I always manage to miss out on Doors Open Day, but this year I actually made it to something! Browsing the website, I spotted Bridgeton Bus Garage, which is just round the corner from my house, though I’d never noticed it before. Turns out it’s home to the Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust, who restore old buses and coaches and have a fantastic collection.
We were guided around in a small group and given some history on each of the buses and bus companies, as well as the work they do with restoration and repairs. The garage is not entirely public-friendly so we couldn’t wander around ourselves but we did get plenty freedom to take photos and get up close to everything. I especially enjoyed all the colour schemes and typography, and the old ads and safety notices.
The buses range from really old crank handle ones to 80s and 90s buses that I recognised, plus a couple of recent First buses, that were being dismantled for parts. That was kind of enjoyable to watch, knowing I’ve probably waited half an hour in the rain for them to turn up, or at least heard them screeching to a halt at the bus stop outside my house. They also have a few oddities, like a recovery vehicle, made from an old bus and a lovely old fire engine.
As well as the garage, they also have a little tea room with an exhibition of old tickets, schedules etc. and lots of bus-related magazines and things for sale. It’s basically the complete opposite of the Transport Museum, and I have to say I much preferred it! The GVVT seems more like a less polished version of the National Rail Museum – just lots of buses to look at. It’s great that most of the buses are from Scotland too, and they restore them right back to whatever their original livery was.
They are hoping to get funding enough to open as a public museum some day, so if you’re in Glasgow, make sure you pop along to their Open Day next weekend, where you can tour the garage and also get to ride on some of the buses. There are more photos on my Flickr if you’re interested.