I have always liked to read and know about true happenings and over the years have written down many of my own experiences. The following tale though was from my hubby’s side of the family. Its funny how one can be married to a person but still find out things concerning their lives many years later.
During conversation when we had friends round and talking about the old days my hubby said that his father used to own buses. I knew about that because my hubby had said that his Dad and another bus company was more or less made redundant when the Midland Red overtook the roads and that put paid to the smaller companies.
Then hubby said “I can remember the bus my father bought with a piano built in it at the back of the driver.”
I was rather intrigued with this and I asked hubby why he had never said anything about it before. His reply was “I never thought about it”. !!!!!!!! I asked him if he had any photos of the bus and he said that he had not but he did have one of the RIO and the CHEVROLET parlour buses as I have shown below.
As I said I was rather taken with this story because with coming from London where cockney outings were usually taken on a charabanc and music was supplied with mouth organs and jaws harps or a piano accordion, to hear of a bus built with a piano at the back of the driver was extremely unusual. Anyway I decide to take it further so I started making enquiries and wrote to our local paper to find out if any older folk could remember the bus and did they have any info about it or photos.
I wasn’t successful with getting a photo BUT I did get the plans of the bus as shown plus two letters sent to the paper about the bus. To say I was chuffed would be putting it mildly because to me it was HISTORY and I have NEVER heard of another bus being built like this and was more than surprised that neither my hubby or his two brothers and sister had never wanted to find out more about it.
I sent details of it to the Transport Museum and their reply is below.
My husband's family had buses many years ago. It was his grandmother's company. The stairs went up the outside of the bus and they were known as Nanny Hughes penny buses. I'm sure none of them had a piano in them though. As pubs were always closed on a Sunday in Wales,the buses would line up each Sunday evening to take people across the border to England. They were always full.