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|
|1949 AEC Regent RT III|
|1959 AEC Routemaster in local operator's colours|
|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|
|Do I remember? I wish I did!|
|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!