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All across the Great Western territory => Diary - what's happening when? => Topic started by: grahame on July 17, 2016, 11:34:09 PM



Title: Imber bus
Post by: grahame on July 17, 2016, 11:34:09 PM
The village of Imber on Salisbury Plain was taken over on a temporary basis by the army during the second word war.  Until its permanent return when the army no longer need it, residents and other can visit on a few occasions each year and on some of those there's a bus service.

Details:

https://imberbus.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/imberbus-leaflet2016-c.pdf

Runs from Warminster Station via Imber to Brazen Bottom, Gore Cross, New Zealand and Chitterne





Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on July 18, 2016, 12:50:23 AM
Runs from ... Brazen Bottom...

Sorry, but that's what happens if you eat a dodgy curry.  :P :-X


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: grahame on August 14, 2016, 12:18:39 PM
From Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TransWilts/posts/844096899023687)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/imberopenday.jpg)

Quote
Saturday, 20th August ONLY.  From Swindon at 08:36, Chippenham at 08:53 and Melksham at 09:02 by train to Warminster at 09:46 (changing at Westbury).  Then on with the "Imber Bus" - a retired London Routemaster - to the village of Imber on Salisbury Plain. The bus leaves Warminster at 10:15 and arrives Imber at 10:45.

The village of Imber was taken over during the second world war to provide an exercise area for troops, and the residents evicted. After the war, villagers were not allowed to return to their homes. The village, which is now part of the civil parish of Heytesbury, remains under the control of the Ministry of Defence despite several attempts by former residents to return. Non-military access is limited to several open days a year.

The only building to survive in a reasonable condition is the church, with the rest becoming derelict or demolished by the Army. Still standing are a pub (the Bell Inn) the manor house (Imber Court), a farmhouse and cottages, schoolroom and four housing blocks built in 1938. The church will be open on Imber Bus day, and you'll be able to puchase tea, coffee, hot chocolate, squash and biscuits at modest cost.

Catch the bus back from Imber at 13:15, 15:15 or 17:15, reaching Melksham via the same route at 15:21, 16:48 or 18:47 via the same route as you took on the way out (changing at Warminster and Westbury). These return trains reach Chippenham 10 minutes and Swindon 27 minutes after Melksham.

Day return train fares on these trains - 4.40 Melksham to Warminster. 6.20 Chippenham to Warminster. 7.20 Swindon to Warminster. Railcard and Groupsave discounts available.  Bus fare - 2 per journey (or 10 for all day ticket to explore beyond Imber too); sorry - senior passes are not accepted on these buses.  No need to book - buy your train tickets at the station or if not available there on the train. Pay your bus fare on the bus.


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: rogerw on August 15, 2016, 08:07:46 PM
I will be going using the 0927 from Trowbridge


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: grahame on August 16, 2016, 07:03:14 AM
I will be going using the 0927 from Trowbridge


Look forward to seeing you ... I think that's the train that the huge crowds (  ;D ) on the 08:36 from Swindon will be changing onto.


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on August 16, 2016, 09:29:24 PM
Thanks for the information about this event, grahame.

I've sort of followed the ongoing story of Imber, from news items prompted by the occasional opening of the site to civilian visitors, but haven't yet found a suitable match between my days off and such fairly limited 'open day' opportunities.

Maybe next year.  ::)


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: grahame on August 18, 2016, 09:01:27 AM
Update to the ImberBus site - https://imberbus.wordpress.com/getting-to-warminster/

Quote
For those arriving by public transport, Warminster Rail Station is on the Cardiff-Bristol-Portsmouth rail line which operates approximately every hour, with connections available from London and the West Country at Westbury and Salisbury and also from Melksham, Chippenham and Swindon at Westbury

This one seems a real 'natural' for public transport all the way, noting that the parking in Warminster is mostly away from the railway station, which is where the n=bus goes from.

Last year, the ImberBus ran during the Bath / East blockade - this year it's good from Bristol and Bath by train to Warminster.  And of course by train at 08:36, 10:36 and 12:36 from Swindon, change at Westbury

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/imberad2.jpg)


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: grahame on August 19, 2016, 04:15:02 PM
Hear about some of opportunities to get to Imber tomorrow - BBC Radio Wiltshire (http://www.twcrp.org.uk/BBC%20Inner.m4a)


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: grahame on August 20, 2016, 07:00:30 PM
(http://www.wellho.net/pix/routemaster_four.jpg)

What is it they say about London buses - running in groups of four at Imber.   Timetabled every half hour and in groups.

