Provincial Historical Research Group

Welcome to the PHRG!

Interested in Transport History?

We are part of the Omnibus Society and we offer:

  • A Journal six times a year, with articles on all aspects of bus history
  • Supplementary booklets - our P Series
  • Books for general sale on a range of subjects
  • The chance to get to know others interested in happenings in the past
  • We cover the whole of the UK outside London

Whether you are generally interested in the past or into serious research, you will be made most welcome.

Chairman's Welcome

We are known as the PHRG, but our full title describes a vibrant group which does just what it says on the tin.  Our Chairman Paul Lacey explains the aims and successes of this approach.

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 and Members Day in different parts of the country - go to our Calendar page and click on Events Archive to see where they have been.

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 want to read the results of the work of others, there is a wealth of interest in our Journal, arriving on your doormat or in your inbox 6 times a year.

Phrg Committee Pic

PHRG Committee: (L-R) Richard Diment, Philip Kirk, Laurie James, Paul Lacey (Chairman), David Grimmett, Michael Yelton, Peter Hale and Geoff Porter.

PHRG Journal

Our main production is our Journal, which appears every two months.  It contains articles on bus history - vehicles and operations - across the United Kingdom, along with questions and answers, plus several photos.

Look at our index to see the wide range of subjects covered in our Journals.  

To download a free sample copy of the PHRG Journal click here. OS members can download each Journal from the website - go to PHRG Journals and P series to access.

P series

Our P series consists of stand-alone features that justify booklets of their own.  Click here to see a full list.  Printed copies of all P series issued since 2014 are available for purchase, and OS members can download electronic copies from the PHRG Journals and P series page.

Books

We publish books on a wide range of transport history.  Details of our current books are on the main Publications page.  Our latest book is Country Roads - Some Municipal Rural Bus Services by Michael Yelton, published in July 2021.  Our other recent books are Sittingbourne's Forgotten Operators by Clive Cheeseman, and Buses on the A696 by David Holding.

For a full list of the books we have published please click here.  All of them are available from our supporters Dinnages Publishing, and many of them are available from our good friends and stockists MDS Books.

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

We have Publications Guidelines for authors - click here to see them.

The benefits of Omnibus Society membership

We are part of the Omnibus Society, so being an OS member means:

  • You automatically have access to our Journals and P series electronically through our website.  You can also download past issues back to number 1 in 1985.
  • You can opt for printed Journals and P series booklets.  This costs an additional £8 per year.
  • You can take part in all our events.
  • You can 'affiliate' to the PHRG in addition to joining another Branch - or you can make the PHRG your Home Branch.

So it really is worth joining the OS.  For membership details please click here.

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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 update was made in June 2021.

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. 

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Contact Us

Chairman - Paul Lacey

Email - paul.lacey3551@btinternet.com 

Secretary - Peter Hale

Email - bmmo148@gmail.com

Journal Editor - David Grimmett

Email - david.grimmett@omnibus-society.org