Old Bus Photos

Progressive Coaches (Cambridge) – AEC Regent 1 – DLU 116

Progressive Coaches (Cambridge) - AEC Regent 1 - FXT 215
Copyright Victor Brumby

Progressive Coaches (Cambridge)
1935
AEC Regent 1
London Transport (Chiswick) H26/30R

I am coming to the end of my boyhood ex-London Transport (photographed) sightings now. I proffer this shot of ex-London Transports STL 2117 during the building of Stevenage New Town, when Mowlem Construction hired their workers’ transport from Progressive Motor Coaches of Cambridge. STL 2117 was seen in the company of STL 971 on April 8th 1958, awaiting its next muddy-booted cargo.

DLU 116 tax disc

I also managed to get an old tax disc from STL 2117 for 1957 showing a yearly charge of 86 pounds 8 shillings.

Photographs and Copy contributed by Victor Brumby


12/01/12 – 05:43

As a kid, I always thought works buses looked drab and neglected. In retrospect, knowing how many fine vehicles were scrapped at the end of their PSV lives, I suppose this did extend their lives. How many subsequently survived into preservation, though?

David Oldfield


12/01/12 – 05:44

Not to mention those who survived as showmen’s vehicles in many guises and often ingeniously (sometimes very professionally) modified. It was more interesting for me to look at these than partake of the amusements/rides – how sad is that? At least these vehicles survived longer than worn-out, hard-worked, often-abused works buses.

Chris Hebbron


12/01/12 – 17:10

Progressive Motor Coaches was formed in 1934 by Albert Edward "Paddy" Harris who had previously worked for Lord Astor Coaches (which, despite its high sounding title, was run by a family named Brown). The Progressive livery was pale green and white. As Victor’s picture shows, this operator had two STLs, Nos. 971 with Chiswick H29/19F body (ex Country area) and 2117 with a later Chiswick H30/26R body (like the others in this batch, its original metal framed Park Royal body had proved to be a disaster). These two were bought in 1955, and were kept until at least 1958. Progressive also had a total of five so called "pre war" RTs (in fact, all except RT 1 entered LPTB service between 1940 and 1942). These were RTs 32/40/76/84/139 FXT207/215/251/259/314, all of which were bought between January and April 1956. RT 32 was sold on almost immediately, RTs 76 & 84 lasted beyond 1958, and RTs 40 and 139 were disposed of in 1959. I owe much of this information to Ian’s Bus Stop website, and to Paul Carter’s detailed books on Cambridge in the Prestige Series.

Roger Cox


12/01/12 – 17:18

Thanks for the information Roger guess what was on the same scan of the DLU 116 tax disc.

FXT 215_tax_disk

There is also BLH 828 if anyone knows more on that Regent 06613259 I will post it.

Peter


13/01/12 – 07:30

According to Ians Bus Stop, BLH 828 was STL971, mentioned above.

Bob Gell


13/01/12 – 07:31

BLH 828 tax disc


Peter, BLH 828 was the registration of STL 971. This was one of the Country Area green STLs which had a Chiswick built body of the peculiar front entrance design which seated only 48 passengers, 29 upstairs and 19 downstairs. This design had no entrance door, it being supposed that the angled front bulkhead would prevent draughts from entering the saloon. Of course this theory was preposterous, and these buses were notoriously cold to travel in. (I can confirm this from my own childhood recollections of these things on the Chelsham operated routes across Croydon.) Progressive upseated BLH 828 to 52 by adding four seats downstairs over the wheel arches.

Roger Cox


13/01/12 – 09:14

Roger Cox beat me to it with details from Paul Carter’s excellent books so I will just add that my memories of International Progressive Coaches (as they became) are from the 1960s when their modern coaches (half a dozen brand new every year) passed my home. Sadly it all went pear shaped in the early 1970s and by 1974 the business was finished.

Nigel Turner


13/01/12 – 13:38

Nigel you say "International Progressive Coaches (as they became)" do you know when the name changed, I do have a good reason for asking.

Peter


13/01/12 – 14:24

Unfortunately Paul Carter’s book doesn’t say exactly when the name changed but it implies that it was between 1964 and 1969. However it seems that at least some of the coaches kept the old fleet name after this time. Continental trips had started soon after WWII.

