East Sussex Omnibus Society

Leyland Lion - No. 12


Meetings 2009


The 2009 programme of meetings is listed below.

8th JanuaryIan Morley & James Luke present their 'Autumn Opener!'.
12th FebruaryGlyn Kraemer-Johnson presents 'Photos from his collection'.
12th MarchClive Wilkin returns with Wilkins' Wanderings.
9th AprilBrian Boddy presents 'Britain in New Zealand'.
28th AprilAnnual Magnificent Motors Show at Underground Theatre, Grove Road, Eastbourne.
Hosted by John Bishop.
2nd & 3rd MayMagnificent Motors Rally on Eastbourne Seafront.
14th MayRob Crouch delves into his slide collection.
11th JuneSummer outing to Kings Head, East Hoathly for another pint! Leaves from Red Lion, Stone Cross.
9th JulyAnnual General Meeting.
Followed by a presentation from Michael Isaacs.
13th AugustSocial Evening at Red Lion. Enjoy an evening of snacks and your favourite slides!
29th to 31st AugustFestival of Transport Show at Hellingly.
10th SeptemberJohn Bishop presents 'My life with Buses'.
8th OctoberRobin Bennett presents 'Eastern Counties - Then and Now'.
12th NovemberMalcolm Keeping with some more cine gems.
10th DecemberChristmas Social Evening with Films, Raffle and a Buffet.


Meeting Reports

  Reports of 2009 meetings are listed below. For reports of other year's meetings, click here.
December 2009
Christmas Social Evening with Films, Raffle and a Buffet.

I call this one of our better meetings where everyone seemed in good humour and had a celebratory air about when the members where able to meet and congratulate our treasurer, Glyn Kraemer-Johnson upen his recent wedding to Zina who was also present. Billed as a slide evening, raffle and buffet, in the past has proved difficult in the view actually being sparse. This evening would prove the contrary with too many slides and who could show his slides? You guessed it was Gerald Mead who had gone to painstaking trouble loading them into a magazine.

I started proccedings with a look at Russian trams in St Petersburg, Moscow, Kolomna and Gorky partly knowing Zina would be present hailing from Russia. Next in line was Alan Snatt who had a 9 o'clock meet thus were delighted he was able to attend for our meeting. He would show a number of coaches teasing us for the Eastbourne locations relating to coach parks. We had a look at his interest in coaches which spanned over forty years so were treated to some rare views including a Southdown Leopard in Susans Road, Eastbourne before the demolition of the adjacent buildings. I particularly endorsed the view of a Southdown Queen Mary emerging from the Steyne Gardens in Worthin. Ray Golds with a coupld of views by Rob Coruch took centre stage with delightful views around the country including Grimsby with a view of an ex-Sunderland utility Guy Arab but the best was to follow with trolleybuses galore especially for the Secretary or at least that is what I was lead to believe! It started with a Grimsby Cleethorpes Roe bodied Crossley, followed by Glasgow, Nottingham which had me drooling. We then went across the water to Portugal, Switzerland, USA, and in my mind the 'daddy of them all' a New Zealand trolleybus which was instaleld to serve a store.

We were then entertained by David Vaughan with material of a local nature before he to went over to Switzerland where we saw vehicles in Geneva and around Lake Thun. After the buffet and raffle Roy Mellor showed us he too has other interests with some great railway views as well as superb bus views. A brilliant night and thanks to you all.

John Bishop

November 2009
Malcolm Keeping with some more cine gems.

After having changed dates with Malcolm Keeping in September is was once more to welcome him back to our Society with his film collection. As ever it is always a surpirse to see what he is going to present. Out meeting was no exception although he had intimated he would show his Brighton Corporation covering their hires, etc, which was left to the second half.

We started with trolleybuses of Manchester, Aston, Teeside and Rotherham. The films were all from the early to mid sixties so plenty of nostalgia even if the trolleybuses were of little interest. How on earth Malcolm managed to film the trolleybuses in Manchester with glorious sunshine for when I did my filming it was pouring with rain!

John Bishop

October 2009
Robin Bennett - 'Eastern Counties - Then & Now'.

When one is putting together Society calendar dates it all seems 'light years' away. One such offering happened to be from Robin Bennett, our member from Peterborough, who also was the editor of Classic Bus. His theme would be the Eastern Counties Omnibus Company which at first I thought seemed remote to our area, however, Robin dreamt up the idea o fthe scene in 1974 in the depths of the National Bus Company and then the scene today in 2009, thus the stage was set for our presentation in October.

