Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Playing Catch Up: Part 3 (Wedding Special)

270 KTA receives more wedding invitations than I do these days. 

At the grand ol' age of 33, I'm just reaching the end of the morning peak for weddings. Most of my contemporaries have now done the deed, or else firmly eschewed matrimony in favour of a life committed to old buses. It's just as expensive.

But I do receive more than the occasional enquiry about vintage bus hire for weddings various, asking how much it would cost to take a bride to heaven and back. As it happens, I don't hire out our friend for a few good reasons. For a start I'd need to hold an Operator's licence to charge, and having held one for other exploits in the past, I know it would become a huge distraction from the core aim of keeping 270 KTA alive and well for us all to enjoy. Plus, the pressure of delivering a paid service with a fifty-three year old vehicle would be way too much for my nervous disposition, especially on someone's big day. So our friend generally has to disappoint the bride...

... but there have been two rather fun exceptions this year. For good friends, an appearance from 270 KTA makes a splendid wedding gift that money can't buy. In July, our pals James and Charlotte decided to "go through with it after all" in a superb ceremony at Sherborne Abbey in Dorset, and we were delighted to accept the invitation.

The high-risk duty of delivering the groom and guests from Exeter - some 70 miles away - was undertaken with some trepidation, although we didn't let on in case 270 KTA smelled the familiar scent of fear. As it was, this and the return journey (complete with bride) passed without incident and an excitable crowd cheered us on with laughter and song.

While the ceremony was going on, 270 KTA was enjoying a liaison of his own in a backstreet Sherborne car park with an older model from the local area. Terry Bennett's SUL just happened to be passing (a likely story - Terry and I suspect the two had long been plotting their Dorset romance). Above we see the happy couple exchanging vows and tickets before their star-crossed romance was brought to an end by the need for lunch.

Fresh ribbons and bows were back on in September, when my school-friend (and oldest enemy) Riah married her beloved Rob. We were honoured to be invited along to the beautiful Chavenage House in Gloucestershire, famous as a location for BBC1's Poldark and, more excitingly still for me and nobody else, the follow up to Are You Being Served?, Grace and Favour...  As Master of Ceremonies, I think I probably passed for Captain Peacock.

It's a wonderful part of the world - former Bristol Omnibus SUS stamping ground on the outskirts of Stroud, and Western National territory before that - and one where 270 KTA was instantly at home. Indeed, the residents of Rodborough Common took a great interest...

Despite not being invited in for breakfast, our friend behaved almost impeccably for the 300 mile round trip, with only a slight weep from a fuel bleed-off pipe to raise a brow. As it was, this turned out to be just an olive which had worked itself lose, something I often suffer from myself at wedding receptions... 

Another reason I'm so rarely asked.

In Part 4 of our catch-up, we'll hop back to the First Devon Farewell event in September, Kingsbridge Running Day and more, to bring us firmly up to date and ready to resume normal blogging service. 

To be continued...


  1. First time I have read your blog David, or should I address it to 270 KTA?
    Very entertaining (I am easily pleased) and informative.
    I look forward to more adventures 270KTA has with you.
    PS How do I get email notifications of new posts?

    1. Thanks Stephen - moee calamity to come, no doubt! Not sure about the email alerts, I'm afraid, but I'll try and spread word on Facebook when there's news.

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