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 - paper or electronic. 

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.

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.

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 Publishing

A key objective of the Group is to encourage the publication of the fruits of members' researches for a wider audience.  The late Derek Giles commenced the series of books in 2001 and this was continued from 2011 following his death, partially funded by a generous legacy from his estate.  For a list of our current titles please click here.  Anyone with a project they might wish to be considered for future publication is invited to contact the Publications Co-ordinator.

The following is a full list of the past titles under the PHRG imprint.  All are now Out of Print but copies may remain in the market place, and for pre-owned items we recommend you try Osmart in the first instance. 

2001      Primrose of Leominster (Dunabin) 978 0 901307 57 2
2002      Trams & Buses of the Great Cities in the 1880s (Giles) 978 0 901307 58 3
2006      Tocia: Buses of the Lleyn Peninsula (Dunabin) 978 0 901307 68 8
2008      History of Birkenhead Municipal Undertaking (Maund) 978 0 901307 66 1
2009    North Warwickshire (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 (Maund) 978 0 901307 75 0
2012    North Yorkshire Independents (Cardno) 978 0 901307 76 7
2012    Area Agreements - Territory & Ownership Patterns (Hulme) 978 1 909091 01 6


'P' series

We also produce booklets, which we call our 'P' series.  Booklets from P14 onwards can be purchased from the Journal Editor for £2.30 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
P15 United - The Early Years (Philip Battersby)
P16 PHRG in "Bristol" - A Celebration of the 2017 Presidential Weekend
P17 Pioneering Motor Bus Services in South east Dorset
P18 Through Omnibus Services: Newcastle - London in 1928
P19 White's Carriage Company


Booklets P1 - P13 are not now available to purchase, but copies are deposited 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 only  
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 -