Bristol Vintage Bus Group


6th December - 31st December 2010


OTT98 will feature in the first of a two-part series about coaches on BBC4 in January 2011.  The first programme is called "The Golden Age of Coach Travel" and will be shown at 21.00 hrs on 5th January, covering the years 1920 to 1950.  The second is called "The Modern Age of Coach Travel" and will be shown at 21.00 hrs on 12th January.  It covers the years from 1950 to the present.



29th November - 5th December 2010


The latest edition of the Group's newsletter has been loaded on the members' area of the website, and will be in the post in the next few days.  Those members who have chosen to receive the newsletter by email should already have received it: please let the webmaster know if yours has not arrived:


1st - 28th November 2010


RM1363 has been taken to Ward Jones Commercial Vehicles in High Wycombe for attention to a leaking gearbox oil seal.


GHT154 recreated eight former Bristol bus routes on Sunday 21st November to commemorate the bus's 70th anniversary.  22 members went along for the ride.  View more photos.  If you're interested in finding out more about the old routes operated by Bristol Tramways and the Bristol Omnibus Company, have a look at our routes history pages or try searching our routes database.


Christchurch, Clifton provides the backdrop at the terminus of the former route 83.  Photo: David Cullimore


19th - 31st October 2010


Our end of season mini running day took place on Sunday 31st October.  View photos.


Skilful manoeuvring at Flowers Hill.  Photo: Ken Jones


19th September - 18th October 2010


FTT704 took members to the Isle of Wight for the weekend of 16th and 17th October for the IW Bus Museum's autumn running day on Sunday 17th.  The people at the museum clearly have some sort of power over the weather as it's fantastic every year.  View photos.



FTT704 gleams in the autumn sun on Newport Quay


FTT704 and AHU803 took part in the Warminster running day on Sunday 10th October.


6th - 18th September 2010


On 18th September, FTT704 took part in the Kingsbridge running day, before travelling on to Exeter for a rally on 19th.  View photos.


FTT704 at Kingsbridge.  Photo, Ken Jones


On 19th September RM1363 took members to the first bus rally at Marwell Wildlife Park near Winchester. View photos.


29th August - 5th September 2010


Five of our buses, EMW284, 536JHU, OTT98, KLJ749 and RM1363, took part in the first Frankie Howerd's classic vehicle run on Sunday 5th September.  The run began in Bath and took a scenic route over the Mendips and down Cheddar Gorge before visiting Wedmore and Brent Knoll and stopping at Weston Super Mare for lunch.  Participating vehicles then visited the village of Cross, where drivers and passengers visited Frankie Howerd's former home, before continuing to the finish at Puxton Park.  51 cars and 5 buses took part.  A large proportion of the money raised by the event will go to the Children's Hospice South West. 



Click the photos link above to see all the pictures, or have a look at the small sample below:

Classic cars, including this MG1100, wait to start from Victoria Park, Bath

KLJ749 has just completed a circuit of the Royal Circus in Bath and heads for Queens Square

OTT98 crests a small rise on the Mendips

The Group's buses take a break in Cheddar


More photos


16th - 28th August 2010


The clutch on AHU803 has been adjusted, and FTT704's cooling system has received attention.


KLJ749 and RM1363 participated in the 125th Hawkesbury village show on Saturday 28th August.


KLJ749 and RM1363 wait to take part in the carnival parade

The band tunes up in RM1363''s shadow


9th - 15th August 2010


The major event of our season, our open day and rally run jointly with the Avon Valley Railway, took place on Sunday 15th August.  The event was bigger and (we hope) better than ever.  If you came along and would like to let us know what you thought of the event, we would welcome your feedback and it will help us to plan an even better event next year.



Thanks very much to all our volunteer staff who helped out on the day to make the event possible, and to everyone who brought their buses, in some cases from considerable distances, to make the event a success. 



The line-up of half-cab buses at the end of the event.  Photo: Matthew Wilkins

GHT154 departs the rally site. Photo: Ken Jones


5th July - 8th August 2010


The latest edition of our newsletter is on its way to members.  Meanwhile, you can find it on the members' area of the website.


On 8th August, KLJ749, OTT98 and GHT154 took part in the rally at Kemble.


GHT154 and KLJ749 at Kemble.  Photo: Roger Newport


On 25th July FTT704 and OTT98 ventured back to their old haunts to visit the rally in Plymouth.


On 18th July RTW29 took part in the rally at Alton.


28th June - 4th July 2010


On Saturday 3rd July GHT127, GHT154 and AHU803 represented the Group at Rolls Royce's open day to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Bristol Aeroplane Company. 


