Oxford Bus Museum
The Oxford Bus Museum has its origins in the Oxford Bus Preservation Syndicate, which was set up 52 years ago in 1967 by a group of bus enthusiasts. They had the foresight to see that buses and coaches of significance to previous generations should be saved and preserved for future generations to enjoy before they were lost for all time. Beginning with just one vehicle (pictured underneath) - which can still be seen and ridden on today, the number of preserved and restored vehicles has grown, and the museum now contains around 40 vintages buses and coaches, including a number of unique vehicles, the earliest dating from 1913.
We specialise in collecting, restoring and running buses and coaches that spent most of their working lives in Oxford city or serving the public of Oxfordshire. As the collection grew, permanent premises were needed, and Since 1984 the museum has been at the old railway station yard in Long Hanborough.
Some of our buses
Twenty four of the museum's buses and coaches were operated by City of Oxford Motor Services (COMS). From the 1930’s to the 1970’s most of the buses bought and operated by the City of Oxford Motor Services Ltd were built by AEC of Southall. The museum's collection reflects this by including seventeen AEC’s: six Regals, six Regents, four Reliances and one Renown.
The AEC badge (below) was proudly displayed on the radiator of most of these vehicles.
Our collection also preserves buses from other local operators including Chiltern Queens and Thames Transit. Notable early vehicles include three Daimler Y buses from 1915–17. We also have a unique coach built in 1961 for the Morris Motors factory brass band. It has a Morris Commercial FF chassis and an unique split-level body built by Wadham Stringer. The rear part of the passenger accommodation is raised, with a boot beneath it large enough to carry all of the band's brass musical instruments.
Exhibits at the museum include several bare chassis, and a Dennis Loline double-decker bus that has been sectioned to show how buses used to be built.
As well as many bus chassis built by AEC, our collection also includes buses and coaches with chassis built by :-
Bedford (OB), Bristol (VRT), Daimler (Y -Type & Fleetline), Dennis (Dart & Loline), Ford (R1040 & Transit), Optare Metro Rider, Leyland (Atlantean & Leopard) and Morris (FF).
Our collection has coachwork by:
Alexander, Eastern Coach Works, Carlyle, Duple, Mellor, Park Royal, Plaxton, Weymann & Willowbrook.
Generous assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund has enabled us to house our collection under cover and to display it to the best advantage for you to enjoy.
We also have a very unique little star in our collection, ERN1E the playbus. He is a scaled-down replica of a 1960 AEC Reliance that is at the museum.
ERN1E started life from the chassis of a 1964 Bradshaw electric truck which had reached the end of the road. Museum volunteers then constructed a brand new hand built wooden body to fit onto the chassis. ERN1E was then given a dashboard, steering wheel, working lights and interior furnishings, including his very own destination blind. Resplendent in 1960 Oxford bus livery, he is now one of the stars of the museum, and is dedicated and named after Ernie Clack who undertook most of the woodwork construction. (A full story on the construction of ERN1E will be published on our Restorations page in due course).
Running The Museum
The Oxford Bus Museum is a registered charity which is entirely run by our membership. Everything you see and do at our museum has been achieved by our members, who volunteer their time to restore Oxfordshire’s transport heritage.
Oxford bus museum receives
The Queen’s Award for
We are the first Road Transport Museum to receive such an Award, which acknowledges over 50 years of commitment to our transport heritage by unpaid volunteers.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of The Queen's coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups. Only about 200 awards are made nationally each year.