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Bus Preservation and Rallies (Hardback)

The Early Years to 1980

Transport > Buses

By Malcolm Batten
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Pages: 128
ISBN: 9781399087902
Published: 6th April 2023



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The preservation of our transport heritage is something that the British excel at. The Buses magazine Museum & Rally Guide 2020-21 lists forty museums in the United Kingdom plus one in the Republic of Ireland with collections of buses (and sometimes trams or trolleybuses) amongst their exhibits. The rally calendar section lists hundreds of events taking part every year.

This has all developed since the 1950s. Prior to this a few far-sighted companies such as The London General Omnibus Company (later London Transport) had put aside some old vehicles but they were not on regular display. Private preservation started in the 1950s and the first clubs for preservationists were established such as the Historic Commercial Vehicle Club in 1958.

A few early events were held, but the first regular event was the HCVC (now HCVS) London to Brighton Run which began in 1962 and has continued ever since. Museum sites were established in the 1960s – The Museum of British Transport opened in stages between 1961 and 1963 and would lead eventually to the London Transport Museum. The East Anglian Transport Museum at Carlton Colville and the Sandtoft Transport Centre both opened in the 1960s. But it would be the 1970s when the rallies and ‘Open Days’ we know today really began to take off.

This book looks back at the formative years to 1980 when the seeds of the preservation and rally movement of today were being sown.

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About Malcolm Batten

Reg Batten was born in 1914 and lived in East London’s Dockland, where his father was a boilermaker working in the Royal Docks. With a lifetime interest in shipping, after retirement he spent much of 1976 to 1983 recording the scene around the Royal Docks and Tilbury as cargo handling methods changed and the docks adapted, until the final closure of the ‘Royals’.
His son, Malcolm Batten has inherited an interest in shipping and has had two books published about modern Thames shipping in the 21st Century.

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