The Bus and Coach Society of Victoria (BCSV) was founded in December 1968 and has grown to around 175 members. We aim to cater for all those who have an interest in road passenger transport both in Victoria, and Australia more generally. This includes both present day operations as well as the history of both services and vehicles.
The role of the Bus & Coach Society of Victoria in maintaining Victoria’s road transport history is vast, below a list of our many aims and objectives:
- document the history of the industry across Victoria and Australia
- provide support to both members and operators wishing to restore historic vehicles
- operate regular tours and events showcasing both operators and vehicles
- host regular social meetings with feature presentations
- produce the bi-monthly Australian Bus Panorama magazine full of articles, photos, current industry news & fleet list changes
- assist in maintaining fleet list records for countless operators across the state, hosted on the Bus Australia website
- showcase our extensive archives through a virtual museum, supported with sales of CD-ROMs and books
- develop a bus museum in the longer-term
- educate the general public about the role of road-based passenger transport
- encourage all generations to enjoy the hobby
Current Society membership includes owners of preserved vehicles, enthusiasts, bus industry companies and historical groups. We have members from around Australia and from all walks of life as well as those semi-retired or retired, but as to be expected many also work within the bus or public transport industry. Ages range from teenagers right through to those in their 90s.
The Society meets for social meetings on the third Sunday in March, May, July, September and November at the Hawthorn Tram Museum from 3pm to 5pm. Each meeting covers a feature topic from our varied program ranging from industry guest speakers, the popular “Transport Around…” series as well as current day highlights from members’ trips abroad. Each afternoon usually ends with an informal afternoon tea and catch-up. Both members and guests are welcome.
Tours, displays and events
Through the support of operators and owners of historic vehicles we also organise regular visits and tours to operators and manufacturers, farewell tours, rides aboard historical vehicles, vehicle displays and other events showcasing buses from today and decades past. Tours are usually open to both members and guests. A BBQ lunch is normally included in the fare.
Our tours usually attract between 25 and 50 attendees depending on the theme. We often receive positive feedback on the friendly nature of our outings, and warmly welcome new participants, whatever your age.
A more detailed overview on tours can be found at http://bcsv.org.au/events-overview/
Australian Bus Panorama Magazine
Each year the Society publishes 7 editions of the renowned Australian Bus Panorama magazine, edited by Geoff Foster for over 25 years. Six editions are bi-monthly publications, which feature around 60 pages of articles, news around the country, lists of recent vehicle deliveries and disposals, along with photos across Australia in full colour.
The seventh publication is an annual special at Christmas, usually dedicated to one or two longer items only. In the past, many company histories e.g. Ventura, Grenda, Ivanhoe BL, have featured, as have several retrospectives on body builders or chassis.
Copies of the magazine are included as part of Society membership or can be otherwise be purchased from various train model shops and a limited number of newsagencies.
Learn more here – http://bcsv.org.au/about/abp/
In additional to regular fleet news in Australian Bus Panorama, extensive fleet records for numerous operators around the country are maintained on the Bus Australia website, with several members providing regular input to keep them up-to-date.
The Society also maintains extensive photographic archives which will be added to the virtual museum on the BCSV website over time, along with other historic records and articles.
A number of historical CDs featuring buses from the 60s, 70s and 80s have been published showcasing our extensive photograph collections and many of these are available through our online store. More are released each year.
Unfortunately, unlike sister societies interstate, the BCSV currently does not own any buses, primarily due to a lack of an appropriate shed to house any acquisitions. However, we warmly support members, operators and other groups undertaking private preservation projects and provide advice and contacts where possible, as well as arranging opportunities for preserved vehicles to be shown off.
Members are able to arrange discounted historic vehicle “club-plates” through the society or alternatively may choose to do so through the HCVCA.
We are active members of both HCVCA (Historical Commercial Vehicle Club of Australia) and AOMC (Association of Motoring Clubs) and from time-to-time provide comment on changes to Vicroads policy and regulation for vehicles on historic plates. We also liaison with TSV (Transport Safety Victoria) on accreditation matters relating to the carriage of passengers on historic buses.
If this sounds like the group for you, we warmly encourage you to consider joining us as a Society member.
Annual membership of the Society is currently $55 per year ($40 for pensioners and under 18s). A 6-month rate is also available for those joining in the second half of the financial year. Please check out the membership section for further details.