Our meeting on Wednesday 23 August was a meeting with Speaker Paul Raven-Hill from the Rotary Club of Kew Gardens, speaking about the London Bus Museum located at Brooklands, near Weybridge.
Paul has an extensive knowledge of buses that worked in and around London, starting with the early wooden horse drawn omnibuses and ending with the very latest in electric buses. 2029 will mark the centenary of the London Bus Museum, but some of the exhibits already go back 150 years!Paul took us around the museum with a slide show, describing how the original barn where the buses were stored was lost when its lease ran out, leading to the museum taking up an offer of land from the Brooklands Museum, and erecting the Cobham Hall where the buses are now on display. We were shown the roadway in the hall, complete with zebra crossing, and the many displays to be seen alongside the buses.
Getting all the buses into the building had not been easy, and as they were shuffled great precision driving was required in order that they could all be kept under cover whilst the displays were developed. Some of the buses are extremely rare in so much as the only examples to be found today are in the museum. Many were short production runs of standard buses that were altered for specific routes, either lowering the roof, or changing the length of the wheelbase.
On the 3 Open Days each year, Londoners visiting the museum can finally get to see 100+ buses all at once, down the finishing straight of the Brooklands circuit.
After the talk, members of the Club agreed to support the North London Disability Games taking place in a couple of months, and there was also some work done on the roster for the Charity Collections next month.