Names on the buses

617 Douglas Reeve

Connections with Brighton and Hove : Douglas Reeve showed an interest in music at an early age and gave his first public performance as an organist at the old Regent cinema in Queen’s Road when he was 15. Born in The Lanes, Brighton, Reeve was discovered in 1934 by BBC staff organist Reginald Foort who engaged him to play in cinemas as The Wonder Boy Organist. Reeve started playing the famous organ at the Dome in Brighton after he had been invalided out of the Army. He was a regular at Tuesday Night at the Dome which ran for 1,600 performances and earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest running variety programme. Reeve made hundreds of broadcasts and many recordings at the Dome and eventually became manager of the building too. Brighton Council made him assistant resort director in 1977 and he retired two years later. Reeve’s theme tune was Pack Up Your Troubles which he started during the dark days of the Second World War. He once even carried on playing during an air raid. On another occasion, a bomb landed on the western lawn of the Royal Pavilion during one of his concerts. Reeve lived at Woodingdean where he had a Wurlitzer and a piano installed in a sound proofed room. He died in 1999 aged 81.

617 Scania Omnidekka convertible open topper carried name since delivery in June 2003, repainted in new livery June 2006. Changed to Metro 25 livery in October 2008. In March 2009 Metro 25 branding removed and reverted to standard livery. Repainted into Route 77 livery February 2013. Name removed as bus sold June 2016.

The Dome Organ