DG100 - the year so far

Sunday, 8 September:

After the great success of the Newton Abbot event, our mini Running Day in Torquay was never intended to compete in terms of either scale or variety.  It was felt, however, that an event set in the heartland of Devon General territory was wholly appropriate for the centenary year.

Three vehicles attended: Regent V 817 provided by the Devon General Omnibus Trust, Atlantean 872 provided by Stagecoach and Sea Dog Atlantean 925 provided by Jonathan Hawkins.  The day was based around the bus stops near the former Pavilion Theatre and the route involved a simple circuit along the sea front, turning at the station, and a return via the Strand.

Some 856 passenger journeys were recorded during the day and, by all accounts, many fond memories we re-kindled.  We are grateful, as ever, to the vehicle owners and all who helped make the event a success.

Photos courtesy of Paul Jenkins


Sunday, 4 August:

Our setpiece event of the year was the Rally and Running Day held at Newton Abbot Racecourse.  Some 60 vehicles were in attendance including, we believe, the largest gathering of former DG buses in many years.  Click here for a full list of those that attended.

Our friends at Stagecoach South West had greatly assisted us by promoting the event in advance and this, together with our own publicity ensured a very healthy turnout with literally thousands of people visiting the site between 10 and 4.

The spaces in front of the racecourse buildings were divided into two main parking areas with static displays in one and buses on layover between services in the other.  This ensured ample photographic opportunities whilst allowing reasonably free transit on and off the site for buses operating the free services to Newton Abbot Railway Station, Teignmouth (open top), Chudleigh, Bovey Tracey and Ipplepen.  These vehicles ran consistently full throughout the day and duplicates were provided to cope with passenger numbers.

To one side of the main display area were the stallholders offering a range of bus-related items including models, photographs and other collectables.  Our own DGS Sales Stand was also busy all day.

The Exhibition Buses provided by Stagecoach and WHOTT completed the main display area.

A great day was had by all.  The DG100 committee would particularly like to thank the owners and crews of the Devon General vehicles whose participation enabled us to hold the event. The great support we had as well from the owners and crews of buses from other fleets really added to the variety of vehicles present.

Here are a few photos from the day, with thanks to Dave Godley, Steve Hardiman and Kameron Allan:

DG100-1DG100-2DG100-3DG100-4Steve Hardiman

Thursday, 18 July:

The 'Civic Run' has been a couple of years in the planning and always considered as being one of the two 'set piece' events of the DG100 calendar.  The intention was to commemorate the inauguration of one of the two original routes operated by DG in 1919 (Route '1' from Exeter to Paignton via Chudleigh and Newton Abbot and Route '2' from Exeter to Torquay via Dawlish, Teignmouth and Newton Abbot).  As many still consider the '2' as THE iconic Devon General route, it was a simple decision to select this for our commemoration run.

Invitations were extended to the mayors and other civic dignitaries from all of the towns along the route, along with our friends from Stagecoach South West and members of the Society.  On the day some 60 people were present along with media representatives, photographers and a number of non-Society members who were just interested in the event.

The vehicles - AEC Regent III, 661 and Regent V, 513 provided by the Devon General Omnibus Trust and the Stagecoach Scania painted in special commemorative livery - assembled at 09:45 outside Exeter Central station, ready for a punctual departure at 10:00.  In convoy (as far as could be achieved in the July traffic!) we travelled out of Exeter, through Exminster and Starcross, to Dawlish and then Teignmouth where a short break was taken.  The buses then proceeded to Newton Abbot and, finally, Torre Abbey (Torquay) where a buffet lunch was provided.  We were welcomed along the way by the various mayors, some of whom then accompanied us on the buses.  Many heads were turned at the sight of these fine old buses travelling along the route with which they would have been so familiar many years ago.

A successful return to Exeter was made by late afternoon and it was clear that the event was enjoyed and valued by all those who attended.

Photos courtesy of Iain Tucker and GRW Photography:

ExeterStarcrossDawlishTorre AbbeyTorre Abbey Group

Thursday, 16 May - Saturday, 18 May

Committee members of the DGS joined Stagecoach South West staff on the newly-painted 'Exhibition Bus' (a retired Stagecoach Solo) at the Devon County Show.  We estimate that c 2,500 people visited the display of Devon General archive material over the 3 days and this was very well received.  In addition, the Trust's Regent III, NTT661 was on display as well as the Stagecoach double-decker painted in special commemorative livery

Devon County Show

Sunday, 21 April

Easter Sunday saw the first event of the DG100 celebrations in the form of a reunion of former Devon General staff on the site of the old Newton Road depot in Torquay ... now an Asda store.  Easter Sunday was the only day on which this could realistically take place as the store was closed and they kindly allowed us to use their car park.  Double deckers 513 and 925 were both in attendance and glorious weather no doubt encouraged a good attendance.  A short trip around Torbay followed and was enjoyed by all.

Click here to listen to hear Society Secretary Paul Jenkins in conversation with Caroline Cook of BBC Radio Devon regarding the Staff Reunion event.

513 Asda
513 Sea Front
Paignton Bus Station
513 Sea Front