Return journey to Exmouth for iconic Devon Generals

One of the Devon Generals buses

One of the Devon Generals buses - Credit: Devon Generals Society

The iconic Devon General buses will soon be returning to the streets of Exmouth for a special event. 

On Sunday, September 4, preserved Devon General buses will take to the roads in and around the town, recreating the routes of the 1960s. 

The event is being organised by the Devon Generals Society and there will be free round trip to local destinations and open-top bus rides around Exmouth. Services will start from Imperial Road – adjacent to where the former Devon Generals garage used to be - and run between 10am and 4pm. 

A souvenir programme giving details of the routes and the buses running on them will be available on the day or in advance by post from the Devon Generals Society sales oficer from later this month. 

A spokesman for the society said: “Following our successful ‘Devon General Remembered’ running day at Tiverton in 2021, we are organising another event that will feature classic Devon General buses running free bus services to local destinations.   

“Please keep 4th September free and we look forward to seeing you for a day beside the sea at Exmouth.” 

The Devon General Omnibus & Touring Company was formed in 1919 and acquired by Torquay Tramways three years later, becoming part the British Electric Traction group (BET) in 1932.   

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Its colourful cherry-red and ivory buses and grey and maroon Grey Cars coaches served South Devon for many years and became an essential part of many holiday-makers’ visits to Devon tourism hotspots, including Exmouth and Sidmouth, before the age of mass car ownership. 

In 1969 Devon General became part of the National Bus Company, taking over Exeter City Transport a year later and coming under the control of Western National in 1971.  

With the division of Western National in 1983, it re-emerged as Devon General Limited and three years later became the first NBC bus subsidiary to be privatised.   

In 1996 the companies were sold to the Stagecoach group and recombined as Stagecoach Devon Limited, which now trades as Stagecoach South West. 

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