|WHOTT RALLY 2015|
WHOTT held its 13th rally on Sunday
16th August 2015 and incorporated a number of firsts. To celebrate
the launch of our latest publication – An illustrated fleet history
of the Bere Regis & District Motor Services by Stuart Shelton – we
moved from our usual Exeter site to the Top o' Town car park in
Dorchester where Bere Regis once had their offices and main garage,
and changed from our traditional September date to the school
holidays to appeal more to families at the height of the tourist
season. However, the major change for us was to move the focus away
from a static rally to a running day, and the public were rewarded
by nearly 2000 passenger journeys made with 15 vehicles on 11
routes. A further 14 vehicles and several classic cars were on
display in the car park.
Star attractions were the last remaining BR&D vehicle CLJ 413Y, acquired and reactivated by Stuart Shelton only a few days before the event, and the miniature coach which once adorned the Top o' Town offices, brought all the way from Walsall by Geoff and Linda Price. The Mayor of Dorchester joined us in the morning, taking great interest in the exhibits and extending his official engagement to include a circular tour to Came in Tony Hazell's superb Albion. The public were noticeably impressed by Mark Withers' twin Bedord OBs, while enthusiasts spent some time studying the differences between them. We were pleased to welcome several former BR&D employees, and to gain some new members of the Trust.
WHOTT is very grateful to Go Southcoast subsidiary Damory for sponsoring the event and bringing its cherished fleet, and to West Dorset District Council for allowing us space in the public car park (free on Sundays) for the static vehicles and layover of buses between services, and for enabling us to run a stall by special licence. The public car park was still operational for other visiting coaches and the general public, and benefitted from an on-site cafe and toilets open all day. Illustrated reports have appeared in the local press and the main bus enthusiast publications.
A fully illustrated souvenir programme provided a guide to each route, as well as timetables and details of vehicles attending. Eleven different routes were run to delightful double-barrelled Dorset destinations such as Compton Valence, Litton Cheney, Cerne Abbas, Winterbourne Steepleton and Bere Regis, as well as Piddlehinton, Puddletown, Tolpuddle, Charminster, Martinstown, Bovington and Poundbury. Some copies of the programme remain for those who would could not attend, and we have a stock of both Stuart's new book and Andrew Waller’s complementary history of Bere Regis Motor Services. Finally, the event launched our new range of mugs, some of which are already sold out. Details of how to order all these are given on our shop page.
The Trustees are extremely grateful for the time and effort freely given by volunteers to make the rally a success. Many thanks to everyone who made the day run smoothly and we hope that you will be able to support us again in 2016.
Robert Crawley, Chairman
The following vehicles attended:
(C) John Roberts
Photographs of previous rallies