Bus ride back to the 50s

YOU wait more than 50 years for one and then 30 come along all at the same time.The roads of Ipswich had a look of yesteryear when buses dating as far back as 1949 carried passengers around the town as part of Ipswich Transport Museum's annual come-and-ride day.

YOU wait more than 50 years for one and then 30 come along all at the same time.

The roads of Ipswich had a look of yesteryear when buses dating as far back as 1949 carried passengers around the town as part of Ipswich Transport Museum's annual come-and-ride day.

Organisers estimated more than 600 people took the chance to relive memories of bus travel of years gone by.

Yesterday's event was the eighth time the come-and-ride day has been held and Ipswich Transport Museum events organiser Mark Smith said it was a big success.

"We're very happy with the result. It's all gone very well considering some of the machines we have are 50-odd years old so it's not bad going."

One of the day's main events was the official hand-over by bus operator First in the Eastern Counties of a 1951 Bristol LS single-decker, which had been on loan to the museum for 10 years, to its permanent collection.

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Some of the Cobham Road museum's buses took passengers on free rides to the town centre, Ipswich railway station and to Martlesham on routes which the vehicles would have served during their heyday.

Mr Smith said many visitors had fond memories of the old vehicles.

"It's nostalgia. We have buses with conductors, it's the old sounds and smells," he said.

"It's for people to come and enjoy a little bit of history."

Buses in use included a petrol-engine Bedford coach dating from 1949 and a red Eastern Counties Bristol single-decker from 1950.

Eleven-year-old Matthew Davey travelled with his grandparents from Braintree, Essex, especially for the event and he rode on a double-decker.

Matthew said: "We went over the Orwell bridge. It was nice to see over the bridge because in a car you can't see over it.

"I did enjoy the ride. It's like looking into the past."

Meanwhile historic vehicles of another kind took centre stage alongside their more modern counterparts at the 13th Copdock Motorcycle Show, which was held at Suffolk Show Ground.

More than 8,000 motorcycle enthusiasts were estimated to have passed through the gates to view the 220 bikes officially on show, the 50-60 on show in motorcycle club stands and another 2,500 brought in by show-goers themselves.

Bikes on show included 'flat tankers' from the 1920s and ranged from latest model high-performance bikes to speedway bikes, mini bikes and children's go-karts.

Copdock Classic Motorcycle Club committee member Roger Taylor said: "We get people from all over England.

"The motorcycle community is a very close-knit community. People come to meet up with mates and look at other people's bikes."

British 600 Supersport rider Kieran Murphy was the show's celebrity guest and crowds were also treated to extreme riding displays.

Weblinks: www.ipswichtransportmuseum.co.uk, www.copdock-cmc.co.uk

Did you go to either of yesterday's events? What did you think? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Ipswich Transport Museum event organiser Mark Smith:

30 buses which date from 1949 to the present day

First in Eastern Counties donated a 1951 Bristol LS single decker

"It's a representative example of thousands of the type that ran in the 1950s and 1960s.

"The single decker was actually a prototype. Operational ones are rare nowadays.

"The important thing is as a representative vehicle it's typical of the vehicles that were used in the 1950s and 60s in the Ipswich area.

it was restored in 1980 and was on loan at Ipswich Transport Museum for 10 years

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