Nigel Turner


13/01/12 – 15:34

Thanks for that Nigel that is near enough for me, you will see my reason for the question Friday 03/02.

Peter


DLU 116_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting


11/11/16 – 06:34

I have every registration mark of the fleet from day one.

Liam Harris
Paddy Harris’s Son


 

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Portsmouth Corporation – AEC 661/EE – RV 9148 – 294

RV 9148_lr
Copyright Barry Cox

Portsmouth Corporation
1937
AEC 661T/English Electric
Craven H26/26R

Portsmouth Corporation had 115 trolleybuses in its fleet.
The first 15 (1934) were a motley collection of chassis/electrical equipment and bodies, four and six wheelers, bought for evaluation.
The next nine (1935/36) were, to me, the most handsome of them all, were AEC/EE ones with English Electric bodies. Unable to move under their own power, they lived a shadowy life, latterly neglected and shabby. See here for a ‘smart’ photo of one.
The last 15 (301-315), BUT9611T, with Burlingham bodies, were the last delivered, in 1951, for a route extension.
294, from the third order, in the range (225-300), was the largest group delivered, in 1936/37. Amazingly, with not a Craven body appearing previously, these wore those bodies! They bore the brunt of the services and proved to be sound vehicles all round, although the ash bodies needed rebuilding during their 26/27 year lives.
In this rare colour photograph, 294 (like the Leyland PD1A/Weymann bus I recently posted), is also crossing Guildhall Square on tennis racquet-shaped route 17/18 from Eastney to the Dockyard, 17 anti-clockwise and 18 clockwise. The destination would be changed at Dockyard and Eastney. This photo was taken on an early Summer’s evening in 1963, on the cusp of the system’s demise on 27th July 1963. 294 lasted to the end.
Two trolleybuses have survived, but neither of them represents this range; a loss really, for I’m not aware of Craven using this body design for any other vehicles.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Chris Hebbron

———

Thank you Chris for another lovely Portsmouth photo of a very deserving type of trolleybus. The AEC 661T/Craven trolleybuses were the workhorses of the fleet and I have very fond memories of a visit to ride on them in 1963. I have always remembered the internal finish of the Portsmouth Cravens to be an excellent show of Civic pride.
I do believe similar Craven bodies were built for Kingston -upon-Hull on Crossley TDD4 trolleybus chassis nos. 27 to 46 in 1938.

Richard Fieldhouse

———

08/01/12 – 16:22

OBPJan2012285

The Cravens (full title Cravens Railway Carriage and Wagon Company Ltd) bore similarities to the twenty Cravens bodied Crossleys delivered to Hull in 1938. the majority entered service on 2 September 1938, eight lasting until 3 February 1962. There was an option for a further 54 bodies which was not taken up.

Malcolm Wells

———

08/01/12 – 18:25

Thanks, Richard/Malcolm for the comments/photos about the similarly-bodied trolleybuses to the above example. I can see a likeness.
I always liked the inside décor and furnishings of Portsmouth’s pre-war buses. Mahogany bulkheads with bevelled-edge mirrors, leather-edged, comfortable seats with a flowery pattern more akin to art nouveau than art deco. Covered lights and lined-out ceilings completed the picture.
If you use the link I mentioned above, go to David Beilby’s website and scroll a few pictures back from the one on display, there are some examples of what I mean.

Chris Hebbron

———

11/01/12 – 06:44

When clicking on the link to one of the batch of nine English Electric bodied AECs of 1935, a picture of No 24 is displayed. A previous picture on that site shows No 21 of the same batch. The contributor there notes that the electrical support structure on the roof is enclosed on No 24, but is open framed on pictures of the others in the batch. I suspect that the reason for this is that No 24 was exhibited at the 1935 Commercial Motor Show, and was built thus for that purpose. Although presumably delivered to Portsmouth after the Show, it did not enter service until April 1936. It became the last of the batch to survive, being withdrawn in 1958. As far as the Cravens-bodied stalwarts are concerned, they were what a Portsmouth trolleybus was expected to look like – just as an RM or RT represents London! No 237 reportedly survived in a Portsmouth scrapyard near the erstwhile airport for several years – possibly even into this century? But I have not heard whether it still survives, and if so whether it is accessible. No 313, a Burlingham bodied BUT of 1951 (Portsmouth’s last to run in service on 27 July 1963) is in fine fettle at Carlton Colville, I believe. No 201 (Portsmouth’s first numerically) has had a more chequered preservation career, first at Beaulieu Motor Museum, then back to Portsmouth, and ended up at the Milestones Museum in Basingstoke. About two years ago, it looked rather sorry for itself, and at my last visit early last year, it was not on display. I would hope that it is out of display for some smartening up work at the very least.

