Midland Red DDs - Worcester area

Discussions about the vehicles operated by Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Company Limited (BMMO — Midland "Red" Motor Services).
DD12
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Midland Red DDs - Worcester area

Post by DD12 » 19:51 Monday 17th October 2016

Here's some statistics taken mainly from a PSV Circle document.
Number of Double-Deckers at Worcester and Malvern :-

June 1950 - 10 (WR+MN together).
June 1960 - WR 11; MN 3.
Feb 1967 - WR 12; MN 4.
June 1970 - WR 25; MN 3.
June 1980 - zero.

The big increase shown for 1970 (above), was caused by the conversion of city services to double-deck operation, starting June 1967.
(I hope to study this period sometime, to try and find out the peak/ max number of DDs operated by WR).

Can any of our older forum members tell me ( - prior to June 1967 ) - how many DDs did Worcester garage input into the 144 (peak) ? (LoL !)

ALSO; has anyone got a Worcester area timetable book circa June/July 1967? - I would like to know the exact date that the W1 etc were converted to brand-new, new-fangled, rear-engine DDs ! -
I had it in my memory as June 30th, but having "googled-up" a calendar, that was a Friday, so much more likely the next day (?)
:)

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AdamH
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Location: Worcester

Re: Midland Red DDs - Worcester area

Post by AdamH » 20:18 Monday 17th October 2016

Before the new depot in Malvern opened in 1954 there were no double-decks there as the Portland Road garage could only accommodate single-decks. When the new depot did open, the only route that required double-decks was the 144, none of their other routes used them.

I have a Worcester area timetable for May 1966 but this, like all the other timetables, does not give any information about the type of vehicle used.

DD12
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Re: Midland Red DDs - Worcester area

Post by DD12 » 20:42 Monday 17th October 2016

Thanks Adam;
- A timetable book c.June/July 1967, should show the newly converted services, as they also became cross-city, on a reduced frequency -

W1 Ombersley Road and London Road.
W2/22 Droitwich Road and Bath Road.

(Subject of course, to my missing brain cells !)

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AdamH
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Location: Worcester

Re: Midland Red DDs - Worcester area

Post by AdamH » 20:28 Wednesday 19th October 2016

Been looking at the Worcester allocations in the late 1960s. As I'm sure you know, ten DD12s came to Worcester in 1967 but it seems they replaced all but two D7s, and on this date in 1967 Worcester still only had 12 double-decks.

Worcester Allocation 19th October 1967.

One year later and the situation has changed quite a bit. By this time in 1968 Worcester had 5 D7s, 3 D9s and an impressive 17 DD12s.

Worcester Allocation 19th October 1968.

I suspect the Worcester conversion to double-deck may have been a bit later than you remember.

chason
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Location: Bromsgrove

Re: Midland Red DDs - Worcester area

Post by chason » 09:11 Thursday 20th October 2016

Can't help with the Worcester allocation I'm afraid but was interested to see that research appears to show that MN had four DDs for a time.

I am not saying that wasn't the case but my recollection is that they only ever had three - certainly for many years to cover their three 144 turns. Today I suppose that wouldn't be unusual but it must have placed quite a strain on the engineering side to keep all three running for seven days a week (the 144 frequency for many years being every 20 minutes on weekdays and Sundays and 15 minutes on Saturdays so all three required for most of every day). The rare odd breakdown etc was covered by a single decker but of course an engineering floater was allocated for any longer term work such as visits to Central Works.

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AdamH
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Re: Midland Red DDs - Worcester area

Post by AdamH » 09:50 Thursday 20th October 2016

For a long time I was under the impression Malvern only ever ran three double-decks at a time, but I have read somewhere that for a short period they took on an extra 144 turn to cover for another depot that was having problems covering their share of the work. Now I need to remember where I read it... :?

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AdamH
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Re: Midland Red DDs - Worcester area

Post by AdamH » 10:10 Thursday 20th October 2016

OK, found it! The following quote is from page 31/2 of "Round The Hills" by C.J. Davis, published by Omnibus Society in 1979. It is a superb record of bus services in Malvern and is highly recommended if you haven't seen it.
In April 1966, as a result of staff shortages at Bromsgrove, Malvern gained an extra 144 working, and another 'D.9'. 4894, also from Bromsgrove. The Monday to Friday working was rather a strange one, involving an early morning run to Worcester followed by a journey on the 350 to Broughton Hackett on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On Thursdays the bus continued on the 144 to Droitwich to Terminate at Witton Post Office. It then returned in service to Malvern garage. On Tuesdays the crew working this turn were required to change the double decker for a single deck vehicle in order to work the 1000 journey to Wood Farm Camp. The afternoon involved an untimetabled 144 journey from Malvern garage to Birmingham and back, probably for the benefit of the Austin Works. The Saturday and Sunday turns inherited from Bromsgrove were straightforward 144 workings, except that the Saturday one included the 0705 X.72 from Worcester to Birmingham.
Although I have obviously read this before, I clearly missed the bit about Malvern working a journey on the X72 as I had no idea Malvern depot had any involvement with that group of services.

chason
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Re: Midland Red DDs - Worcester area

Post by chason » 19:14 Thursday 20th October 2016

Thanks very much for your research, Adam - that's most interesting, particularly about the X72 which was news to me too.

DD12
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Re: Midland Red DDs - Worcester area

Post by DD12 » 22:19 Thursday 20th October 2016

Yes; very interesting to me too. - Thanks for the info above, Adam and chason.

I feel-like an "armchair time traveller" - filling gaps in my knowledge about a time and subject of great interest to me !

I tried to find a 1967 (Summer) Worcester area timetable on the internet yesterday, but failed - but I did manage to find a photo of 4762 at Newport Street from around that time (I think), showing W33 Hallow, so I bought a copy.

I also succumbed, and bought my first-ever proper model bus - an Oxford Die-cast model of a Leyland PD2 acquired by Midland Red with a Leicestershire independent takeover - it's either 4844 or 4845.

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AdamH
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Re: Midland Red DDs - Worcester area

Post by AdamH » 22:53 Thursday 20th October 2016

chason wrote:
19:14 Thursday 20th October 2016
Thanks very much for your research, Adam - that's most interesting, particularly about the X72 which was news to me too.
The same book also says that Malvern depot operated a 364 to Tewkesbury on Saturdays which was followed by a short-working X72 to Ryall. This seems a rather odd place to Terminate! I'm guessing it was a duplication bus as it was not shown in the timetable.

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