Open platform DDs in Worcester.

Discussions about the vehicles operated by Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Company Limited (BMMO — Midland "Red" Motor Services).
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DD12
Posts: 1541
Joined: 19:49 Monday 4th July 2016

Open platform DDs in Worcester.

Post by DD12 » 17:20 Tuesday 15th November 2022

After 55 years of being interested in Double-Deckers and Midland Red, and living in Worcester, I got a shock the other day when I realised I had never really thought about the sight (very common in many parts of the country) of open rear platform double deckers running in Worcester !!

The only old Worcester photos I've seen, have only included the FEDD, the D5B, and the LD8, and open front-platform single-deckers.

Earlier in this thread, I posted a link to a Worcester News article about Newport Street bus station, with a photo that included bus rear ends, but I cannot check that one as WN have blocked me from using their site because I wont pay the subscription (which I think is far too much £).
In all the huge collection of old photos there are (including bus books) I'm surprised I've never noticed one showing the open platform of an AD2 or a D5 in Worcester !!

Does anyone know of such a photo ?

I see from the main website, that WR had 3471+72 delivered new in 1949 (they didn't stay long) and it's highly likely that DH, BE, MN, SE, KR had some, but did they ever use them on the long "county" routes through Worcester ??

Sadly, there are very few older people using this forum who might remember seeing them here, and who might be able to tell us when they disappeared from Worcester's streets (?)

(Tim ?)

TimBrown
Posts: 1161
Joined: 05:59 Monday 4th July 2016
Location: Worcester

Re: Open platform DDs in Worcester.

Post by TimBrown » 10:37 Wednesday 16th November 2022

One of my earliest memories is making a comment as a five year old when coming home from a trip to Worcester on the 144 bus with a favourite aunt that "the bus had doors". As it was a double-decker in 1951 it would have been a brand new D5B, the key to this when I think about it now is that all my previous trips into town on the 144 must have been in open-backed buses i.e. D5s even though I had no idea what type they were back then, but the difference with electric doors was very noticeable!

I also have early memories of AD2s working past Claines Lane along the Ombersley Road on the then 315 or 316 from Stourbridge to Worcester in the early 1950s. I have a hazy memory of them being low numbers JHA 5 to JHA 12 which would tie in with workings by Stourbridge garage. Stourbridge also put BHA registered FEDDs on this route from time to time.

AD2 3162 JHA 63 found its way onto the 144 for a few days in the early 1960s when operating from Malvern garage as an engineering floater, working the whole route from the Wells to Birmingham. Can't remember whether Malvern had D9s by then but it would have been a shock for the driver going from power steering and semi-auto gearbox to unassisted steering and crash gearbox. The conductor also had to contend with the open back after years of D7's power doors too!

Bromsgrove ran a number of D5s in the 1950s and early 1960s including 3507/19/22/32/33/& 37. These normally worked the local B routes, 318 to Stourbridge, 322 to Redditch, 143 over Rose Hill & Rednal to Birmingham and the 335? to Halesowen and Bearwood. There was an early morning unadvertised short 144 working from Bromsgrove to Worcester using a D5 which ran back to Birmingham as a short X72 - a favourite start using an Anywhere Ticket as it always produced fast running with an older bus often overtaking newer D7 on an earlier 144 working along the dual track between Longbridge and Selly Oak. It didn't work back on the X72 so presumably did 143 for rest of the turn.

Bank Holiday Mondays in the 1950s always produced a number of Black Country D5s from Oldbury, Cradley, possibly Hartshill and Sheepcote Street working extra 144s from Birmingham to Worcester and Malvern. These could be seen lined up in the early afternoon outside what was then Worcestershire Farmers forecourt, opposite Newport Street bus station, and also on a parking patch adjacent to Link Top in Malvern waiting to move the hordes back home.

DD12
Posts: 1541
Joined: 19:49 Monday 4th July 2016

Re: Open platform DDs in Worcester.

Post by DD12 » 17:55 Wednesday 16th November 2022

Brilliant info and "atmosphere", thanks Tim !

Your reply caused me to do a bit of research on this excellent website, regarding the X72, which I probably used in the late '60s, - and I also used the Motorway Express, - - but was there a restriction (in the late'60s) as to when one could use the (Junior) Day Anywhere ticket ?
- or was there a surcharge ??

Also, a bit of a coincidence that a mention of "low number JHAs" has occurred again, just a week or two after us discussing "JHA2" on here !!

:)

TimBrown
Posts: 1161
Joined: 05:59 Monday 4th July 2016
Location: Worcester

Re: Open platform DDs in Worcester.

Post by TimBrown » 06:30 Thursday 17th November 2022

The Day Anywhere Ticket was not allowed on the Motorway Express X43 and X44 or long distance express services in the 1960s but was allowed on X stage carriage routes such as the X72. Most X services charged a minimum fare and carried a relatively small square white plastic sign to this effect attached to the nearside front window with little rubber suckers. Living in Fernhill Heath I didn't use the X72 into Worcester as it was more expensive than the 144, presumably the minimum fare was equivalent to that charged between Droitwich and Worcester, in any case Midland Red did not usually offer return tickets in the post war years, strictly a single ticket for each journey, though it was possible to buy a workman's return on very early morning workings, probably before 7 AM.

Anywhere tickets could only be obtained from Midland Red travel shops, Angel Place in Worcester and Victoria Square in Droitwich for example. The X72 (and I assume other X routes) became limited stop at some point, probably with introduction of one person operation, and I seem to remember only one stop in Fernhill Heath by the Cedars / old post office. Other than Droitwich and Bromsgrove not sure where the other intermediate stops were located for rest of the X72 service.
Anywhere ticket 1963 001.jpg
Anywhere ticket 1963 002.jpg

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