Some students may not know about Toastrack – Southampton University’s very own vintage bus, which the Engineering Society has been maintaining since the 1950s. However, here is your chance to get involved with this exquisite resident motor…

Hidden away in the deepest depths of a garage at St Margaret’s Halls is one of the University of Southampton’s most unique assets: Toastrack. She’s a 1929 Dennis Charabanc, originally bought by Engineering students at Southampton in the late 1950s, and has been maintained by the department ever since.

Toastrack isn’t quite the ordinary Southampton bus. Originally from Llandudno in North Wales, she has not forgotten her roots and has taken the odd visit up there in recent years. While in Wales, Toastrack  still earns her keep by carrying the Mayor around town, as well as also having chauffeured the marshalls at the Llandudno Transport Festival in the past.

Despite this, it’s all in a day’s work for Toastrack, who has also travelled across Europe (Italy, Germany, Russia and Spain to name a few), and so we hear, experienced a very dark time in Portugal where she broke down and was abandoned for a while.  In her prime, she was often seen roving around campus; if you’re one of the lucky few, you could still see her in action today.

University Radio Club outing to the Longleat Rally in the 1980s (photo from Friends Reunited)

Toastrack and the University Radio Club outing to the Longleat Rally in the 1980s (photo from Friends Reunited)

The Toastrack Society is looking for some dedicated volunteers – you don’t have to be an engineer – to help maintain the vehicle and to also gain the chance to drive her. The team will provide a short training course to get used to Toastrack’s ways (driving a vintage car isn’t quite the same as the modern car) and you will be able to take her on trips with friends and societies, attend rallies… or even just simply turn up to university events in style.

The good news is, if you don’t fancy getting your hands dirty there is still the opportunity to get involved, as positions for secretary and treasurer are available too.

If you are interested in this fantastic opportunity, please visit: www.southampton.ac.uk/alumni/volunteering/

Alternatively, contact the Toastrack Society: sues.toastrack@gmail.com

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