A newly restored double decker bus dating from 1914 is to take centre stage at two of this month’s Year of the Bus celebrations.
The restoration of B-type bus No. B2737 was led by the London Transport Museum with financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, London Transport Museum Friends and public donations.
To ensure the finished bus is as authentic as possible, the project team sourced a number of original parts, including B-type bodies, gearboxes and an engine.
They also enlisted the help of Yorkshire based Holdsworth & Co, which produced the cushioned moquette fabric originally used on the vehicle’s seats, to produce new covers using a fragment of material discovered during the restoration process as a guide.
The bus will be on display at Stockwell Bus Garage next Saturday (21st June, 10:00-16:00) when it becomes the latest bus garage to open its doors to the public for a day of talks, demonstrations and family activities.
It will also join around fifty other buses, including the earliest horse-drawn model and the latest New Routemasters, as part of a special Bus Cavalcade on Regent Street next Sunday.
In September No. B2737 will be transformed into a war time ‘Battle Bus’ and tour to the battlefields of France and Belgium to commemorate the sacrifices made by bus drivers, mechanics and transport workers during the First World War.
Sam Mullins, Director of London Transport Museum said: “The B-type bus is an important tribute to the civilian contribution made to the war effort during the First World War, at home and overseas.
“The project is a memorial not only to the bus drivers and their mechanics who worked on the Front Line, but also to those who stayed behind to provide a public transport service to millions of Londoners often in extremely dangerous conditions as London came under attack from aerial bombardment for the first time.”
B-type No. B2737 appearances:
21 June – Stockwell Bus Garage Open Day
22 June – Year of the Bus cavalcade, Regent Street
28 June – Fulwell Bus Garage Open Day
12/13 July – Routemaster 60, Finsbury Park
15 July – Walthamstow Bus Station
16 July – The Worshipful Company of Carmen Cart Marking Ceremony
Regent Street Bus Cavalcade:
Sunday 22 June – 11:30-18:00, free admission.
Bus garage open days:
5 July – Potters Bar Bus Garage
19 July – Walworth Bus Garage
7 September – Dartford Bus Garage