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  DIDCOT TRANSPORT RALLY & VINTAGE BUS RUNNING DAY – 22 May 2022  
     
 

This event was the 5th occasion TV&GWOT had supported the Great Western Society at Didcot Railway Centre in organising a Vintage Bus Running Day alongside the Transport Rally.  Information about previous events can be found here.

The vintage bus running day provided free services from Didcot over a network of routes tracing former Great Western Railway Road Motors, Thames Valley and City of Oxford bus routes and include destinations like Wantage, Blewbury, Wallingford and Abingdon, many passing through pretty rural villages.  Services operated to and from Didcot Parkway Interchange.

The Transport Rally included a further 12 buses and coaches on static display in nearby Ladygrove Park together with a wide variety of vintage cars, some unusual commercials, and a miniature railway,  steam traction engines and a fire engine. 

 Ladygrove Park is just 5 minutes’ walk from the station but a shuttle bus also operated every 15 minutes (between 10:15 and 16:15) connecting the two sites.   

 The Didcot Parkway Interchange hub for vintage bus services is adjacent to the Great Western Society’s Didcot Railway Centre entrance where steam and diesel trains ran throughout the day offering unlimited rides alongside the exhibits and visitor facilities (see Didcot Railway Centre for information, including pricing and ticketing details). 

A souvenir programme produced by TV&GWOT for the bus and coach aspects of the day details the vehicles on display and in service, gives duties and timetables and includes an illustrated article describing the heritage origins in the Great Western Road Motors bus fleet and services. The article has lasting interest and remaining copies of the souvenir programme can be purchased at a discounted price – see below.

The Vintage Bus Running Day services were free, operating in accordance with NARTM (National Association of Road Transport Museum) guidance. 

As shown below, this was TV&GWOT’s first event showcasing the Trust’s three Thames Valley buses since major restorations were completed in 2022 with the help of Supporters and workshop volunteers over several years.  They had been variously road tested with finishing flourishes applied in the weeks in the lead up to the running day.

Thames Valley Tilling-Stevens No. 152 (MO9324) undergoes a successful road test with its replacement gearbox and upgraded electrical system (April 2022).

TV Bristol K6A No. 446 (DBL154) operates in service to Cheriton passing high above Winchester at the Fokab running day on 2 May 2022.

All photos © Helen Billington unless noted

TV Bristol LL6B No. 556 (FMO938) has finishing touches applied following a major restoration (read more)

152 in service at Didcot Parkway Interchange on 22 May.  Royal Blue LS 1286 is loading behind and Western National VR 1106 is on layover above

446 sweeps out to Blewbury on the Villages circular, with over 400 passengers enjoying the vantage point throughout the day. © Chris Drew

556, fresh from the restoration workshops, looked stunning in the Chiltern landscape set off by the May sunshine and skilled photography.  © Chris Drew
 
     
 

RUNNING DAY PROGRAMMES

Remaining programmes can be purchased at a discounted post-event price of £3 including p&p by either:

  -   Sending a cheque payable to ‘TV&GWOT’ to Ledger Farm, Forest Green Road, Fifield, Maidenhead SL6 2NR, or

  -   Paying by Paypal (including any postal / delivery instructions in the notes)

 

 
   
 

BUSES & COACHES ATTENDING

Buses and coaches booked to attend (some giving passenger rides) include:

Reg No.

Chassis

Bodywork

Original owner

Year

MO 9324 Tilling-Stevens B9A     Brush          Thames Valley   1927

DOD 518

Bristol L5G

Beadle

Western National

1940

FMO 938

Bristol LL6B

ECW

Thames Valley

1950

HOU 904

Dennis Lancet J10

Strachan

Aldershot & District

1950

JFJ 875 Daimler CVD6 Weymann City of Exeter 1950
OLG 855   Foden PVRF6    Plaxton Foden Band Coach     1951

MOD 973

Bristol LS-6G

ECW

Southern National

1952

MXX 342

Guy Vixen

ECW

London Transport

1953

LUD 606 Bedford SBG Duple Vega Worth’s Coaches 1957

275 KTA

Bristol SUL4A

ECW

Western National

1962

OAX 9F

Bristol RELH-6L

ECW

Red & White

1968

GHB 148N

Bristol RESL

ECW

Aberdare Council

1974

PWS 492S

Leyland Leopard Plaxton Paramount BOC/Badgerline 1978

B106 XJO

Ford Transit

Carlyle

South Midland

1985

E206 BOD

Duple 425 integral

Duple

Western National

1988

         

DBL 154

Bristol K6A

ECW

Thames Valley

1946

TFJ 808

Guy Arab

Massey

Exeter City

1956

OVL 473

Bristol Lodekka

ECW

Lincolnshire

1960

WLT349

AEC Routemaster

Park Royal

London Transport

1960

FWL 371E

AEC Renown

NCME

City of Oxford

1967

NDP 38R

Bristol VRT

Northern Counties

Reading Transport

1976

SFJ 106R

Bristol VRT

ECW

Western National

1977

BMR 204V    Daimler Fleetline     ECW         Thamesdown Transport   1978

H654 VVV

Leyland Olympian

Alexander

Stagecoach UC

1990

 
     
 

PREVIOUS EVENTS

Information about previous events and programme articles can be found here

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

 
 

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

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