The Omnibus Edition

Hello, friends. We’re currently visiting family in Lancashire, England, and I have been lazy with the camera. That is, I’ve taken lots of photos of cousins and aunties and old friends, but not much that people outside the family would want to see. However, the other day we found ourselves at the Museum of Transport in Manchester.

I was expecting a bus or two, maybe a replica stagecoach, and some dioramas. Well. Was I ever mistaken. The museum is a former bus garage and it contains about seventy-five buses. Yes, they are very well parked, but still! Massive! The whole place reeks of diesel, there’s an open-topped fire engine that remained in service well into the 1960s, and most of the buses appear to be still running, since museum staff and volunteers take them out on a regular basis for shows and events.

And then I saw this:

It’s an omnibus from the 1890s. The plaque said it was drawn by 2 horses, or 3 up hills. (I love that. Can you picture them pulling over and harnessing a third horse before each hill?) Inside, it has 2 long bench seats running from front to back, and that precarious-looking staircase on the right leads to several rows of forward-facing seats on the open top. The ride must have been bumpy, as those are wooden wheels. And I’m fascinated by the advert for F. Robinson’s Light Bitter Ale. I tend to think of billboards as twentieth-century inventions, but this is a fantastic reminder that the nineteenth century was also a golden age of advertising.

What have you been up to, this week?

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2 Responses to “The Omnibus Edition”

  1. JaneE says:

    That is amazing! I wish they had stuff like this in Canada. I’ve always wanted to go to England and definately hope to someday. Big dreams lol
    It’s been very hot this week, so mostly I’ve just tried to keep cool!

  2. Ying says:

    Ooh yes, I heard about the heat wave. I can’t say I’m sorry to have missed it! :P And I’m sure a history buff like you will make it to England one day.

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