Bristol Omnibus, City Line & Badgerline discussion

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by Class 33, 8 Mar 2014.

  1. Class 33

    Class 33 Established Member

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    I thought I'd start this thread to talk about bus services in Bristol back in the old days before First Bristol took over. Rather than post about it in the First South West & Wales thread! Some people may be able to share facts about those days, and some people who weren't around then may be interested to know about some of the old services from years ago.

    I will start by talking about the old 77 service back in the 1980's, and a few of the other buses in the 70 series. Pre October 1986 the 77 ran from Henbury-Hartcliffe. Normal Monday-Saturday frequency was every 30 minutes. Running via the direct route to Gloucester Road(straight down Pen Park Road, not all through Southmead!), down to Broadmead, From the Haymarket it then turned to the right straight into the Horsefair, then through to Temple Way, Redcliffe Way, Redliffe Hill, Coronation Road and into Southville(I can't recall the exact route through Southville, if anyone does know please let us know!), then onto Winterstoke Road, Hartcliffe Way, Hawkfield Road, and terminating at Bishport Avenue Lay-by(now one of the numerous old lay-by's which no longer has buses terminating and starting there).

    The 77 was grouped with service 78. Which ran from Southmead, Arnside Road/Greystoke Avenue lay-by to Hartcliffe. Ran via Southmead Road, Monks Park Avenue, then as per the 77 service to Redcliffe Hill. Then through Bedminster, and then if I recall correctly Hartcliffe Way, into Headley Park, Whitchurch Road, Hareclive Road, and Bishport Avenue.

    In the early 1980's the service was still served by Bristol Lodekka's. But around 1983/1984 it then became served by the far more modern looking Leyland Olympian's. Though occasionally you'd see the odd Bristol VR on this service.

    From October 1st 1986 with the bus deregulations, the Leyland Olympians were taken off this service to be replaced with Bristol VR's. The service then went to every 10 minutes! And the route was changed! The southern terminating point of the route became Inns Court Green! From Henbury down to the Haymarket the route remained the same. However from there it would then run via the Centre, on through to Bedminster, then St. Johns Lane and into Knowle West and terminating at Inns Court Green lay-by. I think the 78 also then ran into and terminated there too too, but took a slightly different route from the Centre running via Redcliffe Way, Temple Gate(for Temple Meads station) and Clarence Road before Bedminster.

    The 75 back in those days, the northern terminating destination would be Carrefoure. And I'm pretty sure the southern terminating point pre October 1986 would have been Hartcliffe. Back in those days also it ran a longer route into Centre, via Patchway, Little Stoke, Parkway Station, up Station Road, and onto Gloucester Road North. From October 1986 however, does anyone know/remember what the southern terminating was? As it couldn't have been Hartcliffe then(find out why in the next paragraph). Was it also Knowle West along with the 74, 77, and 78? Or was it the Centre?

    From October 1986, none of the services in the 70 range served or terminated at Hartcliffe. New services were introduced. The 44 and 45 which ran from Hartcliffe-Park Estate, and the 47, 48, and 49 which ran from Hartcliffe-Blackhorse. At the time the 44 and 45 were Leyland Olympians, and the 47, 48, and 49 were Bristol VR's! So there was a good choice back in those days for people living in Hartcliffe whether to get Bristol VR or a more modern Leyland Olympian into town!

    Just a few years later around 1989/1990 the services did a bit of a swap. The 74, 77, and 78 terminated at Hartcliffe again. And the 47, 48, and 49 were routed to Inns Court Green. Whilst the 44 and 45 were no longer a cross-city service, and both became Centre-Park Estate services.

    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Pre October 1986, there was also services 71 & 72 which ran from Filton Church-Knowle West. 71 ran via Filton Avenue and Ashley Down, 72 ran via Filton Avenue and Gloucester Road. After Redcliffe Hill think they turned off at the roundabout into York Road, St. John's Lane and on into Knowle West.

    Some good photos here relating to all the above....

