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Gloucestershire Business News

Waiting for a bus? Take your pick at the GWSR this Sunday!

Where: GWSR Toddington station

When: Sunday, July 8, 11am-4pm

You wait a year for a bus and then up to 48 all turn up at once - but this is for the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Stream Railway's 11th Annual Bus Rally, at Toddington station on Sunday, July 8.

This popular event is set to be a colourful occasion with a wide variety of operator liveries, most now long consigned to ever more distant memory.

As Austen Shapcott, co-organiser with David Martin who along with Matt Willis is one volunteer marshals of the Bus Rally, says: "We simply couldn't take any more in the space we have at Toddington - in fact we would have to turn away any late applicants.

"So this will be our biggest ever event - if we had the space it would be even bigger!

"It's not just a great day for bus owners, it's a chance for visitors to enjoy the delightful combination of steam trains and beautifully restored classic buses with plenty of opportunity to ride on several of them.

"The railway's Bus Rally is a firm fixture in the railway's calendar, attracting buses of every shape, type and age from across the UK; two having travelled over 150 miles to join us."

Visitors' cars will be parked in the field adjoining Toddington station as the buses take over the station yard. But it might be best to park at Cheltenham Racecourse where there is unlimited free parking space; and catch the train.

The buses range in age from 1932 (a Daimler with Metropolitan Camel coachwork and appearing in Birmingham City Transport livery) right up to the early 2000s.

Builders include many familiar names including Bristol, Guy, Leyland, Dennis, AEC, Routemaster, Duple and Bedford.

"The railway is the perfect place for an event like this," said Austen. "Like classic steam and diesel trains, the buses bring back memories of childhood outings, going to school or work or trips to the seaside: they have the power to evoke strong nostalgic recollections."

During the day there will be plenty of trips to Broadway, some taking in Broadway village others stopping close to the brand-new Broadway station, which opened on Good Friday.

"Around 20 of our visiting buses will be taking part in the shuttle services to Broadway, by slightly differing routes from the last eight years, so there will be plenty of opportunity to enjoy the delight of riding on some very rare vehicles.

"The trips are free, although the bus owners will naturally welcome contributions towards the cost of fuel!"

To complement the bus rally, the railway is running its Purple timetable  all steam between Broadway and Cheltenham with the final trip to Cheltenham Racecourse being hauled by a classic diesel locomotive.

In addition there will be stands offering books, models, memorabilia as well as preservation group displays.

Normal train fares apply and there is no separate entrance fee to the event.

For more information, visit www.gwsr.com 

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