Historic Tameside bus rolls back into its hometown

Date Released - 30/06/2023

A NEWLY restored vintage Ashton bus has made a special stop back in its hometown for the first time in over 80 years.

Ashton Corporation bus number 8 was built in 1928 to carry the town’s residents to work, market or the cinema. But by the 1930s it was already obsolete as public transport and was used as a caravan for nearly half a century before being rescued and rebuilt by an enthusiast.

Now restored to its former glory, it has taken a trip down memory lane back to Ashton - where it spent its working life carrying local residents and workers - before travelling on to its permanent new home in Greater Manchester Museum of Transport, where it will be on public display.

Cllr Sangita Patel, Tameside Council Assistant Executive Member for Heritage, Culture and Digital Inclusivity, who was joined by other Tameside councillors and Angela Raynor MP to greet the bus  back into Ashton Market Square on 30 June, said: “This old bus is a fantastic piece of Tameside’s heritage and it’s wonderful to welcome it back to its home town of Ashton as it stops off during its journey to its permanent home in the museum.”

Angela Rayner MP, who supported the fundraising campaign for the Museum to buy the bus, said: “I’m proud of Ashton’s heritage, and this amazing old bus is a living piece of history. I don’t find it difficult to imagine people going to the mill or the music hall in it and I’m really pleased that it’s not only coming back to its home region, but it’ll be on display where people can see it.”

Alison Chew, TfGM’s Deputy Director of Bus, said: “We are delighted that this piece of Greater Manchester’s transport history is coming home after so many years, and I want to commend the efforts of Geoff Lumb in restoring the bus and everyone who helped raise funds to find it a permanent home at the Museum of Transport.

“The Museum of Transport connects the past with the present, and Number 8’s journey is just another story that we can celebrate as part of our rich transport heritage here in Greater Manchester.”

Kelvin Platt of the Museum of Transport said: “number 8 fills a huge gap in our collection and we’re thrilled that it will be on public display in our museum. Our heritage isn’t just to be celebrated but to be seen, and its new home in Greater Manchester is the best place for it to be.”