Photo © John Stringer. Please do not re-post without permission.
Halifax J.O.C. 253, ECP953D, an AEC Reliance 6MU3R with Pennine B39F body, new in 1966.
Brrrr......! I can still feel the harsh cold air in the back of my throat, frozen fingers and wet shoes !
A J.O.C. bus on loan to the Corporation (an increasingly frequent occurrence by the late 1960's) stands at Shibden (Route 33) terminus. It had approached down Blake Hill End from the right, swung sharply round to its left to where I was about to stand to take the photo, then reversed back to where it is now standing - a track leading to the farm where our milkman lived. A long closed (1947) beerhouse called 'The Merryboys', only recently demolished, stood just off to the right, and the terminus was usually referred to as Merryboys terminus - Shibden actually being the name of the entire valley rather than a specific place.
At 27ft 6in long and 7ft 6in wide these little Reliances with their short overhangs were the ideal size for these sort of routes with their narrow lanes, tight corners and awkward reversing at termini. The keen brakes on slippery and badly worn road surfaces were however always to be wary of.
Later, when these had been sold, the Shibden route was operated by ever larger buses, at first 30 footers, then 33 footers and later 37ft B10Ms and B10B's. Turning here then became a very precise art with only an inch or two to spare. The service - long since extended to Northowram and now numbered 534 is today operated by Centrebus using Solos.
Photo taken by John Stringer, February 1969, Shibden Terminus, Paddock Road/Blake Hill End
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