I met up with quite a few of our members (and saw the odd lurker or two  :D ) today, and there was quite a bit of otter interest:
(http://www.wellho.net/pix/routemaster_photos.jpg)

so here are some more pictures:

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/routemaster_underway.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/routemaster_poster.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/routemaster_church_inside.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/routemaster_church_outside.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/routemaster_derelict_village.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/routemaster_classic.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/routemaster_crowds.jpg)






Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: bobm on August 20, 2016, 07:12:18 PM
Thankfully the forecast bad weather largely stayed away.

Here are some more photos from the day.

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/imbbus.jpg)
(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/imbchurch.jpg)
(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/imbchurch2.jpg)
(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/imbbuild.jpg)
(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/imbsign.jpg)
(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/imbbus2.jpg)


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on August 20, 2016, 07:26:43 PM
I met up with quite a few of our members (and saw the odd lurker or two :D ) today, and there was quite a bit of otter interest ...

Any squirrels?  ;) :D ;D


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: Western Pathfinder on August 20, 2016, 07:30:08 PM
Thanks for the heads up on this Grahame made for a most enjoyable day out just home from Imber via the Seven Riviera Express having managed not to get wet at all cheers.


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: grahame on August 20, 2016, 07:35:58 PM
I met up with quite a few of our members (and saw the odd lurker or two :D ) today, and there was quite a bit of otter interest ...

Any squirrels?  ;) :D ;D

'twas busy and I might have missed them.   Did see a grey one at 06:30 this morning playing with some of my nuts (in the garden, off the hazel tree!)


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: Rob on the hill on August 20, 2016, 08:18:35 PM
Thanks from me too Graham, had a most enjoyable day out by train/bus. I had not been aware of the Imberbus service before you posted about it here.  :)


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: bobm on August 20, 2016, 08:20:26 PM
One slightly concerning moment came as I was walking to church and a remote controlled drone flew over my head.  It was certainly closer than 50 metres!  They do get some spectacular pictures but having seen a couple of near misses when they crash, it did make me feel a little uneasy.

https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Model-aircraft-and-drones/The-Dronecode/ (https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Model-aircraft-and-drones/The-Dronecode/)


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: chuffed on August 20, 2016, 08:26:22 PM
I reckon that was Four Propellers, Now! trying out his new toy.....


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: grahame on August 20, 2016, 08:39:10 PM
Note for next year ... should probably set up a time & place for forum members to meet if they wish.   Lunchtime pint at the Green Dragon, Market Lavington?


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: richwarwicker on August 20, 2016, 11:37:11 PM
One slightly concerning moment came as I was walking to church and a remote controlled drone flew over my head.  It was certainly closer than 50 metres!  They do get some spectacular pictures but having seen a couple of near misses when they crash, it did make me feel a little uneasy.

https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Model-aircraft-and-drones/The-Dronecode/ (https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Model-aircraft-and-drones/The-Dronecode/)

I noticed today that Trago have the basic drones with cameras starting from 29.99. At that price we are going to end up with operators that aren't clued up on rules and regs.


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: grahame on August 21, 2016, 07:32:48 AM
One slightly concerning moment came as I was walking to church and a remote controlled drone flew over my head.  It was certainly closer than 50 metres!  They do get some spectacular pictures but having seen a couple of near misses when they crash, it did make me feel a little uneasy.

https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Model-aircraft-and-drones/The-Dronecode/ (https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Model-aircraft-and-drones/The-Dronecode/)

Yes, I felt the same concern - overhead the path and landing in the field-become-car park just to the right.

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/imber_drones.jpg)

A picture isn't good when you have to explain what it shows ... HOWEVER ... it can be informative.  Landing area was between the black and the white cars, with two chaps with a table and impressive looking controllers there.  The drone I saw clearly had a lot of "whizz-bangs" like camera rotation motors as well as the main drive and was brought in about the height of three people (above the busy path) 15 to 20 metres overhead and landed in the middle of the area.  Clearly not a  "Trago Mills special" and one hopes they had dispensations, insurance, etc ... there wasn't an organisation / contact name of any sort of clear display. 


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: ellendune on August 21, 2016, 09:05:36 AM
One slightly concerning moment came as I was walking to church and a remote controlled drone flew over my head.  It was certainly closer than 50 metres!  They do get some spectacular pictures but having seen a couple of near misses when they crash, it did make me feel a little uneasy.

https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Model-aircraft-and-drones/The-Dronecode/ (https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Model-aircraft-and-drones/The-Dronecode/)
 
BBC Wiltshire have tweeted an aerial photo of Imber. Was it them?


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: grahame on August 21, 2016, 09:13:53 AM
BBC Wiltshire have tweeted an aerial photo of Imber. Was it them?

