Transport Museum Wythall Announces 2019 Events Programme
An Action Packed Year
- Three restored buses return to the road in 2019
- Iconic 1931 AEC Regent 486 leads the trio after extensive restoration
- Celebration of WMPTE 50 and WMPTE Metrobus 40
- Open Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays from March to October
- School holiday openings on Wednesday and Saturday with circular bus tours
- Home to the largest collection of battery electric road vehicles
- Bristol bus owners Easter event welcomes Bristol cars in 2019
Transport Museum Wythall will open its doors again on March 30th 2019, heralding a full year of activities and special events including the return to the road of three old favourites. The museum is home to over 90 buses from the major West Midlands fleets, independent operators and provincial companies.
Transport Museum Wythall also houses the world’s largest collection of battery operated vehicles including over 30 electric milk floats and bread vans.
Return of the much anticipated AEC Regent 486
Wythall’s jewel in the crown and a classic vehicle that an expectant bus world is awaiting with much anticipation is Birmingham City Transport’s 1931 AEC Regent 486. The result of a no-compromise rebuild and displaying exceptional levels of workmanship, 486 has undergone a 4-year nut and bolt restoration of the highest quality. Costing over £600,000, 486 has been funded by legacies, donations and museum funds with the work being carried out at Ian Barrett’s workshop.
The importance of this 1930’s omnibus icon has been recognised through the award of a PRISM grant by the Arts Council of £20,000 enabling the interior to be finished as near to original condition as possible. Only three of these early shorter-wheelbase Regent chassis are believed to remain within the UK. 486 is the only provincial example with the characteristic ‘piano-front’ styling of its period.
No date has yet been confirmed for its return to the road but it’s tantalisingly close. 486 will eventually join the museum’s fleet for free bus rides. Watch the web site for further developments!
Return of West Bromwich 101 at Easter and WMPTE Metrobus 40 at Spring Bank Holiday
Another vehicle set to return to the road in 2019 is 101, the West Bromwich low-height Daimler Fleetline. Back on the road having spent most of its life as a static exhibit, 101 will help kick off the season at the Easter event on April 21st/22nd, the popular Bristol bus owners gathering now in its third year. Bristol cars are also most welcome at this event.
During the May 26th/27th Spring Bank Holiday open days, Monday May 27th will be devoted to the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive Metrobus at 40. Built by MCW in Birmingham and following trials with pre-production vehicles, the full production models went into service with the West Midlands PTE in 1979, the last being withdrawn in 2010. A wide selection of Metrobuses will be on display and available for rides.
The October main event – 50 years of WMPTE, a West Midlands milestone
The 2019 main event day on October 6th has moved forward a week, avoiding a clash with the Isle of Wight bus event. This year Wythall celebrates 50 years since WMPTE took over the operation of the local West Midlands corporation fleets in 1969. The day will feature two Cummins V6 powered buses running side by side (bring your ear defenders!) with the return to the road of Wolverhampton Daimler Roadliner 719 alongside the giant Walsall Daimler double-decker 56. West Bromwich Buses Daimler 101 and Daimler 248 will run side by side with a number of Birmingham City Transport and WMPTE buses in support. The Coventry fleet and much of Midland Red were not absorbed until 1974 but it’s planned that both fleets will be represented on the day.
The Museum and opening times
Transport Museum Wythall is open to visitors on Saturday, Sundays and Bank Holidays from the end of March until the end of October. On Wednesdays and Saturdays during local school holidays and half terms, classic bus services are operated at 12.30, 1.30 and 3.30pm. All main event days feature bus rides and special timetables. Please see the website for further details.
In addition to the bus collection, Wythall houses the world’s largest collection of battery electric vehicles, many static exhibits and bus ephemera including insights into the operating and manufacturing aspects of the industry plus a ride-on miniature railway and café/gift shop. There’s something for all the family to enjoy.
Transport Museum Wythall is conveniently located near to the M40, M42, M5 and M6 motorways.
Click Here for the museums website.