Which past bus operators do you miss?

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by backontrack, 14 Apr 2018.

  1. atraindriver

    atraindriver Member

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    I think it's fair to say that most towns or cities with municipal operators of their own had protection zones of one sort or another; for example, Leicester had Area Stop Signs marking the last pick up/first set down stops of a protection zone in a similar fashion to Nottingham, whereas Birmingham had agreed "protective fares" with Midland Red instead, the "Red" charging higher fares and also using fewer stages than BCT did.
     
  2. martinsh

    martinsh Established Member

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    Didn't West Riding (pre NBC) have both red and green buses depending on whether it was a tram-replacement route or not ? Or am I thinking of a different operator ?
     
  3. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    No, you’re right. I’d forgotten that. Whilst green was the predominant colour, they did paint vehicles on ex tram routes red - strange but true!
     
  4. DavidGrain

    DavidGrain Member

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    The only red Tilling company I ever encountered was Eastern Counties, all the others that I encountered, Western and Southern National, Southern Vectis, Crosville were green. Some of those companies mentioned as red in other posts were BET companies who all had their own liveries. Under THC and National Bus, BET were all converted to either red or green. This also included the London Country which were converted from LT green to NBC green.

    Edited following a correction from The Grand Wazoo
     
    Last edited: 17 Apr 2018
  5. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    Eastern National was green. Do you mean Eastern Counties?
     
  6. DavidGrain

    DavidGrain Member

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    Thanks, I have corrected my post. Have to admit that I thought I might have mis-remembered as I was writing.
     
  7. Keith Jarrett

    Keith Jarrett Established Member

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    Don't think Jones of Aberbeeg have been mentioned. Swallowed up by Red & White/National Welsh, vehicles appeared in NBC blue including brand new Leyland Nasties (sorry Nationals) - and from memory at least one was blue & white "dual purpose" livery. And in the same neck of the woods, Islwyn Borough Council with their blue and (?) cream buses and Rhymney Valley District Council with a most interesting fleet - various Leopards, VRs, REs and PD3s including PAX466F, the last built lowbridge body
     
  8. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    I'd agree with you there, but definitely preferred the old PTE green and cream to the Yorkshire Rider green and cream. I always thought the hybrid livery, with YR vinyls over the PTE fleetnames, looked good.

    I miss West Yorkshire Road Car. Buses in Shipley and Baildon went downhill very very rapidly after Yorkshire Rider took them over.
     
  9. smtglasgow

    smtglasgow Member

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    I went to school in the 90s in an area served by Kelvin Central Buses – the shotgun marriage of two failing bits of the SBG, Kelvin Scottish and Central Scottish. AFAIK the company lurched from crisis to crisis and was loss-making throughout its short life, but my main memory is the amazing variety of bus types and liveries.

    I was in Lanarkshire but one of our local routes was worked out of the old Kelvin depot in Kirkintilloch using the brand name Kirkiebus – completely meaningless to us. There were buses in yellow and blue, Central red, KCB red and cream (2 versions) plus a whole host of second hand vehicles from other SBG companies like Fife and Strathtay which were all pressed into service immediately – not to mention a batch of ex-Merseybus Dominators that turned up and ran in full Merseybus livery. Before Central imploded they had adopted local liveries, so there were buses in a green livery from the old East Kilbride depot plus a blue and grey livery from Airdrie – some with yellow Kelvin-style fronts. The whole thing was a mess, but I was too young to realise this was a company on its knees – I just assumed all companies were like that!
     
  10. Bookd

    Bookd Member

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    I would have said that 1967/68 was the right date.
    Quoting from the Townsin / Groves / Banks history of United;
    In November 1967 agreement to purchase the bus interests of BET by THC was announced, which brought Northern and United into the same ownership meaning there was no need for the continued existence of DDS.
    On 14th July 1968 the DDS services and fleet, and the depots at Ferryhill and Sunderland, were transferred to United. (The other depots were already shared.)
    Many of the fleet had already been painted red with United fleetnames, but until 14th July they ran with ' on hire' type stickers indicating their DDS ownership.
     
  11. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    I believe, in truth, the need for DDS had long since disappeared. As you say, they had vacated the Gilesgate depot in Durham, moving into Waddington St and likewise, the opening of the new Feethams depot in Darlington allowed them to vacate the separate depot there in 1961.

    Barnard Castle was also a DDS “depot” despite being nowhere near the conflict zone.

    The old depot in Ferryhill still stands. Sunderland was but been years since I ventured there; ironically, after United closed it, Go Ahead subsequently used it for a while!
     
