Friday, 28 October 2016

Island Special 3


You join us on the Isle of Wight Ferry, after a successful journey from South Devon to Lymington, en-route to the island's Beer and Buses Weekend.

This was 270 KTA's first water crossing since it last encountered the Torpoint Ferry and, almost certainly, its first ever departure from the UK mainland since it was built in 1962.


Any classic vehicle owner will tell you that trusting its survival to a floating vessel is an irrationally nerve-wracking experience. Minor potential for sinking aside, the vehicle is suddenly obliged to work on command or else face total humiliation and expensive recovery bills to secure its future on either side of the crossing.

Fortunately, and some may say incredibly given its temperament, our friend entirely overlooked the opportunity for disgrace and behaved impeccably, clearly as excited as his owner at the adventure which awaited.

The excitement of both showed on the island roads between Yarmouth, Newport and Ryde where, in the late October sunset, 270 KTA bowled along like a native. We arrived at the former Southern Vectis Ryde Depot - nowadays the Isle of Wight Bus Museum - in high spirits. It's not often things go better than expected...

After a Thursday night amongst friends at Ryde, Friday was to be our friend's day for a tour of the island.

video

An essential place for photographs was Ryde bus station, a formative location for your scribe's early bus spotting days as a child. Usually on a Summer Saturday day-trip from Berkshire, my Dad and I would arrive at Ryde Esplanade station and buy our Southern Vectis Rover Ticket; often the lady in the Travel Office would encourage my enthusiasm by handing me a pile of spare ticket rolls to 'play' with, completely unaware that I had a working ticket machine to put them in at home!


This, of course, is the photo that every island-loving, train-spotting vintage bus owner dreams of (there are more than you might think).

And for those who like Hovercrafts....


Other locations visited included...

Seaview

St Helens and Bembridge

Shanklin Station

The former Southern Vectis Shanklin Depot and Bus Station

The former Southern Vectis Ventnor Depot
For the next two nights, 270 KTA was to stay as close as possible to our apartment in Ventnor, saving space at Ryde depot for the larger and less adaptable buses. Adaptable little Bristol SULs certainly are, as this photo of our friend settling in to his temporary home proves.


This explains why I'm now a fully paid up member of Ventnor Tennis Club, who very kindly allowed us to use their car park for two nights. This was not only secure but a pretty spot, reached via a very tight reverse manoeuvre between two stone gateposts; we became quite good at that. 

After a fun day, it was time for bed ahead of the main event...
 



To be continued...

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