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updated November 2014


Due to Ashley's retirement at the end of 2014 this valuable single name domain is FOR SALE and available from January 2015.

This domain name is ideally suited to businesses involved in the Motor Trade or in WHEEL or Tyre sales etc. It is of course also suited to those involved in the travel industry.

Enquiries from principals are welcomed.  Contact or see the advertisement in the Items for Sale section of website.



 WHEELS  HERITAGE  - Classic Buses and Coaches. 
including Midland Red Coaches
From January 2015 we will no longer hire our classic buses and coaches. With Ashley's retirement at the end of 2014 some of our vehicles remain available FOR SALE  along with our WHEELS website domain name - see above

Ashley is continuing to offer his After Dinner Speaking and Midland Red Talks for groups etc and information can be obtained from his website


The following content is for information only


Bus Driver Experience Days 2014

 - vouchers are available until October 2014 -

Driver Experience 2014

The 2014 dates have now been completed and with Ashley's retirement due to be effective from the end of 2014 there are no future Bus Experience Days planned.

Thank you to everyone who has attended our Bus Driver Experience Days over the years and we will miss seeing you all. With our thanks and best wishes from Ashley, Richard, George, Chad, and John.

 Midland Red GOLD Bus Driver Experience Days
 provide a unique opportunity to get behind the wheel of classic buses with our Driving Instructors. It's a fully inclusive day, with classroom sessions including a comprehensive background to the early days of Midland Red, and comparison discussions of the pros and cons of learning the Midland Red way versus modern-day training. All this besides taking to the private 'open road' (Concourse and Track) of the famous Mallory Park Circuit in Leicestershire, and enjoying a rather nice lunch locally at The Windmill Restaurant at Brascote.

ACCOMMODATION:  If you are travelling some distance to visit us, we can suggest some local B&B accommodation which many of our guests have taken up and enjoyed. Please ask us if you wish to enjoy a relaxed visit or are planning to extend the Bus Driver Experience visit to include some local sightseeing, touring, or shopping. We are supporters of our tourism associations locally and can offer suggestions of accommodation and venues to enjoy during your stay.

We recommend that you arrive with us fresh and ready to partake in the classroom session and be able to steer buses without power steering, therefore local accommodation can come into its own, especially on the night prior to the experience.

D9 Driving Experience Thursday 22nd May 2014 !   FINAL D9 DAY !

Hi Ashley. Just a brief note to say "Thanks".

Monday was a superb day despite the foul weather on our return home down a flooded M1 motorway.

Your efforts and generosity of time and patience was much appreciated.

I've enjoyed "Experience Days" at other venues and with different themes, but none have offered the intensity of experience and thoroughness of your day.

To you and your team - Thank you.”

Mike M


Our Bus Driver Experience Days are exciting enough - but this very rare and final opportunity to drive a big red D9 double-decker is a unique opportunity. 

This is a VERY rare opportunity to train on what is now a very rare vehicle, and Midland Red's most popular post-war double decker type.  We will not be offering another special D9 day after this date so book early !

During the day we will also discuss why the Midland Red driving school was one of the two best UK bus driving schools, and you will also discover a fascinating social history of the UK's second biggest bus and coach operator.  Then before driver training begins we have medical and licence checks. Then it's a driver's vehicle safety check and vehicle familiarisation, and into the seat for some careful gear-changing whilst getting accustomed to the size of a large public service vehicle.  Refreshments and Lunch are included for trainee drivers and their booked guests.

Driving a Bus is FUN!

You can buy vouchers for presents and add a date later!

“Hi, Just a quick email to say a big thank you to all the guys for such a brilliant bus experience day on the 19 June.

For anyone who has an interest in buses I cannot think of a better day! Everyone made us so welcome. The atmosphere was relaxed but very informative and gave me a brilliant insight into Midland Red and bus driving. To get behind the wheel of different buses and be taught by people who are so passionate, knowledgeable and professional, gave me a very memorable day and I shall be back to take you up on your special return price.

