It’s been nine months since we started planning our trip around the Outer Circle on 11-11-11. Now it’s all over!
It was last February when we came up with the idea of celebrating the date and the bus route. It was March when we hired the bus. Then we came to the conclusion that just a handful of friends on a double deck bus was a bit of a waste of space so we encouraged folk to join us by tweeting and this blog. We decided to “sell” tickets and all the ticket receipts were to be donated to charity. A press release caught the attention of the Solihull News and just one article helped fill the bus within just a couple of days of the paper hitting peoples’ door mats. In fact we could probably have filled two more buses!
So now we’ve got a bus full – BUT 50 or more people sitting on a bus for over two hours seemed a little, well boring, so I researched and wrote a guided tour of the route, highlighting history of the urban extremities of our wonderful, vibrant city.
The bus museum at Wythall, local historian Ted Rudge and a bus enthusiast friend who lives in Kings Lynn, Neville Posnett encouraged me in my scheme. Local photographer Jay M Hooper, known for his work with the Birmingham Conservation Trust, joined me and so did Pam, my wife, in this madcap idea. Furthermore BBC Radio WM, National Express, Carl Chinn, Steve McCabe MP, Wayne at Sarehole Mill and the staff of Tesco at Witton all bought in to what I had planned. My business, Girls in White Dresses – an online wedding directory, underwrote the cost of hiring the bus and equipped it with a PA system.
So after months of preparation off we went – and what a wonderful time was had by all…..
What were the best bits? The reactions of other motorists who let us through & waved; the line of school children crossing the road looking amazed; the look of suprise on the faces of folk waiting at bus stops who tried to flag us down as we sweept past…..and the GLOOSE.
We will post pictures of our day out on the bus here soon and hope to have photographs and recordings available on disc. We rasied £549.00 for our two chosen charities, St Mary’s Hospice and the Transport Museum at Wythall.
We are planning to have similar trips on vintage buses next year. Keep coming back for more information or go to our contact page to find out how to get on our mailing list.