Strathmartine Mini Coaches Archive

Strathmartine Mini Coaches (Dundee) was established in 1970 as a privately-owned coach service. Its speciality was in organised tours of Scotland and England; but the firm also had contracts with local authorities, schools, social welfare organisations, travel agents, and industrial/commercial personnel transportation. They also provided travel for airport transfers, dances, nights out, weddings and shows.

Examples of some of the scheduled routes included between Camperdown main gate and Camperdown mansion house (summer 1972 and summer 1973: 4p adults, 2p children), for National Coal Board employees between Ballingry and Solsgirth Milne, and from Downfield to Auchterhouse.

At one point all the mini-buses were painted with a series of dark green stripes to relive the box-van like exterior. The company provided luxury travel as standard. The 12-seater coaches had moquette high-backed seats, luggage boots, and a radio/stereo. The Dormobile 16-seaters had the same, and were further equipped with curtains and more headroom. The Reebur 17-seater also included a public address system, carpet, and luggage rack. The petrol driven engines ran with overdrives to reduce the noise. Caetano and Fiat provided at one time 19-seater buses (with many of the busses/coaches being manufactured by Ford). In 1975, a 29-seat Bedford PKJ Plaxton Supreme coach with a black-and-white television was acquired. A 45-seater coach was added later too.  In June 1989 an 18-seater Caetano Optimo with fridge, hot drink machine and colour TV/video was bought.

Bill and Vera Joiner ran the business from its inception: with Vera running the traffic office and clerical duties (though was a driver and mechanic too if required) and Bill being a driver and responsible for maintenance (with the assistance of a part-time mechanic). The painting of coaches and adding of luxuries was undertaken by the couple themselves, as the busses/coaches were bought in fairly standard condition.

The museum has a small archive of items relating to Strathmartine Coaches which can be seen by appointment.

Edited by Samantha Walker

Photograph from Strathmartine Coaches Archive


Single-deckers, double-deckers, open-toppers and coaches – this week you can see them all at Dundee Museum of Transport. The museum is hosting two bus-themed events, the first kicking off on Thursday 13th June at 6pm with an illustrated talk on Dundee Buses: From Green to Blue by transport enthusiast and amateur photographer Derek Simpson.
The talk will focus on Derek’s extensive photographic collection of Dundee’s buses over the decades and promises to be a trip down memory lane with photographs of many scenes that no longer exist in Dundee. Derek said, “in 1975 when Tayside Regional Council took over the running of Dundee’s Corporation buses it wasn’t just the colours that changed. I’m really focusing on the last years of half cabs in Dundee, the move from green to blue and also what the buses would look like as we moved into the brave new world of regionalisation.”
On Sunday the 16th of June from 10:30am – 3pm the Museum will also be hosting its annual Bus and Coach Day, with over ten vintage buses attending the Market Mews premises from across Scotland. There will also be some stalls, the popular tea-on-the-bus and free vintage bus runs for visitors to enjoy.


Visit to the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum

On Sunday 9th December the Museum Manager, Sam, and Trustee, Ian, visited the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum at Lathalmond to learn about how they have developed their museum over the last 23 years. As well as finding out about how they operate and are funded, Sam and Ian got a tour of the 49 acre site (on a bus, no less!), taking in both visitor and behind the scenes areas. The site is a credit to the hard-work that has taken place by volunteers – we thoroughly recommend a visit! Details of their opening times and events can be found on their website:

We look forward to keeping in touch with our neighbours across the water and applying some of their methods for long-term sustainability and growth.

Edinburgh Tram on Display at SVBM
Indoor storage at SVBM
The tour bus!

Recent Acquisition: Ticket Machines belonging to Dundee’s ‘Mr Transport’ 

Bus Ticket Machine

 A recent donation to the Dundee Museum of Transport reveals the life of the ‘Mr Transport’ of Dundee, near 52 year to the day that he retired from the industry.

 Born in 1902, Charles Broadley’s early life revolved around transport.  Before he had even left school, Charles worked part-time as a ‘parcel lad’, on Friday nights and Saturdays.  After his school day, he would eagerly wait for the Blackie tram to turn onto Blackness Street, always offering to help reverse the trolleys.  After Charles left school, he joined Dundee Corporation Transport, working as a full-time parcel lad.  At the age of sixteen, he spent a brief three years in the Royal Air Force before returning to Dundee Corporation Transport. 

 Charles’ passion for transport never fizzled out during his many years at Dundee Corporation Transport.  He worked diligently, gradually working his way through the ranks.  Starting as a parcel lad, he then became a lorry driver; then a conductor; a tram driver; a bus driver; then received a semi-final promotion to an Inspector in 1928.

