Huddersfield Passenger Transport Group

Huddersfield Corporation Passenger Transport History

(Inc. Joint Omnibus Committee).

 

 

 
  Huddersfield Corporation Trams

 1883 STEAM TRAMWAYS

      When Huddersfield Corporation opened its first steam tram route on Thursday 11 January, 1883, it was the first example in the U.K. of a municipally-operated tramway system. In other towns and cities Corporation-owned tracks were all leased to private enterprise.

      By 1900 the system developed, from a route mileage viewpoint, to become the largest standard gauge (albeit 4ft  7¾ ins) steam tramway system in the British Isles, covering 29 miles 45 chains of route. The initial fleet consisted of small Wilkinson type tram engines and four wheeled open top cars seating 38 and 34 passengers built by the Ashbury Railway Carriage & Iron Co Ltd and the Starbuck Car & Wagon Co Ltd. Increasing popularity of the tramways made the acquisition of larger top-covered bogie cars a necessity; these seated around 62 passengers. They were built by Milnes of Birkenhead, gave a much smoother ride, and led to an increase in the traffic load. More powerful engines were then required to haul these cars and purchases were made from the well-known Leeds engine builders Kitson & Co Ltd (15) and Thomas Green & Sons Ltd (10), whilst the Corporation built two of their own at Great Northern Street Depot. This Depot was opened in July 1887, had accommodation for 30 engines and 30 cars, and replaced the wooden structure on the site of the present General Post Office in Northumberland Street, which had been used from March 1883. This site is now a modern trading park including Sainsburys Homebase. 

 1885 HORSE TRAMS

      Horse trams were only used on the Moldgreen and Fartown sections between 1885 and 1888 when they were superseded by steam trains.

 1893 POSTAL SERVICES

      The carriage of letter boxes on each tramcar with the collaboration of the GPO and first introduced on 20 March, 1893, once more gave Huddersfield the lead in a service which was of great benefit to the general public, and which survived until the outbreak of war in 1939. In the 1920s Huddersfield trams were carrying more mail than those of the rest of the country put together!

 STEAM TRAMS EXPAND

 Huddersfield Corporation was the first tramway operator to introduce the two-shift system of working for drivers and conductors resulting in each man working only an eight hour day. Normally, it was usual elsewhere for men to work all day. By 1900, steam tram services were running between St. George’s Square and Birkby, Fartown, Bradley, Waterloo, Almondbury, Newsome Road (Stile Common), Berry Brow, Crosland Moor (Park Road), Slaithwaite (Star Hotel), Longwood (Quarmby Clough), Outlane and the Lindley Circular route via Marsh and Edgerton, usually on a 30/40 minute frequency, but with no Sunday services. Fares were collected by means of Kaye’s Patent Fare Collecting Box and no tickets were issued until the end of 1901.

  The Slaithwaite route beyond the borough boundary at Pinfold Well was worked by the Corporation on behalf of Linthwaite Urban District Council, which owned the three mile stretch of track in its area. An agreement was concluded between the two authorities on 23 June, 1899, for Huddersfield to work the line on a rental basis, the Council being responsible for track maintenance. It was the requirement for additional rolling stock for this route which ultimately led to the decision to convert from steam to electric traction.

After considering lengthy reports prepared by the Managers of the Tramways and Electricity Departments, and the Borough Engineer, Mr K. F. Campbell, M.Inst.C.E., M.I.Mech.E., the report of Mr Campbell which recommended conversion of the entire steam system and the erection of a Power Station, Car Shed and offices at Longroyd Bridge was adopted by the Town Council, and the stage was thus set for the development of a modern electric tramway system.

1901 ELECTRIC TRAMS

Following the decision to proceed with electrification, the Corporation applied for powers to borrow £47,780 to carry out the work which was undertaken in two stages during 1900 and 1902. The first routes scheduled for conversion were Crosland Moor, Slaithwaite, Longwood, Outlane and the Lindley Circular route. The main contractors for this initial stage were Messrs Greenwood & Batley Ltd, Leeds, who sub-contracted various works, including car building to other firms. Traction poles painted sage green were planted on all routes and wiring erected.

The new Power Station and Car Shed was built at Longroyd Bridge on part of the site now occupied by the Scholes Windows in the former bus garage, and underground feeder cables laid to supply power to each route. All was completed by early 1901 and 25 new open top electric bogie cars built by George F. Milnes & Co Ltd, Castle Car Works, Hadley, Shropshire, to seat 56 passengers were available for service. The tramcars were painted in vermillion and cream, and had electric heaters in the lower saloon, curtains at each window, and crimson velvet cushions, a great advance on the old steam trams.

