Devon General was the principal bus operator in south Devon from 1919. The name was first used by the Devon General Omnibus and Touring Company which was created in 1919, in 1922 it was purchased by the National Electric Construction Company which merged with British Electric Traction in 1931. Nationalisation in 1969 resulted in 1971 with the company being merged into Western National, in 1983 a new Devon General Limited was created which became the first operating subsidiary of the National Bus Company to be privatised in 1986 when it became the first company of Transit Holdings. It was sold to the Stagecoach Group in 1996 and renamed Stagecoach Devon in 2003, coaches were operated under various names, principally Fleet Cars from 1925 until 1933, and Grey Cars from 1932 until 1971. Its main principal depots were in Exeter and Torquay, but the area of operation covered most of south, the Devon General Omnibus and Touring Company started operations in south Devon in 1919 with two bus routes from Exeter to Torquay.
Some charabanc tours had been operated by the Torquay Tramways and this continued under Devon General, in 1931 the NECC became a part of British Electric Traction. The Torquay tram network was closed in January 1934, the Tramways company was sold to Devon General, the fleet of which was enlarged by 24 buses to allow it to operate the former tram routes. Devon General had turned down the chance to buy local independent coach operator Grey Cars in 1930 so it had instead purchased by A Timpson & Sons of Catford in 1931. Timpsons sold the business to Devon General in 1932 and the year both Grey Cars and Fleet Cars, which had been operated as separate businesses, were merged into Devon General. Most coaches continued to operate under Grey Cars name, although some small operators that were bought out by Devon General continued in their old names for a while. BETs bus operations, including Devon General, became part of the National Bus Company when it was formed on 1 January 1969, Devon General had worked closely with the Corporation of Exeters bus services since 1947.
In April 1970 the Corporations buses and routes were transferred to the NBC, the citys unusual use of route letters continued. NBC split Western National into four new companies on 1 January 1983 and this operated in south and east Devon as the old Devon General had done, but the Tiverton area became a part of a new North Devon operation. On 19 August 1986, Devon General became the first NBC operating subsidiary to be privatised under the Transport Act 1985 by being sold in a management buyout led by managing director Harry Blundred, an experimental high-frequency service using 22 minibuses had been introduced in Exeter on 27 February 1984. By the time the company was privatised in August 1986, the fleet had expanded to more than 200 vehicles. By the end of 1990 all regular services had converted to minibus operation using a mixture of 16. Both companies were sold to the Stagecoach Group in 1996, Devon General quickly expanded beyond its original routes between Exeter, Newton Abbot and Torquay. A number of operators were bought out, but area agreements with larger neighbours set out the companys area of operation
Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway
The main line ran from Peterborough to Great Yarmouth via South Lynn and Melton Constable. There was a spur connecting South Lynn to Kings Lynn. The Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway was formed in 1893 by the amalgamation of smaller local lines. It was easily the longest joint railway system in the UK, until the creation of the M&GN, the Great Eastern Railway held a near-monopoly on East Anglian traffic and had assumed that their network meant there were no population centres left to connect. Much of the route was single-track, and the gradient profiles were steep, despite this, the M&GN was able to put up a spirited competition with the shorter GER route to London from Cromer, although it was never able to equal the GERs excellent timings. However, Kings Cross terminus was nearer the west end of London, the main thrust of M&GN services was to and from the Midlands. The goods traffic was very heavy, particularly coal inwards. Typical daily flows during the peak usually exceeded 100 trains, within a few years it had grown tenfold, with almost all the new arrivals employed by the railway and living in company-built housing, and it acquired the nickname of the Crewe of North Norfolk.
The M&GN was formally incorporated into the LNER in 1936. Most of Melton Constable Railway Works was closed at this time, the system remained jointly owned by the LNER and LMS. With the creation of the nationalised British Railways corporation in 1948 and it was one of the first major closures with the bulk of its routes shut in 1959, displaced traffic mostly transferring to the former GER routes. The company controlled the Cromer Railway, from 1 January 1923 the Midland Railway became vested in the London Midland & Scottish Railway Company, and the Great Northern Railway in the London & North Eastern Railway Company. The LMS and LNER jointly managed the line from 1923, with all operations being taken over by the LNER in 1936, the committee passed to the British Transport Commission under Schedule 3 of the Transport Act 1947, which was subsequently replaced by the British Railways Board. At Murrow the M&GN Joint crossed the GN & GE Joint on the level, one of few such crossings in the UK, because of the relatively early closure date, most workings throughout the life of the M&GN were operated by steam power. A small number of multiple unit services were run in the final years.
