Monday, 3 November 2014

Dear David...

A hitherto stranger writes...
"I went to the Warminster running day yesterday, not far from my home. Your bus rang a faint bell. As a child I was fanatically interested in buses and was sure I had seen this one before.

Attached is a photograph of it (Box Brownie, I am afraid) outside Western National's Salcombe shed in August 1963. It was a shed too: a wooden lock-up that accommodated one single decker.

I hated going on the annual family holiday to that ghastly seaside resort and looking at buses was one of the few distractions that made it bearable.

Peter Brown"

And so arrived this extraordinary photograph, reunited with its subject by the same kind of chance encounter that led to its creation 51 years ago.

Young Peter couldn't have realised the significance his photograph would one day hold. It's among the earliest known photos of 270 KTA, the coach being just over a year old when Peter discovered it, ready for a trip back to its home depot from Shadycombe Road shed in Salcombe. Photos of the Kingsbridge fleet are comparatively rare, and Salcombe is especially seldom seen. This photo is therefore very special.

Add to that the charm of the Box Brownie (which has actually captured the scene with remarkable clarity), and the low-angle achieved by a presumably very little Peter, and it's hard to imagine a better find.

Thank heaven for little boys...

Our friend will next be appearing this weekend at the South Devon Railway's Diesel Gala, where its photogenic qualities will be very much part of the requirement.

Bring along your Box Brownie...

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