Planning a family party? Get yourself a double-decker - Rick Jackson
May I recommend that everyone gets their own double-decker bus? They are so much fun and there are so many great things you can do with them as opposed to a car.
It was my brother-in-law’s 40th birthday last Saturday.
The family had been beavering away with a plan for a big day out.
James had no idea.
In the morning we all met up and decorated the bus with bunting, banners and photos of the birthday boy.
With ‘40 – Special Service’ displayed on the destination screen, off we went, with 25 excited family members on board.
With seating for 74 and plenty of luggage space it was like going on a cruise with so much extra stuff you’d never be able to take in a car.
Soon we were approaching the road close to where James lives and there he was, reluctantly standing at a bus stop with his girlfriend Abi wondering why on earth they were waiting for a bus.
This wasn’t any old bus though, this was my 1982 double-decker Leyland Olympian with coach seats and cloth interior trim. Oh yes.
We had an absolutely brilliant day out and, even better, as my bus is now registered as a light van, it costs the same to park as a car.
So these big days out on my bus have become quite famous among my family and friends and I highly recommend the vehicles.
So, what are the pitfalls of bus ownership?
Well, storage. They are 10 metres long and four metres high.
They also aren’t the easiest thing to drive. You can’t go down just any old road as it might not be wide enough or there could be low-hanging branches or worse still, a low bridge.
Spare parts are pretty hard to come by. For instance, they stopped making my specific type of bus in 1986.
Then there’s the fuel.
My lovely 11-litre Gardner engine does nine miles to the gallon and you can’t fit under many filling stations’ canopies.
Apart from all that, they are the perfect wagon for family days out with a difference.
What was the real reason for Glynne’s no-show at festival?
Did Jess Glynne pull out of her Isle of Wight Festival gig 10 minutes before she was due on stage because she was hung over?
That’s what one national paper claimed, saying she was spotted leaving the Spice Girls’ after-show party at 5am on the morning of her festival appearance.
Festival boss John Giddings was quoted saying he was furious and called her behaviour ‘shocking’. He said he’d never book her again. She pulled out of the festival in 2015 to have vocal surgery.
At Wave we spoke to John the next day and his recollection of the interview was very different. So, was she ‘incredibly weak and full of anxiety’, as she claimed, or was she still plastered?
I’m loving this cold June as 2018’s heat was too much
We are set to have the coldest June for 28 years if this weather continues and it doesn’t bother me one iota.
Last year’s magnificent summer became too much for many. I think I fell out of love with heatwaves because of this.
It was simply too hot day after day. You soon felt too hot and bothered to do anything and I ended up just wearing football kits as it was roasting all the time.
The grass turned yellow and after a while you had to run for shade. For me, the perfect weather is sunny spells and 21C. It’s still nice and warm and you can sunbathe out of a breeze if you wish, but it’s not stifling. Yes, this is proof that I’m getting old.