In 1890, Maurice Reeson of Anstey bought a second-hand omnibus and started a service between Freeschool Lane in Leicester through Anstey to Bradgate and Newtown Linford. Reeson bought the bus from Hearn's Omnibus company, London. It was the first motorised bus to come to Anstey. Bradgate Road schoolteacher, Grace Bickley, recalled that on its first run it nearly decapitated the top-deck passengers when descending the Gallimores Hill (opposite today's County Hall) under the low branches of trees lining the road. This incident put an end to passengers on the top-deck which was restricted to carrying luggage.
The bus, nicknamed 'John Bull', was owned by the Huttons and the Boyers before being used as a garden shed. In 1984, Greg Duffin of Stonehurst Motor Museum discovered the body had survived with most of its timber and all of its glass intact. The discovery of a British Commer chassis of the same vintage in a Kettering scrapyard led to the beginning of a restoration spanning several years. The culmination of this was a reenactment of its first run from Freeschool Lane to Newtown Linford's Bradgate Arms in 2002, finishing with an appearance at the Anstey Gala.
Stonehurst Motor Museum, Stonehurst Farm, Mountsorrel
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Transport | Working Life | Leicestershire People | Science and Technology | The Changing World
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Page Last Updated: 13 May 2013