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.......preserving our commercial road transport history for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations..........
  WHOTT RALLY 2015  
  WHOTT held its 13th rally on Sunday 16th August 2015 and incorporated a number of firsts. To celebrate the launch of our latest publication – An illustrated fleet history of the Bere Regis & District Motor Services by Stuart Shelton – we moved from our usual Exeter site to the Top o' Town car park in Dorchester where Bere Regis once had their offices and main garage, and changed from our traditional September date to the school holidays to appeal more to families at the height of the tourist season. However, the major change for us was to move the focus away from a static rally to a running day, and the public were rewarded by nearly 2000 passenger journeys made with 15 vehicles on 11 routes. A further 14 vehicles and several classic cars were on display in the car park.

Star attractions were the last remaining BR&D vehicle CLJ 413Y, acquired and reactivated by Stuart Shelton only a few days before the event, and the miniature coach which once adorned the Top o' Town offices, brought all the way from Walsall by Geoff and Linda Price. The Mayor of Dorchester joined us in the morning, taking great interest in the exhibits and extending his official engagement to include a circular tour to Came in Tony Hazell's superb Albion. The public were noticeably impressed by Mark Withers' twin Bedord OBs, while enthusiasts spent some time studying the differences between them. We were pleased to welcome several former BR&D employees, and to gain some new members of the Trust.

WHOTT is very grateful to Go Southcoast subsidiary Damory for sponsoring the event and bringing its cherished fleet, and to West Dorset District Council for allowing us space in the public car park (free on Sundays) for the static vehicles and layover of buses between services, and for enabling us to run a stall by special licence. The public car park was still operational for other visiting coaches and the general public, and benefitted from an on-site cafe and toilets open all day. Illustrated reports have appeared in the local press and the main bus enthusiast publications.

A fully illustrated souvenir programme provided a guide to each route, as well as timetables and details of vehicles attending. Eleven different routes were run to delightful double-barrelled Dorset destinations such as Compton Valence, Litton Cheney, Cerne Abbas, Winterbourne Steepleton and Bere Regis, as well as Piddlehinton, Puddletown, Tolpuddle, Charminster, Martinstown, Bovington and Poundbury. Some copies of the programme remain for those who would could not attend, and we have a stock of both Stuart's new book and Andrew Waller’s complementary history of Bere Regis Motor Services. Finally, the event launched our new range of mugs, some of which are already sold out. Details of how to order all these are given on our shop page.

The Trustees are extremely grateful for the time and effort freely given by volunteers to make the rally a success. Many thanks to everyone who made the day run smoothly and we hope that you will be able to support us again in 2016.

Robert Crawley, Chairman

The following vehicles attended:


No Reg No Make Original Owner/Operator Entered by
A1 GEL686V Bristol VRT Damory Coaches 5070 Group
A2 KPW 986 Bedford OB C J Eagle, Castle Acre Mark Withers
A4 TDV 217J Leyland Panther PSUR1B/1R Exeter City Transport 217 WHOTT
A5 VDV 137S Bristol VRT/SL3/6LXB Devon General 937 WHOTT
A6 A927 MDV Ford Transit D160 Devon General 7 WHOTT
A7 L929 CTT Iveco F59-12 Devon General 1000 WHOTT
A10 YDL 315 Bristol FS6G Southern Vectis 570 Nigel Harris
A11 CTT 518C AEC Regent V Devon General 518 Terry Bennett
A12 GNJ 583N Bristol VRT Southdown 583 Alan Bennett
A13 BFJ 175L Bristol VRT Western National 1075 Graham Thorogood
A14 WJ55 CTE Dennis Trident First Hants & Dorset 32767 Ricki Frost - First Hants & Dorset
A15 RHA 919G BMMO S23 Midland Red 5919 Robin Woodcock
A16 YJ12 GWV Optare Solo EV Damory 3820 Damory
A17 BFX 666T Bristol VR Wilts & Dorset 4413 Morebus
A18 HF12 GVP Volvo B7RLE Morebus 2251 Morebus
A20 DAE 511K Bristol RELL Bristol Omnibus C1257 Denis Strange
A21 VDV 134S Bristol VRT Western National 934 Dave Fricker
A22 VDV 122S Bristol VRT Western National 1122 Josh Mann
  JDV 754 Bedford OB Mortehoe & Woolacombe Coaches Mark Withers
  LFM 320 Leyland Tiger PS1 Crosville KA244 Steve Morris
  A990 XAF Leyland Olympian North Devon 1813 Carl Romer


No Reg No Make Original Owner/Operator Entered by
B1 KYA 284Y Leyland Tiger Wakes, Sparkford Steven Lester
B2 OTT 98 Bristol LS6G Royal Blue 1299 John Grigg (for WHOTT)
B5 LOD 495 Albion Victor Way & Son, Crediton Tony Hazell
B6 WDK 562T AEC Reliance 760 Yelloway Philip Platt
B7 HF08 UHS Scania Irizar Damory 7101 Damory
B8 CLJ 413Y Bristol LHS Bere Regis Coaches Stuart Shelton


No Reg No Make Original Owner/Operator Entered by
C1 KGV 649F Morris 10cwt van Rogers Model Shop, Bury St Edmunds John Dancy
C2 BCM 650 Johnstone-Harrington Midget Hardings Coaches, Birkenhead Geoff Price


(C) John Roberts

Photographs of previous rallies


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