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Sunday, 9 April 2017

Ipswich Bus Rally 2017

Always risky planning an event for mid April, but today the sun shone on Portman Rd in Ipswich for Ipswich Bus Rally. I went there with Tim, chauffeured by Grahame Bessey, DJ extraordinaire and co author at East Norfolk Bus Blog, whose owner Roy Northcott also attended. Zak from Norwich Bus Page was there as was Sam from Norwich Buses Blog, and of course Clive Nixon of Ipswich Bus Blog. So the bus blogging world gathered in expectation of a repeat of what I'm told was a great event last year.

First Ipswich, Ipswich Buses, Carters Heritage, Beestons, Galloway, Simonds, Borderbus, PH Travel, JR Travel, Whincops, Norse, Network Colchester, Stephensons and Hedingham were just some of the local companies who didn't support the event. Very, very disappointing and not a good advertisement for the industry. Even Ipswich Transport Museum, who were allegedly running the event didn't supply much, not an Atlantean in sight. So my thanks go out to those who did bother to send vehicles, including First Essex, Anglian, Chambers, Mulleys and Panther, and all the privately owned buses cared for tirelessly by enthusiasts. You can hold your heads high. Everyone else who either got caught up in petty squabbling or just couldn't be bothered you have let a lot of people down today, including yourselves.

I expected to spend the day riding on various buses around Ipswich but in the event only went on one - mind you that was pretty spectacular. Leon Wells brought his ex Ipswich Buses Olympian to the event, and gave us a superb 2 way trip across the Orwell Bridge, which on a day like today provided some simply staggering views you rarely get a chance to see. Thanks Leon, for keeping the Ollie in such good nick and for picking such a good route taking advantage of the weather.

Leon Wells's ex Ipswich Buses Volvo Olympian M41 EPV
Anglian surprisingly brought along Scania Omnicity 461 YN05 HFG, the first Anglian vehicle I have seen in Ipswich since their 164/5 services were abruptly scrapped in 2013.

Anglian 461 arriving at Portman Rd
 Another surprise exhibit was First Essex Volvo B7rle 69515 BJ11 ECN, formerly Chelmsford P&R the bus is now branded up for Basildon - Southend services.

First Essex 69515 looking quite smart
My favourite bus of the day though was this ex Metroline MCW Metrobus. GYE 394W is part of the Great Yeldham collection and yet another bus coming up from Essex. Suffolk was seriously under-represented. However, very sadly, the Metrobus didn't go out on any trips which was a shame.

The usual collection of Bristol RE, LH's and VR's were there as well as the regular older vehicles. But on the whole despite the glorious weather the event was rather a damp squib, and had it not been for the good catch up with friends would have been a waste of a day. So thanks for coming everyone, good to meet some new people, put faces to names and having a darn good gossip. I hope if there is an event next year more effort is made to encourage Suffolk operators to attend. I'll finish this post with photos taken from the Orwell Bridge, which quite honestly was the highlight of the day.

Look out for some posts from London later in the week and over Easter. Wednesday could be an epic day!

Hazy but glorious
A pleasure craft on the Orwell
Looking upstream
Wouldn't guess it was Suffolk would you!



34 comments:

  1. From you comments you are willing to help next time then?

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    1. Of course not, this guy is a fucking cunt who complains about everything and just sits on his fat arse doing nothing about it. "Oh no we have no bus services in our village." Well maybe you should have stayed in Saxmundham or wherever you were before.

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    2. Yes. Ask me and I will nag everyone I can, do what I can and publicise everything I can.

      Btw my arse is not fat, I do get out, and have never lived in Saxmundham. Apart from that it's almost accurate! Oh I also put my name to my opinions.

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    3. You lived in a much larger settlement somewhere in Suffolk. Like I said, I wasn't sure. Your blog is just here so you can complain about shit. I honestly hope you die, soon, then you can see your fucking father again. You miss him? Aww it's been a whole year.

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    4. You know I had a thought last night. Like those who own preserved buses - you never talk about buses instead just slag me off - do you actually know anything or do you exist solely to cowardly produce bile - anyway as I said like those who own preserved buses I don't get paid a penny for this blog. A huge amount of time, effort and planning goes into it, not to mention money I can't really afford. I don't charge anyone to read it - you have to pay for "real magazines - and oderous runts like yourself can hide behind anonymity to try and hurt me for your own sick, perverted pleasure. I do this because I enjoy doing it and that's all and guess what.....

      This blog ain't going nowhere. If you don't like it don't fecking read it - going by your punctuation you're well educated which makes it even sadder. I'm publishing every one of your bitter, twisted comments from now on so everyone can see them, and what I have to put up with for my hobby. Someone, somewhere will know who you are. In the meantime keep going, as I will be.

