Provincial Historical Research Group

Welcome to the PHRG!

A message from our Chairman

Most enthusiasts will have already heard of the Omnibus Society, but many will not have heard of (or understand the role of) the Provincial Historical Research Group.  We are also known as the PHRG, but our full title describes a vibrant group which does just what it says on the tin, and our Chairman Paul Lacey explains the aims and successes of this approach through the following.

The PHRG is affiliated to the Omnibus Society but is an independent organisation.

We are provincial, though only in the sense that we do not specifically include the London Transport area, though in reality there are few of us without some interests extending into that area at some stage.

We are indeed historical, but then history only started yesterday, and we are not fixated on any particular period, leaving scope for interest by all age groups.

Certainly we are research-based, but the range of topics is quite staggering. Within our ranks are many of the well-known contributors to magazines and to the bookshelves, without whom many valuable histories would not have been recorded for posterity.

And then again, we are a group, which means that we can help each other with research queries, sources of archival material (outside the Society) and locating photos, some of which could be missed by the lone researcher. We also hold our AGM in different parts of the country - go to our Calendar page and click on Events Archive to see where they have been.

Phrg Committee Pic

PHRG Committee

As an active researcher for the past 50 years, I have come to appreciate the great number of contacts I have made through like-minded specialists, many of whom I see listed within the ranks of the PHRG, so I know what the group has to offer. Even if you only wanted to read the results of the work of others, there is a wealth of interest arriving on your doormat or in your inbox 6 times a year.

Our Committee is resolved to increase both membership and participation, currently discussing the setting up of study groups on some topics, such as express coach services, whilst our highly regarded bi-monthly Journal provides an interesting and well-presented mix of articles, projects in progress, queries and appeals. This also means that authors with short histories can air their work, often resulting in other readers being able to contribute further facts.

To see the wide range of subjects covered in recent Journals, click here.  For a free sample copy of the Journal click here or email the editor, David Grimmett, at


How do I join the PHRG?

Click here to join the Omnibus Society and choose PHRG as an option.  We offer two forms of membership - electronic or paper. 

If you join as an ‘electronic’ member, PHRG membership for a year is £7.   For this you will receive all issues of our Journal, by email, for the year plus any 'P' series booklets produced during the year, and access to all the PHRG pages of the website.  On the Membership form, complete item 2b for PHRG membership.

If you join as a ‘paper’ member, PHRG membership for a year is £10.  For this you will receive all issues of our Journal, by post, for the year plus any 'P' series booklets produced during the year, and access to all the PHRG pages of the website.  On the Membership form, complete step 3b for PHRG membership.

I am already an Omnibus Society member.  How do I add PHRG membership for this year?

Simply email David Grimmett at, and he will send you details of how to pay.  The cost for a year is £7 for electronic Journals (sent to you by email), £10 for paper Journals (posted to you). 

When your membership is due for renewal, add Provincial Historical Research Group as an option on the Membership Renewal Form - complete item 2b for electronic, step 3b for paper.


PHRG Publications

A key objective of the Group is to encourage the publication of our members' researches for a wider audience, and we have been doing this since 2001.  We now have Publications Guidelines for authors - click here to see them.

Details of our current books are on the main Publications page.

A full list of past books published by PHRG is below.  Copies of all these are available from our supporters Dinnages Publishing, and secondhand books are often available from our  good friends and stockists MDS Books.

We also recommend OSMART for good quality secondhand PHRG books and other transport items.  By buying from OSMART you will also be supporting The Bus Archive, which has close ties to the PHRG and Omnibus Society as a whole.

2001      Primrose of Leominster (J E Dunabin) 978 0 901307 57 2
2002      Trams & Buses of the Great Cities in the 1880s (D S Giles) 978 0 901307 58 3
2006      Tocia: Buses of the Lleyn Peninsula (J E Dunabin) 978 0 901307 68 8
2008      History of Birkenhead Municipal Undertaking (T B Maund) 978 0 901307 66 1
2009    North Warwickshire (P Hale) 978 0 901307 70 5
2010    London General's First 50 Years (Mitchell) 978 0 901307 73 6
2011    Pioneer Bus Services in South West Lancashire (T B Maund) 978 0 901307 75 0
2012    North Yorkshire Independents (P Cardno) 978 0 901307 76 7
2012    Area Agreements - Territory & Ownership Patterns (J Hulme) 978 1 909091 01 6
2015 History of the Wallasey Corporation Motor Omnibus Undertaking      (T B Maund) 978 1 909091 11 5


'P' series

We also produce booklets, which we call our 'P' series. If you are a PHRG member you receive any 'P' series when they are produced.

Booklets from P14 onwards can be purchased from the Journal Editor for £2.50 each post free - please email him at, and he will send you details of how to pay.

P14 Brian's Holiday: London - Penzance in 1948 (Brian Chappell)
P15 United - The Early Years (Philip Battersby)
P16 PHRG in "Bristol" - A Celebration of the 2017 Presidential Weekend (various)
P17 Pioneering Motor Bus Services in South east Dorset (various)
P18 Through Omnibus Services: Newcastle - London in 1928 (David Grimmett)
P19 White's Carriage Company (Ken Swallow)
P20 Aldridge: One Town, Four Operators (Peter Hale)
P21 Wartime Greater Manchester (Ted Jones)


Booklets P1 - P13 are not now available to purchase, but copies are available for reference in The Bus Archive at Walsall:-

P1 Index of Omnibus Magazine / OS Publications (David J Simpson)  
P2 Early Sittings of the Traffic Commissioners (Tony Moyes)  
P3 Long Distance Operators & Services Pre-1931 (Roger Warwick)  
P4 Speak of Bishop Auckland (John Dunabin)  
P5 Index to PHRG Newsletters 1-99 (Peter Hale)  
P6 Early Post-War Journeys in South Wales (Jack Baker)  
P7 Merseyside Coachmen of the 1920s/30s – Part One (T B Maund)  
P8 Merseyside Coachmen of the 1920s/30s – Part Two (T B Maund)  
P9 Lesser Merseyside Coach Operators of the 1920s/30s (T B Maund)  
P10 Operators in Scotland to 1940 (Richard Gadsby). CD format  
P11 Nantwich & Crewe Motor Bus Co Ltd (Ken Swallow)  
P12 Cumbrian Bus Operators 1938/39 (David Grisenthwaite)  
P13 Precursors of East Kent - 25 Years On (Dave Bubier)  


Bygone Buses of Northamptonshire by Roger Warwick

We are delighted to host Bygone Buses of Northamptonshire - Roger Warwick's superb histories of bus operators in that county.  Roger is a PHRG member, and a past Secretary and Bulletin Editor.  The latest histories were uploaded in April 2018.

Please click here to access the Bygone Buses of Northamptonshire page. This takes you to the Introduction and Index, from where there are links to each operator history. 


Contact Us

Chairman - Paul Lacey

Email - 

Secretary - Peter Hale

Email -

Journal Editor - David Grimmett

Email -