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Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The next generation

It seems only yesterday that the fledgling Cobham Bus Museum was installed in an old World War II Vickers building on an unlikely site in Surrey.

Closer to Weybridge than Cobham (some early supporters, like Ted Brakell, never stopped calling it "Weybridge"), at first it was hard to find enough owners and vehicles to occupy the building.

In those days many preserved London Transport buses were housed in LT garages and for some the longer-term security in a distant corner of Surrey was unattractive.

However, before long the building was full of preserved vehicles - not all of them from London. Indeed before too long the entrepreneurial activities of its leading lights had vehicles parked outside as well - mostly for resale or awaiting attention inside. In the genteel and leafy countryside this was nearly too much for the residents of large nearby homes. However Cobham Bus Museum survived the troubles of planning as well as the untimely death of its driving force Alan Allmey in the mid 1970s.

Now, some 40-odd years since its inception, the Museum is on the move to new purpose-built facility at the nearby Brooklands attraction - the previous home of BAC, and now a Museum in its own right and home to many historical vehicles and aircraft.

For the first time, when completed, the new London Bus Museum will be open daily and its audience will be those who have made the journey to Brooklands. Sited close to the famous racing track it will be in close company of Concorde as well as a Vickers Vanguard and VC10. How many visitors will recall, as I do, combining the excitement of a day at the (now demolished) Queen's Building Spectator Area at London Airport with a ride on some of those London bus types now preserved?

So here is a photograph of the new London Bus Museum being constructed with the proud shape of Concorde 202 (a pre-production example and the fastest ever to fly) in the background.

It will open later in 2011!
Photo: The new London Bus Museum under construction at Brooklands by David Kinnear 


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