September 15 2012
The 5th Kingsbridge Vintage Bus Running Day
The 5th Bus Running Day organized by The Thames Valley & Great Western Omnibus Trust took place on Saturday September 15th and were blessed with a lovely sunny day, a rare occurrence this Summer, there were new routes and new entrants for the public to travel on. Even at 10.0 a.m. the bus station was a hive of activity with enthusiasts thronging the area and especially around the 1929 Leyland Lioness entered by Peter Stanier. This spectacular vehicle was one of six with all weather convertable bodies new to Brookes Bros (White Rose Motor Services) of Rhyl as fleet number 8 and passing to Crosville Motor Services in 1930, It later passed to Jersey Motor Transport and during the occupation by German forces was hidden in a bricked up tunnel. It returned to the mainland in 1958 and has since been restored and preserved by the present owner. For pictures and more on the event click the link.
Annual Club Lawn Gathering
The third Tuesday in the month saw the annual lawn gathering, a very popular event which takes place in the garden of a Club member. This year we were blessed with a glorious sunny Summer evening, absolutely amazing when you consider the weather we have had so far this year. Some 30 members attended with a nice turnout of vehicles ramging from a 1914 Stellite to a 1963 Jensen CV8. Our hosts put on the usual excellent array of food which was throughly enjoyed by all who attended and our sincere thanks go to them for all the hard work they put in to make the evening so special. Towards the latter part of the evening our Chairman presented the Lady of the house with flowers in appreciation.
South Devon Railway Easter Gala
The usual Easter Event has taken place over the 8th and 9th of April at Buckfastleigh Railway Station and which was attended by your Editor on the Sunday with the 1925 Essex Super Six. Also in attendance was a 1933 Essex Terraplane open four seater which has been laid up locally for many years, a fine motor car indeed. There was a really excellent turnout of Cars and Motor Cycles, plus a number of Military Vehicles and a fine Austin Van parked outside the Station. The weather was very pleasant and Spring like throughout the day, alas, it was not to last for Easter Monday with rain coming in early in the morning, a great shame as so much effort is put in by all at the SDR to make these events very special indeed.
The usual intensive running of steam trains took place throughout the day and always a delight on this preserved railway is the sight of a good train trundling down the line and shunting operatiions were also carried out to the delight of crowds of photographers. There is always so much to see at this preserved railway that the day seems to fly and no sooner have you arrived than it is time for a final cup of coffee and then the drive home.
Kingsbridge Vintage Bus Running Day
The Thames Valley and Great Western Omnibus Trust held their 4th Bus Running Day on Saturday the 17th September from the Bus Station which is situated on the Quay at Kingsbridge.
The event was sponsored by the local bus operator "Tallyho", Firstbus and Francis Clark and the day got underway from 10. a.m. and wherever possible the schedules used traditional vehicles on original routes so as to recreate the local transport scene as it would have been over 50 years ago. We all owe a great "thank you" to all the volunteers, helpers and the owners of the preserved vehicles without whose co-operation and support these events could not take place.
Approximately 30 Classic Busses and Coaches were in attendance, I personally have a love of the Bristol low bridge bodied "Lodekkas" with the sunken top deck walkway to one side and four seats in one row, this probably as I regularly travelled on one of these operated by Western National between Paignton and Stoke Gabriel as a child and teeanager (hard to believe now that I was ever thus!)
A comprehensive timetable was put on throughout the day, to name but a few, the Kingsbridge to Slapton Village via Torcross, the views from the top deck travelling along Stapton Sands were absolutely surperb. I believe that this is a regular service route operated by First from Dartmouth with their very comfortable Double Deckers.
Other routes were Kingsbridge to Blackawton; Kingsbridge to Inner Hope; Kingsbridge to Bigbury on Sea; Kingsbridge to Bantham via Churchstow; Kingsbridge to California Cross; kingsbridge to Thurlstone; Kingsbridge to Salcombe; Kingsbridge to East Allington; Kingsbridge to RAF Station Hope Cove; Kingsbridge to East Portlemouth via Beesands; Kingsbridge, Harbertonford to Totnes:
An excellent Programme, Timetable and Illustrated Route history was available on the day at a very reasonable £4.00 and I cannot wait for the 2012 event - it`s not to be missed.
Pictured below are just a few of the vehicles to give a flavour of the day, the small picture to the right is the old Western National Bus Depot at Kingsbridge.
