Hereford depot 144 working

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AdamH
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Hereford depot 144 working

Post by AdamH » 13:11 Wednesday 29th November 2017

I’ve heard several stories of Hereford depot providing the odd duplicate vehicle from Malvern Wells for the 144 during busy holiday times, but I never thought they worked a scheduled journey. However, just been chatting to a retired Hereford driver and he said that on Bank Holiday Monday’s they used to work a service from Ludlow to Birmingham using a D5. This was a one-way trip so they would get home by working a full 144 from Birmingham to Malvern Wells, then out of service back to the depot.

TimBrown
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Re: Hereford depot 144 working

Post by TimBrown » 15:49 Wednesday 29th November 2017

AdamH wrote:
13:11 Wednesday 29th November 2017
I’ve heard several stories of Hereford depot providing the odd duplicate vehicle from Malvern Wells for the 144 during busy holiday times, but I never thought they worked a scheduled journey. However, just been chatting to a retired Hereford driver and he said that on Bank Holiday Monday’s they used to work a service from Ludlow to Birmingham using a D5. This was a one-way trip so they would get home by working a full 144 from Birmingham to Malvern Wells, then out of service back to the depot.
All sorts of strange workings used the A38 through Fernhill Heath on Bank Holiday Mondays in the 1950s and 1960s. I can't ever remember seeing a Hereford double-deck working a 144, but vaguely remember Hereford single-deckers working North to Birmingham. Not sure if they ran in service from Hereford all the way, and I seem to remember buses carrying service 188, but that may have been after the M5 was opened. Not many came back that way so I assume these buses were used to other popular destinations such as Stourport and Ludlow.

I can remember travelling between Worcester and Birmingham on Bromsgrove's S15 4603, D7 4742 and Worcester S13 3900 in service along the M5; the latter was overtaken on the motorway by S6 3069 with a standing load!

Many Black-Country garages sent buses for the 144 from Birmingham to Worcester and Malvern including Oldbury, Sheepcote Street, Sutton and Bearwood. Even a report of a Dudley GD6 making the trip one summer in the 1950's. I believe the Guy and Daimler utilities were used just after WWII. Up to 20 'Oldbury extra' buses would be lined up on Worcestershire Farmers (now Worcester University) forecourt opposite Newport Street bus station all afternoon and used to shift hundreds of passengers queuing back to Broad Street for a Birmingham bus in the early evening. I'm told a similar sight could be seen on the then car park at Link Top, to take them home from The Hills.

MattW
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Re: Hereford depot 144 working

Post by MattW » 18:28 Wednesday 29th November 2017

I'm glad it's not still like that, it's hard enough to ride my bike on the Hills without mowing down hordes of grockles now! :twisted:

JustinTyme
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Re: Hereford depot 144 working

Post by JustinTyme » 19:45 Wednesday 29th November 2017

During the post war period the 420 ran hourly on Saturdays. I have read that at least some Saturday 420s operated by Hereford garage continued through to Birmingham on the 144. This was never advertised as far as I know, but I think I read that buses showed 'Birmingham 144' throughout northbound and 'Hereford 420' throughout southbound.

Can anyone confirm?

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AdamH
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Re: Hereford depot 144 working

Post by AdamH » 20:45 Wednesday 29th November 2017

JustinTyme wrote:
19:45 Wednesday 29th November 2017
During the post war period the 420 ran hourly on Saturdays. I have read that at least some Saturday 420s operated by Hereford garage continued through to Birmingham on the 144. This was never advertised as far as I know, but I think I read that buses showed 'Birmingham 144' throughout northbound and 'Hereford 420' throughout southbound.

Can anyone confirm?
My 1940 Birmingham area timetable shows both the 420 and 417 running through to and from Birmingham, advertised as "Birmingham and Hereford", but it also has the note "Passengers Change at Worcester". This was before Newport Bus Station was opened so the Worcester terminus was at Angel Place, and the gap between arriving and departing ranged from between 22-minutes and no minutes at all. I did wonder if the immediate departure was the same bus working through, but looking at the 144 timetable it would seem these continued to Malvern Wells so I guess not.

In the same timetable is Sunday-only Service 424, Birmingham to Hereford, that was just one return journey over the 144/420 route... See here.

I also have a 1944 Service 420 leaflet which is marked "Revised Timetable (By Order of the Ministry of War Transport)". This makes no mention of a through service to Birmingham. Service 424 is listed in the table of content but there are no times for it shown in the timetable so I guess it had been withdrawn by then.

The 420 was always a single-deck working due to the low railway bridge between Hereford and Burley Gate. Linking the 420 with 144 may not have been too practical because of this.

chason
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Re: Hereford depot 144 working

Post by chason » 08:42 Thursday 30th November 2017

The 144 on Bank Holidays in the 1950's was a bus spotters dream with duplicates running every few minutes, some only to Worcester but many through to Great Malvern and some the entire route to Malvern Wells.

I don't recall ever seeing a HD bus on the 144 in my time although it clearly must have happened. My recollection was that HD vehicles more or less took over the Malvern local services on Bank Holiday Mondays thus freeing most of the MN fleet for turns on the 144. Apart from the usual 144 garages, Cradley Heath, Dudley, Hartshill and particularly Oldbury buses used to feature along with occasional vehicles from Bearwood and Sutton. A wide variety of buses were used with the highlights for me the occasional GD6's from DY and various wartime rebuilt deckers with the 'stepped' nearside front wings, none of which normally reached Malvern or Worcester.

I can also recall at about the same period, HD having a regular turn on one of the MN local services, presumably between journeys on the 477 (Hereford to Great Malvern). I think it must have been an M22 (one of the Malvern Link routes) because I remember the HD crew once taking the wrong turn at the top of Somers Park Avenue and turning into Albert Park Road instead of Newtown Road and me guiding them back on to the correct route by way of Queens Road.

TimBrown
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Re: Hereford depot 144 working

Post by TimBrown » 08:55 Thursday 30th November 2017

AdamH wrote:
13:11 Wednesday 29th November 2017
I’ve heard several stories of Hereford depot providing the odd duplicate vehicle from Malvern Wells for the 144 during busy holiday times, but I never thought they worked a scheduled journey. However, just been chatting to a retired Hereford driver and he said that on Bank Holiday Monday’s they used to work a service from Ludlow to Birmingham using a D5. This was a one-way trip so they would get home by working a full 144 from Birmingham to Malvern Wells, then out of service back to the depot.
Something has been bothering me about a Hereford double-decker working 144 from Birmingham to Malvern Wells, just what route did the driver use to run out of service back to depot. No problem for a single decker - straight on via British Camp and Ledbury, but the D5(B) wouldn't fit under Ledbury railway bridge. Hereford double-deckers always came to Worcester or Carlyle Works via Fromes Hill. Did they risk low trees along Cowleigh Road from Great Malvern to Storridge or come all the way back to St Johns in Worcester and take the Bransford Road?

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AdamH
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Re: Hereford depot 144 working

Post by AdamH » 11:48 Thursday 30th November 2017

The low bridge in Ledbury is on the Bosbury Road. The one on the Hereford is so high it isn’t marked with a limit.

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