What is Back-a-Bus?

This is a sponsorship scheme for the ancillary vehicles, trolley- and motorbuses in our collection that are owned directly by the Museum itself.

We own more than half the buses in our collection (the rest are owned by societies and individuals). They’re in various conditions, ranging from unrestored to fully operational. Restoring and running historic vehicles often requires specialist knowledge and tooling which aren’t cheap; the vehicles’ bodywork often contains large amounts of shaped timber, the trolleybuses have electrical systems that use direct current (which is becoming increasingly rare), and our British buses use mechanical components manufactured in imperial, rather than metric measurements.

So, it’s not surprising that our most ambitious restoration to date, of Johannesburg 589 has been our most expensive and so far cost over £300,000.

Even just maintaining an operational trolleybus or motorbus can be costly. This is where you can help!


How does it work?

Back-a-Bus is a series of regular payments towards a specific vehicle.

It’s simple – you select a trolleybus or motorbus you would like to sponsor, decide on how much you want to pay and how frequently, and let us know of your decision using our contact form. We’ll then send you details of how to make your payments. These will go to our restricted funds bank account, and in the company accounts they’ll be ring-fenced for the bus of your choice.

And, if you’re a UK tax payer (i.e. income tax and/or capital gains tax), please Gift Aid your membership subscription. This means we can claim an additional 25% from HM Revenue & Customs as a refund of the tax you have paid on your subscription and any donations. You can download a Gift Aid declaration form here.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is there a minimum or maximum payment? No, there’s no set minimum or maximum payment. We may however advise you that we feel your payments will be too great for the needs of the vehicle you’re sponsoring!
  • How do I make a payment? We’d prefer you to use a standing orders which places you in full control of your payments. Also, some banks will allow customers to set up regular BACS payments.
  • I no longer want to take part in the scheme. You can stop payments into the scheme at any time you choose, but please let us know. However,    we won’t be able to refund past payments.
  • What happens if I make payments, but my sponsored bus doesn’t need any expenditure? If we feel that that there is sufficient money in the account to support a vehicle for the foreseeable future we’ll let you know. It’s then your choice whether to reduce or stop your sponsorship, or transfer some of all of the funds to another vehicle.