The first ever recorded bus stop was in Bishops Stortford and was believed to be constructed in 1890, this linked Bishops Stortford to the town of Colchester.
Some nursing homes have built fake, imitation bus stops for their residents who have dementia. Some of these bus stops are even fitted with outdated advertisements and timetables – 30 years outdated. The residents will sit at the bus stop waiting for a bus to take them to their imagined destination. After some time, a staff member comes to escort the clients back to the home.
1939 AEC Regent III Prototype Bus– RT1
The famous RT1 is to London bus enthusiasts what Flying Scotsman is to the world of steam locomotives; RT1 was built in 1939 and was the forerunner of nearly 7,000 buses of its type which dominated the streets of London in the 1950s and 1960s. Regarded by many as an icon, the RT-type bus was way ahead of its time to the extent that the last of them was not withdrawn from front-line service until 1979.
RT1 itself is a remarkable survivor; after WW2, with two chassis changes, the bus became, firstly, a test-bed and then a mobile instruction unit, remaining with London Transport until 1978. Initially acquired for preservation, it then became commercially-owned and ended up in the USA, where it almost met its end in a scrapyard.
Brought back to the UK by some dedicated enthusiasts in the 1980s, it was eventually acquired by a private collector and subjected to a complete “nut and bolt” restoration, being returned to the condition in which it first appeared from London Transport’s Chiswick works in 1939.
This restoration was lengthy and cost over £200,000. Despite an offer from abroad for the fully rebuilt bus, the Museum was offered first refusal to purchase the vehicle and keep it in the UK permanently and was given 12 months to raise the purchase price of £150,000.
As RT1 is such an iconic and important vehicle in the developmental story of the London Bus, and despite the fact that such a large sum of money had never been raised for a bus before, it was decided to launch an appeal fund in 2009 and, through the generosity and support of many donors, RT1 was successfully acquired by the Museum in 2010.
RT1 now has a secure future within the Museum’s Collection and represents a fine example of London Transport’s pre-WW2 design, innovation and engineering excellence at its best.
C1890 Four-Light “Garden-Seat” Horse-Bus
Probably built by S. Andrews & Son, at Cardiff, for their Star Company, as one of their Patent Buses. These were constructed with the springs outside the wheels so that they could have the same “track” width as the local tram-lines.
The Star Omnibus Co. Ltd. was formed in 1899, taking over the business of the Andrews’ Star Omnibus Co. Ltd formed in 1892 by Solomon Andrews and his son Francis. This enabled their existing business, Solomon Andrews and Son, to trade in London. The company operated fifteen routes at a fixed fare of 1d. The company suffered financially from the competition and went into liquidation in 1909 after the death of Solomon Andrews.
After service with the Star Company, this bus passed to W.A. Perry & Priest, who probably used it until August 1914, when it is likely that their horses were requisitioned for army service.
In the 1930s this bus was owned by Job Master Robert Barley. After that, it is believed to have been used by Dolland & Aitchison for a while. About 1948 it was acquired by Bernard Mills, from whom it passed to Tim Richards, of Gawsworth Hall. In 1979 it took part in the “Shillibeer” 150th anniversary – George Shillibeer had introduced the horse-bus into London in 1829. It was also used to operate a bus service to London Zoo around that time.
1959 AEC Routemaster bus – RM140
The Routemaster has in recent years become the most well-known London bus and, perhaps, the most famous bus in the world.
Despite there being other London bus types of equal significance (the STL-type of the 1930s or the RT-type of the 1950s,
The first Routemaster enters service. RM1 at Crystal Palace in February 1956.
(for example), the RM has achieved its fame, firstly, because it is the very last of a long line of buses specially designed for service in the capital and, secondly, on account of its longevity. The Routemaster has been seen on the streets of London since 1956 and, even though the buses came out of front-line service in 2005, some still run today on heritage routes 9 and 15.