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Memories of former days came alive in Leamington yesterday when a 1920s London bus jogged

Memories of former days came alive in Leamington yesterday when a 1920s London bus jogged


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Memories of former days came alive in Leamington yesterday when a 1920s London bus jogged

Memories of former days came alive in Leamington yesterday when a 1920s London bus jogged along The Parade. The 1925 " General" belonged to the Old London General Onmibus Company but made its appearance in Leamington as part of a publicity drive for local butchers. It was used by the former bus company for five years and changed hands with five different companies before an untimely " Burial" when it was sold for scrap in 1932. Fortunately, an Essex man bought if for use in his garden as a chicken pen. Some years later, after the owner died, the derelict bus was discovered in 1970, overgrown with brambles and weeds, and the London Bus Preservation Group embarked on an extensive 9, 000 restoration. Since then, the bus has toured the country and most of Europe, cruising alo9ng at its maximum speed of 25 m.p.h. - a total of 20, 000 miles. The driver of the bus is 66 year old Bert Lower, of Wood Green, London. In the twenties, he drove buses in London for the " Pirate" companies which were in competition with the General Combine. " They were exciting days but the roads were apalling - cobbled stones and tram raisl gave one a really bumpy ride and when it rained the bus would start to slide across the road, " he said. Mr Blower readily admits that motoring today than when he first started - one reason is the buss mileage per gallon. The old Genrral only does four miles to the gallon! " The new buses may not look so attractive but they are far more cheaper, " said Mr Blower, who spends over 35 on petrol every week. But in these days of inflation and oil sheiks, there is one good side to the story- the cost of a three-mile journey has gone down from the penny tickets in the Twenties to the free rides given in the Seventies. " Its a comfortable ride unless, of course, you re sitting upstairs when it rains, " said Mr. Blower. Our photograph shows children from St. Pauls Junior School setting off on a ride around Leamington on the veteran bus. 15th October 1974

Brian Walkeden
Coventry Telegraph Archive
Mirrorpix
Royal Leamington Spa
Warwickshire
England
WA*5500721

Media ID 21671460

© Mirrorpix

1974 Buses Dennis Double Decker Leamington Spa Motor Vehicle Open Top Pupils Veteran Vintage Warwickshire Waving Double Deck


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> Europe > United Kingdom > England > Coventry

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > Essex > Related Images

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > London > Events > Parades > Related Images

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > London > Sights > St Pauls Cathedral

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > London > Towns > Hither Green

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > London > Towns > Wood Green

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > London > Transport > Buses

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > London > Transport > Trams

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > Warwickshire > Related Images

> Memory Lane Prints > Mirror > 0500to0599 > 00501


EDITORS COMMENTS
Memories of Former Days Come Alive in Leamington". In a nostalgic display of the past, Leamington was transported back to the 1920s as a vintage London bus graced The Parade. The 1925 "General" once belonging to the Old London General Omnibus Company, made its appearance in town as part of a local butcher's publicity campaign. This iconic bus had quite an eventful journey before finding its way to Leamington. After being used by various companies for five years, it met an untimely end and was sold for scrap in 1932. However, fate intervened when an Essex man purchased it and repurposed it as a chicken pen in his garden. It wasn't until 1970 that the dilapidated bus was discovered by the London Bus Preservation Group, hidden beneath brambles and weeds. Since then, this restored beauty has traveled far and wide across Europe, covering over 20,000 miles at its maximum speed of 25 mph. Behind the wheel is Bert Lower, a seasoned driver who reminisces about his days driving buses during the competitive era between "Pirate" companies and the General Combine. While Mr. Blower acknowledges that modern motoring is more efficient and cost-effective today, he can't help but appreciate the charm of these vintage vehicles. As children from St. Paul's Junior School embark on their ride around Leamington aboard this veteran bus captured in our photograph print from Memory Lane Prints, they too get a taste of history come alive.

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