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  WELCOME TO THE THAMES VALLEY & GREAT WESTERN OMNIBUS TRUST  
  A registered charity committed to keeping alive the rich history of road passenger transport "fro' Paddington to Penzance"  
 

Last Updated: 15 September 2021

 
 

Green light for Kingsbridge on 18 September

Preparations for the Kingsbridge Mini Running Day on Saturday 18 September are at full tilt. The narrow Bristol SUs - introduced in 1960 and once stalwarts of the Kingsbridge fleet – will be on display.  Routes will sample the new 164 Totnes – Kingsbridge – Salcombe GWR/Tally Ho service – progress, with a touch of history repeating. See what’s attending, check out Totnes feeder services, and buy your programme here.

 

556 – The Final Push

Supporters enjoying the latest (bumper) edition of TV&GWOT’s magazine To and fro’ are reading about the tremendous progress restoring TV LL 556 (FMO938) to its former glory.  A Final Push Appeal has been launched to reinstate the original early 1950s-style seat frames and upholstery to complete the authentic Thames Valley experience for future passengers. 

 

Marking the TVTCo. Centenary(+1) July 2021

A curious but significant location….  The Thames Valley Traction Company, established on 10 July 1920, based its initial HQ alongside its depot in central Maidenhead - the site is now occupied by Waitrose.  Covid regulations precluded the large event planned for 11 July this year so instead our Thames Valley Bristol K 446 made a symbolic excursion in tribute to the heritage TV&GWOT celebrates.
 

Extended restrictions preclude TVT Co. Centenary+1 event

With outdoor gatherings still limited to 30 people, TV&GWOT cannot legally proceed with the running day celebration planned for 11 July. It is also clear that a road run cannot fairly satisfy the level of interest while private vehicles (as Trust and volunteers’ buses are classed) are restricted to 6 people. The Trust shares and regrets the disappointment and any inconvenience.

 

Royal Blue Run 18-21 June 2021

Some 20 coaches joined the Royal Blue Run 2021 to mark the centenary (+1) of the registration of NOTC and 140 (+1) years from the origins of Royal Blue.  Despite horrendous weather, parties limited to 6, accommodation restrictions, and an epic 750 mile route, the vehicles and their crews triumphed – testament to the owners’ care and commitment. Read more about the event here and watch coverage on our Facebook page.
 

#Busflyby – Penzance and Counting

Driver in uniform by bus wearing a facemask

We counted them out and we counted them back… the 22 local buses & coaches participating in the CBPS/TV&GWOT Penzance & West Cornwall Vintage #Busflyby on Sunday 18 April.  Buses ranged in age from 15 to 70 years and represented a range of local and more distant fleets. 

Scheduling ensured buses passed through Helston, Penzance, Hayle, St Just and Marazion at 15 minute intervals creating a spectacle for locals and those watching online.

Vehicles were immaculately turned out and crews adhered to Covid restrictions and social distancing, showcasing just what can be achieved.  We were sorry not to be able to carry passengers but hope the third Sunday in April 2022 (17th) will bring that opportunity once again.

The event may have passed but the atmosphere can still be enjoyed by watching the videos on Facebook with some additional images on the event page
 

#Busflyby – Penzance Countdown continues

We're counting down to our Penzance Vintage #Busflyby next Sunday 18 April, when more than 20 locally-based vintage buses will be on the roads of West Cornwall. Although we cannot carry passengers, we hope the buses will make a fine sight for local people to capture and share with the world using #Busflyby.

Buses can be seen at 15 minute intervals passing through Helston, Penzance, Hayle, St Just and Marazion. We expect to bring some live footage to our Facebook page for those following online, as well as photos and video highlights.

Further details including vehicles, routes and timetables can be found here. Further updates will appear on our Facebook page.


 

 

Penzance & West Cornwall Vintage #busflyby 2021

Although it will not be possible to stage our usual Penzance Running Day in April, we are pleased to announce plans for a one-off Penzance & West Cornwall Vintage Bus Flyby on Sunday 18 April 2021. We hope this socially-distanced run for locally-based vintage buses and coaches will bring some well-deserved smiles to the people of West Cornwall as they pass by. With overnight hotel/B&B stays not possible and travel discouraged, we hope others will enjoy following the run from their homes, both via our Facebook page and by following the hashtag #busflyby. For the safety of all, we regret that passengers will not be carried by vehicles at this event.
 

Is Service-19 coming your way?

Supporters have just received some relief from lockdown in the form of an 8th edition of their ad-hoc Newsletter, keeping in touch while normal activities are curtailed.  This is 22 pages of conversation with memories, interesting pictures and conundrum shared and commented on.  Why not become a Supporter and see what’s going on.  The exclusive newsletter is in addition to the flagship To and fro’ magazine.

Why relief?  Well, the logistics of relief services on the Royal Blue / Southdown / East Kent South Coast service Bournemouth-Margate are revealed in Service-19.
 

Rescued from lockdown

TV&GWOT is delighted to announce that, after a lockdown of more than 50 years, Royal Blue 1264 (LTA 893) has joined the Trust's Collection.

Watch our (socially distanced) Supporters in action completing 1264's rescue from a field near Sidmouth, where it had been parked since 1969. Facebook link

The full story of rescue and recovery is told in the Autumn edition of TV&GWOT Supporters' magazine To and fro'. If you'd like to find out more, support us in bringing these vehicles back to life, or get involved yourself, join us now.

TV&GWOT is grateful to The Oxford Bus Museum for this 'opportunity'!

 

Thames Valley Traction Co. Ltd Centenary+1

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was on 10 July 1920 that the Thames Valley Traction Company Ltd was registered. Its legacy is celebrated 100 years on, particularly by TV&GWOT. The Centenary event planned for 2020 couldn’t go ahead but planning for a Centenary+1 occasion on 11 July 2021 is underway.
TV 556, the Bristol LL (FMO938), was acquired by TV&GWOT in 2020 and, like Tilling-Stevens 152 and Bristol K 446, now has a secure long-term future taking the TVTCo. heritage into its second century with style.
A significant restoration is well advanced thanks to generous donations but further funds are needed. There is a window of opportunity, with your help, to ensure 556 takes pride of place at TVTCo. Centenary+1, in July. Find out more


 
 

Virtual Bus Running Day

Enjoy the sights and sounds of a running day with a difference from the comfort of your home. Join us on Facebook to enjoy a virtual TV&GWOT Running Day, featuring rides on board ten of our regular performers, filmed during happier times. They will return.
 

Reading 100 celebrated in style

TV&GWOT’s celebration of the Reading Motorbus centenary on 6/8 December 2019 was a great success see more.

The Trust’s new book “100 years of Reading Motorbuses” was very well received.  It presents new material charting the development of the Reading routes and fleet decade by decade from the first Tilehurst to Caversham Heights venture.  Copies of the book can be purchased exclusively from TV&GWOT. Find out more.

 

 

Previous News

TV&GWOT Events 2021

   

Saturday 18 September

11am to 6pm

Kingsbridge and Bristol SU60+1

The South Hams will again see vintage buses covering traditional routes to beautiful coast and country destinations.  Well-served by the Bristol SU, the marque’s 60th anniversary in 2020 will be celebrated one year on with SUs out in force.  The Totnes-Kingsbridge-Salcombe through service will also be featured for sampling in whole or part.

   

Events TV&GWOT hopes to attend in 2021

Sunday 12 September Taunton Bus Running Day
 

Details of other events will be confirmed once third party dates become available.

 

 

   
 

 

 
     
 

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Company Registered in England No. 5035702.  Registered Charity No. 1125980