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    5. If you can't afford it, set up fucking AdSense for your blog. It's easy money. I have no intention of you stopping blogging, I'm just here to voice my opinion.

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    6. Then kindly restrict your opinions to the posts, not me personally, and can you prove you have the intelligence to compose a sentence without resorting to foul language? It's not big and it's not clever and makes you look a dick!

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  2. On the basis that there is no such thing as bad publicity, thanks for your (albeit factually inaccurate) summary of this event which was roundly accepted by everyone else who attended as a roaring success.

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    1. Not the people I spoke to or whose Tweets I have seen but I guess we move in different circles.

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    2. Thank goodness you move in different circles then, how bleak our lives would be with you in it!

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    3. If you want to ride in service buses, I expect you'd have to pay some money to the companies and go out and do that on any average weekday.
      The event was voluntary and provided by people in their spare time, at their own risk, for the enjoyment of people they didn't know.

      Yes, I guess that we do move in different circles.

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    4. "So my thanks go out to those who did bother to send vehicles, including First Essex, Anglian, Chambers, Mulleys and Panther, and all the privately owned buses cared for tirelessly by enthusiasts. You can hold your heads high."

      You clearly didn't read that sentence. It was the operators I was criticising, not the organisers, private owners or volunteers. The operators. So get off your high horse and read everything first. If I was one of the organisers I would be very disappointed with the operators too, not criticising anyone for saying as it was.

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  3. Firstly a correction - the Metrobus is in fact no longer stored at Yeldham and is thus not part of that group anymore.

    You complain about the lack of support from local bus companies but you have made a fatal error here in thinking that any company sends vehicles. Panther may have done as Adam is closely associated with the event organisers but all others are only there because enthusiast drivers have asked their bosses if they can bring a vehicle. How do I know this? I organise Basildon Bus Rally and that is what I'm consitently hearing when I speak to various bus companies. It was also how it worked 15 years ago when I was on the buses. So before you judge them you may want to understand how things work first.

    And the expectation of a free ride......

    As a preserved bus owner myself, this can sometimes grate a little. Generally speaking preserved buses cannot be run for hire or reward, so if we (I'm a preserved bus owner) choose to offer our vehicles for a service run it has to be for free. The spirit of the law forbids collection boxes as that is a reward. Whilst I, like many owners, enjoy the opportunity to drive with a full load on the expectation non bus owning enthusiasts have regarding how many free rides are offered is sometimes unapreciative of the fact that it has already cost the owner enough in diesel to get to the event in the first place.

    Another point to keep in mind is that the owner may not have the appropriate licence to drive with passengers on. A vehicle like the Metro is old enough to be driven on a car licence gained before 1997 (I don't agree with it but the law is the law) but that licence only allows a maximum of 8 passengers.

    I would have liked to have attended Ipswich myself this year but having done Detling last weekend I couldn't get this one off. That's the nature of doing shift work in public transport (trains) - we can't all get every weekend off!

    Its very easy to criticise but as has been suggested, have you ever considered having a go yourself? I found myself in the same position hence I dipped my toes in the water and came up with Basildon. I don't claim to have cracked it at the first attempt - despite positive feedback last year I thought my own event was pants - but I'm having another go this year and we'll see what happens......

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    1. Hi Colin

      Sorry I got the Metrobus info info from a review of another rally so apologies for that.

      I am well aware of the different licences/insurances etc that determine if a preserved vehicle can carry passengers and maybe should have suggested that when saying it was a shame it didn't go out. But it was still a shame being one of the few vehicles that caught my eye.

      Trust me if I had the resources and connections I would love to organise a rally. But then I'd like to operate my own company, be County Bus Co-ordinator, Chairman of Stagecoach, live on a tropical island and find out who my anonymous abuser is too, and none of them are likely to happen either.

      I stand by my views expressed yesterday - it was an opportunity missed by local operators to give themselves some decent publicity, and I was told my MANY people there were far fewer attendees compared to last year. I wasn't there last year but at least one blogger told he he wouldn't bother writing a post on the event as it wasn't worth it. I don't pick my words out of thin air - I listen to people

      Anyway this is a personal blog expressing my opinions on things, and it's actually quite a compliment when my personal views attract such attention. But in answer to your question yes I'd love to give it a go!

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    2. Steve it seems you have stumbled into the disagreement that one blogger has with some of the organisers. Unfortunately there are always some who are biased and wanting an event to fail and that particular individual is quite happy to trash talk the event but not willing to discuss with the organisers. Everyone is of course entitled to their opinion and whilst the number of visiting vehicles were down this year due to one reason or another these events often are nurtured over years before being firmly established. I just hope that the organisers are not out off by a wave of pessimism in this often cruel digital age.