July 26 2011
The 33rd Devon Coastal Run
The 33rd Coastal Run took place on Sunday the 17th July in mixed weather of Sunshine and Showers but this did not curtail the enthusiasm and enjoyment for some 285 entrants to this years event which followed the now traditional route along the River Exe through Kenton and Starcross, Dawlish, Teignmouth (with a stop on the seafront for refreshments) St.Marychurch, Torquay, Paignton, Totnes, Buckfastleigh Railway Station, then onto Ashburton and the end of the run at Bovey Tracey. Some of the first arrivals at Mill Marsh Park were just after midday. Some 9 pre 1931 cars entered with a further 23 manufactured between that date and 1940. A further 38 cars represented the period 1941 to 1959 and as might be expected a further 78 from 1960 to 1969. This year saw a very pleasing increase in the number of both light and heavy commercial vehicles and busses and the Club is looking forward to an even greater number for the 34th run next year. The photos below give just a glimpse of some of the highly delectable vehicles which attended.
April 26th 2011
EASTER AT THE SOUTH DEVON RAILWAY
Over the glorious Easter Weekend your editor was out and about in the 1925 Essex Sedan and attended the South Devon Railway "Cambrian Easter Gala". held at Buckfastleigh Railway Station. This year celebrated 20 years of the SDR and as usual the two days were filled with a busy schedule of train movement. The attraction of this line which follows the River Dart through the pretty Village of Staverton to Littlehempston for Totnes is already well known to many railway enthusiasts.
Outside the Station entrance a varied collection of Vintage and Classic Motor cycles was displayed, whilst in the grounds over the lines the there was an excellent display of our motor heritage from the early days of motoring up to the 1970`s.
The earliest car on display was a uniquely original Hudson 37 Tourer of 1912 which drove up from Torpoint in Cornwall, pre-war cars were well represented, a Morris 8 tourer, Austin 7`s, Standard 9, Rovers, Ford model T to name but a few. Amongst post war vehicles all tastes were catered for, a quite rare Austin A 40 Sports whose aluminum body was made for the Austin Motor Company by Jensen Motors, Morgans, Vauxhall (two Victors and a Cresta) a well restored Bedford Van, Ford Zephyr of around 1955/56, Austin Healey 3000, Jaguar "E" type, a very nice Alvis to name but a few. The second car shown in the picture to the right is a quite rare Standard Flying 12 drophead Coupe. These were very comfortable cars with wind down glass side windows.
The highlight of the weekend was, however, the attendance at the SDR of the lovely 4-4-0 Earl Class but later as a 90XX but often known as a "Dukedog" locomotive from the Bluebell Line. This loco was one of 19 rebuilt around 1936/38 using the 1899 boiler & cab from a Dean "Duke" class No.3282 (originally named Chepstow Castle) and the frames from a 1906 "Bulldog" No. 3425, hence the name Dukedog. These locomotives were used for light passenger work and this particular engine was withdrawn from BR service in Oswestry in 1960 and arriving at the Bluebell Line 2 years later. This Class was widely used on the Cambrian lines, the engine weight is 49 tons and the tender a further 40 tons, the latter capable of holding 3,500 gallons of water. The British Railways power classification was 2P. Railway photographers were to be seen in abundance in and around Buckfastleigh Station and also a various vantage points all the way down the line to Totnes.
The South Devon Railway is an excellent place to visit, you will always receive a warm welcome by the mainly volunteer staff and they hold numerous special events throughout the Summer months. The 9th and 10th July will see the "1940`s Weekend, Britain in the 1940s with military displays and a busy railway theme. This is staged with the co-operation of the Devon Area Military Vehicle Trust. The next Heritage Transport Gala with take place on the 10th and 11th September. For more information on the SDR go to www.southdevonrailway.co.uk
Footnote: The Dukedog pictured above was withdrawn from service by the Bluebell Railway earlier this month (June 2011) due to boiler and machanical defects. Being 8 years into its ticket repair is not worthwhile and it has been placed in storage for overhaul at some future date.
March 29 2011.
Isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum
Club Member, Mike Cooksley has recently been on a visit to the Isle of Wight and on his wonderings around this interesting and beautiful island he found a Bus & Coach Museum, located on the harbourside at Newport. Ever inqusitive, Mike and wife Ann decided to take a look and found a feast of delights upon entering, below are shown just a small taster of what`s on offer, Mike throughly recommends the place as worth visiting if you are in the vicinity and whats more, there is also a Boat Museum neaby.
If you want further information there is a web site, www.iowbusmuseum.org.uk or if you prefer to `phone then 01983 533352. The Museum was formed in 1997 by some enthusiasts and is run by volunteers. Some vehicles are currently under restoration, those in full working order are used on special occasions such as Bus Rallies and of course, Special Operating Days. This is the place to get a glimpse of the Islands past Bus and Coach history.
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