Don't Forget The Crew

Photo © Eric Bawden. Please do not re-post without permission.

Hanson rebuild 370, VVH350 with 1962 Roe H37/28F body. This bus had started life as Duple bodied Regal III coach 294, EVH 807 in 1950.The front end was modernised by Plaxton in 1953/4, then the chassis was rebuilt by Hanson in 1962 and bodied as a double decker by Roe.
A poor quality Instamatic shot, but posted for the crew interest.

The driver is Bob Richardson and the conductor, a lively cockney character, Bill Harris.
370 is pictured in Meltham bus station in the summer of 1968.

A full return journey to Huddersfield was timetabled at 29 minutes each way. As buses for and from Huddersfield left each terminus on the hour and half-hour, there was, in theory a one minute layover at each terminus. This was seldom the case and buses very often ran anything up to ten minutes late at busy periods.

None the less, at quieter periods, and with somewhat 'lively' driving on the country lanes and less populated parts of the route time could be kept.

When I took this photo, 370 was using copious quantities of water. It was during the summer school holidays and my friend Alan and I would play cricket in his back garden, then at 25 past the hour would get on our bikes, cycle the quarter of a mile to Meltham bus station, each with a gallon can of water balanced on the handlebars, to meet 370's twenty-nine minute past the hour arrival in Meltham, and give it a long deserving drink!
I took this photo on one of those occasions.

All in all, great days and we kept Hanson's running that summer, so it shows, it's not always down to just the dedication of the crews!!

Bill's son Tony was also a omo driver for Hansons.
He had the dubious hounour of driving 1964 Reliance rebuild 383, BCX 485B on the Oldham route on 21st Sept. 1967 when it caught fire on the remote A62 Standedge Pass. Marsden and Slaithwaite fire brigades attended and the bus was saved.

3 weeks later he was driving sister rebuild 384 on the same route with the last bus from Oldham when again, it caught fire on the climb to Standedge.
This time appliances from the Lancashire side attended, but 384 was totally destroyed.

Life was never dull with Hansons!

Photo taken by Eric Bawden, Summer 1968, Meltham Bus Station, Kirklees

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