Philip Leslie John Platt (1948 – 2016)
Phil Platt was one of our founding trustees. He passed away on 8 December 2016 after a courageous battle with cancer. Phil was born in Exeter in the immediate post-war years and lived in Devon throughout his life. He developed an interest in buses from a very early age and acquired a fondness for the then prevalent AEC vehicles, which developed into a passion in later life. Although Phil’s career took him into local government rather than the transport industry, his love for buses and coaches transcended his childhood years and developed into a hobby and interest as an adult.
The natural progression from an interest in older vehicles was to acquire one for preservation and Phil’s first bus, AEC Regent III ‘DR661’, came his way in 1966. This was to be the first of a large number of buses, coaches and lorries that passed through Phil’s hands as he took the opportunity to ‘save’ vehicles that might otherwise have been scrapped and lost to the world of preservation. Phil’s first love had always been the local bus operator, Devon General, and when, during the early 1980s, it seemed that the name was about to be lost forever, Phil, along with fellow enthusiast Nigel Bruce-Robertson, formed the Devon General Society with the aim of perpetuating interest in the operations of the company.
The Society was a great success and continues to this day with over 200 members, and Phil went on to be a founding trustee of the Devon General Omnibus Trust in 2013. With his passing the world of bus preservation lost a highly respected, knowledgeable and dedicated individual.
He is missed by the literally hundreds of people whom he helped through the years; by those who constantly drew on his knowledge of older vehicle types; by fellow members of the Devon General Society and trustees of the Devon General Omnibus Trust; by his many friends and, most of all, by his wife Diane and his close family.