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Never too young!

You’re never too young to enjoy Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust and Amelia Harwood is proof.

The 14-month-old with a smile as large as a double-decker has taken her first bus ride…on a vehicle 61 years her senior, writes Ed Bonner.

Little Amelia rode the Big L, 1961 Leyland Titan L446, at the recent Shawlands Pop-Up, which featured six vehicles from Bridgeton Bus Garage on display and operating free services.

With uncle and GVVT member Jonathan Harwood at the wheel of the Corpy, it was a family day out for Amelia.

And she’s welcome to have another on July 30 when GVVT hosts Family & Community Day with Star Wars characters, the Michael Brawley Big Band, military and emergency services displays, scooters, paint-a-bus, free bus rides and a host of other attractions. Doors open 11am-4.30pm. More details and to book in advance online at gvvt.org/open-sundays

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GVVT and the Glasgow Taxi Outing to Troon

GVVT was at the centre of the fun on the annual children’s Glasgow taxi run to Troon.

More than 300 kids with additional support needs were ferried to the beach in a multi-coloured, horn-blasting convoy of 120 decorated cabs and our own Volvo Olympian open-topper, writes Ed Bonner.

Organised by the Glasgow Taxi Outing Fund, the event has taken place every year since 1947, except for two runs cancelled by Covid. This year’s trip, on Midsummer’s Day, was the seventh featuring GVVT vehicles.

Keeping the Olympian on course and the passengers entertained were Archie Houliston, Joan Flanagan, Brian Ritchie, Kate Kivlichan and Robert Williams.

Joan said: “We carried more than 100 kids at various points throughout the day. The open-topper is a big draw.

“It was a wonderful trip, full of fun. We set out in rain from Kelvin Way, but by the time we paraded through the city and steered south, the sun smiled on us.

“This was my second taxi run, and it was a pleasure to be part of it.”

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L108 returns!

After a period of time off the road awaiting parts and repairs we’re delighted to report that our vintage open top Leyland Titan PD2 L108 is now back on the road! L108 was new in February 1959, registered as SGD10. It was coverted to open top in 1975. The GVVT entrusted one of our founding members, and lifelong commercial vehicle mechanic, Ian Walker, to complete the work on this vehicle. It’s not always easy getting the parts required for vehicles of this age and Ian wealth of skills meant he was always the right man for the job to get this important and popular vehicle running again in time for our Open Sunday on the 4th June, which was blessed with sunshine and an ideal day for the return of L108.

Ian has spent many hours working away on L108 and the Trust thanks Ian for his contribution to this project.

L108 outside Bridgeton Bus Garage, John Hogg
L108 with happy passengers, Bridgeton Bus Garage, John Hogg
L108 in the City Centre, Mark Loughlan
L108 in the City Centre, Mark Loughlan

If you’d like to help the GVVT in our work you can make a donation online or by text – see our funding page for more details or you can join as a member and receive 4 magazines per year and have free admission to our events, with the chance to help too! See our membership page for more details.

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General News

Astromega Launch

The mighty Astromega, one of the largest and most exciting coaches in preservation, is poised to launch.

Sir Brian Souter’s 50 foot-long Van Hool sleeper will be star of the show at Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust’s Open Sunday on June 4, writes Ed Bonner.

Visitors to Bridgeton Bus Garage will step aboard for the first time to view the lower deck from cab through galley to the passenger area complete with beds. Upstairs among the sleeping pods and luxurious seats, large screens will show the Stagecoach Story, charting the history and success of the global transport empire co-founded by Sir Brian.

The coach which clocked more than a million miles operating overnight from Aberdeen and Glasgow to London with day services in between has taken its place among 130 buses, lorries and fire appliances in GVVT’s collection.

Open Sunday, with other attractions including Clippies Café, model bus diorama and classic cars, is from 11am to 4.30pm (adult £5, child/senior £3, family £12).

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A Special Birthday!

Happy Birthday Isa!

Rewards are frequent at Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust and we were able to help mark a special celebration for the 102nd birthday of the remarkable Isa Dorman, surely the oldest living former Glasgow Corporation Transport conductress.

Thanks to our own Ed Bonner Paul Jones, Joan Flanagan and Steven Booth for making it all happen, taking the Wee L to the site of Knightswood Garage, where Isa worked from the 60s to the 80s. Gratitude also to Lorraine O’Conaill, Isa’s granddaughter, for alerting us to the occasion.

Read more about Isa’s special day in this Glasgow Times article.

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General News

GVVT & the Kelvingrove Community Gallery

We have some very exciting news about a tie up between the GVVT and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow’s west end. 

Through the great work of Nicola McHendry of Cairn Heritage, who is helping develop our archive and resource centre, we have secured a six-month residency in the museum’s ‘Community Gallery’ starting in early June 2023.  This will give people a glimpse of the artefacts we hold in our archive at Bridgeton Bus Garage.  Objects that on display will focus on the bus in Glasgow but also celebrate the tram, trolleybus and subway as well as the role of women in delivering public transport.

