Photo © Alan R Hall. Please do not re-post without permission.
Making its ownership pretty clear, KUP155J stands at the Burnhope terminus of the service from Stanley, formerly operated by Armstrong's of Ebchester. It was a Bedford VAM70 with Plaxton DP45F bodywork which had been new to Armstrong in 1971 and was acquired by Robert Fulton of Sacriston, along with the service, in 1974.
The Stanley to Burnhope service (along with a two-hourly summer only Saturday service between Burnhope and Durham via Peartree and Holmside) had belonged to J S Mowbray (one of the operators of the Diamond Bus Service) but was sold to Armstrong in 1952. Being some distance from his Ebchester depot, Armstrong opened a small depot at Annfield Plain from which to operate these services. After 1974 Armstrong's stage carriage interests were concentrated on their main moneyspinner between Consett and Hat & Feather. (That service didn't go anywhere near Ebchester either but it was a lot closer!).
The daily Burnhope to Durham service, which until 1930 had been shared by Carr, Hather and Hammel of the Diamond, before being transferred to Mowbray was given up in 1950. Subsequently it became somewhat notorious locally, being tried by a number of firms including General of Chester-le-Street and Kingsway of Langley Park, but often only for a matter of weeks! Eventually Mowbray and J H Hammel agreed in 1963 to provide one journey in to Durham during the morning peak and a return journey during the evening peak, exchanging the duty weekly; effectively it duplicated the Stanley service between Edmondsley and Durham and would have been provided anyway but this arrangement ensured that no other company would try to operate the route.
Photo taken by Alan Hall, 1974, Burnhope, War Memorial
©1974-2017 Alan R Hall All Rights Reserved.
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