KINGSBRIDGE VINTAGE BUS DAY – Saturday 16 September 2023  

The Vintage Bus Day returned to Kingsbridge on Saturday 16th September operating a full network of free passenger carrying services on authentic routes enjoyed by enthusiasts, holidaymakers and locals.

The event was centred on Kingsbridge Bus Station on the Quay (TQ7 1FD), operating services from 10.00 until 17.30.  The bus station is at the heart of this vibrant market town with good public transport links from Plymouth and Totnes (for Exeter) and is a short drive south of the A38.

The terrain is challenging but the countryside and seaside locations are spectacular, enjoyed by crews and passengers in equal measure.  There are trunk roads (e.g. to Totnes and Salcombe) on which full-size double deck vehicles operate while other routes are best served by short, narrower vehicles specifically produced for west country service.  Vehicle entries are welcome from across the spectrum.

Features of the 2023 event included:

  Free passenger services**, out and back, to coast and country destinations such as Slapton, Totnes, East Portlemouth, South Pool & Sherford, Goveton, Frogmore, Salcombe, Hope Cove, Soar, Thurlestone, Loddiswell (Station), Modbury, and Moreleigh
  Circular services such as Kingsbridge to Blackawton back through Strete and along the coast.
  A service to coastal villages East of the Kingsbridge Estuary courtesy of the Coleridge Community Bus (and their latest easy access minibus).
  Short journeys including open-top bus rides to enjoy the estuary views on a circular to Churchstow.
  Coach tours to Blackpool Sands and services to Bigbury-on-Sea giving a break to enjoy the seaside.
  Refreshments and an opportunity to enjoy the private grounds at Loddiswell Station courtesy of the owners with proceeds going to South Hams District Explorer Scout Unit to assist with various young people’s activities, camps and expeditions.
  Trips to South Brent, tracing as closely as possible, the route of the Kingsbridge Branch Rail line which was closed 60 years previously in September 1963.
    **Passenger rides are free and privately owned vehicles and crews are provided in accordance with national guidelines for the operation of free bus services issued by NARTM (the National Association of Road Transport Museums).
There was much for the event to celebrate including 100 years since Jimmy Clark, the founder of local operator Tally Ho Coaches, first established passenger carrying services. Still vibrant, operating bus services and coaching trips and holidays from the town in 2023, there is a century to look back on and new innovations in integrated transport to look forward to.  A major influence was closure of the Kingsbridge railway line from Brent in 1963 – 60 years on was a time for reflection,

The Souvenir Programme has lasting value including extensive illustrated articles on the background, history and impact of these developments and their influence shaping the integration of passenger rail & road transport today.  It also gave details of participating vehicles, routes and timetables. With 40 vehicles offering free services over more than 20 routes there was plenty of choice and variety.

Local advertisers were also featured highlighting services and places to visit in the area.  TV&GWOT is grateful for this support of the Trust’s activities.  Click on advertiser images to find out more




This Bedford OB new to Woolacombe & Morthoe Motor Co. in 1947 made a welcome debut at Kingsbridge in 2023.

© Chris Drew

TV&GWOT’s Western National SUL No. 692 returns from Loddiswell station passing under the former branch line.

© Chris Drew

Puddles were the order of the day on 16 September, here negotiated by Western National VR 1157 expertly piloted by Driver Cripps.

© Andrew Bartlett

Returning to Kingsbridge from Slapton over Bowcombe Creek in 2022 is Western National Bristol VR 1056.

© C Drew

Bristol H 137 waits at the South Pool terminus by the creek. © S Bradbury

A winning combination of the views returning from Thurlestone and 1939 vintage Western National L5G 333. © C Drew

A coach tour by Royal Blue sets off to Blackpool Sands – a blue flag award-winning beach towards Dartmouth.

© R Kemble

Something for everyone – a 1946 Devon General AEC Regal half-cab, 1963 Western National FLF double-deck and 1985 Southern National Ford Transit minibus.

© C Billington

Or something a bit different – 1949 vintage Western National petrol-engined Beadle-Bedford HOD66 (2015). © I Williamson



Remaining programmes can be purchased for a discounted price so you can see what you missed, read about the history or make plans for Saturday 21 September 2024.

BY POST for £4.00 including p&p by either

  -   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).


Bus and coach entries for the Kingsbridge running days are warmly invited.  Main road services (for example to Salcombe and Totnes) can accommodate full width and double deck vehicles but narrow single-decks buses have scope to venture down rural roads to coast and country villages.  Coaches can be deployed, appropriately, on Tours to the seaside. 