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7964319@N03/12124117436/in/pool-1553414@N22
    A Bristol VR on service 72 pictured at Haymarket, on it's way to Hartcliffe.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7964319@N03/10492957766/in/pool-1553414@N22
    A Bristol VR on service 77 pictured at Haymarket, on it's way to Inns Court Green. With a 49 to Hartcliffe just behind.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7964319@N03/6062761801/in/set-72157623984544519
    A Leyland Olypian on the 45 to Hartcliffe. Also at the same location.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fray_bentos/166044101/in/set-72157594232293978
    Going back a little earlier, back to mid 1970's. I like this photo here of a double decker bus(don't know the model of this bus!) on a 77 making it's way along Temple Way enroute to Hartcliffe. With the old Clerical Medical building on the left. I miss that old building with it's distinctive charactor and it's orange windows! The building was demolished during the late 1990's.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fray_bentos/3248542392/in/set-72157594232293978
    Good photo here from 1980. At the Centre, a Bristol Lodekka on a 73 service to Patchway Shadow Factory. And a Bristol VR on service 72 to Filton just behind!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fray_bentos/3572130473/in/set-72157594232293978
    At Filton Church, in May 1980 two Bristol Lodekka's. One on a 73 to the Centre, and another on the 87 to probably California Farm!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fray_bentos/5286382554/in/set-72157594232293978
    May 1979. And a Bristol Lodekka on service 79 to Hartcliffe. To the left the old Fairfax House department store, which was demolished in 1988 to build The Galleries shopping centre. I don't remember the service 79 myself. Anyone know more about this route?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    A few more photos I've picked from Flickr....

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidmoth3106/7995938443/
    April 1991. Gloucester Road North(just before the Filton Roundabout). And a Bristol VR on a 75 to Hartcliffe. Notice the Mountstevens bakery, I think they're all gone now and instead we've got all these Greggs! Looks very 1980's this scene! The Mountstevens bakery itself looks very 1970's!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tarquinius_superbus/11930502166/in/pool-576952@N20
    This photo here from probably the late 1970's or early 1980's. A Bristol RE just leaving Bristol Bus Station on a 79 service to Filton! Interesting that there was a service from the Bus Station only going as far as Filton. And this is a completely different service to the other 79 service that went from Hartcliffe to an unknown northern terminus. There was also apparantly another 79 service that was completely different too, that went to Hanham! Though perhaps this may be the same 79 that went to Filton but was routed to call at Bristol Bus Station? If anyone has any knowledge of these services please let us know.


    And a few photos now of some buses which had all over advertising livery. There were a good number of these back in the 80's and 90's. Something that you don't see much of now, at least not in the Bristol area anyway. A shame as it would add a little more colour and variation to the current Bristol bus scene!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/23207961@N07/9120833658/in/pool-576952@N20/
    August 1998. Penn Street, Broadmead. And a Leyland Olympian on a 41 to Park Estate. All the shops and buildings seen here now long demolished, and in it's place Cabot Circus. Plus of course no longer any Leyland Olympians in normal service in Bristol. This photo is very much history!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8615623@N04/6291966975/in/pool-576952@N20
    Mid to late 1980's I would expect. And a Leyland Olympian just pulling into Bristol Bus Station about to work a 351 service to Weston-Super-Mare

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bristol-re/6249806839/in/pool-576952@N20/
    November 1979. The Haymarket. And a Bristol VR on a 22 to Lockleaze.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bristol-re/6158420855/in/pool-576952@N20/
    November 1979. Baldwin Street, Bristol. And a Leyland National on a 52 service to Blackhorse. The old Gaumont Cinema seen here, which sadly closed down in the early 1980's. The building then housed Busby's Nightclub!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bristol-re/6250337054/in/pool-576952@N20/
    Also November 1979. And a Bristol VR just running into the Haymarket with a 76 service to Hartcliffe. I do not remember there being a 76 service back then. So would be interested to know if anyone knows/remembers the routing of this service, in particular the route north of Broadmead and where it terminated at. Did this terminate at Southmead and was later renumbered 78?

    Well, that's it from me for the time being.
     
    Last edited: 8 Mar 2014
  2. Martin2012

    Martin2012 Member

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    I would be really interested in finding out some information about former services from Bristol to Yate and Chipping Sodbury. Does anyone have any information on these?
     
  3. Class 33

    Class 33 Established Member

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    Back in the 80's(pre October 1986) there was a service 8 from Bristol Bus Station-Chipping Sodbury. It was a limited stop service. I don't have any knowledge of the route it took though. Here, a couple of photos of some Bristol RE's on this service from 1984....

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bristol-re/7584804734/in/pool-576952@N20/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bristol-re/7598033094/in/pool-576952@N20/
     
  4. Martin2012

    Martin2012 Member

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    Thanks for that information and for sharing those photos.
     
