What we are
The Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust is a registered charity based in Lancashire whose central aim is to preserve the heritage of Ribble Motor Services, ed one of the UK’s largest and most popular bus companies from its formation in 1919 until the 1980’s when it began to lose its distinctive identity. Our activities are primarily focused on the preservation, medical restoration and, where possible, operation of buses which operated for Ribble group companies in earlier years. It is our firm conviction that this heritage can be best enjoyed by providing opportunities for members of the public to travel on the buses and experience an earlier era of public transport.
We own our site which has two modern buildings that house our collection of vintage buses, most of which are from the Ribble fleet. Our main building also contains an archive room with a collection of mainly Ribble artifacts. We have good facilities at our base but we are not a museum and are not open to the public. Instead we concentrate on taking our buses out to the public.
What we do
Our overall aim is to preserve the Ribble heritage and to this end our main focus is on buses which operated for Ribble and its associated companies. Currently we have 15 restored buses and these are regularly used to provide free heritage services at a variety of events. Restoring semi derelict buses to pristine condition is a key part of our activities and we have an on-going programme of restoration. Of course, the active fleet requires a good deal of routine maintenance which also consumes our resources. Conservation of vehicles is also an important feature, even those for which there are no current restoration plans.
There are many ways to enjoy vintage buses and there are many excellent museums which give the public an opportunity to study them in detail. Our method is to take the buses out on the road to provide free bus services. This gives the added bonus of experiencing the sound, feel and smell of the buses as well as the visual impact. We attend many heritage transport events organised by others but we also have our own major event in Morecambe at the end of May each year. In 2014 we have also launched a similar event in Lytham.
Apart from the buses we also maintain an archive which houses many of the items which allowed Ribble to operate. These include ticket machines, uniforms, timetables, publicity material etc. Over recent years we have also developed a sound archive of people who worked for Ribble in many different jobs.