All aboard as town marks Reg's birthday

PUBLISHED: 12:30 14 July 2016

Tours on a classic open top double decker bus around Budleigh Salterton proved popular in celebration of Reg Varney's birthday. Ref exb 28-16SH 1803. Picture: Simon Horn.

Tours on a classic open top double decker bus around Budleigh Salterton proved popular in celebration of Reg Varney's birthday. Ref exb 28-16SH 1803. Picture: Simon Horn.

Archant

Budleigh Salterton's celebrations to mark adopted son Reg Varney's centenary continued in the lead-up to the actor's birthday, including a special appearance in the town by his granddaughter.

Reg used to star in a sitcom called On the Buses, so it was fitting over the weekend when more than 400 visitors took advantage of an open-top bus tour around the town – with Reg’s granddaughter, Leah Marley, playing the part of a ‘clipper’.

Budleigh’s ‘Banksy’, Simon Wood, also created bus-themed pebble art on the beach, following two days of volunteers helping him to find suitably-coloured pebbles.

The design was finished in time for what would have been Reg’s 100th birthday on Monday.

There was also a traditional Punch and Judy show at Fairlynch over the weekend.

Michael Downes, spokesman for the museum, said: “The bus tours on Saturday and Sunday were a massive success.

“There were lots of happy waves and smiles and, of course, lots of visitors at the museum - the weather was just about perfect.”

The double-decker 1957 vintage Bristol LDL bus, departing from the Fore Street museum, stopped at the Public Hall to collect more passengers.

It then continued along Upper Stoneborough Lane to the junction with East Budleigh Road, before turning along Coastguard Road to return to the museum.

Michael added: “Fairlynch Museum is deeply grateful to WHOTT, the Westcountry Historic Omnibus and Transport Trust, which facilitated the bus tours, and to Clinton Devon Estates and Pyne’s Farm Shop for their assistance.

“The drivers enjoyed ice creams and drinks generously provided by The Creamery.”

After a long career of entertainment, Reg moved to Budleigh to be closer to his family.

Fans of British sitcoms, including The Rag Trade and On the Buses, have been flocking to Fairlynch Museum to see this year’s Our Little Clown exhibition, staged as a tribute to the actor who retired to the town.

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