READING CORPORATION CENTENARY – Sunday 8 December 2019  

2019 is 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 is a significant milestone and TV&GWOT Supporters have been pooling 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&WOT 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 will be marked by five Reading buses from different eras re-tracing the original route.  TV&GWOT will have a control & information point in St Mary’s Butts by the entrance to the Broad Street Mall, i.e. near Burger King.  See map – downloadable pdf.

The vehicles expected are:

      ■     BTS’s 1935 AEC Regent No. 47, the oldest metal framed double deck bus in preservation (Please respect the limit on numbers permitted on each trip on 47 in view of its venerable status)
  TV&GWOT’s 1976 Jumbo VR No. 38
  1979 Metrobus No. 162
  1964 Reading Mainline Routemaster No. 25 (later renumbered 425 by Reading Transport)
  A special guest vehicle, newly restored but not seen around for some time.

The duty chart and timetables are as follows:

TV&GWOT’s new commemorative book, “100 Years of Reading Motorbuses” will available to purchase at the special launch price of £11 from the stand in St Mary’s Butts.  The book has been produced with the help of TV&GWOT’s Reading based Supporters and 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.  The normal book price is £11.95 and can be purchased here (in time for Christmas) with the addition of £2.50 post & packing.    

To order by post (despatched from 9 December) for £14.45 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)

British Trolleybus Society’s Reading Corporation AEC Regent No. 47 seen on display at TV&GWOT’s 2018 Running Day [© C Billington]


TV&GWOT’s Reading Transport ‘Jumbo’ Bristol VR No. 38 seen during the 2018 Running Day


Information about previous Thames Valley and Reading events 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”.





















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