Showbus 2018 at Donington Park

News stories are free to read. Click here for full access to all the features, articles and archive from only £2.99.

Showbus held its final bus rally at Donington Park on Sunday, next year will see a new location. Richard Sharman attended the rally to see which vehicles stood out in a list of some 300

From 1993 to 2012 the rally was held at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, then moved to Long Marston airfield near Stratford-upon-Avon in 2013 due to a clash of events.

It was intended to return to Duxford in 2014, but unfortunately the museum had decided that the rally had run its course at the Imperial War Museum site.

In 2015 it looked like a move back to its original home of Woburn Abbey, but unfortunately rain a few days before caused vehicle parking issues with mud.

Showbus decided that a hard standing area for 2015 would be a good move, Donington Park in the East Midlands seemed ideal as it was central and had good motorways links.

For the next three years this was to be its new home, but the 2018 event last Sunday was to be the last.

Rally day 

The day dawned cold and grey, and unfortunately remained that way at a steady 12°C, only a few very short spells of drizzle first thing in the morning effected the large number of photographers gathered by the entrance to the site. Vehicles flowed into the site from 0830hrs until 1130hrs.

Whilst I was stood taking photographs for this feature I was speaking to an enthusiast who had travelled all the way from Hong Kong just for the rally, which shows that Showbus still is a truly international event that attracts visitors and often vehicles from many different countries around the world.

The pictures from this event showcase the diverse vehicle types that attended.

Looking to the future

Showbus has received many requests from enthusiasts and operators to return further South, with the cost of hiring Donington very high a decision was made to head for a new venue in 2019.

On the 29 September Hertfordshire County Showground will be the location of the rally, where it hopes that a family atmosphere will return as a promotion with Whipsnade Zoo will see a reduced entry fee and a frequent shuttle bus between the two sites.

Arriva Midlands entered ADL Enviro 400MMC 4544 which is used on the recently won University of Nottingham contract. The vehicle is also unusually fitted with a bike rack. It won the best post 1990 Group vehicle entry. RICHARD SHARMAN
Xelabus Scania Omnidekka J19 XEL returns to its former operating area for the day, having been new to Nottingham City Transport as its 735. It is greeted by a large number of enthusiasts after a long drive up from the South Coast. RICHARD SHARMAN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Worcester entered Salt Road liveried Volvo B7RLE/ Wrightbus Eclipse 69450, which won best 2000-2009 vehicle entry. It is seen during the only sunny spell of the day as it heads towards the A42 through the picturesque Leicestershire countryside. RICHARD SHARMAN
Former Greyhound MCI MC-9 Americruiser 4478 represented Ensignbus. RICHARD SHARMAN 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A rare sight on the road in 2018 is a Leyland Royal Tiger Doyen. E50 TYG was new to West Riding in 1988 for their Ridings Travel division, which is the livery it has been preserved in. Seen cresting the hill on arrival on Donington. RICHARD SHARMAN

Delaine Buses Volvo B8RLE/ Wrightbus Eclipse 3 AD68 DBL is currently the only example of its type in England, East Coast Buses in Scotland taking delivery of the first examples. This vehicle won Best modern bus post 2009. The Eclipse 3 fitting in nicely with the Atlantean in this classic livery. RICHARD SHARMAN