Sunday, 26 September 2010

2010 - Day Out 1: Showbus

Date: Sunday 26 September 2010

It has been just over a year, and the trio of Mr UKBuses, Mr WME and Mr SBI reunite and decide to visit Europe's biggest annual rally, Showbus.

Mr UKBuses picks me up from home, and then we head off up to Wolverhampton to pick up Mr WME. After succesfully finding the abode of Mr WME, it is time to head down the motorway towards Duxford and the site of the rally, The Imperial War Museum. After a journey of approximately 1 and a half hours and driving down the M6, A14 and M11, we arrive at the site and it is time to park the car, but we go on the usual car park after an attempt by Mr UKBuses to park on the site car park which is only for use by disabled drivers. We pay our entrance fee and enter the site of Showbus 2010, Mr SBI's first visit to the rally after a three year break.

We arrive on site and have a casual stroll around first to have a look what's on offer, awaiting many of the buses to arrive, as we arrived a bit early. Mr SBI was a bit hungry and decided to pay the extortionate price of £4 for a bacon roll, even though it was a bit pricey, it tasted lovely and filled the gap. We start to take a few photographs in the coach section and "Oh, No!", rain starts to come down and we decide to take shelter and have a look around the "AirSpace", which is home to numerous planes including one of the prototypes of Concorde. After having a look around "AirSpace", we decide to try and photograph many of the buses on display today before rain sets in again. We start off by "Airspace" and work our way down the site towards the end of the runway, but whilst taking many shots, these mysterious people keep getting in the way (See below).
Who is this mysterious person?Who is this mysterious person?
Whilst working our way down the site, we decide to have a little snack break, so we decide to opt for a small portion of chips, well a small enough portion for the price tag of £2.50, the only good thing I'd say for the price was that they were nice and crispy, plus the major factor - tasty. We carry on around the site to take more photographs whilst the weather is dry (it is still overcast though) and whilst we have the opportunity to take them, but wait (see below), those two mysterious people seem to be in talks, what are they up to?

Are these two mysterious people working together?

We take photographs of buses from all around the United Kingdom, including London Routemasters', London buses, including their versions of the MCW Metrobus and DMS Fleetlines. There were also exhibits showcasing the BMMO, otherwise known to many people as Midland Red, with most of these vehicles being brought to Showbus by The Transport Museum at Wythall. There were also examples, of the recently departed West Midlands MCW Metrobus, in fleet livery and current liveries from operators which operated this type after West Midlands operation, and currently undergoing preservation. After covering most of the field, it was decided for the trio to have a lunch break, but is it those mysterious people again in collusion (see below).
Proof! These guys are working to wreck the photographs!

We attempt to take a few more photographs around the site, bumping into Ron Morgan along the way, before the rain sets in. But not very long after, the rain does indeed starts to set in, and what a downpour it was turning out to be. We decide to take as much cover as we possibly can whilst having a search of the stalls. Mr SBI comes away with a couple of photographs, a Midland Red Birmingham Area timetable booklet from October 1960, and the recent issues of Buses and Bus and Coach Preservation Magazines. Not a bad haul to take back home and peruse. Whilst on the stall hunt, we decide to board a "photograph bus", but are met with the words "Don't drip on the photographs" on the way in, so we decide not to purchase anything from that stall after the friendly greeting.

The rain was well and truly here to stay and after a discussion by the trio, and also a burger being eaten by Mr SBI at the crazy price of £4 again, we decide to call it a day as the rain shows no sign of stopping, so we head back up the motorway, where we drop off Mr WME in Wolverhampton, even though it was tempting to drop him off halfway back!, and Mr UKBuses and Mr SBI carry on home towards Stourbridge. Despite the rain, it was a great day out, a welcome return to Showbus after a three year break, and it was good to be reunited with Mr UKBuses and Mr WME. More trips will be taken with the trio in the coming months.

The photographs from Showbus 2010 can be seen on SBI Past Fotopic by clicking here.