Following the many appreciative comments we received following the publication of the MOTOR ‘BUS DIRECTORY OF DEVON, 1931 we are working on a similar publication for SOMERSET for the same year.
If anyone has any special knowledge of Bristol Tramways & Carriage Co or Bath Tramways Motor Company from that period, particularly photographs, we would be delighted to hear from you. Similarly if you have knowledge of any of the independent operators in the county active at that time please do get in touch.
two Devon publications (DUE SEPTEMBER 2013):-
FOUR PENCE TO ORCOMBE POINT
The story of early public transport around Exmouth is a tragedy of several parts. But not all was doom and gloom. Read about the development of Arcadia, Blue ‘Bus Service, Enterprise, Harris’s, Millers, Payns, Burbury’s Royal Blue and others. Motor Trams and Toast-racks along the sea front and passengers like Mrs Pushy-Shovey.
MOTOR ‘BUSES OF NEWTON ABBOT
First published in the 1990’s, now in a revised edition. Tells the story from the steam ‘buses of 1911 through the 1920’s when competition led to a fare of 1d (one old penny) between Newton Abbot and Kingsteignton. Includes the little Blue ‘Bus, Newtonian, Pride of the Moor, Speedwell and others.
---------- HAVE YOUR SAY ----------
Do not forget that we are always pleased to hear from you with suggestions about what should be published in the future. With five counties, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire, to cover deciding which story to tell next is not easy. So let us have your ideas
Continuing our objective of sharing the contents of our extensive archives with anyone who is interested in early public transport in the south-west, work is in hand on some new publications
These include a book covering the far west of Cornwall, the Land’s End Peninsula, sometimes thought to be the province of just the Great Western Railway and Western National. The area was actually home to independent operators, two of whom used the title West Penwith Motor Company. There were also Defender, Tol-Pedn, Cornishman, St Michael’s and Progress and they were successors to an extensive range of horse-drawn omnibus services. All these operators are covered as well as the trials, tribulations and rewards of the G.W.R. as they developed their network, based on contemporary accounts.
Another publication will cover Exmouth, where there was considerable competition, and we hope to release some second editions of books currently out of print.
Please remember that if you have any information about early operations in the westcountry we would be delighted to hear from you. Anything, even if seemingly insignificant, can help to piece together the story. Similarly, if you have any particular interest let us know and we will try and include something of interest in future books.
We have had to make one change from our intended list. Now available are:-
“THE LISKERETT ‘BUS”. Early public transport around Liskeard. 17 operators including M.G. Rowe of Dobwalls, manufacturer of Rowe Hillmaster vehicles, and Truscott Bros of Rillamill, who expanded into Liskeard and Launceston. Also “Liskerrett”, “Blue Boy”, “Trehawke” and Western National in the area. 35 photographs, maps, time tables, adverts and lists of vehicles.
Second edition of “MOTOR ‘BUSES OF PLYMPTON AND CORNWOOD”. All known motor ‘bus and char-a-banc operators based in those places between the end of the Great War and 1931. Includes Goad’s “Ensign” and the recollections of a former employee of Hopper & Berryman……………………………………… Price £5.00
KEEPING COSTS DOWN
Our aim is to share the results of our research and we endeavour to keep prices affordable. However, increases in printing and a dramatic rise in postage rates make life difficult. It now costs 50p postage to tell you about books and at least £1 to send them.
Regrettably we must in future ask for a £1 contribution to postage and packing. This will apply to each order, no matter how many books are required, as the cost for two or more volumes is not significantly greater than for a single book. We hope and believe that this still represents good value for money.
One way of reducing costs is using e-mail and internet. Notification of new publications can be sent electronically rather than by “snail mail”. Our son and grandson decided that we needed a website and thanks to their efforts you can now order on line and pay via paypal if you wish. We hope that some of you will find this helpful. If you prefer to continue by post that is fine.
Lastly thanks to everyone for loyal support over the years. We are grateful for the help and encouragement as we endeavour to record an era now long gone.
ALL ABOARD THE SKYLARK - Update
With autumn almost upon us it is time for more titles.
“THE LISKERETT ‘BUS” will be published early in September 2012. It covers early public transport around Liskeard, including well known operators like M.G. Rowe of Dobwalls, famous as the manufacturer of Rowe Hillmaster trucks and Truscott Bros of Rillamill, who expanded into Liskeard and Launceston. In total the stories of 17 operators are covered and there are pictures, maps, time tables and lists of vehicles owned. Read all about the “Liskerrett”, the “Blue Boy” and the “Trehawke” as well as notes on Western National in the area.
At the same time a second edition of “CHAGFORD AND CREAM” will be available. This is the story of A.E. Thomas, a member of a family of Witheridge carriers, who moved to Chagford to run his own business. Also included is the tale of early railway ‘buses – the town was served by both Great Western and the London & South Western companies – and the other local operators. After the Second World War Mr Thomas bought Cream Cars at Torquay and the story continues until his death in the late 1950’s when the business was sold to Wallace Arnold.
Also in the pipeline is a “DIRECTORY OF DEVON MOTOR ‘BUS SERVICES” in 1931. This will show all routes operated in the early part of that year, just before the introduction of Road Service Licencing. There will also be current fleet lists of all independent ‘bus operators and many illustrations and maps. At the same time another second edition will be available – probably “LUNACY AND LICENCING”, covering the Tiverton area.
If you are interested in any particular area(s) or operator(s) in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire do please get in touch. We will do our best to help.
For those of you who were looking forward to reading a post by Roger I'm sorry to disappoint, but this is one of his younger grandchildren, Billy. As a gift for Roger, me and my Father decided to put this website together to provide a proper arena for Granddad to make his publications available to a wider audience.
I have always been immensely proud of the shear number of books Roger has written over his lifetime. I must admit however, that it wasn't until I began working on this website that I truly took the time to immerse myself in his world, the world of public transport and social history. In order to get a real idea of how the website should look and feel, as well as to understand the target audience a little better I settled down one afternoon and began to pour through my own personal collection of Roger's work.
I found the stories of the lives of those first few pioneers of rural transport to be highly moving. The passion and determination with which they decided to approach the provision of public transport was admirable. For me the biggest realisation to come from reading Roger's work was how much these buses had changed the lives of those who lived in the hamlets and villages of the south. Having grown up myself in a time where public transport has been replaced by the personal car I always took for granted how easy it is to travel relatively long distances with little planning. The bus is now such a pillar of our society that their removal would cause outrage. It's easy to forget though, that until relatively recently the creation of a new Omnibus route would have been the talk of the town!
It's not just the freedom and mobility that these vehicles represent either. Scanning through the images and records there is a real beauty in these machines. My personal favourite has to be the 1949 era Leyland Tiger. For me this bus represents a time when form and function seemed to seamlessly integrate with one another and produced machines that wouldn't look out of place in an art gallery. It is however pretty obvious that the addition of lots of chrome was a fairly new practice as nearly all these buses carry more shiny decoration than even the most enthusiastically decorated Christmas tree!
Thank you all for taking the time to visit the site, Normal service will resume with Roger taking over the mantle of main blogger in the next few weeks.
As I am a newcomer to the world of blogging, I will be posting rather sporadically for the first few weeks! Be sure to check back regularly for new content and I'll be delighted to read and respond to any of your comments.