Year of the Bus 2014

routemaster london transport musesum

London Transport Museum Events

Exhibition opening: Goodbye Piccadilly – from Home Front to Western Front
Friday Lates: Goodbye Piccadilly and Paint the Town Red
Routemaster Bus Tour: A Busman’s Holiday
Talks: From A to B and back again: The Story of the London Bus and Routemaster – The Bus We Loved
Symposium: The social history and cultural significance of the London bus
B-type Battle Bus on tour
Bus Garage Open Days
Family activities
Museum Depot Open Weekends




London Transport Museum is celebrating one of London’s greatest icons with a programme of events to celebrate Transport for London’s (TfL) Year of the Bus in 2014. The events include illustrated talks, Friday Lates, guided tours and a major new exhibition – Goodbye Piccadilly – from Home Front to Western Front.
Much loved as a symbol of London, but taken for granted in terms of its importance and contribution to the Capital, the London bus carries more than 2.3 billion passengers a year equating to half of all the bus journeys made in England. Around 6.5 million bus journeys are made on a weekday and there are approximately 24,500 bus drivers operating services in London.
The impact of the London bus reaches far beyond the city limits with thousands of jobs around the country dependent upon London’s network. For example the New Routemaster is manufactured in Northern Ireland and relies on engine builders in Darlington, seat fabric weavers in Huddersfield, destination blind producers in Middleton, wheelchair ramp manufacturers in Hertfordshire and specialist flooring makers in Cornwall for components.
Year of the Bus events:
Talk: From A to B and back again: The Story of the London Bus
8 April 2014 – 19.00 to 20.30
Join London Transport Museum’s Research Fellow Oliver Green for an illustrated London bus journey through time. Find out how we got from 20 motor buses in 1905 to 8,600 serving the city today. How did the double decker become as iconic for London as the gondola is to Venice? Why are London buses red? Who were the pirates? Did a bus really jump Tower Bridge? What route is London’s love affair with the bus taking now?
Tickets: £10.00 (£8.00 concessions) – combined tickets for this event and The Bus We Loved can be purchased for £15.00 (£11.00 concessions)

Talk: Routemaster: The Bus We Loved
29 April 2014 – 18.30 to 20.00
Travis Elborough, author of The Bus We Loved joins us to celebrate the 60th anniversary of one of London’s most enduring symbols, the Routemaster bus. Travis will look at the impact the Routemaster has had on contemporary culture, telling the story of its invention, rise and decline, the stories of the people who worked on it, and of the enthusiasts who are mad about it.
Tickets: Adult £10.00 (£8.00 concessions) – combined tickets for this event and From A to B and back again can be purchased for £15.00 (£11.00)


Exhibition: Goodbye Piccadilly – from Home Front to Western Front
16 May 2014 to 8 March 2015
A major exhibition entitled Goodbye Piccadilly – from Home Front to Western Front will commemorate and explore the contribution of London’s motor buses and their drivers in the First World War and the lives of people living and working on the Home Front in London. The exhibition will present London Transport Museum’s unique perspective on the First World War, exploring how the conflict accelerated social change, how it impacted on the lives of Londoners, particularly women and the essential role made by bus service staff and buses to the war effort, both at home and abroad. It will also look at the impact of aerial bombardment on life at home and sheltering on the Tube, as well as rationing – both of which were introduced for the first time in the First World War. A key theme of the exhibition will be to examine the lives of women who were employed on a large scale to do the jobs previously occupied by men, including working as bus conductors and mechanics on London buses and as porters and guards on the Underground.
Exhibition tickets: Adults £15.00 (£11.50 concessions). Tickets allow unlimited admission to the Museum and temporary exhibitions for 12 months. Children and young people aged 17 and under go free.

Friday Late: Goodbye Piccadilly
16 May 2014 – 18.45 to 22.00
Public evening launch of Goodbye Piccadilly – from Home Front to Western Front with bar, music, talks and tours, make-and-take sessions and a quiz – 1914 style. Find out which scents the smart set favoured at our perfumery and cologne workshop, visit our gents grooming salon and get spruced up, learn how London prepared for war with author Professor Jerry White (whose new book Zeppelin Nights – London in the First World War will be launched during the evening), and create your own fashionable feathered fascinator with Spitalfields favourite Lulu O’Neil of Slightly Scarlett. Part of Museums at Night.
Tickets: £10.00 (£8.00)

Routemaster bus tours: A Busman’s Holiday
June 2014 – times to be confirmed
Join Joe Kerr, Head of Critical and Historical Studies at the Royal College of Art and Oliver Green, Research Fellow at London Transport Museum on one of the Museum’s own Routemaster buses for a tour of a selection of iconic London bus garages and stations. The tours will include visits to the modernist Stockwell Bus Garage, described by writer Will Self as “London’s most important building”, Canada Water Bus Station, designed by Czech architect Eva Jiricna, and West Ham Bus Garage, one of the largest and most sustainable bus garages in Europe, built for TfL by Pringle Richards Sharratt Architects. Part of the London Festival of Architecture.
Tickets: £20.00 (£18.00 concessions)

