Memories

43 Replies, 14073 Views

Where to begin?

In my totally un-scientific observations whilst regularly passing a depot on Mandela Way and linking it back to hazy memories of post de-reg services from Sunderland Road, it seems that buses are returning back to the depot a lot earlier in to the evening than they used to.

I use those two depots in comparison, only because of the scenes I witnessed at Sunderland Road in the latter half of the 80's.

Is it just me, or are we seeing fewer services running in to the evening than in the past?

If we are, is it because of changing passenger habits or is it because of margins? Could it be down to fewer subsidies?

Back in the late 80's, I remember Gateshead Interchange being a hive of activity late in to the evening, with the roar of a Metrobus or screech of an Atlantean only whizzing back to the depot at full pelt after dropping off their last load of passengers.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'
(21 Jun 2017, 12:55 pm)Andreos1 Wrote: Where to begin?

In my totally un-scientific observations whilst regularly passing a depot on Mandela Way and linking it back to hazy memories of post de-reg services from Sunderland Road, it seems that buses are returning back to the depot a lot earlier in to the evening than they used to.

I use those two depots in comparison, only because of the scenes I witnessed at Sunderland Road in the latter half of the 80's.

Is it just me, or are we seeing fewer services running in to the evening than in the past?

If we are, is it because of changing passenger habits or is it because of margins? Could it be down to fewer subsidies?

Back in the late 80's, I remember Gateshead Interchange being a hive of activity late in to the evening, with the roar of a Metrobus or screech of an Atlantean only whizzing back to the depot at full pelt after dropping off their last load of passengers.

I give you Hartlepool.

Most routes had an evening service until Stagecoach called the council's bluff on subsidies and lost. 

Granted, they are proposing bringing back weekday evening 6s soon. But after 10 years of no service the customer base has moved on to other forms of transport, they're not likely to come flooding back.

When was younger living in Hartlepool I could easily go see friends in Durham/Crook/Washington/Newcastle after college and get back home for 11pm using evening buses. I don't think it's possible to make such journeys anymore. 

I used to depend on the final few journeys on the 229/230 (now 23) which were contracted out to GNE. From what I could gather, only Durham County Council subsidised the route, destpite it running through Nexus and Hartlepool areas also. Naturally when DCC pulled their money the service was dropped, despite being fairly well used. It's fair enough DCC only want to foot the bill for DCC residents making journies in the county, rather than people like me using the service from Sunderland to Hartlepool.
Since moving house last week, I longer live at Lambton, however upon reflection of the 19 years I lived there I couldn't help but think of the amount of service changes there was.

From having for example the 638 which then became 773/774 which became the 73/74 and then in it's current form of the 2/2A, Going from having Verde's, Prestiges, Striders and Dart's to having Merc Citaros to the current form of Streetlites, I could throw up numerous examples from years gone by.

As for where I have relocated to that shall remain a mystery, the only place I don't have a direct link to is Sunderland but I have one to most other places, maybe a future service suggestion will be a give a way....keep your eyes peeled.
(11 Nov 2018, 10:30 pm)Malarkey Wrote: Since moving house last week, I longer live at Lambton, however upon reflection of the 19 years I lived there I couldn't help but think of the amount of service changes there was.

From having for example the 638 which then became 773/774 which became the 73/74 and then in it's current form of the 2/2A, Going from having Verde's, Prestiges, Striders and Dart's to having Merc Citaros to the current form of Streetlites, I could throw up numerous examples from years gone by.

As for where I have relocated to that shall remain a mystery, the only place I don't have a direct link to is Sunderland but I have one to most other places, maybe a future service suggestion will be a give a way....keep your eyes peeled.

I'm sure we'll find out, when we see 50 odd service suggestions posted, via your new location Tongue
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(18 Nov 2018, 5:21 pm)Adrian Wrote: I'm sure we'll find out, when we see 50 odd service suggestions posted, via your new location Tongue

Well after two weeks of using a highly frequent local service in my "new location" I do have some suggestions for change  Tongue
Storx post within the GNE thread about leaky and foisty buses got me thinking about one particular trip a few years back. 

It was on a version of the X3 or X4 Washington were running. It didn't last very long and seemed to run using a mix of whatever was spare.
I remember the last Lance was often allocated and they had a handful of Prestiges too.

One time I was on it, heading home after being in Newcastle. Not sure if it was work related or not, but it was definitely a week day. 
It was chucking down and I'd managed to get decent seats near the rear of the saloon. 
We took a sharp left hand turn and the build up of water on the roof or in the void took its chance to escape. It absolutely soaked me! Fortunately, there wasn't much of my journey left, so I wasn't in too much discomfort. 

