The Burford – Shipton Omnibus: A Note from the Past

Here is short piece by Norman Frost, taken from the WLHS Journal No 2 (1986). We republish it here as part of an occasional series celebrating the work of the Society over time. (A PDF of the Society’s Journal No 2 can be found here).

The Burford-Shipton omnibus was started in 1870 by William Matthews. In 1888, the date of this timetable, the proprietor was T. Paintin & Son who ran the coach three times a day to connect with trains at Shipton station. The journey time was a little under one hour.

The Burford-Shipton Omnibus

They also ran a daily coach to Witney Station, leaving at 9.15am and returning at 5.05pm. The first Witney station was opened on 13 November 1861 when the Witney Railway opened its line to Yarnton Junction near Oxford. On the 15 January 1873 the East Gloucestershire Railway opened its line from Fairford to a junction with the Witney Railway just south of the old Witney station. A new station was opened on the East Gloucester line and the old station was used for goods traffic. It is still in use today but sadly without its railway.

Burford Omnibus Service Poster

The timetable is headed with the title ‘The Original Burford Omnibus Service’. This in conjunction with the final paragraph suggests that there had been competition for these services. A little over thirty years after this timetable was printed the service ceased. A photograph taken about this time shows the coach in Shipton station in a run down condition and near the end of its days. The proprietor was then Walter Holloway.