Sunday 1st June saw the first of our outdoor events and our first bus rally for 2014, although strictly speaking the Clacton Factory Outlet Village was a little way inland it was close enough to qualify as a seaside event.
Having loaded the van with our stock and the gazebo we set off bright and early around 6.15, arriving at Clacton around 8.30. The display buses started arriving shortly after providing us with several worthy distractions while we were setting up. As is customary at events such as this, a number of these buses were available to give free rides throughout the day either into Clacton and along the seafront or to nearby Walton-On-The-Naze.
For us part of the joy of these events is meeting young families on a day out. The children love to tell us all about an old bus they’ve just had a ride on and are thrilled when they see one of them featured our key rings or magnets and they can take it home as a souvenir. It is also a pleasure to meet and chat with the owners of the buses, they are generally impressed when they catch sight of their vehicle in our products.
The old local bus operator Eastern National was well represented among the preserved vehicles in attendance along with it’s ‘red’ neighbour Eastern Counties (both in their THC, NBC and post deregulation days), while some splendidly restored vehicles from Westcliffe On Sea and Ipswich Corporation represented the local municipal fleets. Vehicles from the current local operator, Headingham and District were also present along with some local coach operators.
This was our first bus rally outside of our usual trading area, meeting new people and seeing a very different variety of vehicles made it a special day. Our thanks to the organisers.