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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Green and Cream - in Peebles

Peebles on the River Tweed is a delightful small town known for its famous Hydro and proximity to fine fishing. The wife's birthday (a big one) required a few days away (from Blackpool) and specifically to a place with not a tram in sight. Thus Peebles suited the week just fine Totally bereft of any railed transport - a certain Home Counties accountant had seen to that in the 1960s. Nearby Galashiels has seen return of trains (from Edinburgh) in a recently reopened stretch of railway, but this admirable project hasn't reached Peebles (yet). The former railway station is marked by a relief of a locomotive on the wall of a local store, but that's about it.

A walk through the town's main street however did provide for a providential out of the way viewing of a green and cream open top double deck bus that was definitely not from those parts. Purchased by a hotel chain to join its collection of old cars and other vehicles - the bus in fact originated with the Westcliff on Sea company in the mid 1950s, later being taken over by Eastern National. After withdrawal it was acquired by a Dutch company until 'rescued' by the Crieff Hotel company and shipped back to the UK - to head north to unfamiliar surroundings.

A magnificent sight and certainly an eye catching display.

The lower deck has been transformed with the addition of table seating whilst the top deck has gained a fixed awning to cover guests in inclement weather, or from the hot rays of the sun in Scotland's summers. Retaining its original 1950s cream livery with green band not at all dissimilar to Blackpool Corporation buses of that period - it is to be seen parked facing the main road from Galashiels when entering Peebles with photography permitted and indeed encouraged. The results of my camera being displayed here. A sample local operator's bus is also seen loading in Peebles with First Group operating most of the longer connecting services to Edinburgh and Carlisle (the X62 in the rear).

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