THAMES VALLEY 100 - 02 August 2015  

TV&GWOT mounted a major event to celebrate 100 years since the commencement of bus services in the Thames Valley by British Automobile Traction, the forerunner of The Thames Valley Traction Co, a BAT subsidiary.

The first service (No. 1) ran Maidenhead – Reading – Streatley and commenced on 31 July 1915. The service was inaugurated using five 1913 Brush bodied Leyland S3.30.T type single decks transferred from BAT subsidiary Barnsley & District and operating under the ‘British’ fleetname.

Remarkably one of the vehicles which started this service 100 years ago, registered HE12, still exists and has been restored to original Barnsley & District livery by ace restorer and Leyland expert, Mike Sutcliffe MBE who brought HE12 to the centenary event.  HE12 has since been acquired by the National Tramway Museum at Crich.

Leyland S3.30.Ts HE11 and HE12 outside the BAT offices in Caversham Road, Reading in 1915 for the Maidenhead and Streatley service.


The LT Museum’s contemporary 1914 AEC B type ‘Battlebus’ B2737 as it went to the Continent as a troop transport in WW1. Thames Valley 1927 Tilling Stevens No. 152 (the oldest Thames Valley vehicle in preservation) at the TV&GWOT workshops being prepared for the TV100 event. It has subsequently passed to TVG&WOT ownership for long-term preservation.

The TV100 event started with a cavalcade of preserved Thames Valley buses which left Bridge Avenue, Maidenhead at 9.10am, the time of the first departure from Maidenhead 100 years. This included 1913 Leyland S3.30, HE12 which provided the climax of the cavalcade arriving in Reading to great cheers after its 13 mile journey along the A4. The cavalcade travelled along the Bath Road (A4) and through Twyford to Reading where the older vehicles went on display in the pedestrianised forecourt on the south side of Reading Station.

© Ricky Sutcliffe


Photographic opportunities at the original BAT premises in Reading captured HE12 a century later at its former depot location, the base for the Route 1 services.

Free vintage bus services operated throughout the day from the South West Interchange at Reading Station which is on the site of the terminus used by Thames Valley buses and adjacent to the site of the former Reading Bus Station (which had recently been demolished for commercial redevelopment). Services operated over the original Route 1, Maidenhead – Reading – Streatley. Vehicles in service included:

  · Thames Valley Bristol K, KSW, FLF double decks and Bristol L, LL, LWL and LH single decks
  · Alder Valley Leyland Nationals
  · Bee Line Volvo
  · Royal Blue coaches which operated on hire to Alder Valley on Route 1 in 1973-5
  · Vehicles from neighbouring operators who interfaced with or worked into the TVT area

Bridge Avenue, Maidenhead on 2 August 2015 with

buses set to depart for Reading in the cavalcade.

[© Ken Jones]

At the service hub in Reading, Reading Corporation

AEC Regent III passes Thames Valley Bristol KSW.

[© Ken Jones]

Former Thames Valley Bristol L and LL-type buses

on the service to Streatley. [© Janet Hurst]

Details of the accompanying event programme with articles about the route origins and history can be found here

  (c) Shaunbd1010




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

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