The M&GN mainly used designs from the MR and GNR, but included in its stock some of the older E&M engines, the famous Beyer-Peacock engines survived in this way from the early 1880s to the mid-1930s. The ex-GER Claud Hamilton 4-4-0s provided the backbone of this period. But there were other types still in use, and among them the line saw Ivatt 2MTs and occasional Standard 4MT and LNER B1 and B17 types
Crosville Motor Services
Crosville Motor Services was a bus operator based in the north west of England and north and mid Wales. On 27 October 1906, Crosville Motor Company was formed in Chester by George Crosland Taylor and his French business associate Georges de Ville, the company name was a portmanteau on the names of the founders. In 1909, Crosville commenced its first bus service, between Chester and Ellesmere Port, by 1929 Crosville had consolidated an operating area covering the Wirral and parts of Lancashire and Flintshire. The Railways Act,1928 gave the four companies the opportunity to provide bus services. But rather than run in competition they bought into or purchased outright existing bus companies, in February 1929, the London and Scottish Railway made an offer of £400,000 to purchase Crosville, which was effected in November 1929. The new LMS company in the few months purchased Holyhead Motors. LMS was therefore merged with T&BATs Royal Blue of Llandudno, and renamed Crosville Motor Services on 15 May 1930, on 1 May 1933, the Great Western Railways northern Welsh service Western Transport was amalgamated with Crosville.
This express coach service to London commenced on 14 April 1930, a joint timetable was worked on but problems co-ordinating the service proved impossible to surmount. Taylor continued in the excursion business and car trade in Chester up to 1972. Although the start of the Second World War brought about cuts in the timetable, by the end of the war the company had increased passengers by 50%. This was through North Wales being seen as an area from Luftwaffe bombing, resulting in a number of shadow factories. This resulted in the expansion of a number of formerly quiet villages, in example, ROF Wrexham, Marchwiel needed over 200 buses daily. Crosville emerged from the war far stronger in many ways, with cash reserves in the bank or accumulating nicely in property assets. The 1968 Transport Act created the National Bus Company, and introduced the principle that rural bus services could be subsidised by councils, although they had reduced costs by the introduction of one-man operation, Crosville submitted a list of 196 routes that required financial assistance.
The company continued to consolidate and reduce its network through the 1980s, making losses of £1M in 1980, rebranding of local services in metropolitan areas assisted in flattening the rate of decline in revenues, but losses continued to mount. Crosville was split into two, with the English and Welsh operations divided between two businesses, both businesses were acquired by the Drawlane Group. The latter move was quite a reversal of fortunes, as much of Crosvilles territory in the half of Cheshire had been gained from the original North Western company at its dismemberment in 1972. On 25 March 1988, Crosville was sold to ATL, in 1989 Crosville was sold to National Express passing with the business in 1991 to the Drawlane Group, which in 1992 restructured to become British Bus
Midland Red was a bus company that operated in The Midlands from 1905 until 1981. It was one of the largest English bus companies, operating over an area between Gloucester in the south and Derby in the north, and from Northampton to the Welsh border. When BET ordered new buses for Birmingham the next year, they were painted red to them stand out. In 1902 BET acquired the City of Birmingham Tramways Company, which operated horse buses as well as trams, the Birmingham & Midland Motor Omnibus Company was formed by local businessmen in November 1904 to operate motor bus services in Birmingham. When the directors failed to attract sufficient investors, BET acquired control of the new company, the company acquired a motor bus company which had started in 1903. BMMO started operations under its own name in July 1905, the company experienced problems with its motor buses, and in 1907 reverted all its motor bus services to horse bus operation. In 1912 the company purchased some Tilling-Stevens petrol-electric buses, further motor buses followed, and by June 1913 only 17 horse buses remained.
The company adopted for its motor buses the red used by Birmingham General. They soon acquired the nickname Midland Red, the company expanded outside Birmingham, and moved its headquarters to Bearwood in Smethwick. During the 1920s the tramways owned by BET in the Black Country were gradually replaced by Midland Red buses, in 1930, the Great Western Railway and the London Midland & Scottish Railway together acquired 50% of the company. The few GWR bus services in the area were transferred to Midland Red, Midland Red started express coach services in 1921 with routes to Weston-super-Mare and Llandudno. Coach services expanded, and in 1934 Midland Red became a member of the Associated Motorways consortium. Coach services were reduced during World War II, but expanded again after the war. When the M1 motorway opened in 1959, Midland Red started non-stop express services between Birmingham and London, and between Coventry and London, the opening of the M5 motorway enabled the operation of express services between Birmingham and Worcester.
