Bus Preservation & Rallies: The Early Years to 1980 (Pen & Sword)

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The preservation of our transport heritage is something that the British excel at. The Buses magazine Museum & Rally Guide 2020-21 lists forty museums in the United Kingdom plus one in the Republic of Ireland with collections of buses (and sometimes trams or trolleybuses) amongst their exhibits. The rally calendar section lists hundreds of events taking part every year.

This has all developed since the 1950s. Prior to this a few far-sighted companies such as The London General Omnibus Company (later London Transport) had put aside some old vehicles but they were not on regular display. Private preservation started in the 1950s and the first clubs for preservationists were established such as the Historic Commercial Vehicle Club in 1958.

A few early events were held, but the first regular event was the HCVC (now HCVS) London to Brighton Run which began in 1962 and has continued ever since. Museum sites were established in the 1960s – The Museum of British Transport opened in stages between 1961 and 1963 and would lead eventually to the London Transport Museum. The East Anglian Transport Museum at Carlton Colville and the Sandtoft Transport Centre both opened in the 1960s. But it would be the 1970s when the rallies and ‘Open Days’ we know today really began to take off.

This book looks back at the formative years to 1980 when the seeds of the preservation and rally movement of today were being sown. Entries are included for each museum or bus rally, with a brief description of the location/event and a selection of archive black & white photographs included for each. Hardback. 128 pages.

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