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The Delaine Heritage Trust Museum opens in Bourne

A well-known bus operator is preserving its history for future generations by opening a museum.

With Delaine buses celebrating 100 years of motorbus operations this year, the Delaine Heritage Trust Museum was officially opened at the bus depot in Spalding Road on Saturday.

Anthony Delaine-Smith, chairman of the Delaine Heritage Trust, said: “It was a very good day.

Kevin and Anthony Delaine-Smith with Alan Millar (12057414)
Kevin and Anthony Delaine-Smith with Alan Millar (12057414)

“We had 74 guests for the official opening by Alan Millar, the editor of the Buses magazine.

“He comes from Scotland but is well known among bus enthusiasts, so it was very appropriate for him to come down and open it.”

The Delaine Heritage Trust was founded in 2015 to preserve the history of the business, which is one of the oldest pre-regulation independent bus operators in the country.

It includes the collection of heritage buses and records which date back to Victorian times.

“We’re very fortunate that we’ve got all the ingredients to put the musuem together,” added Mr Delaine-Smith.

“I would like to think that our museum will ensure the name Delaine continues to live on in perpetuity and become more relevant as we move into a more digital and electric age to provide an insight to future generations to look back at a local company in the age of the combustion engine and paper records.”

People have been able to visit the museum for the past few weeks and it has already attracted bus and transport enthusiasts visit from all over the country.

Buses in the collection range from a 1956 Leyland PD2 Titan to a 1995 Volvo Olympian, which was one of the company’s first Volvos.

The Leyland was the last vehicle purchased by Mr Delaine-Smith’s late grandfather, Thomas Arthur Smith, who introduced motor buses to the family business in 1919.

As well as buses, there is the archive detailing the Smith family’s activities business going back to 1893, a display office and workshop along with a project to include a photograph of each vehicle to be operated by Delaine.

The museum is currently open every second Saturday of each month from 12pm to 4pm with donations welcome.

It will also be open for the Bourne Classic Car Show this Sunday between 1am and 4pm, with a free heritage shuttle bus every 20 minutes between the museum and town centre.

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