Event Details  
  In March 2017, Victoria Coach Station will be celebrating its 85th birthday with a three-day Coach Festival from 10th to 12th March. Featuring vehicles from every decade since the grand opening on 10th March 1932, the Festival will showcase coaches, artefacts and presentations on the history of coach travel in Britain. The most modern coaches will also be on display and available for inspection and boarding, alongside preserved vehicles dating from the late 1920s to the 1990s.

The coach station, originally conceived, constructed and operated by a consortium of coach operators coming together under the banner of London Coastal Coaches Ltd, is now owned and operated by Transport for London. TfL are keen to celebrate the history of the coach station and also to demonstrate the continuing development of the facilities within the coach station to meet the needs of the much larger and complex vehicles now using VCS and the people who travel within them. The imposing 1930s’ Art Deco building on the corner of Buckingham Palace Road and Elizabeth Street is still at the heart of the operation providing the main passenger entrance with areas containing public facilities for enquiries and booking, seated waiting areas and a range of cafes, shops and snack bars. This building and the canopy behind covering a significant part of the coach departure area are Grade 2 listed by Historic England.

TV&GWOT are assisting TfL in organising the event by encouraging the owners of preserved coaches to bring their vehicles to this iconic and nostalgic setting to celebrate its 85th Anniversary.

To mark the occasion, TV&GWOT, in collaboration with the Bus Archive at the Kithead Trust, have drawn on the LCC records to compile a 32-page book celebrating the first 85 years of VCS in pictures.  It includes many previously unseen images spanning the early LCC operations; construction and opening of VCS; and operational views through subsequent decades covering vehicles, passenger facilities and activities ‘behind the scenes’.  The VCS site expansion in the 1960s is followed by a section ‘Wheels to the West’ showing the subsequent design changes in coaches serving the West Country through to the present day.  Priced at just £6 it can be bought on the day from the TV&GWOT stand in the waiting area, or by post for £7.50 (including p&p) by

- Sending a cheque payable to ‘TV&GWOT’ to Ledger Farm, Forest Green Road, Fifield, Maidenhead SL6 2NR, or
- Paying by Paypal (including any postal / delivery instructions in the notes)

The TV&GWOT year ends in May 2017 but for the suggested minimum donation of £22, new Supporters at VCS will receive benefits for the current year and through to May 2018.  The current issue of our magazine To and Fro’ will be included and back-numbers will be available.

Vehicles on display will be parked in Lanes 1-4 which are at the eastern end of the coach departure area and nearest to the main passenger entrance and facilities. The display area will be cordoned off from the operational area to allow free circulation of the public around the preserved coaches.
Further information: colinbillington@tvagwot.org.uk.


Registration No Fleet No Year Original Operator Chassis Body Body code
FV4548 D81 1934 Ribble AEC Regal English Electric C18R
JG8720   1937 East Kent Dennis Lancet 2 Park Royal B35R
GUF727 1227 1946 Southdown Ld Tiger PS1/1 ECW B32R
CFN104   1947 East Kent Ld Tiger PS1/1 Park Royal C32R
EMW284 279 1947 Wilts & Dorset Bristol L6B Beadle C32R
HCD449 1249 1947 Southdown Ld Tiger PS1/1 ECW C31R
BMS414 D19 1948 Alexander Daimler CVD6SD Burlingham C33F
NAE3 2467 1950 Bristol Tramways & CC Bristol L6B ECW C31F
PPF492 36 1950 Surrey Motors AEC Regal III Harrington C37F
FFN446   1938/51 East Kent Ld/Beadle Beadle C35R
LTA729 1250 1951 Royal Blue (WN) Bristol LL6B Duple C37F
LTA958 1324 1951 Southern National Bristol LL6B Duple C37F
PPH698   1951 Epsom Coaches Bedford SBG Duple C33F
MOD973 1286 1952 Royal Blue (SN) Bristol LS6G ECW C39F
OKP980 CO252 1952 Maidstone & District Beadle Beadle C35F
OTT98 1299 1953 Royal Blue (SN) Bristol LS6G ECW C39F
390DKK CO390 1958 Maidstone & District AEC Reliance  Harrington Wayfarer IV DP40F
780GHA 4780 1959 Midland Red BMMO C5 BMMO C37F
WFN513   1961 East Kent AEC Reliance  Park Royal DP41F
253KTA 2270 1962 Royal Blue (WN) Bristol MW6G ECW C39F
275KTA 425 1962 Western National Bristol SUL4A ECW C33F
900SAF   1963 Hawkey, Newquay AEC Reliance Harrington C47F
ABO145B 145 1964 Western Welsh AEC Reliance Harrington C36F
BHA656C 5656 1965 Midland Red BMMO CM6 BMMO C44FT
CVL850D 1431 1966 Lincolnshire Road Car Bristol RELH6G ECW DP47F
KDL885F 301 1968 Southern Vectis Bristol RESH6G Duple C45F
OAX9F RC968 1968 Red & White Bristol RELH6L ECW C47F
AFM103G CRG103 1969 Crosville Bristol RELH6G ECW C47F
AVX975G 2614 1969 Eastern National Bristol FLF6G ECW CH37/18F
GJW43N 343 1974 Midland Red Ld Leopard PSU3E/4R Marshall DP49F
MSF750P XS750 1976 Eastern Scottish Sn Pennine VII Alexander M C42FT
TMX405X MPE405 1982 Midland Scottish Ld Leopard PSU3E/4R Alexander Y C49F
E50TYG 50 1988 West Riding Auto Co Ld Royal Tiger RT Ld Doyen C53F

A selection of vehicles from the above list will be on show each day. All are expected to appear on one of the days and we have several reserve vehicles if anyone has to withdraw.

Photographs taken at the 75th anniversary event by Colin Billington 


(C) Copyright The Thames Valley & Great Western Omnibus Trust

Company Registered in England No. 5035702.  Registered Charity No. 1125980