The Aberdeen & District Transport Preservation Trust was created in 2006 by a group of public transport professionals to ensure that representative examples of the local public transport vehicles which served the North East are available for future generations to appreciate. As much as possible, vehicles in the Trust’s care are returned to running condition and are presented to the public at a variety of exhibitions in Aberdeen City and Shire as well as further afield.
The Trust has premises alongside the Grampian Transport Museum in Alford, Aberdeenshire, where the buses in the Trust’s care are housed, rebuilt and maintained. Through Grampian Transport Museum, the Trust’s Collection Centre at Alford is open to the public on a limited basis, but arrangements can also be made for private viewing. The Trust also works closely with the First Group Heritage Trust, housing some of their collection of historic Aberdeen Corporation/Grampian Transport buses.
There is a very rich history of local transport provision in the North East. Motor buses were in public service in Aberdeen c1898, but it was railway company buses which made a lasting impression on the country bus services from 1904, the city itself being well served by electric tramcars from 1899. Other motor bus operations appeared almost at random throughout the area before 1914, a few for local passengers, most for tours and excursions.
After 1918, road passenger transport developed rapidly, vehicle design improving by leaps and bounds in terms of performance on the road and comfort for passengers/crews. Although there were no bus chassis manufacturers in the North East, there were local coachbuilders whose products were everyday sights until displaced by bigger concerns from the south. National legislation in 1930 overtook local controls, where there were any, with far-reaching consequences for the industry.
Public transport does not operate in isolation from society and a change in how life was lived in the country became apparent from c1949. Thereafter, passenger numbers carried by public transport started to decline and in response, operators had to reduce running costs. The city’s tramway system was an early casualty, but driver only service buses started to appear from the 1950s, then more rapidly until conductors/conductresses became extinct in the early 1980s. From 1950 there has also been a steady sequence of increases of permissible bus dimensions which have allowed vehicles to carry increasing numbers of passengers.
The Trust’s collection illustrates some of the many forms of vehicle which have served the area, and includes:
- Aberdeen Corporation ‘balcony’ tram 15, in service from 1901 to c1930.
- Aberdeen Corporation, Daimler CVG6 double deck bus, bought for replacement of the Mannofield tram route and subsequently re-bodied. In service from 1951 to 1971.
- Aberdeen Corporation AEC Swift single deck bus designed for one-man operation, in service from 1968 to 1980
- Grampian Regional Transport Leyland Atlantean AN68 double deck bus designed for one-man operation, in service from 1977 to 1993.
The Trust ‘s objectives set out in the Trust deed are to advance and promote the education of the public by bringing together, holding, adequately housing, maintaining, preserving and conserving a fleet of buses, coaches, trams or any other vehicle, along with any related equipment. The trust will seek to: -
- Stimulate public interest in the collection as a focal point of education;
- Display and publicise the trusts vehicle collection for the public benefit; and
- Promote and assist in collating and recording historical or other related information and objects appropriate to the purpose of the collection.
- Maintain contact with other organisations in Scotland and further afield with similar aims and objectives to the Trust.
- Promote the retention and development of skills appropriate to the restoration and operation of historic vehicles.
Thank you and enjoy our collection.