AEC Reliance MU3RA
It looks like it could well be market day in this busy scene in Upper Millgate, Rotherham, looking into All Saint’s Square, in July, 1962. It’s quite likely that 162 is performing as a duplicate on the 37 service to Richmond Park, as this route was normally double-deck operated, in fact a rebodied Bristol L6B on the 37 is already waiting behind the Reliance, ready to pull on to the stand and load. Behind that is a 1954 Weymann bodied Daimler CVG6 on the Whiston service, and behind him yet again is another Daimler, a Roe bodied lowbridge example dating from 1957, on the Canklow route.
A 1949 East Lancs (Bridlington) bodied Bristol K is on the left of the picture, having discharged its passengers at the ‘Final Alighting Point’ and about to turn left into Bridgegate to make yet another journey to Chapeltown or Holmes, and further across the Square is one of its sisters on the East Herringthorpe stand, while peeping out from the offside of the Reliance is an earlier example soon to depart for Sunnyside on the 21 service.
The trolley wires emerging from Bridgegate were only used in an emergency, and joined the straight through wires from the Square, which was the layover point for trolleybuses on the short working 5 service to the Pumping Station. Just slightly over three years from when this picture was taken, the trolleybuses would be abandoned, the wires cut down and the green painted traction poles dug up and taken away. Nowadays this is all a pedestrian precinct, and with many of the shops relocated to suburban shopping centres and retail worlds, the town centre is rarely ever this busy any more.
Photograph and Copy contributed by Dave Careless
01/05/16 – 17:22
You may very well be right about market day, Dave, but town centres were always much busier fifty odd years ago, before out of town shopping centres, high parking charges for those who had cars, and so on. Oh, yes, and most folk would have used the bus. Great view – is the driver aiming to hit the lady crossing in front of him, or to avoid her? One would hope it’s the latter!
03/05/16 – 07:12
Thanks Pete. My father took the picture with his then new Taron Eye 35mm camera of which he was very proud. Those six Reliances, of which 162 was one, were the first underfloor engined single-deckers in the Rotherham fleet, 160-165, with matching RET registrations, so I was quite keen for him to get a photo of one for me!
There was no central bus station in Rotherham in those days, and the buses left from stands dotted around the various streets in the town centre, and with all the shops, the steady stream of buses and trolleybuses, and the shoppers and the bus queues, it was a vibrant place. I just read the other day in the local paper online from Canada that WH Smith’s are closing their Rotherham branch next month, so although it wasn’t a large outlet, there will no longer be a book shop in the town centre. That would have been hard to imagine back in 1962.