About Norfolk Vintage Bus Hire

Our history as a company may be short, but our interest and love for buses has been life long.

Collectively, we Don, John, Ivan and Omar have worked together as both enthusiasts and vintage bus crews for several years. In 2023, a change in circumstances at the company we worked at brought about the birth of Norfolk Vintage Bus Hire. We love our buses and our aim is to provide not just simply transportation, but to give all our Norfolk Vintage Bus Hire clients and your guests a memorable experience they'll love.

Let us transport you not just to a destination, but to to a bygone age of delightful transport. Our buses, are suited to Weddings, Proms, Corporate Hospitality, Private Tours, Film and Television Shoots, Advertising, Static Exhibitions, Funeral Transport and much more. Our enthusiastic crews will do their best to accommodate your every requirement! The three of us are the main drivers ably assisted by Omar and some of our bus enthusiast friends. This means chances are high you're likely to meet at least one of us if you book a hire.

It is not only tradition, but a legal requirement for Routemasters to have a conductor on board and we are lucky to have the most able conductor in Norfolk as part of our team.  Omar is an expert at the role and with his trusty ticket machine and PA system adds an extra bit of entertainment.  Occasionally when he has another commitment, Ivan's mum Judy deputises.  They even form a mother and son bus crew from time to time! ​

We are more than just bus crew here at Norfolk Vintage Bus Hire, we're a team of friends and enthusiasts who are committed to keeping an important part of British bus history on the roads, providing nostalgic transportation to Norfolk and its surrounding areas.

Don Grunbaum

Company Director

Don was born and brought up in London and Essex. His interest in buses started in 1959, when the Routemasters were replacing London’s worn out trolleybus system. He spent many Saturdays touring London with a “Red Rover”, taking down bus numbers. As he got older, his interest in buses waned. Instead he got interested in cars and girls! After getting married, moving to Norwich, and pursuing a career in I.T., his interest in buses was re-kindled by a photo of an old bus in the local newspaper. He traced the photo to a local society where he met John and other enthusiasts. After a few years, the opportunity arose to buy, with some of his friends, a 1970s Bristol bus, ex Eastern Counties VR190. Two of those friends are John and Ivan. Since then he has also bought a share of two other buses, including the company’s bus, RML2401. Don went on to take his PCV driving test, so that he could carry more than 8 passengers. That led to him working part-time on wedding hires and the open-top Norwich Sightseeing tour. When the business running those stopped trading, Don took the decision to set up the new company and apply for an Operator’s Licence. The licence was granted in April 2024 and the first hire took place just a few days later.

John Stewart

Company Director

John was brought up in Essex, the land of green buses, with one of his earliest memories including bus travel. With a move to Norfolk in 1982 with a young family his interest was maintained but less involved. Jointly with his brother who had passed his PCV driving test he bought a 1976 Bristol bus which had begun life on the Isle of Wight and which was comprehensively restored over a period of years. In 2008 he passed his own test and soon began casual work as a second job, introduced by friend and fellow enthusiast Richard Dixon driving the Norwich City tour and occasional hires. Indeed the pool of crews who drove and conducted for that operator came almost exclusively from enthusiast friends and contacts, many of them with main jobs in diverse fields of work. Along with Don and Ivan he acquired shares in Eastern Counties Bristol VR190. Later they were fortunate to acquire the 1953 Bristol open top bus WNO479 which he and Ivan were honoured to drive and conduct, vinyl wrapped in bright designs, in the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Parade in central London. John almost missed out on the parade, somehow the organisers had confused bus conductors with band conductors! Getting his security pass involved miles of walking across SW1.

Ivan Fisher

Driver or Conductor

Ivan has loved buses for as long as he can remember. Childhood trips aboard Eastern Counties buses from his home village of Horsham St. Faith set the seed. Regular journeys were made on the 758 for childhood shopping trips in Norwich and later to work, or to visit his grandmother in Aylsham and the seaside at Cromer. On 10th August 2017 Ivan passed his PCV test and has had the bus driving, conducting and owning bug ever since. After passing his test Ivan didn't drive a bus for a year then out of the blue was offered the chance to drive an open top bus. Reticent, but realising that to refuse would probably mean a dearth of future offers, he took up the challenge and has loved it ever since. Getting to drive and conduct on Routemasters came shortly after the open tops and about that Ivan will regularly remark to passengers, 'I dreamed of driving a Routemaster or riding the platform for years, now I'm lucky enough to do it regularly and to actually be paid for the privilege. Driving a bus in the huge parade to mark our Late Queen's Platinum Jubilee has been a highlight unlikely to be topped. It was an honour for the seven bus crews and an experience they'll never forget! Photographs to prove it really happened are in the gallery entitled 'Our Crew at Work and Play'.

Omar Atiallah

Senior Conductor

Omar our Senior Conductor was born in London in 1994 and is our youngest crew member. His childhood was spent in London and Essex surrounded by London Transport buses. From the time he could walk he loved buses and trains, spending much of his childhood with his grandad travelling on public transport. In 2005, he moved to Norfolk and although most buses are not ‘London Red’, he still loves most of them. In 2016 Omar began working at Norwich Bus Station manning the Information Desk, covering many different roles, including helping travellers and selling National Express tickets. With excellent knowledge of all the local bus routes he also helped drivers with route learning. Omar began conducting in 2013 and has never looked back. When asked what he enjoyed about the role he said, ‘the best part of being a bus conductor is seeing people smile and their joy at travelling on our buses; it helps keep history alive. I love hearing the passengers reminisce about travelling on buses like ours.' Omar is modest, but his popularity and knowledge is legendary; he knows every local route as well as lots more. Anyone lost could rely on Omar to put them right and amazingly, it's from memory, not using the internet!

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