  12. randyrippley

    randyrippley Established Member

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    FWIW, pre-amalgamation the Western and Southern National greens were different, the Western having more of a yellow tinge. And of course they had Royal Blue coaches as well - which were blue, and some Southern National Dual Purpose vehicles were cream (with a few green highlights). The green changed again when the livery changed to NBC green.
    In fact around Yeovil it got very confusing once NBC was formed: you had buses in Western Green with cream signwriting, including the National arrow, buses in NBC green with white signwriting, and a fleet of narrow bodied Bristol LH Plaxton coaches, some in Green/White bus livery (as Western National) some in white/green DPV livery (as Western National, others as Royal Blue) and some in all-white with red/blue National branding (some as WN, some as Royal Blue). Add to this the occasional red Devon General arriving from Taunton on what was a Western National 264, and the occasional downgraded green/white Bristol branded coach on the WN service from Shepton Mallet and things got very confused
     
  13. randyrippley

    randyrippley Established Member

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    When I was a kid in the 1960's, both the Hants & Dorset and Wilts & Dorset buses reaching Weymouth were green
     
  14. Old Yard Dog

    Old Yard Dog Member

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    Samuel Ledgard for their clapped out dark blue buses and unnumbered vehicles and services - and Hebble for their exotic routes. My favourite was the number 11, nicknamed the Flyer, which ran around the very hilly and scenic upper parts of Queensbury, Clayton, Thornton, Allerton and Wilsden.

    I also loved East Yorkshire's dark blue buses with their tops arched so they could fit under Beverley Bar. I was very disappointed when they repainted their fleet in maroon.

    However the holy grail for bus spotters was West Yorkshire's CP1, the only petrol-engined bus in its fleet. I finally saw this many years after it left service being tarted up by its owner near the site of the former Great Horton railway station. It later appeared in the last ever episode of "Last of the Summer Wine".
     
  15. Typhoon

    Typhoon Member

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    Not just the Black Country - a bit of innovation to link the largely municipal housing area of Hawkesley with Birmingham City Centre for the first time, route via Selly Oak (hospital, supermarket and university) - 10 minute frequency if I remember correctly.
     
  16. jp4712

    jp4712 Member

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    I miss Lancashire United - the real one based in Atherton, not the ersatz version in Blackburn. LUT had trolleybuses until 1958, and even when I knew them they were a breed apart. A bus would come to a halt at a remote road junction, the crew would get off and disappear round the corner leaving the bus crewless but full of passengers, and a minute or two later a new crew would wander from whence the others had gone and take over the journey - part of an elaborate crew rostering scheme, no doubt. They knew how to get value for money: as an independent company, at one time the biggest in the UK, nothing went to waste. Their red and grey single deckers would pop up in the most unlikely places, south Lancashire can be surprisingly rural in parts. And they had a habit of using place names on destination blinds that were unique to them: buses to Culcheth had 'NEWCHURCH' on the blinds, but the locals seemed to know where the buses were going...

    [​IMG]Lancashire United 432, Whitefield, June 1983 by Paul Williams, on Flickr
     
  17. PeterC

    PeterC Established Member

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    Wikepedia shows a photo of a preserved Wilts and Dorset bus in red. Among the Tilling companies Thames Valley was also "red".

    As a boy I measured the journey to my aunt's house in South Wales in the early 60s by the bus liveries, London central red and country green, Thames Valley, Oxford which I still think is the most attractive livery used on a bus, Red and White and then Western Welsh.
     
  18. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    Wilts & Dorset were red whilst H&D and Southern National were green in Weymouth.

    Hants & Dorset notably went from Tilling Green to NBC poppy red when the GM was told about the apprehension of the Wilts & Dorset drivers of the merger. He simply said “OK, we’ll go red”. Symbolic and pragmatic!
     
  19. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    Missing the presence of a bus company and missing their livery are not necessarily the same thing, so I'd like to post a slightly different version of the Question:

    IS THERE A BUS COMPANY WHOSE PRESENCE YOU MISS DESPITE NOT LIKING THEIR LIVERY?
    or
    IS THERE A BUS COMPANY WHOSE PRESENCE YOU DON'T MISS OTHER THAN THEIR LIVERY?
     
  20. backontrack

    backontrack Established Member

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    or
    IS THERE A BUS COMPANY WHOSE PRESENCE AND LIVERY YOU BOTH MISS?
     
