[photogallery/HJOC BUS photos/real.htm]



by  Roy Brook  and  John S. Hinchliffe


     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1930 Karrier Consort which had cost £2016-17-6 each and one two axle Karrier Monitor which had cost £1776-17-6, were withdrawn from service the Hall Lewis double deck bodies were remounted by Park Royal for £750 each onto new two axle AEC Regent chassis which were £972-15-0, these were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.


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.


 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.


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.


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.


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).