A formal opening of the power station took place on 7 February, 1901, and was attended by 150 invited guests, including the General Managers of neighbouring tramway systems. Following Board of Trade inspections (a legal requirement before any line could be used for passenger traffic), electric trams commenced running from St. George’s Square to Outlane and Lindley both via Marsh and Edgerton on 14 February, 1901, and the other routes followed by the end of the month.

Conversion of the remaining steam routes including an extension from Berry Brow to Honley (the first Corporation extension outside the Borough) was effected between February and July, 1902 by which time the electric tramcar fleet had risen to a total of 61, all of the open top type. These later acquisitions were smaller cars of two types seating 51 and 55 passengers, built by the British Electric Car Co Ltd of Trafford Park, Manchester, and were of the single truck (four wheeled) type. They were more suitable for operation on the many steeply graded routes in the Huddersfield area. A further nine cars obtained in 1903 completed the stock at 70 cars which were adequate until 1909. Top covers were first fitted to electric trams in November, 1902. The car livery was now standardised and became Indian red and pale cream, the former colour being a shade of dark maroon

1904 COAL DELIVERIES

A unique feature of the Huddersfield system was the operation of coal trucks, two in number which carried the coal requirements of three mills on the Outlane route, i.e. Martin, Sons & Co Ltd, Wellington Mills; Benjamin Crosland & Sons Ltd, Oakes Mill; and Edward Sykes & Sons, Gosport Mills, Outlane from the railway coal chutes at Hillhouse Goods Yard. This was the only example of such a service in the U.K. and was in operation from 1904 to 1934.

TRAMWAY IMPROVEMENTS

Between 1903 and 1914 improvements to the system took place each year; tracks were doubled where necessary, and extensions made to Longwood (Rose & Crown), Crosland Moor (Dryclough Road), Newsome Church, Birchencliffe, Elland, West Vale and Marsden. By 1914 the fleet comprised 106 cars, the 36 newer trams having been obtained from the United Electric Car Co Ltd, Dick, Kerr Works, Preston from which works all future new trams came.

The war years placed great strain on all tramway operators, who had to provide the best possible services from resources available. Maintenance proved a problem and men were called up for military service, but to alleviate this lady conductors were employed until 1919 but they were not called upon to drive tramcars in view of the arduous conditions found on some of Huddersfield’s routes. After the war, the policy of improvement was continued including extensions to Dod Lea from the “Rose and Crown”, Longwood and to Brighouse from the existing Sheepridge route at Smithy. This latter extension included Huddersfield’s only section of private sleeper track across fields from the “New Inn” (now the “Ashbrow”) in Bradford Road to Clough Lane, Fixby. This was the last extension made apart from the laying of the track under a Light Railway Order to serve the Leeds Road football ground in August, 1923.

A new depot to accommodate 100 tramcars was built in reinforced concrete in St. Thomas’ Road at Longroyd Bridge, and opened in July, 1921. From 1919 to 1932 new tramcars totalling 38 were purchased, the last 8 of which, painted in a new livery of Post Office red and cream and built in 1931/32, were pronounced in the technical press as being equal, if not superior, to any other tramcars in use in the country. They were fully upholstered, equipped with air brakes, and were used principally on the Bradley-Marsden through service.

Doubling of tracks from Hillhouse Lane to Fartown Bar, Moldgreen to Waterloo, and Deighton to Bradley were undertaken in 1924 in conjunction with road widening projects in Bradford Road and Wakefield Road.

     Huddersfield’s last tramcar ran to Brighouse on Saturday, 29 June, 1940, with some ceremony, although the blackout

and other wartime restrictions prevented what might have been a more fitting tribute to a service which had served the

town and district so well for over 40 years. The trams were not financially viable in their early years and £73,041 was

received from rate funds up to 1906. Between this date and 1919, however, contributions to rate relief totalled £87,027

yielding an excess of contributions over aid of £13,986. Sadly none of the trams survived into preservation

 

 

 
  Huddersfield Corporation Single Deck Buses

1920 MOTORBUSES

Although the Corporation first obtained powers to run motor bus services within the confines of the County Borough in 1913, the incidence of the Great War prevented any immediate development. In 1920 powers were granted to run buses outside the Borough along a number of specified routes. The first solid-tyred buses, a single decker and an open top double-decker were purchased for £1625-4-10 and £1659-7-4 from the local firm of Karrier Motors Ltd, St. Thomas’ Road, Huddersfield later that year and the operation of a service from Paddock Head to Golcar (Town End) via Milnsbridge and Scar Lane using the single decker commenced on 18 December, 1920. Travel between Paddock and Huddersfield and return was by tramcar.

