PRINCES are the theme for of our latest Thamesdown Olympic bus shortlist. Thamesdown Transport is doing its bit for London 2012 by lending six of its new Wrightbus StreetLite single deckers to the organisers.
They’ll be in service throughout the Olympics and forthcoming Paralympics, ferrying VIPs across the capital, and are due to return in mid-October.
Once back, they’ll be put into passenger service across Swindon, but not before they’ve been given a thorough sprucing-up and a naming ceremony.
Thamesdown Transport has decided that their very special service merits some very special names, and has taken inspiration from another proud part of Swindon’s transport heritage - the Star Class of locomotives built in the town in the early part of the 20th century.
The company has also decided the people of Swindon should have the final say on those name.
This article is the second of three in which we list four names taken from the Star Class and ask you to vote for your favourite two by post or email.
After the third article next week, we’ll count the votes and tell Thamesdown Transport boss Paul Jenkins the names you have chosen.
- THE PRINCE OF WALES
The prince in question was Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, who already has a Thamesdown bus named for his later title, King Edward VIII. As Prince of Wales, though, he was a remarkably popular young man, even at the height of the Depression. This was thanks to what would now be called the common touch. The prince, known to friends and family as David, pioneered the royal walkabout. He had been king for 11 months in 1936 when the British government’s refusal to accept his choice of bride, American divorcee Wallis Simpson, prompted his abdication. He was made Duke of Windsor and lived until 1972.
- PRINCE ALBERT
Not the consort of Victoria but the couple’s great grandson. Albert Frederick Arthur George was the future King George VI, younger brother of Edward VIII and father of our current queen. Like Edward, he already has a bus named for him as monarch, but naming one for his title as prince would commemorate his role in what may well have been the salvation of the monarchy. There were doubts as to his suitability when the shy man with a severe stammer was thrust into the role following the abdication crisis, but he became one of our most popular monarchs.
- PRINCE HENRY
Henry William Frederick Albert was the third son of George V and joined the Army in 1919. He retired in 1937 only to rejoin in 1937. He was later titled the Duke of Gloucester. In addition to his long military career, he served as Governor General of Australia from 1945 to 1947. He died in 1974.
- PRINCE GEORGE
Known latterly as The Duke of Kent, Prince George Edward Alexander Edmund was the fourth son of George V. His early military career was spent in the Royal Navy, although he later transferred to the RAF. His death in 1942, aboard a flying boat which crashed into a Scottish hillside, is still probed by connoisseurs of mysteries who speculate he was taking part in a secret mission.
HOW TO VOTE
To tell us which two of these four names you’d most like to see given to Thamesdown’s Olympic buses, either write to Barrie Hudson at The Swindon Advertiser, 100 Victoria Road, Swindon SN1 3BE or email firstname.lastname@example.org