Northampton Transport Heritage News

After another busy year behind us we are now in 2024, on this page are the 4 key NTH Events listed, our preliminary events list for the year are on the events page, and of course we must add the proviso that all events are dependant on having enough volunteer drivers and staff to enable us to run the buses. So if you have the odd day free, why not volunteer and help us at just one of the events, it all helps to keep the Charity running.


Just to remind you, for all trips (unless stated otherwise against the event) each membership card allows you to bring one guest, extra guests or non-members can have daily membership for £5.

CBD 778K - Bristol VR
Welcome to the fold CBD 778K No 778 Ex United Counties Bristol VR, new in December 1971 as a series 2 VR but later converted in 1984 to Series 3 spec with a new round front.
This vehicle is owned by the 654 Group which includes NTH members and NTH, as a body, also have shares in it. 778 will be used as an NTH vehicle, as well as by individual owners.
We are delighted to be able to bring this vehicle back to the former UC area and we thank Jim at Wythall Transport Museum Wythall for seeing NTH as suitable custodians.
It's first outing will be on Sunday 23 June at Long Buckby Fete and Village Classics where it will be on display and will be running on the last but one service to Watford village at 15.45 (note: it does not return to the fete, it continues to base). Subject to demand it may do a duplicate run but is not rostered to.
So, keep an eye out for it at our events!

Northampton Electric Tram "Replacement Service"

A chance to remember, commemorate and celebrate Northampton's Electric Tram system that opened on 21st July 1904 and closed on 15th December 1934 with a ride on ex Northampton Corporation Transport Buses No. 146 and No. 154 which will be running as a "special tram replacement service" covering the former routes covered by the trams in Northampton;


St James Depot - Franklin's Gardens - Drapery -Kingsley -Drapery - Far Cotton- Drapery -Kingsthorpe - Drapery - Far Cotton - Drapery - Abington Park (Wellingborough Road) - Drapery - St James Depot (St James Road)


You can board/alight at any of the termini including Drapery and its on a first come first seated, hop on - hop off basis.


A 20 page special commemorative booklet will be available that includes details of times and routes, and will be available to purchase for £5 on the two dates or at any of our events where we have a  stall.


The first tram replacement bus leaves St James Depot at 10.15 and returns at 14.20, serving the other routes in between those times.


Terminus locations are;

Kingsthorpe - bus stop on Welford Road Junction;

Kingsley Park - bus stop at St Matthews Church, Kettering Road;

Far Cotton - St Mary's Church on Towcester Road;

Abington Park - bus stop on Wellingborough Road at Park Avenue end opposite Wantage Road.

Drapery stop is Bay 17.


Due to modern road conditions/alterations/restrictions we will not be able to traverse all roads on the original routes but we will cover the overwhelming majority.


* Please note; that whilst we will do everything possible to accommodate people with disabilities some of our buses, (and the vehicles available to us on this day) were not designed for wheelchair access and feature high steps which may prove difficult for some to access. We will try to assist anyone who has limited movement bus can board with assistance.


*Due to the nature and age of our vehicles no vehicle can be guaranteed on any day and may run late or not appear.


*All trips are free and no purchase is required.


*NTH reserve the right to refuse carriage to any member of the public who we deem is abusive or obstructive to other passengers or crew. Those who are clearly under the negative influence of alcohol or drugs, behaving in an anti-social manner will not be carried.


For more details contact


Supported by Northampton Town Council.

2024 Annual General and Members Meeting


This years AGM will be held on Sunday 30th June at Kingsley Park Working Mens Club, Kettering Road, Northampton commencing at 1400 hours. This is your chance to question and vote for the Committee, to hear reports of 2023 and to have your say on the running of Northampton Transport Heritage. Please come along and tell us what you think!



Events bus timetables for Long Buckby on 23rd June.


For Long Buckby the buses will be stationed either on South Close or on the Long Buckby Rugby Ground Car Park depending on access.  There will be three buses being used -  154 - Northampton Transport Daimler, 201 United Counties Coach and 654 United Counties Olympian


Archiving Project Update
We are delighted to announce that we have successfully applied to Northampton Town Council for a Community Grant that will assist our archiving project.
We have been awarded £4000 to assist us with storing, archiving and preserving documentation and photographs of Northampton Corporation Transport, which we previously rescued in 2023 from the bus depot offices.
The vast majority of that funding will pay, for only one year, for an office at The Doddridge & St James Community Centres where we are sifting through the documents and archiving.
A councillor on the awards panel said "The preservation of Northampton's Transport History supports the Town Council's desire to support local history and heritage."
We are thrilled they see what we see, we are grateful and our work can continue. Should you wish to make your own contribution, that will help keep the archive together beyond the coming year, you can donate directly to the project via this link this is only the start and we will be looking to apply to other funders to continue the project and make the collection further accessible to the public.
If you wish to be involved with the project please contact Neil Farmer, our archiving officer via


Wellingborough Bus Running Day


The following vehicles are booked to attend the Wellingborough Bus Rally. The list is subject to change depending on availability of vehicles so check back regularly to see any additions or amendments. Information is given in good faith but relies on availability on the day.


For all those attending, thank you for supporting the event and hope you enjoyed yourselves










Carbon Capture


Knowing our vehicles are not eco-friendly, we try and offset using Carbon Capture Offsetting - and this is our 2023 contribution.

St James Tram and Bus Depot


We are pleased to announce we have submitted an application to Historic England to List the St James Tram and Bus Depot. It has taken a lot of work and in doing so we have accumulated much more information and details of the construction of the original tramways. There are some of these pictures on our Depot page.