The double deck vehicle was put into service between Bradley tram terminus and the Ravensthorpe tram terminus of the Yorkshire (Woollen District) Electric Tramways Ltd, as from 16 March, 1921, and during the following three years new routes were opened up as follows:- Moldgreen to Kirkheaton, Honley to Holmbridge, Honley to Jackson Bridge via New Mill, and Lockwood to Netherton, later extended to Meltham.

These shuttle services were connected with the centre of town by tramcar, apart from the first journeys out in the morning and the last journeys back in the evenings. 1922 saw the first one-man operated buses, although the use of these later ceased.

The first experiment in running motor buses over the tram routes into town took place as from 22 March, 1924, when the Kirkheaton service was extended from Moldgreen to Byram Street in the town centre. Following the success of this, all the other services were similarly dealt with by early 1925. A protective fare was imposed over the section of route covered by the tramcars. The motor bus fleet was increased to provide these additional services, the vehicles being largely provided by Karrier. The early single deck buses seated 30, but later acquisitions could accommodate 20, 30, 32 and 36 passengers. 1925 saw the first buses fitted with pneumatic tyres.

1922 COMPETITION

Olympia (later Baddeley Bros) ran services in the Holme Valley from 1922 competing with the Corporation trams (to Honley) and buses, Olympia had earlier provided services from the Smithy  to Rastrick and Brighouse.

The late 1920s found the Corporation faced with intense competition from various privately-owned buses which ran into Huddersfield over routes already covered by both Corporation tram and bus services. These operated on the return-ticket system, their passengers having to be in possession of a return ticket to travel out of Huddersfield. The problem was partially solved when the Corporation acquired the ‘Blue & White’ bus service and vehicles owned and operated by Bowers of Hinchliffe Mill. ‘Blue & White’ had operated a service from Marsden. An agreement was then drawn up between the Corporation and Joseph Hanson & Sons Ltd (later Hanson’s Buses Ltd) for the joint operation of certain Come Valley services to Marsden, Slaithwaite and Heights (Linthwaite) and these commenced on 12 January, 1929.

All the Corporation buses had, up to now, been accommodated in Great Northern Street and Longroyd Bridge tram depots but the growing fleet required new accommodation as some vehicles were of necessity parked outside at night. A new garage with 5000 square feet of floor space adjacent to Great Northern Street tram depot and capable of holding 70 buses was opened on 26 September, 1928, as part of the celebrations to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of the Borough.

1925 INTER TOWN SERVICES

On 22 August, 1925, the first inter-urban bus service was inaugurated between Huddersfield and Halifax via Elland and operated jointly by Huddersfield Corporation, Messrs 0. & C. Holdsworth and Halifax Corporation, although in later years only Huddersfield and Halifax operated the service. The second through service connecting Huddersfield with Dewsbury began on 15 March, 1926, and was operated jointly with Yorkshire (W.D.) Electric Tramways Ltd, whilst through running, jointly with Hebble Motor Services Ltd, from Huddersfield to Bradford started on 6 December, 1927. Huddersfield had previously commenced their service on this route as far as Bailiff Bridge on I January, 1926. Bradford Corporation later participated in the joint service.

1961 CORPORATION BUSES

     The first motor bus service operated solely by Huddersfield Corporation since 1930 commenced on 9 November, 1961, in replacement of trolleybuses on the West Vale route.

Eight double deck buses by Leyland with front entrance bodies by Chas. H. Roe Ltd were acquired for the conversion. These were followed by 16 similar vehicles during 1962 and early 1963 for use in replacing the trolleybuses on the Town-Marsden route. The colour scheme used on these buses was chosen, in the first instance, to enable passengers on the new West Vale bus route to differentiate between a Corporation and a JOC bus (the latter on the Halifax joint service as far as Elland) as a higher fare scale applied on the JOC routes. The front of each Corporation bus was painted cream in a similar manner to the trolleybuses - although on the motor buses the cream was also extended to the upper deck panel, Like later trolleybuses, these buses did not have ‘HUDDERSFIELD’ on the destination blind this was replaced with ‘TOWN CENTRE’ none of the 24 Leyland PD3’s or the 6 J.O.C. PD2’s or the 18 J.O.C. AEC Regent V’s survived into preservation

1961 CORPORATION BUSES

     The first motor bus service operated solely by Huddersfield Corporation since 1930 commenced on 9 November, 1961, in replacement of trolleybuses on the West Vale route.

