Royal Blue run 2012

Some of my closest friends know that I have some interest in buses. I have a bit of a collection of model buses, but those who have the real thing are special. I have never been a passenger on a bus run. The opportunity to join this year’s run was too good to let pass. So, we boarded a colleague’s 1961 Bristol MW on Friday morning (29 June) and headed out to Salisbury to meet up with a fleet of vehicles that once plied their trade between the South West and London.

It did turn out to be a bit of a tour of bus stations; notably Exeter and Plymouth. The drive through the villages and small towns with their tight bends and narrow entries and exits (the buses sometimes fitted these roads like the tube trains fit the tunnels) was delightful but more often than not frustrating. Whilst the vehicles in their heyday had the roads to themselves, modern tourism meant that we encoutered a lot of traffic in the opposite direction generating tight passing and a lot of reversing.

To illustrate the specialness of some of the owners, one has set up his own museum on his farm near Aveton; this was one of the stops on the tour – and memorable it was, too. Not only is there a collection of memorabilia with suitable descriptions and narrative, but also more buses. Hidden at the back of one of the barns was a truly immaculate Bristol Lodekka. Those in the know, know what I mean.

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