King Alfred Buses running day back!

Posted by Chris Graham on 13th February 2022

We report on the welcomed return of the Friends of King Alfred Buses annual running day after an absence of almost two years.

King Alfred Buses

A Bedford CA minibus takes to the roads on September 12th. (Pic: Stephen Bigley)

Almost 4,000 tickets were issued to eager transport nostalgia buffs in Winchester on as the Friends of King Alfred Buses (FoKAB) annual Running Day returned to the streets of the city on Sunday, 12th September, after an absence of almost two years.

Normally held on the first Bank Holiday in May, bright sunshine made the day a most enjoyable one for people who had come from far and wide. While the event was part of the hugely popular Winchester Heritage Open Days (HODs) series of events, it always attracts bus enthusiasts and former residents from far and wide, who come back to sample the delights of King Alfred buses.

King Alfred Buses

The once-familiar shape of a Leyland Atlantean; this one dates from 1967. (Pic: Stephen Bigley)

The green and cream King Alfred buses (the company was a local business run by the Chisnell family from 1915 until 1973), were once a familiar part of the Winchester scene. For 40 years, FoKAB has been collecting buses from the fleet and restoring them to original specification. King Alfred buses have been rescued from as far away as Augusta, Georgia, USA and County Wicklow in Ireland. So, amazingly, it’s now possible to recreate the scenes of many years ago on the streets of Winchester.

As one former resident commented on the day: “I visited with my grandsons and was transported back to my youth. Never in my dreams back in the dark days of 1973, did I think that King Alfred buses would still be pulling up in the Broadway nearly 50 years later.”

A Leyland Panther in the scenic surroundings of Crawley Pond. (Pic: Stephen Bigley)

FoKAB hopes to return this popular event to its usual date next year, namely Bank Holiday Monday in early May.

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