Eight double deck buses by Leyland with front entrance bodies by Chas. H. Roe Ltd were acquired for the conversion. These were followed by 16 similar vehicles during 1962 and early 1963 for use in replacing the trolleybuses on the Town-Marsden route. The colour scheme used on these buses was chosen, in the first instance, to enable passengers on the new West Vale bus route to differentiate between a Corporation and a JOC bus (the latter on the Halifax joint service as far as Elland) as a higher fare scale applied on the JOC routes. The front of each Corporation bus was painted cream in a similar manner to the trolleybuses - although on the motor buses the cream was also extended to the upper deck panel, Like later trolleybuses, these buses did not have ‘HUDDERSFIELD’ on the destination blind this was replaced with ‘TOWN CENTRE’ none of the 24 Leyland PD3’s or the 6 J.O.C. PD2’s or the 18 J.O.C. AEC Regent V’s survived into preservation

1967 CO-ORDINATED SERVICES

The trolleybus services on the Brackenhall-Lockwood, and Riddings-Newsome South routes were abandoned on 13 July, 1966, and replaced by Corporation motor buses. A new plan for the co-ordination of these services with certain JOC routes followed this conversion, but it was not until 6 April, 1967 that the new proposals were put into effect. New through services were then introduced as follows, worked jointly by the Corporation and JOC buses: Newsome South-Rastrick-Brighouse-Bailiff Bridge. Meltham-Netherton- Riddings-Deighton. Holme/Parkhead/Holmfirth- Brackenhall. These new services provided improved cross-town facilities.

1968 END OF THE TROLLEYBUSES

The decision made in October, 1962, resulted in the replacement of all trolleybuses with motor buses, and between the years 1964 and 1968 the Corporation purchased 26 Daimler buses with Roe bodies, and 22 with East Lancs bodies. To these were added 32 Daimler ‘Fleetlines’, again with Roe bodies to complete the fleet at 104 vehicles. The Corporation also purchased from the JOC 2 elderly railway-owned 1947 AEC Regent buses with Park Royal bodies for peak period use and repainted them in the new Corporation style with cream fronts.

The trolleybuses were gradually withdrawn continuing in February, 1964, with the Birkby—Crosland Hill route (extended into Balmoral Avenue), until on 13 July, 1968, electric traction ended.

1969 END OF THE J.O.C. & PURCHASE OF HANSONS BUSES

On 1 October, 1969, the Corporation acquired the share in the JOC then held by Amalgamated Passenger Transport Ltd, and the stage carriage services and vehicles used thereon of Hanson’s Buses Ltd, and henceforth these were operated by the Corporation.

Upon the takeover of Hanson s buses on 1 October, 1969, return tickets were available to Oldham (to July 1970) and Colne Valley High School (to 2 December, 1970).

1970 EXPANSION OF ONE MAN OPERATION

On 5 March, 1970, the first all-day double deck one-man service was introduced on the Almondbury route, and has since been considerably extended. Several of these services were on the auto-fare system which was extended further by W.Y.P.T.E.. Buses used on the auto-fare system were usually dual door Daimler Fleetlines one of which until recently was still in use by the childrens centre in Huddersfield former bus 4146 Bus fares were decimalised as from Sunday, 21 February, 1971, one week after the general introduction of decimal currency.

The last development of any note by the Passenger Transport Department was the official opening of the new Upperhead Row Bus Station on 26 March, 1974, although it did not become operational until the following December.

 1974 END OF HUDDERSFIELD CORPORATION TRANSPORT

    With the reorganisation of local government as from 1 April, 1974, the control and

 ownership of all municipal passenger transport in West Yorkshire passed to the West

 Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.

