Updated August 2017
This vehicle is now with new owners in Cheshire. See below for some information of its interesting and unique history.
updated August 2016
Our own Heritage goes back nearly 50 years with both transport and food, having created the Platform 5 Restaurant which was runner-up Restaurant of the year in 1999 and winner in Millenium year 2000. Before that Ashley along with fellow transport enthusiast the late Rob Paramor (author, including Hello Coastal), created The Master Cutler Restaurant in Royal Leamington Spa as part of the WHEELS organisation and later in Hollywood, Birmingham.
Ashley, known from WHEELS and Midland Red origins, supposedly retired in 2014, but almost unplanned, along came The Afternoon Tea Bus !
The bus, built by Metro Cammell in Birmingham, was originally pounding the streets of our Capital City, and was a very ordinary bus at that time, one of hundreds doing the same each day. Some of this type had been converted to open top and were popular in this “sightseeing” use. In Millennium year 2000, our bus was earmarked for a very special project by a world renowned West End store.
In the London workshops it was converted to partial open top, given a downstairs kitchen, and used by Harrods for their new Afternoon Tea project. Clients paid £35+ for a seat up-top with Afternoon Tea. Once Harrods knew the product worked they went forward to convert a London Routemaster which still runs today.
Since this time our bus has had minimal use, and was used for a number of years as a Rally Control Bus at RAF Duxford for the annual Showbus event, attended race meetings and special private hire work.
In August 2014 it went to join a vintage double decker in Torquay and was earmarked for the Torbay Open Top sightseeing tour, but just a few months later, the firm from Torquay bought Ashley’s unique Charabanc and to secure the deal the firm offered the part exchange of this interesting dining bus.
Considerable upgrading work was undertaken and new equipment fitted to bring the ability to provide the finest fresh coffee and bus dining experience around.
This Great British Afternoon Tea bus now has a new lease of life by the owners of a Christmas Tree Farm in Cheshire – it will be a new experience for people choosing their favourite Christmas Tree with some exciting food and drink available so customers can linger longer.
We wish the new owners well in keeping this interesting vehicle earning its keep!
|Afternoon TEA BUS|
|“Customer quotes, We had a fantastic day out and must do it again soon.….. Lucy Coventry….”|
The Bus Fest 2015 at Gaydon
The Weekend before August Bank Holiday saw hundreds of buses and coaches of all ages gather at the Heritage Motor Museum at Gaydon for the annual BusFest show. The Afternoon Tea Bus made its first public appearance and was a popular attraction with photographers and enthusiasts.
Complete with its new Marquee cover it escaped the lunchtime rain – an all too common feature of our British weather. The cover of course makes the shoulder seasons much more usable.
|The Great British Afternoon Tea Bus – now based in Cheshire|