Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Island Special 4

How better to convey the spirit of our island adventure than this video, taken aboard our first trip to Gurnard on Saturday 15 October 2016 - the first of such operated by a Bristol SU in over 40 years.

The film captures our first departure from Cowes (Westhill Road), and shows our friend meeting some of the island challenges with great aplomb. Listen carefully for witty ripostes from Conductor Farley, buoyed up by the triumphant atmosphere of this heady occasion.

Here we are at The Parade in Cowes, having conquered Gurnard, smiling as if mischief is being done - and yet, so far, so good...

As it turns out, our friend's performance was impeccable on this and every other island trip, almost as if to prove a point. These were happy times and, as if in defiance against Southern Vectis' dim view of his type, 270 KTA showed aptitude and willingness at every turn. And on this route, there were many...

This being the Isle of Wight Beer and Buses Weekend, most turns were outside pubs, and jolly revellers frequenting the northern network of the weekend's bus network joined us in steady numbers, especially on the Sunday.

Even the draw of liquor was not enough to coax 270 KTA's stalwart crew away from duty, however, and our friend proved a constant performer on Route H throughout the weekend, shifting crowds with near-full loads at busy times, with especially heavy duties after Sunday lunch.

Ah, yes - lunch.

Perhaps there was something to keep Driver and Conductor from the crowds for at least 10 minutes, when a break at Cowes allowed for fish and chips while a marshal stood guard over our friend...

This was a truly memorable weekend for all the right reasons and 270 KTA lived up to the trust placed in him by a begrudging yet doggedly optimistic owner, who was thus proven both wrong and right by a steed which performed faultlessly throughout. 

Few things in life are worse than leaving the Isle of Wight, and the journey home was a very sad affair, made bearable only by two things... 

1) Great memories from a wonderful holiday for coach and owner alike; and...

2) A gruesome looking, but massively tasty beetroot and red onion scotch egg from 270 KTA's favourite deli in Yarmouth.

Total trouble-free distance, home to home: 492 miles

Water miles not included.

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