Michael Hampton

———

11/01/12 – 10:33

Thx, Michael, for the interesting titbit about 24 being in the 1935 Comm. Motor Show. You mention one Cravens survivor hanging on in Pompey somewhere and I believe another one did for a few years as a public convenience in Bristol – I think I saw a photo of it once, painted white. I saw 313 only in October, but it was in the ‘garage’ and I was unable to see anything other than an impeccable rear: it wasn’t running that day. Were these distinctive Burlingham bodies replicated on other contemporary (trolley)buses? I can’t recall any others, off-hand. And you’re so right about the Craven’s ones. The comprehensive and intensive system Pompey had, meant that a trolleybus was barely ever out of sight and the 75 Cravens ones seemed to total more like 200, always popping up. Wherever you went, there they were! Fratton Bridge was a complex junction for the overhead and I used to happily spend 20 mins watching the poles picking their way across the wires and frogs. The last (evening) journeys were still by trolleybus, even when the system officially closed down, and that was my last ride on a Cravens. Happy days!

Chris Hebbron

———

11/01/12 – 13:19

I always thought that Cravens bodies were full of character, regardless of operator or application. Having waxed lyrical in many discussions about how I loved the Cravens RTs in London I’ve usually found that I couldn’t convince the opposition – sad really, because I think that they are missing something very attractive in the five bay construction within the RT classic outline – a magical combination in my view.

Chris Youhill

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11/01/12 – 17:08

I have a prejudice in favour of Cravens because they were from my home town (Sheffield) and provided many STD buses from the mid thirties until 1950. [At this point they left bus building until they bought East Lancs in 1964 – and also formed Neepsend Coachworks.]
The last Cravens (1950 Regent IIIs)were among my favourites – and I thought amongst the most attractive of the immediate post war designs. They were almost identical to the RTs – but minus the "Londonisms".

David Oldfield

———

12/01/12 – 06:01

I always liked the Cravens’ RT’s, too. They were nicer to look at, in all respects, save for the hunched back and, if I recall correctly, the emergency windows and lower rear window did not match up, either. Nevertheless, they made a good stab at making a pseudo-RT body from a standard design shell. Surprisingly, there are only two postings of Cravens’ bodied vehicles on this website, which should be rectified! Perhaps David could post a photo of the 1950 AEC Regent III’s he mentions. It would make an interesting exercise to compare them with the Londonised RT’s.

Chris Hebbron

———

12/01/12 – 06:07

LWB 836_lr
Copyright P R Doughty

The latest comment by David Oldfield on the Portsmouth Cravens trolleybus has reminded me of this slide, taken by a friend of mine when we visited Sheffield in December 1966. I guess this is the batch he is mentioning

Bob Gell

———

12/01/12 – 06:05

Re above posting from Chris H, Here is a picture of the rather unfortunate Portsmouth ‘bus that ended it’s days in a rather unusual service role. It was used as such for many years, maybe around fifteen or even more! It was in use during 1961 and as far as I am aware it disappeared about 1980 http://farm8.staticflickr.com/  
No 313 has survived in fine condition and can be seen in running order here. http://www.youtube.com/

Richard Leaman

———

12/01/12 – 10:38

Bob’s slide is most pleasing, and shows well the very attractive upper saloon front bay and roof dome which I’ve always found to be a particularly classic outline.
Richard’s comparison of the two latter careers of the Portsmouth trolleybus are heart warming, and the visitors to Carlton Colville are obviously flushed with enthusiasm at the relaunch.

