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"We All Went On A Yellow Vintage Bus"

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A great day out was had by all on our vintage bus tour on 9th May and was not without an element of excitement.

This trip was our first venture in association with the Diocese of Bath and Wells. The bright yellow bus, a “Leyland Tiger PS2 with H V Burlingham Ltd, Blackpool body was one of only three built in 1949 for the seaside town of Bournemouth. We left Taunton promptly at 11.00 am and visited our first church of St Mary’s in Bishop’s Lydeard which dates back to the 14th and 15th centuries. We then moved on to Crowcombe to visit the Church of the Holy Ghost which is thought to be the only church with this dedication in the country. The photo shows Jennifer Beazley, one of our trustees getting on the bus with Bill our driver to the left outside Crowcombe Church. All continued to go well as we travelled to Watchet Harbour for lunch with a number of us taking the opportunity to visit the wonderful Holy Cross Chapel perched above the town museum.  It was after lunch as we left Watchet and made our way up the very steep hill towards the church of St Decuman that we sensed something was not quite right. Our bus which had served us well up until then was getting slower and slower until it ground to a halt just short of the top of the hill. Apparently the steepness of the hill combined with the weight of us all on board resulted in not enough fuel reaching the engine to keep it going.  Most of us were able to walk the rest of the way to the church of St Decuman and Maxine Irving our PR Officer ferried those unable to walk by car. The church is  mostly 15th century although it dates back to the 12th century and gets its unusual name because of the Celtic saint who was martyred in Watchet. Those who visited the nearby holy well of St Decuman were rewarded with time to spend in a place of wonderful peace and tranquility. The inscription taken from the book of Genesis on a stone close to the well reads "God breathed and man became a living soul".

By the time we had finished our visit to St Decuman our driver had managed to coax the bus to the top of the hill and we continued to our final Church of St Andrew in Old Cleeve which dates back to the 12th century, where the east window is by Ninian Comper. The church kindly provided much needed  tea and cakes before we returned to Taunton. 


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