Classic STC ride slides into history at Western Development Museum

The latest throwback to another era at the Western Development Museum will be rolling people back to the 1950s with a bus painted in classic red and cream colours.

Museum's latest acquisition joins collection of 75,000 artifacts

Staff at the Western Development Museum are excited about the museum's latest acquisition, a 1950s era Saskatchewan Transportation Company bus. (Western Development Museum/Facebook)

The latest throwback to another era at the Western Development Museum will be rolling people back to the 1950s, with a bus painted in classic red and cream colours.

The museum recently acquired a replica of a Saskatchewan Transportation Company's 1950s era bus. Curator Elizabeth Scott said the addition preserves the history of the long-standing Crown corporation following its closure.

"A bus is perhaps the most iconic representation of the history of a bus company," she told CBC Radio's Afternoon Edition.

"It's really attractive and reminiscent of those early days of STC."

STC first purchased the bus in 1986 from the Regina Boys Band, which had used it in its 40th anniversary celebrations, Scott said. The 1951 Western Flyer is already set up as a display space, and has been restored to the original style of STC coaches, along with a classic logo.

The museum has also collected accompanying STC artifacts, like drivers' pins, badges and patches, timetables and signs. There is also material from the protests surrounding STC's closure, with placards, for instance, reading "Stop the Cuts."

The Western Development Museum has collected memorabilia from Saskatchewan Transportation Company's past, including from the most recent protests against its closure. (Western Development Museum/Facebook)

The bus still works, so it could potentially be taken on the road and displayed at any of the four Western Development Museum locations in the province, Scott said.

A vast collection of stories

For the time being, the bus joins the museum's 75,000-some artifacts in storage, including items that are as small as pins and thimbles, to larger automobiles and steam engines. About 65 per cent of the historic material in storage, while the remaining 35 per cent rotates through display. 

Scott said each of those artifacts tells a tale, whether it is the helmet from a World War, still encrusted with mud from 100 years ago, or a giant sewing needle, used mainly by women to sew cloth coverings for Second World War aircraft in Moose Jaw.

"As you can imagine, that's a lot of stories," she said. "It will probably take me my whole career to learn the collection because it's so vast."