Photo © West Yorkshire Information Service Collection. Please do not re-post without permission.
The official opening of the new Pateley Bridge Bus Station took place on Thursday 29 March 1956, when Mrs J.A.Gill, wife of Councillor J.A.Gill, Vice Chairman of the Ripon & Pateley Bridge Rural District Council, cut a ribbon to allow the entry of West Yorkshire SGL5, JWU875, a Bristol LL5G with ECW B39R body, new in November 1950 as 405, renumbered to SGL 5 in May 1954 and with freshly repainted silver chassis for this occasion.
The new Bus Station, on King Street, had been in use since January 1956 and replaced a 1930s depot building in the Station yard, which was then rented out to Longster Brothers. The new site was adjacent to where buses already terminated, but they had previously loaded in King Street itself; the new depot was high enough to accommodate double deckers, though none were ever allocated there, but it was used for storage of new or delicensed vehicles for many years, having a capacity in excess of the allocation. The depot and bus station continued in use until after deregulation and privatisation, but the rear part of the site was then sold for housing development, with the depot building itself being sold to another local operator, Motley of Blazefield near Pateley Bridge, for re-use. The front part of the bus station site, approximately where the bus is standing, was retained for a single bus stand, which is still in use.
In the photo we can assume that Mrs. Gill is on the extreme right; the tall, white-haired, gentleman on the left is probably Councillor Gill; the West Yorkshire General Manager, Mr. H.N.Tuff, will be one of the trilby hatted gentlemen in the centre, and the bus conductor will be one of the two uniformed gentlemen on the left, the other no doubt being an Inspector. Who the flat capped youth next to Mrs Gill is will remain a mystery. To the left of the bus can be seen a small crowd of Pateley Bridge residents.
The crane in the background is in a goods yard for the Nidd Valley Branch of the railway. The station itself was to the left, across High Street, but this small yard and the accompanying single line level crossing, remained at this time. Originally the line continued, to the right of the photo, to link up with Bradford Corporation's Nidd Valley Light Railway, but by this date that was long gone.
Photo taken by West Yorkshire Road Car/WYIS Collection, Thursday 29 March 1956, Pateley Bridge Bus Station
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