Brian Smith R.I.P.

Sadly, we heard last week that Brian had died, on Saturday 1st November. He was 81.

He was a life-long bus enthusiast, having started to visit Luton depot regularly whilst still at school. He joined Chatham Traction as a Conductor in 1955 on completion of his National Service, a job he did with Maidstone & District until the end of crew buses in the late 1970s. 

Brian bought GKE 68 in December 1960 for £65, one of the earliest moves in the country to privately preserve a bus. He came along to the very earliest meetings of the group that evolved into the Friends of Chatham Traction, and made a whole-hearted contribution to the 2005 Commemorative Event by bringing many of his treasured artefacts to show and turning out for the day in full Conductor's rig. He provided many observations and memories of life on the buses in the 50s, but his shining contribution to our cause was, uncharacteristically perhaps, a starring role when we were featured by BBC South East Today in November 2008. We invited him to become our Honorary Life President two years later, which he accepted.

By all reports, buses were Brian's life and for "his" bus to come back and tell the story of Chatham Traction's contribution to life in Medway would be a fitting tribute.

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