Briston family bus hire firm buys its third vintage double-decker
You know what they say - you wait ages for one and then three turn up.
Alan and Kim Wells, from Briston, bought a 1965 London Routemaster in 2013. The bus, which they christened Victoria, had carried passengers from Paddington, Marble Arch and Camberwell for almost half a century.
'We bought the first one purely as a hobby,' said Mr Wells, who works as a driving instructor. 'We thought if we hired it out so it paid for itself, it would be fine.'
But the couple soon needed another bus, to cope with demand from weddings, school proms and even funerals for their business Bus And Us. So Charlotte, built in 1966, joined the fleet.
Mrs Wells's father Albert Middleton, 71, who drove buses for the Eastern Counties Bus Company was roped in to help out with the driving.
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'It's a bit of a busman's holiday for me,' he said. 'I've been driving them 50 years, since '66 when we used to have a football team.'
Now Mrs Wells's son Liam, 26, is needed to take his turn behind the wheel, while his wife Lauren, 25, works as a hostess. The new addition and baby of the fleet, which picked up its first passengers in 1967, has not yet been named.
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'We didn't really want to buy number three,' said Mr Wells. 'We were looking for a single-decker and then she came up.'
Mrs Wells admitted keeping the gleaming buses spick and span was a labour of love.
'It takes six of us to give one of them a polish,' she said. 'It takes all day.'
After transporting couples and guests to and from weddings, Bus And Us chalks up a first in August, when a couple exchange vows on board one of its 64-seaters.