Although more than 7 months away, there is a huge amount of preparatory work to do before the event itself. This popular event is a collaboration between the Isle of Wight Bus Museum and the Isle of Wight branch of CAMRA.
Last year around 90 classic buses and coaches participated, with many vehicles making the trip from the mainland at the owners’ expense. 14 different routes were operated, totalling some 8,500 miles over the weekend. This year will see a few revisions to the route network based on feedback from visitors, vehicle owners and volunteer marshals.
Bill Ackroyd, chairman of the Bus Museum trustees, said:
“The logistics are staggering when you consider that the whole event is put together and run by volunteers, both from the Museum and CAMRA.”
Some 80 pubs and other licensed venues took part in the 2017 event and all of these will be approached for 2018.
Tim Marshall, of the island branch of CAMRA, said:
“Liaison with the venues should begin in the next few weeks. Our team of liaison officers will visit each one to discuss the event and how the venue can benefit. Most of the marshals at the ports and pubs are CAMRA volunteers, but more are needed to cope with the growing success of the event”.
The event co-ordinator is Ben Bartram. He said:
“We expect a similar number of vintage and classic buses this year. The enthusiasm of the owners is one of the key elements in our success and many have already committed to support us.”
Planning will continue over the coming months. The dedicated website at www.iwbeerandbuses.co.uk will carry information as soon as possible.