Two-bus journey to work in Portsmouth inspired an enduring passion

Portsmouth driver trainer LC78 (LRV 978) Southsea Rally June 1985 and, below, a cold day at Hayling Island bus garage in February 1985 with three delicensed Southdown buses awaiting their fate
Portsmouth driver trainer LC78 (LRV 978) Southsea Rally June 1985 and, below, a cold day at Hayling Island bus garage in February 1985 with three delicensed Southdown buses awaiting their fate
The telegram received by William Halls mother  still upsetting to read 78 years on.

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Judging by your e-mails and letters, many of you thoroughly enjoyed John Kirby’s recent series of bus pictures taken across the area.

Now, continuing the theme, I pass the baton to another transport enthusiast – postman Adrian Willats.

He’s 53 and became a postman 14 years ago having worked for Lloyds Bank for 21 years.

He says: ‘I first became interested in local, or indeed any, buses in early 1980.

‘This happened when I was transferred from a bank branch where I could walk to work to one where I needed two buses each way – not yet having passed my driving test.

‘I lived on Hayling Island, so I had to catch a Southdown bus to Havant and change to a Corporation service to get to Cosham. I then reversed the process to get home in the evening.

‘This lasted for two years until I got my first car.’

In 1984 Adrian joined the now defunct Vintage Transport Association (ViTA)which staged the Southsea Spectacular vehicle rally every June on Southsea Common.

‘Getting involved with helping, I ‘‘rose’’ to become the Rally Secretary for the 1990, 1991 and 1992 events,’ he adds.

Adrian currently attends meetings of a successor organisation to ViTA, plus those of the Solent Omnibus Club, the latter being held at the new Portchester Community Centre.