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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: 20 February 2024

 
 
The road ahead with TV&GWOT in 2024

Happy New Year!

Rested from the festive season (?), engines are revving for an exciting 2024.

There are Open Days for Supporters in January then March, alongside regular archive and vehicle working groups.

The Trust’s event programme includes firm favourites as well as rare opportunities to take free bus trips from towns across the region. Anniversaries are, of course, a cause for celebrations. too

Take a look at the programme and fill your calendar – vehicle entries are now warmly invited ….. Find out more

 
A winter treat to warm the cockles….

 

 

 

 

 

Covering the TV&GWOT territory fro’ Paddington to Penzance, this 35th edition of our magazine To and fro’ is a joyous and fascinating read.

Royal Blue was so much more than just a coach operator as accounts of special services, Christmas Day excursions, and an alternative sleigh for Santa reveal.

Sharp memories and detailed records kept by young enthusiasts in the Thames Valley area in the 1950s to ’70s rekindle memories of the life, times and buses & coaches with previously unseen photographs providing the evidence. 

Remarkably, there were nine builders of bodies in Devon and Cornwall supplying the post-war heyday of coaching. 

Click here to find out more and be inspired by the range of events and activities in 2024.
 
Kingsbridge in September

Even the rain couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of locals, holidaymakers and enthusiasts who descended on Kingsbridge bus station on Saturday 16th September.

Buses and coaches ranged in age from 1 to 90 years old ensuring there was something for every era of interest giving free rides over a variety of coast and country routes.

The souvenir programme ran to 52 pages with feature articles on the centenary of Tally Ho! origins, the changing shape of the bus station, and the impact of the Brent branchline closure in 1963, 60 years ago.  A few copies remain if you would like to find out more……. particularly if you fancy venturing to the Quay in Kingsbridge for a great day out with friends and family on Saturday 21 September 2024.

 
Fawley Hill Vintage Extravaganza

TV&GWOT and friends created a bus & coach spectacle at the National Transport Trust Vintage Transport Festival over the long August Bank Holiday weekend…… to the delight of many, including this troupe of Ukulele players….

Many Supporters were involved as we entertained visitors with hats, ticket machines and local views from the archive.

If you missed it, you can enjoy sights and sounds from the event from our Facebook post.

 
Royal Blue Run – West Country Delights 16-18 June

© Chris Drew

The annual spectacle of Royal Blue and Associated Motorways long distance coaches returned to the West Country from 16 to 18 June 2023. Some 15 preserved coaches (dating from 1947 to 2000) took part, travelling over 450 miles of original Royal Blue express service routes for bystanders and enthusiasts to enjoy.

Highlights from the run, including photos & video, and details of the coaches & routes, are available here for you to re-live the experience.

Further live coverage (including views from the cab) is still available on Facebook with supplementary updates on Twitter (@HeritageBuses).

 
South Midland and the prototype RELH – a celebration

60 years after the prototype BRISTOL RELH / ECW coach went into service with Thames Valley coaching subsidiary South Midland of Oxford, TV&GWOT marked the anniversary with a coach road run for Trust Supporters.  The route covered the central sections of the two South Midland Oxford -London routes operated by RELH 521ABL for much of the 1960s. 

A new TV&GWOT publication puts this important development in context.  It charts the origins of South Midland from 1921, the evolution of routes and vehicles operating through the decades, and the role of the prototype RELH transforming travel.  The story is continued through the Oxford Tube years to Thames Transit to the late 1990s.

Find out more about the vehicles which took part, the route and Souvenir Booklet.
 
Penzance Vintage Bus Day success

 

With a record number of entries and free rides on vehicles from older half cabs to VR double decks and more modern special Darts, there was something for everyone to enjoy in Penzance on Sunday 16 April.

Crowds flocked to the bus station and enjoyed a variety of trips to destinations around the West Cornwall Peninsula.

Souvenir programmes all but sold out but the few remaining can be purchased online while stocks last.  The feature article celebrates 120 years since Great Western Road Motors inaugurated the Lizard service with illustrations of bus and service developments across the decades.  The story is brought up to date with the ‘rail-link’ services of today. There’s also a spotlight on former Truronian Dart ‘TT03’, newly restored which made its debut back in original livery complete with vinyls at the bus day.  Find out more here.

The programme cover design is based on the Cornwall area timetable from 70 years ago – Coronation year 1953!

 

Previous News

Donations enable the Trust to put on events for public enjoyment, showcasing our transport heritage and the origins of sustainable bus and coach travel today.

You can donate easily here via Paypal and the Donations page gives details of other cost-effective ways to contribute.

TV&GWOT Events 2024

 

TV&GWOT’s programme for 2024 includes our ever-popular annual events (Penzance, Royal Blue Run and Kingsbridge) together with additional ‘specials’.  Do join us throughout the year

Sunday 21 April

Penzance Vintage Bus Day with the Cornwall Bus Preservation Society

Sunday 2 June

Taunton Vintage Bus Day

A return to the Bus Station

Friday 21 to Sunday 23 June

Royal Blue and Associated Motorways long-distance coach run

From country to coast – Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Sussex…..

Saturday 6 to Sunday 7 July

Cheltenham Classic Coach Gathering

90th Anniversary of Associated Motorways being formed

Sunday 4 August

Tavistock Vintage Bus Day

Adventures for all the family travelling back in time to the late ’60s

Saturday 21 September

Kingsbridge Vintage Bus Day with small narrow buses for the lanes to coast and country destinations

   

Further details of each event and vehicle entry forms will be available early in 2024.  Meanwhile please contact enquiries@tvagwot.org.uk with any queries.

 

Events TV&GWOT hopes to attend in 2024

 

We and our vehicle will be contributing to other events across the TV&GWOT region through 2024 including (so far):

 

Monday 6 May

FoKAB Winchester Vintage Bus Day

Sunday 12 May

HCVS London to Brighton

Friday 17 to Sunday 19 May

Fawley Hill Steam & Vintage Transport Festival

The very last!

Sunday 21 July

Alton Bus Rally & Running Day

Sunday 28 July

Windsor Bus Running Day

Thames Valley services to complement the Amersham & District Motorbus Society event 40 years after the closure of the London Country depot

Saturday 17 August

Imberbus

Sunday 29 September

Showbus – Quainton

 

 
     
 

(C) Copyright The Thames Valley & Great Western Omnibus Trust

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