This month we had a speaker completely new to the Society in the shape of Graham Holleyman. I have known Graham for a while now through my meetings with various members of the Tinkers Park Trust at Hadlow Down and with Graham being heavily involved with the restoration of CAP 229, I have learned of his passion for Brighton, Hove & District and for all things Southdown. He, somewhat foolishly, let me know of his collection of photos of these companies before the establishment of the National Bus Company and his intention, one day, to restore and assemble them on a disc! In a flash I had cajoled him into putting said disc into a programme for the ESOS Social meeings and thus he duly rolled up at Westham with his computer complete with the said disc!
Graham, like me (and I suspect, most of the rest of us...Ed) loved Southdown and we were transported back to the early sixties in monochrome, when the last pre-war Titans had gone but there were still wartime Guy 'Arabs' in abundance, mainly in open-top form. Many of Graham's photos were in the Brighton area and particularly at Pool Valley, but we did go 'out and about' with some very interesting and unique views of the 15xx 'Royal Tigers'. We were then treated to a similar examination of that other love of mine . . . . Brighton, Hove & District, with Bristol K types galore!
The break came all too soon before we embarked upon some unique views of demonstrators with Southdown, including a yellow Guy 'Wulfrunian' and a Strachans bodied Guy 'Arab' V on the 12 route, presumably when Guy Motors were trying to win back support from the company following the successful supply of many deckers in the mid-fifies. We also saw Maidstone & District vehicles in the Brighton area and carried on until the earliest days of NBC when Graham admitted his enthusiasm waned and eventually died. Our final collection was of a "Southdown Day" held at Worthing early in the 21st Century when everything 'Southdown preserved' was pressed into service for one final "Day to Remember", and all in perfect weather. This show was definitely "one to remember" and the applause at the end said it all. Thank you Graham.