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Historic Norwich bus is toast of ale festival

PUBLISHED: 07:05 03 June 2011

The City of Ale bus, a 1954 Bristol double-decker belonging to the Eastern Transport Collection.

The City of Ale bus, a 1954 Bristol double-decker belonging to the Eastern Transport Collection.

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A historic bus used to help promote Norwich's first City of Ale Festival could soon be a more regular sight on the city's streets if bosses of the charity that runs can find it a new home.

The 1954 Eastern Counties Bristol LD Bus has created something of a stir among beer lovers enjoying the 10-day festival, which hopes to make Norwich a world-renowned centre for real ale.

The bus, which was pictured with festival organisers at Mousehold Heath before the festival, was one of the star attractions at the brewers’ market held at The Forum on Saturday.

It has also stopped at several pubs during the event and has taken about 50 ale lovers from the King’s Head in Magdalen Street to the Panther Brewery at Reepham.

It is one of seven buses owned by the Eastern Transport Collection charity currently based at rented accommodation in Attleborough.

Chairman Richard Dixon has launched a hunt for a new home which could see the bus, which served Norwich in the 1950s, plus the rest of the collection, returning closer to home.

Mr Dixon, from Spixworth, said: “We rent buildings at the moment near Attleborough and want to be able to have our own buildings.

“What we’re ideally looking for is a place, or some land, where we can base up to 15 buses. It would be nice to get a place of our own – someone who has an area of land maybe tied in with some other attraction in the Norwich area.”

Mr Dixon said members of the charity, which started in 1969 as the Eastern Counties Omnibus Society, would like the new site to have space to renovate other vehicles, including a 1952 Bristol double decker, which is currently being worked upon.

He added that the City of Ale Festival, which ends on Sunday, has helped raise the profile of the charity which currently has 130 members. He added: “There’s been a lot of interest from people – children as well.”

If you can help offer the charity a new home call Mr Dixon on 07717 474936.

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