Buses Festival 2022 took place on August 7. Here are some of the highlights and award winners from Sywell Aerodrome, where the festival was held for the first time this year

The line-up of vehicles providing bus services on the day. Nearest to the camera is Leyland National HTA 844N, in Western National livery, built in 1974.

The gloriously sunny weather of this summer made for a pleasant day out at this year’s Buses Festival. The lineup of 55 vehicles, some brand new, others dating from as far back as 1935, gave an excellent snapshot of the UK bus industry through the years.

Feedback on the new venue for this year, Sywell Aerodrome, was broadly positive, with its art-deco structures, light aircraft and helicopters providing a pleasant backdrop to the lineup of buses and coaches. A big success was a presentation from Ray Stenning of Best Impressions. He talked through his career, thoughts on bus design and answered questions from a packed audience with standing-room only. It was clear form responses afterwards that attendees thoroughly enjoyed the discussion.

What follows are some of the highlights from this year’s event, which offered an stunning line-up of vehicles old and new.

Arriving at the festival is this year’s visitor’s choice winner, Wright Axcess Flolinebodied Scania L94UB, in First Blue Bus Great Yarmouth livery (S574 TPW), new to First Ipswich in 1999.
The stunning Pride livery on Nottingham City Transport’s Alexander Dennis Enviro400-bodied Scania, YP63 WFC, this year’s best modern double-decker. NCT also brought a more recent gas bus with Envrio400 MMC bodywork, YN69 DPO, and YX69 NPJ, an Enviro200 MMC, both of which can be seen to the right.
Masons’ Irizar i4-bodied Scania K360IB6 coach (YN22 YMA) took the best modern coach title. The brand-new vehicle is seen arriving at the event.
Delaine Buses’ Alexander Dennis Enviro200MMC (AD22 DBL), the operator’s newest bus at the time of the event, won best modern single-decker. Turn to p30 for a feature on Delaine in this issue.
Amongst this year’s lineup of AEC Routemasters was RM7, new in 1959.
Leyland Tiger Cub PUJ 781 in Whittles Coaches livery was one of a pair of beautifully preserved Burlingham Seagull-bodied coaches at the event, and the winner of best preserved coach. The other, a Guy Arab LUF (1293 RE) is seen to the left. The Tiger Cub, built in 1957, was one of four bought by Whittles which entered service for the 1958 summer season. It stayed in service until 1980.

2022 Award winners

Visitors choice: Wright Axcess Floline Scania L94UB, First Blue Bus Great Yarmouth 574, S574 TPW, 1999

Best modern single-decker: Alexander Dennis Enviro200MMC, Delaine Buses 170, AD22 DBL, 2022

Best modern double-decker: Alexander Dennis Enviro400 Scania N230UD, Nottingham City Transport 603 Pride, YP63 WFC, 2014

Best modern coach: Irizar i4 C80F Scania K360IB6, Masons YMA-81, YN22 YMA, 2022

Best preserved single-decker: ECW Dennis Lancet, Southern Vectis 516, DL 9706, 1935

Best preserved double-decker: Roe Crossley DD42/3, Northampton Corporation 146, VV 9146, 1946

Best preserved coach: Burlingham Seagull Leyland Tiger Cub, Whittles Coaches, PUJ 781, 1957

Alexander RL-bodied Leyland Olympian (H654 VVV) was one of the buses providing driving on the day’s bus route.
This Dennis Lancet, new in 1935 to Southern Vectis on the Isle of Wight, was named best preserved single-decker. When new, it had a Harrington body but that was replaced in 1944 by this one built by ECW (Eastern Coach Works) at its wartime factory at Irthlingborough in Northamptonshire. ECW’s main factory in Lowestoft was evacuated in May 1940 as its coastal location put it at high risk in the event of a German invasion; it reopened in 1945.
A pair of doubledeckers in Northampton Corporation livery, part of a fleet brought to the event by Northampton Transport Heritage. On the left is ANH 154, a Northern Coachbuildersbodied Daimler CVG6, new in 1947. Predating it by a year is VV 9146, a Roe-bodied Crossley DD42/3, which was named best preserved double-decker this year. The authenticity of the vehicle extends to its onboard adverts, which are the same as those found onboard when it was saved from the scrapheap for preservation.