Chris Youhill

———

12/01/12 – 10:39

Thx, Bob, for the Sheffield bus photo, from which I can see something of the ‘RT’. Did these bodies have the hunched back that the ‘RT’s’ possessed?
And thx, Richard, for reassuring me that my memory of the ‘Ladies’ trolleybus wasn’t faulty! I think we can say that preservation of it was not an option by this stage! And it was nice to see 313 in action, too. I was surprised to read that this vehicle, after being saved, went for scrap and was rescued a second time.

Chris Hebbron

———

12/01/12 – 10:41

Thanks, Bob. This is indeed the batch. [Strange how vehicles which spent most of their lives with grey roofs looked bald when repainted without it. Apparently this grey was called "smudge" – an STD concoction from mixing paint.] Put a London cab and London opening windows in and they are more or less identical styles.
This vehicle was departing the small Bridge Street Bus Station for the borders of Ecclesfield which, at the time, was actually in the West Riding. [It became part of Sheffield after the 1974 Government reorganisation.] Bearing in mind the common 13 year life of STD buses, 1966 was very late for a bus of 1949/50 vintage, but occasionally vehicles reached 16 – and exceptionally 20 – years service.
Please note, in the distance, one of the Neepsend bodies I mentioned earlier. STD had about 40 on the atrocious PDR1/2 Atlantean between 1964 and 1966.

David Oldfield

———

13/01/12 – 07:21

Chris Y, Chris H, David – Thanks for your kind comments; pleased to help. David, thank you also for identifying the location, which I wasn’t sure of.
A nice co incidence getting two Sheffield bodied vehicles on the same shot.

Bob Gell

———

24/01/12 – 05:59

Michael Hampton recalls that No. 237 languished in a Pompey scrapyard for many years. I’ve found a photo of it on David Bradley’s excellent website, having just arrived at Jordans Scrapyard and it can be found at the link below. Apparently, it survived until about 2000 and a Sheffield group of Craven’s enthusiasts looked into saving it, but it was too far gone. The majority finished up in a quarry on Portsdown Hill where a cutting was made some years ago to bring the A3(M) through to join the A/M27.
David Bradley’s website  http://www.trolleybus.net/

Chris Hebbron

———

25/01/12 – 05:13

Here’s a three minute ‘collage’ of Portsmouth trolleybuses, both Craven and Burlingham-bodied types, along with glimpses of Southdown and Corporation buses, especially some Bedford OWB’s. The first scene shows the brilliant acceleration, (driver showing off?) despite the sounds of old age, creating a tram-like whine. You can also hear the ‘twang’ of the overhead wires at one point, something I’d forgotten about. See HERE: http://www.youtube.com

Chris Hebbron

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07/02/12 – 16:37

Thanks to Chris H for more info and the links to other sites re the one that ended up in a "convenient place" in Bristol, and the evocative clip of several swishing their way through Portsmouth streets. Many places still recognisable, but with subtle (and not some not so subtle) changes.
In an earlier contribution (11th Jan), I mentioned that pioneer trolley 201 (AEC/EE) had been in a rather down-at-heel condition at the Milestones Museum in Basingstoke, and had disappeared from there at my last visit. A friend handed me a cutting from a recent local paper (The News, Jan 31, 2012) which has a few paragraphs reminiscing about the trolleybuses. Most importantly, it states that from June 2009, 201 has been in the care of the City of Portsmouth Preserved Transport Depot, at Portchester (nr Fareham, Hants). So it’s good to know that it’s disappearance from Basingstoke is not sinister, and that it’s still being looked after.

Michael Hampton

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08/02/12 – 06:21

That’s good news, Michael. I would think that it’s in much the same state as the London ‘Diddler’ by now – delicate!

Chris Hebbron

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28/04/12 – 07:57

As a Sheffielder I well remember the Cravens batch of AECs. I thought they had nice simple clean lines. Cravens later effort on the only Bedford ever in the Sheffield fleets, number 11 KWA 811D was an ugly beast by comparison. What a shame that no Sheffield Cravens Regents were ever preserved.

Les Dickinson

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28/04/12 – 08:54

Oh how I agree with everything you say, Les.

