1895 Omnibus

The Collection’s exhibit

Private Omnibuses came into use around the end of the 1860s for in towns and rural locations. The name means ‘for all’ in Latin, but was shorted to ‘bus’ by Londoners. Used as station taxis by hotels and large houses, seating was arranged so that passengers faced each other with their backs to the wheels. The entrance is to the rear of the vehicle and in some examples (this exhibit included) the upper body and roof could be removed for summer use and stored on ropes and pulleys in the roof of the respective coach house until needed.

This vehicle was driven by the Shuttleworth family for carrying guests and luggage to and from the local railway station, pulled by two horses. The coach is made by Starey of Nottingham, and the wheel barings are made by Dan Albone of Biggleswade using Ivel bearings.

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