958 Leyland PD3

Many of the museum's top exhibits were present, such as this Bristol open-topper and a 1949 Leyland OPD.

1953 Bristol KSW

The traditional London Routemaster was also represented, with this example serving Hounslow.  All aboard, tickets please!  Note the period adverts extolling commuters to "Please avoid the rush hours".  Seems some things never change!

1962 AEC Routemaster
1959 Bristol LDL

I couldn't help but smile at the above LDL - service no. 13 served Runwell Hospital, the local mental health hospital.  No superstitious bus drivers worked that route, I'll warrant!

The relative quiet of the museum compared with the climactic annual open day in October meant I had more of a chance to take a few snaps of the contents of the display cabinets.  Most of them contained articles relating to vintage bus travel, but there were also several items pertaining to local and national history.

Enamel signs for the county's bus routes and local businesses

All kinds of bits and bobs could be seen, from razors to pumps to books.

Even some jewellery for the gals!

London Transport books and leaflets

Bus and railway paraphernalia

Children's toys



Do I remember?  I wish I did!

Clippy's Cafe

Not sure what the link is here...!

More wartime kitchenware and whatnots

Clock in (or out!)

Don't forget your badge!

Through the office

An Imperial 65 (wide carriage), the direct precursor of my own 66

All in all, another splendid day out with hopefully a lot more to come in 2012 from this museum at least.  The weather managed to hold off until just before I got home and it was a lovely way to spend the first day of the year.  So far my New Year's resolution is holding up well, and unlike some I can't wait to put in into practice again!

1 comment:

  1. What an excellent idea to put them in service for the day. What strikes me most, the lovely colours these busses have. Happy New Year!


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