Waiting for a bus? There’ll be plenty to choose from at the GWSR on 8th July!
11th annual Bus Rally at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway
Up to 48 buses expected
Free round-trip rides to Broadway Village from Toddington Station
Immediate release: 29 June 2018
You wait a year and then up to 48 all turn up at once – but this is for the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Stream Railway’s 11th Annual Bus Rally, at Toddington station on Sunday 8th July.
This popular event is set to be a colourful occasion with a wide variety of operator liveries, most now long consigned to ever more distant memory.
As Austen Shapcott, co-organiser with David Martin who along with Matt Willis is one volunteer marshals of the Bus Rally, says, “We simply couldn’t take any more in the space we have at Toddington – in fact we would have to turn away any late applicants.
“So this will be our biggest ever event – if we had the space it would be even bigger!
“It’s not just a great day for bus owners, it’s a chance for visitors to enjoy the delightful combination of steam trains and beautifully restored classic buses with plenty of opportunity to ride on several of them.
“The railway’s Bus Rally is a firm fixture in the railway’s calendar, attracting buses of every shape, type and age from across the UK; two having travelled over 150 miles to join us.”
Visitors' cars will be parked in the field adjoining Toddington station as the buses take over the station yard. But it might be best to park at Cheltenham Racecourse where there is unlimited free parking space; and catch the train.
The buses range in age from 1932 (a Daimler with Metropolitan Camel coachwork and appearing in Birmingham City Transport livery) right up to the early 2000’s.
Builders include many familiar names including Bristol, Guy, Leyland, Dennis, AEC, Routemaster, Duple and Bedford. Adds Austen: “A couple of my favourites are the diminutive Bedford OB built from late 1939 to the early 1950’s and as I’m a Londoner of course the Routemaster and Green Line vehicles!
"The railway is the perfect place for an event like this,” says Austen. “Like classic steam and diesel trains, the buses bring back memories of childhood outings, going to school or work or trips to the seaside: they have the power to evoke strong nostalgic recollections."
During the day there will be plenty of trips to Broadway, some taking in Broadway village others stopping close to the brand-new Broadway station, which opened on Good Friday, 30th March.
“Around 20 of our visiting buses will be taking part in the shuttle services to Broadway, by slightly differing routes from the last 8-years, so there will be plenty of opportunity to enjoy the delight of riding on some very rare vehicles.
“The trips are free, although the bus owners will naturally welcome contributions towards the cost of fuel!
“I’d like to add my thanks to the huge number of volunteers to help to make this and other events on the railway such a success.”
To complement the bus rally, the railway's running its Purple timetable all steam between Broadway and Cheltenham with the final trip to Cheltenham Racecourse being hauled by a classic diesel locomotive.
In addition there will be stands offering books, models, memorabilia as well as preservation group displays.
Normal train fares apply and there is no separate entrance fee to the event.
Media contact: Ian Crowder@gwsr.com or 07775 566 555
There are some pictures of the 2016 event here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9273bnnjsdrslmc/AABVsTwHP9NZmQEfASpvGTgaa?dl=0