Local people were very upset when Yellow Buses ceased trading, not just because the services would no longer be running, but from a nostalgic point of view.
However, those interested in history will be pleased to learn that the archive of Bournemouth Transport Limited, known locally as the ‘Yellow Buses’ has been transferred into public ownership at Dorset History Centre (DHC).
This archive will soon be available to researchers, transport historians and anyone else interested in the history of the firm.
The large archive, consisting of over 70 boxes of material is being sorted and processed at DHC where it will be stored in the service’s environmentally controlled strong rooms. It is hoped that in the future funding can be found to catalogue the archive, which would allow researchers’ access to the archive online.
Bournemouth Transport Limited (BTL) started life in 1902 when Bournemouth Corporation began operating tram services in the town. It was privatised in 1985 and went into administration in July 2022.
The archive reflects the life of the company. The documents, plans, correspondence, photographs, and printed material tell the story of not just the business, but the hundreds of people who worked there. The collection includes items as varied as property, financial and staff records, details of routes and fares, details of the company’s privatisation and perhaps most interesting, a rich photographic archive.
Cllr Laura Beddow, Dorset Council portfolio holder for Culture, Communities and Customer Services, said: “We are really pleased to have been able to acquire and preserve the archive of an iconic Bournemouth business. The history of transport is incredibly popular, and we anticipate much use of this collection in the future.”
Cllr Beverley Dunlop, BCP Council portfolio holder for tourism, culture, and vibrant places said: “Yellow Buses holds a special place in the hearts of BCP residents and visitors who have fond memories of getting about the area by bus, especially the joy of riding in the open top service.
“They are an important part of our area’s heritage and I’m delighted we have been able to acquire their archives, so that their fascinating story is not lost to history.”
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