The presentation was by Powerpoint with our projector starting with a few facts and figures relating to the then Eastern Counties Company and today's companies in the old area which covers the Peterborough, Cambridge and Kings Lynn triangle.I say now, my geography of Norfolk and Cambridgeshire is far from good, so I was on a steep learning curve! What I did not realise was that Robin is employed by Norfolk Green bus company and they would naturally feature.

We travelled the route in 1974 style, whereby the first leg from Peterborough was by tain to Cambridge then by bus up country to Kings Lynn and Hunstanton. We looked at the scene in Cambridge in 1974 and then compared the scene today where Stagecoach (previously Cambus) ruled the city's roads interspersed by Whippet Coaches. I have to say today's scene was very much better having been there for presentations to the Cambridge Omnibus Society. We were off up country to the various small towns where similiar comparisons were made and it was evident with private monies assisted by the present subsidy the area enjoyed far more vehicles with a bright image especially the Norfolk Green vehicles which was almost one hundred percent Optare. Robin outlined how an incredible coast route which has now been a victim of its own success.

A brilliant presentation well thought out and presented with a very professional Powerpoint programme. Well done completed with a rapturous applause!

John Bishop

September 2009
John Bishop - 'My life with Buses'.

Our presentation in September was given by our Secretary, John Bishop, and was entitled 'My Life with Buses' - although it covered a lot more than that.

I know that John was anxious about giving his first ever Powerpoint presentation but his fears were completely unfounded. The show ran 'like a smooth, well-oiled machine', to quote Captain Mainwaring. Not only was it a very professional presentation, it was also varied and entertaining as John revealed some of the milestones in his life. (Some, but not all, I'm happy to say!). He started with a couple of shots of his home in Brunswick Terrace, Hove where, quite incredibly, he lived just round the corner from Michael Dryhurst and two roads away from me but we never met, even though, as John went on to say, like us he spent much of his time at Conway Street and Edward Street garages. He told us of how his interest began with trains, spread to buses, to his beloved trolleybuses and then to trams. The latter he illustrated with photographs taken when he cycled to such places as Leeds, Sheffield and even Glasgow! As the show progressed we realised that John's interests extend far beyond buses to cars, architecture and much more. The milestones in his life included driving a tram at Crich, a trip to Bath on the Orient Express and a trip on a preserved Isle of Man PD2 arranged by the late David Howard. He touched on his recent trips abroad and I, for one, would have liked to see more but I think John was aware that many of our members do not find foriegn transport of particular interest.

I am primarily a bus enthusiast but, like mot of the members of our Society, my interest (though not necessarily my knowledge) extend to most other forms of transport and I enjoy these varied presentations and John's humour and enthusiasm brought this one to life.

Glyn Kraermer-Johnson

August 2009
Social Evening at Red Lion.

With the diminishing numbers of vehicles available locally, especially after our run out earlier when I sweated if there was to be a vehicle at all, it was decided to trial an August social and slide evening with a few refreshments. Even on the night this was how it was billed but somehow I was given the impression this was not the case. I have to say a lot of thought goes into these meetings and to spend clubs monies and 'lugging equipment' backwards and forwards is not always easy.

We commenced with my own slides which took in the last days of Eastbourne Buses and Cavendish later in March this year. I always feel my slides fall below par especially when Rob Crouch showed his early views whcih had us all crying out for more! Terry Blackman took us up to the break with an up to date look at rural Sussex and Kent showing hust how much the scene has changed over a few months as routes are re-tendered.

For the break was a catch up time to chatter and enjoy some hearty refreshments prepared by the Red Lion before a shortened second half when it was the turn of our now 'newish member' Roy Mellor to give us a splendid slide show. Roy depicted the scene in and around Eastbourne questioning where the hell has he been all these years! I am delighted to say he has agreed to give us a full slide show next year.

John Bishop

July 2009
Annual General Meeting, followed by a presentation from Michael Isaacs.

Thursday 9th JUly saw the Society's Annual General Meeting at the Red Lion, Stone Cross. The major item under the heading of 'Election of Officers' was the appointment of a 'new' President and Chairman.

Due to increased work commitments, Adam Yates no longer felt he could devote as much time to the post of Chairman as he would like. A proposal was therefore made by John Bishop and seconded by Glyn Kraemer-Johnson, that Adam should become the Society's President with our existing President, Peter Bryden, taking his place as Chairman. A vote was taken and the proposals were accepted unanimously.

