Arriva London’s RMC 1453 drives to abandoned village for charity

  
  

Early morning preparation
Early morning preparation

For the last seven years, for one day each year, a full bus service, route 23A, has been laid on to an abandoned village in the middle of Salisbury Plain.

This strange route starts in Warminster in Wiltshire, and ends in Imber, an isolated ghost village that has been under British military occupation for more than 70 years. 

The idea for the route started like many of the most unusual ideas in a pub, where Sir Peter Hendy, the then London Transport Commissioner, was having a drink with some friends. The conversation got around to ‘where’s the most unlikely place you could run a bus service to’ and after much discussion and a few more drinks, the place they decided on was Imber, 

Waiting for passengers to board
Waiting for passengers to board

The route is registered and licensed by the Bath Bus Company and what began as a lively conversation in a pub, has become a charitable service that provides a once a year link to a lost world.

Imber, the town in question, once had almost 500 residents. But in 1943, the War Office, which owned the surrounding land, evicted all of them so that it  could be used to train US troops for D-Day. The villagers were never allowed back, and the road to Imber, which remains part of the Army’s vast Salisbury Plain training grounds, is now closed for all but a few days each year.

The route is largely served by bus enthusiasts and this year Arriva London’s Heritage Fleet had the privilege of being part of the service, in the guise of RMC 1453, its Greenline Routemaster coach, which has also been adopted for historic tours by the National Trust.

The Arriva London crew welcomed aboard enough passengers during the day to contribute £297 to the grand total of over £6,500 which was collected for the two chosen charities, ‘The Friends of Imber Church’ and ‘The Royal British Legion’.

Passengers on board
Passengers on board

Although surrounded by the military, on a few days of each year, people are allowed back into the village, and the local church, which is not owned by the MoD, holds services.

Arriva London is always committed to supporting good causes and its Heritage Fleet, which is now an established part of London’s moving transport history, is always looking for new ways to get involved.

Other members of the fleet will be on show again in the coming months with RM 2217 in the Open City’s Architour, and the open topper RMC 1464, as a participant in this year’s Lord Mayor’s Show on November 14th. 

If you would like to learn more about the Heritage Fleet, and maybe take the opportunity of seeing how one of our historic vehicles could be utilised for your celebration or special event, then contact our Commercial team on  020 8271 3411.

  
  

Tags:   NewsThe Arriva Heritage FleetRMC 1453
Published : Thu 27th Aug. 2015
Related archived articles
Published : Thu 27th Oct. 2016 - Fri 2nd Dec. 2016
 
Arriva London helps Momentum give families a golden day out

Around 65 children and parents supported by Momentum children’s charity were treated to a very special trip to see the Christmas lights in London’s Regent Street last Saturday.

National treasure Mary Berry switches on Marlow’s Christmas Lights with the help of Arriva London’s Heritage Fleet open-top bus RMC 1464

One of the marvellous things about this time of year for Arriva London’s Heritage Fleet, is all the exciting and fun celebrations they get involved in.

Arriva London wins top award at the National Payroll Giving Exellence Awards

At Arriva London, we are committed to spreading the word of Payroll Giving to all of our staff, and with this in mind, for the last three years have developed a promotional campaign to do just that.

Arriva London features buses from two different eras in the 2016 Lord Mayor’s Show to support Payroll Giving

Despite the pouring rain, the 2016 Lord Mayor’s Show was just as amazing and exciting as all of the others that Arriva London has been involved with over the years.

New Engineering maintenance pits for Norwood bus garage

As part of our continuous improvement programme, investment has been made in our engineering facilities right across our seventeen garages.

The Arriva London’s Heritage Fleet helps serve up the longest lunch

It’s at this time of the year that The London Restaurant Festival celebrates the culinary delights of the city, with all manner of special events showcasing the great eateries across the capital.

 

Please wait...

 

Delivered by CSN MCL / All content copyright © 2007 - 2017 original copyright holders, except where individually stated. All rights reserved. E&OE.