Covering most major bus operators in East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and East Kent
The Southdown Enthusiasts’ Club was formed in 1954 as the Southdown Spotters’ Club, and continues to keep its increasing membership up-to-date with the route and fleet developments of the Southdown Company and its successors, as well as researching its history. We are the only organisation that comprehensively records the operations of the majority of the major operators in East and West Sussex, Hampshire and East Kent.
The Club was originally formed for the association of people interested in Southdown Motor Services Limited. Even though the Southdown Company was re-formed into South Coast Buses and Sussex Coastline Buses in 1992, our club continued to avidly record the operation of these successor companies. It was an accolade of Southdown’s fine name when the Coastline company was renamed Southdown Motors Services Limited in July 2003, restoring Southdown buses to much of Sussex and East Hampshire, and affirming the faith the Club had in maintaining the name of our club.
As a result of changes to the structures of the industry over the years, our coverage has expanded to encompass the Stagecoach and First Group companies in the South East and Brighton & Hove. We also record the main activities of independent operators in the former Southdown area.
A monthly Journal of about forty A5 pages (sometimes less, often more) is sent to members giving detailed and up-to-date vehicle and service developments of the companies who operate within the traditional Southdown area. There is usually a section of items of publicity produced by the local companies, details of the histories of former vehicles of the main companies and news of Club activities and new publications.
Club meetings take place three times a year. Two of these usually feature illustrated talks from various guest speakers prominent within the passenger transport industry. The other is a members’ slide show.