48 years flyby for Showbus

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Sunday 27 September saw over 70 coaches and buses descend on The Chilterns for a unique event in Showbus’s long history

Showbus is a staple in many enthusiasts’ and hundreds of operators’ diaries every year. For enthusiasts, it is the attraction of hundreds of coaches and buses from all over the United Kingdom gathered in one place, along with market stalls. It also gives operators the chance to show off their fleets.

The days of the event taking place at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford are very much over unfortunately, and whilst many other locations have been tried since, 2019 saw Showbus find what it hopes will be its home going forward in the shape of the Hertfordshire County Showground.

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As with many other events in the rally calendar, Covid-19 put an end to the 2020 event taking place due to social distancing. However, Martin Isles and his team are not ones to just give in, so this year’s event is a very different one as Martin explained in the event’s brochure: “There is no need to tell anyone what a horrendous year 2020 has proved to be. It became clear early on that our traditional display, attracting thousands of visitors and hundreds of buses, would be impossible to stage as we watched, one by one, all the enthusiasts’ events across the country being cancelled. We could have joined the list of casualties and waited until 2021 but that would have put our fiftieth show back a year and we are already putting things in place for 2022. So we came up with our Covid-19 safe flyby, stretching visitors along a 30-mile route, where we can potentially have 50,000 spectators socially spaced.”

Cllr Mazamal Hussain, Mayor of High Wycombe, told CBW: “High Wycombe welcomes Showbus to the town centre at this difficult time. It is a great event to be involved with, and promotes public transport at the same time.”

The flyby saw the show’s entries travel between both Oxford Services, Wheatley via Thame, Stokenchurch and High Wycombe, to Beaconsfield and vice versa. Departures commenced at 1000hrs from both service areas, with vehicles allocated a departure time to ensure that bunching did not occur along the route, which seemed to work well.

Whilst vehicles were not able to gather in one location, they were able to pause in various locations along the route to allow for photographs. One of those locations was the High Street in High Wycombe where the Showbus Traders Village was located on the site of the Wycombe Market.

For a new concept, the event went very well, with photographers able to get a variety of photos in different locations, although the sun seemed to favor Oxfordshire on the day.