David Oldfield

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RV 9148_lr Vehicle reminder shot for this posting

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15/10/12 – 07:41

Recent pics of Trolleybus 201 can be found here www.cpptd.co.uk

Tony Hawes


 

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London Transport – AEC Regent 1 – BXD 474 – STL 806

BXD 474_lr
Copyright Victor Brumby

London Transport
1935
AEC Regent 1
London Transport (Chiswick) H56R

Below is the note I wrote on the back of the above photograph.

BXD 474, this yellow and blue STL (806) was seen in Kettering on March 10th. 1958. Driver Robert Carter advised that his company, Zenith Furniture, had this mobile showroom-converted AEC and two more ex-London STLs converted to pantechnicons.

I still have the 1954-7 tax discs for this bus…..
I also saw a few pantechnicons, running for Albro Furniture, during this period, all ex-STLs.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Victor Brumby


14/12/11 – 18:05

Surplus STL’s certainly got around in their twilight years. Yellow and blue sounds more like ‘happy playbus’ colours for children! Like the cab door.

Chris Hebbron


16/12/11 – 13:03

What exactly went on around that first bay? Looks like a bit of "scrapheap" coachbuilding… was there another access to the cab from the saloon? You may get in that way, but you’ll never get out!

Joe


16/12/11 – 13:19

Strangely enough, I think (minus the door) that WAS the size of the cab entrance. As for the scrapheap coachbuilding, that may also be perilously close to the truth. These bodies, or at least some of them, were prone to terminal collapse – body "sag" – in common with many of those built by NCB. The first bay may have been due to repair of such "sagging" bulkhead damage.

David Oldfield


17/12/11 – 07:30

Mention of the improvised cab door brings me to a question. The Metropolitan Police over the years imposed a lot of restrictions on LT and it’s predecessors. As examples I quote their refusal to accept, pneumatic tyres, enclosed staircases, cab windscreens and cab doors then in the RT era 8 feet wide buses in general service. I am not aware of any other British Police Force in any other provincial town or city interfering so much in bus design. Does anyone know why the Met had such extensive powers when this sort of interference didn’t seem to apply to other forces?

Philip Halstead

Good question Philip


17/12/11 – 07:34

Although what I’m saying may be well-known to some, it will not be to all. The Metropolitan Police had a very conservative approach to vehicle design and one aspect of that was not allowing cab doors to be fitted. Hence when in use as a showroom it would need to be a little more secure and I suspect that was why it the door looks so out of place and is obviously home-made.

David Beilby


17/12/11 – 07:38

I’m fascinated with the date of this picture. Monday, March 10th, 1958 was the day that my mother and I flew from London Airport to Montreal, as we were emigrating to Canada. We stayed with some distant relatives in Tooting before flying out, and I spent a large part of that last day watching LT trolleybuses whizz back and forth on the 630, whilst Victor Brumby was apparently chasing this old STL around Kettering with his camera. Trust me, there was a lot more snow on the ground in Montreal than there was in Kettering that day!

Dave Careless


19/12/11 – 06:24

Other aspects of the "progressive thinking" of the Metropolitan Police were the initial refusal to accept four wheel brakes and passenger entrance doors.

Roger Cox


19/12/11 – 11:03

London Transport, when lending its ‘Godstone’ STL’s to Merton Garage to assist the red 127 lowbridge route buses, had to ensure that its sliding doors were left open all the time, even draughtier than the standard front-entrance ‘green’ STL’s which did, to some extent, cater for not having any doors at all. Philip does raise a good question and I must admit I’ve never heard of such a ‘controlling’ police force as the ‘Met’ anywhere else in the UK. After the initial batch, not more fully front-entrance ‘red’ Q’s were built, as it was considered dangerous as passengers boarding/alighting might fall under the front wheels. I always smiled at early rear-entrance single-deckers, which had offside longitudinal seats right to the back and could have projected unwary passengers out of the rear platform when cornering hard! No mention of this was made, but they were mainly converted to front entrance later.