Buses soon appeared in the new livery of Verona Green and Buttermilk bearing the PTE logo of ‘WY’ in the form of a Yorkshire rose edged in black. At first each of the four districts of Leeds, Bradford, Halifax and Huddersfield had their district name alongside the rose, and the Huddersfield based vehicles sported the legend ‘Metro Kirklees’. Former Huddersfield Corporation buses could still be seen in Huddersfield’s red livery in the early nineteen eighties. Two of these buses built by Daimler 4472 former Huddersfield 472 a CVG6-30 with East Lancashire body, the other 4473 former Huddersfield 473 a Fleetline with C.H.Roe body are now preserved.

 
  Huddersfield Corporation Trolleybuses

1933 TROLLEYBUSES

Tram track renewal was, however, becoming increasingly expensive, and when the track on the Almondbury route became due for replacement, the Tramways Committee decided instead to replace the trams with trolleybuses. The first trolleybus service in Huddersfield from Byram Street to Almondbury was therefore inaugurated on 4 December, 1933, using six vehicles with varying chassis, bodies and electrical equipment with a view to evaluating the best types for local conditions.

  When the question of renewing about a mile of track in Trinity Street, Westbourne Road and New Hey Road arose in 1933 it was again decided to substitute trolleybuses on the Outlane and Lindley routes and the changeover, which was made on 11 November 1934, included the Waterloo route to which they were linked as a through service.  24 Karrier trolleybuses with Park Royal and Brush bodies were ordered for the conversion

In April 1935 a wholesale tramway abandonment scheme was approved by the Town Council, the programme being spread over five years.  Two further ‘one off’ vehicles (Nos. 31 and 32) arrived and the latter was adopted as the prototype for the future fleet; it was also the first Huddersfield trolleybus to have the familiar cream lower front panel below the windscreen, a feature retained throughout the trolleybus era.

The tramway conversion scheme proper started with the acquisition of eight further Karrier / Park Royal trolleybuses for the Newsome route in May 1937. The service was extended to Caldercliffe Road, Berry Brow, and a new route name ‘Newsome South’ was coined by the Department for this terminus.

85 Karrier trolleybuses were then ordered, this being the largest single order for such vehicles ever placed in the U.K. up to that time. 10 of these had Weymann, 10 had Brush and 65 had Park Royal bodies.  The pre-war trolleybus fleet was completed by a final order for 15 Karrier/Park Royal vehicles delivered in 1939.

A necessary preliminary as with tramcars was the inspection of each route by the Ministry of Transport (successor to the Board of Trade) before public service was sanctioned. As trolleybuses consume more power than tramcars running on their smooth rails it was found necessary to provide new sub-stations on each route to make this power available where needed. Very frequent services were the order of the day when new trolleybus routes opened, with 10/12 minute off-peak and 4/5 minute peak hour services quite typical.

Trolleybuses were painted in the same striking livery as the Joint Omnibus Committee, i.e. cream bands above and below the lower saloon windows, below the upper saloon windows (all edged with black lines), maroon below lower saloon cream bands, and Post Office red for the remaining parts. The Borough Coat of Arms appeared on each side on the maroon panel and also at the front and back of each bus.

It was not possible to operate trolleybuses on the Honley route beyond Lockwood Church as they could not negotiate the low railway bridge in Woodhead Road, and the service over this section was provided by motor buses of the Huddersfield Joint Omnibus Committee with an annual adjustment to the Corporation of £2922. When war came in September, 1939, only the Brighouse service remained to be changed over, the conversion having been delayed due to a problem in connection with the running of trolleybuses over the L.M.S. Railway bridge in Gooder Lane, Brighouse. After various tests the L.M.S. ultimately agreed to trolleybuses crossing the bridge at a dead slow speed in the central part of the road and subject to the bridge being strengthened. Meanwhile the Weymann bodied Karriers (116 to 125) were stored in brand new condition, whilst difficulties were encountered in maintaining the remaining tramcars in good condition.

The last tram ran on 29 June 1940 with trolleybuses taking over the Brighouse route on the following day.  The trolleybus fleet now consisted of 140 vehicles and Huddersfield was in a more fortunate position than many other operators as its fleet was almost new and no further replacements were necessary for the duration of the war.

The trolleybuses operated from a new depot built at Longroyd Bridge utilising the 1921 tram depot and the old 1901 Car Shed & Power Station areas, the old buildings on these sites being demolished. The 1921 tram depot is still in existence at present, only the wall flanking St. Thomas’ Road having been rebuilt in stone. This is the building now used by a window firm.

