ONE of the highlights of spring in Winchester is the annual bus running day by the Friends of King Alfred Buses (FoKAB). 

The assortment of veteran buses return, city streets and country roads resounding to the puttering of old diesel engines and the snort of recalcitrant gearboxes.

This year it is on Monday May 6. There is a full page of details of the day on page 20 of this week’s edition.

The charity was born of fond memories of the King Alfred Bus Company that operated from 1915 to 1973, based in The Broadway. 

Many older Wintonians will fondly recall taking a King Alfred Bus Company vehicle to get to work, school or meet friends.

READ MORE HERE: Details of the bus running day here

The company was killed off by the rise in ownership of cars and the OPEC oil crisis that saw the cost of fuel go through the roof.

So it is always great to see the buses back, if only for a day.  It brings lots of people into the city and puts a smile on people’s faces. Children always enjoy the sight of a bus conductor turning a handle on a little machine and a paper ticket appearing. 

The sight, sounds and even smell is evocative of a another era when all of us were younger. 
For most of us that nostalgia is enjoyable.

There was recent good news that one of FoKAB’s buses, damaged last year in a fire at a garage near Andover, will be able to be restored, although not in time for this event.

So if you want a nice afternoon and to move around the world at the relaxing pace of a 1950s or 1960s bus, then head on down to the Broadway on the bank holiday.