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Images Dated 15th October 1974

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Memories of former days came alive in Leamington yesterday when a 1920s London bus jogged Featured 15 Oct 1974 Print

Memories of former days came alive in Leamington yesterday when a 1920s London bus jogged

Memories of former days came alive in Leamington yesterday when a 1920s London bus jogged along The Parade. The 1925 "General" belonged to the Old London General Onmibus Company but made its appearance in Leamington as part of a publicity drive for local butchers. It was used by the former bus company for five years and changed hands with five different companies before an untimely "Burial" when it was sold for scrap in 1932. Fortunately, an Essex man bought if for use in his garden as a chicken pen. Some years later, after the owner died, the derelict bus was discovered in 1970, overgrown with brambles and weeds, and the London Bus Preservation Group embarked on an extensive 9,000 restoration. Since then, the bus has toured the country and most of Europe, cruising alo9ng at its maximum speed of 25 m.p.h. - a total of 20,000 miles. The driver of the bus is 66 year old Bert Lower, of Wood Green, London. In the twenties, he drove buses in London for the "Pirate" companies which were in competition with the General Combine. "They were exciting days but the roads were apalling - cobbled stones and tram raisl gave one a really bumpy ride and when it rained the bus would start to slide across the road," he said. Mr Blower readily admits that motoring today than when he first started - one reason is the bus's mileage per gallon. The old Genrral only does four miles to the gallon! "The new buses may not look so attractive but they are far more cheaper," said Mr Blower, who spends over 35 on petrol every week. But in these days of inflation and oil sheiks, there is one good side to the story- the cost of a three-mile journey has gone down from the penny tickets in the Twenties to the free rides given in the Seventies. "It's a comfortable ride unless, of course, you're sitting upstairs when it rains," said Mr. Blower. Our photograph shows children from St. Paul's Junior School setting off on a ride around Leamington on the veteran bus. 15th October 1974

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