Symposium: The social history and cultural significance of the London bus
18 October 2014 – 10.00 to 16.00
How has the London bus changed the world? From encouraging female emancipation, supporting the war effort in 1914-18, providing design classics and inspiring art, the bus has become part of the cultural identity of London. A one day conference for Year of the Bus, in which our prominent speakers look at the iconic nature of London’s red double-decker buses, their social history, economic impact and cultural significance. Tickets include entrance to the Museum galleries on the day.
Tickets: £40.00 (£35.00 concessions) and £20.00 students

Friday Late: Paint the Town Red
29 November 2014 – 18.45 to 22.00
When the Tube closes down at the end of the day the bus rules the night. Come and party like it’s the top deck of the N23 at our Friday Late devoted to celebrating all things bus. There will be a bar, music, talks and tours, make-and-take sessions and the chance to battle for supremacy in our bus trivia pub quiz. Create bus blinds with your own destination to decorate your home, see what the future of bus travel could look like and hear curious tales from drivers on the front line. This night is guaranteed to make you miss your stop!
Tickets: £10.00 (£8.00 concessions)

B-type ‘Battle Bus’ on tour
Various dates
Central to London Transport Museum’s Year of the Bus programme will be the restoration of one of the last surviving B-type buses, No. B2737, into working condition and wartime livery. Over 1,000 London General Omnibus Company vehicles went on war service, most to France and Belgium, with some travelling as far afield as Egypt. They transported troops to and from the Front Line and were also used as ambulances, wireless equipment vehicles and mobile pigeon lofts. The restoration is being made possible with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Friends of London Transport Museum and public donations. Once restored, the public will be able to see the ‘Battle Bus’ at various events during the year prior to its journey to the former battlefields of Northern France and Belgium in September 2014.

Bus Garage Open Days
Various dates
There will be special open days with tours, displays and entertainment at selected London bus garages.

Bustastic Family Activities
A special free family exhibition trail will be available at weekends throughout the year and during school holidays to help families get the most from the Goodbye Piccadilly exhibition. There will also be bustastic family activities – including storytelling and make-and-take creative workshops, taking place during school holidays.

Museum Depot Open Weekend
Saturday 13 September and Sunday 14 September 2014: Featuring London Transport Museum’s newly restored B-type ‘Battle Bus’ prior to its tour of French and Belgian battlefields. Talks, film screenings, make-and-take creative workshops and storytelling for families.
Tickets to each event: £10.00 (£8.00 concessions)

Further information about all events can be found at

Year of the Bus is supported by and delivered in partnership with Exterion Media, Abellio, Arriva London, Clear Channel UK, Go-Ahead London, Metroline, RATP Dev UK Limited, Stagecoach, Wrightbus, Optare and telent Technology Services Ltd.

About London’s bus service
London Buses carried more than 2.3 billion passengers in 2012/13, which is a 60 per cent increase since 2000.
There are around 700 routes spanning the capital, around 117 of which operate around the clock.
About Goodbye Piccadilly exhibition
The exhibition title, Goodbye Piccadilly – from Home Front to Western Front, comes from a British Music Hall song written by Jack Judge called It’s a long way to Tipperary. It became popular among soldiers in the First World War after it was first sung by the Connaught Rangers marching through Boulogne in August 1914, and is one of the best remembered songs of the war.
About the restoration of the B-type ‘Battle Bus’
For all the up-to-date news on the B-type bus restoration, please visit our blog at
London Transport Museum’s Battle Bus campaign aims to raise £100,000 to complete the restoration in time for the First World War Centenary in August 2014. Donations can be made:
Text LTM001 to 70970 to donate £5.00
Call 020 7565 7442
About London Transport Museum
London Transport Museum is situated in the heart of Covent Garden and filled with stunning exhibits; the Museum explores the powerful link between transport and the growth of modern London, culture and society since 1800. Historic vehicles, world-famous posters and the very best objects from the Museum’s extraordinary collection are brought together to tell the story of London’s development and the part transport played in defining the unique identity of the city.
The Museum is an educational and heritage preservation charity. Its purpose is to conserve and explain the history of London’s transport, to offer people an understanding of the Capital’s past development and to engage them in the debate about its future. The Museum’s charity number is 1123122.
Travel to London Transport Museum
The nearest stations to London Transport Museum are:
Underground: Leicester Square, Charing Cross and Covent Garden.
Covent Garden station will be exit only due to lift replacement from Monday 24 February until mid-November 2014. On Saturdays and Sundays westbound trains will not stop at the station during this time please use the nearby Charing Cross, Leicester Square or Holborn stations.
National Rail: Charing Cross and Waterloo.
Address: Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB.
Public information:
Talks & events bookings: +44 (0)20 7565 7298
Switchboard: +44 (0)20 7379 6344 – general information
Address: Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB
24 hour information: +44 (0)20 7565 7299

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