  5. Class 33

    Class 33 Established Member

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    A few good photos here of the 70 UWE-Centre service in it's (much) better days! When the service was all double deckers! These photos from around 1996/1997. Bristol VR's were on the 70 back in those days. Not only that but service frequency was only every 7/8 minutes too! Much better than today's service 70!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/23095055@N05/3296338002/in/pool-576952@N20/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/23095055@N05/3293888298/in/pool-576952@N20/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/23095055@N05/3288932626/in/set-72157608816452939

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/23095055@N05/3844003674/in/set-72157608816452939
    And skip forward a few years to around 2000. And here a nice shot of a Leyland Olympian on the 70.
     
  6. PG

    PG Member

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    Often wondered why the Badgerline name was chosen for the country area operations - was it a play on much of the area being in Somerset and that badgers live in setts?
     
  7. quarella

    quarella Member

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    Does anyone else remember the Badgerline song which used to be played in Bristol Bus Station in the late 1980s. The lyrics I remember are "Badgerline, Badgerline we're number one...."
     
  8. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    Nah, the Badgerline name was chosen to provide something a very definite break from the old Bristol Omnibus identities. They wanted something bold but also quite fun and marketable. In that case, something animal-related can often work, and as there are a lot of badgers in the west country, that seemed like a good choice.

    The evidence of this was also evident with the BadgerVectis operation in Poole. The two companies (Badgerline and Southern Vectis) could've come up with a new ID, perhaps echoing Solent BlueLine but the Badgerline ID was seen as more marketable by both firms.
     
  9. Class 33

    Class 33 Established Member

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    Ah Badgerline! Let's have some Badgerline memories!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7964319@N03/8217587075/
    The Centre, Bristol. Late 80's I'd say. And a Volvo Citybus on a 352 service to Weston-Super-Mare

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bristol-re/3774810638/
    August Bank Holiday Monday 1985. And a Bristol RE in the Badgerline Swift Link livery just passes the Haymarket on an X96 service to Exeter!! That's a fair old way for a bus service!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ff17285/3176725098/
    Bristol Bus Station. Probably about 1985 I'd say. And a Bristol RE in this bay ready to work a 325 service to Yate

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/iantherev/3560012722/
    1994. And just departing Bristol Bus Station is another Citybus on a 353 service to Weston-Super-Mare. I don't remember this particular greener Badgerline livery!
     
  10. freetoview33

    freetoview33 Established Member

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    How many bays were at the old bus station
     
  11. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    The all green livery initially appeared on the Merc/Beaver minibuses but then appeared on some full sized kit. It also was on some Duple Laser Tigers. I seem to recall it on a StarRider and a Van Hool Volvo; might have been for DPs but can't remember it on any P types
     
  12. quarella

    quarella Member

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    I could be wrong but I have a feeling there were 21 bays in service. Mid to late eighties there was an un-numbered bay at the Marlborough St end and at the opposite end the high numbered bays were for National Express. The saw-tooth end on loading was an alteration. As built there were two parallel platforms.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
     
  13. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    Seconded. Stephen Dowle (aka Fray Bentos) was a former BOC and Badgerline driver. He has taken some superb photos of buses, but also recorded Bristol (and other places) with some fantastic long lost shots ranging from street scenes to landscapes, people and places long since gone. The photos date from the mid 1960s through to c.1981?

    You're right to mention the captions....A lot of information, insight and humour in them. FB is my favourite Flickrite!
     
  14. Class 33

    Class 33 Established Member

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    Thirded with regards Fray Bentos's sets of Flickr photos. I noticed them a few years ago when looking for photos of old Bristol and old photos of buses in Bristol Excellent! I very much miss the OLD Bristol and all those classic buses that once roamed all over the city. I echoe the words what another Flickr user posted on one of his photos in that "It's heart breaking to know we can't go back to days like those".

    And here's a couple more from him...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fray_bentos/3363802326/in/set-72157594232293978
    January 1980. Raleigh Road, Southville. And a Bristol RE stops to pick up some passengers, working the 79F service to Hartcliffe Wills Factory.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fray_bentos/8409946239/in/set-72157594232293978
    August 1980. The Centre, Bristol. And this time a double decker Bristol Lodekka on the 79 to Hartcliffe. Looks like the 79 probably wasn't a cross-city route, but just a Centre-Hartcliffe service. And going by the other photo I posted of a 79 going along Wine Street, looks like it was basically routed via Broadmead, Victoria Street, Temple Gate(for Temple Meads Station), Clarence Road, Southville, then onto Hartcliffe.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tarquinius_superbus/8381102299/in/pool-576952@N20
    And from another Flickr uploader, here's another Bristol Lodekka on a 79 service to the Centre. Pictured at Bishport Avenue lay-by, Hartcliffe. This bus repainted in silver to celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977.
     