Without doubt what struck me about the experience day, is how far you all go to ensure that it was precisely that - an unforgettable experience. Even the nice touches like tea and toast on arrival, just set the right atmosphere. So often I've heard, or read articles from people who have gone on some other experience type days only to be so disappointed because they are run by unprofessional outfits who are solely driven by profit and have no passion. Your organisation could not be any further from those type of operations.

So my advice to anyone who is not sure if to book, is don't hesitate, go for it. As a 50th birthday present, it exceeded all my expectations. Take care, give my regards to the team and I'll be sorting out a date shortly for my return!”



Midland Red Bus Driver Experience Days from the Wheels Museum of Transport Heritage project provide a unique opportunity to get behind the wheel of a classic bus with our Driving Insturctors, learning forward and reverse moves, and then taking to the 'open road' private road circuit at the fabulous Mallory Park in Leicestershire.

On our Gold sessions, you join us for the whole day. A classroom session sets the scene, comparing bus driver training of the past with the present day, There's a time for historical reflection on the history of what was the UK's largest provincial bus operator, Why the Midland Red Training School was one of the best and most thorough available, then our day covers safety items, medical and licence checks. Then it's a Driver's Vehicle Safety check and vehicle familiarisation, and into the seat for some careful gear-changing whilst getting used to the size of a large public service vehicle.  All day refreshments and Lunch are included for trainee drivers and their guests. 

Private sessions with your own instructor and a chosen bus can also be arranged, are also available on other dates. (Weekend dates are not generally  available). 

We don't compromise on quality - Our organisation is living the memory of a fondly remembered company of great repute.

We demand high standards -  Our buses and coaches are "real"  in-service vehicles so we show you how to drive them to give them long lives.

You get a great value day out with us  -  Personal, professional and knowledgable service and attention to detail.

And actually achieve something too !  Realise a Childhood ambition - Drive a Bus - with a certificate to prove it.

You will be able to see the enjoyment of your fellow participants achieving something that they've always wanted to do - just see the smiles on their faces !    So, buy your experience voucher - then if you are unsure of the date you wish to join us, you can arrange that later by email. The Bus Driver Experience Day vouchers are valid until 28th October 2014 latest. Limited space available on remaining dates.

Our classic British-made buses and coaches and our experienced staff with uniformed and experienced Driving Instructors, all go to make your day out a most memorable occasion.

These are all GOLD Experience days - the best Bus Driver Experience available!

   Tuesday 15th April *** SOLD OUT ***
   Thursday 22nd May (special final D9 day) *** SOLD OUT ***
   Thursday 26th June *** SOLD OUT ***
   Tuesday 22nd July *** SOLD OUT ***
   Tuesday 26th August *** SOLD OUT ***
   Tuesday 23rd September    
   Tuesday 28th October  


If you already hold a Bus Driver Experience Voucher (perhaps bought for you as a present), please email us to arrange a date subject to space available. Don't let your vouchers expire - they are valid until 28th October 2014 latest.    Limited space available on remaining dates.    Guest spaces are not limited but must be pre-booked.  A Bus Driver Experience Booking Form must be completed before a booking can be accepted. Please note that any valid voucher unused before 28th October 2014 will expire, and is not refundable.

Welcome to a new Instructor

Richard is centre of picture back row.
We are pleased to welcome Richard Wallace to our Bus Driver Experience Days as an Instructor.  Richard has recently taken early retirement from a career in public transport which has involved both bus, coach and rail businesses.  

Richard's passion for buses lies with with a sister company to Midland Red -  East Kent Road Car Company, but he also has a deep interest in LT, London Transport.  Richard has had a rounded experience throughout his career and began as a Bus Conductor and later Driver, before making his long term working life in the rail industry.  He is part owner of two preserved buses too, so he understands both the passion and the responsibilities involved in owning large vehicles. We look forward to benefitting from Richard's long experience, and bringing some new ideas to keep our Midland Red bus driver experience days the best available.

It's an Amazing Day Out.

Exciting, Educational, Nostalgic, Historical, and Fun 
Great for Birthdays, Anniversaries or Corporate Gifts.