This involves a big team effort to pull off.  Nicola is leading the charge with energy, organisation, ideas and guidance.  She has secured the services of two students on placement from Glasgow University (Cerys and Jayati) doing an MSc in Museums Studies who helping curate what we display.  Our archive and resource centre team have been involved in selecting objects and supporting photographs with interesting stories.  Ed Bonner is leading on creating some new audio visual content with Norrie Pollock which we will be able to show on the screen provided in the gallery space.  This will draw on the high-quality photography of Chris Paton who has visited the garage a number of times.  If that’s not all, we are going to connect the venues with a bus service on the days of our events at Bridgeton Bus Garage.  And at the end, we get to keep the display, mountings and other material from the gallery. 

GVVT Archive bus and tram stops (c) Chris Paton Photography

Steven Booth, GVVT Chairman, said: “This is fantastic exposure for the Trust to showcase what we do and give people a peek into what our archive holds. 

Kelvingrove is undoubtedly one of the premier visitor attractions in Glasgow, if not Scotland and the wider UK, so to have a presence there over the rest of this year will be smashing.  A huge thank you to Nicola McHendry of Cairn Heritage, Cerys Hanson-Jones,

Jayati Srivastavia and the Kelvingrove team for their knowledge and expertise to help prepare.  And a special thank you to the archivists and our GVVT membersfor rising to the challenge with the exhibition content and audio visuals.  I personally can’t wait to see all this come together.  This will be great!”

Cairn Heritage logo
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Astromega ‘Superbus’ arrives at Bridgeton

One of the biggest names in global bus operation has chosen a new home for one of the biggest coaches on the road.

Sir Brian Souter, founder of the Stagecoach empire, has entered a Van Hool Astromega sleeper into preservation and selected Bridgeton Bus Garage, home of Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust, as the ideal place to do it.

Fifteen metres long and appropriately branded SuperBus, the double-deck, tri-axle TDX29 is a mighty addition to the GVVT collection of more than 130 vehicles.

First registered in 2013, the Astromega is a young entrant to preservation, but the new kid on the block boasts massive mileage from years of round-the-clock service.

Sir Brian hopes his new relationship with GVVT will encourage youngsters to consider a career in the bus industry.

After arriving at Bridgeton Bus Garage with the coach and being reunited with vehicles of the vintage he conducted on as a student, he said: “I’m really happy that my Astromega lives at Bridgeton.

“It’s unique. It marked a high point in vehicle development as the first custom-built sleeper coach for service in the UK.

“It had a very busy life working day and night between Scotland and London. It then moved into regular express work across the UK.

“More recently it has operated a luxury sightseeing service in Edinburgh under the SuperBus brand, so it’s had quite an interesting life.”

The Astromega can be viewed at GVVT open days and on garage tours. When fully prepared, visitors will be welcomed on board to experience its unique and luxurious interior.

Sir Brian added: “I welcome the opportunity to show the vehicle and share with visitors the Stagecoach Story on the video screen. They will also see part of the coach in sleeper configuration.

“I hope it sparks the interest of kids in particular. It would be great if some go on to careers in the industry. Meanwhile, I look forward to developing a relationship with GVVT and working more together in the future.”   

GVVT chairman Steven Booth said: “I was delighted to show Sir Brian around the garage and give him a chance to take a trip down memory lane, seeing buses that were part of his early working life.  

“The arrival of the Astromega is special. This will provide a great attraction and fits with our drive to engage more with families, especially kids. I’m sure they’ll think it’s fantastic.

“We are very grateful to Sir Brian for providing access to the vehicle for visitors and look forward to working with him on more projects.”

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Thanks for coming along!

A huge thank you to everyone who came to visit us today and support the work of the GVVT. This has been our busiest April Open Sunday on record, with around 700 visitors at Bridgeton Bus Garage. Passengers on our free bus service had 1100 rides, we think some people had more than one 0 but there’s nothing wrong with that, we even had to duplicate some journeys as demand was so high, we didn’t want to keep people waiting!

If you were one of our visitors we’d really appreciate if you could leave a review to help spread the word about what we do. There’s a few to choose from:

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GVVT appoints Garage Building Manager

We are delighted to introduce Brian Jackson, our brand new building manager for Bridgeton Bus Garage, who started with us today. He is seen being welcomed to the garage by Martin Walker (on the right) who is our trustee responsible for building.

This a big commitment for the Trust. But it’s also exciting times with a variety of projects and activities to undertake about the garage. We really look forward to having Brian as part of our team and being able to draw on his wide breadth of skills and expertise for the benefit of the Trust and its members.

Steven Booth

Chairman

For and on behalf of the trustees of the Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust

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Official 2023 Calendar now on sale

We’re delighted to offer our new 2023 GVVT Calendar, featuring 13 great images featuring of vehicles from the GVVT collection on the road. No increase in price from 2022, only £9.99 including post and packaging from the GVVT online shop

2023 calendar images