READING CORPORATION CENTENARY – Sunday 8 December 2019  

2019 was the Centenary of the first Reading Corporation motor bus service which was heralded by a civic run on Friday 5th December 1919 and commenced public operation on 6th December 1919.  The service ran from Tilehurst (Plough Inn) to Caversham Heights (Harrogate Road/Albert Road) via Caversham Bridge.

This was a significant milestone and TV&GWOT Supporters pooled their expertise and collections to produce a book which charts the evolution of the Reading routes and buses to be seen about town in each of the subsequent decades from the 1920s to the present day. 

On Friday 6 December 2019 Reading Buses, with TV&GWOT and BTS support, celebrated in style with a civic run using the oldest preserved Reading bus (47) and a modern day vehicle.  Reading Buses even had a celebratory cake prepared.

On Sunday 8 December the centenary was be marked by five Reading buses from different eras re-tracing the original route via a control point in St Mary's Butts: 

      ■     BTS’s 1935 AEC Regent No. 47, the oldest metal framed double deck bus in preservation
  TV&GWOT’s 1976 Jumbo VR No. 38
  1979 Metrobus No. 162
  1964 Reading Mainline Routemaster No. 25 (later renumbered 425 by Reading Transport)
  1992 DAF Optare Spectra No. 701 making a surprise appearance having been newly restored.

The planned schedule was maintained with good passenger loadings throughout the day.  Some passengers even managed to sample all the vehicles and both Caversham and Tilehurst sections of the route.




TV&GWOT’s commemorative book, “100 Years of Reading Motorbuses” was launched at the event to great acclaim.  Produced with the help of TV&GWOT’s Reading based Supporters it charts the development of the Reading routes and fleet decade by decade from December 1919 to the present day.

The book is B5 format (between A4 and A5), 84 pages, soft bound and includes 160 illustrations, over 100 in colour.  It can be purchased exclusively from TV&GWOT at the discounted price of £9.50 with the addition of £3.00 post & packing.    

To order by post for £12.50 including p&p either:

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

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

Further information about other TV&GWOT events in the Reading area can be found here.

Image from the Reading Standard’s coverage of the civic event ahead of the start of public motor bus services the following day
Reading Buses’ commemorative cake on display in Reading Town Hall alongside the new TV&GWOT book on 6 December 2019 (with a close up view of this impressive edible bus).

Reading Buses 707 joins 47 at Tilehurst on the re-creation of the civic run on Friday 6 December.  The destination display in 707 reads: “Reading Civic Run – 100 years of Municipal Buses”; the blind in 47 is “Tilehurst”.


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

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