Midland “Red” Sites in Leicester
Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Company Limited (BMMO—Midland “Red” Motor Services) first started operating bus services in Leicester on Wednesday 11th May 1921, when Service 68 operated by Nuneaton (Burgage Walk) garage between Nuneaton, Hinckley, Barwell and Earl Shilton was extended to Leicester (The Newarke). This was followed within a few months by services from Coventry and Tamworth, operated by Coventry garage and Tamworth (Two Gates) depot respectively.
BMMO operations in Leicester expanded rapidly and the first of several depots in the City opened on Saturday 26th August 1922, ready for a new network of services to start during the following month. By the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, the Leicester operations had expanded to become the largest operated by BMMO outside of Birmingham.
Peacock Lane, Leicester LE1 5PX
- Purpose built bus garage located behind existing building on the eastern side Southgate Street, to the south of the junction with Peacock Lane. Main vehicle entrance was between existing buildings leading on to Southgate Street, with an additional side entrance onto Peacock Lane built with brick pillars topped by a decorative stone beam carrying the “Midland” fleet name. Newspaper reports from time state that initial capacity was for 110 vehicles, but this number later dropped to 90 as vehicle sizes grew.
- Site officially opened by BMMO on Monday 27th June 1927, with a luncheon reception for local dignitaries and press. Site operational from Thursday 21st July 1927, replacing Leicester (Frog Island) depot and Leicester (Welford Road) garage which both closed at this time.
- Large three-story, brick-built office block with decretive stonework is built at 12 Peacock Lane, alongside the side vehicle entrance.
- Buildings along Southgate Street in front of the depot were acquired and demolished during c. 1931 to make way for an out-door coach station and brick-built enquiry office.
- Company renamed to Midland Red Omnibus Company Limited (MROC) on Friday 29th March 1974, with a depot allocation of 71 vehicles and approximately 257 staff at this time.
- Midland Red Omnibus Company Limited (MROC) ceased trading as bus operator at the end of trading on Saturday 5th September 1981. Midland Red (East) Limited take control of all Southgates Street depot vehicles, staff and operations from Sunday 6th September 1981.
- Midland Red (East) Limited trading as Midland Fox from Sunday 15th January 1984.
- Midland Red (East) Limited (trading as “Midland Fox”) privatised as Midland Fox Limited in a management buy-out in August 1987. Two Stevensons of Uttoxeter Limited directors, David Stevenson and Julian Peddle took a 40% company share in Midland Fox Limited.
- Stevensons of Uttoxeter Limited, Spath, and the 40% share of Midland Fox Limited owned by David Stevenson and Julian Peddle passed to British Bus Group Limited in June 1994.
- British Bus Group Limited acquired by the Cowie Group PLC on Thursday 1st August 1996.
- Cowie Group PLC renamed to Arriva PLC on Thursday 6th November 1997.
- Midland Fox Limited renamed to Arriva Fox County Limited on Thursday 2nd April 1998.
- Building frontage listed.
- Arriva Fox Country Limited renamed to Arriva Midlands Limited on Tuesday 24th October 2006.
- Site closed after the end of services on Saturday 11th July 2009, with operations passed to Coalville depot, Leicester (Wigston) depot and Thurmaston depot. Coach operations moved to Arriva Midlands Derby depot.
- Most part of building demolished, with listed frontage saved.