Another trip back in the day, was when the 21/A/B had it's mixed allocation of Prestiges, Tridents/Loylnes and native Presidents.
You never knew what to expect after mooching down to the Odeon on Pilgrim St. 
On this particular wet day, the 21A was a Trident/Loylne. I'd forgot about the bizarre lack of legroom in the pilot seat upstairs and also forgot about the build of of foist, condensation and general dampness those particular seats and the footwell area around them tended to collect.
I didn't make that mistake again!

Direct buses to Newcastle and at one point up to 4 an hour! Those were the days! Even if they often ended up soggy and wet.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'
My earliest memory was at Primary school in Hartlepool just when Stagecoach had took over Hartlepool Transport. I can't remember why but stagecoach where at the school and it was my first experience of been on a Volvo B10 and finding it a new experience from the REs Nationals and Falcons at the time.  During break I would often see the buses use the stop opposite the school as a layover point and watch as the driver used to change the destination by winding though all the place names.  Was an exciting time as young bus enthusiast seeing the all different types of bus and 3 different liverys at the time. The stagecoach stripes  the Hartlepool Transport Maroon and cream and the yellow and orange of Tees and Distract.  Of course I never knew at the time that they was a big change happening in the town's bus network with a load of services changing and the slow demise of the Bristol RE.
(19 Apr 2020, 9:58 pm)col87 Wrote: My earliest memory was at Primary school in Hartlepool just when Stagecoach had took over Hartlepool Transport. I can't remember why but stagecoach where at the school and it was my first experience of been on a Volvo B10 and finding it a new experience from the REs Nationals and Falcons at the time.  During break I would often see the buses use the stop opposite the school as a layover point and watch as the driver used to change the destination by winding though all the place names.  Was an exciting time as young bus enthusiast seeing the all different types of bus and 3 different liverys at the time. The stagecoach stripes  the Hartlepool Transport Maroon and cream and the yellow and orange of Tees and Distract.  Of course I never knew at the time that they was a big change happening in the town's bus network with a load of services changing and the slow demise of the Bristol RE.

One of my earliest memories is of getting the bus, I'm not too sure of the details, but I think it was travelling from Chopwell to Dunston (I vaguely remember asking the driver for Dun Cow) with my grandmother. I also remember getting it one day and there being a new bus, I noticed it straight away because the windscreen was curved at the bottom and the old ones weren't. Not sure what service it would have been, but it would have been from Chopwell and in the very early 2000s

In fact, now that I think about it, I used to get the bus all the time when I was really young, probably because my grandmother didn't like driving!
(19 Apr 2020, 9:58 pm)col87 Wrote: My earliest memory was at Primary school in Hartlepool just when Stagecoach had took over Hartlepool Transport. I can't remember why but stagecoach where at the school and it was my first experience of been on a Volvo B10 and finding it a new experience from the REs Nationals and Falcons at the time.  During break I would often see the buses use the stop opposite the school as a layover point and watch as the driver used to change the destination by winding though all the place names.  Was an exciting time as young bus enthusiast seeing the all different types of bus and 3 different liverys at the time. The stagecoach stripes  the Hartlepool Transport Maroon and cream and the yellow and orange of Tees and Distract.  Of course I never knew at the time that they was a big change happening in the town's bus network with a load of services changing and the slow demise of the Bristol RE.

We must have went to school around the same time as I also remember them bringing a new Volvo down as a PR exercise encouraging good behaviour on school buses. What sticks in my mind is someone (presumably a teacher) asking about these new mobile phone thingys and the Stagecoach employee explaining they were allowed to answer a call while driving just to say they’d call them back when they were on break!
(19 Apr 2020, 11:22 pm)James101 Wrote: We must have went to school around the same time as I also remember them bringing a new Volvo down as a PR exercise encouraging good behaviour on school buses. What sticks in my mind is someone (presumably a teacher) asking about these new mobile phone thingys and the Stagecoach employee explaining they were allowed to answer a call while driving just to say they’d call them back when they were on break!
Yeah I would have been 8 at the time and the school I mentioned was Owton Manor Primary ( now Eskdale Academy).  Used to watch them at the stop on Wynyard Road on a dinner time.  Was really exciting the first time I seen double Deckers doing the town services as well although whenever went out on bus never seemed to get one think first time was on the 39 to Middlesbrough.
I was recounting the Durham Road Bus war last night whilst browsing flickr.