Join our growing list of budding Trainee Bus Drivers who come from just about every walk of life.

Picture 1: A Government Transport Official from Seattle came especially to drive a bus which he used to travel on in Tamworth before emigrating.   Picture 2:  shows a happy lady after driving our D9 double decker - she was treated to an experience as a Birthday gift by her daughter, a doctor in Birmingham.   Picture 3: After a Birthday gift from his partner, is Adrian whispering a suggestion for his next birthday?

In addition to the above visitors, we've had  Doctors of Medicine, Doctors of Engineering, Police Officers, Teachers, Accountants, Lorry Drivers, Council officers, Shop keepers, Factory workers, Social workers, Students, lots of retired folk, and even ex-pats who want to drive a British bus. Oh yes, we also get some retired Bus Drivers anxious to soak up nostalgic memories, and some modern-day bus drivers who sometimes get a shock to see how hard a bus driver's job used to be! 

The D9 is not always in attendance on our experience days - in fact due to its rarity it is a very special occasion when it appears. Our regular vehicles on our Gold Experience Days are either our Classic Bristol RE or Leyland Leopard (single decker representatives) and the traditional Leyland PD2 double decker. Our Leyland Leopard and even the Royal Tiger Doyens sometimes appear, which gives the experience of both semi automatic and manual gear changes often available.

“Just a brief email to say how much I enjoyed the course last Monday and to thank you for having me! I was most impressed by the standard of restoration of your vehicles and the very thorough tuition given; I was only sorry to have left the elderly Mrs Jones behind at the bus stop on one occasion but with John's help we managed to put that right! All the course arrangements and the lunch were absolutely first class. I do believe I will be back for more and hope perhaps to have the experience of the manual gearchange of the PD2 on a future occasion. Thanks again to you and your team for making such a wonderful experience possible.”

Best Wishes to you all

John from Bristol.

Bus Driver Experience Days for Private Groups

Ideal for Team building, Corporate Days Out, Rewarding valued employees,  special gifts for Groom or Best Man of Wedding events,  or just a great incentive idea.

And for private groups and Corporate Driving Experience Sessions with ten trainee drivers and other groups we can arrange exclusive dates.

Join our happy band of Bus Driver Experience "Trainees" 

If you have always wanted to drive a bus or want to realise a childhood dream you'll find it hard to beat our Bus Driver Experience Days.

“Thank you once again for an excellent day. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute and it was a wonderful experience driving the D9 and the PD2 again which John thinks I'm getting better at. How he cramps his 6 foot something into the small space beside the driver is a miracle!  Thanks to both of you for your unfailing patience and cheerfulness when we (or definitely I) get things wrong.  Good to see bus conductor Chad again.  I have had a word with my wife and she will be happy for me to have another go next year if you will have me.  I can't think of a more rewarding experience for a bus enthusiast.”

Best Wishes


The cost is 99 per participant for Assessment only -  a very short and concise session to check and assess your suitability in driving/handling a large PSV.

GOLD Bus Driver Experience is our best course (295) with more individual attention and up to two vehicles and two instructors, depending on the number of trainee drivers. Gold Experience packages start at 9.30am and finish around 4pm, and include Lunch for the Participant and Guests. The price for Guests is 59 each.  As you can imagine, the Gold Course is by far our most popular and is the best value.


Corporate and Private Group Experience Packages start from 99, with spectator (Guest) prices from just 35 for either an morning or afternoon session, or from 189 for all day Corporate or Private Group sessions with spectator (Guests) prices from 49. All Day sessions will include all day refreshments and Lunch for everyone booked to attend.  You have the option of Lunch at a nearby rural hostelry which is home-prepared from locally sourced ingredients or enjoy a specially prepared buffet brought in by our local suppliers, or as agreed depending on numbers of people in your group. The all day sessions will include historical and technical discussion, licence and medical checks, vehicle familiarisation and safety session, and time in the cab - We will not compromise on safety related sessions, but some content of the sessions can be tailored to particular group requirements. and again depending on numbers, the time could be extended for larger groups. 


