A big LUPTS reunion 5/6 October 2002:
A reunion event, for as many former members who could make it, was held in Birkenhead over the weekend of 5/6 October 2002. Here, the two main organisers give their memories of the weekend itself and the preparation for it. On separate pages, there are selections of photographs of the Saturday and Sunday. There are also details of press coverage of the event.
Martin Jenkins (Founder Member, Chairman 1958-1961)
A hugely successful weekend. The turn out was exceptional - probably at least a quarter of the one-time LUPTS membership enjoying some aspect of the 2 days.
How did it come about? The first glimmers emerged at Crich when members involved in the preservation of 869 said “we must do this again”. Actual planning began some 18 months ago but moved in serious mode when Charles and I booked the room in Bebington Town Hall last December. Next came the various letters, faxes, emails etc informing as many people as possible that it was happening and making sure 'the event' was heavily underlined in diaries. Behind the scenes, Charles was bustling away booking buses; organising the Parry tea and biscuits service; making LUPTS blinds; drinking red wine and arranging memorable photo opportunities.
We will all have our own highlights - mine are many and varied but the following stand out - a trundle round Birkenhead in 152 on Thursday evening (just testing it out!); greeting Maura McWatt (the widow of one of our founder members and my own great friend - Jerome McWatt); admiring Tom Turner (our driver on 152) tackling the jams and the hills in Liverpool; the founders’ photo-call on the caf steps in the old Students’ Union (just to find 8 of us altogether again); the amazing variety of slides taking us on that whistle stop tour into the past; the Sunday spin on 78 (as a Wallaseyean and co-author of The Tramways of Birkenhead and Wallasey this had to be my own personal high-spot); and finally the chance to meet and talk to so many other devotees spanning the life of LUPTS.
I have to thank Charles for all his work; Angus Tilston for the film show; the MTPS; the 201 Group; and all those at Taylor Street. I'm sure this will inspire a similar re-union sometime - somewhere in the future. For a 'dead' Society, LUPTS shows amazing powers of survival. Long may we continue.
Charles Roberts (Chairman 1981-1982)
Why do I always let myself get talked into helping with the organising of this sort of thing? I could sit back, maintain a low profile and just turn up on the day. I suppose because when it all (mostly?) goes well, when so many complimentary emails and other messages come in, it does makes the effort all worthwhile.
Quite a few of my Thursday evenings this last summer have been spent at planning meetings for the Wirral Bus and Tram Show. I felt a bit of a fraud amongst all these worthy souls organising sales stand space, bus parking and stewarding (apologies for my relative silence John, Bill, Dave, Denis, Ziggy et al) but I think it was useful to have a foot in the door. Things finally came together in the 10 days or so preceding the weekend – yes we could have 105 for a short ride as well as hiring 152, yes we could gatecrash a public journey on one of the vintage trams and call it a LUPTS Tour, yes we could display our blinds liberally in all the buses and trams, yes the Parry clan would bring their expertise into play with the Saturday night catering.
My personal highlights include meeting so many people across all the LUPTS generations. With due deference to our founders, I was born on the day on which LUPTS gained B society status (spooky?) and there’s another ten years of LUPTites after me. Age, position and status have no role in LUPTS get togethers – that, for me, is what distinguishes LUPTS from any other organisation. The trip on 152 was very nostalgic for me as well, as I was on its last journey for the MPTE - a hire to the Merseyside Bus Club on 20 March 1977 - and I hadn’t travelled on it since.
It’s always good to see LUPTS TOUR displayed and I got a particular kick from hearing that Wallasey 78 spent all Sunday so adorned. Maintaining a tradition though, a LUPTS TOUR destination does not deter the general public. The lady of fairly advanced years waiting in Bebington at 17:00 on Saturday night saw no reason to let a back loader pass by. When told “There’ll be another one along in a minute” she asked “It’s not another one of yours is it?”
Also maintaining a tradition, my projector decided to throw a wobbler on the Saturday evening although, of course, it now works perfectly again. Thank goodness Angus Tilston lives so close and was able to bring his slide projector along.
At 15:00 on Sunday, back at the flat, soaking in the bath (one day there’ll be a “University lecturer in freak soggy newspaper bath drowning incident” headline) I resolved never to step forward and get involved with organising things like this again. I probably will though.
As far as can be remembered, the following is a complete list former members of the Society who were able to put in an appearance for at least part of the weekend.
· Alan Atkinson (LUPTS President 1973-85, Chairman 1970/71)
· Jean Atkinson
· Chris Bennett (Founder Member, Treasurer 1959-61)
· Jonathan Cadwallader (President 1985-91, Chairman 1976/77)
· Neil Cossons (Founder Member, Journal Editor 1960/61)
· Kevin Donnelly (Founder Member, Treasurer 1958/59)
· Alan Day
· Brian Faragher (Secretary 1963/64)
· John Forrester (Chairman 1975/76)
· John Fraser
· Tony Henry (Founder Member)
· Ian Holt (Chairman 1965/66)
· Adrian Humpage (Secretary 1990/91)
· Martin Jenkins (Founder Member, Chairman 1958-61)
· Tim Jenkins (Chairman 1989-91)
· Tom Kane (Secretary 1974/75)
· Tony Kletz
· Rob Marsh
· Rob McCaffrey (Chairman 1979/80)
· Ian McLaughlin (Chairman 1977/78)
· Alan Murray-Rust (Journal Editor 1966/67 and 1969/70)
· Keith Nason (Chairman 1984/85)
· Chris Moyes
· Dave Parker (Treasurer 1981/82)
· Richard Pearson (Treasurer 1977/78)
· Chris Poole (Treasurer 1980/81)
· Steve Poole (Treasurer 1968-70)
· Bryan Pyne (Treasurer 1963/64)
· Dave Richards
· Alan Roberts (Treasurer 1982/83)
· Charles Roberts (Chairman 1981/82)
· Graham Roberts
· John Robertson (Chairman 1982/83)
· John Ryan (Founder Member, Secretary 1958-60)
· Geoff Smith (Chairman 1963/64)
· Peter Stoddart (Founder Member, Assistant Journal Editor 1960/61)
· Graham Unwin (Chairman 1986/87)
· Dave Ventry (Secretary 1975/76)
· Tony Warren
· Roland Williams (Chairman 1983/84)
· Ian Winfieldale (Treasurer 1978-80)
Friends of the Society who attended included:
· David Armstrong
· David Ellis
· Peter Jarvis
· Bruce Maund
· Maura McWatt (widow of Jerome McWatt, Founder Member)
· Ian Parry
· Angus Tilston
Apologies for absence were received from the following LUPTS members and friends:
· Simon Dunn (Treasurer 1984-86)
· Chris Knowles
· Allan Patmore (President 1958-73)
· Nick Richardson (Minutes Secretary and Journal Editor 1982/83)
· Hilary Royden
· Mark Telfer (Chairman 1985/86)
· Ray Walkington
· Andrew Wither
Last updated: 07 September 2010
© Charles Roberts/LUPTS 2002-2010