Fundraise with NTH!
As ever, our operation is totally reliant on donations, regular maintenance of our vehicles, production of promotional items and newsletter magazines, all cost money! Already this year we have spent a lot of money on vehicle repairs and maintenance. Without doing so, these vehicles would not be available to the public and we would not be able to deliver our charitable articles.
You can help in a number of ways - by shopping as per instructions below, or visit our Fundraising and Donations Page and donate to support your favourite bus.
So, did you know you could help us raise valuable funds just by doing your normal online shopping (which does not cost you any extra) or by a simple donation?
Use the QR code here to go to Give as you Live Online fundraising page for the link to the pages or just donate directly, thank you..

Wellingborough Bus Rally April 2024

Our first event this year is the Wellingborough Bus Rally on 6th and 7th April. We are now running the bus rally side of the event and will be doing local tours on vatious buses from the layby on Castle Way, Wellingborough. More details on the events page, but if you have a vehicle you would like to use in the rally, please download the attached form and return to us as noted at the bottom of the form as soon as possible please.


We will be running a bus from Northampton Railway Station leaving at 9.05 and calling at Victoria Street returning at 4.30 from Wellingborough


Other key NTH Events for 2024 -


Saturday 15 June 2024 - Transport Day at Abington Park

Saturday 7 September 2024 - Daventry Heritage Bus Running Day

Saturday 14 September 2024 - Northampton Heritage Open Day


Save The Depot Campaign


The Northampton Corporation Bus Depot that has a long history since it was built in 1911 is now up for sale by its current owners. We now have a campaign to save all or even part of this historic building for future generations and want to create a Transport Museum and Community centre for the area. Please see our dedicated page for more information over the next few months.

Events for 2024


We will have dates for events listed on the events pages.


We have also acquired a large collection of the late John Childs photograph collection from Northamptonshire Archives and we hope to put a history in pictures of the rebuild of our Crossley VV 9146 onto its own page in the new year.

Northamptonshire Archives have the remainder of the collection with many photographs of Northampton Corporation Transport Vehicles and Documents including fleet lists, disposal information, leaflets and posters.


Heritage Days 2023

We have 2 Heritage events coming up, full details in the posters below. Please come and support us, or read the appeal for Volunteers below - be part of our team.

The wonderful event at Abington Park Museum at the weekend reminds us of the importance of volunteers in putting on any show or event.
It simply could not happen without people giving up their time for free in furtherance of others having a great day out!
At NTH we are acutely aware of the fragility of the volunteer pool, and this year is no exception. We are still short of volunteer crews, in particular drivers, for our major events in September for Heritage Open Days with West Northamptonshire Council and the Daventry Heritage Bus Running Day with Daventry Town Council
So, if you hold the appropriate PCV (Class D) licence, are aged over 25, are reliable, have experience of driving classic buses and are sympathetic to their needs, get in touch with us. A CPC is not required.
Experience of driving "crash" (constant mesh) gearboxes - double declutching, and pre-select gearboxes is advantageous, but if you have had no previous driving experience on the old stuff, tuition and assessment can be provided to the right people.
A professional attitude is essential, as is being smartly turned out, an interest in classic vehicles is useful but not essential.
Conductors - need to be reasonable communicators, good with the public, lots of patience, relatively fit and agile - capable of assisting less able passengers and realise they will spend most of the day standing. There is paperwork to complete recording passenger numbers and they may need to assist the driver with vehicle checks and manoeuvring the bus.
Both drivers and conductors would receive an assessment and tuition.
Interested? Contact Malcolm Tales on or call him on 07816 676175

Heritage Open Days - 2023

We love this event, and so do you! Which is why we have been working really hard behind the scenes negotiating with WNC to make this year's event happen! 🤞🙏🙌


Yes, it's that time of year when you need to register your site, event or building if you want to be on the heritage bus route for the weekend of 9th & 10th September 2023 .... Click the link below for that....
NTH also need our volunteers crews, helpers and vehicle owners to make the event happen. Interested? Use our contact page or email for more details and your availability.
Please email to register your site. For more information, visit


Two 'new' vehicles for 2023


Well the time has come to reveal our latest vehicles - full details are on the Vehicles pages.


First is No 260 - GRP 260D - Bristol MW6G/ECW C39F - One of three MW dual-purpose coaches bought new by United Counties (Nos 260-262). This vehicle will be used in 2023.


Next we have No 40 – PBD 40R Bristol VRT/SL3/6LXB with Alexander AL H45/27D body. - One of a batch of 36 similar buses (Nos.  35-70 with varying registration letters) delivered to Northampton Transport Ltd between May 1977 and October 1978. This vehicle runs but is in need of some cosmetic changes and new seats throughout and second doors but may be used in 2023 for static display/sales stand until we can refurbish it.



Mercedes 709D - L381 LBD


We have acquired this bus recently, it was originally a Stagecoach bus that ran in the County and has now been bought and returned to it's 'home'.

It runs well and has been cleaned up so it can be used, we hope to eventually put it back into its original Stagecoach livery which along with its fleet number can still be seen under the current green paint.



August 2022 News


We attended the Buses 2022 Festival at Sywell Aerodrome, Northamptonshire on a glorious hot Sunday 7th August, we took 5 buses to the event - 146, 157, 202, 267 and 654. Whilst 3 of the buses were in the exhibition area 267 and 654 did many visitor trips organised by the Festival organisers.

We were both surprised and delighted to receive the trophy for Best Preserved Double Deck for our 146 - the 1946 Crossley - seen left with our Chairman and the Cup.

146 will be at Roade on 13th August if you would like to see the bus and have a free ride around the village. See our events page for more details