It’s been a busy week for me, getting my double-decker bus ready for this weekend’s Beer & Buses Festival on the Isle of Wight.
The idea is simple.
It’s just another of those wonderfully eccentric, British events that seem to capture our imaginations
Vintage buses, like the ones you caught to school, will be giving free rides all over the island to many of its beautiful country pubs, which are serving a selection of local real ales.
A network of routes has been cleverly devised to take you either from Ryde or Newport to points all over the island.
What you don’t require is the full beard or raincoat of the archetypal ‘spotter’ for this weekend.
No, all you need is an enjoyment of countryside and traditional English pubs. I think it’s a winner.
Now my bus has taken a while to get ready, all because I reversed into a wall a few weeks ago.
Don’t panic, the bus will only be travelling forward at the weekend, so you’ll be fine!
At 42 years old, my bus is nowhere near the oldest taking part. You’ll have to go back to 1939 for that.
This open-topper arrived on the Isle of Wight just before the outbreak of the Second World War and has been owned and looked after by the same company ever since.
Vintage buses and coaches from all over the UK will also be attending.
London Routemasters and former Portsmouth Corporation and Southdown vehicles will help to make it a memorable weekend.
It’s just another of those wonderfully eccentric, British events that seem to capture our imaginations.
From running after a rolling cheese down a hill, to ‘tossing’ a large chunk of wood as far as you can, riding on vintage buses to country pubs must be up there as quintessentially British.
I certainly think this type of event would also suit Portsmouth too.
How about catching an old Corporation open-topper from Southsea seafront and taking in the stunning countryside on a run up to the Bat & Ball at Hambledon?
Well the weather is set fine and I hope you’ll catch the ‘hover’ or the ‘cat’ over to the island for a ride on my bus and to enjoy a fine pint of ale over the coming weekend.