“A horses bus”

Our son’s reaction on seeing this bus sticks in the memory. He had obviously never seen anything like it. ‘Goodness! A horses bus!’ he exclaimed.

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Once upon a time a bus like this might have been a common enough sight but times change. The internal combustion engine took over gradually and slowly. But the horse powered bus was a thing of the past by my childhood, let alone that of my son. This bus dates from just about 1900 and was used in London. The last horse bus was phased out in London by 1912.

But the venue for this photo doesn’t look like London – and it isn’t. This was taken at an open day at the Wroughton (near Swindon) store of the Science Museum. The picture dates to the early 1980s and a particularly grand open day with all sorts going on.

The site at Wroughton is a World War II airfield with a goodly collection of hangars for storing large items.

For us, whatever the history, this bus is just ‘a horses bus’.

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