SCT '61
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Photo © Alan R Hall. Please do not re-post without permission.

OK Motor Services acquired KJX3G, an AEC Reliance 6U2R with Alexander DP53F bodywork, in October 1975. It had been new to Hebble, 3, in May 1969 with C49F bodywork. The following year it was renumbered 503 and passed to West Riding in August 1971 who numbered it 100; three months later it was again renumbered, this time to 272. On withdrawal in February 1975 it passed to North's from whom OKMS purchased it. It had been re-seated as above by the time it entered service in April 1976. Safe in the knowledge that it wouldn't suffer any more identity crises as OK didn't go in for anything as vulgar as fleet numbers, it gave sterling service until withdrawal in February 1982; it was used for spares and the remains went to Blacket's of Butterknowle for scrap.
The sun was sinking slowly in the west as it was photographed at the terminus of the Woodland service, one of its regular haunts. One of my fellow former part-timers recently described this terminus on flickr as being in the middle of nowhere outside of a village which itself was in the middle of nowhere! That just about sums it up; it must have been a bleak spot to spend your 15 minute layovers on winter nights.

For many years this service continued via Eggleston and Middleton-in-Teesdale to High Force and at one time there was a summer extension further up Teesdale to Langdon Beck. This had been abandoned by the time the High Force service and an outstation at Middleton were discontinued at the end of August 1963 after which the service terminated at Woodland. Until 1971 United Auto operated their own service between Bishop and Woodland via Toft Hill from an outststation in Woodland; this operated hourly on Saturday between late morning and early evening but, after withdrawal by United, was restructured by OK. The Bishop-Woodland via Cockfield was also operated hourly on Saturdays into the 1980s but there are now no through buses at all between Bishop and Woodland with passengers having to change buses at Cockfield from Arriva onto an irregular subsidised service operated by The Eden (the name having been recently resurrected) which extends three times per day to Barnard Castle.

Photo taken by Alan Hall, 1976, Middleton Road, Woodland, County Durham

©1976-2017 Alan R Hall All Rights Reserved.
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Photo ref: hb3. Page and photo added August 2012
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