A change in managership in 1941 resulted in vehicles being painted in Post Office red all over apart from the cream bands.  No trolleybus was ever painted in the grey or khaki wartime liveries seen in some towns and cities. During the emergency the trolleybuses were called upon to carry very heavy passenger loads, and the Karrier E6s proved equal to the task. Services were still running on frequent headways as they were unaffected by the reduction in fuel imports. On the other hand motor bus services were reduced in frequency and had an earlier close-down each evening.

     When peace returned 52 new Karrier (Sunbeam) MS2 vehicles with Park Royal 70 seat bodies were ordered, the first eight of which arrived in 1947 at a cost to the department of £4802 each.  The remainder followed over the next two years to replace the ageing Karriers and the twelve Karrier/Brush bodied 1934 vehicles were sold to Reading Corporation for further service, although only six actually ran again, the others being used as a source of spare parts.

      On 27 March, 1949, the first all-round fare increase for almost 30 years was imposed, but post-war conditions, without the stable economy of the inter-war years, have made periodic fare increases unavoidable.  In the year ended 31 March, 1949, Huddersfield trolleybuses carried the largest number of passengers during their existence, i.e. 61,255,937!

     A programme of re-bodying 28 of the tram-replacement Karrier E6 trolleybuses with new body shells by Charles. H. Roe Ltd was embarked upon in 1949, a scheme which gave these vehicles a further 10 to 12 years of life.. 14 Sunbeam trolleybuses with similar but longer Roe bodies were acquired in 1951.

Post-war extensions were made into housing estates at Brackenhall and Riddings in March, 1949, whilst the Bradley (Keldregate) branch was opened in April, 1956, and proved to be the last trolleybus extension.

During the 1950s the rebodying policy was extended to include trolleybuses built after the war, and a further 41 vehicles were given this treatment, the last as late as 1962.  During the same period 24 B.U.T. vehicles with bodywork by East Lancashire Coachbuilders were delivered in two batches (1953 and 1956). The last order for trolleybuses made by Huddersfield was for 10 Sunbeam/East Lancs vehicles and these were added to the fleet late in 1959 and were the last three-axle trolleybuses built for service in the U.K.

By the early 1960s it was found that the trolleybus was in the same position as the tramcar had been 30 years earlier, i.e. the cost of replacing overhead equipment, copper wire, and the price of electricity had increased to the extent as to make trolleybus operation uneconomic. This was particularly relevant at a time when increasing traffic called for road widening and route diversions and the expansion of the suburbs called for route extensions.  Motor buses also cost less to buy and they were more flexible.

The Brighouse (1955) and West Vale (1961) routes had already been taken off before a lengthy debate in October, 1962, at which the Town Council decided to replace all trolleybuses by motor buses. The decision made in October, 1962 resulted in the replacement of all trolleybuses with motor buses. 

To the 24 Roe-bodied Leylands already ordered the Corporation purchased between 1964 and 1966 48 Daimler buses (26 with Roe bodies and 22 with East Lancs). To these were added 32 Daimler ‘Fleetlines’, again with Roe bodies, in 1967-68 to complete the fleet at 104 vehicles. For a time they also operated two elderly 1947 AEC Regent buses with Park Royal bodies purchased from the J.O.C. for peak period use, repainted in the new Corporation style with cream fronts.

Huddersfield’s last trolleybuses ran on the Waterloo-Lindley/Outlane route on Saturday 13 July, 1968. Crowds of well-wishers lined the route to say farewell to a form of transport which had been held in very high regard by the people of Huddersfield for 35 years. Apart from local pride, the Huddersfield system was renowned throughout the U.K. for its high standard of services, vehicles and maintenance.

Two of the last trolleybuses, 619 (KVH219) a 1956 B.U.T. and 631 (PVH931) a 1959 Sunbeam S7, both with East Lancashire 72 seat bodies are now preserved, along with the first post-war trolleybus 541 (CVH741) at The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft.   

Sadly, however one of the pre-war vehicles which had survived as late as 2003 was destroyed when the body collapsed.  No. 70 (AVH470) which cost the department £2131 in 1938 had run 436,667 miles in service when it was sold in 1952 to Epsom and Ewell Council for £50. They used it for 20 years at Epsom racecourse as a mobile toilet; since then it had been kept in the hope that one day it could be restored, now only the chassis remains.