Classic Buses 'Classicliner' fleet of randomness running the 21 and 21a - always remembered their destination blinds had City of Durham (always quite grand!). Some Leyland Nationals in the garish blue and yellow livery.

They always seemed to have more buses than Go North East who introduced the '221' as direct competition. My favourite classic trick was when they used to empty buses out at Harlow Green, loop round and pick up all the Newcastle bound passengers as a company 21 'held back' an empty Northern metroliner on the 221.
Wistfully stuck in the 90s
My school bus was operated by Calvary Coaches of Washington. They had dual door Leyland Atlanteans which came from Edinburgh. I used to love talking to the passenger assistants during my journey. Calvary Coaches used to operate a vintage Bedford OB which looked amazing. They also had Leyland Nationals.

Charles
(20 Apr 2020, 6:18 pm)Charles41 Wrote: My school bus was operated by Calvary Coaches of Washington. They had dual door Leyland Atlanteans which came from Edinburgh. I used to love talking to the passenger assistants during my journey. Calvary Coaches used to operate a vintage Bedford OB which looked amazing. They also had Leyland Nationals.

Charles
Remember Calvary ran the commercial operated 380 from Concord to Tynemouth via Newcastle in order to run the Kings College scholars runs.  One time I finally managed to time it for the bus due to leave Concord in the afternoon and try the route into Newcastle as had been dying to use it for years.  Waiting at Concord for about 40 minutes watched the bus pull out of the garage opposite.. Was one of the single plaxton examples.....and was gutted as the driver omitted Concord and went straight towards Galleries.   Fuming I caught the next bus to Galleries hoping we may have caught up to no avail.    Waited for works 961 at Galleries back to Shields and vowed to never go back out for Calvary again.  Only time I did get on one coach was on private hire not long before owner retired. 
Calvary Coaches Washingtons Own Friendly Local Bus Company
(20 Apr 2020, 7:08 pm)ifm001 Wrote: Remember Calvary ran the commercial operated 380 from Concord to Tynemouth via Newcastle in order to run the Kings College scholars runs.  One time I finally managed to time it for the bus due to leave Concord in the afternoon and try the route into Newcastle as had been dying to use it for years.  Waiting at Concord for about 40 minutes watched the bus pull out of the garage opposite.. Was one of the single plaxton examples.....and was gutted as the driver omitted Concord and went straight towards Galleries.   Fuming I caught the next bus to Galleries hoping we may have caught up to no avail.    Waited for works 961 at Galleries back to Shields and vowed to never go back out for Calvary again.  Only time I did get on one coach was on private hire not long before owner retired. 
Calvary Coaches Washingtons Own Friendly Local Bus Company

Didnt it go beyond Concord? Never caught it myself, despite my best intentions - but sure it ran somewhere south of Washington.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'
(20 Apr 2020, 7:35 pm)Andreos1 Wrote: Didnt it go beyond Concord? Never caught it myself, despite my best intentions - but sure it ran somewhere south of Washington.
Started at Concord as the depot was opposite. (still is) then headed to Galleries and Birtley I think before heading through Low Fell and Gateshead to Newcastle then Coast Road to Tynemouth.
I think Calvary Coaches could also have involved with an operator called Serene Travel which were based near Sleekburn. Calvary also had a Bedford SB which came from Wales. This was also occasionally used on my scholars. I vaguely remember the 380 and think I once caught it to Wallsend. Low Fell Coaches were my local independent operator. Their buses and coaches were always immaculate. The former garage in Low Fell is now a car park with a dubious public convenience in the corner. The former travel shop / office is now a vets.

Charles
https://twitter.com/BBCArchive/status/14...55714?s=19

Thought it was something from On The Buses at first.
Turns out it is Roger Moore's stunt double, driving a double decker bus!
'Illegitimis non carborundum'
https://twitter.com/bushontheradio/statu...bGwA724Mwg&s=19

Some interesting memories! 
There's some local contributions on there as well.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'
(24 Jan 2022, 3:14 pm)Andreos1 Wrote: https://twitter.com/bushontheradio/statu...bGwA724Mwg&s=19

Some interesting memories! 
There's some local contributions on there as well.

Might whack the 638 on.
(24 Jan 2022, 4:31 pm)MurdnunoC Wrote: Might whack the 638 on.
It deserves a mention. 194 has a couple. 777 and 294 is on there too. Couldn't see the 638 last time I looked.

Edit: https://twitter.com/ROBT180/status/14855...u-F4GmbM3g&s=19 it's on!

https://twitter.com/TWBusUser/status/148...lBVZ7mCJiA&s=19 and again!
'Illegitimis non carborundum'