Ref no39735
TitleRecords of Bristol Omnibus Company and related companies
Date1870 - 1986
DescriptionThis collection includes records of Bristol Tramways Company, Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company, Bristol Omnibus Company and First Bristol, along with its sister companies in Bath under the names under the names of Bath Electric Tramways Company / Bath Tramways Motor Company, and in Cheltenham under the names Cheltenham and District Light Railway Company / Cheltenham District Traction Company.

The Bristol material (39735/Bri) includes articles of association, correspondence, minutes, estate records, legal records, shares records, accounts and ledgers, advertising, artefacts, press cuttings, tickets, histories, diaries, photographs, printed books magazines fleet lists and timetables, plans and staff instructions and booklets.

The Bath material (39735/Bat) includes articles of association, minutes, legal records, shares records, accounts, cash books, ledgers, tickets, timetables and staff booklets.

The Cheltenham material (39735/Che) includes minutes, railway orders, accounts, cash books, day books, and a historical booklet
Extent20 shelves
Administrative historyThe Bristol Tramways Company was formed in 1875 by Sir George White and began a horse-tram service between Upper Maudlin Street and Blackboy Hill. In 1887 it merged with the Bristol Cab Co to become the Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company. In 1895 the company began operating electric trams, and began to introduce motor buses in 1906. In 1908 they began to manufacture their own buses which were also sold to other operators. In 1928 the company acquired Greyhound Motors which had started the first long distance coach service between Bristol and London three years earlier, and in 1930 also acquired Bence Motor Services. The final tram operated in 1941 as motor buses took over. In 1957 the company changed its name to the Bristol Omnibus Company. Due to the Transport Act of 1968, the interests transferred to the new National Bus Company. In 1985 Bristol services were split, with country services re-branded as Badgerline. City services remained as the Bristol Omnibus Company but traded under the title of 'City Line'. In 1987 this company was acquired by Midland Red, which was then acquired by Badgerline in 1988. In 1995 Badgerline merged with Grampian Regional Transport to create FirstBus. The Bristol Omnibus Company changed its legal name to First Bristol Buses in 1999.

In Bath, the Bath Electric Tramways Company purchased the Bath Road Car & Tramways Company and regular services with routes covering 14.78 miles to Bathford, Twerton and Newbridge Park commenced in 1904. Following the acquisition of the company by Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company, abandonment of the tramways began in 1938 and was complete in 1939.

In Cheltenham, American Tramway pioneer Thomas Nevins formed the Cheltenham and District Light Railway Company in 1898. The first line to be constructed was between Lansdown Castle and Cleeve Hill. The livery was known as 'Cheltenham Red'. Public service commenced in 1901 and the trams were replaced with buses in 1930.
Access statusOpen
Access conditionsNone
ArrangementThis collection was originally catalogued as items 1-526. It was re-arranged in 2009/2010 so that the records relating to particular geographical areas were all together, and the records were then grouped into appropriate classes of records so that they could be browsed by topic/function. The original references have been recorded in the 'AltRefNo' field and a cross-reference is available in the printed handlist folder in the searchroom if required
Custodial historyThe collection was donated by the Bristol Omnibus Company in 1986. Additional donations were received in 1995, 2000 and 2005, hence the need to later rearrange the collection (see note in 'Arrangement' field)
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