Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Mayor hitches a lift with a difference

THE Mayor of Henley took a trip down memory lane when dozens of vintage vehicles descended on the town on Sunday

THE Mayor of Henley took a trip down memory lane when dozens of vintage vehicles descended on the town on Sunday.

More than 60 old lorries, cars, buses and fire engines took part in the 31st annual Ridgeway Run, which set off from the car park at Henley station.

They assembled at 9am and departed an hour later, following a 50-mile route to Buckingham Railway Centre in Quainton.

Mayor Lorraine Hillier attended with her sister Susan, the Mayoress, and was delighted to see a bus from 1955, the year she was born.

She was shown around the Bristol Tramways model by owner Peter Pribik, from Winnersh, and sat on the upper deck for a while before trying the stop bell.

In its heyday the bus served Henley, Shiplake, Binfield Heath and Playhatch for the Thames Valley Traction Company. It had an original blind listing the destinations on the front and several adverts from the Fifties on the inside.

As Councillor Hillier climbed out, her sister joked: ?That?s almost in as good a condition as you!?

When the run started the Mayor was given a lift to the town hall by Andy Usher in his 1954 Bedford petrol tanker. Her sister rode behind in a 1946 Bedford O-type articulated lorry.

The pair were then presented with a bunch of flowers by organiser Janet Ayre, of the Historic Commercial Vehicle Society?s South Midlands branch.

Councillor Hillier said: ?The Ridgeway Run is a fantastic event.

?It?s really interesting because people are very enthusiastic about the vehicles and there are experts who can tell you lots about them. I loved the bus ? I remember similar ones from when I was a child, although I?d never seen the staggered seating before.

?I chose to ride in the tanker because I liked the look of it and thought I?d never get a chance to be in a vehicle like that again.?

Among those taking part was 80-year-old Peter Trout, from Woodcote, who retired as the society?s secretary last year. He rode in a 1970 Morris 1000.

Removals firm Wilkins of Henley entered its 1949 Bedford lorry, which was driven by John Miles accompanied by his Norfolk terrier George.

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