East Sussex Omnibus Society

Leyland Lion - No. 12


Meetings 2013


Our meetings take place on the second Thursday of each month at the Red Lion Pub at Stone Cross near Eastbourne, unless stated otherwise.

We have put together a varied programme of events and will do our utmost to keep within the calendar, however, we reserve the right to alter or cancel the dates where applicable.

The programme for 2013 is listed below.

11th JanuaryGlyn Kraemer-Johnson - ‘Bustopics Live’
14th FebruaryMervyn Stedman - ‘Buses & Coaches in my Life, Part II’ Valentines Special!
14th MarchAlan Snatt presents more Moments in Time.
11th AprilGerald Mead turns the clock back aided by Peter White.
4th &
5th May
Magnificent Motors Rally on Eastbourne Seafront.
For more information on this event, visit the website at www.magnificentmotors.co.uk
9th MayMr Bus & Coach Preservation - Philip Lamb returns! Not to be missed.
13th JuneAnother run out into the country for a pint.
11th JulyAnnual General Meeting.
Followed by John Bishop’s travels.
8th AugustAfter our successful 2012 meeting, a members video evening.
24th to 26th August38th Festival of Transport Show at Hellingly.
For more information on this event, visit the Eastbourne Historic Vehicle Club website at www.ehvc.co.uk
12th SeptemberPaul Southgate - Recounts his days in the industry from Portsmouth to Canterbury and ‘Canterbury Tales‘.
10th OctoberA presentation by Mick Isaacs
14th NovemberChange of Meeting David Toy - A dedication to Colin Curtis.
12th DecemberMember's Christmas Evening with member's slides.

- Meetings 2013 - printable PDF file.


Meeting Reports

  Reports of this year's meetings are listed below. For reports of other year's meetings, click here.
March 2013
Alan Snatt presents more Moments in Time

The presentation at the March meeting was due to be given by Philip Lamb, editor of "Bus and Coach Preservation" magazine. However, you may recall that three days before the meeting we experienced a freak snow storm which brought traffic to a standstill and caused many to spend the night in their cars. As our speaker would be travelling from Portsmouth it seemed sensible to the committee to put a contingency plan in place. I spoke with Philip and it was decided that his presentation would be moved to May and for the third time in just over a year our chairman, Alan Snatt, stepped into the breach.

In his presentation "More Moments in Time", Alan looked at the year 2000 in the first half, and 1970 in the later section and illustrated some of the many changes that have occurred between these dates. It has to be said that his slides from 1970 were received with more enthusiasm than those of 2000 but the latter reminded us of just how much has changed in the last thirteen years. His images covered the length and breadth of the country and were of the excellent quality we have come to expect from him. What many of those present probably did not appreciate was that Alan had put together his presentation in less than twenty-four hours. Another great show and thanks again Alan for saving the day (again!)

Glyn Kraemer-Johnson

April 2013
Gerald Mead turns the clock back aided by Peter White.

I have to confess to having seen part of this month's speaker's showing at a private presentation so when I told members Gerald Mead's presentation was 'not to be missed' this was because I knew exactly what was coming!

Since then many more photos had been added and what an evening it was. We waltzed all over the country seeing many of the gems that used to roam large on our roads.... Albions, AECs, Dennises - too numerous to list and all in monochrome giving added atmosphere to the occasion.

Gerald treated us to his lessons on how to take quality photographs — an art he achieved at an early stage while I am one who is still learning! His skill was achieved long ago (our first view in Dundee was in 1955....and guess what - he never bothered with the trams!!!! Unforgiveable I call that but each to his own!) At the end he received rapturous applause and has been booked again for the Autumn of 2014.

John Bishop

November 2013
David Toy

David Toy was in the chair for our November meeting and originally entitled his presentation "My London & Country Days" but following the sad passing away of Colin Curtis, David was prompted to put together a story of his life, and given that Colin had come down to speak to both ourselves and the Eastbourne Historic Vehicle Club, I felt it appropriate to change the programme to suitably respect one of our more colourful personalities.

On the evening of the meeting, the first downside was the hall which had suffered a boiler breakdown on what was the coldest eveing of the winter so far. Several members left at the break while all who stayed on kept their overcoats firmly buttoned up! This did not detract from a confident and informative presentation using Powerpoint via the video projector. We commenced with Colin's formative yearsin Brighton with some views of 'Thomas Tilling' AEC Regents upon which the young master Curtis travelled to school. At a very young age Colin was able to identify the vehicles and was soon to start his venture as a professional in the industry with the war years finding him in apprenticeship at the AEC works at Southall defining faults with engines.

Colin eventually moved on to London Transport and David illustrated the many and at the time very varied types in the 8,000 strong fleet, which settled down eventually to the RT family standardisation removing most of the old order. As early as 1951 the seeds were being sown for a new generation of buses.... the ubiquitous Routemaster first saw the light of day in 1954 and Colin was indeliby blinked with its development and prosperity. Having been brought up in an engineering background I found the exploration of its design features fascinating but appreaciate that it may have been a touch too techinal for some in the audience.

David dealt at length with the FRM project and it demise at a time when diminishing numbers of manufacturers for both vehicles and components lead to unsatisfactory performance by the new "off the shelf" buses with the well known disasters which Colin was tasked with trying to solve..... Scanias with corrosion problems and power and fuel difficulties which lead to very shorts lives, Merlins and Swifts whose bodies 'broke their backs' and the infamous DMSs which were found to be totally incapable for fitting into the Aldenham Works process leading to their demise at a young age.

David took us through Colin Curtis' seeming obsession with hydraulics and his involvement with the Moulton project, a four axle small wheeled concept which never got off the ground despite the purchase of a twin-steer Bedford VAL for experiment purposes and to his eventual retirement, somewhat disillusioned but a fantastic font of knowledge which he was always keen to pass on to whoever would listen.

A great evening from David Toy, who would not take a fee, so we invited him to our Christmas Dinner by way of a thank you.

John Bishop

Page last Updated: 15th January 2014

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