What greets you at the Isle of Wight Bus museum, now coming to the end of its second season in the former Southern Vectis depot at Ryde, is NOT a pay desk with lists of charges, persuasive signs asking you to Gift Aid your admission and charging extra for the process! There is none of this because it is FREE.
There is, however, an opportunity to make donations and to buy "stuff" (including a cuppa and a snack).
One bus is something of an oddity for a bus museum on and of the Isle of Wight. Author Robert Jowett bought an archetypical 1935 back loader (literally back loader!) Paris bus.
For many years the only way on to un autobus parisien was through a gap in the open "back end".
So popular was this verandah that, for a few years, it was retained for buses with conventional doors!
But fbb will not reveal the full delights of all the vehicles on show in the hope that his readers will pay the Museum a visit.
Only they can't!
At least not until Easter 2017 as the attraction closes today for the winter season. When fbb queried the wisdom of this decision, he was informed that the bus depot gets very cold and damp and many of the smaller displays would deteriorate significantly.
The depot has no heating!
fbb suggested a Winter Opening to include a mug of hot cocoa/soup!
So, dear reader, make a note in your diary to take a few days' break on the Island allowing half a day to explore the delights of the Bus and Coach Museum. You will not regret it.
But, whilst enjoying the buses, fbb is just as interested in the bits and pieces, the artefacts that have always been a part, often unsung, of the bus industry.
fbb will look at some of these displays in the museum tomorrow.