AGMs can be fun!

The Friends of Chatham Traction Annual General Meeting on 8th March was once again held in Rochester. We try to keep the necessary formalities simple, leaving time for a presentation on progress of all aspects of the Medway Heritage Bus project and, sometimes, peripheral matters of interest or a guest speaker. This year we arranged for the morning of the AGM a tour of former Chatham Traction routes in Strood, visiting Salter’s Cross, Frindsbury and Brompton Farm Road. The tour, on a Nu-Venture Volvo Olympian, was well loaded but not by all the same people who attended the AGM!  A worthwhile add-on nonetheless, and thanks once more to Norman Kemp, for again providing the bus without charge and this time doing the driving.

Then and now comparisons are invariably prompted on such occasions. Termini that were once on the edge of fields are now surrounded by housing, and streets that were comfortably negotiated by 7ft 6in wide back-loaders are now an obstacle course of parked cars and traffic calming. Bucking the trend, Salter's Cross on the old A2 is almost quietly suburban in deference to the M2.

One of Chatham Traction's finest - a 1954 Guy Arab IV at Salter's Cross in September 1955 on hire to the Southern Counties Touring Society.  A John H Meredith photo.

One of Chatham Traction's finest - a 1954 Guy Arab IV at Salter's Cross in September 1955 on hire to the Southern Counties Touring Society.  A John H Meredith photo.

The 2014 AGM Tour at the same place.  The modern shelter isn't as picturesque as the old one...  The house behind has been modernised but remains recognisable.

The 2014 AGM Tour at the same place.  The modern shelter isn't as picturesque as the old one...  The house behind has been modernised but remains recognisable.