Not directly ... their pictures are credited "PA" which I guess means "Press Association" ... who I suspect buy in from lots of others.  BBC Wiltshire were in Imber on Friday morning, long before the buses were running, and did some excellent prior publicity;  didn't see them there at all on Saturday.


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on August 21, 2016, 05:55:48 PM
A news item, illustrated with some more cracking pictures, from the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-37144240):

Quote
'Ghost village' on Salisbury Plain opened to public

(http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/660/cpsprodpb/7B76/production/_90860613_hi034858266.jpg)
Roads through the MoD-controlled village are opened to the public on a handful of occasions

Passengers have been taken by bus to a Salisbury Plain "ghost village" which was abandoned in 1943.

The deserted Wiltshire village of Imber was cleared during World War Two and later taken over by the military.

Vintage Routemaster buses have been used to take passengers to the village, for one day each year, since 2009.

The area is normally closed to civilians as it sits in the middle of a Ministry of Defence training zone.

(http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/13EC6/production/_90860618_hi034858228.jpg)

Villagers were given a few weeks' notice to pack their bags and leave before the community was abandoned in December 1943.

It was needed by the army to provide an exercise area for US troops preparing to invade Europe.

In the 1970s, several empty houses were built for use by UK soldiers taking part in training exercises.

(http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/12F26/production/_90860677_hi034405816.jpg)

St Giles Church, the only original building left intact, was also opened to visitors for the weekend.

(http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/165D6/production/_90860619_hi034858281.jpg)

(http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/6BD6/production/_90860672_hi034858258.jpg)

(http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/B9F6/production/_90860674_hi034858210.jpg)




Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: Jason on August 22, 2016, 11:03:21 AM
Long wait if you missed the last bus... ;)


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: trainer on August 22, 2016, 08:50:18 PM
Thanks for all who posted pics here.  I wish I'd ignored the weather forecast and gone.  :'(


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: bobm on August 22, 2016, 08:57:22 PM
Trainer, you are not the first person who has said that to me about Saturday.  Funnily enough I was planning to go out on Sunday too and having seen the forecast decided to stay in.  As it turned out that was the correct decision as it poured down.  You can't win!!


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: bobm on February 19, 2017, 01:22:36 PM
Note for next year ... should probably set up a time & place for forum members to meet if they wish.   Lunchtime pint at the Green Dragon, Market Lavington?

Date now set for 2017

Saturday 26th August 2017

https://imberbus.wordpress.com/ (https://imberbus.wordpress.com/)


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: ChrisB on February 19, 2017, 04:15:14 PM
Time to amend the thread title?


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: bobm on February 19, 2017, 06:22:50 PM
Time to amend the thread title?

OK - you've twisted my arm.  Calendar updated too.  ;D


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: bobm on June 29, 2017, 04:05:32 PM
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-40415434)

Quote
Access to a "ghost village" church which was taken over by the military in World War Two is to be restricted.

The village of Imber was abandoned in 1943 and has been closed to civilians ever since as it is sited on the MoD's training zone on Salisbury Plain.

St Giles Church, the only building left intact in Imber, is normally open to the public for two weeks each August.

This year the MoD has reduced it to three days due to visitors "attempting to access restricted areas".

It was just before Christmas 1943 that Imber villagers were ordered to pack up and leave to provide a training area for American troops preparing for the invasion of Europe during World War Two.

They were never allowed to return and the village vanished off the map.

Since then, up to 50 days of public access is granted each year by the MoD.

But this year it has been "significantly reduced", according to Neil Skelton, custodian of the church, because visitors have been "trespassing in the restricted areas" of the deserted village.

"Last August, we had probably around 4,000 to 5,000 people over the two weeks and at Easter it was manic," he said.

"It's the sheer numbers, we're attracting so many people but if you reduce the number of days, you'll be squeezing more people in to fewer days."

'Public in danger'

It is feared people are putting their lives at risk by trespassing in to areas where there could be "unexploded ordnance".

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said keeping visitors to Imber village safe was a "top priority".

He said: "Unfortunately we have received numerous reports of members of the public placing themselves and others in danger during previous open days by attempting to access restricted areas.

"Following these reports a risk assessment was carried out which resulted in the decision to reduce public access periods to the village."


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: ChrisB on June 29, 2017, 04:18:29 PM
Those pesky


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on June 29, 2017, 05:05:54 PM
I was there with a group of friends a few days before Christmas last year. We arrived just before sunset to find the entire Plain shrouded in fog. Standing at the bottom of the road up to the village, where the buses park, we could not see the church but we could hear the singing from a carol service in progress. Meanwhile, a bunch of squaddies was doing urban warfare exercises in the mock village off to one side. It was a little surreal.

