Featured image credit: The Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester

To celebrate 200 years of buses in Salford this month, The Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester is to feature a collection of historic local buses, two of which date back to the 1800s. 

200 years ago, the UK’s first ever bus service was created in Salford by John Greenwood, a seemingly ordinary bloke who revolutionised transport services across the UK.

A horse bus of the Manchester Carriage Company, the company that John Greenwood created. Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester

To mark John’s entrepreneurship in 1824, The Museum of Transport will be running a free vintage bus service in Salford to the museum on Saturday and Sunday April 20/21.

The Museum is “very excited” to showcase the Manchester Carriage & Tramways Company tram L53, which dates back to the 1800s. The historic tram will be on display alongside the Museum’s 1890 horse bus. This is the first time in over a century since any two vehicles from that company have been together.

Many more “brilliant survivors” will feature at the ‘Omnibus‘ event, including the 1939 AEC ‘Regent’, Salford 235 bus. The Salford 235 bus will hopefully be “on the move” at the Museum after having serious engine problems for decades.

Bus number 2150 (built in Manchester in 1948) is one of the vintage vehicles that the Museum of Transport expects to use at the event to give free rides. Image credit: Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester

Other buses on display include the 1927 ‘Karrier’ bus, Ashton 8, the 1928 Ribble Leyland ‘Lion’ 295 and the recently-restored Oldham Corporation 246 bus.

Historian, Paul Williams at the Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester said: “We think it’s quite important that the 200th anniversary of that first bus (in Salford) doesn’t get neglected.

“It’s an opportunity really to look back at that 200-year history and be really proud of where we’ve come from.”

On both days, a free shuttle bus service will run between the Museum and Shudehill Interchange; and between the Museum and Salford calling at Ford Lane, Pendleton; and Salford Museum & Art Gallery.

Buses to Ford Lane, Pendleton and Salford Museum will run from the Museum at 11:05 and every 30 minutes until 16:05; from Ford Lane at 11:25; and from Salford Museum at 11:35, with the last departure at 16:35. 

Until the 1940s, Salford buses were red; then from the 1940s to the 1970s, they were green. Image credit: Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester

There will also be a display of two historic buses on the University Campus at Salford Museum & Art Gallery on April 20/21.

Paul added: “It’s an interesting time in buses in general with the Bee Network now becoming more of a thing in Manchester. People are interested in public transport for its environmental benefits and also people are very nostalgic, lots of people went to school on the bus or to shopping on the bus or to work on the bus.

“We think it’ll be a really popular weekend and we certainly intend to enjoy ourselves.”

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