Cradley Heath Depot
Forge Lane, Cradley Heath (depot code: CY, later CH)
- Purpose built by Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Company Limited (BMMO—Midland “Red” Motor Services) with three bays, red brick frontage, an Enquiry and Booking Office, and an initial capacity
for 70 vehicles. It was also built with a Air Raid shelter to
comply with building regulations of the time, and had a large forecourt
and adjacent land for parking and posible future development.
- Opened on 27th March 1939, with an allocation of
approx 30 vehicles, using depot code CY.
- During World War II the depot housed 15 ambulance buses.
- Fitted with Centralised Dock for vehicle overhauls in 1946, with
approx 300 vehicles from local depots being overhauled from this site
per yer by the early 1950s.
- One-man operated vehicles used from the depot for the first time
The first set of services converted were Service
230 Blackheath–Dudley, Service 231 Blackheath–Cradley
Heath, and Service 232 Old Hill–Blackheath.
- Depot allocation of 37 vehicles in February 1967, made up of 20
double-deck and 17 single-deck buses.
- Depot code changed to CH in May 1968.
- Closed on 28th May 1971, with vehicles and operations
shared between Dudley depot,
Harts Hill depot,
and Oldbury depot.
Following reductions in the Black Country
services, BMMO had intended to close the smaller and older Harts
Hill depot and divide their work
throughout the other garages in the area, but the union at Cradley
Heath depot at the time were very militant and were not co-operating
regarding the take over of their share of Harts Hill services.
The decision was therefore made to close Cradley Heath depot instead,
and transfer their work to other garages.
- Depot temporarily reopened by the Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Company
Limited (BMMO—Midland “Red” Motor Services) on
1st November 1973, due to the pending West Midland
Passenger Transport Executive (WMPTE) takeover of other garages.
See the “Transfer
of BMMO Services and Assets to the West Midlands PTE” page
in the “History”
section of this website for further details of the transfer.
- Company renamed to Midland Red Omnibus Company Limited (MROC)
on 29th March 1974. Depot allocation of 36 vehicles
at this time.
- Depot closed on 6th February 1977, following the
opening of Cannock depot.
- Now in use as a Mountain Bike Shop (“Hawks Cycles”).