Round East Anglia on a Bus Pass
by Wendy Mansfield
At first glance the subject for the October WI meeting did not sound very entertaining! “Round East Anglia on a Bus Pass” was not guaranteed to enthuse everyone to go out and get a bus pass. However the speaker, Pip Wright made the whole concept sound like a great adventure. He began by telling the story of how when his 60th birthday came around, several people made the usual joke saying “ now you can get your bus pass!” He decided to do just that and began to test how far, how often and where he could get to using just his bus pass. Pip regaled us with all the exotic and not so exotic places reachable by bus in East Anglia. Aldeburgh, Beccles, Bungay, and so on through the alphabet are all places on a bus route apparently. It would appear that our speaker spends a great deal of time roaming the countryside on buses! He pointed out that the bus pass allows free travel anywhere in the country, from the Coasthopper Buses of North Norfolk to the Tourist buses that ply their trade in London. It doesn’t seem to matter which bus company you use either, Cambridgeshire only has two main bus companies whereas there are 35 in Norfolk.
Pip’s wife was intrigued to discover that there always seemed to be a tea room at the end of every journey. Having become a connoisseur of tea rooms it seems that one of the best is one in Ely which has a stunning view of the cathedral. Many of Pip’s destinations also seem to end up somewhere with a watery element and to that end he has produced a useful book “ The Watery Places of Suffolk”.
At the end of the talk Pip produced his guitar and entertained us with a song about all the places he has visited in East Anglia using his bus pass. We all left feeling that having a bus pass was in fact a positive thing and not the “joke” people make it out to be!