One of the visitors to our museum's resource centre on Saturday 17th January was Lion John Gradwell. He is already working on the 2015 Lions Festival and in particicular the vintage vehicle display. The purpose of his visit was to find what the museum had on Edgar Potter Digby's Austin Chummy car.
This little car which us oldies can still remember chugging around the island selling paraffin, laid unused in the shed at the rear of Digby's for many years until sold at auction for around £2500 to an enthusiast from Boston who has fully restored it. John hopes to have it here for the festival in August. I for one would dearly like to see that again.
We went on to talk briefly about old Mersea vehicles in general and it got me thinking about the charabancs of the Primrose Bus Company's ( Or to give it it's proper title 'Mersea, Colchester and District Transport & Bus Company Ltd.') fleet.
These vehicles were mainly used in the summer months and had interchangeable bodies so that they could be converted to lorries during the winter months.
The fine photograph above, given to me by Miss Janet Woodward, shows her father Bob standing by a charabanc at Stanwell Street, Colchester.
The conductor is believed to be Kenny Thorp. I remember Kenny when he and Jack Miller ran a motor engineering business from the Hall Barn and later from a new garage at Tolleshunt D'Arcy which I helped to build in 1951. The garage has gone now, and Margery Allingham Place is there. Janet said she thought the conductor was Kenny because he normally worked with her father.
They are on a service running between London and Clacton and are having a well deserved break. It could not have been very comfortable doing that sort of journey on solid tyres. The Reg.No. is HK5085.
The picture above shows an outing from Mersea in another Primrose 'Chara' driven by my dad's cousin Bert 'Chewy' Green. A nice load of locals in this scene.
From Mersea Life February 2015, page 59.