  21. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    Being from the area, and avoiding my obvious affinity with United Auto, it would have to be the madness that was Darlington Transport, only because their vehicles were best described as idiosyncratic. o_O

    Their last new deckers in 1962/4 were Daimler rear loaders but rather than the CVG6, they went for the CCG5. Reflecting the move to single deck standee vehicles for the new one person operation - Daimler Roadliners. Renowned for their unreliability, they went for something better and got two batches of Fleetlines but again, single deckers (and the latter 1972 batch lasted till the end in 1994).

    After that, they naturally went for a batch of Seddon RUs in 1973 (!). 1976 saw 4 x Leyland Leopards with Duple Dominant bus bodies; naturally, they couldn't be sensible so were specified with dual doors - ideal for intensive town work!

    Continuing their silliness.... they went for single deck Dennis Dominators with Marshall Camair 80 bodies.

    However, their final flourish was to order.... 6 x Ward Dalesman (a chassis similar to a Seddon made by a dozen blokes in Huddersfield - I kid you not) and were that not obscure enough, they were bodied with Wadham Stringer Vanguards.

    I can only assume that they were on something stronger than water.
     
  22. Roilshead

    Roilshead Member

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    I suppose it depends how far you want to go back! Ideally everything pre-1969 (first PTEs), pre-1972 (NBC livery), pre-1974 (second) PTEs, oh! then there was a bit of variety come deregulation, but then its all slipped down-hill again.

    I pretty-much miss all the variety that we've lost. Or do you mean "quality of provision" or "quirkiness"?

    If you put me on the spot I'd have to say Hebble. They were always the underdog around Halifax/Bradford, but they had some fascinating routes and to me - as a child - I couldn't understand why they and not the much bigger "Halifax Passenger Transport" ran to Gt Yarmouth and Torbay.
     
    Last edited: 17 Apr 2018
  23. Roilshead

    Roilshead Member

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    Were you in a coma between 1972 and 1986(ish)? You seem to have missed the 14-or-so years when East Yorkshire buses were painted NBC poppy-red. After privatisation a few vehicles have been painted indigo for specific purposes: such as the Routemasters on the East Hull services, and the vehicles on the Petuaria Express.
     
  24. Roilshead

    Roilshead Member

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    The need for DDS continued right until NGT and UAS were in common ownership (after the BET shareholdings in its UK bus companies were acquired by the THC), as a consequence of the UAS-NGT territorial agreement. NGT had secured an agreement with Wade Emmerson, the proprietor of OK MS, that they would have first refusal should he wish to sell: obviously NGT felt very bitter about the DDS incursion across the territorial line, and were quite prepared to retaliate.
     
  25. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    Perhaps officially (can’t remember what was said ref: OK in David Holding’s two books) but by the late 50s/early 60s, amalgamation of DDS was the order of the day. NGT might well have been annoyed but there was no serious likelihood of further incursions. In fact, after those purchases, I think United only bought Wilkinson’s, and a firm (can’t recall the name) that brought a service to Harwood Dale near Scarborough.

    Of course, United didn’t own DDS (ahem) - they just managed it!
     
  26. alansheppard77

    alansheppard77 Member

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    Pennine motor services
     
  27. atraindriver

    atraindriver Member

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    Agreed that was an innovation; the sequence was 83, 84, 85 each running half-hourly and combining to give a 10-minute headway for most of the route, with the 83 & 84 looping around Hawkesley in opposite directions and the 85 cutting along the "main road" through the estate, continuing through to Longbridge station and interworking onto the 86 and wombling off to "South Woodgate", somewhere which didn't actually exist!

    However, that was not traditional Midland Red territory, unlike the Black Country! ;)
     
  28. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    I thought it was just that the general manager really didn't like Leyland? :lol:
     
  29. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    Well, they bought four Leopards that were arguably the best things they bought but with dual doors! However, clearly a Daimler fan despite buying Roadliners though the three batches of Fleetlines were very reliable.

    Could’ve bought RE’s like Hartlepool but bought Seddons. As for Ward Dalesmans....

    Sadly, at the time, I didn’t appreciate how bat 5hit crazy it all was!
     
  30. Cambus731

    Cambus731 Member

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    I agree about Yorkshire Rider. I remember staying at my sister's house in Wetherby and catching their Metrobus mk2s to and from Leeds. I thought their livery really looked good on the Metrobuses.

    Another one is the Burnley and Pendle incarnation as reconstituted by Blazefield in about 2003- 2006 before Transdev took over. I thought their buses had a really classy livery and fleetnamee
     

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