The above wonderful and evocative image was supplied by reader and friend of the blog Tony Martin, who spotted this classic Harpers bus in 1974. The destination board reads ‘Streetly Works’ and I guess it was performing one of the many services that used to run to local factories. Streetly works was of course the BIP, now long since gone.
I can remember riding on the top deck of one of these to Cannock with my dad when I was little. I still remember the smokey atmosphere, and the clippy with the leather satchel and hand-wound ticket machine. I recall well eagerly wiping the condensation from the front window with my sleeve…
There was still a works service that operated every morning to the BRD (latterly GKN Driveline) from Brownhills until at least the mid 1990s.
Tony had this to say:
With the open day at the former Aston Manor Transport Manor this weekend, I thought you might be interested in this photo of a Harpers bus (2 if you look carefully!) in Northgate, Aldridge in 1974.
The bus began life with St Helens Corporation, in Lancashire. It is identical to the RT buses which were entering service in London in the early 1950s. At that time, Mr R. Edgley Cox was in charge at St Helens before moving to Walsall in 1952, and as he had worked a t London Transport too, perhaps this is not surprising.
The bus is an AEC Regent III. Whilst at Walsall Mr cox bought five of the Leyland version of these buses, known as RTls.
In the background is one of Harper’s Daimler Fleetlines, probably on its way from Birmingham to Cannock. It seems this vehicle still exists, but in a sorry state.
Thanks to Tony for that wonderful bit of ephemera, and a great trip down memory lane, and it’s a great opportunity to plug the open day today at Aston Manor Road Transport Museum, in Aldridge, at Shenstone Drive.
Today (Sunday, 17th March 2012), there will be a ‘Museum Re-Awakening’ event, where the general public can pop in, explore, take a ride on vintage busses, browse stalls of transport ephemera, have a shufty around and hopefully help shape this valuable collection’s future.
The people behind this museum really want to meet you, and hear what you have to say – the event runs from 10am to 5pm, is £5 for adults, £4 for kids or £15 for a family ticket. Vintage bus rides are free throughout the day.
There will be presentations about the museum at 12:00pm and 2:30pm.
This is sure to be a great event – please do pop along. The collection needs the support of the public to survive, and it really is a wonderful thing.