IF you’re catching a bus around Thurrock on Saturday, don’t worry. You’ve not been sent back in a time machine.

The Ensign Bus Company will are sending out their 40 strong pack of vintage carriages to help ferry passengers around as part of the company’s tenth annual Running Day.

Buses, some as old as 80 years, will be driving the streets giving passengers a touch of nostalgia and a chance to relive life on the buses before, during and after the war.

What many might not know is that Ensign, based in Purfleet, don’t just carry passengers around in their now iconic electric blue colours. They have an extensive renovation programme in place which sees buses from all over the country, and overseas, come to their workshop to be brought back to life.

As with each Running Day, which sees the vintage fleet carry on three routes around Thurrock, as well as Bretnwood and Upminster, a new vintage bus is added to the collection, and this years is a real beauty. The routes running at the X55, X81 and X86.

A 1944 Daimler has lovingly been restored to its former glory. Its first run out at the weekend will be its first since 1952, and still with its Southend Corporation Transport logo on display.

Also leaving the garage for the day will be a pre-war RT8 – the predecessor to the famous Routemaster. The RT8 on display was brought back from America unrecognisable from the bus seen today, having been damaged during the Second World War.

Then there’s a 1938 Green Line Single Decker, which you might have seen on Call the Midwife.

Ensign’s buses are no stranger to TV and films. A number of buses in storage at the moment still have decal from the decade they’ve been filming in.

Director Steve Newman said: “People now come from all over Europe for the Running Day, so we really feel the pressure to get a new bus out!”

He added: “The buses are doing what they were built to do.”

For more information, go to ensignbus.com or call 01708 865656.