    Last edited: 12 Mar 2014
  15. Green Lane

    Green Lane Member

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    Great thread - I well remember Badgerline from the days when I lived in Bristol as a student (1991-1994).

    It's quite a memorable name for a bus company!

    For me coming from Wirral, the City Line buses seemed like "Merseybus" and the Badgerline ones equated to "Crosville" in my mind. :)

    Initially I used the 41/42 City Line Shirehampton buses (from the Stoke Bishop Halls) although my memories now are so vague, I could be mistaken. Eventually, I ended up getting a season ticket to save money.

    There were also the number 1/2 bus services as an alternative from the roundabout at the top of Parry's Lane. If you got a return ticket on one of these in the morning, then got a 41/42 back in the evening then some drivers on the return bus would say "you have get off at the roundabout". They wouldn't take you the extra couple of stops down the Parry's Lane hill - quite correct of course. :D

    I did use Badgerline services occasionally. I had a few daytrips in the Bath and Weston Super Mare areas.

    Later on I moved a lot near to the uni into a flat on the Cotham/Redland boundary, so I just used to walk in every day from then on.

    I did return to Bristol in 2010 for a another look around. Sadly I did not do much bus spotting at the time, but no doubt bus numbers etc.. have changed so much since the early nineties (as mentioned above).

    Thanks for the thread though it brought back some fond memories for me!
     
  16. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    My memories (as a northern exile) began in the early 1990's. Usually a pilgrimage to Wells to experience the last few REs, belting down to Bridgwater on the 163. Also, the potential to do a full X2 from Bristol - Weston - Burnham - Bridgwater - Taunton that took 3 hours....where you could then get the SN31 to Weymouth for another 3h 15. X2 was a D10M duty - great machines.

    I also recall the huge numbers of Transits everywhere, but especially the thrash opportunities on rural routes; did 3 in a row one day with the 378 (Glastonbury to Shepton), 161 (Shepton to Frome) and 53 (Frome to Warminster).
     
  17. quarella

    quarella Member

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    Finding this pic http://www.flickr.com/photos/28431353@N02/6155922148/ (many others of Bristol and Badgerline in olbusman's photostream) reminded me of a trip to Weymouth in '77 on this bus. My father informs me that the driver, Malcolm wanting it to look smart for the return journey took it through the bus wash which left a few green patches. :oops:
    Now retired Malcolm was driving a preserved VR during last years "Open Doors" day in Bristol. Temporary traffic lights in Park Street necessitated a start from crawler. It was a while before I realised that he had changed up from crawler without the bus lurching. A top driver.
     
  18. swifty

    swifty Established Member

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    At least one of the R-Type deckers was also painted into all over green, but as it says in the marvellous Badgerline book, by Martin Curtis and Mike Walker, it didn't stay like that for long!

     
  19. 3141

    3141 Member

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    How about the Adge Cutler and the Wurzels song (1966, I think) called Virtute et Industrial? It's from the Bristol coat of arms which was on the side of the buses owned by the City. "Virtute" was mis-pronounced to rhyme with "mute" instead of being a 3-syllable word. The letter "l" on the end of "industria" reflects the habit of Bristolians - whose city was originally Brigstowe - to add an "l" to words ending in the sound "a" or "o". This was famously reported by the BBC when they asked passers-by to read a sign outside the opera house. They recorded local people announcing the Carl Rosal Operal Company performing La Traviatal, Toscal, Cavallieral Rusticanal, and so on.
     
  20. quarella

    quarella Member

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  21. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    And people who complain about Eclipses on the 70 ;) I think I missed the era of Transits on City Line services (though they were still plentiful on Badgerline services) when I first began to visit the area (early 90's). Instead, it was 19/20 seat Ivecos and Mercedes L608s

    It is amazing to think how Parkway has developed over the years, even in the time I've lived in the area (c.10 years).
     
  22. Class 33

    Class 33 Established Member

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    Not posted on this thread for a while now. Just a couple of little updates from me for now.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/ewood_eddie1968/5401356803

    A DOUBLE decker on service 9! Seen here in 1990 leaving the centre heading for Temple Meads. I do remember a few times seeing a Leyland Olympian on the 8 and 9 back in the 1990's. Though I think it was fairly rare for double deckers to be used on these services back then. Certainly is nowadays, does anyone here remember seeing any double deckers on the 8 & 9 within the past 10 years or so?

