Riding on a knifeboard
This model is of a Tilling horse-drawn omnibus from the 1880s. It is an example of the 'knifeboard' design which had extra seating on the roof on which passengers sat back to back. It was nick-named 'knifeboard' because the seats resembled a knife-cleaning board.
Tilling omnibus service
Thomas Tilling started his bus service in the 1840s. By 1901 he had a total of 220 horse-drawn buses. His main depot was on Rye Lane in Peckham, but he also had other offices in the City and the West End. The bus company was only part of his transport business. He also provided horses and carriages for weddings and other special occasions.
End of horse power
By the time the First World War began, the success of motorised buses had made horse-drawn omnibuses redundant. The last recorded horse omnibus in London was a Tilling bus. It ran its last journey between Peckham and Honor Oak Tavern on 4 August 1914.
Museum number 55.77/2