Chris Hebbron


31/12/13 – 07:09

It’s interesting to see that this STL has a Brighton registration BXD

Bix Curtis


31/12/13 – 12:02

Sorry, Bix, but "BXD" is not a Brighton registration, at least not in the era when this bus was first registered. BXD was definitely a London registration of c.1934/35. In that era, Brighton were using CD and UF as their main letters, with the appropriate sequential prefix. ACD and AUF appeared in 1934, and the progress letters were issued at a quite similar pace to London’s before the war – although of course London had many letter sets allocated to them, compared to Brighton’s two! (What I mean is that London buses were receiving say, FXT registrations in 1938/39, and Brighton had FUF. In wartime, many utilities in London had "G" prefix to the various letters used, and Southdown’s Guy utilities had GCD and GUF plates).

Michael Hampton


01/01/14 – 09:19

Going back to the comments of 2011 on the Met Police, the City of Manchester Police Force was equally as interfering and restrictive, though with far less influence on design than on operation. The operation of buses along Market St Manchester was always a problem and, in their own right prior to the institution of Traffic Commissioners and then, once that august group had been set up in the North West, by using considerable influence on them, the constabulary vastly influenced the pattern of service and the vehicle types used for over half a century. Henry Mattinson’s excellent long distance express bus scheme being at first truncated then almost totally demolished – with a great deal of aiding and abetting from taxi operators and the railway companies, was the first major interference, though there had been minor ones for over a decade before. The inconvenient siting of the long distance service terminal at Lower Mosley St and the restriction of North Western’s medium distance services to this outpost far from shops and offices was down to the police.
Other inconvenient termini were located at Stevenson’s Square and the rather enigmatic Royal Exchange which, apart from the airport coach stop, was not at the Royal Exchange at all. Until the appearance of the Atlantean, the only 30 foot long double deckers approaching the city centre were Mayne’s AECs which were kept away from the centre getting no nearer than Newton St., and the Crossley Dominion trolleybuses which reached Piccadilly but only on rush hour and Saturday service. Bus stop siting in the city centre, again under police influence, precluded use of forward entrance vehicles until Salford’s 27 ft PD2s appeared on the 95/96 and later the 57/77 in the early 1960s.
The Atlanteans were restricted to services away from Market St for years and whilst the major reason for not ordering more and keeping the Fleetlines that followed to Wythenshawe routes was down mainly to conservatism at 55 Piccadilly and the need for crowd movers for Wythenshawe, there is strong evidence that the police made it plain for some years that 30ft rear engined vehicles were not welcome on Market St thus restricting the best use of the vehicles. Like the Met the constabulary eventually had to yield to the pressures and realities of the industry and the time.

Phil Blinkhorn


01/01/14 – 10:05

stl

Mention was made earlier of some STLs being rebodied as pantechnicons. Several of these had their STL bodies removed by Southend Corporation Transport at their depot. A photo exists of one with the body in process of removal. The old bodies went to a Corporation dump at Shoebury, where withdrawn trolleybuses were also sent. Above is a shot of a couple of the discarded bodies.

Brian Pask


01/01/14 – 10:12

Is there any evidence, Phil, that the police in Manchester influenced the design of buses, as I earlier indicated that the Met certainly did?

Chris Hebbron


01/01/14 – 11:12

Hi Chris, Happy New Year. There is no evidence that the design of buses in terms of use or not of doors, tyres etc. for use in Manchester was directly influenced, or should we say interfered with, by the City of Manchester Police in the same way as the Met.
On the other hand, as I have shown, the types of vehicles used in parts of the city centre and restrictions on operations had a very direct influence on the size and types of vehicles purchased not just by MCTD but on a number of operators in the areas surrounding the city and certainly the location of termini had a profound influence on the daily lives of shoppers and workers.

Phil Blinkhorn


01/01/14 – 12:37

I agree that initially as a student anxious to return home to Sheffield, and latterly as a Sale resident wanting to go almost anywhere, LMS was very inconvenient – and Chorton Street not a great deal better. Looking back with a historical perspective it makes some sense – but none as a passenger. [There were similarly strange termini in Sheffield with the small Bridge Street Bus Station and the Castlegate stands – which may have made operational sense but were not in the least bit helpful to passengers needing to cross the city centre to get there.]

