Popular Lincolnshire family-run bus operator Delaine is set to establish a museum – news which comes in the wake of the formation of the Delaine Heritage Trust.
The Charitable Incorporated Organisation (Registered Charity No: 1164647) was established in December by the Delaine-Smith family during the 125th Anniversary year of the founding of the Bourne-based firm. The body is dedicated to establishing and maintaining a museum to preserve in perpetuity the collection of heritage buses, photographs, documents, artefacts and memorabilia of Delaine Buses for the purposes of education, reference, research and general interest.
The Delaine heritage fleet, consisting of 1956-built KTL 780 (45) Willowbrook-bodied Leyland PD2, 1960-built RCT 3 (50) Yeates-bodied Leyland PD3 and 1973-registered ACT 540L (72) Northern Counties-bodied Leyland Atlantean AN68 have been donated to the Trust, together with the Delaine Archive, which includes an extensive collection of photographs, all the various ticket issuing systems used, including Bell Punch, vehicle specifications, invoices and correspondence back to the 1920s and probably the only full set of 20th Century Eastern Traffic Area Notices & Proceedings dating back to Issue 1 in 1930.
Work on the museum, which will be situated within the recently extended Delaine site in Spalding Road, Bourne is anticipated to commence in mid 2016 and will be able to accommodate four vehicles. In addition to the heritage vehicles, it will house 1995-registered M1 OCT (116) East Lancs-bodied Volvo Olympian, the company’s first Volvo which is scheduled to be donated to the Trust upon withdrawal this year.
Delaine Buses MD and Delaine Heritage Trust Chairman Anthony Delaine-Smith said: “This is a very exciting project for the family. I am sure our late father (Hugh Delaine-Smith MBE) who was such a great supporter of the bus preservation movement would approve. In addition to the heritage vehicles, we have so much history packed away in boxes. This is a great opportunity for us to display the many items of interest for this and future generations to enjoy and provide an invaluable source of reference for historians. We do not intend for the heritage fleet to become museum-bound and from time to time they will continue to attend selected events and operate on heritage running days, thereby giving enthusiasts the opportunity to travel on our vehicles from yesteryear.”