ID ML2015_003_P57 Article from Mersea Museum

TitlePrimrose Buses - 1920 school trip to London Zoo
AbstractFollowing on from last months feature on the Primrose Charabancs, this month I'm featuring a trip to London Zoo in July 1920 by a group of children from West Mersea Council School on a Primrose double decker open topped bus.

The two images show the Karrier bus HK5195 preparing to leave High Street opposite the Primrose bus garage which is now the MICA centre. We can feel the excitement as they look forward to the great day out.

This would almost certainly be one of the first, if not the first time such an outing would have been undertaken from our school and fortunately headmaster Mr Green entered details of the day in the school log book.

He writes - 19th July 1920. School closed. I took a party of 47 including two assistants and four pupil teachers on an educational journey to London. We left at 7am and travelled by bus through Tiptree, Kelvedon, Chelmsford, Ongar, Woodford, Tottenham and Holloway to Regent's Park. About three hours were spent in the Zoological Society's Gardens and then we drove through the streets for about two hours. The return journey was made via Stratford, Ilford, Brentwood, Chelmsford and Heybridge and Meresa was reached at 9.30pm.

Considering the mode of transport and solid tyres this was a marvellous achievement. I'm not sure of the speed that these buses travelled but I recall my Uncle Herbert Green who was one of the original Primrose drivers, telling me how he and another driver took two bus loads of people to Felixstowe and were stopped for speeding. They were fined £4-10/- each which was more than two weeks wages and hit them hard. I seem to remember he said they were doing something like 18mph when the limit was 15mph.

On the image above, the figure hanging on the back of the bus is Ernie Fenn and the young lad upstairs nearside front is Arthur Death. In the image below, Headmaster Mr Green is the figure on the stairs wearing a trilby hat, and note the wooden chair under the stairs for the conductor.

The driver on that trip was Kenny Thorp who probably took a nap while the party were in the zoo?

Article for Mersea Life, March 2015.

AuthorRon Green
PublishedMarch 2015
SourceMersea Museum
IDML2015_003_P57
Related Images:
 A school trip from West Mersea to London Zoo, July 1920. Primrose Bus. Headmaster Mr Green is standing on the stairs wearing a black trilby. Note the conductor's chair under the stairs. The photo was taken opposite to the present MICA. Photo <a href=mmphoto.php?typ=ID&hit=1&tot=1&ba=cke&bid=RG03_445>RG03_445 </a> was taken at the same time looking at the front of the bus. I was told the driver was Kenny Thorp - to London and back on solid tyres! [RG]
 The School Log Book, written by Mr Green, says:
 19 July 1920 School closed. I took a party of 47 including two Assistants and four Pupil Teachers on an educational journey to London. We left Mersea at 7am and travelled by bus through Tiptree, Kelvedon, Chelmsford, Ongar, Woodford, Tottenham and Holloway to Regent's Park. About three hours were spent in the Zoological Society's Gardens and then we drove through the streets for about two hours. The return journey was made via Stratford, Ilford, Brentwood, Chelmsford and Heybridge and Mersea was reached at 9.30pm. 
 [WMS_LOG1_P395]
 Bus HK5195.  ALS_WHI_013
ImageID:   ALS_WHI_013
Title: A school trip from West Mersea to London Zoo, July 1920. Primrose Bus. Headmaster Mr Green is standing on the stairs wearing a black trilby. Note the conductor's chair under the stairs. The photo was taken opposite to the present MICA. Photo RG03_445 was taken at the same time looking at the front of the bus. I was told the driver was Kenny Thorp - to London and back on solid tyres! [RG]
The School Log Book, written by Mr Green, says:
19 July 1920 School closed. I took a party of 47 including two Assistants and four Pupil Teachers on an educational journey to London. We left Mersea at 7am and travelled by bus through Tiptree, Kelvedon, Chelmsford, Ongar, Woodford, Tottenham and Holloway to Regent's Park. About three hours were spent in the Zoological Society's Gardens and then we drove through the streets for about two hours. The return journey was made via Stratford, Ilford, Brentwood, Chelmsford and Heybridge and Mersea was reached at 9.30pm.
[WMS_LOG1_P395]
Bus HK5195.
Date:19 July 1920
Source:Mersea Museum / Alan Smith Collection
 A Primrose Bus in 1920 parked in High Street near the entrance to Captains Road prior to leaving on a school trip to London Zoo. Headmaster Mr. Green with the top hat can be seen on the upper deck at the rear of the bus. Ernie Fenn on the outside of the bus is fixing the destination sign in the small window. The bus is HK5195.
 Used in a Back in Time article in the Courier
 See also School Log Book <a href=mmphoto.php?typ=ID&hit=1&tot=1&ba=cke&bid=WMS_LOG1_P395>WMS_LOG1_P395 </a> and another picture of the bus <a href=mmphoto.php?typ=ID&hit=1&tot=1&ba=cke&bid=ALS_WHI_013>ALS_WHI_013 </a>  RG03_445
ImageID:   RG03_445
Title: A Primrose Bus in 1920 parked in High Street near the entrance to Captains Road prior to leaving on a school trip to London Zoo. Headmaster Mr. Green with the top hat can be seen on the upper deck at the rear of the bus. Ernie Fenn on the outside of the bus is fixing the destination sign in the small window. The bus is HK5195.
Used in a Back in Time article in the Courier
See also School Log Book WMS_LOG1_P395 and another picture of the bus ALS_WHI_013
Date:19 July 1920
Source:Ron Green Collection


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