2018 South East Bus Festival! 

This is my article on a great day out at the 2018 South East Bus Festival on 7th April 2018. I hope you enjoy reading!- Michael Amos, The SEBEG

Kicking off the 2018 rally season in style was the eighth annual South East Bus Festival. Taking place at the Detling show ground in Kent as part of the Heritage Transport Show, the event promised an exciting array of vehicles both old and new, and my expectations were high for the event. 

Upon arriving at the event just before 10am, an impressive influx of buses was still arriving at the show ground. Some were far travellers to the event, none more so than H132GVM, a preserved MagicBus liveried Dennis Dominator that came all the way down from North West England to attend this event, and it proved to be one of the highlights of the show. Of course, many vehicles based within Kent and Sussex attended the event as well: Rambler, Stagecoach South East, Nu-Venture and Arriva are just some of the public operators that brought vehicles to the event. Indeed, Arriva contributed a satisfying amount of vehicles to the event since they play a significant part in organising it. Bringing vehicles like Sapphire ADL Enviro 200 MMC YX17NYS and Sapphire ADL Enviro 400 MMC YX17NEN allowed the company to really show off their most recent investments. 

Above: Preserved Northern Counties bodied Dennis Dominator 15032 H132GVM, now owned by the Town and District Transport Trust, is seen on display at the event.

In terms of preserved buses, there were many first timers in addition to many of the regulars, including the aforementioned H132GVM, the recently repainted G29TGW and the recently acquired L345KCK, an Alexander PS Volvo B10M that I had the pleasure of travelling on to the event. But the star of the show- in my opinion at least- was N389LPN, a recently preserved Alexander RL bodied Volvo Olympian that has been repainted into the stunning Stagecoach stripes livery.

Above: Privately preserved Alexander RL Volvo Olympian 389 N389LPN is seen on display at the event.

Above: An impressive display of buses and coaches is seen at the event. Believe it or not, this was just one of several rows of vehicles!

Away from the buses themselves, the event had a great selection of bus memorabilia in the Clive Emson Conference Centre; there was what seemed like an infinite amount of bus models, old timetables and pictures to choose from and buy, not to mention the very well laid out model displays. Plenty of food outlets were also available to cater for the large numbers of people. All areas of the event worked together to create an excellent day out. With the display numbering up to 150 vehicles and all other aspects being very well organised, Detling can definitely be described as one of the best days out there is for a bus enthusiast.