As many of you out there, I subscribe to zillions of different newsletters to get the most information on what’s happening and what can be explored. And again, as many of you probably, I right click and delete most of them if there is nothing catching my eye right in the subject line. But when I do not hit the Delete button, I tend to come across interesting events, trips, sites, etc quite frequently. And then I realize I have no time for all of this, inevitably vicious circle. At a moment, I do enjoy one particular that stands out amongst the many commercial ones, Ian Visits. It certainly has unique activities and that is how I found out about the 40th Spring Bus and Coach Gathering in Weybridge, Surrey.
8am on Sunday morning, I unwillingly crawl out of my cosy bed and get ready to start the day. Fortunately it was predicted to be a beautifully sunny spring day and the sun just barely beaming through the corner of my window so so avoiding the soon to be blocking it buildings and reflecting on the shabby wooden floors put a smile on my face. It also pleased my two lovelies who continued their never ending sleep just in front of the window. I could get used to such mornings but no can do in England ☺
Out of the flat, rushing for the tube and barely making it on time to catch my train (only because I HAD to stop by the coffee shop to get my mocha.) Don’t get me wrong, I am not one of the people that have to have their morning coffee otherwise they cannot cope. I am one of those bizarre people, that restrict themselves to maximum of three coffees a week and this was my chance for the third one! I could not have passed on that opportunity. Now, let me finally start about those silly buses and other carriages.
Once in Weybridge, the adventure started. I had no idea where to go but following the majority of people coming out of the train was a good decision. Walking up the street, already felt like I am some 50 years back in time (I really wish that would be possible as I would go 90 years back without a blink but that’s for another post.) One of the Routemaster fathers, the RT4779 route number 468 was waiting for us outside the train station and ready to transport us to the land of classics. I make my way in and the musty old smell hits me straight away. I am already liking it (don’t call me weird.) Curiously looking around, I realize that it will not just be the buses that are “mature”, but also the visitors. Man, felt I out of place. But more the fun.
Getting my ticket and walking down the road to the actual grounds, I realize I have no idea where is what so I just head for the area mostly concentrated area by buses figured that must be the main spot (it wasn’t as I realized later, almost too late.) I pull out my camera and start taking photos only realizing I also should pay attention to the origins of the buses and stories behind it. Which one will it be? Making sure I take all the photos while the sun is out and facing the right direction or taking it slow and learning a lot? I didn’t have to decide, the sun was out all day and I took it slowly. Here is the first line of the seasoned buses I encountered.
Vintage Buses Exposed
1964 Leyland Titan PD3 ‘Queen Mary’ open top double decker, operated by Southdown Motor Services from the early 60s. Behind is the Greenslades Tours coach operated by AEC (Associated Equipment Company) from the 60s as well.
.. and the Greenslades’ impressive tire.
Quite charmingly looking a London Transport AEC Regal III T792 bus which served during the 50s and was pulled back around 1960.
Another impressively looking bus from the 1962, the Harrington Cavalier operated by AEC Reliance during its peak time. I quickly spoke to the guys that restored it and their pride was justified. You can see the impressive interior of this bus further down the post.
A classic emergency vehicle, the Bedford CAL Ambulance (1492B) from 1968.
One of my favourites, the 1925 Dennis D142 operated by the Alexander Dennis Limited company. During its time, it worked for public on route 529 from Winchmore Hill to Pimlico. I can only imagine my finger waved hair and fancy flapper dress taking me to a garden style party … (or not, considering I would rather have a charming companion taking me there.)
… climbing up these twisting stairs only to be greeted by a gentleman’s extended hand of the one and only Jay Gatsby (or Robert Redford, I would be quite happy with both.) Again, ain’t be happening. Gatsby wouldn’t take the bus (only before he was the Gatsby.)
And going even more back in time, you could find yourself on an authentic Three Light “Garden-Seat” Horse Bus from the 1898! I really love the old advertisements. And I was pleased with the way the photo came out from the front view.
Vintage Bus Interiors
Now, let’s move on to some interiors. They were certainly impressive and well restored or preserved.
Chevrolet pickup truck with license plate 981 XUM from 1947. It took some time to make sure no people are standing in a way but the waiting paid off. I like this shot.
Majestic Rolls Royce.
Classic Triumph Vitesse from the mid 60s.
Auto Carriers (AC) Roadster from the distant past and its proud owner. If I got that right, this is from the later 20s? Impressive.
I want that classic Vespa scooter sitting under my open garage in sunny south of France, how about that.
And this 1964 Austin Healey 3000MK III would be carefully cared for and taken out for a ride on special occasions only, daily.
Look at the shine! Just stunning.
I hope you enjoyed this post and the ‘aged’ photos. I have created so many variations of each photo, it was rather difficult to decide which to choose for the post. As a result, I will probably keep changing them in a future, randomly. Maybe that will intrigue you to come back and read my posts again, and again, and again …