Tickets Please! The Big Bus Show Attracts Big Crowds in Suffolk

Stonham Barns Park has staged the second Big Bus Show attracting big crowds to see a form of transport loved by many.

The Big Bus Show saw around 100 historic and modern buses – and other vehicles featuring transport through time – on display at the show which featured buses ranging from the 1930s to the present day.

Visitors had the opportunity to vote for the Best in Show Bus during the day, an accolade that is sought by many a bus owner, and there were also awards for Best Bus Operator and Best-Preserved Bus. With an array of trade stands, a variety of food and drink vendors and showground attractions the event was fun and educational for all the family.  The hobby of bus following has been highlighted recently by Norfolk bus enthusiast Reece Collison who has become a social media name after being featured on BBC Radio 1.

This year’s bus show was supported by Eastern Counties Bus Preservation Group who brought some of their vehicles to the show.  Said Jamie Vendy, ‘We were very honoured to join the event. Our presence and following hopefully attracted more footfall and interest for the event.

‘Our group represents the era of buses from the 1990s in Norfolk and Suffolk so it was very much at the heart of the event.’

A free regular bus shuttle service will be running to and from Stowmarket railway station on the day so that people who use public transport can get to and from the event.  There will also be a collection/drop service from Mid Suffolk Light Railway Museum at Wetheringsett and Top Flight Light Railway from Reepham will be exhibiting a Portable Railway with Miniature Engines hauling trains throughout the day.

The show will also be a ‘vehicle’ for raising awareness for the SOS Bus from Newmarket, a Social Outreach Service, which provides basic support to anyone vulnerable who might need night-time care in the town. The bus has a kitchen, medical room and consultation area to help the volunteers help others, often a service used by people who are affected by alcohol or drugs.

Says organiser and bus owner Richard Ward, ‘The Big Bus Show was a huge success with around 2000 attendees.  It was a show for bus enthusiasts of all ages, traders and anyone who has ever brought a ticket to ride!  It was the second only bus show for Stonham Barns Park although vintage vehicles and car shows are an integral part of the event calendar.’

Explaining his connection to the preservation of buses, Richard explains: ‘My Dad used to work for London Buses and so I was raised in a family with a keen interest in buses.  I acquired my first bus in 2020 just before the pandemic and so then had plenty to do in the lockdowns!’

‘Restoring buses to their former glory is something many people do.  It’s therapy really.  It takes your mind off the stresses and strains of modern life.  It’s all absorbing and I enjoyed joining the other exhibitors – showing my 2003 Dennis Dart at the event.’

The classic Red 2003 Dennis Dart London Bus on show operated the 394 Route in London from Homerton Hospital to Islington Angel.

Stonham Barns Park is a day out for all the family to suit all ages, other activities include The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, Legends Sports Bar, Café 24 coffee shop and restaurant, Adventure Golf, Footgolf, the Teapot Pottery and Tearooms, a nine-hole golf course, adventure golf and footgolf, holiday lodges, a caravan park, camping and glamping, and fishing lakes.