For Charitable purposes, the directors of OTA are also trustees and under the Articles of Association, no director is permitted to benefit financially or in any other way from the company. It is part of OTA's philosophy that directors should represent all aspects of transport interests and cover a wide age range, to ensure continuity.
Martin Jenkins was born and educated in Wallasey and attended Liverpool University. A long career in the theatre and broadcasting followed. Another with a life-long interest in trams, buses, trolleybuses, railways and ferries, he took his first photograph in 1952, first colour slide in 1956 and first cine sequence in 1958 and continues to take slides and DVD coverage of most forms of public transport. Martin was the first Chairman of the Liverpool University Public Transport Society (1958) and first Chairman of the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society (1960) during which time a former Liverpool tram was purchased from Glasgow Corporation and is now fully restored and operating at the National Tramway Museum in Derbyshire. Besides the UK, many overseas visits have been made including most of Europe, Egypt, Mexico, North America, China, Japan and Australia.
For over 15 years, he was actively involved with Online Video during which time he directed, researched, wrote and read the commentary for over 120 DVDs covering tramways, trolleybuses, buses, railways, ferries and paddle steamers both in the UK and world-wide. These still sell in large numbers and are regarded as among some of the best and most well-researched DVDs ever produced. He has authored or co-authored a range of transport-related books many with a strong Merseyside connection. His most recent books are The Colours of Yesterday's Trams (Capital Transport) co-authored with Ian Stewart and Crosville 1965-1986 (Ian Allan) co-authored with Charles Roberts.
As founding Chairman of Online Transport Archive he is passionate about the need to conserve and preserve irreplaceable transport collections and he continues to work towards securing as many images as possible for future generations to enjoy. His own extensive collection is willed to OTA.
Kevin is a life-long transport enthusiast who started as a steam train spotter, London bus spotter and civil aircraft spotter (ie collecting the numbers and marking them off in published lists) from about the age of nine. This was also around the time he started taking photographs on his mother's pre-war Box Brownie camera.
Saving transport items from destruction was always a priority and, at the age of 14, Kevin was instrumental in rescuing a 1932 Austin 7 car (and buying it for £5 a few years later, which he is still using today!). The next item to be acquired was a 1929 Austin Swallow in 1970 (also in use today), followed two years later by a Victorian family saloon railway carriage (very original and now largely restored) which had been converted into a Thameside bungalow and which he keeps at the Great Western Society's base at Didcot Railway Centre, moving it there when he was Hon Secretary of the Great Western Society.
Kevin doesn't own any retired buses or aircraft but sees several examples regularly at Brooklands as he is a steward at the London Bus Museum located there (formerly known as Cobham Bus Museum). Kevin also has a current bus driving licence which he has held since 1968 for the purpose of driving, as a hobby, the types of buses he loves. In addition, Kevin is a prolific book author, so far having produced 32 colour albums devoted to road or rail transport. He intends to leave his fairly extensive collection of black and white and colour photographs of transport subjects to the Online Transport Archive.
As regards professional life, after leaving school Kevin started work in the Control Tower at Heathrow Airport but after seven years transferred to Customs & Excise in preparation for the introduction of VAT in 1973. He later moved to the private sector and is currently employed as a VAT adviser to a large printing group, albeit now on a part-time basis.
Charles Roberts was born and brought up in Merseyside, trained as a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and worked in the bus industry around the time of deregulation and privatisation before embarking on what he refers to as his 'career break' in the academic world. He currently runs the Maritime and Logistics degree programmes at Liverpool John Moores University. His interest in all forms of transport dates back to a very early age and has been taking slides - nowadays digital images - since 1973. He has been involved in OTA since its inception and has served as secretary, treasurer and now chairman. He is the co-author of three transport books based on material in the Archive.
Michael Russell was born in Ipswich in 1948 and educated at Westcliff-on-Sea and Guildford.
