TV&GWOT has supported the Great Western Society and Didcot Railway Centre in organising heritage transport events and vintage bus days in recent years.

The events are based adjacent to the Railway Centre and Didcot Parkway station and typically take place in May/June.

The network of routes traces former Great Western Railway Road Motors, Thames Valley and City of Oxford bus routes and includes destinations like Wantage, Blewbury, Chilton, Wallingford and Abingdon, many passing through pretty rural villages.  

In 2022, 22 buses and coaches complemented a display of vintage cars, commercial vehicles, a model railway and a steam traction engine in nearby Ladygrove Park. Transport attractions within the Didcot Railway Centre itself included unlimited steam train rides.  Free bus trips ran over a network of six routes to and from Didcot Parkway Interchange giving nearly 3,000 passenger journeys and providing a shuttle service between the station and park.

Find out about plans for the 2023 event (on 14 May) here.

Programmes are produced by TV&GWOT for each event.  Beyond a record of the vehicles in service and the routes for the running day, these programmes include newly researched articles on aspects of the local transport scene over the years, lavishly illustrated with old photographs and ephemera from the Trust’s Collection. 

Themes addressed in the pages of Didcot Vintage Bus Day programmes to date include:



2022 Connecting the ‘Great Western’ to The Thames Valley & Great Western Omnibus Trust Great Western railway interests and Road Motors across the TV&GWOT region from Cornwall to Berkshire.  Pictures of the expanding fleet in rural context are complemented by a record of the shareholding changes and vehicle transfers under the new statutory framework around 1930
2019 Road Motor operations of the Great Western Railway The complementary rail and road motor interests fro' Paddington to Penzance from GWR operations more than 100 years ago to the focus of preservationists and enthusiasts today.  Many vehicles and imaginatively re-purposed buildings are illustrated. 
2017 To Work at Harwell by Bus The history of the bus services to Harwell (AERE) and photographs of the changing fleet.
2016 The Story of the Local Routes being operated The origins of the routes re-created in the running day timetable.

While stocks remain past event programmes are available to purchase at the discounted price of £3 each including p&p. 

TV&GWOT’s Blog also has an account of the 2016 Didcot event.

The Gallery below shows examples of the vehicles and scenery to be enjoyed at Didcot:

Thames Valley Tilling-Stevens No. 152 (MO9324) in service at Didcot Parkway Interchange in 2022.  Royal Blue LS 1286 is loading behind and Western National VR 1106 is on layover above. © Helen Billington

TV Bristol K6A No. 446 (DBL154) sweeps out to Blewbury on the Villages circular, with over 400 passengers enjoying the vantage point throughout the day. © Chris Drew

TV Bristol LL6B No. 556 (FMO938), fresh from the restoration workshops, looked stunning in the Chiltern landscape set off by the May sunshine and skilled photography.  © Chris Drew

Photos: David J Sheppard and David T Sheppard

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

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