COLLECTING IN SRI LANKA
The favourite destination over the past thirteen years has been Geoff and Linda’s annual trip to Sri Lanka .
Our 13th Annual trip to Sri Lanka during late September to early October for 16 days once again provided both relaxation and the memories of meeting up with so many of our friends built up over the years.
Our stay at the Royal Palms Beach Hotel, Kalutara coincided with Geoff's 65th Birthday which was celebrated with a special meal and a School Bus Cake. Also at this time the Hotel celebrated its 19th Anniversary which we were privileged to attend their own celebrations which included a religious ceremony and afterwards we were asked to plant two coconut trees in the hotel grounds.
Our Model Bus Collection continues to grow each year from this country with thousands of plastic toys being available for sale including hundreds of different buses. This year 35 plastic buses were collected bringing our total over the years from Sri Lanka to 790. The plastic toy buses come in all shapes and sizes and in the later years battery and remote control versions have become available.
Searching for different items has taken us to many towns across the Island and the Capital Colombo has many toy shops and outdoor markets to search.
The help from individuals and wholesalers in locating items for us has been amazing and amongst items obtained examples of open top tour buses, modern coaches including minibuses and double deckers most of which have not seen operation in Sri Lanka.
Special mention from this trip must go to the Management and Staff of the Royal Palms Beach Hotel in Kalutara for their kind hospitality and assistance in providing us with an ideal base for our holiday but also the facilities for us to have the opportunity for the Sri Lankan and Asia Media including six tv channels and numerous newspapers spend time filming us at the Hotel with us talking about our bus collecting in Sri Lanka and our experiences of collecting from across the island over the past 13 years. Geoff and Linda have become somewhat celebrities within Sri Lanka.
60th BIRTHDAY SURPRISE – Model and Cake !!!
As we were due to spend my 60th Birthday in Sri Lanka, just before leaving, our eldest son Nick gave me my biggest surprise ever “and treasured model”.
An exclusive resin replica of our 1951 Leyland Royal Tiger Miniature Coach had been produced in Hong Kong with a caricature model of myself driving. The model measures 215 mm long and was produced from many photographs and measurements provided by Nick to the company. The company also supplied proof photographs of the model being made at various stages.
More was to come on my actual birthday as the Management at the Royal Palms Beach Hotel, Sir Lanka, had arranged for the Head Chef to produce a replica birthday cake of this model complete with driver. This was brought into the restaurant on the night during our meal. Unfortunately we could only record the bus with photographs. It was frustrating that the cake had to be cut and enjoyed by ourselves and others and unable to bring it back to the UK.
Since then each year on Geoff’s birthday in Sri Lanka the Head Chef has arranged for a different “Bus” cake each year. See pictures below.
Another super "Bus" cake arrived at our table on my Birthday this time an American School Bus. It tasted great also and was shared amongst Guests and Staff at the Royal Palms Beach Hotel. Many thanks go to the Executive Chef who arranged it all and to the Pastry Chef who actually produced this one and others over the past few years (see pics below)