News From the Road - Before Our Trip & Days One & Two

 

Part One - Written by Nick Taylor
Coach Owner & Driver

Time for Reflection

We have been on the road for three days now.  Sunday was busy with a BBQ at my home for the team and close friends and family.  The BBC came during the afternoon to film the coach and conduct a few interviews.  John Watt (the quiet one from Shetland who used to drive the coach) found his voice and frankly has excitedly talked about the trip to all kinds of interviewers from TV and Radio Stations ever since.  John, it was because of your sincerity and passion that the coach is being returned to Shetland.  During the evening we drove the coach to Norwich Cathedral for an early start the next day.  Thanks to my wonderful wife Kay who worked so hard to make everyone welcome on Sunday and before and who I guess was equally delighted to see us go at last!

Monday morning was a very early start.  We left Weybread in Suffolk at 5.00am to be at Norwich Cathedral by 6.00am to prepare for live interviews with BBC 1 Breakfast.  Thank you Fiona and camera crew from both days and especially thank you to the Bishop of Norwich Graham James.  It was important to all of us that you gave your blessing and I hope you enjoyed the ride to Blickling Hall.  Onward to Holkham Hall.  My phone is going crazy-everyone wants to speak to me, TV, Radio and Newspapers.  This was made more frustrating as a phone signal on the Norfolk Coast was almost impossible.  I spend much of my time at Holkham Hall standing on the steps trying to reach everyone.  BBC Look East did an admirable job in reaching us before we leave for more interviews and again in following us into Lincolnshire for a follow up.  These journalists work hard. 

I am feeling a little stressed now.  Text messages come in at 3 to 4 a minute.  Philippa Green our hero Web Specialist is doing a fabulous job in continuously updating the Web Site, Facebook and creating a Twitter account.  All I know about Twitter is that it gets very important people into trouble.  So why do they use it?

A long journey and eventually we arrive in Gainsborough. Things have been happening meanwhile and we had breakfast the following morning with the Lady Mayor and her Consort.  We love Gainsborough and have learned much about this town.  Thank you Gordon and Greg for your kindness and support.  Thank you to the many kind wishes and smiles from the Gainsborough folk.  Well worth a visit.

Ivan the mechanic has been fiddling with the points on the coach and she leaves before the support vehicle.  No matter I think, we shall soon catch her up.  Not so, the old coach has another new lease of life and it's Rotherham before we catch her.  We notice many people by the road side waving and taking pictures.  We are amazed at the number of 'hits' our web site has been accessed.  Thank you everyone who reads our posts and contributes photos and comments.  We do appreciate this.  Anyhow, back to our journey.  We stop at Hebden Bridge Railway Station for some lunch and proceed to Howarth (Bronte Country).  A very very long hill but the old girl is driving well and doesn't miss a beat.  The passengers meanwhile do miss a beat every now and again.

We are now at The Rendezvous Hotel in Skipton who have looked after us well especially the lovely Lindsay who we would like to take with us.  Thank you Brian for hosting us. 

It has been a tiring couple of days but we are immensely proud of the joy the old coach appears to give to so many people.  Much better than some static museum?  Off to Lake District tomorrow and we'll have to call in to collect some Gingerbread for my daughter and pay a visit to Howerd, my family's friendly dragon who lives on the hill behind Rydal Water.  Grandchildren eh?  Miss you Isaac, Noah and Henry and more stories about Howerd when I get home. 

Another blog soon.  Bye for now, early night beckons. Nick