Over a century of service in pictures

Astonishing photographs showing the history of transport have emerged from a company that has carried passengers around for 112 years.

Staff at Yellow Buses, a firm based in Bournemouth, Dorset, uncovered numerous unseen images while archiving their historic collection.

The pictures plot the evolution of transport from 1902 right the way to modern times, and highlight some of the 1,000 types of vehicles that have been used.


Originally known as Bournemouth Corporation Transport, the company began life running trams that were also in service in the neighbouring towns of Christchurch and Poole.

As well as the trams, the early days saw the introduction of motorbuses, which began to travel around the town from 1906.

In the First World War 11 employees were killed and a photo from a service of remembrance also emerged during the cataloguing.

In the canteen the company has a wooden plaque engraved with all the names.

Another picture shows a bus converted to run on coal gas during the Great War – and the same thing happened in the next war.

There is an early photo of Tramcar No.1 – a saloon, single decker known as the Mayor’s Car.

It was used on special occasions and was furnished with Bentwood chairs, thick, red pile carpet and deep, cream-coloured curtains.

Another snap shows a bus from 1937 decorated with over 1,000 lamps to mark the Coronation.

Other photographs show trolleybuses in the centre of Bournemouth with Second World War bomb damage still visible.

The trolleybuses were introduced in 1933 and ran until 1969 when the overhead wires were cut down.

Also among the archive is a look towards the future, 1960s’ style. The photo shows a working model of a mono-rail designed for the Bournemouth promenade. It was never built.

Jenni Wilkinson, Yellow Buses’ Head of Marketing, said: “We have such a long and varied history and these photos are fascinating.

“Some we have seen before but others are new to me and it’s wonderful to look back through the decades.

“It’s satisfying to think that we started carrying passengers 112 years ago and are still transporting people in the same area, albeit on different types of vehicles.

“We will archive the photographs so future generations have a record of the company.”

Yellow Buses now employs over 400 people and carries 14 million passengers a year.