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
A marvellous hand-tinted view along High Street, Old Portsmouth.

NOSTALGIA: TV sets with no remote! How on earth did we cope?

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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.