Chance to go behind the scenes of First Eastern Counties bus depot and ride vintage vehicles in aid of EACH

A Bristol L bus, part of which was built in Lowestoft, which was operated by Eastern Counties bus op

A Bristol L bus, part of which was built in Lowestoft, which was operated by Eastern Counties bus operator from 1950 until1968. The bus will be operating Norwich on August 13 from First Eastern Counties' depot on Roundtree Way, Norwich. Picture: SYD EADE - Credit: SYD EADE

Families will be able to learn the secrets behind a major Norfolk bus firm as well as donate to a children's hospice.

First Eastern Counties is opening its Norwich depot to the public for the first time on Sunday, August 13.

The free inaugural Norwich Bus Bash, which will involve trips around the city on vintage buses, is taking place from 11am-4pm on Roundtree Way.

Trips will be free but passengers can give donations for the special journeys, which will go towards East Anglia's Children's Hospices' (EACH) nook appeal.

The appeal was launched two years ago to raise £10m for a new purpose-built facility at Framingham Earl, Norfolk, which will replace the charity's Quidenham base.


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David Jordan, First Eastern Counties marketing manager, said: 'We have been operating bus services in Norwich for over 80 years and it was decided to celebrate our heritage with a special day of events across the city. The Norwich Bus Bash will see heritage buses operating around the city centre to our much improved and expanding bus depot at Roundtree Way, where we will have in place a variety of fun and informative events.

'We are pleased to be supporting the nook appeal by EACH, which does sterling work with children and young people across Norfolk and Suffolk.'

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Family-friendly activities at the depot will include guided tours; a live demonstration on how buses work; opportunities to have photos taken in a bus cab; and a ride through a bus wash.

There will also be a prize competition and the chance to meet First Eastern Counties mascot Freddie.

Throughout the day, heritage buses dating back to the 1950s will run through the city from the depot every 10 minutes.

The vehicles have been donated by private owners and members of preservation groups.

Some of them used to operate in the city many years ago and some of the vehicles have come from across the UK.

Further details about the day will be on www.firstgroup.com/norfolk-suffolk two weeks before the event.

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