From March 10-12, 2017, Victoria Coach Station (VCS) will be celebrating its 85th birthday with a three-day Coach Festival.
The event will feature vehicles from every decade since the grand opening on March 10, 1932. It will showcase coaches, artefacts and presentations on the history of coach travel in Britain. The most modern coaches will also be on display and available for inspection and boarding, alongside preserved vehicles dating from the late 1920s to the 1990s.
Vehicles on display will be parked in Lanes 1-4 which are at the eastern end of the coach departure area and nearest to the main passenger entrance and facilities. The display area will be cordoned off from the operational area to allow free circulation of the public.
The coach station, originally conceived, constructed and operated by a consortium of coach operators coming together under the banner of London Coastal Coaches Ltd, is now owned and operated by Transport for London (TfL). TfL said it is keen to celebrate the history of the coach station and also to demonstrate the continuing development of the facilities within the coach station to meet the needs of the much larger and complex vehicles now using the premises and the people who travel within them.
Vehicles on display will be parked in Lanes 1-4 which are at the eastern end of the coach departure area and nearest to the main passenger entrance and facilities. The display area will be cordoned off from the operational area to allow free circulation of the public
The 1930s’ Art Deco building on the corner of Buckingham Palace Road and Elizabeth Street is still at the heart of the operation, providing the main passenger entrance with areas containing public facilities for enquiries and booking, seated waiting areas and a range of cafes, shops and snack bars.
Thames Valley & Great Western Omnibus Trust (TV&GWOT) is assisting TfL in organising the event by encouraging the owners of preserved coaches to bring their vehicles.
To mark the occasion, TV&GWOT, in collaboration with the Bus Archive at the Kithead Trust, has drawn on the LCC records to compile a 32-page book celebrating the first 85 years of VCS in pictures. It includes many previously unseen images spanning the early LCC operations; construction and opening of VCS; and operational views through subsequent decades covering vehicles, passenger facilities and activities ‘behind the scenes.’
The book can be purchased from https://www.tvagwot.org.uk.