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Updated: 04 August 2012


The 2012 rally was planned for Sunday 5 August at Stokes Bay as usual. Although the year had started with a drought during the first three months, the rest of the year proved to be the wettest since 1912. As a result, the event had to be cancelled because the waterlogged rally site would not have been able to support heavily laden buses and coaches. The decision to cancel the rally was made on 25 July and published on the Society’s own website.

The rally team decided to have volunteers at the rally site and Gosport Bus Station on the day of the rally to inform anyone who had not seen the website notice. In addition, three preserved former Provincial buses – No. 1 (Leyland National), No. 3 (ACE Cougar) and No. 12 (Bristol RELL) – were operated on a twenty minute frequency from Gosport Bus Station to Stubbington via Stokes Bay on service 10 to provide free rides to anyone who turned up. The trips were operated during the morning only. About 70 people arrived as they were unaware of the cancellation. Some had travelled as far afield as Reading and Bristol. All understood about the decision to cancel the rally and appreciated the fact that volunteers greeted them to explain.

The Mayor of Gosport, Councillor Richard Dickson, was looking forward to driving a bus at the rally as well as judging the best preserved vehicle. Initially disappointed, he was granted his wish and drove the Leyland National on one complete journey and, by all accounts, he managed really well even though he had not driven anything that large for a few years!

Although the actual day was dry and bright, the field would not have been suitable for the heavy vehicles so the right decision was made after all.

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