Copyright Ian Wild
Booth and Fisher
Booth and Fisher operated a selection of stage and works services from their depot at Halfway on the South Eastern outskirts of Sheffield.
Whilst their staple stock for many years were Bedford OBs, they also bought AEC and Leyland single deckers new and amassed quite a collection of Albion Nimbus as well. Relatively unusual second hand purchases were two of these Bristol SC4LK from Eastern National in the late 60s. This one was Eastern National 446, the other ex 451 had the splendid registration 9575F. I suppose a common theme of Bedford OB/Albion Nimbus/Bristol SC was "lightweight" but then they did operate in the flatter areas across towards Worksop. 612 JPU is seen outside their depot in either 1967 or 1968 in company with other members of the fleet.
Photograph and Copy contributed by Ian Wild
08/06/11 – 09:57
Very nice indeed to see a smart but totally unpretentious livery and a very clean and tidy looking depot. I never came into contact with Booth and Fisher, but they appear to have been an operator with the right priorities – too many are just the opposite, employing "spin" with nothing behind it – especially nowadays.
09/06/11 – 08:35
Strictly speaking, Booth and Fisher were a Derbyshire operator. Their depot is round the corner from the Halfway Supertram terminus and came inside the Sheffield boundary when the city expanded in 1967. The photograph must have been taken very shortly after this event.
The trunk B & F route (Sheffield to Halfway via Coal Aston and Eckington) became SYPTE 253, briefly operated by "Aston" after deregulation. They were, in turn bought out by Stagecoach (then East Midland at Chesterfield) who run this route to this day as part of their new, expanded, Sheffield network. Stagecoach. of course, now operate out of the former Yorkshire Terrier depot in Holbrook – just up the road from the B & F depot.
The B & F depot passed to SYPTE when they bought out Booth and Fisher and only recently TM Travel (now part of the same group as Trent Barton) moved into this depot – by now abandoned by First Group – from their nearby Stavely HQ.
In latter years, B & F built up a large fleet of AEC service buses (and DPs) and Ford coaches. The last to be bought were a sizeable number of 6MU4R Reliances with Grant specification Panorama Elite III Express bodies – all of which passed to SYPTE.
The featured SC4LK would have fitted in with the fleet at the time, though. It was sometimes known as the Bristol SB – fulfilling that role for Tilling Fleets – and even had propriety Bedford axles and other components. SCs were built in such small numbers that minimal expense was the order of the day for R&D.
09/06/11 – 08:36
If I remember rightly they also had an ex Guy single deck demonstrator with the reg no GUY 2
09/06/11 – 08:36
Two of Booth and Fishers more unusual AECs were a pair of Park Royal bodied Monocoaches bought in 1955 These were fitted with a lower profile body than was the norm to pass under the many low bridges in the area One of the pair WRA12 is preserved at the South Yorkshire Transport Museum in Rotherham
09/06/11 – 08:38
Like you Chris, I never came into contact with this well known operator, but vividly remember the name from the fleet news in Buses Illustrated as a teenager – Booth & Fisher, Halfway – as it always raised a smile. As you say, the livery is indeed smart and unpretentious, and all the better for it in the eyes of many. I’ve never quite understood the trend to dress modern buses up as circus wagons in order to attract motorists out of their vehicles. Most cars are single, or two-tone in colour, as manufacturers wish to convey a ‘perceived quality’ image. How many people would be attracted to a family car with a fancy colour scheme and vinyls covering the windows so only the driver could see out? Amazing how such established concerns such as East Yorkshire and Delaine’s (to name two) manage to retain a dignified traditional livery in a modern style. Ah! Quality!
09/06/11 – 08:40
Well Chris Y, Booth and Fisher are long gone but their depot survives and is operational! Their fleet strength was around forty vehicles and when they sold out to South Yorkshire PTE, the garage was used by SYPTE for some time before being deemed surplus to requirements. Today, it houses the fleet of TM Travel, a Wellglade (Trent Barton) subsidiary who have operations in Sheffield and North Derbyshire with around 100 vehicles.
10/06/11 – 09:49
Roger mentions the ex GUY demonstrator Guy 3 This bus was exhibited at the 1950 Commercial Motor Show In 1957 it was acquired by Ledgards as part of the takeover of Kitchen of Pudsey It ran for Ledgards until they were taken over by West Yorkshire RCC in 1967
10/06/11 – 09:55
In 1973 B&F bought some 12 year old Reliance service buses from Maidstone and District, and these passed to the PTE in 1976 when they were already 15 years old. You might think that SYPTE would have sent them off to Barnsley for scrap, but they kept them until 1980 when they were resold (as part of a job lot which included a Seddon Pennine IV-236 "midibus") to Silver Star of Upper Llandwrog (Gwynnedd). Repainted into Silver Star’s attractive two-tone blue and cream livery they gave good service for a few more years on the company’s stage services from Caernarfon to Rhosgadfan and Cesarea, suggesting that they had been excellently maintained by both M&D and B&F/SYPTE. Booth & Fisher were indeed a classic independent!
13/06/11 – 07:55
I have a record of three ex Maidstone Reliances with Booth and Fisher (but there may have been more).
336 NKT acquired 7/73
334 NKT acquired 8/73
340 NKT acquired 6/74
all with Weymann DP40F bodies.
I can’t be certain now about the accuracy of the acquisition dates, they may be the dates on which I first saw them.
13/06/11 – 10:48
Check out this link for a comprehensive fleet list of Booth and Fisher.
You missed 332 NKT, Ian, see fleet list. Bought 1975 with the last three 6MU4R, the last ever purchases before selling out to SYPTE. It had slipped past me that the last two were Duple bodied.
12/01/12 – 09:05
I am looking for people who used to work for Booth & Fisher and knew my husband Ian Fretwell. I am going to give him a surprise party next year for his 65th. So I am trying to find as many of his old mates as I can, if anyone knew him please get in touch with me through this website. Or if anyone has a better idea on how to find ex Booth & Fisher employees please let me know.
Vehicle reminder shot for this posting
28/04/12 – 07:48
Between 1958 & 1965 I attended Westfield Comp. As I lived in Frecheville I had a school bus. Normally Frecheville, Birley and Base Green pupils were transported by Sharpes of Beighton. Over the years they had SBs augmented later by SC4LKs and LWL6Bs ex Lincs Road Car. When the coaches were off doing coach work then one or more buses would be borrowed from Booth & Fisher. These were always from the large selection of OBs and OWBs. I doubt any-one had a more varied OB fleet than Boothies. Bodies included Allsop, Mulliner, Beadle, Barnaby, Roe, Woodhall-Nicholson and Duple. We never knew what would turn up, but could be sure of the bus having character!!