Sunday, 5 April 2015

We Own It, Hooray! And It Opens TODAY!

The Isle of Wight Bus Museum.
Opened in a rather unassuming shed on Newport Quay ...
... by celebrated ex bus driver and jolly good egg Wally, the museum was cramped ...
... and had no toilets or refreshment facilities. Nevertheless it was a credit to its founding fathers and to the tireless efforts of the volunteers who kept it going.

After several abortive and expensive attempts to find an alterntive site (Suggstions being at Havnstreet Steam Railway or the Newport Military Museum) it became apparent that the 1930s Southern Vectis bus depot at Ryde might be available at a "reasonable" price.
And it was; funds were raised and the whole caboodle was purchased outright. The deal included providing on-going parking for SV school buses ...
... but, otherwise the site was totally available.

So what is now on offer? Most importantly, more room. A wider range of ex Southern Vectis vehicles can now be displayed.
Plus vehicles of other Island operators.
For more info on the Tadpoles double decker, see a previous blog (here).

Frequent Island visitors will well remember these distinctive rear loaders operating on the busy Ryde, Newport and West Cowes service.
Or should that be between "Voyage, Port Nouveau etc Vaches de l'Ouest"? Only joking!

There is much more room for displays ...
... and all sorts of ephemera will be available to study or just gaze upon.
And there is a small cafe with additional seating insider the former Shanklin Steamer open-roofed single decker.
And joy of OMB joys, there are toilets ...
... fully wheelchair accessible.

For the record, the depot is on Park Road Ryde, s short walk northwards from Ryde St Johns Road railway station (Museum top left).
fbb was given a tour when he was on the Island three weeks ago and pompously pronounced that "you'll never be ready for paying customers."

"Quite right," replied his guide, who finds time amongst his onerous duties as this blog's Island correspondent (senior!), to be the Museum's treasurer, "that's because we we won't be welcoming any paying customers!"

Baffled expression on fbb's ample visage.

"Because," Alan continues with a wry smile, "we won't be charging them!"

Shock, horror. Zut alors. Steps Back in amazement. etc. etc.

The Museum takes its charitable status very seriously and various planning consents have been built upon its value to the community. SO ADMISSION IS FREE!

Income will come from donations (heavily encouraged, and rightly so!), cafe sales, shop sales, running days and other things, like parking rental from IoW Tours.
The purchase of the depot has been funded from donations and loans from members, so the whole shebang looks like it will be financially viable. Well done all concerned.

And a final tip.
If you want to watch the Island's ex London Underground trains chunter past, you could go and stand on St Johns Road bridge or (but don't tell anyone you read it here) ...
... nip out of the rear fire exit (neither you nor the door being alarmed) where the trains run just past that window and at eye level. fbb has suggested a proper viewing gallery would be another attraction.
Please do try to visit this excellent shed of beauties. The Museum's web site is (here).
And, Talking of Opening
Very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, carrying the spices they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the entrance to the tomb, so they went in; but they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. They stood there puzzled about this, when suddenly two men in bright shining clothes stood by them. Full of fear, the women bowed down to the ground, as the men said to them, “Why are you looking among the dead for one who is alive? He is not here; he has been raised."

Why should his mega-miracle be so hard to take on board? If there is a God, he is not bounded by the laws of Physics, he is All-Mighty. Raising someone from the dead is, by definition, no problem.

It took his follows a few weeks and some more super-natural happening to be convinced but, eventually, convinced they were.
And in a little less than 2000 years no one has found any meaningful evidence that contradicts that empty tomb. Hey, if you were the Jewish or Roman authorities, wouldn't you aim to find and display the body? Easy-peasy way to knock the whole resurrection "deception" on the head.

But no one ever did.

So it wasn't all over.

It was just beginning.

 Next rail blog : Monday 6th April 

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