Museum Snapshots

Museum of British Transport

The Museum of British Transport opened in an old bus garage in Clapham, south London, in the 1960s. Standing in the forecourt was a replica of Rocket, the pioneering locomotive designed by Robert Stephenson. The museum housed objects and vehicles relating to London’s roads, railways and the Tube. The collection had been started in the 1920s by the London General Omnibus Company, which decided to preserve two Victorian horse buses and an early motorbus.

In 1969 the museum was losing £30,000 a year and threatened with closure. It moved to Syon Park in 1973 as the London Transport Collection. The collection was eventually divided between the National Railway Museum in York and London’s Transport Museum, which opened in 1980 in a Victorian flower market building in Covent Garden.

Image taken in 1966 and © National Railway Museum and SSPL, from National Railway Museum. There are more photos of the museum in 1965 on Flickr.

5 replies on “Museum of British Transport”

Just going through some of my dads things, and came across some entry tickets and photos of the trip the to museum. Dated July 21 1969. He loved all forms of transport. Especially enjoyed his visit.

In 1967 I went Clapham and by chance The Kinks were doing a photo shoot. I came away with Ray Davis’s autograph!

In early 1973 I travelled from New Zealand to the UK with my parents, I was 18. I’ll never forget visiting the Museum to see the Mallard, and listen to the commentary recorded on the loco as she approached and set the record speed. It was like listening in black and white!! I hope that recording is not lost.

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