Trevithick’s Industrial Dartford Celebration -

Classic Buses & Fire Engines

A bus (archaically also omnibus,) is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. And the largest can carry up to 300 passengers


The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses.

Coaches are used for longer distance services.


Buses may be used for scheduled bus transport, scheduled coach transport, school transport, private hire, tourism; promotional buses may be used for political campaigns and others are privately operated for a wide range of purposes.

Horse drawn buses were used from 1820, followed by steam buses in the 1830 and electric trolleybuses in 1882.


The first buses powered by internal combustion engines were used 1895 and this is still the most common power source. Recently there has been growing interest in hybrid electric buses, fuel cell buses, electric buses as well as ones powered by compressed natural gas or bio-diesel

A fire engine is a vehicle  that is designed to help in fighting fires by taking firemen (nowadays called firefighters)  to the scene and giving them access to the fire, water or other equipment.

The first modern fire engine was invented in 1905 by Knox Automobile in Springfield, Massachusetts , USA

1923 Foden Steam Omnibus named ‘ Puffing Billy’

1912 Hallford bus built in Dartford by Trevithick's employers J & E Hall & Co Ltd.

This 1939 Leyland Pump Escape was purchased by Dartford Borough Fire Brigade in the same year and was then used as part of the national war effort during the Second World War.

Withdrawn from active service in 1955, the fire engine was restored in the 1970s.

Dartford council has bought the vintage fire engine for just £1 from the Kent and Medway Fire Rescue Authority  and will be preserved by the town.

1950’s London Transport bus

1960’s Green Line bus

Trevithicks Industrial Dartford Celebration
Trevithicks Industrial Dartford Celebration

Film of the event from 2012