Vintage Routemaster buses ferried visitors across Salisbury Plain to the abandoned village of Imber on Saturday for the third year running.
The five red London buses ran an hourly bus service from Warminster, through Imber, which has been opened by the MOD for eight days, and out to villages as far afield as West Lavington.
Many people attended the annual St Giles Day service at St Giles Church, held at 3pm, though others just came along for the ride.
Service organiser Michael Meilton said: “The whole thing started with four of us, bus industry professionals, deciding what we could do for fun when the Warminster vintage bus run was cancelled back in 2009.
“We called a few contacts and got it all up and running. It has turned out to be very popular.
“This year we had transport enthusiasts from as far away as Hull, and a couple from Swansea celebrating their wedding anniversary.
“Someone pointed out how surreal it is seeing five red buses driving along through the plain, which is so desolate. It is like something from Dr Who.”
Mr Meilton, 56, of Evans Close, Chippenham, said any excess money from ticket sales would again be donated to charity, this year the Royal British Legion.
Buses were kindly donated by the Bath Bus Company, First Buses in London and Stagecoach West in Gloucester.
Among Imber’s visitors on Saturday was family history hunter Wendy Wilshin, 68, of Great Cheverill, who has traced her family in the village back to an Isaac Carter the early 19th century.
“I know that my grandfather left the village to work for the railway, so my immediate family had left when the village was taken over by the military,” she said.
“But they lived there for a long time before that, and as it has been cut off so dramatically, it is a good place to research family history, everything is frozen.
“My family always visit the village whenever it is open. There are lots of people around here with Imber connections and it is a great place for us all to meet up.”
She met up with fellow amateur historian David Webb, from Hampshire, who has traced the Imber Carters back to the late 17th century.
“It was the first time David has been to Imber, so I went to meet him there,” she said.
“Our ancestors were agricultural workers and didn’t move around very much, but I’ve learned they were Baptists so they aren’t in the parish records.
“I will have a look in the records in Chippenham.”
The Imber bus rides this year have raised more than £1,000 for the Royal British Legion.
Article reproduced from Wiltshire Times