Worswick Street Bus Station Newcastle

Worswick Street Bus Station Newcastle

Continuing the bus station theme I would like to offer mine for the ‘Gallery’ page, although I only have one picture. It is 'or rather was' Worswick Street Bus Station in Newcastle, the bunting and decoration for the Festival of Britain puts the date as 1951. Apart from the Sunderland & District Leyland on stand 4 virtually every other bus in the picture 'including the one approaching the station' appears to be a Guy, although I suspect the single decker on stand 7 may be an AEC. Some of United's services also departed from Worswick Street, if memory serves all their services left from stand 2. Worswick Street was one of three bus stations in Newcastle, the other two being Haymarket and Marlborough Crescent, all services going South of the Tyne departed from here, North of Newcastle went from Haymarket and West departed from Marlborough Crescent, you cant go very far East of Newcastle without ending up in the North Sea


Ronnie Hoye


19/05/12 - 07:49

What a wonderfully evocative photo Ronnie: the outfit of the smart lady walking down the pavement, the SDO crew in their long dustcoats and the fabulous selection of buses all,sadly, reminiscent of a different age.
It seems rather churlish to offer corrections but United didn't only use stand 2 on their joint services. Services 42 (Crook),46 (Darlington) and 55 (Middlesbrough) used stand 2 but service 45 (West Hartlepool via Chester-le-Street) used stand 3 and service 40 (West Hartlepool via Sunderland) used stand 4. From late 1968 the 55 stopped running north of Durham and United then also used stand 1 for service X1 (Middlesbrough) and X2 (South Shields) with which it was linked. Tales of non-regular Middlesbrough staff and even Durham staff getting hopelessly lost in Tyne Dock and the Chichester area are legion but that's another story!
I notice the sign at the top of stand 2 directing passengers for Whitburn and Seaburn to service 90 from Manors Bus Park in Carliol Square (round to the right at the bottom of the bus station). It looks to me as if that must have been the only service using Manors Bus Park at that time although I've no doubt you'll remember that various others were moved down there as the bus station became too crowded. I well remember catching the 90 from there to Seaburn in the 50s when we visited two cousins of my father who lived near the terminus; somehow the journey seemed more exiting because we left from this out-of-the-way bus station!
I suppose Worswick Street had to close as it was inconvenient for the centre of Newcastle and it became grossly overcrowded, on top of which it had virtually no facilities (the public loos were horrible!) and crews had to put a chock behind the nearside front wheel if they were leaving their bus unattended.
Incidentally Marlborough Crescent wasn't only used for services to the west as United/Northern service 56 (Bishop Auckland) used it as did OK Motor Services on their Bishop service.

Alan Hall

19/05/12 - 15:26

Alan. you're right about Worswick Street being overcrowded, and Marlborough Crescent was 'to be kind' antiquated, so with the 'redevlopment' of Newcastle it made sense to centralise everything in the Eldon Square/Haymarket area with long distance coach services leaving from Gallowgate, but what on Earth were the planners 'I use the term loosely' thinking about when they closed Gallowgate and moved all National Express services to an isolated backwater, which anyone who's never had reason to use it doesn't have a clue where it is?

Ronnie Hoye

20/05/12 - 08:01

I couldn't agree with you more, Ronnie, about the 'Coach Station' - I think that's its official title although it hardly deserves it! As you say it's in a backwater in a 'not very nice', part of town and much of the time appears to be totally deserted: heaven help anyone arriving there and wanting to connect with a local bus, train or Metro. Not a very nice introduction to Newcastle for a stranger! It's almost like a throwback to the days when many towns and cities had departure points scattered around over a wide area and used only by a handful of services; they were often a mystery to those 'not in the know'. York springs to mind as an example but there were many, many others.

Alan Hall

20/05/12 - 12:07

On the subject of grim bus stations, the worst one I ever used was that which formed part of the Bull Ring, Birmingham. Inadequately lit with what seemed to be 15w fluorescent lighting about 30 feet up, a permanent air of damp and with no natural lighting or facilities, with narrow waiting platforms and an entrance one end and and exit the other, it was like being a troglodyte when you entered! Mercifully, like most of the Bull Ring, it is an ex bus station!

Chris Hebbron

21/05/12 - 09:18

I was only in the Bull Ring Bus Station about three times, Chris, partly because I could never find my way down either to it or to the Midland Red office above! I agree 100% with your appraisal; gas masks or something similar seemed to be usually necessary as it always seemed to be fume-filled and noisy too - buses seemed to enter and leave at a fair rate of knots considering the layout which you described. Coupled with the even more unpleasant New Street Station next door it didn't say much for England's second city. Oh and let us not forget Snow Hill which had, by the time I knew it, been changed from a grand GWR station to one grotty bay platform reached through a well-concealed hole in the wall. I've never been to Moor Street but I don't think it was any great shakes back in the 60s either although they seem to have done a good job on it since.

Alan Hall



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