Thursday 17 June 2010

All Steamed Up at Whitby!

Poor information? - never looked : state of bus station? - didn't care : poor customer service? - never noticed.   So what gets fat bus bloke all hot and bothered?

A recent visit to Whitby introduced your intrepid investigator to the famous Whitby Steam Bus. Giving short tours round the town for a modest fee (considering it needs 3 staff; driver, fireman and conductor /commentator) is a real, no - a surreal experience.  

This claims to be the only road passenger carrying steam vehicle IN THE WORLD.   The vehicle, named Elizabeth, began life as a steam lorry in London and it found its way into the hands of "Vern" ...
... who, together with Mrs Vern and Vern junior, built a 30 seat bus body on it and now run a steam bus tours business.
The 15 min tour shows the power of the bus - which Mrs Vern claims will do 50 mph. It certainly climbed up to the Captain Cook Monument faster than most modern vehicles could manage.   The highlight was a demonstration by Vern - safely in his cab - that this was a REAL steam engine - as he showed the passengers sheets of flame from the boiler.
Go to Whitby, by bus from Middlesbrough and Guisborough, by bus from Scarborough, by bus from Leeds and York, by train from Middlesbrough or by North York Moors Railway from Pickering and...

Ride the fiery female that is Vern's Elizabeth.

P.S. the bus also carries a fourth member of staff - Vern's dog who, on our trip, slept in bored tranquility as the engine clanked and hissed around him - or her.

P.P.S.  Much more about Elizabeth etc. on-line via "whitbysteambus" in search engines!

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