A LOCAL museum will be celebrating a special birthday as one of its buses turns 60 years old this year.

The 1960 AEC Reliance (756 KFC) is just one of the anniversaries the Oxford Bus Museum in Long Hanborough will be celebrating this year.

The bus was originally used as a two person operation but was soon converted to a one person job.

On the front of the bus is a secured flap to be opened to show a notice stating that it is indeed operated by just the one person.

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Its engine is in the middle of the chassis under the floor of the passenger saloon, resulting in steep steps up into the bus.

The museum said that such steep steps would be ‘unacceptable’ for today’s buses.

For the first time, the passenger entrance was in front of the front wheels therefore the entrance is beside the driver, as is customary with most buses today.

Because of this, the bus could be used for one person operation on quieter rural services.

The bus can seat 44 passengers and is on a long term loan at the museum from one of its partners.

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The chassis of the bus was built by AEC and the body by Park Royal.

In the children’s area in the museum is a model of the bus with working headlights and trafficators - signals which protrude from the bodywork of a motor vehicle to indicate its intention to turn.

The number plate of the model - ERN IE - records that it was named after Ernie Clack, who helped build the model but sadly died before its completion.

The children’s area also contains bus-orientated activities with brass rubbing and puzzles.

During the upcoming February half term, the museum will open on Thursday in addition to the usual Wednesdays and Sundays.

Historic bus rides for museum visitors will operate on February 16, 19 and 20.

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The museum tells the story of bus and coach travel around Oxfordshire over the last 130 years.

Exhibits include: historic preserved horse-drawn vehicles, buses, coaches and a wide selection of artefacts (bus stops, ticket machines, timetables, posters, staff uniforms) and photos illustrating the diverse public transport history.

Since 2004, the museum has also been home to the Morris Motors Museum, which charts the story of how classic British cars and commercial vehicles were produced at Cowley.

The collection of vintage Morris vehicles at the museum represents those produced during William Morris’ life.

Furthermore, the museum - a charity run entirely by volunteers - also has a unique collection of 40 vintage bicycles.

Situated 70 yards from Hanborough train station - just off the A4095 in Long Hanborough - the museum offers free parking and a cafe to its visitors.