“What do you remember about the bus?” I asked.
"The friendship and it was always full of laughter. It created happy memories" was the reply.
The book was about our local history project full of photographs of what it did from start to finish as first an AEC Regent bus and then a Leyland Atlantean. I thought it would be only of local interest too.
But I was wrong. There have been those who wanted to share their project work too. Not always a bus, a mobile project which takes its services to the children.
What is a ‘Playbus?
The first ever mobile project, the ‘Playmobile’, was a pensioned-off bus bought in 1969 from the Liverpool Corporation. It served the area of Paddington within Liverpool, which was considered an educational priority area. After a lot of searching a photograph of the bus was finally found.
The National Playbus Association, now Working on Wheels, aim to improve the quality of life for children, young people and adults who live in isolated communities or where there are poor community resources by taking a wide range of services and facilities to their local area.
I have also been able to look through the National Playbus Archive of photographs and began editing and sorting.
I have started to put a few photographs on the ‘Bewbush Playbus and its Memories’ page and have been surprised at the responses and comments from other users around the country and it has brought to light how valuable play provision is. A summer holiday and a need to entertain and keep children safe is very important. The beauty of mobile provision is the compact self-contained nature.
Philip Avery’s comment on leaving the Bewbush Playbus was “Whatever happens, keep it going.”
Yes the ‘Bewbush Playbus’ book keeps our memory going and hopefully, despite ‘Jay-Jay’ being the fictional tale of our bus, the book might spark memories and interest across the country and an interest in play provision!
Mick Conway's comment sums up most of Mobile Play provision! Yes the Bus was exciting but play came in many shapes and forms! Oh and staff commitment!