Throughout the years, he displayed amazing dedication.  He remained with the transport industry, despite the move by many to factory work, with its more forgiving hours.  He would often leave one of his favourite activities – attending football matches at Dens Park – to help buses cope with the massive crowds there.  He would leave his home in Barnes Avenue in the wee hours of the night to respond to emergencies, such as sanding icy roads, or showing face at any crashes that may have occurred.  In 1947, Charles received his final promotion to Traffic Superintendent.  His dedication and loyalty to Dundee Corporation Transport  during his forty-five years there earned him the title ‘Mr Transport’, lovingly given to him by Dundonians. 

In 1966, after forty-five years service, Charles retired.  However, his love for transport remained.  He would continue to go on holiday to the likes of Switzerland and Austria – via the bus, of course.  In 1978 Charles sadly passed away.  However, his legacy lives on in Dundee and further afield through his prediction that, one day, in the future, there will be a “one-man bus”. 

Charles Broadley’s ticket machine will go on display at Dundee Museum of Transport from February 2019 when the museum re-opens after the winter break.  The museum would like to thank Iain Waddell for donating these items in memory of his late Grandfather.

DMofT Volunteer Projects

Some of our volunteers have been working away on one of our many projects. For the start of next season we will have a play bus at the museum in an new play area, ideal for family visits.
It will also be used for school visits as an educational hub at the start of one of our ever increasing school visits. We are in discussions with Planning and Transportation for a coach park in Market Street so watch this space.

National Express trip to Lathalmond

Credit Donald Suttie - Bus 7001 DMofT
Image courtesy of Donald Suttie

National Express are running a trip to the Lathalmond Open Day on the 15th of August using Bus 7001. This is the bus that has the Dundee Museum of Transport livery to look like the original Dundee Corporation buses.

The cost of the trip will be £5 per Adult and £2.50 per Child with all the proceeds going to the Museum.

Pick up times

08.30 – Broughty Ferry Library
08.40 – Dundee Museum of Transport
08.50 – Discovery Point
09.05 – Invergowrie Main Street Shops*
09.35 – Broxden Services*
10.00 – Kinross Services*

Return Times

15.00 – Kinross Services*
15.25 – Broxden Services*
15.55 – Invergowrie Main Street Shops*
16.10 – Discovery Point
16.20 – Dundee Museum of Transport
16.30 – Broughty Ferry Library

* Collection/Drop off if pre-booked only.

To book your place on the trip please email with your preferred pickup location and number of passengers.

More items added to our online shop

Just in time for Christmas we are pleased to announce that we have added many more items to our online shop including many DMofT items, a wide range of transport-related books, a special five-visit ticket deal and special bundles to save you even more. Plus if you haven’t already joined you can add a membership at the same time!


Museum events for 2015 to add to your diary (updated)

Dundee Museum of Transport has published a list of planned events for 2015 on the Events Dairy website page.

Further events which the Museum will be attending, but not organising, will be added to the list at a later date.

Support Dundee Museum of Transport by buying your 2015 calendars and diaries from our Museum shop or click to buy online now.


New buses 59 years apart

In 1955 Dundee Corporation introduced thirty-five Daimler CVG6 double-deck buses with open rear platforms, mainly to replace withdrawn tram services. Their registration numbers were DYJ431-DYJ440 and ETS960-ETS984. Only one bus of this type still exists and ETS964, fleet number 184, is the oldest bus in the collection of Taybus Vintage Vehicle Society (TVVS), a registered Scottish charity (external link).

In November 2014 Stagecoach Strathtay put into service two New Routemaster buses more commonly seen on the streets of London. These double-deck buses can also be configured to have an open rear platform and are currently operating on the Tayway service between Dundee and Arbroath for a trial period.

Recently the buses were brought together for the first and possibly only time to show just how much bus design has changed over the past 59 years.

(from right to left) 1955 Dundee Corporation Daimler CVG6 ETS964 (fleet number 184) alongside 2014 New Routemasters LTZ1312 (fleet number LT312) and LTZ1313 (fleet number LT313).
TVVS Secretary John Fraser said “We were delighted to receive permission to photograph some of our vintage buses alongside the New Routemasters as this is a chance we are unlikely to get again. We are very grateful to Stagecoach for their continuing support and to everyone who has helped us get the Corporation bus back on the road after being laid-up for a long time at the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum following engine problems. We never cease to be amazed by the public’s reaction when they see it being driven around; it’ll be sixty-years-old next year and we hope to take it to as many local events as possible.”
More photographs of the New Routmasters can be viewed here (external link), alongside three older Taybus buses here (external link) and on the first day of service here (external link).