Sunday, 11 October 2015

End of season round up seems I've been neglecting the blog element of my website!

Today it was the traditional end of season Canvey bus rally. I'll come to that in a moment....

Colne Valley Railway bus rally

Colne Valley Railway's bus rally was on the Sunday of the August bank holiday weekend and can be summed up as follows:

15 buses attended of which 11 came from Yeldham Transport Collection
2 sales stalls
2 fire engines

Those stats pretty much sum it up. It wasn't advertised so nobody came. The only visitors were those that were visiting the railway as they would have done anyway - none of them knew there was a bus rally on!

Next year? Nah!

Showbus, Woburn Abbey
This event was a highly anticipated return to Showbus's former home - one they left due to issues with soft ground and buses often getting stuck in mud.

We left Yeldham at 8am and having stopped off on the way so that some in the convoy could diesel up, we arrived in Woburn village at about 10.20am

We got parked on site at 2pm. That is not a typo!

Buses did indeed once again get stuck in mud on soft ground and in the process blocked the only entrance onto site. Not once but twice after marshalls directed a second vehicle into the same area where a previous vehicle had gotten stuck. The organiser says he wasn't aware of the issues onsite as he was at Parking reception.......did he not realise there was an issue when no buses moved passed him for over an hour?! Pull the other one pal!

The Police came close to shutting the event down due to the gridlock caused in Woburn village. The organiser blamed this on Milton Keynes growing over 20 years and that there was a wedding in the village; thats total coblers - the chaos outside the Abbey estate was caused entirely by Showbus's own entry system!

Passengers on my bus paid good money to get in. I spent time getting my vehicle ready and putting a fair amount of diesel in to get to & from the event. Three weeks on there has been no real sincere apology and it was all somebody else's fault. Frankly I feel the organiser has buried their head in the sand and stuck two fingers up to everyone judging by the Facebook/twitter posts and website updates. Its too late now, I will not attend Showbus next year no matter where it is......and I may never go again at all.

                                            Here's 337 after eventually getting parked at 2pm:

Canvey bus rally

Finally a decent event - shame its the last of the season.

DAF P337ROO was the weapon of choice (Dart J317XVX is a seat store for "project X" and Volvo D302PEV is out of MOT). As is usual for me we went straight into service upon arrival at the Labworth display site.

That first trip had pretty much a full 70 seat load. We did two rounders initially; well the DAF did - other drivers at Yeldham were curious as to how she drives so they drove the other 3 trips. I didn't mind as I know they're good drivers and it is sometimes nice to have a ride on your own vehicle (and check out what unsuspecting passengers are saying about ya motor). It was pleasing to hear positive comments being made - in fact many people snubbed the chance to ride on Ensign's very nice ex Southend Transport Astromega so that they could instead sample 337! #proudmoment

As there were sufficient buses now in service we duly parked up for a rest, food and a visit to the museum & sales stalls - I had an ulterior motive on the last point as I'm starting a new rally next year and so wanted to get a few stall holders primed with entry forms (same was done at Showbus).

Whilst waiting to come back from the museum it became apparent that the queue was far outstripping the capacity of the buses in service. So I managed to sneak a space on a bus ahead of the queue and got myself back to 337 sharpish.....

Having agreed with the bus service controllers that I'd run empty to the museum to help queue bust, we took a cheeky shortcut along roads not really recomended for double deckers (but where I knew I'd get away with it). The plan worked as we got to the museum right when there was a gap between buses...........and we left with a standing load! Upon arrival back at the Labworth display site we were again asked to run empty to the museum which we did, via the cheeky shortcut, and this time we made such damage to the queue that things returned to normal. So upon arrival back at the Labworth display site we parked up.

337 performed exceptionally well all day and received many well deserved compliments from fellow drivers and passengers alike. Here she is on a trip I didn't drive on:

Bring on Canvey 2016!