If you visit when a service is not being held, the church is fascinating for its murals and carvings.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: grahame on June 29, 2017, 05:15:00 PM
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-40415434)

Quote
It is feared people are putting their lives at risk by trespassing in to areas where there could be "unexploded ordnance".

I've been up to Imber (when officially open, of course!) a good few times and there have been lots of cattle grazing in the fields all along the way up there, behind lots of "keep out - danger of unexploded shells" signs.

I wonder if the unexploded shells are specially tuned to target humans, if we don't really care if the cattle get hurt, or the possibility of there presence is a great way to exclude the public.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on June 29, 2017, 05:50:03 PM
I dare say there's a compo deal; so much per cow, so much per bullock, etc, exploded by ordnance. Or of course the farmer just signs a waiver in return for a cheap lease.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: CyclingSid on June 30, 2017, 11:04:14 AM
Last time I was there I got the "unit trench digger" award? Won't be any of that if I go this year. The village was in better condition then, more of the buildings were recognisable, especially of you got the "guide" book. The FIBUA (Fighting in Built Up Areas) village is an addition, and a fine example of the building standards of the Property Services Agency (PSA). The predecessor to the PSA was the MPBW (Ministry of Public Blunders and Wonders, to "friends") who were even worse and disappeared in, I believe, a cloud of suspicions of financial impropriety.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: ChrisB on August 17, 2017, 10:07:09 AM
From the Imber Bus mailshot

Quote
Imberbus will be running on the 26th August
by The Imberbus Crew
This year's Imberbus event is being held on Saturday 26th August and it is already looking like it will be the biggest one yet, with people coming long distances to ride on a Routemaster bus across the Salisbury Plain to the lost village of Imber and beyond.

To cater for the extra passengers, this year we will be using more than 20 old and new Routemasters to provide our service, some of which have not ventured across the Salisbury plain before. We will also be enhancing the timetable to provide departures every 10-15 minutes from Warminster Station to Imber from 9.45am onwards. On arrival at Imber, some buses will then carry on to our interchange point at Gore Cross, from where they will continue at least once an hour either to Tilshead & Chitterne, or to Brazen Bottom, Market Lavington and New Zealand Farm Camp, with extra journeys operating during the afternoon.

In addition to the 16th century St.Giles' Church at Imber which will be open over the Bank Holiday weekend, this year there will also be a couple of new attractions for our passengers to visit. The Market Lavington Museum, situated next to Market Lavington Church, is opening specially for our event and in addition to exhibiting local artifacts, will be serving cream teas. Refreshments will also be available at our Chitterne terminus in the village hall, which will also house the UK Transport sales stall selling a variety of transport orientated books and models, including a limited edition Imberbus model of Routemaster RM1005.

Further details about this year's Imberbus event can be found on our website at www.imberbus.wordpress.com (http://www.imberbus.wordpress.com), including maps, timetables, fares and details of how to get to Warminster Station. If you have not been to Imber before, you might also find it useful to take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page, which provides important information on where you can and cannot go, where you can get something to eat and also the location of public toilets (which are few and far between on the Salisbury Plain!).

IMPORTANT - If you are planning on bringing a group of people to Warminster in a bus or coach, please contact us immediately as there are very few coach parking facilities available in Warminster.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: Rob on the hill on August 17, 2017, 10:50:07 AM
There's even a railtour going to Imber this year - should be busy at Warminster when it arrives!
http://www.ukrailtours.com/product/by-routemaster-to-the-lost-village-of-imber/


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: ChrisB on August 17, 2017, 10:56:37 AM
sold out very quickly that did!


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: martyjon on August 27, 2017, 06:38:34 PM
Went yesterday.

Fabulous day.

2 Open Toppers working.

Did pass one new vehicle heading towards Imber with its indicator lights flashing 'hazard' on route as we were en- route from Imber to Gore Cross which to us was an indication that the vehicle had encountered a technical problem.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: ChrisB on August 31, 2017, 09:08:39 AM
Anyone lost a camera on those buses this year?

From Imberbus mailshot

Quote
The Imberbus Crew posted: "If you were one of the hundreds of people who joined us at Imber last Saturday, please check your bag to see if your camera is still inside it. If it is missing, please send a description of it to imberbus23a@gmail.com , as we may have found it on one "


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: bignosemac on August 31, 2017, 09:46:34 AM
Anyone lost a phone on those buses this year?

Mailshot says camera, not phone.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: ChrisB on August 31, 2017, 10:00:28 AM
it does, edited. thanks!