Here's a chance to get behind the wheel of one of our classic buses!


Our Bus Driver Experience packages are varied and include something for everyone.

You can make arrangements to bring Guests along to share your exciting day.  Some all-day packages include Lunch locally too.

Driver Experiences are held at the famous Mallory Park Circuit - known as "the little circuit with the big view" and is great for spectators.  It is a friendly track and is conveniently located near Hinckley in Leicestershire. It's easy to find from the M1/M6/M69 local motorway network. Full joining instructions are provided when your particular package date is arranged/confirmed.

The Bus Driver Experience Packages are great for presents and for Corporate Gifts, so when you buy an Experience Package we sent you an appropriate Experience Voucher - then when you wish to book a particular date, you simply contact us to choose from the dates available. Corporate Packages for groups of ten qualify for corporate discounts.

Generally we like our courses to be available to anyone capable, but we do have certain 'guidelines' for trainee participants.  They should ideally be the holder of a Driving Licence for at least one year, be in good health, between 5'5" and 6'4" in height, under 18 stone in weight, and under 70 yrs of age, but if you are around these numbers please do ask for more information and we may need to ask you various additional questions. Participants must be 100% free of alchohol and drugs on the day of the experience and random testing is in force as it is with all Bus Drivers.  

Do see our terms and conditions on the leaflet, on the booking form and on this website, and participants must complete and sign a booking form. Decisions of the Driving Instructors regarding suitability and safety items etc is final.

We would like to thank the following for their part in the success of the day:
John Ward and his fantastic 'old' team at Mallory Park, Steven Knight - SK Media & Photography, Occasions Catering,  Vince Taylor - Northern Warwickshire Tourism Association, Julie Mayer, BBC Radio Leicester, Buses Magazine, David Cole, Bus & Coach Buyer, RouteOne, Nick Larkin - Bus & Coach Preservation,  Laura Jennings - Insurance (Coventry/Rugby),  John Bird - Photographs.

 Planning something special?    We have something which may fit the bill !

A Birthday surprise, A Thank You gift, a Team building session, or rewarding special employees?    Let WHEELS / Midland Red Coaches  help you.   We have organised some of the biggest and best transport events in the area,  and NOW we can offer you an individual experience or a group session, seeing what the life of a bus driver was like in times gone by!

The chance to get behind the wheel of a classic bus was many a childhood dream.  It can now come true.

You can also bring along  non-participating spectator friends or your partner, if you wish for a much reduced fee.

The event will be led by experienced and qualified Driver Instructor, and will start with a briefing. This will involve us gathering information on forms from the participant; an explanation of our operations and how we work with our vintage and classic buses and coaches; information on Health and Safety issues whilst you are with us; and an on-vehicle safety check and briefing, explaining the type of bus, how it works, some Driving techniques, and emergency procedures.

Then on a pre-prepared circuit we will help you traverse a number of obstacles, and even reverse the bus around a corner with cones using only your mirrors - as it used to be done!   The Driving Instructor may ask you to start on an incline - a hill start !!  But make sure you dont roll backwards as he may have placed a matchbox or a plastic cup just behind the wheel... and if you break it you may have to buy each of your colleagues and the Instructor a round of teas, again just as happened in the good old days!

You will have an enjoyable time as it's something not available every day. Each packages is different and you will be rewarded with a participant's certificate and dependant upon the particular package there are mugs featuring the bus or buses you have driven, Limited Edition Midland Red Centenary prints, Group Photograph and some handouts to remember your day with Midland Red Coaches on your Classic Bus Driving Experience Day.

If you are travelling from any distance, we can provide information to help you to arrange accommodation in local Bed and Breakfasts or Hotels.

Wheels are supporters of all local Tourism Associations and many of their members have cosy and affordable accommodation, and others with more things to do and see whilst you are in our area. See what you would like to do on and around your visit.  Checkout their website:  

We will aim to make your time with us worthwhile and a very special experience for you to enjoy.





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