As you will have seen from the Report circulated in June, our Treasurer recommended that the annual subscription remain at £12 for yet another year. Proposed by Bernie Dobson and seconded by Andy Short, the members again voted unanimously in favour of the motion. Been daft not to, wouldn't they?!

Following a break for refreshments, Mick Isaacs took centre stage with an epidiascope presentation. Starting with some shots of trolleybuses in London and then in Bournemouth that would have made our Secretary dribble had he not been enjoying the delights of electric traction in Austria, Mick moved on to Eastbourne with views of a variety of types from pre-war TDs through Regents and Crossleys to Daimler Roadliners and Leyland Panthers. Mick's extensive knowledge of the industry and of Eastbourne in particular, together with his wealth of anecdotes made for an interesting, enjoyable and often amusing presentation that was well received by the members present, the number of whom was something of a record for an AGM. Mick obviously has what it takes to draw the crowds!

Glyn Kraemer-Johnson

June 2009
Summer outing to Kings Head, East Hoathly for another pint!

This month was one I did not relish after having our member Geoff Yarnell's Maidstone & District Leyland organised to find it had brake problems to say the least with disputes flying around which I am sure you will all agree hope will be sorted in Geoff's favour. A loaded sentence to say the least!

It was just a chance chat with David Vaughan made me ask if Peter Haining of the Sussex Steam Club and Tinkers Park Trust would use his ex-London Transport RF 368, MMX 10? The answer was yes provided he could return from Redditch in the West Midlands in time. I have to say my heart was in my mouth so to speak until I saw it draw up into the layby at the Red Lion, Stone Cross. It was an understatement to say it was a complete surprise for members to see this vehicle instead of Geoff's Leyland PD2. Being an AEC man through and through it was heaven all the way to East Hoathly and back interlaced with two pints of Grolsch! We had over 30 members and their wives and children setting off via Hailsham on the outward journey and returned via the A22 to Polegate after an hour from the Kings Head at East Hoathly feeling well satisfied. RF368 at Red Lion, Stone Cross.

A superb evening and I cannot thank David enough for rescuing us by coming up with this suggestion at the eleventh hour.

John Bishop

May 2009
Rob Crouch delves into his slide collection.

When I booked our speaker, Rob Crouch, last autumn it was really 'tongue in cheek' so imagine my delight when he agreed to do the show despite being so unwell. Nothing prepares us with his presentations so one just gives it a general description thus I was delighted to see an in-depth through the ages view of Hastings.

The presentation started off making me wonder where are the buses? You have to wait and instead we were treated to views of Hastings Pier in happier days when one could tie up a paddle steamer without the fear of it taking the end of the pier away. Indeed Rob took us on board and we saw the disappearing shoreline. It was back on shore and a look at the cliff lifts an aspect Hastings is quite greedy in having two! We saw both the east and west lifts and then to the beach to look at the miniature railway whcih has been going many years now. I well remember the railway as a child in the fifties with its life like facsimile of the Royal Scot which was still in main line service at that time.

It was finally time to look at the trolleybuses in the shape of our friend 'Happy Harold' with electricity powering the motors rather than listen to the drone of the commer TS3 two stroke diesel engine. It was then the turn of the railway scene and just how much has disappeared even in later years. With a mix of diesel and rail specials to round the rail aspect it was then a look at the ever changing bus scene and infrastructure which has now gone such as Brook Street depot complex in Hastings and the Battle store.

We owe Rob a huge debt by keeping all these memories alive and a thanks to both Rob's wife Brenda and Terry Blackman at the controls of the projector.

John Bishop

April 2009
Brian Boddy presents 'Britain in New Zealand'.

What a superb show! I refer to the presentation by Brian Boddy at our April meeting when he showed us pictures of his visit to New Zealand.

I know we are a bus enthusiasts society but most of us have interests beyond the simple motor bus - trams, trolleybuses, trains.... Well they were all there in Brian's presentation, together with boats, planes and cars. And there were some RTs, VRs and the inevitable Routemasters. most of the vehicles were in preservation in one form or another; either working, like the many preserved railways or in museums. And all of these slides were interspersed with shots of New Zealand's stunning scenery.

