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Cavalcade of historic buses follow original route from Helston to The Lizard

By bevcoumbe  |  Posted: August 13, 2013

  • The Great Western Guy as it was at the centenary run to The Lizard in 2003.

  • Three generations of Cornish buses - the 1927 Great Western Guy is seen next to a GWR liveried Bristol VR painted to celebrate the centenary of the first motorised bus service in Cornwall which ran from Helston to the Lizard on 17 August 1903. Pic by Colin Billington.

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This Saturday will be 110 years to the day that the first Great Western Railway bus service was launched from Helston to The Lizard.

The Thames Valley & Great Western Omnibus Trust is celebrating the inaugural service of the GWR bus with a cavalcade of historical buses along the original route.

Bringing the only restored GWR bus - the first time that it will be seen on local roads since 1932- together with the Cornwall Bus Preservation Society and First Kernow, the buses will leave Helston Railway Station at the original time of 11.35am.

The buses will then travel for one hour, stopping at the Top House Inn at The Lizard. After lunch the cavalcade will set off once more arriving back at Helston for 2.34pm.

The 1927 GWR Guy bus is being brought from Maidenhead specially for the event. The bus, which originally operated from Penzance depot of the GWR Road Motors, later became a holiday home at Perranporth and survived, mechanically intact, until it was rescued for preservation in 1972.

It was purchased for restoration by trust chairman, Colin Billington, in 1997. Since then it has been completely restored to its original condition.

It came to Cornwall in for the centenary in 2003 at which time the body was just a skeleton and again in April 2011 when it was displayed at the Penzance Vintage Bus Running Day.

The Cornwall Bus Preservation Society’s 1978 Bristol VR double decker, which was painted in GWR livery for the centenary of this famous bus service in 2003, will also take part, joining one of First Kernow’s modern low floor buses, which has been specially painted in traditional GWR livery.

First who operate this route today are the successors to the GWR, operating both buses and railways, the latter under the First Great Western franchise, in Cornwall.

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