Trip back in time on the buses

By Martin Neville

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Trip back in time on the buses

Historic buses lined up on Newport Quay as part of the Isle of Wight Bus Museum's annual autumn running day. Picture by Jennifer Burton.


AROUND 2,000 people visited Newport Quay to experience bus travel from an age when conductors were the norm.

Large queues formed for vintage bus and coach excursions around the Island as part of the Isle of Wight Bus Museum’s annual autumn running day on Sunday.

The quay was transformed by a fine array of buses and coaches in many traditional liveries, alongside vintage cars and commercials.

The museum’s resident vehicles, which included an ex-Southern Vectis single-decker, recently repainted in the old Enterprise brown and cream colours, were joined by 32 visiting buses and coaches, 19 of which had come from the mainland.

Among them was a 1966 Bristol FLF, which had travelled from Northampton.

A number of red former London buses made the journey, including an RT type which had made an eight-country European tour to publicise the Festival of Britain when new in 1951, plus one of the experimental Routemasters introduced in 1956.

The oldest stars of the show were two 1939 Bristol K-type open toppers — CDL 899, still owned by Southern Vectis as the longest-serving bus still in the ownership of its original operator, and sister bus DDL 50, owned by former Islander Derek Priddle.

Another former Shanklin open top, MDL 954, visited from the mainland, while Bill Steward’s 1951 ‘Long Tom’ single deck HDL 279, recently repaired after a van struck it on the A3, departed with full loads on every journey.

Southern Vectis supported the museum with six vehicles but the event marked the last appearance of the three Bristol VRT open toppers dating from 1980/1.

• The museum will be open on Sunday, as well as next Tuesday, October 28, and on Thursday, October 30.

IW Bus Museum Annual Autumn Running Day.

Video by Christian Beasley.

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• Pictures from our online gallery below. Click on the image for a larger version.


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