Contact us for vehicle entry details for future events  (21st September 2024):  kingsbsbridge@tvagwot.org.uk

Space in the town is limited so regrettably vehicles for static display cannot be accommodated.




TV&GWOT is very grateful to vehicle owners and crews for making their carefully preserved buses and coaches available for public rides at Kingsbridge.


Fleet No Reg No Chassis Body Body code Date Operator
137 FJ8967 Bl H BBW B35R 1933 Western National
333 DOD518 Bl L5G Beadle B34R 1940 Western National
279 EMW284 Bl L6B Beadle C32R 1947 Wilts & Dorset
  JDV754 Bd OB Duple Vista C23F 1947 Woolacombe & Morthoe Motor Co.
1218 JUO983 Bl LL6B ECW FB39Ftd> 1948 Southern National
2015 HOD66 Beadle-Bd Beadle B35R 1949 Western National
2800 NHU2 Bl LSX5G ECW B42D 1951 Bristol Tramways & Carriage Co.
1613 LTA772 Bl LWL ECW B39R 1951 Western National
1376 OTT85 Bl LS6G ECW C39F 1954 Southern National
SN839 XTA839 Albion Nimbus Willowbrook B31F 1958 Devon General
TCR890 890ADV AEC Reliance Willowbrook C41F 1959 Greycars
600 672COD Bl SUS ECW B30F 1960 Western National
1234 286KTA Bl SUL ECW C37F 1962 Southern National /Guernseybus
692 EDV555D Bl SUL ECW B36F 1966 Southern National
1254 VOD124K Bl LHS6L Marshall B33F 1972 Western National
1318 BDV318L BL LH6L Marshall C39F 1973 Western National
1560 FDV790V Bl LHS6L ECW B35F 1979 Western National
300 C862DYD Fd Tt RH/Do B16F 1985 Southern National
401 L401VCV Dennis Dart Pn B40F 1994 Western National
357 L357VCV Merc 811 Pn B31F 1994 Western National
283 N283PDV Merc 709 PN B23F 1995 Plymouth City Transport
42860 TT03TRU Dennis Dart SLF Transbus Pointer 2 B37F 2003 Truronian
34875 WA06HNJ ADL Dennis Dart ADL Pointer B36F 2006 Stagecoach Devon
  RX22SFK Merc Sprinter  EVM Cityline Low Floor B16F 2022 Coleridge Community Bus
959 KUO972 K6B ECW L27/28R 1950 Western National
358 MCO658 Ld PD2 MCW O32/23R 1952 Plymouth Citybus
1969 468FTT Bl FLF6G ECW H38/30F 1960 Western National
L8579 869NHT Bl FS6G ECW CO33/27R 1961 Bristol Omnibus Co.
2019 824KDV Bl FLF6G ECW H38/30F 1963 Western National
507 507RUO AEC Regent V Willowbrook O36/22FT 1964 Devon General
RM1872 ALD872B AEC Routemaster Park Royal H36/28R 1964 London Transport
1056 OTA290G Bl VRT/SL6G ECW H39/31F 1969 Western National
1 UWV614S Bl VRT/SL3/6LXB ECW CO43/34F 1978 Southdown
1157 AFJ764T Bl VRT/SL3/6LXB ECW H43/31F 1979 Western National
1203 LFJ847W Bl VRT/SL3/6LXB ECW H43/31F 1980 Western National
1226 LFJ873W Bl VRT/SL3/6XLB ECW H43/31F 1981 Western National
1814 A686KDV Ld ONLXB/1R ECW H45/32F 1983 Devon General


A (free) vintage bus feeder service for the Kingsbridge event operated out and back from Ashburton, Buckfastleigh & Totnes. 

TV&GWOT is grateful to South Devon Railway Road Services for providing one of the feeders.

A frequent Tally Ho service 164 will served the route – normal fares apply.

Stagecoach service 3 to and from Plymouth operated through the day to the normal Saturday timetable – normal fares apply.



Information about previous events and programme articles can be found here

TV&GWOT’s Blog also has an account of the  2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Kingsbridge events.

In 2021 we celebrated the Diamond Jubilee (+1) of the Bristol SU which featured large in Western National’s Kingsbridge operations.  This centred on the former depot – you can enjoy the sights and sounds of this heritage re-enactment and an SU excursion to Dartmouth here:

  Click here to view form Kingsbridge event. Take a trip with us down to the former Western National depot at Rack Park in Kingsbridge.  

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

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