Fenland Bus Fest

We rarely go to VW specific shows now because they all have a very similar style and many of the same traders visit each one year after year. However, we do enjoy using our campervan to visit other shows and it seemed a bit rude not to go to this particular show as it was actually taking place in a village just a few miles away.

The show was in two locations and consisted of a classic bus show held in Whittlesey and a classic car show which took place in Ramsey. We entered our campervan in the classic car section of the show and on the morning of the show we mentally prepared ourselves and our van for the tiring 1/2 mile drive from our house to the display area,


We were obviously the coolest car in the car park, but we’re used to that. We did briefly consider selling food and drink from the van but there’s not many car shows which can boast a smashing pub and a top class fish and chip shop right in the heart of the show.

Jolly-SailorFull marks for organisation Ramsey, there is even a bakery, a newsagent and a library just out of this picture, and there’s not many car shows that can rise to that level of visitor comfort.

I spent a very pleasant half hour chatting to this guy, Fred Clarke.


He was exhibiting his real Austin 1100 but had also brought along some of his wooden models and I was lucky enough to talk to him at length about the wooden car and aircraft models he makes in his shed at home.


All made from reclaimed pieces of wood from old furniture which he’d either rescued or had donated to him and the quality of his work and his attention to detail were outstanding.


Wandering around the show I was reminded that as a small boy I could recognise almost all the cars I saw by the smallest details such as a hubcap or a rear wing, or in the case of this Austin 6, the very distinctive headlight. With modern cars I have trouble even knowing whether it’s a Ford, a Honda or a Diahasu, let alone which particular model I’m looking at. I put it down to modern cars being really really boring.


Here are a few more of the cars in the show demonstrating how little of them you need to see in order to know which car it is.

starting with the lovely lines of a Rover 2000


A Mk II Zephyr


and an instantly recognisable Morris Minor made famous by nurse Gladys Emmanuel from the hit series Open All Hours.


I was pleased to see an lovely example of my very first car at the show, a Ford Prefect. My car was black as well but it didn’t look as pristine as this fine example does, but then, mine only cost me £15.


Because the show was split between two locations, and because it was a show celebrating classic buses, it added to the magic when the organisers used the classic buses to run a free service not only between Ramsey and Whittlesey but also to and from many of the smaller outlying villages.


Really the only bus I can properly remember from my childhood is the archetypal open backed red London bus which everyone used to jump on and off of before it had completely stopped. There was actually an example of an open backed routemaster in the show but it had been parked so close to a wall that no photos were possible. Here’s one that’s ‘almost’ the same.


The centre of Whittlesey played host to these, and many more buses during the show. I thoroughly enjoyed both parts of the show as well as riding on a classic old double decker which even had the round mirror rather than the more modern periscope, for the driver to see if we were behaving ourselves upstairs.


Just to keep up my blog tradition of having a completely gratuitous selfie in each post as a homage to Alfred Hitchcock, here I am having a few quiet minutes with a coffee and a book.


If you look very carefully you’ll see the wire to the remote shutter coming up from the floor and going into my left hand with my left thumb taking the picture. The camera is on a tripod and I used a shutter speed of 1/3 second to blur passers-by and to suggest how I become completely immersed in a book whilst the rest of the World rushes by unseen and unheeded. Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s generally too dark to read.



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