Home Organisation Contact Us Shop Archives Vehicle Collection


Running Day

Whott's New Whott's Happened Become a Member Press Releases Web News Members' Area Links Events & Activities

.......preserving our commercial road transport history for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations..........
  WEB NEWS 1, 2 and 3  

In January 2001, the first issue of the West Country Historic Omnibus and Transport Trust's Newsletter WHOTT'S NEWS! was circulated to all registered Friends. Quarterly editions have followed. If you are thinking of becoming a Friend, perhaps we can whet your appetite with some snippets from the early issues:



Welcome - We begin with a round up of WHOTT's recent activities to date, including museum sightings at rallies with our exhibition stand (Mark 1). By Newsletter 2 WHOTT had taken delivery of Leyland Panther TDV 217J kindly donated to the Trust by First Western National who had used it as a Publicity and Promotions vehicle since 1980. Read about the Panther's history - ordered by Exeter Corporation and delivered to Devon General in 1970 before passing to Western National - as well as the restoration work by Trust Friends.



Pangs of Nostalgia as Bert Looks Back - Join Bert in Tavistock as he begins his regular series looking back at transport of a bygone era. Arriving by modern bus, Bert recollects when the bus station was first opened in 1950. Before that, Tavistock Town Square was the terminus and Bert recalls the contribution of Francis Hare as a busman and employer in the 1920s, establishing Devon Motor Transport and Cornwall Motor Transport companies. Our picture (courtesy B Thompson) was taken in August 1954. Bert's reminiscences in Newsletter 2 turned to the 1950s and the influx of double deck vehicles to the Devon General fleet. Efforts to ensure the bridges had sufficient clearance are recalled and combined with illustrations. In Newsletter 3 Bert is more relaxed leafing through a 'Silent Guide' developed for half-cab coach tours. The driver flicks a switch to change a number displayed in the saloon and passengers turn to their guide for a description of the landmarks in the passing scene.



The Importance of a Good Site - WHOTT has an appropriate and atmospheric building for its museum but, as yet, no site. Part of the Plymouth Depot at Laira, vacated by First Western National in 1999, has been dismantled by the Trust and put into store to be re-erected as the museum hall. Read about our quest for a site an the criteria considered important to ensure long term viability. A permanent location has now been identified near Exeter, readily accessible to schools and colleges, casual visitors and dedicated enthusiasts.



The picture shows Colin Billington's Southern National Dennis Mace BTA 59 parked up in the depot prior to the demolition.

  Meet the Trustees - In the first of the series, the transformation of a Somerset schoolboy into an enthusiast about all things Western and Southern National and Royal Blue and now Chairman of WHOTT is described - with photographs of some of the Bristols he saw on the way. In Newsletter 2, the influence of Devon General and AEC on WHOTT's Company Secretary are described - his Axminster carpet lorry is shown below. Most recently WHOTT's Archivist pins down his fascination with the origins of the buses and coaches and transport operations in the region.

Education - Key amongst the Trust objects is the educational aspect "for students of all ages". Our definition of education is broad too - social history, mechanical engineering, archival research etc. Read more and perhaps join us as a specialist.


The WHOTT Vision

Archive Days

Commercial Road Transport in WHOTT

History in the Making

The Future (events and activities for Trust Friends)

The Past (driver recollections of practices and vehicles from the 40s & 50s)




Would you like to see the full magazine?  If so, please consider becoming a Member and we’ll send current year copies right away.  Alternatively individual back numbers can be purchased at £2 each by request.  Our Shop postal rates apply.

    Web News Index

Web News 4, 5 & 6


© Copyright The West Country Historic Omnibus & Transport Trust
Registered in England Company No. 3780463. Registered Charity No. 1079795