 
  Huddersfield J.O.C. Single Deck

 

1930 HUDDERSFIELD JOINT OMNIBUS COMMITTEE

     References to a possible formation of a joint omnibus undertaking between the Corporation and the London Midland and Scottish Railway Company first appeared in March, 1929, when the latter offered to purchase one half of the motor buses and services of Huddersfield Corporation. Agreement was subsequently reached and a Joint Committee formed consisting of four representatives each from the Corporation and the Railway Company. The first meeting was held in Huddersfield Town Hall on 25 June, 1930, at which all formalities and methods of administration were considered and approved. A total of 68 motor buses were transferred to the new Committee consisting of 44 Karrier and 16 AEC single deck buses, and 4 AEC and 4 Karrier double deck buses.           

    The oldest vehicles of this fleet had been acquired in May, 1926, although in these days the life-expectancy for a motor bus was only six years. A dark maroon and cream livery similar to that already in use was decided upon, and a new crest embodying half of the LMS Railway Company’s crest and part of the Borough Coat of Arms encircled by a red belt, upon which the Joint Committee’s full name appeared. Later, on 13 June, 1932, the Committee attributed ownership of the even-numbered buses to Huddersfield Corporation, and the odd-numbered to the LMS. There were two exceptions to this rule, i.e. Bus No. 69 went to the Corporation, and No. 76 to the Railway Company! The name of the vehicle owner was clearly shown in the legal lettering on each bus, but with the common address of 66 John William Street, Huddersfield, which was the address of the Tramways Department’s Head Office. A change in livery was made after the delivery of the Corporation’s last tramcars in 1931/32. 

    In1932 the first heavy oil-engined buses as opposed to the normal petrol-engined vehicles were acquired. These were AEC Regals. In 1934 three, three axle 1930 Karrier Consort which had cost £2016-17-6 each and one two axle Karrier Monitor which had cost £1776-17-6, were withdrawn from service the Hall Lewis double deck bodies were remounted by Park Royal for £750 each onto new two axle AEC Regent chassis which were £972-15-0, these were four of six buses sold to Bournemouth Corporation for a total of £2,600. Two of these have survived into preservation 119 (VH6188) awaits restoration and 120 (VH6217) was converted with a Lee Motors tower wagon body. 

The Road Traffic Act of 1930 regularised the issue of route licences and put an end to pirate bus operation. In June, 1934 the JOC bought out the buses and services of Wilson Haigh Ltd of Holmfirth, and operated them from the 23rd of that month. These routes were in the Honley, Holmfirth, Meltham and Marsden areas. Co-ordination of the rest of the independently-operated services in the Colne Valley by the JOC and Hanson’s Buses Ltd was under discussion in 1938, and the possibility of a complete take-over of Hanson’s Buses Ltd was considered but not then proceeded with, Hansons also ran a service to Uppermill and Oldham.

1939 WARTIME

The outbreak of war in September, 1939, and the need to economise in fuel imports necessitated a reduction in the frequencies of all motor bus services, particularly during mid-morning and late evening off-peak periods. As new time tables were required it was an ideal opportunity to carry out the Come Valley co-ordination. This took place as from 23 September, 1939. Special Bell Punch tickets over-printed ‘CVS’ (Colne Valley Services) were then used by both operators. The effect was that the Scapegoat Hill, Crimble, Golcar via Scar Lane and via Leymoor routes now became jointly operated by the JOC and Hansons, and buses of the company were seen for the first time on the Crimble route and beyond Golcar Town End in the Bolster Moor and Scapegoat Hill areas. The JOC ran summer on the Blackmoorfoot service and Hansons the winter. The JOC withdrew from working the Linthwaite (Heights) service Hansons ran to Meltham via Linthwaite and Helme, and the joint service to Marsden which duplicated the new trolleybus service was withdrawn completely, but Hansons continued to run to Oldham via Marsden and Uppermill, Lindley-Newsome, Byram St-Weatherhill services.

In January, 1940, single deck bus No. 3 was adapted for use as a mobile theatre for the entertainment of members of the forces serving in isolated camps around the Huddersfield area. The then Manager, Mr H. C. Godsmark took a keen interest in this venture.

  Another wartime measure was the painting of some JOC motor buses in ‘Battleship Grey’ but still retaining one cream waist band edged in black. To allow for a total of 24 standing passengers, the seats in 24 of the single deck buses were moved to a longitudinal position along each side of the bus. This increased the carrying capacity particularly at peak periods when the frequencies were restricted. The new all-red livery first used on trolleybuses in 1941 was also applied to motor buses after the war, but they still carried the joint crest on each side. The crest, however, later gave way to a cream transfer similar to that used on trolleybuses showing ‘HUDDERSFIELD’ with ‘Joint Omnibus Services’ on a black-edged cream line underneath.

