A bus rally was a chance for mobile play projects to get together, to share their working experiences, to show off their converted vehicles and to meet other like minded play workers.
The vintage bus rallies were similarly, a chance for bus enthusiasts to get together and to talk about buses to other like minded enthusiasts.
The play workers were not necessarily as enthused by the vehicle; it was merely a means to get the service to the areas of need. From young to old, health issues or information delivery, if you have wheels you can take the message direct to the location.
The two types of enthusiasts looked at each other with scepticism and possibly a bit of critical dismay. But are they so different?
When the Bewbush Playbus first came into operation it was an innovating new idea to use a bus in such a way. The project was visited by other areas who wanted to use this idea for their own service delivery and as such many projects in the South-East and beyond looked at Bewbush and followed suit.
The group users saw the conversion first, while the bus enthusiast saw the vehicle.
It was always exciting to see the livery of each bus and knowing it was the outside that would attract the attention of the users. It told the story that this was no ordinary bus and you just had to look inside.
In 2014, as part of the Transport for London’s celebrations, a sculpture trail was set up. The sculptures, of buses, showed the role that the London bus had in the city. Each bus sculpture was painted in bright bold eye-catching colours, much like many Playbus play-projects.
It made me realise that there is a place for both the enthusiast as well as the play-worker.
At a transport rally you might get a chance to ride on a double-decker bus, at a Playbus rally you might get a chance to sit and play, either way the bus was the key.
When the Bewbush Playbus was involved in fund-raising it was always better to have the bus with us. So in answer to, ‘What is the Playbus?’ we could say take a look. From this the exhibition of photographs was started, which in turn led to the publication of the ‘Bewbush Playbus’ book and now to ‘Jay-Jay and his adventures.
He has a story to tell.
Where to get my books
Books are available from the following: My Books
Don't forget to look and ask in your local Museum, book shop or even buy on your Sainsburys on line shop!