A career in the British municipal bus industry followed, rising to Traffic Manager and Director at Reading before establishing the Reading Mainline bus company to provide alternative services in the Greater Reading area using traditional Routemaster double-deck crew-operated vehicles; after a period of intense competition, eventually sold the operation to Reading Transport and retired in 2008. He was a member of the Bus & Coach Council Traffic Committee between 1986 and 1990.
A life-long enthusiast of road passenger transport, these days concentrating on tramways and trolleybus systems but also historically interested in classic British motorbuses - an interest which lapsed when they put the engine at the wrong end!
Michael is a long-time member of several transport museum and preservation societies, Committee/Board member of the National Trolleybus Association/Trolleybus Museum Company Ltd. from 1965 to 1984 and again from 2012 and Custodian Trustee of the British Trolleybus Society from 1996 to date. He was Editor of Trolleybus Magazine from 1966 to 1978 and is still a regular contributor to various transport journals, mainly on subjects associated with tram and trolleybus operation.
A prolific photographer, Mike has a collection of over 250,000 images of trams, trolleybuses and motorbuses from 1958 to date, initially in monochrome and from 1963 colour transparencies. The collection features operations throughout the world, including over 410 full-service tramways, 390 trolleybus systems and 70 operational museum and heritage tramways. From 1966 (and seriously from 1970) also shot 8mm (and 16mm 1988-1992) movie footage and from 1993 video footage of these subjects. The entire collection is willed to OTA in the belief that it should be made available to publishers and researchers in the future.
Peter Waller was brought up in Bradford, where his interest in transport developed as a result of the decline of the city's trolleybus system. Active in trolleybus preservation whilst at school, following university he joined Ian Allan Ltd and was with the company for more than 26 years. With Ian Allan he held a variety of roles, including that of Publisher (Books) for a number of years where he was responsible for the creation of the company's book publishing programme across all subject areas. Going part-time in 2007, he moved to Shropshire and is now a freelance writer and book packager. He's been involved with OTA for almost a decade and was appointed Company Secretary in 2011. He is the author of a number of books for Ian Allan Publishing and other companies, including several volumes on British tramway history.
Peter Whitehead was born and educated in Reading and is a chartered civil engineer, currently Associate Director with a consultancy practice in Oxfordshire. With two older brothers already keenly interested, and nurtured by two distinctively different batches of melodious AEC Regent IIs on the route passing the family home, he stood little chance of not developing an enthusiasm for buses from a very early age. The occasional Crossley on the route was equally melodious but very different and, for an impressionable growing lad, had the added fascination of platform doors. Noises emanating from shuddering AEC Reliances on a second route nearby were different again. Further afield, the whooping crescendos of London RTs became another delight and affinity with East Kent EFN and FFN Guys developed from holidays with grandparents in Herne Bay. It wasn't long before the existence of trolleybuses was discovered just across the river, but tantalisingly out of reach until swimming lessons at the far end of the route provided due reason for an introduction to a range of quite different noises.
Tom Ferris was born and grew up in Northern Ireland where his interest in transport was first stimulated through observing the last workings of Great Northern and LMS/NCC steam locomotives in the province in the 1960s. His interest in public service vehicles grew from time spent as a student working as a bus conductor with Bournemouth Transport in the 1970s. He was educated at Queen's University Belfast where in 1980 he was awarded a Masters degree for his thesis, 'The Ulster Railway Company 1835-1848'.
His career has been spent in publishing working both in sales and marketing and as a publisher and commissioning editor. In his time as a director of Midland Publishing, he collaborated with Online Video writing and producing a range of successful programmes dealing with British and Irish railway themes, tramways and other topics. He has also written and had published 14 books on aspects of British and Irish railway history. His interests extend to aviation, canals, buses and trolleybuses.
He has lived in Shropshire since the 1980s and has been actively involved with the Severn Valley Railway for close to three decades as a working member serving as a Travelling Ticket Inspector, Guard and latterly as Assistant Stationmaster at the line's northern terminus, Bridgnorth. and a picture is attached.