Two exciting bookings just confirmed: on May 26th we'll be at the Cockenzie and Port Seton Children's Gala. This is a unique community event where primary school children form a "court", parade around the East Lothian village on floats and even travel between the two harbours on fishing boats. The Gala has been running since 1949 and culminates in the crowning of the Gala Queen.
Then on June 19 we'll be at the Linlithgow Marches, crawling down the high street for the annual pageant. This one goes back even further, to the 16th century - though it will be our debut. It promises to be a noisy, colourful and crowded event. The theme is Summer Holiday, so it's just made for The Red Bus (yes, experts, I know the Cliff Richard film features an RT not a Routemaster!).
Since we started in 2007, The Red Bus has welcomed kids onboard with open arms. We love our core wedding and corporate business (and we always take pride in putting the buses out in immaculate condition – no sticky fingerprints) but the excitement we see on children's faces is hard to beat. That's why we've always been active in all kinds of children's events, from storytelling and puppet shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to our own one-off events and open days.
In spring 2010 we treated a top deck full of under sevens to a performance of Pelle's New Suit, adapted by Free Range Puppets from Elsa Beskow's classic book. The bus took them up Torphin Hill in the Pentlands, with songs along the way, then we cut the engine and the show started. Afterwards they got to handle soft wool and then saw some real lambs. Ah!
That summer the bus formed part of the Festival Cavalcade. We took out all the seats on the top deck and it was packed with kids. We entered Holyrood Park by the Commonwealth Pool and edged along to the palace behind a famous act in all their glory – the Lady Boys of Bangkok.