Having been involved in bus preservation for nearly 15 years, I'm always looking at ways to attract others into this weird and wonderful hobby. As someone who is genuinely passionate about seeing vehicles saved, fresh faces will definitely be needed one day when I'm too old to get under a bus (that'll be about two years time!) to ensure the continued preservation of the vehicles. After all, I would be gutted to know that once I shuffle off this mortal coil that they would be scrapped... It would also be a waste of my time and resources preserving buses that one day I know would be scrapped. So how do we attract new people into bus preservation? Well, each generation seems to have their own 'favourite' vehicles, many of the older generation would've liked the half cabs, whilst many my age like the NBC era and the 1990's. To younger enthusiasts it'll be Dennis Darts and Volvo B7s! Sometimes there does seem to be a certain amount of 'snobbery' in the preservation movement and potential new members can find doors (literally) shut in their faces. On top of that, there seems to be certain enthusiasts who pooh pooh the ideas of modern buses being preserved, in some cases, by modern I mean anything built after 1968! "Who'd want to preserve a Volvo Olympian?" Well I would for starters, but then if an AEC Regent needed a home and I had the time and resources I'd take that too! To attract younger faces, I think a lot of us will have to start accepting that bus preservation in a rolling thing. As buses leave service, they attract attention and people (hopefully) want to see examples saved. 'Pooh poohing' those who choose to preserve Darts, minibuses and Vollys could long term see the end of this hobby, which, would probably see the end of our buses.
June was such a busy month for Southern Counties with various shows. We visited Dover Transport Museum in the middle of the month and at then at the end was Preston Steam Rally. Both buses on the road this season have been Maidstone motors, 5137 and 5215. As for July, so far the focus has been on my buses, with work this weekend on MFN41R. Paul and myself have been stripping out the police bus conversion from the lower deck. This has revealed a few damp areas but now the vehicle can 'breath' a lot better and the internal air flow is greatly improved so this should soon dry out.
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Owner of 5807, 5809, 5137, 7656, 7681, 7041 & 40301
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