David Oldfield


03/01/14 – 08:13

I can’t help thinking that one of the effects of the remoteness of bus termini is to reduce awareness of what services are available. MCTD did very well in including all North Western’s Manchester services in its timetable, but how many people bought timetables? My childhood experience was that most of my parents’ awareness of bus services outside our immediate locality came under the heading of "word gets about". If people see buses showing certain destinations then they may enquire about them, but if they don’t, it may never occur to them that such a service exists.
Chorlton Street was built as an overflow to Piccadilly, and for many years MCTD restricted it to the least-used services in order to inconvenience the minimum number of passengers. But of course that also reinforced its obscurity, meaning that most Mancunian bus users had never even heard of it.
Then there was the problem of Salford. Most services heading west from Manchester didn’t go from Manchester at all, but from Salford.
How many people knew about that, I wonder?

Peter Williamson


03/01/14 – 12:13

Peter, the Salford situation is interesting. Under Henry Mattinson’s Express Service scheme, Salford buses ran through the Manchester city centre to Stalybridge, Hyde, Guide Bridge and Stockport. Once the scheme was decimated, and with Deansgate being added to Market St as another thoroughfare of "concern" to the constabulary, most of those routes Salford served retreated to that city’s side of the Irwell to join the remainder of the services showing Manchester on their blinds. Due to an earlier tramway dispute Salford buses did not cross Deansgate on anything other than those on the scheme. Victoria became the major terminus (though the bus station was nearer Exchange station) and was shown on blinds for services wholly within Salford, Manchester being shown on services from elsewhere. King St West was also a terminus, handy for those shopping at Kendal Milnes but not much good for most passengers need ing to get into the city centre and the patrons of the Docks service which terminated there would hardly have been KM’s customers until well into the second half of the 20th century. (For non Mancunians, Kendal Milnes was the Manchester equivalent of Harrods and for many years had the same owners).
The exceptions by the outbreak of World War 2 were the 15 from Worsley which ran through to Guide Bridge and the 35 from Bury, both of which were truncations of express services, the 35 logically should have run through to Piccadilly but was cut off at Cannon St. After the war there was a dispute about the termination of tram services where Salford used Manchester rails on Deansgate which exacerbated the much earlier dispute about the use of rails on Blackfriars Bridge and led to a great deal of bitterness between 55 Piccadilly and Frederick Rd. The 15 was cut back to run only from Worsley to Manchester but did reach Piccadilly and, until the new bus station was finished, terminated in view of Albert Neal’s office. Salford made sure its vehicles on the route were the most up to date and, when it needed no new vehicles for almost a decade, always turned out its smartest Daimlers to sit within Albert’s view. It was one of the first routes for Salford’s Atlanteans but by that time the terminus was within the new bus station.
Some peace was restored in January 1951 when Salford’s services from Swinton and Pendlebury were joined to Manchester’s services from Reddish Thornley Park and Bulls Head to form the 57/77 services. This became possible as no trams now ran on Market St and congestion had eased. The experiment was a success and was followed in November 1955 by the joining of the East Didsbury to Piccadilly service to the Whitefield to Victoria service to form the 95/96 services. With a common terminus at either end, these routes differed in both Salford and South Manchester but shared the same route through the city centre.
What is odd in all of this is that many long distance coaches both privately and group owned operating from outside the area to Blackpool, Southport and Morecambe ran along Market St., which formed part of the A6, without any intervention by the authorities and on summer Saturdays added to the chaos. for road users and pedestrians alike.

Phil Blinkhorn


06/06/16 – 06:45

Reference the police "interference" in London, what seems to be forgotten in the ensuing years is that the Police were also "the Commissioners for the Metropolis" thereby giving them direct control which the other cities did not have. this is why we were instantly harangued by constables for inventing short cuts on service! the famous one was forgetting to turn right at Marks and Spencer (?) at Marylebone Road on the "Z"!
Next one! has anyone remembered "The Excursion Route" insisted on by North western Traffic Commissioners which involved a lengthy circumnavigation of Central Manchester?

Pete Bradshaw


06/06/16 – 10:53

Presumably the Excursion Route was meant to avoid coaches from particularly the East Midlands and Staffordshire en route to Blackpool clogging Market St on summer Saturdays. My recollection is that in the 1960s it was regularly ignored.

Phil Blinkhorn


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Friday 2nd December 2016