Many people have fond memories of Devon General, either as local residents travelling by bus to school, to work or out shopping, or as visitors to South and East Devon, recalling happy family holidays in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.
The aim of the Devon General Omnibus Trust is to advance the education of the public in the history of public road transport and in particular the history of the Devon General Omnibus & Touring Company and its successors. We can help rekindle those happy memories, and ensure they are passed on to future generations.
How do we do this?
- By establishing and preserving a representative collection of its vehicles
- By creating opportunities for the public to view and travel on these vehicles
- By providing a focus for skills retention, development and training relating to the restoration, maintenance and operation of these vehicles and associated artefacts
What are we doing?
Not long after the establishment of the trust in 2013 we acquired our first vehicle – 1964 AEC Regent V, 503 RUO. Later, our founder member Philip Platt gifted us 1957 AEC Reliance VDV 798. Following Phil’s untimely death in 2016, we were able to raise funds to acquire AEC Regent III NTT 661 and AEC Regent V VDV 817 from his estate in 2017. Later that year AEC Regent V CTT 513C came on long term loan to us. In 2021 we added 1953 AEC ‘Light Six’ ETT 995 to our collection.
The trust has a longer term ambition to acquire further vehicles of interest to support our aims and objectives. Our early focus has been to complete the restoration of the vehicles we have acquired, and to broaden public awareness of the Devon General name by making our vehicles available at public events such as rallies, heritage vehicle running days and other transport-related gatherings.
Skills relating to the restoration and maintenance of vintage vehicles are an important aspect of ensuring that preserved buses and coaches can be saved for the future. These skills rest with a relatively small number of individuals, some of whom are coming towards the end of their careers. DGOT aims to ensure that wherever possible this knowledge is passed on for the benefit of future generations.
How can I help?
You can get involved as a volunteer, helping out at our base in North Devon where we have work days on most Tuesdays, or assisting us in taking our buses to events. We’d be glad to hear from you whether you have practical skills such as mechanical, bodywork, electrical, or PCV driving or you would simply like to help with cleaning the buses and other general tasks. If you can’t get to us, you could assist our work by making a donation, or by sharing our social media. Whichever way works for you, we’d love to hear from you!
We are a member of the National Association of Road Transport Museums