When the railways were nationalised forming in 1947 under the Transport Act 1947, in 1968, BET sold its UK bus interests to the government, and on 1 January 1969 the company became the largest subsidiary of the National Bus Company. The livery was changed from a deep red to the NBC corporate poppy red. The operations of the Swadlincote depot were purchased by Stevensons of Uttoxeter, today all have been reunited as part of Arriva Fox County. Midland Red North was sold on 27 January 1988 to the Drawlane Transport Group and it was included in the sale of Drawlane to British Bus which in turn became part of the Cowie Group
Thames Valley Traction
For many years it famously ran the Reading A and Reading B limited-stop services from Londons Victoria Coach Station to Reading via two differing sets of intermediate stops. In 1905 British Electric Traction founded a subsidiary, British Automotive Developments, to develop, in 1912 BAD was renamed British Automobile Traction. In March 1915 BAT established a Reading Branch to operate buses in the area, by January 1920 it had been renamed the Thames Valley Branch, and in July 1920 it was constituted as a subsidiary company, Thames Valley Traction, with BAT holding 86% of the shares. The remaining 14% was initially held by Britains other large bus operating group, Thomas Tilling, in 1928 BAT was reconstituted as Tilling & British Automobile Traction Ltd. Thames Valley expanded significantly in the 1920s and 1930s by buying a number of smaller firms, tillings sold out to the British Transport Commission in 1948, thus becoming a nationalised company. Thames Valleys expansion continued in the early 1950s, with parts of the newly nationalised bus network being placed under Thames Valley management.
BAT Reading Branchs first premises were at 113–117 Caversham Road, Reading, BAT used 115 and 117 as offices and demolished 113 to create bus access to the yard and garage at the rear. In January 1916 the Reading Branch acquired a set of premises when BAT bought a large house called The Cedars at 44 Bridge Street. BAT had most of the house demolished, except for the east wing which was converted into offices, a bus garage was built in the houses grounds. In 1915 BAT intended that its Reading branch should have a fleet of 20 new buses built on Thornycroft 40 HP J-type chassis, but during the First World War the War Department had commandeered all Thornycroft chassis production to make three-ton military trucks. Therefore the Reading Branchs fleet started with nearly-new Leyland S8 buses transferred from BATs Barnsley, each had a 27-seat body built by Brush in Rugby. The S8s had been built in 1913 and reached Reading in June and their bodies were painted in BAT livery of Saxon green with the name BRITISH in large gold letters on each side.
Between September 1915 and July 1916 BAT expanded its Reading branch fleet with a dozen 26-seat buses on new Belsize three-ton chassis, although the chassis were new the first eight were equipped with second-hand Tilling bodies. The final four Belsizes were fitted with Brush bodies, the Belsize buses were not entirely reliable. The original order of 20 was delivered new between January and May 1919, mostly with 26-seat bodies, the first batch of eight received Tilling bodies, followed by four with Brush bodies. Next came a batch of six with bodies built by Birch Brothers of Kentish Town, the two charabancs arrived just in time to offer excursions for the 1919 season. The delivery of Thornycroft J-types allowed the Reading Branch to dispose of all of its Belsize buses in January and February 1919, after the first order of 20 J-type chassis were delivered, BAT bought a further three new chassis from Thornycroft for the Reading Branch. These had military-specification bonnets and may have come from a cancelled WD order, the first two arrived with lorrybus bodies — truck bodies adapted with steps at the rear, bench seats and a canvas hood
The company continued as an industrial conglomerate after nationalisation of its bus interests, it was acquired by BTR plc in 1983. The company traces its origins to 1846, when Thomas Tilling started in business, Thomas Tilling was born in 1825 at Gutters Hedge Farm, Middlesex, of parents who had moved there from Gloucestershire. In 1846, at the age of 21, he went into the business in London as a jobmaster in Walworth using a horse. In January 1850, he purchased a bus together with the right to run four journeys a day between Peckham and Oxford Street. This bus he drove himself, and at the time had one employee, a conductor, Mr. Joseph Eagle. By 1856, he owned 70 horses, which he used for bus, Tilling soon became the biggest supplier of horsepower and vehicles in London, with a stable of 4,000 horses by the time of his death in 1893. Tilling is buried at Nunhead Cemetery, Tillings horse buses stopped at predetermined points and ran to a fixed timetable, making them more punctual and orderly than the other operators buses.
