The late 1970s and early 1980s had seen a build-up of vehicles for
preservation in Scotland and these were stored in farms, bus depots, etc. An
initial approach to preservationists about a combined storage/museum set-up was
met with a favourable response - until then they had been working in small
groups or on their own - and the hunt was on for suitable premises.
were found in Whitburn - mid-way between Glasgow and Edinburgh - in the shape of
a shed large enough to accommodate forty buses, and after a delay of one year
caused by a legal hitch, buses were moved in during the summer of 1986. The
museum's neighbour was an expanding dairy business, and in 1994 they made an
offer - which was too good to refuse - to buy the museum site, so the hunt was
Lathalmond, an ex Royal Navy stores depot, came on the market
and seemed an ideal site. The museum lost out in the bidding to buy the complete
site, but was successful in buying half the site (approximately 45 acres and
several sheds) from the new owner, with entry on 1st March 1995. Within three
months the move from Whitburn was complete, and in September the first Open Day
was a great success. - there are now around 190 vehicles housed at the museum.
SVBM is run on a purely voluntary basis. Management is undertaken by the
Management Group which consists of the trustees (the museum is a registered
charity) plus a few invited members. On Sundays, the main 'work-days' at the
museum, the place is a hive of industry, with people working on their own buses,
helping others, carrying out site maintenance, etc. They also help out with any
specific tasks pre-planned by the Management Group. For special occasions, the
total membership is contacted with requests for volunteers.