Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Plymouth Hoe Bus Rally 2009 (Day 1)

Yes it seems like a lifetime ago now! I've been on 'holiday' up in Birmingham the past few days and have been unable to blog, so I have a bit of catching up to do on my part!

Firstly was this year's fantastic 80th Anniversary of Western National at the 2009 WNPG Plymouth Hoe rally. As I am part of the WNPG I got to help out on many different tasks throughout the weekend and I'm sure many of you will have seen my in my yellow
WNPG official
fluorescent jacket, selling programs, being on the buses as pilots and on other tasks in the day.

Saturday morning started out for us at around half 7 setting up the rally for the weekend. All the 'local' buses had already got there and were parked up. The first job for myself and Mr Rawlings was to 'black out' new
ly painted OTA 290G. This would be the premises for the buffet for the officials over the weekend, and to take refuge from the crowds in! We were handed 5 rolls or brown paper and told to cover all the windows. Typically the rolls weren't wide enough to do each side in 1 sweep and this meant having to do each set of windows twice, just making it that little bit more challenging. It was very much done in 'Blue Peter' style but the job was a goodun and it would keep the sun out for our food! Picture shows Louis with our half completed job of OTA.

Next we were shown the rosta for the bus workings of the weekend and it was all mapped out each bus o
n each route and when it would depart, very professionally done by Mr Paul Laxton, who also looks after the WNPG website. The first bus out was Colin Billington with LTA 772 though sadly this first bus had to be cancelled. Therefore we were both put on LFJ 844W on a run down to the Torpoint Ferry and back. This provided a fantastic shot even though I say so myself, with 2 generations of buses at Torpoint this being Trident 32759. Driver erm I can't remember his name (help please guys?) was shocked to see his old 'Ferrybus' in th
is condition and had a good look at her. You could see in his face the excitement when he saw this beast, after not seeing her for around 4-5 years.

I then had time for some pictures, and to have a bit of lunch, which turned out not to be the buffet. Some confusion had taken place and well the buffet never resulted leaving our hard work worthless, but not to worry, we got a free bacon bap out of it! I then had another trip down to the ferry again on LFJ 844W before my next run.

This would be on London Leyland Titan WYV 6T which had traveled all the way from Essex to attend the rally. This was a journey of 13 hours for the two chaps who brought her and I must congratulate them and the bus on making it all the way in one piece! They said at the best of times she was only about to do between 40 and 45mph all the way. Though I had a fantastic ride with them out to Yelverton on the old 85 (now 84) via Mutley Plain instead of via Tavistock Road. Picture shows this wonderful but sat at the bus bay in Yelverton.

After this trip it was around 3ish so it was time to sell off the last of my programs on which I took £40 at the end of the day, and to help out at the WNPG stall with Silvia. There was also some more time to have a chat with a few people before closing time. A very sucessful 1st day!

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