The Legendary P5

Might I draw your attention to…

my facebook page dedicated to the memory of, as my dear friend Alex Vokes once put it, ‘The Legendary P5’. This was the bus that ran from stand 28 of Preston Bus Station to The Anchor Inn at Hutton. I don’t know why I’m doing this apart from the fact I find it highly amusing, which is as good a reason as any. Here you will read the tragic story of the bumble bee that I sat on when I was 4 years old – and many others  no doubt…

You might like to take a look at our page and join in even if you have no knowledge of the subject. Your objective insights would be most welcome.

http://www.facebook.com/groups/223400964378239/

When I sat on that poor bumble bee on the top deck in 1964, little did I know that a legend was in the making…..
(still no compensation)

Here is a small selection of the kind of fare you will find….

High hopes for our facebook group ‘The Legendary P5’ as blogpreston.co.uk promised some publicity…

Here is my correspondence with the editor :-

Hi Ed – thanks for the publicity – Here are a few more details for you..

I might have to refer you to my friend and fellow Hutton Grammar school chum Alex Vokes on the quality and provenance of the term ‘legendary’ – A few years ago he said to me in an off the cuff remark – “Do you remember the P5?..that was a legendary bus” – The remark stuck in my mind but I did indeed tend to agree with him. The P5 just had a certain special something – an indefinable quality that made you feel you were always coming home – unless of course you were off into town that is. From my earliest days I remember gliding along through Penwortham and up into town – usually trying to roll my ticket into the tightest possible tube and then eating it, although I was eventually deterred from this habit by a disgruntled inspector who alighted at the Broadgate fare stage and caught me ‘mid lunch’ so to speak.

My sister Mary has her own spine tingling story to tell, and I am hoping that my elder sister Sheila might also contribute her own sensational angle.

It has always puzzled me,and I have no idea why this was the case, it baffles me and leaves a gaping hole in my history, but the P5 was I believe the only preston bus that originally sported a purple livery. I am very much hoping that through the wider publicity you are so kindly offering, that someone will come forward with the answer to that question and put my mind at rest. This is obviously is a major factor I think which contributes to the legend. I have been in contact with Preston Bus Ltd to see if they might be thinking of reinstating the service but have unfortuantely had my hopes dashed. As you may have seen from the group page – I strongly believe that the P5 was used in the filming of “A Kind of Loving’ – the Alan Bates film. There is a lovely  tender courtship scene which features early on in the film which takes place on the lower deck.

My personal lasting memory which may pale in comparison to my other comrades is that I once sat on a bumble bee on the top deck of a P5  as it passed Carleton Drive, giving me my first taste of the cruelty of nature. My infant pride was merely wounded but the bee sadly didn’t pull through. Preston Bus Ltd have also declined to accept responsibilty for this incident I might add.

I am now 51 years of age and am presently living in Chiang Rai in northern Thailand as a refugee from the flooding in Bangkok. I am (and have been for over 30 years) a freelance illustrator and calligrapher. The P5 group provides me with a link back to my dear hometown and indeed to my past.

I very much hope that through your article we may attract more members with their own stories to contribute to the legend and to hopefully furnish us with more material which I must admit at the moment is pretty thin on the ground, as is the hair on my head.

I will assemble the photos that I have and send them on.

Very best wishes. Richard

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Sic transport gloria mundi

As I sit in the Bangkok sunshine sipping my iced latte, I turn my mind back wistfully to my last visit to England over the summer. I had occasion to visit the concourse of Preston Bus Station – now a sad relic of its former glory. There it stands, virtually deserted and mouldering into dust. No more the hubbub of the citizens’ daily lives, no more the trysting place of young lovers, no more the icon of Preston’s bright future. Even the sputum of countless tramps is a distant memory.

The cafe, however, does in fact seem to be thriving, paradoxically, as the last repository for the dwindling ‘care in the community’ patients long since evicted from the sanctuary of Whittingham Hospital. There but for the grace of god go I.
Stand 28 is still there of course. I wandered past and ran my fingers lovingly along the wooden rails and stood a moment in silence, hoping against hope that the P5 would pull in and take me home. They say all roads lead to home, but tragically no longer by way of the happy rumblings of the dear P5.
Sic transit gloria mundi.
A tear in my eye, I left and went to buy some Dettol.

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