Routemasters old and new reawaken sleeping Wiltshire village
Every year, for just one day, the abandoned village of Imber in the middle of Salisbury Plain comes alive.
The village was evacuated in 1943 to allow troops to train for the ‘D’ Day landings. The original intention was that civilians would be allowed to return after the war had finished but this never happened. Resplendent in the middle of the village is St. Giles’ Church, which remains intact.
On the nominated day every year a frequent bus service operates from Warminster to Imber, then on to some of the villages beyond. Imberbus started in in 2009 with just a handful of buses making a single round trip in convoy. In 2018 22 buses were required to provide a 10-minute interval service over the trunk section.
Arriva London first became involved in 2013 and in 2018 provided our open-top traditional Routemaster and a wheelchair-accessible “new Routemaster” type as our contribution to the service. All fares are donated to charity. The day is very busy but highly enjoyable and the crews, who give their time free, are regularly able to look back on an enjoyable event and a job well done.