Hundreds of enthusiasts travelled from all over the country to attend the final open day at the volunteer-run Aston Manor Transport Museum in Birmingham.

The centre is being forced out of its historic tram depot on Witton Lane by the city council at the end of the month.

Volunteer Rob Handford took passengers out on a 1950 Birmingham City Transport Guy as it made its last run on the city’s roads yesterday.

The 49-year-old former bus driver spent the last 23 years restoring the double decker with others, who called themselves the 2548 group after its vehicle number.

Its next destination will be The British Commercial Vehicle Museum, in Lancashire.

He said: “This bus body was built in Birmingham and it ran in Birmingham all its life. It was restored in Birmingham and after 61 years Birmingham doesn’t seem to want it.

“Some of these buses lasted 27 years in service, which in Birmingham is a great achievement. The design of them and their specification was second to none. They were seen as the finest buses in the country.

“They said you could eat your dinner off a Birmingham bus because they were that clean.”

Mark Newbrook travelled from Barrow-in-Furness, in Cumbria, to enjoy its final day.

The 55-year-old, a semi-retired university lecturer, said: “I’ve seen places that seem to have more money than this and swisher premises, but you don’t get the same enthusiasm and devotion.”

Stewart Edge set out from Stockport for his latest and last visit. The 63-year-old retired train driver said: “I love the whole atmosphere of the place. It’s run by enthusiasts for enthusiasts.”

Museum director Richard Gray said it was still to be decided what will happen to the collection of 20 buses and about ten commercial vehicles.

He said: “There appears to be no future for a road transport museum in Birmingham, where there is a dearth of industrial heritage being retained already by the city.”

The museum has been staying rent-free in the Victorian premises opposite Villa Park for 20 years.

In return it has maintained and improved the building and made it available for the community and held heritage open days. But now the council is demanding £43,000 a year rent.

Birmingham City Council leader Coun Mike Whitby said: “They have not been able to convince the council they have a viable business plan. It is planned the museum will vacate the building and explore options to display the exhibits in another venue.”