Sunday, 23 August 2015

Old Buckenham Bus Rally 2015

Today hosted the Eastern Transport Collection's Old Buckenham Bus Rally and fellow blogger Harry and I ventured out on board ex-Great Yarmouth Transport 85 WEX685M, an AEC Swift currently owned by Chris Speed and Danny Beales. After a last wash and polish, we departed First's Caister Road depot in Great Yarmouth just after 10am. Chris was at the wheel, with a handful of other enthusiasts and friends alike sitting comforatbly onboard.

The line up at Old Buckenham this year included approximately 30 vehicles.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by a hoard of enthusiasts, all scrambling to get their first pictures of the recently restored vehicle. Unfortunately for us, FirstGreat Yarmouth's 32059 (59) W219XBD had already arrived and was therefore right in the middle of some other buses, but the organisers soon had a shuffle around to allow us to photograph both 85 and 59 together.

As you can see from the photo, also present was FirstIpswich's 32479 (VA479) AU53HJV which was positioned next to privately owned LG587 WAH587S to complete the line up.

This year's free shuttle to Attleborough operated an extended timetable and departed the airfield every twenty minutes, sometimes two buses at a time.

Lowestoft Coorperation 12 PBJ2F departs the airfield on a free shuttle

Double Trouble! Two buses head out at the same time on the last shuttle of the day.
Three buses crossing the railway tracks all at once
After a trip out to Attleborough on the 1225 shuttle, Harry and I decided to walk from the rally to Old Buckenham green, just down the road in order to photograph the buses in greener surroundings, without other buses and enthusiasts getting in the way. The twenty minute gander there enabled us to photograph some of the buses winding their way through the thin back roads which resulted in some rather pleasing, old-fashioned shots.

LG587 rounding a bend
59 and 85 were due to operate the 1505 shuttle together, in convoy and we wanted to photograph them both at once. After taking a test shot of two other buses operating the previous shuttle, we'd found the spot which would give us the best chance of reaching our goal; only to be thwarted by a blue Peugeot sitting in between them when they went past.

Rather annoyed with fate, we decided to start heading back to the the airfield with the hope of having a second chance as they returned. This time we were successful, photographing them both as they made their way back up the single track lane to the rally.

By this point, the sun had gone in and the weather had begun to turn so the organisers decided to finish up slightly early and present the prizes from the day; and on 85's first outing since being owned by Chris and Danny, she won the Best Vehicle prize.

Chris Speed and Danny Beales show off their trophy in front of their vehicle
When I took that photo, I assumed it would be the last one I would take today. But it wasn't to be! Fate apologised for it's earlier trick by giving me a third chance to photograph both 59 and 85 together, this time on the Acle Straight as we were held up briefly due to a "Police Incident" on the way home.

I don't think we'll ever get the chance to take a photo like this again!
A big thanks to Danny and Chris for taking their pride and joy to the event, and allowing Harry and I to travel onboard, and a mention to Grahame and Des; it was nice to briefly catch up!

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