    And the mention of Bristol Parkway in the previous post. Here's a couple of pics when the station building was a lot smaller!

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/bristol-re/3830978535
    February 1980. And a Bristol RE just departing on the 380 to Keynsham! Don't know the other terminating point of this service. Anyone?

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/bristol-re/7448818808
    May 1983. And another Bristol RE on the 79 to Filton. The other terminating point of this service was Hanham. I know this service ran via Bristol bus station. But don't know the route it took. Would be interested to know if anyone knows this.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/tarquinius_superbus/9999971196/in/pool-576952@N20/
    And finally here's another Bristol RE. Probably from the early 1980's again. This time on service 84 to Cribbs Causeway. And I have no idea of the route this service took and the other terminating point. If anyone has any knowledge this please let us know! Note the old style bus shelter! I remember these, and some were still in place untill as late as the late 1990's!
     
    Last edited: 1 May 2014
  23. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    That last one isn't from the early 80's. That was the pre-NBC livery so probably no later than 1976. Good example of 44 seat dual door standee single deckers which were fairly standard fayre on Bristol city routes (as there were union issues regarding OPO on deckers).

    The 380 may actually have terminated at Bristol Parkway. Note it was in the country not city numbering series as it was part of the Hanham locals group of services (I think)
     
  24. swifty

    swifty Established Member

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    The 79 is down as Hanham - Filton via Kingswood, Staple Hill, Downend and Frenchay. The 380 was from Keynsham via Longwell Green and then as the 79, having been extended south in 1979. Did the 79 later replace the 380?

    The 84 seems to have followed a similar route as today's 1/2 from the Centre, Downs, Westbury, Henbury etc. From what I can see it didn't continue beyond the early 80's.
     
  25. Class 33

    Class 33 Established Member

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    Thanks for that info. Though there was a definitely a 79 service from this era which operated via the bus station. See the photo of one I posted earlier in this thread. EDIT: Looking at it again, I see the bus had no passengers leaving the bus station. Appeared the bus was running empty to Filton before commencing service. So you are correct.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/28431353@N02/8150709935
    And a pic of a double decker on the 84 at the Cribbs Causeway terminus from 1971!
     
    Last edited: 1 May 2014
  26. swifty

    swifty Established Member

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    After the closure of Hanham depot I believe the 79 was then operated out of MH, so it would more than likely have been leaving to start service.
     
  27. Class 33

    Class 33 Established Member

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    Yep you're right. Looking at it again, it's definitely around the mid 1970's. Lovely photo of Bristol centre from times gone by.

    Yep I expect it went up Whiteladies through to the downs. But I'd guess that it probably then went via Henleaze, Southmead, and Brentry as the service 2 runs nowadays. The other terminating point by the way was Bromley Heath, I think the 84 was the predocessor of services 85,87, & 88 which were introduced a little later in the 70's.

    When the 84 was axed sometime around the early 80's, it wasn't untill October 1986 with the introduction of the service 54 that a direct bus link between Cribbs Causeway and Brentry, Southmead, The Downs, etc was restored. This time terminating at Carrefoure(a few years later to become Asda).

    I can't see in that photo of the double decker 84 where actually in the Cribbs Causeway area the terminating point was back then? Maybe next to The Lamb & Flag restaurant?
     
    Last edited: 4 May 2014
  28. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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  29. Class 33

    Class 33 Established Member

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    I'm back again with another little update for this series. This time though rather than bring you a few more selected photos from years gone by, I'm bringing you a few scans of pages from old timetables. I recently purchased a Bristol Country Services 1976 timetable. As I was curious to see what some of the bus services were like back then. Some interesting services were indeed around back then. Here's just a few of them.

    Attached are timetable pages of....

    A) Bristol-Gloucester services 525/526 & 821.

    B) Bristol-Swindon services 419 & 850.

    C) Bristol-Harry Stoke service 313. This is more like a city service really, not really getting out of Bristol. But in those days it was classed a Country service.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: 21 May 2014
  30. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    For some good background on those services, check out some of Fray Bentos Flickr shots.

    The 313 (like Hanham locals) was a service that was outside the city council boundary and not covered by the archaic agreement between BCC and BOC, I'd reckon.
     

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