SWANSEA’S bus museum is appealing for donations, sponsorship and volunteers as it struggles to survive.
The museum, based at Bevans Row in Swansea’s SA1 development, has an impressive collection of historic vehicles.
It consists of buses from South Wales Transport (SWT), its acquisitions, successor and other companies, including United Welsh, Morris Bros, Rees & Williams, Swan Motor Co, Neath & Cardiff (N&C), Llynfi, Red & White and London Transport.
Open top bus rides to Mumbles
The museum also contains a collection of Scammell mechanical horses and military vehicles including Land Rovers and a Green Goddess fire engine.
On Sunday, the museum opened its doors for a special family day in which members of the public were treated to free rides to Mumbles and back on open topped historic buses.
Former South Wales Transport bus conductor and driver Alan West, the chairman of the Swansea Bus Museum, said the Seaside Splash! event was one of a number they are planning to raise the profile of the museum which was finding it tough to survive.
He said:”We don’t get financial backing from any institutions of businesses at the moment including the local council or the Welsh Government.
“We have a great resource here and are holding on to a lot of the transport history of this area.”
Speaking on Sunday, Mr West added: “Luckily, the sun has come out for us and we’ve been very busy, the trips to Mumbles and back being very popular.
“We stop in the Mumbles area long enough for our passengers to have an ice cream, then it’s back to the depot. It’s not bad value because it’s all part of the £3 entry fee to the museum.”
‘We really need to be pulling together now’
Mr West said the museum had considered a number of alternative sites as ownership of its own premises would make applying for grants easier.
But for the time being, the museum officials have now decided to stay in SA1.
Mr West said: “I’m making a heartfelt appeal for as much assistance as possible from members and volunteers on Sundays.
“The future success of the museum depends on all of us, while failure will see the break-up of the collection and the likely loss of many historic vehicles to the scrap man, something we have worked hard to avoid over the years.
“We really need to be pulling together now.”
Explaining the role of volunteers, Mr West said: “Running the museum involves much more than just fixing buses. We need people to help with general duties such as assisting the general public during our opening times and keeping the museum clean and tidy.
“During our event days there is always plenty to do with general organisation, assisting the public, driving (subject to appropriate licence) and conducting.
“Our stall is an important source of income, both during our own shows and at other rallies we visit. An hour spent practising your selling skills can be good for the soul.”
The museum is open to the public every Sunday between 11am and 4pm.
Adult admission is £3 (except shows when higher charges may apply), with accompanied children under the age of 16 admitted free.
Some of the buses and coaches in the museum’s collection are also available for private charter and have proved popular at weddings.