Airbears

‘Bewbush is one of the many neighbourhood districts in the town of Crawley.

Silver Jubilee AwardWith money from the Queens Silver Jubilee Community Awards 1977 and the Girl Guides Association, British Caledonian Airways and The British Airports Authority, a bus was converted for play support in the district. It was decided that a bus would best suit the needs of Bewbush as it would be mobile and could move as the area expanded.’

‘The Bewbush Playbus and the stories are brought to life by Sue Wickstead a Crawley author and teacher.’ (Crawley Museum)

This summer sees Gloria the Summer Fun Bus off on her journey with a story to share.

After many years of hard work and fund-raising, the committee and staff team, raised the money to buy and convert a new Playbus. The project met with other mobile users around the country networking with play-workers, sharing and learning ideas as well finding out about possible funding opportunities and support.The New Bus

Summer Playscheme MesthamThe Playbus offered a very successful playgroup in term time, now with the new mobile the project looked at what other things it could offer. Further groups were set up, including Parent and Toddler support Groups, Health Support and also Summer holiday Playschemes.

In the summer of 1990, the project was asked to help out at Gatwick Airport. The bus was often seen parked up at the airport, where it offered a quiet haven for children (and adults) caught up in airport delays. This association led to British Caledonian and BAA offering to paint the new livery.British Airways Jumbo Jet

Gary and Gloria Gatwick, the airport teddy bear mascots, were included on the new painted exterior and reflected the bus links with Gatwick Airport.

Gary and Gloria GatwickEach of the UK airports had teddy bear mascots. This is where Gloria got her name in this storybook.

Do you know the names of the other Airport Mascots?

The Playbus went on to provide children’s groups and play opportunities around the town.

Gloria the Summer Fun Bus

She is painted with bright colours that make her stand out.

Now she is ready for the summer of fun, but will Max enjoy the adventure?

Why don’t YOU join in the fun too?Gloria the Summer Fun Bus - Picture book

The real Gloria, NRG 176M, was a Leyland Atlantean bus which came into service in 1989 to replace the old AEC Regent Bewbush Playbus, JJK 261.

Gloria the Summer fun Bus, will soon be heading off on her Blog tour journey.

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Where to get my books

Books are available from the following:   My Books

Amazon.co.uk     Amazon.com     Waterstones    

Barnes&Noble    Foyles (amongst others)

Don't forget to look and ask in your local Museum, book shop or even buy on your Sainsburys on line shop!

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