This was one of the reasons for his success with customers, because his buses operated on time, they earned the nickname of Times buses, and this became the fleet name painted on the side. The business passed to Tillings sons and Edward, with Thomass son-in-law Walter Wolsey, formed a company, Thomas Tilling Ltd. In addition to bus work, the company hired carriages to individuals, the company put three Milnes-Daimler 24 horsepower motor buses into service in 1904. These were open top double-deckers with 16 inside seats and 18 outside on the upper deck and these were the first double-decker motorbuses built for public service in London. By 1905, Tilling had 20 motor buses but still owned 7,000 horses, the horses worked the companys 250 horse buses were hired to companies and individuals for hauling goods vehicles and carriages. In 1907, Tilling began the first long-distance motor bus service, in 1909, Tilling entered into an agreement with the London General Omnibus Company, which pooled their resources, but which restricted their expansion in the capital.
Then, LGOC and Tilling co-operated on a joint route from Peckham to Turnham Green, the LGOC had introduced numbers on all its routes, and this was route number 12. This service between Peckham and Oxford Circus still operates and is still the number 12 and it may be the oldest operating bus route in London. In 1915, the first woman bus conductor in London worked on Tilling route number 37, during World War I, women were recruited to replace men who had joined the Armed Forces. In 1911, Tilling introduced the Tilling-Stevens TTA1 petrol-electric bus into its fleet, despite some drawbacks of the technology, this type formed the mainstay of the fleet for some years. In 1914, just before the outbreak of World War I, starting in 1914, with the LGOC dominant in London, the company looked to the rest of Britain outside London for growth
Eastern National Omnibus Company
Eastern National was a bus company operating in south east England from 1929 to the 1990s. The National company had originated in 1909 as the National Steam Car Company, the London services ceased in 1919, when the company was renamed National Omnibus & Transport Company. The National continued to expand in Essex and Bedfordshire, one result was that the railways were in future to refrain from taking a controlling interest in bus undertakings. This led the companies to enter partnerships with the bus companies. In 1931, a controlling interest in the National Omnibus was acquired by the Tilling Group, from on Eastern National was run as a Tilling company, although the railways retained their shares until 1948. In 1948 the railways were nationalised, and shortly after, the Tilling Group sold its bus interests to the government, Eastern National therefore became a state-owned company, under the control of the British Transport Commission. The new regime resulted in rationalisation of the area of operations.
In 1990, Eastern National passed to Badgerline, Badgerline divided the company into two, Thamesway Buses in the south of Essex and Eastern National in the north. Eastern National was included in the June 1995 merger of Badgerline with GRT Group to form FirstBus, FirstBus combined the two operations and renamed the company First Essex. Media related to Eastern National Omnibus Company at Wikimedia Commons
London and North Eastern Railway
The London and North Eastern Railway was the second largest of the Big Four railway companies created by the Railways Act 1921 in Britain. It operated from 1 January 1923 until nationalisation on 1 January 1948, at that time, it was divided into the new British Railways Eastern Region, North Eastern Region, and partially the Scottish Region. Sir Ralph Wedgwood was the Chief Officer for its first 16 years, the North Eastern Railway had the largest route mileage,1,757 miles, the Hull and Barnsley Railway just 106.5 miles. The M&GNJR was incorporated into the LNER in 1936, in 1933, on the formation of the London Passenger Transport Board, the LNER acquired the remaining operations of the Metropolitan Railway Company. The LNER was the majority partner in the Cheshire Lines Committee, the LNER covered the area north and east of London. It included the East Coast Main Line from London to Edinburgh via York and Newcastle upon Tyne, most of the country east of the Pennines was within its purview, including East Anglia.
The main workshops were in Doncaster, with others at Darlington and Stratford, the LNER inherited four of Londons termini, Fenchurch Street (ex-London and Blackwall Railway, Kings Cross, Liverpool Street, and Marylebone. In addition, it ran suburban services to Broad Street and Moorgate, on 13 February 1923, an express passenger train overran signals at Retford and was in a rear-end collision with a freight train. On 23 December 1923, a passenger train overran signals and was in collision with a light engine at Belford. On 28 July 1924, a train overran signals and collided with another at Haymarket station, Edinburgh. On 12 May 1926, during the General Strike, a passenger train was deliberately derailed south of Cramlington. On 7 August 1926, a multiple unit overran signals and was in collision with a freight train at Manors station, Newcastle upon Tyne. The accident was caused by the tying down the controller with a handkerchief. When he leant out of the train he struck an overbridge and was killed, the train was able to continue moving until the collision.