OTT98 took part in the Stevenage to Penzance Royal Blue run over the weekend.   It joined the run at Theale on 2nd July.  More photos


OTT98 leads the way.  Photo, Ken Jones


On Sunday 4th July 536JHU and FTT704 attended the rally at Stroud.


FTT704 departs Stroud College en route for Chalford with a full load.  Photo: Roger Newport.  It may seem odd to younger visitors, but Western National used to operate services in Stroud until 1950 when they were taken over by Bristol in a rationalisation by the British Transport Commission.  To find out more about this, have a look at our history section.

536JHU has attracted a queue of passengers.  Photo: Roger Newport

FTT704 at Stonehouse, while the destination linen is being appropriately set.  Photo: Roger Newport


21st - 27th June 2010


On Sunday 27th June GHT154 took part in an event at First's Muller Road depot to commemorate the depot's imminent closure.  The depot was built for the Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company, but was initially used to support the war effort during the Second World War, before beginning its life as a bus depot in 1945.  65 years on, it is closing and the buses will move to Lawrence Hill and Hengrove Depots.  If you're interested in the history of Bristol's buses, have a look at our history pages.


GHT154 in company with a Bristol KSW, a Lodekka (you can see why they were called that from this photo)and something modern at Muller Rd depot, 27.6.10.  Photo: Geoff Bruce


J858FTC, our Mercedes midibus, passed its MOT on 24th June and will now be in action transporting our sales material to rallies.


7th - 20th June 2010


GHT127 took members to Brighton for the weekend of 12th and 13th June to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the formation of Brighton, Hove and District.  GHT127 spent several years of its life with BH&D, and it was they who converted it to an open-top bus.  Read more about its history here.


Sunday 13th June saw another event marking the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Bristol Aeroplane Company (the forerunner of today's British Aerospace) by Sir George White, who also founded the Bristol Tramways and Carriage Co.  GHT154 and OTT98 represented the group at this event.  View photos.


GHT154 in a row of Bristols at Filton.  Photo: Ken Jones


On Saturday 19th June GHT127 provided transport for 25 former carnival princesses in the Chipping Sodbury Carnival.



Over the weekend of 19th and 20th June the village of Maiden Newton in Dorset held a wartime event including historical displays, military re-enactments, wartime music and many participants dressed in period uniform.  We were intending to take AHU803 (itself a genuine survivor of the war) and KLJ749 on both days, but a problem with the autovac on AHU803 prevented it going on the Saturday.  Both buses went along on the Sunday.


AHU803 on display at Maiden Newton The Germans advance menacingly down a Dorset lane.  Well, it was menacing until the officer spoke.  With a Brummie accent.

A very young soldier takes aim at the webmaster


View more photos


Over the same weekend, OTT98 took part in the Weymouth rally.



31st May - 6th June 2010


GHT154 made a rare outing to go to the rally in Barry on Sunday 6th June.


24th - 30th May 2010


RM1363 took members to the Ragley Hall classic vehicle show in Warwickshire on Sunday 30th May.  A huge number of classic and vintage cars were there along with a handful of commercial vehicles, of which the Routemaster was the only bus.  View photos.  Photos of the Abingdon air and country show on 2nd May have now been loaded as well.



17th - 23rd May 2010


OTT98 and EMW284 have been prepared for MOT, and RM1363 received minor attention to try to stop it blowing out coolant.


3rd - 16th May 2010


Please note that our visit to the 'B' Type Centenary event at Walthamstow on Sunday 23rd May has been cancelled as so few members wanted to attend.


The Bristol Harbourside rally took place on Sunday 16th May and several of our buses went along.


Over the weekend of 8th and 9th May, RM1363 once again performed the role of Bulgy the Bus for the Avon Valley Railway's Thomas the Tank Engine weekend.


GHT154's radiator has been repaired and refitted.


26th April - 2nd May 2010


RM1363 went to the Abingdon Air and Country Show on Sunday 2nd May.  The weather in the morning consisted of heavy rain, which deterred all but the most determined, but by the afternoon it brightened up and the air display took place as planned.  There were a large number of vintage and classic cars on display and two other intrepid buses.  Photos will follow.  This was a good event - more members might like to consider coming along next year.


Due to the small number of members wanting to go to the Basingstoke rally on Sunday 9th May, we have decided not to participate this year.


12th - 25th April 2010


Change of date: RM1363 will be going to the Ragley Hall Car and Transport Show on Sunday 30th May instead of Monday 31st.


GHT154's radiator has been removed and is being stripped to repair a leak.


