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.
Station Street, South Wigston, Leicester LE18 4TH
- Depot purpose built by Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Company Limited (BMMO—Midland “Red” Motor Services) to provide additional capacity in the Leicester area. Capacity was for 65 vehicles accommodated indoors, with additional outdoor parking at the rear.
- Opened by Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Company Limited (BMMO—Midland “Red” Motor Services) on Saturday 5th October 1957, as an outstation for Leicester (Southgates Street) depot using depot code: SS. Initial allocation was a mixture of forty single and double-deck buses transferred from Leicester (Southgates Street) depot and Leicester (Sandacre Street) depot.
- Upgraded to a full depot status in late 1960, and allocated depot code: WS.
(Note: For ease of identification, vehicles allocated to Wigston garage are listed on this website with depot code WS from the time the garage opened in October 1957, although in practice this code was not used until 1960.)
- Company renamed to Midland Red Omnibus Company Limited (MROC) on Friday 29th March 1974, with a depot allocation of 50 vehicles and approximately 148 staff at this time.
- Midland Red Omnibus Company Limited (MROC) ceased trading as a bus and coach operator at the close of business on Saturday 5th September 1981. From the start of services on Sunday 6th September 1981 a newly formed NBC subsidiary, Midland Red (East) Limited, assumed responsibility for all former MROC services in the Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire areas. At this time Wigston depot, including all staff and assets, were one of a number of MROC depots that transferred to Midland Red (East) Limited to provide unbroken operation of services.
- Midland Red (East) Limited trading as Midland Fox from Sunday 15th January 1984.
- Wigston depot open an outstation in Hinkley to house Ford Transit minibuses used on local services under the brand name “Foxcub”, starting in September 1985.
- 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.
- Hinkley outstation closed c. June 1990. Operations move to a site acquired with the business of Powner & Waterfield (trading as “NWP Travel”) of Hinkley.
- 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.
- Depot fire on Wednesday 2nd October 2002, with the loss of three Scania double-deck buses and damage to two Mercedes-Benz O.814 Vario minibuses.
- Arriva Fox Country Limited renamed to Arriva Midlands Limited on Tuesday 24th October 2006.