Oxford Bus Museum Trust
The origins of the Oxford Bus Museum lie in the Oxford Bus Preservation Syndicate. This was established in 1967 to acquire and restore just one bus – a former City of Oxford AEC Regal III that is still the cornerstone of the museum collection. New in 1949, it represented the end of the half-cab era. Further acquisitions followed, and storage was found in barns not far from High Wycombe. But in 1981 the decision was taken to form a charitable trust with the intention of establishing a museum – the Oxford Bus Museum Trust. A few years later the present premises were found at Long Hanborough – a former railway yard beside Hanborough station. At first they were leased, but later the freehold was acquired. One large building housed the display, workshop and reserve collection, with some old Portakabins providing shop, toilets and café. By any standards it was a modest museum, but it attracted visitors, notably the bus enthusiast.
As the years went by two successful National Lottery Heritage Fund grants made possible the refurbishment of the existing museum building and the construction of new ones. One of those new buildings houses the Morris museum, a tribute to Morris car production during the lifetime of Lord Nuffield. And it also accommodates one of the finest collections of old cycles on public display in the country. The old Portakabins have gone, making room for a new building to provide visitor facilities.
All those changes have combined to make the museum attractive to a much wider audience than just the bus enthusiast. It is a popular destination for family outings. And the meeting room is in regular use by car clubs requiring a venue for an AGM.
In 2017 the museum was honoured to have a visit by HRH The Duke of Gloucester, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the inauguration of the collection. And the following year it became the first road transport museum to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.