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


PHRG Publishing

From the outset, a key objective of the Group was to encourage the publication of the fruits of members' researches for a wider audience.  The late Derek Giles commenced an intermittent series of books from 2001 in conjunction with the PHRG 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 regarded as Out of Print but residual copies 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


From time to time we have produced short run, limited availability, papers on subjects of historical interest but which do not justify commercial publication in the series above.  These are not available to purchase at this time but copies are deposited for reference in the Omnibus Society Library and Archive:-

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)
P14 Brian's Holiday, London - Penzance in August 1948 (Brian Chappell)
P15  United - The Early Years (Philip Battersby)


Bygone Buses of Northamptonshire by Roger Warwick

We are delighted to announce that we are now hosting 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.

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 - 100 Sandwell Street, Walsall, WS1 3EB

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Secretary - Peter Hale - 100 Sandwell Strret, Walsall, WS1 3EB

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Journal Editor - David Grimmett -100 Sandwell Street, Walsall, WS1 3EB

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