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  4. Another armchair numpty who just hasn't a clue. Next time do everyone a favour and stay at home! What a twat!

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    1. What an intelligent comment - if I was in my armchair being a numpty I couldn't have been out thus enabling you to invite me to stay at home in my armchair.........

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  5. Can I ask why you would EXPECT mainstream operators which don't operate in Ipswich to attend?

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    1. Of course you can ask.

      Ipswich is the County Town of Suffolk, therefore it would seem logical that operators from Suffolk would want to be seen. The operators that did attend had nothing to do with Ipswich. Tell you what I'll suggest they re-nae it East Anglian Bus Rally next year. I'm betting very few of the traders in Ipswich Market live in Ipswich either.

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  6. I do find it disappointing when people criticise a blogger with vile and abusive language. It is not necessary and renders the point being made irrelevant. This person should be ashamed of himself.

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    1. I think that unlikely but thank you for your support. Still if he reads the blog it's his time he's wasting and my viewing figures going up!

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  7. Point being made was lack of support from the bus operators,not lack of volunteers. They did the best they could with what was available and they would have spent months planning it. I am sure they would have liked more exhibits but for reasons known only to the operators,that didn't happen.As it was,it was nice to meet a few people and share opinions. Ironic that more operators supported it last year but maybe they holding back for Norwich later in year? With hindsight,they should have stuck to original plan of alternating them.

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  8. To bring such personal circumstances, such as somebody's poor local bus service, into a review of an event and go onto to be a vulgar as some people have above to a fellow enthusiast is sickening in every respect.

    Every event no matter what gets criticism, look at Showbus for the past two years, even things as big as Geneva Motor Show or the Brit Awards. Steve has given his opinion of the event, I can't possible agree or disagree as I wasn't there - I was away PCV Training. Reading the post again after seeing these comments it's clear the comments made focus on operators who chose not to attend, the word chose is important there. Whilst it is an operators choice Steve's points are perfectly valid.

    Perhaps the comments raised by Steve, as he is fully entitled to, should be taken onboard for future events rather than to heart!

    Thanks

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    1. Thank you Kieran. We haven't always seen eye to eye so that makes the comment doubly appreciated. Best of luck with your PSV training and look forward to you bringing an exhibit to a rally - just make space for my armchair!!!

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    2. Agree entirely. People are entitled to disagree but to resort to abuse demeans that persons opinion in my eyes.

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  9. Let me know, I'll bring a coach with big enough lockers to put your armchair underneath! Pack your bed too if you wish

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    1. Oooh Matron! Look forward to the day.

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  10. It clashed with Brooklands, that didn't help,but bus preservation always involves 'handbags at dawn' bitchiness, The ITM do have finite resources and limited volunteers, at least they sent a bus. I have a nasty feeling though that people locally have been rubbed up the wrong way somewhere along the line, and it's a raw nerve that Steve has touched upon. Quite a few people I know locally didn't even know the event was on either, and to be honest, for an event to prosper, you need to invite other vehicles, such as local classic car clubs, and trade stands/on site catering are a must.

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  11. Unfortunately there are people do make comments on the internet without engaging their brain first and I guess that you just have to ignore them.

    As somebody who visited last year and bought a preserved vehicle to the rally this year I think that the success of the first one may have led people to expect that the second one would automatically be bigger and better. Unfortunately life doesn't always work out as neatly as that. I think that the lack of refreshment facilities was unfortunate as people may have done what I did which was to go in to the town centre which then reduces the apparent number of visitors. As has been pointed out, ITM have limited resources and cannot bring lots of buses to the rally site when people are visiting the museum itself.
    In terms of visiting operators, one needs a willing owner and a willing driver(and no rail replacement work for the day). In independent days, Hedingham was always ready to participate whereas Chambers never did, owing to an unfortunate incident over a preserved vehicle in the 1970s.
    I hope Richard W. isn't too discouraged by some of the comments and that we can look forward to 2018.

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  12. Anyone got any gossip or inside info on IB? A strike followed by MD and FD leaving... Ipswich Council have a tender out for a consultant regarding viability of Ipswich Buses and IB also changed their company articles. Either selling it off or council bailing them out? They are losing the P&R contract in 6 weeks too.

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  13. You still have comments here you old cunt. Nobody fucking cares.

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  14. Keep up the good blog Steve I enjoyed reading your blog and all the other local blogs

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  15. @Anonymous - language like that has no part in this blog. Cut it out!

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  16. I cannot believe some of the comments on here. I suspect some of them are from the Rally Organisers themselves who are not renowned for their intelligence and diplomacy.

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