The 'Ghost Bus'

Untitled Document

ghostbus smEarlier this year, completely out of the blue, I was approached by a film maker. He had completed to a professional standard a documentary film of a top of the range Barton Road Cruise Holiday from 1959. To my knowledge no one other than Bill Freeman (the film maker) was aware original footage of the trip from start to finish existed, or existed of any trip of that era. To cap it all the footage is in glorious Kodachrome colour.


When Bill showed me the film I knew what he had was unique, a fantastic glimpse of the past and a wonderful and important social comment.


Coincidentally I had a 4 years earlier heard rumours of the existence of the 'ghost' bus, which is a sister to the lost star of the film.


URR 865 is a 1956 AEC Reliance new to Bartons, one of a batch of 10 identical vehicles bought that year. Contrary to the cherished life of many classic vehicles, URR 865 has spent 20 years slumbering in the open in a field is Suffolk, resistant to both scrapping or restoration. Nature has washed from it the names of other operators that owned it after us, so now, bizarrely, it has returned to a complete livery resembling its original, without the touch of a human hand.


The two, the film and the bus, were recently reunited by Bartons for a heritage event.. For the Carnival of Monsters, URR 865, the ghost bus, will return to The Garage as an art exhibit in a building it hasn't itself set tyre in, for 40 years.

And for some reason, next, I think it wants to go to Glasgow.


A project by Roberto Alborghetti - The Ghost Bus - A Visual Adventure in the Land of Robin Hood