On 14 February 1927, two trains were in a head-on collision at Hull Paragon station, Yorkshire due to a signalmans error. Twelve people were killed and 24 were injured, on 27 February 1927, an express passenger train collided with a light engine at Penistone, Yorkshire due to a signalmans error. On 17 August 1928, a train collided with a lorry on a level crossing at Shepreth. On 27 June 1928, a train was in a head-on collision with a parcels train that was being shunted at Darlington
The Railway Magazine
The Railway Magazine is a monthly British railway magazine, aimed at the railway enthusiast market, that has been published in London since July 1897. As of 2010 it has been, for three years running, the magazine with the largest circulation in the U. K. having a monthly average sale during 2009 of 34,715. It was published by IPC Media until October 2010, with ISSN 0033-8923, from November 2010, The Railway Magazine is now published by Mortons Media Group Ltd. They appointed as its first editor a former auctioneer, George Augustus Nokes and he quickly built the magazine circulation to around 25,000. From the start it was produced in Linotype on good-quality paper and well illustrated with photographic halftone, in 1910, following a dispute with the proprietors, Nokes resigned and started a rival, very similar, magazine and Travel Monthly. Apart from this episode, The Railway Magazine had no serious rival in its field until the 1940s. Kay himself served as editor after his predecessor had left for service in World War II, for many years the magazine shared editorial direction with the Railway Gazette, and for periods had officially no editor of its own.
From May 1942 to the end of 1949, paper shortages compelled bimonthly publication, X6 in, though it continued to use art paper for a centre section of photographs, which had begun in January 1934. Its first writer was the New Zealand-born Charles Rous-Marten, from 1981 to 2004 the performance series was written by Peter W. B. Semmens, who served as Chief correspondent from 1990, notably reporting on the Channel Tunnel construction. Authorship of the series, now called just Practice & performance, has subsequently been shared by Keith Farr and John Heaton. Other contributors of features in earlier days included Rev. W. J. Scott, Rev. Victor L. Whitechurch, Charles H. Grinling, railwayman H. L. Hopwood, harold Fayle contributed on Irish railways. A notable series by the locomotive engineer E. L. Ahrons on Locomotive, a very small amount of fiction was included in the magazines earliest days. Another feature which has persisted since the days has been answers to readers questions. Notable photographic contributors of the Interwar period included Maurice W.
Earley, W. Leslie Good, Frank R. Hebron, F. E. Mackay, O. J. Morris and H. Gordon Tidey. The cover design, incorporating a photograph, remained unchanged from the early 1900s to the mid-1950s. In common with most similar magazines, the content is today largely in colour. In earliest days, current news paragraphs were placed at the back of the magazine under the headings What the railways are doing and Pertinent paragraphs, the magazine has over the years steadily extended its detailed coverage of locomotive and rolling stock movements. It now covers current British railway news, modern traction, some history, heritage railways, between November 1963 and December 1996, the definite article was omitted from the title, which was Railway Magazine during that period
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland, with an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe. It is the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants, this makes it the fourth-most densely populated country in the European Union. The United Kingdom is a monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952, other major urban areas in the United Kingdom include the regions of Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester.
The United Kingdom consists of four countries—England, Wales, the last three have devolved administrations, each with varying powers, based in their capitals, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. The relationships among the countries of the UK have changed over time, Wales was annexed by the Kingdom of England under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. A treaty between England and Scotland resulted in 1707 in a unified Kingdom of Great Britain, which merged in 1801 with the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, there are fourteen British Overseas Territories. These are the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, British influence can be observed in the language and legal systems of many of its former colonies. The United Kingdom is a country and has the worlds fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP. The UK is considered to have an economy and is categorised as very high in the Human Development Index.
It was the worlds first industrialised country and the worlds foremost power during the 19th, the UK remains a great power with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally. It is a nuclear weapons state and its military expenditure ranks fourth or fifth in the world. The UK has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946 and it has been a leading member state of the EU and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. However, on 23 June 2016, a referendum on the UKs membership of the EU resulted in a decision to leave. The Acts of Union 1800 united the Kingdom of Great Britain, Scotland and Northern Ireland have devolved self-government
Yorkshire Traction was a bus operator in Yorkshire that operated from 1902 until 2005. In March 1902 the Barnsley & District Electric Traction Company Limited was formed and it operated trams around the Barnsley area until around 1930. In 1928, prior to the trams being withdrawn, the company was renamed from the Barnsley & District Traction Company Limited, the company was affectionately referred to as Tracky. In October 1968, Yorkshire Traction purchased Mexborough & Swinton Traction Company, as part of the privatisation of the National Bus Company, Yorkshire Transit was sold in January 1987 to a management buyout. The company operated services across Barnsley, Doncaster and into Leeds and eventually, through the acquisitions of Sheffield Omnibus, South Riding and Yorkshire Terrier in the early 1990s, the company gained a significant foothold in Sheffield. It had operated alongside National Travel, the short break holiday arm of National Bus Company, upon privatisation, YTC launched Ridings Travel and became a popular choice for the short break coach holidaymaker within the region