Bus enthusiast I may be but I enjoyed the variety. It's a bit like food; I like fish and chips but wouldn't want them for every meal. One needs variety and there was certainly plenty of that in Brian's show. Some of the opportunities that were offered to him on this trip were quite incredible - such as "Would you like to drive a trolleybus, mate?" - an offer he obviously accepted. One can hardly imagine that happening in the UK!

The presentation was tempered with Brian's gentle humour and my only regrest was that there were no pictures of the topless waitresses and pool players he encountered at Golden Cross! (No, not the one in Sussex!) Well done Brian. Come back soon.

Glyn Kraemer-Johnson

March 2009
Clive Wilkin returns with Wilkins' Wanderings.

After too long a break Clive Wilkin 'darkened our doorsteps' again for another of his wanderings! Seriously it was great to have him back knowing his regard to all things mechanical, transport and otherwise, which is very much my philosophy as well.

His wanderings went far and wide with a look up in Geordie land, Newcastle at the fine industrial architecture especially the fine bridges old and new. Whilst up in this part of the world it would be sacrilege not to go to Beamish Industrial Museum with its fine long tram route. The area is so realistic it is a natural for film sets. The Newcastle Sunbeam had moved on to the British Trolleybus Museum but is testimony to the great work carried out by the Beamish staff. We journeyed all over the United Kingdom taking in buses and railways, all in superb colour through the good old colour slide medium which was great as far as I am concerned.

It was then time to go abroad and I well remember Clive emailing me asking about the scene in Salzburg. The views made me sit up bearing in mind we hope to go there in the summer thus treated to trolleybus views including a Henschel UHIII trolleybus originally from Solingen, Germany and based in the UK and now is Salzburg livery. I could go on about the evening but save to say thanks Clive and he is back next year for the Eastbourne Historic Vehicle Club on March 25th 2010. I hope to repay Clive by going down to the area for a cimematograph show to say a huge thank you.

John Bishop

February 2009
Glyn Kraemer-Johnson presents 'Photos from his collection'.

With tweve months planning for meetings one never knows what is just round the corner. Our Treasurer, Glyn Kraemer-Johnson as we all know is the artistic one for our monthly newsletter 'Bustopics' so we would be in for a great show however one can never be ready for the good old saying 'Sods Law'. It really worked for Glyn when his computer, knowing he was going to put his presentation on disc, went blank and died whilst loading a Microsoft update off the internet as they do on a regular basis. It was then a quick call to me who holds all the Society gismos for the colour slide carriers.

The presentation given to us felt Glyn had planned this through the year. With material from many sources including our member and friend Dave Brown, we were treat to nearly two hours of good viewing. Regretfully the slide projectionist, John Bishop was suffering from a stinking cold and an utterly painful right leg and was not in the best of spirits however even this did not cloud the presentation.

Commencing with one of the new trams at St Stephens Square, Dublin, was enough for me to sit bolt upright when we left the Irish coast and to Scotland for a look at the scene over the last twenty years to see the many liveries include the disappearing Edinburgh livery in favour of the 'Harlequin' scheme. This is a place I have never visited but with the new trams next year it will be high on the agenda. It was southwards to see the Tyneside scene of days gone by and onwards to the south where we saw London and all the variations too numerous to mention.

For the reasons above I know Glyn was disappointed not to give this original programme but I thought it was great even feeling rough with a cold. By the way the computer is okay now. Glyn is back again next year!

John Bishop

January 2009
Ian Morley & James Luke present their 'Autumn Opener!'.

The first monthly meeting of 2009 demonstrated just how far the Society has progressed since the dark, dims days of the epidiascope with a seamless and professional Powerpoint presentation by James Luke and Ian Morley.

In the absence of our Secretary, the meeting was introduced by our President, Peter Bryden, who began by welcoming two guests, Deborah Underhill, from the Bexhill West Station Project, who wanted to see what our Society does, and Bob Luke, father of our speaker, both of whom we hope enjoyed the evening.

In their previous presentation, James and Ian had taken us as far as the Isle of Wight so this time, quite logically, they continued their journey from 'Vectis' westward. We looked at Solent Blue Line (as it was then), Wilts and Dorset, Southern National and on into Devon and Cornwall, with a brief stop at the Seaton Tramway to see just what Eastbourne discarded all those years ago. We were also treated to a final destination in the Channel Islands.

The presentation offered a good mix of ancient and modern and the friendly banter usually engendered by these two, all of which helped to make for a pleasant, light-hearted and interesting programme. We look forward to the next part of the journey. Into Wales in a future presentation?

Glyn Kraemer-Johnson

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