TOUR guide Ian McMillan climbs aboard the North Yorkshire Elvis Bus tomorrow to retrace the steps of the King of Rock’n’Roll from his time living in Ryedale.
Just as he first did in 2003, the Barnsley bard will tell the tale of the young woman who sees Elvis in Malton, all the inspiration Ian first needed to write a ten-minute monologue in a commission for The Shed’s second birthday party in 1994.
Later, Ian would expand it into All Shook Up!, his commission for BBC Radio 4’s Afternoon Play slot, broadcast in June 2004.
The Elvis bus tour was the brainchild of The Shed impresario Simon Thackray, who also dreamt up the knitted Elvis wigs, worn by passengers on the bus in a pattern created by Sirdar Spinning Limited of Alverthorpe, Wakefield.
As part of The Shed’s 20th anniversary celebrations, the Elvis bus will set off from outside Greens Furniture Shop in Malton at 1pm tomorrow and the 52-seater from Perry’s is already fully booked for its two-hour trek, with Presley pilgrims gathering from York, Leeds, Oxford, Malton and, just maybe, Memphis.
Lyric sheets will be provided for sing-songs and Elvis knitted wigs will be de rigueur, not least for Dave the Bus Driver.
“They’ve never gone out of fashion since we launched them in 2003,” says Simon. “They’ve been all over the world, from binmen in Wakefield to the Day Of Dada event in New York City.
“People send random emails of themselves in Elvis woollen wigs or asking for some advice on the technicalities of the knitting programme. Couples have even got married in them, and where it’s taken a different turn is that people now knit them for cancer patients who’ve had chemotherapy.
“The Elvis wig is a simple little thing out there in the world that brings a smile – and let’s face it, it keeps your head warm!” The knitting instructions, by the way, are still available at theshed.co.uk
Tomorrow’s celebrations will continue with The Shed’s 20th Birthday Party, a hoe-down at Hovingham Village Hall at 8pm featuring The Snake Davis Band and another half-hour outing for special guest Ian McMillan. Party tickets remain on sale online at theshed.co.uk or on 01653 668494.