Lincolnshire Road Transport Museum

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Family including children under 16

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This is a fascinating small museum on the outskirts of Lincoln with a collection of over 65 vintage cars, buses and commercial vehicles spanning over 80 years of road transport history.

Grandson is bus and train mad and for the last year has been desperate to go on a green double decker bus. Our local bus company is Stagecoach, and the small local company runs blue and grey single deckers. . . The answer was the traditional 'End of Season' open day at Lincoln Road Transport Museum, which is the first Sunday in November. All the roadworthy buses and cars are taken out of the museum and provide free rides throughout the day. They are joined by a few privately owned buses who make a special trip to be part of the running day.

It is a slick operation with nearly 50 buses running services throughout the day. Most are 50-60 years old. The oldest are the 1929 Leyland Lion and a Titan. There is no power steering, so strong arms are needed. The youngest bus owned by the museum is a 1980s Bristol VR, although there was a 1999 Volvo Olympian belonging to Delaine which had come as a visitor.

The buses are all in beautiful condition and well maintained. It is pure nostalgia with names like Guy Arab, Regent, Leyland, AEC, Bristol. . . .

One of the more unusual exhibits is the 1929 Chevrolet LQ Coach which was owned by White Heather at Morecambe. This was an American designed coach and the predecessor of the famous Bedford, and undertook daily tours during the summer season from Morecambe to the Lake District until the 1950's.

As well as the buses, some of the old cars were also out on the road offering rides. These included a 1928 Austin 12 and a 1939 SS Jaguar. . . . real class.

Entry to the museum is £5 which includes souvenir programme and list of what buses are running which services. This included a 10 minute service to the Railway Station, 15 minute circular service to the nearby village of Doddington and 15 minute service to the park and ride at the Lincolnshire Co-operative Home Store on Triton Road. There were also half hourly ‘mystery tours’.

This meant there was plenty of activity and there was never long to wait for a bus. Grandson had his ride on a green double decker (three actually) and there were red, blue, maroon and white buses to keep his interest. Some of the old liveries, like that of the York Pullman had a lot of class and are immediately recognisable.

The display hall in the museum had been cleared apart from the fire engine tucked away in a corner. All the buses and cars were running services and the delivery vans were parked in the forecourt of the museum. Inside the space was full of stalls selling post cards, books, magazines and model buses. There was a snack bar selling hot and cold drinks, homemade cakes and doing a roaring trade.

Beyond the display area are the workshops which were open so it was possible to see progress on the buses currently being restored, at least 6 in various stages of preservation. It makes you realise just how much work needs to be done before the vehicles are road worthy again.

Outside is a large display area with more old buses to admire. These include some belonging to the museum and also visiting buses.

Staff are friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

All in all an excellent day out – pure nostalgia. The museum is one of the few places where it is possible to still go for rides on vintage buses. 10-15 years ago bus rallies were regularly held at different venues round the country. Health and safety regulations and increasing coasts mean there are few now.

It is a popular event with all ages. The oldies come to relive youthful memories. Bus spotters of all ages arrive with their cameras and notebooks. And there are quite a number of young children brought by grandparents to be initiated into the finer points of buses. . . And the silver travel bag came too!

The museum is well worth a visit. Usual entry fees are £3.

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