The 2017 Basildon Bus Rally will once again be held at Barleylands Farm Park.
I want Basildon Bus Rally to be different to other bus rally’s so not only will there buses of all ages and types on display, but there’ll be other added attractions never before seen at a British bus rally like a play bus, disco dome, face painters, wet sponge throwing, plate smashing, hook a duck, bouncy castle, etc ......... but lets be clear, first and foremost the event is a bus rally and the buses (and coaches!) are therefore the real stars of the show.
Thing is too many bus events are aimed only at select groups of enthusiasts. I want the whole family to feel included in the event rather than just bus enthusiasts specifically so that’s why I’m pushing the norm and “thinking outside the box”. I’m not looking to alienate the traditional bus enthusiast - I’m thinking about how best to grow the event and encourage the next generation of enthusiasts; tapping into the non bus enthusiast general public is the best way to achieve the aim in my opinion.
Last year we had 33 vehicles on site. I’m expecting we’ll improve on that number for 2017 as the poor weather last year did put off some that had booked in (we actually had 41 booked in). Clacton bus rally is taking a break this year with some of their team supporting Basildon instead; given that we’re combining our resources I expect this will also have a positive effect on numbers as some that usually do only Clacton may now consider adding Basildon to their season instead. You can see how we’re doing by checking out the list on the entry page or by liking and following our Facebook page. We’ve got 19 vehicles entered so far - do bear in mind its still early days as the rally season hasn’t actually started yet although that’s not bad given that we had 5 buses entered at this stage last year!
Barleylands itself has an excellent small farm for the little ones and lots of unique small business and craft’s on its site as well as tractor rides and a small train. There is also the onsite bootsale which takes place every sunday morning. Given the onsite facilities along with the extra’s I’ve added on, and that its free to attend and have a look around (apart from the farm), I feel the claim now added under the rally logo “The most family friendly bus rally in Britain!” sums the event up quite nicely.
I’m trying out a raffle this year in an effort to get the rally to a break even state financially as I lost a fair bit last year. There are some fantastic prizes on offer - click here to see the full list - but you can only buy tickets on the day at rally control. I will also do a programme following many requests last year - it’ll have 20 full colour pages.
I haven’t forgotten that I’m putting on a bus rally - there will of course be an ‘enthusiasts market’ where you can buy all manner of items related to buses and public transport in general..........models, old timetables, magazines, photographs, etc, etc......
If you came to the rally last year, I look forward to welcoming you back again in 2017. If you didn’t come last year, well I look forward to seeing you come along this year instead!
Basildon Bus Rally Organiser