Since the formation of the JOC and up to 1939 AEC buses had predominated mainly with Brush and Park Royal bodies, but small numbers had bodies by Metropolitan Cammell Weymann, Northern Counties and Cravens. The first of the low-bridge double deck vehicles arrived in 1943, a type which was used principally on the Holme Valley routes to minimise the risk of accident under the low railway bridge in Woodhead Road, Lockwood.

1945 PEACETIME & LOWBRIDGE BUSES

 The low-bridge fleet eventually totalled 43 buses, 19 Daimler, and 24 AEC with a mixture of Brush, Duple, Northern Coachbuilders, and East Lancs bodies. These buses could also be used in place of single deckers on the Kirkheaton route, as they could clear the low bridge at Kirkheaton Station. One a 1945 Daimler CWA6, bus 217 (CCX777) with 55 seat Duple body which had cost £2676-5-0 and Three AEC Regent III’s 1949, 225 (ECX425) with Northern Coachbuilders 55 seat body which had cost £4014-2-3 and 1954, 234 (HVH234) which cost £4165-14-4 and 1955, 243 (JVH343) both with East Lancashire body’s are all now preserved.

1952 ONE MAN OPERATION 

Daimler single deckers with Willowbrook bodies had also featured in the fleet. But in two new experimental one-man single deck buses (Nos. I and 2) supplied by Guy Motors Ltd with under-floor engines were put into service on 1 January, 1952, on the long route to Marsden and Slaithwaite via New Mill, Scholes, Holmflrth and Meltham, and proved to be the forerunners of a fleet of similar vehicles for use on quieter routes. A unique feature of the ‘Ultimate’ tickets initially used on these buses was the fact that the serial numbers were printed ‘upside down’ to enable them to be easily read by the driver when making out his way-bill. Bus 1 (FVH1) with Park Royal Guy body cost £4131 and is the only Huddersfield single deck bus to be preserved.

The return ticket facility on the joint service to Dewsbury was withdrawn on 20 June, 1964. This had been the only route upon which such tickets had been available for many years.

In post-war years the JOC remained faithful to AEC double deck buses, generally with Park Royal, East Lancashire and Roe bodies two highbridge AEC Regent III with East Lancashire body 178 (JVH378)  and 181 (JVH381) are preserved.

 In 1962 when they acquired Leylands and Daimlers both with bodywork by Roe. The JOC ceased to exist on 30 September, 1969, when the Corporation took over the railway-owned portion of the undertaking; as part of the deal Huddersfield withdrew from operating on the Huddersfield-Dewsbury and Halifax-Huddersfield-Sheffield services.

Since railway nationalisation on 1 January, 1948 the railway-owned part of the JOC had successively been vested in The Railway Executive, British Transport Commission, British Railways Board, and finally Amalgamated Passenger Transport Ltd whose names had appeared as legal owners on the sides of odd-numbered buses over the years.

1967 CO-ORDINATED SERVICES

The trolleybus services on the Brackenhall-Lockwood, and Riddings-Newsome South routes were abandoned on 13 July, 1966, and replaced by Corporation motor buses. A new plan for the co-ordination of these services with certain JOC routes followed this conversion, but it was not until 6 April, 1967 that the new proposals were put into effect. New through services were then introduced as follows, worked jointly by the Corporation and JOC buses: Newsome South-Rastrick-Brighouse-Bailiff Bridge. Meltham-Netherton- Riddings-Deighton. Holme/Parkhead/Holmfirth- Brackenhall. These new services provided improved cross-town facilities.

1969 END OF THE J.O.C. & PURCHASE OF HANSONS BUSES

On 1 October, 1969, the Corporation acquired the share in the JOC then held by Amalgamated Passenger Transport Ltd, and the stage carriage services and vehicles used thereon of Hanson’s Buses Ltd, and henceforth these were operated by the Corporation. Upon the takeover of Hanson s buses on 1 October, 1969, return tickets were available to Oldham (to July 1970) and Colne Valley High School (to 2 December, 1970).

 

 

Huddersfield Illustrated Fleetlist

Huddersfield Passenger Transport Group