5th - 11th April 2010


RT1599 went to the Cobham rally on Sunday 11th April.  Unfortunately, due to a problem with our midibus, our sales stand didn't make it. View photos of the event.


RT1599 takes a break at Reading Services en route to Cobham, in company with RF366


29th March - 4th April 2010


KLJ749 took part in the Weston-Super-Mare pageant of transport on Sunday 4th April.  There was a good selection of classic cars and a handful of other buses.  View photos of some of the cars.


The revised date for the Frankie Howerd classic vehicle run has been announced as 5th September 2010.


Photos of last weekend's mini running day have been loaded on the site.  View them here.


22nd - 28th March 2010


On Sunday 28th March our spring mini-running day took place, with most of the Group's buses and several visiting buses taking members and friends for rides.  If you'd like the opportunity to do the same, why not come along to our rally and open day on 15th August?


Royal Blue coach OTT98 (fleet number 1299) pauses for photos at the top of Pensford Hill


RM1363 has passed its MOT following attention to a minor fuel leak and is ready for Sunday's mini running day.


Some changes have been made to the rally and event schedule.  Click here to see the latest version.


15th -21st March 2010


FTT704's brakes have now received attention and the bus has passed its MOT ready for the season.


Our latest newsletter has been published.  Members can view it on the secure members' area of the site.


The Frankie Howerd classic vehicle run scheduled for 4th July has had to be postponed due to the fact that the concert "T4 on the Beach" at Weston-Super-Mare has been moved to 4th July and this would make the traffic situation in Weston unsuitable for the classic vehicle run.  We will be announcing a revised date in September or early October in the next week or so.


1st - 14th March 2010


A guide to the pre-decimal currency has been added to the website for the benefit of younger visitors who may not understand the fares shown in the faretables or on tickets dating from before 1971.


22nd - 28th February 2010


We have agreed a provisional list of rallies and events for 2010.


8th - 21st February 2010


Our Bristol 'K' types, GHT127 and GHT154, took part in the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Bristol Aeroplane Company at Filton on Friday 19th February.  An EasyJet Airbus was named after Sir George White, the founder of the Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company and the Bristol Aeroplane Company.  If you're interested in the history of the Bristol Tramways and Carriage Co and its successor, the Bristol Omnibus Co, have a look at our history pages.

GHT154 in a hangar at Filton at the BAC100th anniversary

Sir George White's 1903 car

...and the EasyJet plane named after him


31st January - 7th February 2010


The Group's AGM took place on Sunday 7th February.  Briefly, the accounts were approved, as was the Trustees' report to the Charity Commission, and the Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and other three Trustees were re-elected.  Members discussed the powers of the Open Day sub-committee which will start work shortly.


Further history pages have been added to the website.  Routes are listed for 1957, and faretables are available for Stroud for 1959, 1962 and 1967, and for Bath for 1964.


18th - 31st January 2010


A number of the history pages in the website have been updated and improved.  Routes are now listed for several additional years including 1955, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1967, 1974 and 1976 and additional route information has been added to other years.  You can also view faretables for Bath City and Stroud area routes for 1955 and Swindon area routes for 1959.


11th - 17th January 2010


A record 43 members attended the members' new year lunch at the Beaufort Arms, Hawkesbury Upton, on 17th January.  GHT154 provided transport at the start of her 70th birthday year, gracing Hawkesbury Upton High Street with what is probably the first visit of a pre-war blue-liveried Bristol Tramways & Carriage Company bus since the Second World War.

GHT154 arrives in Hawkesbury Upton carrying members towards lunch

Group members pose with the bus. Photo: Sally Jones


2nd - 10th January 2010


It's been decided that GHT154 will begin its 70th birthday year by providing the transport to the members' New Year lunch on Sunday 17th, in place of FTT704, which is out of MOT. 


1st January 2010


Happy New Year / Blwyddyn Newydd Dda to all our visitors.


30th November - 31st December 2009


Maintenance work has taken place on GHT127's brakes, and member David Cole's Mercedes Midibus J858FTC has received transfers and now advertises the group as well as providing an idea of how these buses might have looked if Tilling livery had still been in use when they entered service.



The website now includes a series of pages detailing Bristol Tramways and Bristol Omnibus routes over the years.  This is still under development but many of the years from 1894 to 2009 are now included.  View them here.  Where there are gaps it's because our archives are not complete - if you'd like to help us by donating any of the missing timetables, we'd be very grateful.


You can also view a selection of old bus and tram tickets here.



News items 2009



Copyright 2009 Bristol Vintage Bus Group. All rights reserved.
Revised: 22/10/2011