There are plenty of buses to catch at the GWSR Bus Rally on Sunday 14th July. Sunday will see the car park at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railways Toddington station crammed with buses. That's because the railway, which is enjoying a highly successful 2013, will be running its popular Bus Rally.
This event attracts buses of every shape, type and age from throughout the region. Visitors' cars will be able to park in the field adjoining the station.
Tony Boucher, organiser of the rally, says that the event seems to be
growing in popularity both with the number and variety of vehicles attending
as well as public interest.
"It's one of the biggest bus rallies we've organised," he says. "The railway is the perfect place for an event like this.
"Like classic steam and diesel trains, they bring back memories of childhood outings, going to school or work or trips to the seaside: they evoke strong nostalgic memories."
He points out that often, when railways closed, buses took the place of the trains. "That happened of course on the Cheltenham to Honeybourne line.
Toddington, Winchcombe, Broadway and the other stations on the line closed
in 1960 and buses took over.
"They also often acted as rail replacement when there were problems on the line - and on Saturday we will be doing just that, by running a service of classic buses from Toddington to Broadway, calling at Broadway station byrequest to enable visitors to see progress on building a new Broadway station."
The oldest bus visiting dates from 1939, a locally-owned Bristol in Western
National livery and the youngest a pair of 1994 DAF Optaire single-deck
coaches from local operator Marchants.
"One of the more interesting exhibits will be a London Routemaster that had
been converted to a single-deck tow bus - used to tow buses that had broken
down, back to the depot.
"But my favourite has to be an open-top Bristol Lodekka and I'm sure that if
the hot weather keeps up, there will be plenty of top-deck takers for a trip
The Broadway shuttle service will run every half-hour between 11.00 and
16.00. It's free although the bus owners will welcome contributions towards
the cost of fuel!
To complement the bus rally, a mixture of steam, diesel and diesel-railcar
services will be operating over the GWSR between Cheltenham Racecourse and Laverton, with stops at Gotherington, Winchcombe and Toddington stations.
Full information and timetables on www.gwsr.com
Source: Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway Plc