Skip to main content

The Papers of Michael Bonavia

Reference Code: GBR/0014/BONV

Scope and Contents

The collection held at Churchill Archives Centre consists of research papers for Bonavia's books "The Nationalisation of British Transport" and "The Channel Tunnel Story" and includes photocopies of government material held at the Public Record Office.


  • Creation: 1932 - 1975

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to obtain copies of photocopied material or publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

Michael Bonavia had a career in transport, working for the London and North Eastern Railway, the British Transport Commission, the British Railways Board and was Director of the Channel Tunnel Project from 1967-1974.

Bonavia had connections with the University of London and wrote several books about transport including "British Railway Transport between the wars". After his retirement, he was based at the London School of Economics and researched the nationalisation of transport in 1948 and the early history of the British Transport Commission, publishing his research as "The Nationalisation of British Transport." Other works included: "The Channel Tunnel Story", "British Rail, the First 25 Years" and "The Twilight of British Rail."


12 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

The collection has been box-listed and a paper copy of the box-list is available for consultation in the reading room at Churchill Archives Centre.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was deposited at Churchill Archives Centre by Dr Bonavia in 1987 and 1988.

Existence and Location of Originals

The Bonavia papers include a substantial amount of photocopied material from the Public Record Office. Original material is held at the Public Record Office, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Richmond TW9 4DU.

Related Materials

Brunel University holds the archives of the Channel Tunnel Association as part of the Transport History Collection.


Bonavia wrote two books on the basis of the material held at Churchill Archives Centre: "The Channel Tunnel Story" (David and Charles, Newton Abbot, 1987) and "The Nationalisation of British Transport: The Early History of the British Transport Commission, 1948-53" (Palgrave Macmillan, London, 1987). Please note that neither of these books are available for reference at Churchill Archives Centre.


This collection level description was prepared by Natalie Adams of Churchill Archives Centre in March 2003, using information from the box list describing the papers and from correspondence relating to the collection's deposit at Churchill Archives Centre.


Bonavia, Michael Robert, 1909-?2000, transport historian

2003-03-03 14:12:18+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087