RICK JACKSON: All aboard! Let's have a Beer and Buses festival in Portsmouth?
A monster of an event is happening the week after next which involves two of my passions.
It’s called Beer and Buses and it is happening in the Isle of Wight next Sunday. Even Portsmouth, Gosport and Fareham are represented!
A network of bus services has been devised by the island’s bus museum which will take in some of the finest pubs serving real ale across the island.
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) group has got various pubs involved and year after year, the event gets bigger and bigger.
The idea is for a nostalgic weekend travelling around on vintage buses like the ones you caught to school, hopping on and off at a plethora of fine ale houses.
What’s more, the buses are free – you just need to buy a programme which contains the timetables.
My bus is running too, taking you over to West Wight with it’s wonderful countryside, downs, beaches and village pubs.
My advice though, only drink halves, you will last a lot longer.
Last year, more than 8,000 people took to the streets, or buses. This year even more are expected and more than 100 vintage vehicles are being used.
What is remarkable is that more than twice as many vintage buses are running on Beer and Buses than the local operator Southern Vectis needs to operate on its island network of services.
So hop over on the hover or the cat and catch a vintage bus across the island. You never know which vehicle might turn up.
How about an old Portsmouth Corporation white and maroon double decker, a green and white Provincial single decker or a Southdown open-topped bus that’s heading over next weekend.
As a driver throughout the weekend, I love how the conversations and laughter get louder and louder on the buses as the day wears on and as more beer is consumed.
So you know what I’m thinking? With all our fantastic pubs and micro-breweries, how about a Portsmouth Beer and Buses soon?
I reckon we could also extend it to Gosport, Lee-on-the-Solent and Fareham.
So many pubs, so many buses! Fancy it?
WE CAN ALL LEARN A LESSON FROM ANDREW
Heartwarming story of the week concerns 11-year-old Andrew Impey from Southsea.
He is currently cycling 133 miles to raise money for the national Fire Fighters Charity. He will also be stopping at 29 fire stations along the route.
What makes it even more brilliant is Andrew is autistic.
Through his bravery he is bringing autism to our attention and demonstrating why we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
It also sends a message to other autistic people as this whole event has vastly improved Andrew’s speech, writing skills and also, very importantly, his confidence.
Autism is something that is being understood more and more, but the public as a whole needs more education, as I have learnt.
For we are all on the spectrum.
FOOTBALLERS WHO SAY NOTHING MAKE ME AS SICK AS A PARROT
I must be honest. I’m bored with hearing from footballers on my radio and TV.
When I hear clips of England players basically saying nothing, I think how great it would be to have a character like Gazza around again.
Then again, I think we are to blame.
With the 24-hour news culture and Sky Sports News, these sportsmen are being scrutinised more than ever and everything they say is micro-analysed.
In many respects they are turning into politicians with all their media training in how not to answer searching questions.
Wouldn’t it be refreshing to hear the England captain say Slovenia are rubbish and if we don’t beat them, I’ll kiss Boris Johnson on the lips?