Time to celebrate! The Old Girl turns 80
8 days ago
On Friday 19th July 2019 we celebrate 80 years in service for our oldest bus, the charming “Old Girl”.
A brand new British made Bristol 5KG, the Old Girl arrived on the Isle of Wight in July 1939 – 42 days before the start of World War ll.
She was put into service as a standard double-decker, taking Islanders and visitors from A to B during six years of wartime and thereafter, just as our modern green buses do now.
Twenty years later in 1959, The Old Girl was given a new lease of life when she was converted into an open top sightseeing bus, the Needles Breezer of her day.
After the conversion, The Old Girl serviced the Needles Breezer route up until 1999. Now the 80 year old bus is available for private hire. An elegant and unique way to travel, she is a unique addition to any special occasion - weddings, christenings, parties, private sightseeing – tours, she’s done them all!
Lovingly maintained by Southern Vectis for nearly eight decades, the Old Girl travels at a top speed of 30mph, chugging along the road powered by her roaring vintage engine. She is regularly washed and polished to keep her cream, green and gold paintwork immaculate, with her livery refreshed every couple of years. She is always preened and ready to delight at whatever event she attends.
Inside The Old Girl offers a nostalgic return to the 50’s, with petite tan leather benches, an open rear door to hop on and off and small windy staircase to the upper open top deck.
In celebration of 80 wonderful years in service, we’re holding an 80th birthday celebration for the Old Girl on Friday 19th July, 1030am to 1530pm at Ryde Bus Station. Join us for a vintage tea party with tea, cake, music from the era and a ride on this historic bus! As well as celebrating the long history of our beloved bus, we're using the event to raising money for the IOW branch of the British Legion. Suggested donations for a cup of tea and cake are £1 and £5 for a tour on The Old Girl, but we'd appreciate whatever you can donate.
The Old Girl will also go into service on Route 9 on Saturday 20th July, duplicating buses over the course of the day. There will be the option to board the green network bus or the Old Girl at your stop for the cost of your usual fare. However, please bear in mind she is a little slower than our brand new MMCs.
We look forward to celebrating with you.